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Pages 1 - 406 -- "The Holy Spirit" (Volume 122).

THE HOLY SPIRIT IN MATTHEW

Matthew 28:18 - 19; Matthew 1:18 - 20; Matthew 3:16 - 17; Matthew 12:28, 31 - 32

I wish to speak, dear brethren, about the Holy Spirit as presented in this gospel, which treats of the Spirit in a way that fits in with its teaching, each gospel having its own feature. The gospels, taken as a whole, present the truth in a four-sided way, and no one has the truth according to God, save as he understands this full presentation of it. Matthew has in mind the great pressure involved in connection with the declaration of God in this world; those who espouse it are contemplated as facing very great pressure of opposition, and, among other things, the Spirit is presented in such wise as to fortify them in meeting the opposition and in enduring till the end. The pressure inevitably comes, and the Holy Spirit is presented with this in view. I have, therefore, read from the last chapter first, because it presents the position we occupy, that is, all believers today, who, as loving the Lord Jesus, care for His interests: the verse presents the position of the gentiles, those of us who are of the nations. Indeed, we have to see that now the supporters of the testimony of God are from among the nations almost exclusively; there are very few Jews. You will all remember how the apostle Paul, in arriving at Rome, called for the Jews; it was the end of the great testimony to God's patience towards them; they went away reasoning amongst themselves, Paul having said "one word" to them quoting Isaiah 6 -- saying the salvation of God was now sent to the gentiles, and, he added, "they also will hear it" Acts 28:28. Thank God, they have received it, and many, if not all of us here, and thousands elsewhere, are today interested in the testimony of God. It is well to have in mind how it has come to us: for it has come, not

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only as a matter of light, but as a matter of influence, an element of great importance with God.

From the very outset of His operations the idea of influence was pronounced, the whole physical system being involved in it, one body influencing another and all held together thus according to true proportions. John deals with influence in an astronomical sense, but Matthew contemplates it as among men, he contemplates it both in a good sense and in a bad sense. From Shinar onwards we see men combining in order to enhance or increase, their influence. To meet this Matthew would promote combination in a spiritual sense amongst the people of God. The influence that the saints have in this world is very much more than we are apt to think. God rules governmentally in this world on account of His people, for He loves His people, and all that transpires is regulated in relation to the testimony which they render. God acts angelically in this way, and with the most powerful results, for we could not subsist in this world as espousing the testimony of God, aside from the mighty forces that are at work outside of ourselves in our favour. As it says of angels, "Are they not all ministering spirits sent out for service?" (Hebrews 1:14). Think of these vast numbers of ministering spirits! It is quite clear, therefore, that the angels are not spectators merely of what goes on here, they are in commission, "on account of those who shall inherit salvation" Hebrews 1:14. But then there is the great influence that the people of God themselves exert in this world: there is He who lets, or hinders, and that which hinders the great anti-christian development. Is it not so, that in this great centre the people of God are holding in check the forces of evil? It is so. The combination of our prayers and moral influence in moving about among men effects much in holding back the forces of evil; a matter to be taken to heart because God would have us to understand that our presence in this world is used in that connection. So in this last chapter in the

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gospel of Matthew the Lord directs His disciples -- not to preach, for He does not say anything about preaching here (I do not say He did not have in mind that they should preach, Mark provides for that) -- but here it is, "make disciples of all the nations" Matthew 28:19. Now, dear brethren, I speak thus because it is well to bear in mind that whilst it is intended that we should influence, we have ourselves been helped into the position we occupy in relation to God and to Christ and to one another, by influence. Our position, therefore, is not only the result of light through the preached word, but of influence, The relation of the Spirit to all this in this gospel is obvious. Being influenced, and thus brought into the wonderful position that we are in, baptised "to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" Matthew 28:19, there is suggested to us the means of our being held in this position. Divine Persons are presented objectively, even the Holy Spirit is not presented in a subjective way in this verse. It is a marvellous position into which the nations have been introduced and God would have us to understand it. "Baptising them", says the Lord "to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" Matthew 28:19: that is the great environment into which we have been introduced, but as having been made disciples, as persons influenced by what the ministers were themselves, those through whom the light came. One can gather what they were, because in this gospel we have the idea that the apostles were "made" under the hand of Christ for their service. Hence Matthew closes with this objective position into which we hay been baptised, but baptised as having been influenced, as made disciples.

Now, I want to show in detail, how the Holy Spirit as thus presented, takes a place in this gospel of peculiar activity in service. I feel it impressed upon me to stress the idea of the position He occupies, in this great environment in which we are set; He stands in relation to the Father and to the Son.

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Now, having dwelt on the Spirit thus presented objectively, to be understood and known and regarded as a divine Person, I proceed to say something about the other scriptures. What helps me is that the Holy Spirit is presented in Scripture as active from the very outset. We have no formal change of form in Him, He is presented at the outset as "the Spirit of God" Genesis 1:2. If we take later utterances, He was employed in the garnishing of the heavens, and Genesis 1 presents Him as moving, or hovering, over the face of the waters -- but He was doing it, it was the Spirit of God! There is no idea suggested of any change of form, He is the Spirit of God. He is moving as expressing God, He is no less than God, the Spirit of God can be no less than God; it is God acting out of the exigencies of His holy nature. He is not explaining yet, explanation will come, but the telling fact is that He has taken up a position feelingly, and looking towards benign operations. He is hovering over the face of the waters, having in view all this wonderful development with which we are now conversant. And so in wonderful feeling God says, "My spirit shall not always strive with Man" (Genesis 6:3) -- "my spirit", it was God.

Having said so much as to the Old Testament, we come to this gospel, which is the beginning of the New, rightly so, and what we find is the same thing. A wonderful condition had taken place and the Holy Spirit is seen at once in relation to that. There is no previous announcement of the birth of Christ, as in Luke, no angelic visitation beforehand. The wonderful fact is that He is there, it is "of the Holy Spirit" Matthew 1:18. It is the most marvellous fact that could be, involving, as it does, redemption; the most transcendently marvellous fact that could be conceived or which could occur, is related in this simple verse (Matthew 1:18) and the explanation is, that it was of the Spirit of God. It is not now "the holy thing" Luke 1:35, but the "child", a definite formation of the Spirit of God; the utmost pains being

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taken to make the position legal in regard of Israel, but at the same time to make clear that what was transpiring was of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit had operated and there was the tangible result -- that is the thing to see. That is the beginning of the New Testament, a much greater thing than explanation; the actual fact had occurred by the power of the Spirit, and the light given to Joseph confirmed it. One would love to able to enlarge on this; it is a marvellous matter. The enemy of our souls and of the testimony would becloud the magnitude of this wonderful transaction -- incarnation. We have two accounts, one in Luke and the other here: Luke's account is preceded by an angelic visitation, but not so here, where it is to bring in the great transcendent fact, that the thing which was happening was by the Spirit of God. And the Child was to be called "Emmanuel", "God with us" Matthew 1:23.

Now I want to go on to chapter 3 to show the bearing of the Spirit's operations in regard of Christ as baptised. He is now about to enter on His service and He goes up out of the water. What wonderful grace in the Lord to enter into the water! Against the forbidding word of John He enters into the water, saying, "thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness" Matthew 3:15. What quality there was there! Let us understand, that the Holy Spirit in this narrative has also ourselves in view as baptised. Baptism has become a mere empty rite abroad in the world; it is indeed a feature of the world, it has become enshrouded in darkness, with no idea of righteousness underlying it. The One baptised in Matthew, says, "it becometh us fulfil all righteousness" Matthew 3:15; baptism has that in view; and we can see that "made" disciples are persons who understand that righteousness has to be fulfilled. Of what value is baptism aside from righteousness? It has no value. So, if we are to stand, as this gospel intimates, we are made disciples, and we profess righteousness and practise it, we seek to "fulfil all righteousness" Matthew 3:15. Many of us, alas! whilst we have the idea of righteousness,

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limit it, we make our own standard, but not so Jesus -- He fulfils "all righteousness" -- and that Person looks up and He sees the Holy Spirit. I believe a great defect with us is, that we do not see what happens at the outset, and the secret of weakness is the want of righteousness in entering on our christian course. How perfectly the principle of "all righteousness" was wrought out on the cross in that blessed One as He said -- as He does in this gospel -- "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46. If I am to be clothed with divine righteousness, it is as appreciating righteousness in Christ. So He sees the Holy Spirit coming down as a dove upon Him, and there is a voice, saying, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased" Matthew 3:17. That is the position, and I think you will see that it stands on the principle of righteousness. There can be no disciples made save on that principle, the principle of righteousness. As I said, the baptism abroad today is a mere travesty of the truth, the element of righteousness is divorced from it, and thus the foundation has gone. The Lord would bring us back to the true foundation. If the thing that we are brought into is to stand practically, there must be the great principle in our souls of "all righteousness"; then we shall see -- there will be vision to see, the Holy Spirit's activity, and the pleasure of heaven. What can be more precious than the sense of the Father's pleasure, first in Christ, and now also in the saints? It is in relation to the waters of death that He says, "thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness" Matthew 3:15.

So in the next chapter He is carried up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, and with this I propose to connect the verses read in chapter 12 so that we may consider the array of evil with which we are faced. What combinations of evil there are in this world! And there is special opposition to those who, as seeking to walk in separation from evil, recognise Christ and the assembly. Let us not assume that if

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one crisis is past another will not come; it will come, crisis after crisis will come, it is war to the end. We get in Revelation 14:13, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth" -- it is a question of the battle and of dying in the field. The matter is urgent. You may say, 'It is for those who are more prominent' No, the book of Numbers assists us in this respect as showing those who are reckoned for military service. I cannot stop to dwell on it, but it enters into the position, the combination of evil we are faced with is not peculiar. Although difficult times are here, they have been prophesied about, but the conflict was here from the very beginning; from the time the Lord was anointed from heaven the conflict was in progress, and it will continue. The position of the church is a militant one and will continue so to be. Let no one assume he is not in it; if he is not militant, he is not in the testimony. No one of military age was exempted in Numbers. I am not speaking of the Levites, who were numbered for the service of the tabernacle; but, from twenty year old and upwards, all the males of the other tribes were held for military service. The position here is that the Lord is carried up into the wilderness to be tempted the devil. Thus the conflict begins as I said, and it is to be maintained in the power of the Spirit. Dear brethren, may I suggest the importance of being moved by the Spirit? I hope to come in a moment to our using the Spirit, but before we use the Spirit (I speak reverently) -- we must understand what it is to be moved the Spirit. You will find in Judges, and Samuel, that the Spirit of God began to move the men who were used by God. Let young men and women take notice: have you been conscious at any time of the Spirit of God moving you? He carried the Lord here -- it is to show the perfection of the great Servant who had come in. He is "carried up into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted of the devil" Matthew 4:1. You may have enquired, 'Why should He be carried up? Why did

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He not go?' It is perfection: the divine nature recoils from evil, but it will face it if necessary. Here as quietly subservient to the blessed Spirit, He is carried up into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. We may be sure that if there is opposition to the truth, the Holy Spirit will know about it first; do not forget that. He knows all about the opposition. Many of us do not see the nature of the enemy's movements until they have been well matured, hence we are at a disadvantage, but the Holy Spirit knows, and He moves us if we are available. There is a great want, one would say in grace, of divine sensitiveness, of the exercise of the senses, of the spirit of the war-horse that smells the battle afar off. We are at a great disadvantage if we do not sense the opposition, the enemy will be upon us before we know it. The war-horse, according to Jehovah's remarks (Job 39:25) smells the battle afar off; and then the lion turns not aside from any (Proverbs 30:30). The Holy Spirit enables us to smell the battle afar off and we prepare accordingly; so that as He knows, if I am in self-judgment, and free of selfish motives and am thinking of His interests, He will let me know, and He will move me too. We read of Samson being "moved" in his own locality (Judges 13:25).

Well now, to indicate to you what the nature of the opposition is, I refer for a moment to the two demoniacs -- they are symbolic of the opposition in this gospel. There were two of them (suggestive of a combination), and they were so fierce that no one could pass that way. But then, if the way has to be passed, we must pass it, and if we are to pass it, we must understand how to fight and have courage to do so. We cannot turn aside -- the lion "turneth not away for any" Proverbs 30:30. The psalmist says, "The Lord ... teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight" (Psalm 144:1). You will say I am seeking to enlist you for the army! I am. I know what I am saying, I know that one attack after another will come, and this gospel teaches us how to meet it. Let the

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Holy Spirit move you, be ready; thus you will not be taken by surprise; you will smell the battle afar off and you will be in line with the thunder of the captains, and the shouting, you will know where to stand.

There is that demoniacal combination -- no one can pass by that way (Matthew 8:28). But the Lord Jesus cast out the demons. How did He cast them out? By the Spirit of God, as He tells us in Matthew 12:28. It is only by the Spirit of God we can rightly meet evil, beloved brethren. The great military man of the Old Testament -- Joshua -- was nominated by Jehovah with this commendation: "A man in whom is the Spirit" (Numbers 27:18). Joshua is the great military man before David, and he has the Spirit as Jehovah says. If I smell the battle afar off, I am ready: having the Spirit I know how to deal with the evil intelligently and in power. And so the Lord says in chapter 12: "If I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then indeed the kingdom God is come upon you" Matthew 12:28. The kingdom of God, therefore, is not a mere ideal conception, it is a real thing. The expression is seldom used in Matthew -- the kingdom of the heavens is more general there. The kingdom of God is what is here where the evil is: the kingdom of heaven is what is there, the rule and influence of heaven on the earth. But the kingdom of God is what here in a powerful way: it "is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17). It is a real thing, no kingdom more real and practical ever existed than the kingdom of God. I often picture to myself that wonderful setting out of the divine position in the tabernacle in the wilderness -- Jehovah within, surrounded by the hosts of Israel. God Himself was there; the armies of Israel were there surrounding the camp, but God was there -- precious fact! So with the kingdom of God, the Spirit of God is down here available to the believer in meeting evil; as the Lord says, "If I by the Spirit of God cast out demons then indeed the kingdom of God is come upon

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you" Matthew 12:28 -- that was the evidence. So, dear brethren, it is most important that we should understand this service of the Spirit; it is a military matter, it is a question of dealing with evil. It is not the blessed Spirit inside by which we draw near to God -- that is a blessed side indeed, which I cannot now touch on, it is not the feature in Matthew -- but it is a most precious thought that we have access through Christ to the Father by the Spirit (Ephesians 2:18). But here it is the conflict, and the Lord says, "whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit it shall not be forgiven him" Matthew 12:32. What great power there is in the soul, as the Spirit is known in conflict! You are unconquerable, and you are sensibly enhanced by the word that if anyone speaks injuriously against the Spirit "it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in the coming one" Matthew 12:32. That, if rightly presented, weakens the opposition for, after all, men have to do with God, if not in this world, in the next; and they will be faced with this fact, that there is no forgiveness for those who speak against the Holy Spirit. It is a great stimulus in conflict to be assured that the enemy has to do with God, as to his position in this world. Is not this world suffering under the hand of God? I do not say retributively, but as the seed bears fruit -- is He not dealing with the world in this very connection? I think God is dealing with the world now judicially, not yet openly, but nevertheless really, and those who are spiritual understand this. God is dealing in His own way with men; and may I not suggest that it is largely because of their treatment of the blessed Holy Spirit? God resents it. For hundreds of years the Spirit has been displaced in christendom -- a terrible fact! We are not to think it is not our responsibility, it is, for we are in the very christendom where it has taken place. The blasphemy against the Spirit of God is an historical fact, and God has taken note of it; it is a great support in the conflict to know that God is

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taking note of it, both in regard of this world and that which is to come.

I come back now to the baptism of the Spirit -- the positive side. I am sure you will all follow with pleasure as one turns from dealing with evil, which is a necessity, to dealing with good. In chapter 3 John the baptist says of Jesus that He would baptise "with the Holy Spirit and fire" Matthew 3:11. Here we have a positive service rendered by the Lord to those who believe. He baptises with the Holy Spirit, and that fact underlies the church. There can be no realisation of chapters 16 and 17 until we understand this baptising with the Holy Spirit. It means that all the natural traits that can distinguish us amongst the brethren, have to go. We see they have to go, but the Lord deals with them in the most gracious way. The waters of baptism ought to have taught us that they have to go, it is a matter of righteousness; but the baptism of the Spirit implies that they are dealt with effectively. Fire accompanied it here -- a sure means to make it effective. It is a solemn thing that the fire is added here, but as we look back -- any of us who have tasted it and proved the gain of it -- we thank God for the fire. He baptises with the Holy Spirit as Paul says elsewhere, "in the power of one Spirit we have all been baptised into one body" (1 Corinthians 12:13). This, as I said, lies at the foundation of the church in a practical sense. I know Christ is the foundation, but in a practical sense, we are merged by the Lord, it is His own doing; and a precious service it is to so merge us together that all the natural distinctions in which we pride ourselves disappear. And how? As baptised "into one body". It is not like Romans, where we are just said to be one body in Christ, that is we have that status in this world -- we are not Freemasons or the like, but are one body in Christ -- but in 1 Corinthians, we are all baptised by one Spirit into one body.

Now I just want to refer to one or two other scriptures I have not read. One is in Matthew 12:18 referring to

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Christ: "Behold my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, in whom my soul has found its delight. I will put my Spirit upon him". There you have the idea of the Spirit marking Him off in a public way -- "I will put my Spirit upon him". "He shall not strive or cry out, nor shall any one hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, until he bring forth judgment unto victory". Matthew 12:19,20. While presenting these beautiful traits as in Him, I wish to transfer the thought of them to ourselves, for the Spirit is upon us as the elect of God, that refraining from public iconoclasm and the like, for we do not want to break things up now, we may see that it is a question of going on for His pleasure. Matthew quotes from Isaiah 42 to bring out the lowliness and unobtrusiveness that marked the perfect Servant as rejected: Luke 4 quotes (chapter 4) from Isaiah 41 to call attention to the order, grace and power which, in exquisite blend, beautified and enhanced the public ministry of Christ. In Matthew 12 the Lord is already rejected, and it is a question of going on quietly, but faithfully, with certain victory in view. He sends forth "judgment unto victory; and on his name shall the nations hope" Matthew 12:20,21. I believe the Lord would bring us into correspondence with this, the Spirit being upon us, that we go on quietly but surely unto victory, and hence afford God something of that pleasure which He found in the Servant whom He chose, the Elect in whom His soul delighted.

I refer now to a verse in chapter 10 where the apostles are sent out to preach; they are sent out here in this service, and the Lord would have us go on with the preaching, as it says: "do the work of an evangelist" (2 Timothy 4:5). But how? The Lord says, "ye are not the speakers but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you" (Matthew 10:20). How God would bring us to that, the positive side, that the Person who affords that pleasure to Him is in us as the elect, and then our very words are

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the words of the Father! Can anything be more exalted, dear brethren, in service than the words of the Spirit of the Father? -- "the Spirit of your Father", the Lord says, "speaks in you" Matthew 10:20. I am pleading that we should be vessels of grace, for one great idea connected with the Father is grace.

I trust the Lord will use these remarks to bring us into accord with His mind, as in Matthew. It is the great church gospel, as you know: it is the gospel in which it is said that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Is that to be a dead letter to us? Surely not! Surely the Lord would bring us back to that, that it should not be a mere doctrine with us, but a reality that the gates of Hades do not prevail. Then there is the Spirit of the Father speaking in us.

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THE HOLY SPIRIT IN LUKE

Luke 1:35; Luke 2:25 - 32; Luke 3:21,22; Luke 12:11,12; Luke 24:48,49

I wish to speak about the Holy Spirit, encouraged in the assurance that there will be not only a readiness to hear, but a measure of capacity for taking in any thoughts presented as to Him. I believe that it is of God to emphasise the presence of the Spirit. Indeed, it has occurred to me of late that it would be a profitable inquiry to see how He is presented in each of the books of Scripture; and with this in view I have ventured to take up Luke, so that we might see how the Holy Spirit mentions Himself in this book. For we have to bear in mind that whilst the Lord says of Him, "he shall not speak from himself" John 16:13, that does not mean that He does not refer to Himself, for in truth He is the subject of testimony, as the Father is, and as the Son is. Indeed, we are said to be baptised to the name of "the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" Matthew 28:19, so that He has His own place in the testimony. I thought that the consideration of Luke, in this regard, would help us as to the dispensation viewed as in grace.

Luke is concerned as to how the gospel should reach men; the vessels through whom it should come; and so you find with him great prominence given to heaven, that the gospel should come to men clothed with heavenly influence. Hence, he introduces at once a great heavenly dignitary; for it was to be expected, we being what we are, that in the service of the gospel there would arise a desire for personal distinction in it, such as painfully manifested itself at Corinth. So Luke would introduce the idea of personal dignity in Gabriel. Who of those at Corinth could measure up with him? The apostle in speaking to them refers to "the tongues of ... angels" 1 Corinthians 13:1, but here we have at the outset presented to us, not simply an angel, but a heavenly dignitary.

But I did not wish to speak about that, nor about the

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visitations from heaven which Luke records, most interesting as they are. He would clothe the gospel with personal dignity, and with a heavenly atmosphere; that the thing might carry with it all possible commendation -- nothing to forbid, nothing to prejudice, but all calculated to invite; so that the most might be saved, that the greatest possible result should accrue. One is impressed with the divine forethought and preparation recorded by Luke, so that the gospel should be untrammelled; that nothing should be attached to it or detract from it, so as to render it unacceptable. Hence the Lord Himself is presented in Luke as personally attractive in His preaching; the manner in which He read the scripture and His deportment, both in standing up and sitting down, and in speaking -- all was marked by the grace that God intended should adorn the proclamation of the gospel.

Now I wanted to dwell upon the Spirit, as I said, and what impresses one at first is the filling by Him of persons. Indeed, Luke throws out at the beginning a sort of atmosphere which would disallow all corruption and render null all fleshly taint. The incoming of the Saviour was to be guarded thus; and so we have a remarkable set of vessels filled with the Holy Spirit; thus shutting out from the environment of the Lord's birth all taint of contamination; for a group of persons appear, filled with the Holy Spirit. It is an important matter; for a half-filled, or partly filled vessel is sure to be contaminated. Hence you find the first mention of the Spirit in this gospel is that He fills a person from the very outset of his being -- John the baptist -- a marvellous thing! There may be an inquiry as to its possibility; but how else can we explain the movements of an unborn babe, as the sound of the voice of the mother of Christ falls upon the ears of his mother? What can be the thought, but of wonderful divine preparation, so that the incoming of our Saviour in such lowliness and outward weakness, should be so greeted

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and so protected that there is the acknowledgment of Him in an unborn babe?

Then the announcement of Gabriel himself; it is most interesting and touching to note the manner of his address to Mary. And when I speak of Mary, the thought of secret history comes into one's mind, of secret history with God. Who can tell what that history was? The angel Gabriel -- his name is given -- says to her, "Hail, thou favoured one! the Lord is with thee" Luke 1:28. Can we doubt that He had been with her? Can we doubt that He had watched over her as a unique vessel? Can we doubt but that He went far up the stream in her line? Can we doubt that there was extraordinary preparation in her, to be such a vessel, to be so honoured, so greeted, so saluted, by a great heavenly dignitary? The proof of all this is evidenced in her calm and subject demeanour in such august circumstances. And then in answer to her remarks he refers to the Holy Spirit, who alone could bring about the great design of eternity. "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and power of the Highest overshadow thee" Luke 1:35. What a scene is suggested! An operation of operations, the like of which had never been known or thought of by men as such! The Holy Spirit had been employed in garnishing the heavens, and brooding over the face of the deep; and right along had been engaged in the divine operations, but now, there is an operation of operations: "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and power of the Highest overshadow thee, wherefore the holy thing also which shall be born shall be called Son of God" Luke 1:35.

I wish to dwell for a moment on this, that we may apprehend what happened. Gabriel says, "the holy thing". Had the angel said, that holy Person, or, that holy Babe, the thought would have been weaker, but it is a question of what will be. We have to understand the distinction between what the Lord Jesus is, and who He is. The former speaks for itself. It is something to be noted; it is absolutely intrinsically holy. Holy

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babes relatively there were, such as the babes of believers, but not holy things. No person ever born before or since was a "holy thing"; there was only one "holy thing" -- it was absolutely, intrinsically, essentially holy. It is what He was, the marvellous production of divine power; and so we have here what in due course was called the "Son of God" Luke 1:35. That is to say, what He was, soon manifested who He was. Hence His question to His disciples was as to who He was. It had come out; what He was had demonstrated itself, and now He is called "Son of God".

Proceeding from this passage I wish to show you how He is guarded by the Spirit as a Babe. The idea of the thing being introduced is made clear, and then we have "a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes", as it says, "and lying in a manger" Luke 2:12; and later brought up to Jerusalem. I wish to dwell on what was in Jerusalem, that is, "a man ... whose name was Simeon" Luke 2:25. Jerusalem here is not yet viewed as hostile. It was still the centre for God on earth and there are grouped here very precious features in this still divinely recognised city. One would love to be consciously in the centre; I believe God would have it so, that as giving us the Spirit He would link us on with the centre of His things. It delivers and saves us from mere localism and nationalism.

Mention was made to me a little while ago of a meeting in Scandinavia far away in the Arctic circle, the only one there, yet some one who had visited it said that he felt at the centre of things as among them. Look at that! Not that one would wish to occupy you with those dear brethren unduly, but what can it mean but the evidence of the Spirit of God, for what are miles to Him! what are geographical distances to Him! As we are in the Spirit we are in the centre of things, and so Simeon was in the centre of things. He was in Jerusalem. That is what is said of him. Spiritually, everything gravitates there; and as in the centre of things we miss nothing; current spiritual events are known to us; we are

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conversant with them. Anna was there too, and she missed nothing. Then it says of Simeon that the "Holy Spirit was upon him" Luke 2:25. Now you have not only the vessel filled -- that idea is in chapter 1 -- but a vessel anointed; and that one in the very centre of things, who has the mind of God; to whom it had been revealed that "he should not see death before he should see the Lord's Christ" Luke 2:26. And "he came in the Spirit into the temple" Luke 2:27, and, as there by the Holy Spirit, the Child is brought in, and he takes Him in his arms.

I wish to dwell upon this because the opposition now bears on the smallness of things outwardly. This marks our own times; how much therefore is it incumbent upon us to recognise the Spirit, the anointing; so as to be able, so to say, to hold the Child. I allude to the Child for a moment as referring to the outward smallness of things; but how intrinsically precious at this moment! What a spectacle for heaven to see the priest with the Child in his arms, in the full light of God regarding It! What an awful darkness is spread abroad today around us, especially with regard to the Person of Christ! The best refutation of the error is the priest with the Child in his arms, and the light of God in his soul regarding It. It is God's salvation, and God's salvation seen. What a word that is for us as the powers of darkness are felt abroad!

As Samuel took a sucking lamb and offered him up a whole burnt-offering to the Lord, having poured water upon the ground in acknowledgment of abject weakness, God thundered on the Philistines and routed them. It is the holding of the Child, as anointed by the Spirit, with the light of God in our souls, that routs the enemy. I believe the Lord is doing this in a little way; I believe the Child, so to speak, is in the hands of holy priests at the present time. One would love to see it more definitely.

Then there is the blaze of light in Simeon's references to the Child, as blessing God, everything is made clear. "A light for revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel". Luke 2:32. The former is the very word that

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covers our present position as in this dispensation; the revelation or unveiling of the gentiles still holds. God is God, and the dispensation remains unaltered. The patience of God is marvellous, that the world is still in reconciliation; and God would put it upon us to maintain it in every way. It may be in smallness, but the character of the thing, the principle of it, is never to be let slip. It is the gentiles' day. The glory of God's earthly people is imminent. Christ is that. We know it; we have the light that Simeon had, in our souls. We know what is coming; the glory of God's earthly people, for the father's sakes, is near. No one can be with God without cherishing that testimony, "for the fathers' sakes" Romans 11:28; and Christ is indeed seen here in relation to the house of Jacob in this book; He is the glory of God's earthly people Israel.

Now I pass on from this. We have viewed Christ in outward weakness; we have held Him, as it were, in our hands and blessed God! How much enters into this! Our very assembly privilege, as well as our public testimony, is in the Babe in our arms. We stand by Him. The sword may pierce through our souls, but our privilege is to stand by Him. But I pass on to the position in chapter 3, involving the full position of the Holy Spirit in a vessel. God gives us a view of that. The church is that now. We do not and cannot see it concretely, for it has failed outwardly; but the Holy Spirit in this regard gives us Christ as the Vessel great enough to receive the Spirit, and to move by His power, for that is how Luke presents the subject. He is a dependent Man, and comes up out of the water praying, and sees the heaven opened, and the Holy Spirit coming down in bodily form as a dove and resting upon Him. It is the Spirit, the Person, as I may say, in His entirety in that Vessel.

And then He began to be about thirty years of age. That comes in afterwards, as if you have the full thought of manhood there, with the Holy Spirit upon Him.

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There is nothing to grieve the Holy Spirit in that blessed Man; for one idea of a dove, as I understand it, is sensitiveness; love doubtless too, but extreme sensitiveness. There was nothing there to grieve the Spirit in the least degree. All the fulness, we are told, was pleased to dwell there. Who can compass that? But there it is. The words "of the Godhead" have to be added simply to make the force clear in English, but the word is "for in him all the fulness was pleased to dwell" (Colossians 1:19).

But then He moved in the power of the Spirit. In chapter 4 we read, "But Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan" Luke 4:1; so that, in this wonderful picture we see what we do not see now in the church. It was seen at Pentecost, but here we see the full thought of God in a Vessel. He is about thirty years of age, and He moves by the Spirit. He returns in the power of the Spirit from Jordan, and is led of the Spirit in the wilderness -- that is the force of it -- to be tempted of the devil. He returns to the conflict in the power of the Spirit; for that is how Luke presents it. So He goes into the synagogue at Nazareth, and we have that beautiful picture which every preacher of the gospel should consider before preaching -- the way in which He read the scriptures and spoke. I think you have in these three settings the Holy Spirit as God intended Him to be here in the testimony, as the means for the maintenance of the dispensation of grace. It is not speaking only, it is in being the thing, filled, anointed, and then all that showing itself in our demeanour, as in our preaching. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach glad tidings". Luke 4:18. There was present in Him the full evidence of this.

Well, I may refer to other passages than those I read, and there is one in chapter 11 that we should notice; that is the desire for the necessary furnishing, in view of our assembly gatherings. The early part of chapter 11 has reference to the furnishings in a locality. I cannot

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go into details, it has often been spoken of, but it comes in now in relation to what I am saying as meeting current conditions; calculated in a very distinct way to order and furnish our meetings; that we should know how to come together in the light of the church, agreeably to heaven. It should not be mere crystallised routine, but in the freshness of the Spirit; and hence the Holy Spirit is presented there as available for the asking. I refer to that, for we all should be concerned as to our local furnishings, and that is the way to meet them. They are to be met in the power of the Spirit of God.

Then in chapter 12 there is the public testimony which rightly follows; the inward order and furnishings corresponding with heaven as by the Spirit of God, and then the public testimony -- how we are to behave as brought before magistrates and authorities and the like. True enough we know little of that; there is very little of it today. In fact, I suppose the Lord means that when He says to the remnant in Thyatira, "I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come" Revelation 2:24,25. He has made a wonderful way for us, so that the authorities leave us alone; they are not opposed in general. That is of God. We accept it, we pray for them; but then there is the idea of public testimony that will incur persecution, and chapter 12 provides for this. So the Lord says, Do not think of what you are to say beforehand, "for the Holy Spirit shall teach you in the hour itself" Luke 12:12. It is not simply that He gives us what to say, but He teaches us in that hour.

That is an important matter. It supposes that we have already been accustomed to be taught. Of all persons in the world, christians understand teaching, for they have to unlearn and learn so much. Before conversion we know nothing at all spiritually; we have everything to learn; and so there is the teaching of grace, which is first, the teaching of the Lord, and the teaching of the Spirit. When the Levite is in the service and comes

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under reproach, and has to make answer, he has to be a quick learner, and he can be as in the divine school. It is not a short course merely. Let no one assume that the scholars of the world learn everything in the college. They learn there, of course, but they get principles of education, and learning goes on all their lives and they acquire the way of learning quickly. So it is in christianity; we have to come to the idea of quick learning, not simply hearing continuously, but learning at once. That is acquired ability; that you can learn in a moment; and then there is the teaching corresponding with this, so that the thought comes to you and takes form in your soul immediately. Who can effect that but the Spirit of God? Who else can teach you in the very crisis, when you have just to make your answer? Not only does He put the word in your mouth, but He teaches you what to say, and it would stand in relation to all the truth; it is not an isolated thing. The Holy Spirit is the "Spirit of truth", and He teaches in relation to the whole system of truth; and He can do it quickly.

We have remarkable examples in Paul's defences, say before the emperor, or Agrippa, or before the Jewish council. I would commend to you all the study of those defences of the great witness of Christ in the testimony, how the Holy Spirit gave him the thing, and taught him, as I may say. I would love to dwell on the speech before Agrippa; and then what he says later: "At my first defence no man stood with me" 2 Timothy 4:16. Undoubtedly it was the right word, got for the moment. "But the Lord stood with me", he says, "and I was delivered out of the lion's mouth". 2 Timothy 4:17. You may depend that the answer was Spirit taught. All forsook him; alas! that there was such cowardice at that moment; but the Lord stood by His great witness.

I want to go on to the last scripture, and what I wish to dwell upon in closing is "the promise of my Father" Luke 24:49, how the Father is brought in at the end, so that we may

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see fully what the dispensation is. It is "The promise of my Father", but before that the Lord says, "Ye are witnesses" Luke 24:48, not yet "My witnesses". That is to say, it is not here that He is calling them to the witness box; the point is that they were eye-witnesses. In the Acts it says, "Ye shall be my witnesses" Acts 1:8, but here the emphasis is on them, on what they were. The New Translation emphasises the "YE". They were cognisant of what appeared in the Lord's ministry; they have not only been to school, but they have seen things. They were not hearsay to them. We should learn to see things, so as to become witnesses of them, that is, persons competent to speak of them as knowing them. That is the idea. But then that is not enough. To be sent is another matter, called into the witness box. And so the Lord says, "behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you" Luke 24:49.

Now you see we are in the presence of the Father, this is the closing touch, that is to say, it is God in grace and in love too. It has been remarked that the name Father always stands in relation to grace. "The Father judgeth no man" John 5:22. Here we have His promise. What is the promise? Some inquire, What is the unspeakable free gift? It is better to let it stand as it is and rest in it. It is an unspeakable free gift of God; who can compass the extent of the unspeakable free gift of God? It is better to live in it. That is the idea; for the dispensation is impregnated with the idea of an unspeakable free gift, and that must entail the Spirit, There is the gift of the Son for us, and the gift of the Spirit to us. The one enhances the other, so to speak, and together you have the fulness of divine giving. What a weight of glory rests upon us as having the Spirit of God!

So the Lord here says, "Ye are witnesses" Luke 24:48; you know these things, but He adds in effect, Do not attempt to speak about them until the promise of the Father comes upon you. What could any one of us do apart from the Spirit of God? Even although the disciples

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were witnesses of the most marvellous powers, yea, the very vessels of those powers, yet the Lord would not allow them to speak of them until they received the promise of the Father. So the testimony is to be presented in the power of the Spirit of God. There is no other way. Any one attempting witness apart from the power of the Spirit of God, discredits the thing that he presents. Even a Peter, a James, or a John, although having been on the mount of transfiguration, could not preach the gospel rightly without the Spirit of God.

The Lord says, "Tarry ye in the city" Luke 24:49, meaning that it is not now a question of going a journey, as in Matthew; nor a question of the exercise of the servant to get his 'word', but what comes in sovereignly. We can reckon on this; it is a question of promise. I have not to work for something that is promised me; it is a question of promise, and what a promise! "The promise of my Father" Luke 24:49, He says, that is to come upon you; and then, "but do ye remain in the city till ye be clothed with power from on high" Luke 24:49. There are the two thoughts, the promise of the Father bringing in all that the Father is in grace; and then the power from on high, that is, moral elevation. Literal elevation to be sure, but it is moral elevation here also; it is "from on high". Hence the witnesses do not descend to the level of man, or the world, in their testimony.

Then the word here is "clothed", "till ye be clothed" Luke 24:49. We were speaking about the Lord's clothes today, what was said being very suggestive. Clothes do not convey the idea of acts of power. That is, a man acts by his hands, etc.; the hands are the symbol of a man's power to do things; but when curative effects are seen through the garments, that is another matter. It raises the question as to my circumstances, what is round about me. So the whole position is "from on high"; it is not only while one is preaching the gospel, or doing things as with your hands, but power emanates from

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your very clothes, so to speak. In fact you have "greater things" in the Acts even than with the Lord. The people brought out the sick on couches, so that the very shadow of Peter might fall on them. That indicates how things stood, what mighty power was there, not only in the preaching, but going out from the apostles; they were thus clothed. And so with Paul; napkins and aprons taken from his body were laid upon the sick and they were cured. The Spirit of God says that these were "no ordinary miracles" Acts 19:11; they were extraordinary; they were miracles going out from the bodies of the apostles, from their clothing. God wrought them for the sake of the testimony. The maintenance of it is not only in the preaching, but in the persons and circumstances of the preachers, indeed of the saints generally. Power should go out from us, and it is power "from on high", hence things are carried through. Luke would help us to understand the ministry of the Spirit, and to rely on it, so that the testimony should go through until the end.

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THE HOLY SPIRIT IN JOHN (NO. 1)

John 1:32 - 34; John 3:5 - 8; John 7:37 - 39

My subject, dear brethren, is the Spirit as seen in John's gospel. It is divided into two parts, the first relating to the Spirit as given to the believer; the second as given to the saints collectively. In the latter connection He is viewed specially as a divine Person -- "another Comforter" John 14:16. This part of the subject is found in chapters 14, 15, and 16, but my intention is to speak only of the first part of the subject, the whole being too extensive for one meeting. I hope to touch upon each of the scriptures read, and perhaps one or two others, so as to make clear the relation of the Spirit at the present time as given to, or available to, believers individually. He is said in this section to be given without measure, which is an important fact to take note of. In John 3:34 we read, "God gives not the Spirit by measure". (New Trans.). It is characteristic of this dispensation, showing the abundance from God's side; so it adds "The Father loves the Son, and has given all things to be in his hand" John 3:35. The Spirit is thus administered by the Son, in an unlimited way; there are no limitations on the divine side, the limitations are on our side. It is, therefore, a question, if we think of the type in 2 Kings 4, of getting vessels "not a few"; the oil only stayed when the vessels were filled.

I want to speak from John 1 of the visibility of the Spirit as a dove; then in chapter 3 the invisibility of the Spirit as suggested in the wind; and in chapters 4 and 7 Its tangibility, if I may so speak, as under the figure of living water. These are the features I wish to present, so that we may all be conversant with the fact that the Holy Spirit is presented here as available to the believer. That should not be a mere theory, but a tangible

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reality to us, in such a sense that each one should be able to answer in the affirmative the question, "Did ye receive the Holy Spirit when ye had believed?" Acts 19:2. John the baptist says that he saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Jesus. He saw the Spirit descending. No doubt that was a privilege peculiar to him, although what he saw was there for others to see, but whether they saw it is not recorded, He says he saw it. That leads me to remark on what is visible. People speak of what they do not see, while it is perfectly visible to others. If others can see it why cannot I? The answer is, because of my defective eyesight, and that is a serious matter. In this passage one man saw this wonderful sight.

So there are things to be seen, and we have the opportunity of seeing them, but if we do not attend to our eyesight we may miss them. Things are not always visible; God does not make His things common; He likes to see respect for and appreciation of them, He expects us to take advantage of opportunities. This opportunity never came again -- Think of missing such a sight! According to the other evangelists the Lord Himself saw the Spirit descending. As far as testimony goes that is enough; nothing is said about others seeing it by the other evangelists. How delightfully heaven and earth were linked together on that event! But John the baptist looked, as I said before, and saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and abiding upon Him. John was full of the Holy Spirit, but it was not in this sense; upon no one, save a divine Person, could the Holy Spirit descend in this way and abide. We have to admit that we are very dull and insensitive in regard of what is divine. Things happen around us which are contrary to God and Christ, and we have no sensitiveness about them; and things happen that are positively of God, and we have no sensitiveness regarding them. John is fully cognisant of what is happening, he says "I saw the Spirit descending from

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heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him" John 1:32. That is the kind of introduction of Christ John has in mind in his narrative. John the baptist, is an ideal of John the evangelist. He brings forward the baptist as a sort of ideal witness. He mentions no failure in regard of him, but mentions, more than any of the other evangelists, things which distinguish him. How beautifully is he content to disappear in the light of that glorious Person -- the Son of God! "He must increase, but I must decrease". John 3:30. He sees the Spirit descending like a dove and says, "he that sent me to baptise with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and abiding on him, he it is who baptises with the Holy Spirit. And I saw and bare record that this is the Son of God" John 1:33,34. You see how the Son of God comes into evidence before his mind by the presence of the Spirit as descending and abiding upon Him. How are sons of God to be brought before us otherwise? The reception of sonship, is the reception of the mind of God about me as seen in Christ; but then that is for myself, it is a knowledge I have in my soul. Galatians 4:6 says, "because ye are sons, God has sent out the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father". If I cry "Abba, Father" it is by the Spirit. Christianity is not merely light, the light of sonship disappears unless we recognise the Spirit; or it becomes beclouded and so mixed, that it is indiscernible. In recognising the Spirit, the light of sonship remains in its lustre. The recognition of sonship by John the baptist is by the Spirit coming upon Jesus. "Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining on him, the same is he" John 1:33. And then John adds his witness that "this is the Son of God" John 1:34. The mind of the believer is here called upon to take account of two divine Persons at once, and John says, "I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God" John 1:34. He does not simply content himself with telling us what is told him, but he tells us what he saw: "I saw, and bare

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record that this is the Son of God" John 1:34. His mind is filled with a Person upon whom the Holy Spirit has come, and he sees that He is the Son of God; and that that Person "baptises with the Holy Spirit" John 1:33. He does two things: He takes away the sin of the world, and He also baptises with the Holy Spirit. One is a great negative service; think of the immensity of that! He takes away the sin of the world. And then He baptises with the Holy Spirit. In taking away the sin of the world, He makes room for the baptism of the Spirit. Those that are baptised, are merged in the power of the Spirit.

Now chapter 3 is the next part of the subject, and there it is what we do not see; that is expressly stated by the Lord: "but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth" John 3:8. What we have been speaking of in chapter 1 is the Spirit in relation to Christ, but there is no reference to Christ in this connection. There could be no such thought attached to Christ, as being born again either in time or eternity. The Lord speaks to Nicodemus of the beginning of the work of God in man, for new birth is a very initial idea spiritually. The Lord had to speak to Nicodemus in a simple, forceful way because he was full of natural thoughts. I have no doubt that the things the Lord opened up to him, really existed in himself, but he was very dark as to them, and full of natural thoughts, like a child. With most of us it is thus in regard of God's things. The apostle speaks to the Corinthians of not being able to speak to them as to spiritual, but as to fleshly, they were looking at things in a natural way. John's gospel teaches us that we must be spiritual throughout. In chapter 4 we are told that "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" John 4:24. Nicodemus has to be taught from the bottom; he was "the teacher of Israel" John 3:10, but he did not know these things. The Lord speaking to him says "Verily, verily". John is the only one who uses this form of speech, he wants us to be sure. "Verily, verily, I say

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unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" John 3:5. We might enter into court, have a part in society, know how to behave in a palace, but we cannot enter into the kingdom of God unless we are born of the Spirit. I do not speak now of the water, it has its place -- but every bit of us has to be affected by this operation of the Spirit. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh" John 3:6, and Nicodemus' remarks were on that line. Many christians are on that line, but highborn or lowborn, it is flesh, and any variation in the flesh, is only on account of past or present environment. But then, "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" John 3:6: think of what is involved in that! It is the fundamental idea in the spiritual structure of a believer. "The wind bloweth where it listeth" John 3:8. That implies that what the Lord is speaking of involves the sovereign action of God, and then we do not know whence the wind comes or whither it goes: the movement is inscrutable. The Lord uses the wind as a figure, and adds, "so is every one that is born of the Spirit" John 3:8.

God has set us in a physical universe, but He intends to teach us, by the things in it, what is spiritual. Here it is wind; you hear the sound but do not see it, you know not whence it comes -- "so is every one that is born of the Spirit" John 3:8. The Lord teaches Nicodemus in this way; God would have us to be observant as to the things by which He teaches us. The apostle says, "Doth not even nature itself teach you?" 1 Corinthians 11:14. It does teach us, and God is behind nature. When Nicodemus wrapped the body of Jesus in the linen grave clothes he would remember this first lesson of the Master. The lesson as to new birth in which the wind is a figure of the Spirit, is of the very greatest importance. At Pentecost "there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind" Acts 2:2.

Now to go on to the end of chapter 3, I think we should ever have before us in regard to this dispensing

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of the Spirit, that it is limitless. It is divinely given in chapter 4. "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water". John 4:10. The Lord does not say He would have given thee the Spirit, in speaking to this woman, His instruction is in accord with the capacity of the pupil. She comes to draw water, and the Lord uses water as a figure, as a convenient way to teach her; it was no accident that she came to draw water, and the well was there. It is an intelligible subject which the Lord takes up; He says, "If thou knewest the gift of God ... thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water" John 4:10. What did living water mean to her? What does it mean to me? It is the Lord taking up ordinary terms to convey an eternal reality -- that is the divine way. The divine way is to come within the range of our intelligence, He tells her of "living water". She says, "give me this water" John 4:15. He had said, "whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life" John 4:14. Now the light is breaking in on her soul, and she says, "give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw" John 4:15. That is what the Lord was waiting for, He wanted her to say something about it. A true teacher gives the opportunity for the learner to say what he understands. She has one thought, not to come hither to draw; that is good so far. As the conversation proceeded she left her water-pot and went into the city. Now she shows by her actions that she has understood that this tangible, living thing is to be in a vessel. We do not think of the wind being contained in a vessel, it is free; new birth is a sovereign act of the Spirit. Water is tangible, and is to be in vessels; evidently the woman understood this as to living water, and so left her water-pot. She would

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be a vessel for this. She is becoming spiritual, and ceasing to be natural. These things enter into our everyday lives, dear brethren. What is in view is a person's body; a natural vessel is to be employed in regard of a spiritual thing, that is what is to be learnt. Have we all learnt it? If so, we should take more care of our bodies; not sparing them in serving the Lord; for as we are told here He was weary with His journey, but I am speaking of our bodies in another way: "Do ye not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit" 1 Corinthians 6:19.

This is wrought out in the epistle to the Romans, where in chapter 7 the believer comes to analyse things. He is an analyst in regard of himself. He comes to this point, "I myself with the mind serve God's law" Romans 7:25. Not I, but "1 myself", that is, in my own consciousness. Now you are a vessel for the Spirit, so that glorious chapter Romans 8 opens up the teaching of the Holy Spirit. I commend it to you; see what the Holy Spirit is to you inwardly. All the automatic organs of the christian are taken hold of, so that the Spirit Himself acts in him. The psalmist calls upon "all that is within" him to praise God, that is the believer of Romans 8. If we indulge the flesh we cannot then call upon all that is within us to praise God. But Romans 7 teaches us to discern the working of sin within us, and to judge it definitely, with our minds delighting in God's law. The Spirit maintains us in this, and so we realise deliverance, and enjoy the liberty and blessedness of the Spirit's activities in us. Thus Romans 8 begins, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" Romans 8:1 - 3. You see the thing is condemned; I no longer regard it as I did, but there is that within me

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upon which I can call to praise God. The Lord does not here call it the Spirit -- He calls it "living water" John 4:10. The woman goes into the city and says, "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" John 4:29. And they came; showing that she was, in principle, a vessel of the living water, and thus her testimony is effective. As soon as our affections come under the control of the Spirit, people notice it. The Samaritans, who knew of her previous life, would note the change, and so believed what she said to them. The Spirit of God operates in our affections, so that we can talk of "a man". That is the great evidence of His work in us. "I have espoused you unto one man" 2 Corinthians 11:2, Paul says to the Corinthians. This woman ceases to be natural, and begins to be spiritual; she saw that she herself must be a vessel for the living water.

In John 4 and John 7 we do not get the idea of the wind; we get that in chapter 3, and we have breathing in chapter 20. The wind in chapter 3 refers to the mighty operations of God throughout our whole being. Chapter 20 is the breath of Christ -- it is under His blessed control. It is His life. It is most touching; it is a unique transaction; "he breathed into them and says to them, Receive [the] Holy Spirit" John 20:22. Chapter 7 is a continuation of chapter 4. The water here flows out, "rivers of living water" John 7:38. The Holy Spirit is careful to tell us that He refers to Himself as here at the present time. He was in Jesus alone, in a peculiar way; He could not be here in finite persons as He was in Jesus. If we receive the Spirit, it is as He is here in the assembly, but that was not so with Christ; in a unique sense the Spirit came upon Him. So chapter 7 tells us the Holy Spirit was not yet given; that means that He was nor here, in the sense in which we have Him. He is here now, for Jesus is glorified; and as glorified He has sent down the Holy Spirit, in the sense in which He is here today. We receive the Spirit from Christ as Man in heaven. He received It as a divine Person coming on

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another divine Person. "The Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified" John 7:39; it is not that He was not existent, but He was not here as He is now; that is, as sent by Jesus as a glorified Man. The Lord speaks of Him as rivers of living water flowing out of the belly of the believer, that is a public thing. It says "as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" John 7:38. This is not what is said necessarily in words, but in effect. The finish of this subject is therefore that the Holy Spirit is here in an unlimited way, expressed in rivers of living water flowing out of believers, and men are immediate beneficiaries. One great feature of christianity is that God is no respecter of persons. A river benefits those who are near it; it is no respecter of persons. Think of the Mississippi, what an immense influence for good that river has! and so, too, the St. Lawrence! A christian should be seen in that way, as a general benefactor to men. One would test oneself as to whether one is that. As we see in chapter 4, the woman of Samaria benefited others, so every believer is set down here as a beneficiary.

May God bless these thoughts, dear brethren, so that we may be in the good of the presence of the Holy Spirit here.

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THE HOLY SPIRIT IN JOHN (NO. 2)

John 14:15,16,17,25,26; John 15:26,27; John 16:7 - 14

J.T. I thought it would be helpful to dwell on these passages, as coming in the section which treats of the Lord's most intimate relations with His own, when He was in affectionate, holy conclave with them.

In the first part of John's gospel the Spirit is presented as seen. "I beheld the Spirit descending as a dove from heaven, and it abode upon him" John 1:32. John the Baptist said that he saw and bore witness "that this is the Son of God" John 1:34.

Then the Spirit is presented under the symbol of wind; His activities are symbolised by the action of the wind which is not seen (John 3); and then in chapters 4 and 7 He is symbolised under the figure of water. Then in the section 14 to 16 which we have read, He is "sent" to the saints.

When Peter announces the coming of the Spirit and explains His presence at Pentecost, he says, He is "shed forth" Acts 2:33 -- alluding to what was seen and heard; but the Comforter is sent to the saints. I thought we might see what a provision He is, as personally with us.

C.A.C. I notice that in the three scriptures read, the Comforter is spoken of as "the Spirit of truth". What is the force of that?

J.T. I think it works out in the way truth is held among the people of God. There is not only the doctrine involved in the Scriptures, but the Spirit of truth is additional to the Scriptures, confirmatory of course, but involving all the truth. The Scriptures are what is needed to be written as giving authority, but the Spirit of truth involves the whole truth.

C.A.C. It is even said that "the Spirit is the truth" (1 John 5:6).

J.T. Yes, as answering fully to what is stated in the

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early part of chapter 14 where the Lord says of Himself that He is the truth John 14:6. He is it, in an objective way. The Spirit being here maintains it subjectively, in its absoluteness. "The Spirit is the truth" is a very full statement; but the Spirit of truth is characteristic, the Spirit of truth is a source of control in all ministry and service, and a control, indeed, as to the position of the saints in assembly. There is that which is "the Spirit of truth" amongst us, not only in the persons who speak in the meetings or minister, but in all the saints; and so the Spirit of truth becomes a check on what is ministered. The saints, in virtue of the presence of the Spirit of truth, have the means of proving all things.

M.W.B. Would you link that with the anointing of the priests who were to remain at the entrance of the tent of meeting -- there was the capability of proving?

J.T. Exactly. I think if we use typical expressions, such as "priest" and "Levite" we have to understand the New Testament equivalent. We get priesthood in Peter: it includes all the saints -- brothers and sisters alike. The priests in Leviticus 8:33 had to keep the charge of the Lord at the door of the tabernacle for seven days: that would include the whole period of testimony. To apply this to ourselves would mean that there should be watchfulness, as seen in the Bereans, and as is enjoined in other scriptures; "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" 1 Thessalonians 5:21. There is control of all that is presented to us and the saints have the means of proving -- that was my thought.

W.J.H. "Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge". 1 Corinthians 14:29. That implies the others are capable of judging; they would need to have the Spirit of truth?

J.T. Yes, and you would include all the saints in the "others".

C.A.C. Is it not connected here with the affections of the saints: "If ye love me" -- does not the Comforter come in for the support and the holy safeguarding of the affections of the saints?

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J.T. Yea, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" John 14:15. This is especially in view of the time for which John's ministry is intended, when the will of God will be disregarded. Those who keep His commandments may rely on the Spirit of truth. I think we have proved that, as conforming with the commandments we have proved the presence and help of the Spirit of truth.

C.A.C. So you would expect that if there were any deviation from the truth, it would be quickly corrected by the movements of the Spirit in the affections of the saints.

J.T. The word "Comforter", as you know, refers to the Spirit's management in detail of all that relates to us, so that as keeping the commandments we come in for the Spirit of truth in a personal way; He attends to matters, in our meetings, and generally.

W.J.H. I am sure the keeping of the commandments would provide an atmosphere of subjection that would give liberty for the Spirit.

J.T. Yes, when that exists, we find the Spirit attends to matters. We pray to the Lord to attend to matters, but it is wonderful to observe how the Spirit adjusts matters current amongst us, I mean in a subjective way. The Lord comes in in the way of authority, but it is remarkable how throughout the world, where the brethren are, the Spirit makes Himself felt, so that the truth is maintained. There would be no divergence amongst us, if there were entire subjection to the Holy Spirit; He would see to that. He has first-hand knowledge of every christian on earth! Of course, the Lord has too -- He knows those who are His; but in the presence of the Spirit here there is the thought conveyed of immediate knowledge of every christian. If there is subjection, there is no divergence, and the truth will be developed in all its parts.

H.B. Would what you have been saying about the Spirit attending to matters be illustrated in Acts 15?

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J.T. You see there how Barnabas and Saul were sent up from Antioch: the apostles and elders came together to consider the matter: that involves the authority of the Lord. As they came together we see Barnabas and Saul unfolding the things that God had wrought among the gentiles through them. The brethren present would be happily engaged in the wonderful things they could tell about the Lord's work among the gentiles; it must have raised the spiritual atmosphere immensely, as the work of God among the gentiles was unfolded by such men as these. Then Peter, as in that holy, free atmosphere calls attention to how God had used him to enlighten the gentiles, and James confirmed this. All this is authoritative, but in an excellent atmosphere, which made room for the Spirit. He was present and working in His own way in that company.

H.B. Is not that confirmed in 1 Corinthians, love being the atmosphere that gives freedom -- "Follow after love" 1 Corinthians 14:1 -- then we get spiritual manifestations, and the prophetic word?

J.T. Yes. The order is, fellowship, the Lord's supper, and then the truth relative to the Holy Spirit. Then there are gifts: they were "set" in the assembly 1 Corinthians 12:28, meaning that room is made for a universal touch, when brethren come together in any locality. We get what love is in chapter 13 and then the exercise of gifts. I believe that implies highly sensitive organism; so that when we come together one has a prophetic word -- then something is given to him who sits by, and the one speaking discontinues; he sits down, and lets "another sitting there" get up. We should cultivate sensitiveness and subjection. There is a sorrowful want of these features in our 'open meetings'.

W.J.H. Under what conditions should open meetings be held?

J.T. What is wanting first, is subjection -- subjection makes room for the Comforter; there should be subjection, and waiting upon one another in such

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meetings: we should cultivate the sensitiveness that is proper to the assembly.

There is divine order in 1 Corinthians. If we begin with the Lord's supper (1 Corinthians 11), the Lord has His place first of all. Then the Lord's day afternoon is the most favourable time for a reading meeting, or a meeting for ministry; the saints then ought to be practically in a better state than at any other time. It involves a considerable sacrifice for some of the brethren to get together on Lord's day afternoon, but it would always be made up to them, because as coming after the supper, such a meeting has a peculiar advantage. The meetings during the week may become obligatory, and so do not involve so much sacrifice, but the more the sacrifice, the more the blessing.

The presence of the Comforter is personal in this section of Corinthians. In chapter 12 it is said, "There are distinctions of gifts, but the same Spirit" 1 Corinthians 12:4. The gifts would be used effectively where there is subjection and sensitiveness: that is to say, if we were in touch with each other in affection, each esteeming others more highly than ourselves, we should be ready for what another might have; and the Spirit would act in us in these circumstances, so that we should be conscious if another had something (1 Corinthians 14:30).

R.B. Do you mean He might indicate some thought that would be more profitable for the occasion?

J.T. I think He would; at any rate, His presence and operation would be felt -- a very blessed experience.

I think this section in John has to do with our exclusive privileges. The Lord is shut in with His own, whereas the Acts has the public testimony in view. These chapters are by way of resource for us. As we are together we realise the wonderful precious fact that a divine Person is here attending to matters amongst us.

We have been noticing in Luke 21:37 that the Lord was teaching every day in the temple, but at night He went to the mount of Olives. That means that His

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secret living associations were out of view. His ministry was in public. He bore testimony in the temple, He taught there daily, but at night He was out of sight. He was at the mount of Olives. The point for us is to have these secret relations that the world does not see, but which will impress people in our public service so that they enquire as to our associations. John begins his gospel with two who want to know where the Lord dwells. Some one was saying to me lately, that there is a great depression which is universal, but among the Lord's people there is a great impression. We get impressions from the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who is with us always. It is by these secret relations that we are regulated, so that we can come forth having truth in the inward parts, and know how to render testimony. It is not only by our words but spiritual impressions are conveyed in our manner. Any one could have found the Lord around the temple during the day, but during the night, where was He? So now men might say, Where do these people get these things? The teachers and scribes had not these impressions, they might say much, but their nightly relations could easily be traced. So take any of the great teachers abroad today, you can trace and find where they get their impressions, but you cannot do this with spiritual men; the Comforter is beyond the range of the world, John 14:17.

W.J.H. Is not that the way the Spirit is presented all through John, whereas in the Acts, He is more connected with what is seen? They are "clothed with power from on high" Luke 24:49, signifying that there is something that can be seen.

J.T. That helps: it prepares the individual who is in view in the early part of John, for the collective side. Two disciples followed Jesus (John 1), they wanted to know where He abode and they stayed with Him that day; and then one of them found his brother Simon and led him to Jesus, that is the outward effect; He

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got his impressions from where the Lord was. This outward effect is fully seen in Acts 2.

Ques. Would the recognition of the Spirit amongst us in our localities produce a state which would be pleasing to the Lord and to which He could come?

J.T. Yes, the Lord has a way of coming in because of the presence of the Spirit; the Comforter is in full charge and makes way for Him. We may have hundreds of meetings, brethren coming together in many parts of the world, yet you find they are holding and doing the same things; all is the outcome of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit. If there is subjection, He is sure to regulate us so that we are in relation to the truth.

Another thing comes out in John 14:26, He brings what the Lord said to our remembrance. I believe we get there the explanation of the volume of things that the Spirit brings to the attention of the saints through one and another. This is illustrated in David and Solomon. Moses sets forth authority, so that every member of the assembly is in his place and functioning -- but David and Solomon set forth headship. In our places in the assembly we are amenable to headship, to the operation of wisdom. In the case of David, we have his life recorded by Samuel, Nathan and Gad (1 Chronicles 29:29, 30); they were spiritual men and would record what David represented, what would enhance the testimony then current. We find with Solomon the same thing; his acts "first and last" were "written in the words of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer" (2 Chronicles 9:29). It is very interesting in this connection to have "words", "prophecies" and "visions". These records of David and Solomon would be of great value to the saints. The words of Nathan would give details of the life of Solomon. The prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, would bring something from God to bear on the conscience.

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The visions of Iddo would be, I suppose, something that had been seen in the light of God.

W.J.H. The apostle John suggests something like that: he indicates that there is so much left that he had not given, that the world itself could not contain what could be written (John 21:25) -- but prophetic ministry has been given to open out what has been written.

J.T. John would impress you with the magnitude of the ministry which could only come from a divine Person. It ought to impress every one of us and we should keep the words "If a man love me, he will keep my words" John 14:23 -- I suppose one might say that whether it be the words of Nathan, or the prophecy of Ahijah, or the visions of Iddo, the life of the Lord was typically set forth in an authoritative way. Today the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, brings to us the words of Christ.

Ques. Is that broken up for us in the ministry?

J.T. Yes, the Comforter is continually opening up to us what came out in Christ. All is in accord with the Scriptures, but there is much more than what is literally there.

This second reference to the Spirit in this chapter (John 14:26), covers the whole dispensation. We get things administered now, that were not presented in the same way before: for instance, I do not believe the saints in Timothy's time, had the same understanding of 2 Timothy that has been given in our days.

W.J.H. The record as to David and Solomon seems to show that there was an immense scope of things dealt with that does not come within the letter of Scripture.

J.T. I think these books of old correspond with what we call written ministry, not inspired, but books containing instruction and food for the saints. Any spiritual man would like to see these books of Gad, Nathan and Iddo. I should like to get into the realm of spiritual visions! I do not know if we know much about visions.

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C.A.C. I think I see the desirability of having them. Would you look for a complete presentation of truth as the time of the assembly on earth draws to a close?

J.T. What was written of David and Solomon would indicate completeness. The apostles were directed to speak "all the words of this life" (Acts 5:20).

C.A.C. I was thinking of the necessity on the divine side of things being brought to completion and maturity. A full presentation of Christ is needed for this.

J.T. The Spirit leads in that way. The service He renders as seen in these chapters (John 14 - 16) involves a full ministry of Christ, not only as to what He was on earth, but also what He is in heaven. The Spirit is here on our side; He superintends everything, He works for the full development of the truth, He is with the bride at the end, saying "Come", as Christ presents Himself.

"The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and will bring to your remembrance all the things which I have said to you" (John 14:26). That is one feature of the Spirit's service, and we may be sure that in our meetings, such as this, if we are subject, we shall get this; one is struck with it. We get a fulness of things, and the explanation of it is the presence of the Spirit; He is thinking of Christ, and enlarging the saints in relation to Christ. He is alongside of us, which the word Paraclete implies; He is attending to our matters; and if we are subject, there will be constant unfoldings of Christ, and what He said. Here it is not His public sayings but what He said to the disciples, "which I have said to you" (John 14:26). We would not like to miss one of His words.

Then the third reference (John 15:26) brings out that "when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who goes forth from with the Father, he shall bear witness concerning me". Now it is "from with the Father"; it conveys the

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idea that He was alongside the Father before He came here, He had perfect knowledge of the Father's thoughts, He bears witness of Christ. He brings things to our understanding also, guiding us into all truth (John 16:13). This involves Paul's ministry, the heavenly side of things.

Then the Spirit has come also in regard to us in our public relations, and he brings in demonstration for us of certain things: of sin, of righteousness and of judgment, so we are taken care of in every phase of our position by the Comforter.

Ques. Would you say a little more about chapter 15.

J.T. I think it brings in Paul's ministry there. He would go beyond the twelve, He would witness additionally. The twelve had their own commission and carried it on in the power of the Spirit. So in Acts 10, while Peter was speaking -- that was his side, he was witnessing -- the Holy Spirit acted of Himself, and came on the gentiles before they were baptised. This agrees with Ephesians 2:22 -- "ye also are built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit".

It is profoundly precious to wake up to the fact that there is actually a divine Person here, sent to us; not only is He on earth but He is sent to the saints, and remains with them for ever.

Ques. Why do we not address the Spirit?

J.T. Christianity is founded not merely on precept, but on example. The book of the Acts is to show us how things were done at the beginning, and the epistles confirm this; we do not find anyone addressing the Spirit, and we ought to learn by observation. It is a question, not of inferiority of any divine Person, but of the divine economy.

W.J.H. It is clear the Spirit is not addressed, but we all acknowledge He is a divine Person.

J.T. We do, we baptise to Him, as we baptise to the

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Father and the Son, so He is to be regarded objectively as a divine Person, equal with the Father and the Son; but still we go by what is presented in Scripture. If I had been in the company of the Lord when He was on earth, I should seek to learn from Him as to how to do things; I should hesitate to do anything in the service of God that I had not seen Him do. So one of the disciples rightly requests, "Teach us to pray" Luke 11:1. They learned from Him not only by what He said, but by what He did. Thus the apostle to be chosen (Acts 1) must be one "who ... assembled with us all the time in which the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day in which he was taken up from us" Acts 1:21,22.

C.A.C. I thought the Spirit rather identified Himself with the intercessory position in which we are found so that He takes our side in intercession rather than being addressed in prayer?

J.T. Yes, He makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. That is, I believe, how we learn, by observation and experience, He cries "Abba, Father", thus spiritual intuition would lead us to move on that line. He makes intercession for us according to God with groanings which cannot be uttered, we learn in that way. At the same time, we have perfect evidence that He is a divine Person, and we are baptised to Him, on the same footing as we are baptised to the Father and Son. Christianity is a system in which everything is learned from Christ; He says here, "he (the Spirit) shall not speak from himself" John 16:13. The Holy Spirit takes the most lowly position, but we must be extremely careful in referring to Him lest we be derogatory to Him. Any one saying a word against Him is never forgiven. That is how God protects Him in the lowly position He has taken.

M.W.B. He is the only divine Person who has characteristically the prefix "holy".

J.T. The Lord addresses the Father as "Holy

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Father", but the Spirit has the prefix characteristically. He is wonderfully protected, and we are warned as to that lest we might transgress against Him.

NOTE: Since the date of this reading, September 1931, the Lord has given light and help as to addressing the Holy Spirit. In this connection the reader's attention is directed to the ministry appearing on pages 407 to 431.

Reference might also be made to certain extracts from letters printed on pages 37 to 39 of the February 1955 issue of Notes of Readings in New York and other Ministry (Volume 199), and to pages 71 to 93 of Volume 179 of Mr. J. Taylor's printed ministry.

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THE HOLY SPIRIT IN ACTS (NO. 1)

Acts 1:1 - 5, 9 - 14; Acts 2:1 - 4

J.T. The Lord seems to emphasise at the present time the idea of spirituality, because we may be moving with a measure of intelligence and yet be spiritually much below the level of the things spoken of amongst us. One might illustrate this from David's move to bring the ark to Zion (1 Chronicles 13). It is said that he took counsel with the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, and every prince, and gathered all Israel to bring up the ark -- which was obviously a commendable movement. Yet the sequel shows that the manner was below the level proper to the ark, so that the ark being put on a new cart, the oxen stumble, and we have the sorrowful occurrence of Uzza. But, in the main, the Lord was in the thing, and the next movement says nothing about taking counsel; there is the gathering of the people to Jerusalem and the acknowledgment that the Levites should carry the ark, according to the due order, and it is said that God helped the Levites. That is where divine help came in, so that they offer sacrifices by sevens: it came to pass "when God helped the Levites that bore the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, that they sacrificed seven bullocks and seven rams" (1 Chronicles 15:26). So that the ark is now brought to its place, in a becoming way, on a proper level, David himself acting in a priestly manner. In the light of such a scripture and of many others, the Lord would help us as to spirituality, which throughout the Old Testament is reached on the principle of seven, beginning with Enoch. Then in Leviticus 23 Christ is seen figuratively as risen. In verse 15, they begin to count from the morning after the sabbath, the sheaf is waved before Jehovah and they begin to count by sevens. There are seven sabbaths complete, so that it is seven times

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seven. Then they bring a new meat offering out of their habitations, showing that the people are now arriving subjectively at the divine thought of spirituality, corresponding with what is presented objectively in the sheaf. In this scripture in the Acts, what the disciples do after seeing the Lord go up, indicates that they were spiritual, as in the corresponding passage at the end of Luke; they recognise what the Lord had in His mind in leading them to a point. "He led them out as far as to Bethany" Luke 24:50, and their action there indicates that they understood, as does their action here.

C.A.C. Was the Lord impressing them with the spiritual character of His own movements when, speaking by the Holy Spirit, He gave commandment?

J.T. He did that by the Holy Spirit, and presented Himself alive and assembled with them. His movements during the forty days presented, objectively, the great idea of spirituality, and the coming of the Holy Spirit established this among them. He is not here in a bodily way, but as the Spirit, and we are to understand the realm of His operations, and in which the Father and the Son are known as revealed.

M.W.B. In David's action we see there may be devotedness, and yet the absence of spirituality! It had not the features proper to the movement, which the Spirit would have given.

J.T. Exactly. David in his earlier days had recourse to the priestly means of doing things -- enquiring from the Lord. That was on a higher level than taking counsel with his captains and princes. Thinking of the realm of the Spirit now, it is as real as was the realm of the Lord's movements during the forty days. The presence of divine Persons is as real now as then, only the Spirit is known and realised everywhere, whereas the Lord obviously was only in one place at one time during the forty days. The forty days afforded conditions objectively which would lead to a state of soul corresponding with His movements.

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C.A.C. Is there something in spiritual experience today that would answer to the forty days? Is there a moral education or formation suggested in the forty days?

J.T. I think there is. The young believer usually takes some time to come to the idea of faith. The word is very current, but whether it is rightly understood is the question. It is said that the cloud received Him out of their sight, and that He was taken up, they beholding Him (Acts 1:9). The upward movement and the cloud are put together, so that the faith period beginning, believers are drawn away from what is geographical and material, and accustom themselves to what is spiritual.

H.F.N. It says that He presented Himself living after He had suffered. How would that bear on what is spiritual?

J.T. You would get an apprehension of a Man living outside of natural conditions. He presented Himself living. As here in the flesh, He ate and drank, as scripture says, in the ordinary way, but now He is living outside these conditions, and it would certainly incite desire to understand what lies outside natural conditions; this was after He suffered. Then, He is assembling with them; that would be another thing to be learned. It is not simply that we come together at a certain hour, at a certain place, as in 1 Corinthians 11but that we understand something of how He assembles with us. That is another matter.

C.A.C. How would that apply to us at the present time?

J.T. It is what we get on to if we are attentive and spiritual. We come into the assembly viewed as wholly spiritual, which is an advance on what it is according to 1 Corinthians 11. There we are said to come together "in assembly", that is, a formal external thing, at a certain time and a certain place, but you cannot say that the Lord assembles with us then. It is a question whether I understand what it means for Him to

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assemble with us, and the idea of the Lord charging by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:2); all this contemplates a spiritual order of things. He speaks to them about the kingdom, and it says, "And having said these things he was taken up, they beholding him, and a cloud received him out of their sight" Acts 1:9. Then as gazing up into heaven they require some adjustment and they get it from "two men"; and then they go to the city, to the upper room, as if they knew what to do. Spiritual persons know what to do.

C.A.C. They thus know how to move in a region which is of God outside of this world.

P.L. Would the "Men of Galilee" referred to in Acts 1:11 suggest the public reproach accompanying this inward spiritual power and movement?

J.T. Exactly. There is the public position, and then the adjustment that was needed. It says, "as they were gazing into heaven ... . two men stood by them in white clothing" Acts 1:10. It is two men, they are not said to be angels, so that they would effect the adjustment in a sympathetic, intelligent way.

P.L. So that we are adjusted in the power of spiritual life within, and the acceptance of death without.

J.T. That is precisely the position here; it is a position of reproach externally and of spirituality inwardly. We are now capable of adjustment, and one could hardly speak of a period in which it is not necessary.

W.J.H. It would be easy to accept adjustment from two men in white apparel: it would come from such with sympathy and purity of motive, whereas the absence of that makes it difficult to accept adjustment.

J.T. Yes, they have no personal motive; they are disinterested, save in what is necessary to make us suitable for our great position. It is one of the most interesting things that I should be adjusted in relation to the going up of the Lord. These two men in white apparel represent that element, and how essential it is that we should be adjusted, that there should be no

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discrepancy between that and our position and walk here.

P.L. Would the two praying men, Paul and Epaphras, suggest these two men in relation to the adjustment of the Colossian saints?

J.T. Quite so; and you remember that out of the vast number of those who assembled at Hebron to make David king, only two personal names are given, Jehoiada and Zadok and those are priests (1 Chronicles 12:27,28).

R.B. Are you suggesting that there must be priestly state in order to take part in this?

J.T. These two men in white raiment represent that, addressing us in terms that convey the proper attitude to the end; we are to be in a position of reproach. They say, "Men of Galilee, why do ye stand looking into heaven?" Acts 1:11 We might think that that was a right attitude, but these two men challenge it.

C.A.C. Why was it not right?

J.T. I think because the cloud was interposed -- the cloud that received Him out of their sight. You cannot see if God puts something between you and your object. The cloud is evidently something put between them and their object, it was as if God were to say, It is not sight now, it is faith; henceforth you do not see, it is a question of believing. This is according to what the Lord said to Thomas: "blessed they who have not seen and have believed". John 20:29 So much is apparently commendable, and yet not really so. When Stephen looked up the heavens were opened through, there was no cloud interposed for him. He saw something, but here they could not see through the cloud. If God puts something between, we may as well accept it.

P.L. It is said that the two men stood by them; would that suggest an impartial spirit of service?

J.T. It would. In Luke 2:9 you have a similar word. It says "an angel of the Lord was there by them". So these two men here stood by. There is definiteness; it was urgent that there should be adjustment at this

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juncture, and the adjustment was effective because it says as to their next movement, "Then they returned to Jerusalem".

P.L. I wondered whether Isaiah 6 was in keeping with this, connecting the Lord as high and lifted up with His going up here? Then the seraphim are seen standing as available for the adjustment of Isaiah.

J.T. Quite so. "Standing by" is an expression in Scripture meaning support in certain circumstances. Paul speaks of the Lord standing with him (2 Timothy 4:17).

W.J.H. Would it also indicate that while the Lord had disappeared from their sight, there is still a spot where His interests are maintained, and that He is coming back again? Would "Jesus" suggest that?

J.T. It says, "This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, shall thus come in the manner in which ye have beheld him going into heaven" Acts 1:11. The period of our testimony is between these two events. What is to be noticed here is the manner of His going and of His coming; there is to be nothing out of keeping with that. His interests in the meanwhile were where there would be great opposition, so that how they were to maintain this manner in the presence of opposition, is a great question. But they go to the upper room; that is to say, they knew what to do. Something is presented objectively and the next movement you make shows that you understand. As far as scripture goes the Lord did not tell them to go there, nor did He in the end of Luke tell them to go to the temple, but they went to the temple evidently in keeping with the point of His leading. It was "as far as to Bethany" Luke 24:50. You can understand that that would be a spiritual question in their minds - Why did He lead us there? And why is it Olivet, here? If He led them to a definite point, He meant them to understand that there was some result flowing from that point, something hinging upon it, in connection with the attitude of God, and what He was

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going on with; and obviously the point was, that God was to continue for a while witnessing in grace to the Jews. He was waiting on the Jews, and they understood. They went to the temple; they were in it daily. They worshipped the Lord, "and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God" Luke 24:53. They were there as a contribution. It does not say they were sent; those that are spiritual know what to do.

M.W.B. What would be the difference between that move and the one here, to the upper room?

J.T. I think the end of Luke is a Jewish position. Bethany was the scene of affection, suggestive of the Jewish remnant. We are told that the Lord having come into the temple from Galilee, looked round on all things and went out to Bethany with the twelve (Mark 11:11). That is to say, He was in a place of love with the means of establishing another world. He was there with the twelve. But now He leads them out there. According to Mark 11 He went out with them, but now He leads them there. It is a point in His mind, that He should go up from Bethany. And now, what will they do? Had they understood? They went back to Jerusalem, and having worshipped Him, they were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. That is what they do. Whereas here, they go back to the city but to the upper room; that would bear on the assembly. They understood that the assembly was in His mind; the assembly is in view from the outset in the Acts.

Ques. Do you think there is an indication here that priestly service precedes the service of the Spirit?

J.T. There is not only priestly service, but what the Lord does before your eyes. The point is whether you understand what a spiritual movement signifies, and whether you can move similarly. As learning from the Lord here you know what to do in the assembly.

Ques. Would they have learnt from the Lord's assembling with them?

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J.T. They would learn how to assemble, and they would have in mind that that was to continue. He had also indicated how spiritual communications were to be received. He charged them by the Holy Spirit. Then as already said, we have a living Person outside of natural conditions, and that Person assembling with them. All that is to continue between these two events. They go to the upper room as if that were the place where it would develop.

Ques. Would the upper room be in keeping with the Lord going to heaven?

J.T. Yes. Nothing else is satisfactory to heaven but what corresponds with the Lord's movements; He is coming back as they saw Him go up, and you want to be accustomed to His manner of movement.

M.W.B. What is the contrast between being in assembly in Corinthians, and the assembling with them?

J.T. I think the latter comes in properly as we recognise the Lord as Head. We are accustomed to the movement, and so can discern Him, and get some idea of His assembling with us. Whereas 1 Corinthians 11 precedes that. They come together in a certain place, "in assembly" and do certain things according to that chapter, but for the Lord to assemble with His people, is another matter.

M.W.B. Would you say that the Lord's supper or the breaking of bread is the converging point of the two experiences?

J.T. I think so. It is what is done at the Supper that reminds us of Him; it is the act. Of course, the thing should be done in a spiritual way, but the act reminds us of Him; it brings Him before us, so that the idea of "like manner" comes in. And then you get something of His assembling with us, and that leads on to the assembly as in the land, where we are as sons before the Father.

G.W.W. Would you say that one of the first results of being spiritual is that the soul discerns that there is a

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spot on earth that is dear to Him, and that spot has attractive power for us?

J.T. That is good; that answers to what the disciples did here.

G.W.W. If He was coming back, they would discern that that was the spot to which He would come.

J.T. Our position now publicly is that of "Men of Galilee", disregarding current religious customs, and out of sight, yet receiving communications, not from an Anglican dignitary or the Pope, but from Christ in a spiritual way.

W.J.H. Would the period of the forty days indicate how greatly the Lord desired the disciples to lay hold of His instruction?

J.T. I thought that; it is a period affording full opportunity of learning by experience.

Ques. Is there any indication in the Scriptures as to the course the Lord adopts to produce spirituality in us?

J.T. Well, I think the gospel as received into our souls brings the idea. It is the gospel of God concerning His Son. In principle spirituality is present in the believer as the gospel is received. It is the gospel "concerning his Son, come of David's seed according to flesh, marked out Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by resurrection of the dead" (Romans 1:3, 4). The Spirit of holiness in Christ presented to us leads on to spirituality.

G.W.W. Have you any thought as to David offering sacrifices after they that bore the ark had gone six paces? (2 Samuel 6:13).

J.T. In Samuel, he offered an ox and a fatted beast. The ox would have Christ in view -- the steady step that marked Him, and that should mark the spiritual man. I think it is a contrast to the stumbling of the oxen earlier. Then the fatted beast would be that David referred all his prosperity to God; whatever spiritual

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prosperity he had, he would not attach it to himself, which one is likely to do. David intended to yield that to God.

G.W.W. I was wondering if the seventh step would be taken in the power of his sacrifice.

J.T. It is the last step that tells the tale, and David was careful not to stumble here; that nothing should happen such as befell the oxen that drew the cart.

Rem. The sacrifice would come in to correct all that.

J.T. I think so. It would indicate what was in David's soul. John says "looking at Jesus as he walked" John 1:36, typically, David apprehended that. That is the walk; there will be no stumbling there. The ox and the fatted beast represent the full spiritual thought, and the last step is to be like Christ, to walk as He walked. That is the height of spirituality, but in Chronicles it says, "it came to pass, when God helped the Levites that bore the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, that they sacrificed seven bullocks and seven rams" (1 Chronicles 15:26). Seven bullocks would be a more spiritual point to reach, and it is what they sacrifice; that is to say, it is more general -- a fulness of appreciation of Christ. And then the seven rams would mean maturity, progenitiveness and energy.

G.W.W. As to our brother's question regarding there being any indication as to the course the Lord takes with us, do we not have to learn that though one desires to have his part in the testimony it must not be carried on in the power of nature?

J.T. The last step is most important, and David recognised this.

H.F.N. Is there any correspondence between David's spiritual action at that moment, and Paul in his prayer in Ephesians 3, bringing in the ark? He bows his knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

J.T. That is an excellent connection; the ark is to be enthroned in all that is proper to it. The apostle

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says, "in order that he may give you according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power by his Spirit in the inner man; that the Christ may dwell, through faith, in your hearts" (Ephesians 3:16,17). There you have the fulness of the thought. The Ephesians might miss that; evidently they had not come to it, and it is just a question how much the saints have come to it since Paul's day. It is a question whether we are going to take the last step, whether the ark is going to be installed fully "according to the riches of his glory" -- the Father's glory.

C.A.C. I think that is very exercising, because if we do not reach it in the last moment, there is going to be a very serious defect in the close of the church's history. J.B.S. used to tell us that each dispensation had ended morally as it began, and would it be your thought that Pentecost was to reach its culmination before the feast runs out, for I suppose the feast is still "accomplishing" (Acts 2:1, New Trans.). We have not done with Pentecost.

J.T. I hope not; it is a question of the Spirit, and the Spirit remains. The presence of a divine Person here and the spiritual realm in which He moves, is as real now as it was during the forty days.

C.A.C. Spirituality would lead us on to the perfection of the divine thought.

J.T. The Lord has ministered much light; we know something of what becomes us as to public order, we have been helped, but spirituality goes beyond that. It is not a question of what is written, but rather of what impressions have been received. So that as come together in assembly, we get the idea of spiritual communications and a living state of things, outside natural relations; also the idea of assembling in a spiritual way. All that is carried on now in the realm of the Spirit, by whose presence alone it is possible. The disciples went for ten days without a divine Person on earth, but now the Holy Spirit is here.

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C.A.C. Would you say that up to the breaking of bread, we have to do with a divinely appointed order; it is then a question of what the Lord does. There is a danger of getting certain ideas of what ought to be, and endeavouring to move on lines that are supposed to be right, and might there not be all that without the freedom of spiritual intuition?

J.T. I am sure that is true; there might be all that without reaching the thought of His assembling with us as we are free and intelligently in the assembly. This is a sphere in which the Holy Spirit moves freely. Obviously this could not be where there are fleshly conditions, but if there be self-judgment, and the understanding of the living water and the Lord's breathing into us, there will be a realm in which the Holy Spirit moves, and we get the assembly in its proper character.

W.J.H. It says that the house was filled; there could be nothing else there. And then the cloven tongues sat on each of them indicating the presence of the Spirit.

J.T. And they began to speak "as the Spirit gave them utterance" Acts 2:4. But in the first chapter, in the upper room, they act rightly although there is no divine Person there. This shows thus that they had been instructed and formed by the Lord Himself before He ascended.

Ques. Is the suggestion that if there are the proper conditions, the Lord coming "in like manner" will be realised by us when He assembles with us?

J.T. I think so. It says, He "shall thus come in the manner in which ye have beheld him going into heaven". That alludes to our discerning His movements.

P.L. The man who was to take Judas's place was to be a man who had observed the Lord in His coming in and going out, from the baptism of John till He was taken up.

Ques. Going back to the two men -- is the suggestion

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that we should bear their features, and so afford the conditions we have spoken of?

J.T. Yes, There are two, and they are in white robes. They represent the means of adjustment, that there might be no disparity between us and Christ in heaven. That adjustment is constantly needed.

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THE HOLY SPIRIT IN ACTS (NO. 2)

Acts 2:1 - 14, 33; Acts 4:31 - 33

J.T. What is before us is the subject of the Spirit and what flows from His presence here -- among other things intelligent spirituality, as that which is invulnerable and indestructible. It might help to call to mind the first book of Samuel, in which, after Samuel's official ministry, he is rejected by those whom he had served so faithfully, and in his rejection Jehovah likewise was rejected. But it is said of him, that he judged Israel all the days of his life, and as Saul was in power and actuated by murderous opposition to David, the Lord's anointed, a spiritual system came into evidence. It says that Samuel was presiding over the prophets at Naioth; although he was not now over the nation, he was presiding over the prophets, and there was a prophetic ministry proceeding which effectively neutralised the opposition, so that even Saul himself is overpowered by it (1 Samuel 19:19 - 24). That may be taken, I think, to indicate what exists; whatever may be current publicly, and whatever the opposition, the spiritual system holds, and must hold, not only negatively but positively, so that the opposition is neutralised. I thought if we had that before us it might help; it is not simply a question of the doctrine of the Spirit coming down, but the effect of His presence. We have certain great initial features of His presence, and these must ever be looked for.

C.A.C. That is, you would look for the feast of Pentecost as a continuing thing today. Was that in your mind?

J.T. Yes; it says it "was now accomplishing", not that it "was accomplished". According to Deuteronomy 16:9 - 11 there is no limitation to the feast of Pentecost.

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Other feasts in that chapter are limited by days, but not Pentecost.

Ques. Were you using the rejection of Samuel, and of Jehovah through Samuel, as typical of Israel's rejection of the Lord -- and the power of the Spirit in prophecy, as suggestive of the power of the Spirit in the early chapters of Acts?

J.T. That is evident; although rejected and unseen, He is still ruling. Samuel was out of view, but he was presiding over the prophets, which we may regard as a spiritual system.

M.W.B. So here it says, "he has poured out this which ye behold and hear" (Acts 2:33). The Lord was in command.

J.T. That is what I thought, and that will hold right through. There will always be the principle of rejection against what David and Samuel represented. Against Paul there was that principle, but still he was dominant spiritually, and the most spiritual and profound parts of his ministry came out under those circumstances.

W.J.H. Would you say that this is confirmed in the Lord's acceptance of the name "Jesus of Nazareth"? When approaching Saul of Tarsus He says, "I am Jesus of Nazareth" Acts 22:8. He is still rejected, but He sends Ananias; He has the whole divine system under His control. He does not say "I was Jesus of Nazareth", but "I am". It is the public position which the Lord accepts, though in heaven.

J.T. The character of the religious Jewish opposition runs through. The Lord refers to it in the address to Philadelphia; He speaks of "them of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews, and are not" Revelation 3:9. That is the sort of thing that would appear, but the spiritual system runs on and dominates. Christ has supreme control. He has the key of David, and the keys of hell and of death.

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P.L. "I have set before thee an opened door" Revelation 3:8. Is that the Lord in control of all?

J.T. It is. "Because thou hast a little power" Revelation 3:8 -- the spiritual power is contemplated as here. That is, He does not set an opened door before people who have no power to go in. It is a question of power. If the spiritual element is present, the door will be opened.

C.A.C. Then "thou hast a little power" is not exactly reproach, but the recognition of the quality that was there.

J.T. I thought that. It says, "behold, I have set before thee an opened door ... because thou hast a little power, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name" (Revelation 3:8). That is to say, the Lord acted in relation to what existed. Thus in looking to the Lord in our prayer meetings, what is to be remembered is that what He does, is according to the power which works in us. It is not that something else is brought in.

C.A.C. That would directly raise the question of spirituality; the power would hardly work in unspiritual persons.

L.M. "God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power, and of love, and of wise discretion" (2 Timothy 1:7). Would that correspond with what you are saying?

J.T. It would. The Holy Spirit being here, the great spiritual system exists. The president, so to speak, is out of sight. Samuel was rejected but he was in power; he did not take a superannuated position or a position of inactivity because he was rejected. He carried on this great spiritual service, and it was greater than Saul. I do not know of anything in a way more comforting. Christ being at the right hand of God makes it evident that He has all power, but the "all power" is here, and in relation to a system that is incessant in its activities, and tends to neutralise evil, so that a way is made for the people of God. In that connection you find that Jonathan helps David and so does Michal. There are, so to speak, these external

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governmental things, but the definite help and overthrow of the opposition, was in this spiritual system. Saul came down full of murderous opposition to David, but coming within the range of this spiritual feature, he came under its power and could do nothing; in fact, he prophesied himself.

C.A.C. We are apt to think, that the spiritual system is somewhat deteriorated on account of public conditions.

J.T. I think it is a great thing to realise that the spiritual system exists; it is a solid rock for us. Power is at the right hand of God in Christ, but it is here, and here in an organised way. It says that Samuel was presiding over the prophets. It was not simply a college or a school of prophets, they were actually prophesying. There was power there, so that even Saul was overcome by it.

L.M. Are you looking at Samuel as a type of the Lord, or as a spiritual man in power?

J.T. Well, it is the general thought of an organised order of things; he was presiding. Undoubtedly it would be the Lord in a spiritual way, rejected and hidden, though well known to the spiritual. David fled to Samuel as if he knew instinctively that protection was to be found with him.

Ques. Do you get the same thought in "having come, he will bring demonstration to the world, of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:8).

J.T. That is what you get in this chapter. When the Spirit came, He brought in evidence of these things, so that everything is put in its place. Not only is a clear perspective given as in the Lord's sermon on the mount (Matthew 5), but there is power. It cannot be gainsaid. That is what is called attention to; first of all (Acts 2:1) you have the feast accomplishing, which we ought to notice. There is no time limit, whether it be the whole dispensation or access into eternity, it is not limited. Then you have the house filled with the sound, and the

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other features of the Spirit's coming. Then there is the general result, that they "began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them to speak forth" Acts 2:4. There is not yet any mention of gift. I think the passage would remind us of the importance of all being present in the meetings. "When the day of Pentecost was now accomplishing, they were all together". Acts 2:1. We do not know what we may miss if we are not there. It is the time of the feast. If one is absent from any of the meetings he may miss something that may never happen again. There is not only the general thought, but "it sat upon each of them" Acts 2:3. There would be loss if any were absent. But then it says that they were all filled; that is to say, we have the inauguration of the great spiritual system. Then they "began to speak with other tongues" Acts 2:4; it is in keeping with the general position. First, the feast was "now accomplishing", and now, "they ... began". It was to go on. Then you have the effect of this, the kind of thing that results from the general condition in a gathering, is a "rumour" (Acts 2:6). It is not yet the preaching, but a rumour, showing how things move. The rumour brings the congregation together, so to speak. Then we have the great Levitical principle whereby the light of all this is to be radiated; it is in vessels divinely qualified, numbering twelve. But they are not all speaking; only one speaks, indicating the additional principle of leadership. The conditions for it are there, and leadership is introduced in a man who is not hesitant; he speaks forth. He does not begin with those that are favourable, but with the opposers, as it says in Acts 2:13, "others mocking said". Peter refers to them; he "lifted up his voice and spoke forth to them, Men of Judaea ... give heed to my words" Acts 2:14. That is to say, you have a state of things marked by a general spiritual condition, in which each one has part; then they begin to speak and a rumour goes out, so that interest is aroused; and then there is the exercise of gift. It says that Peter stood up, "with the eleven" Acts 2:14,

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and he speaks with authority. He lifted up his voice and said, "give heed to my words" Acts 2:14.

A.M.H. How would you apply the thought of general speaking now?

J.T. It would refer to what brothers and sisters do in meeting one another, and in meeting people casually, in going about their ordinary affairs, so that a rumour becomes current.

A.M.H. So that in our ordinary contact with men we should call attention to Christ, and then bring interested persons within the range of testimony through gifted persons.

J.T. Yes. People speaking in spiritual power, and every one hears them in his own language. The speaking is concerning "the wonderful works of God" Acts 2:11.

Ques. Would that have the character of prophesying?

J.T. Well, a person speaking by the Spirit, whether it be a brother or a sister, would be a spiritual person. It says here that they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, so that it is a question of being spiritual, and then one's conversation occasions interest, and a congregation is formed, not by printed notices -- I am not speaking against these -- but by persons speaking in a spiritual way of the things of God; and thus the rumour goes out.

C.A.C. It is something like the distribution of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12, which seems to be general. The distribution is to "every man" and then afterwards you get some set in the assembly, apostles, prophets, and so forth. While you get distinctive and prominent gifts, there is the distribution generally in the company.

J.T. What is to be observed, is that we must not be content to leave the testimony with those who can speak with ability. The principle of anointing is in gift, having in view the representation of God. But here there is conversation, and it occasions a rumour, and the rumour occasions the bringing together of a congregation to hear. So that Peter has an advantage; the truth had already been heard by those to whom he

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preached. There was divine power in testimony, and he explains it in his preaching. But as far as we can see there is no one convicted, but there is this rumour and the people come together. The conviction was effected through Peter's preaching (Acts 2:37).

Ques. Does not the general speaking seem to be used by the Lord to remove the governmental restrictions of Babel, so that the spiritual system is available to all men?

J.T. That is how it appears. "We hear them speaking in our own tongues the great things of God". Acts 2:11. It was a very great matter.

C.A.C. The speaking to every man in his own tongue would be God coming nigh.

J.T. That is very touching.

W.J.H. Is that not implied by the fact that the Spirit sat as cloven tongues as of fire on each of them? showing that every one was embraced in the ability to speak in a spiritual way.

J.T. In our day we have the privilege of travelling about, and this principle holds; you are able to speak and get to people where they are. They have not to come to you. No doubt these people could all understand the current dialect in Jerusalem, but the point was that God was speaking to them in their own language. They heard them speaking in their own tongues "the great things of God" Acts 2:11.

M.W.B. So that in the general speaking there was pre-eminently the idea of sympathy and nearness but in the public speaking more the power that accompanies the exercise of gift.

J.T. You can picture to yourself the scene at Jerusalem. Think of an ordinary Galilean coming into touch with an Arabian, and being able to tell him about the great things of God in his own language! How touching it would be to him! And that would be going on all around.

M.W.B. It is a great exercise to keep the balance of true sympathy with men, and yet maintain holiness.

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W.J.H. How perfectly that is seen in Stephen! He was separate from all that marked the nation and condemned it; yet the spirit of profound sympathy filled his heart, so that it says he was full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:55).

M.W.B. Would you say that in Matthew's gospel, in the line developed there, we have the spiritual system as overthrowing the world system, and in Luke sympathy with men as found in it?

J.T. That is right. Matthew contemplates a public organisation; he emphasises twos, but the Acts supplies that which would maintain this, that is the spiritual organisation. The public thing, of course, did break up, but what we are dealing with cannot break up, and that is an immense thing to get into our souls. But what I was thinking of particularly, were the inward features; which must appear more or less at all times where the Spirit is recognised, that is to say, the general sympathy with men and readiness to speak. A brother without gift would be conscious that he could not present the thing as one with gift might do it, for gift is in order that things should be presented in power; but these persons said enough to cause a rumour and general feeling of interest, and then there is opposition -- mockers. Peter begins with them (Acts 2:15). In Peter's ministry there is authority. There is sure to be authority if the Holy Spirit is recognised. Rome of course arrogates it, and the whole clerical system assumes it, but here you see it in Peter. He "lifted up his voice and spoke forth to them, Men of Judaea ... give heed to my words" Acts 2:14. The recognition of gift and authority brings in a ministry of universal bearing; gift has reference to the whole church, to the whole area of testimony.

L.M. What about the sons and daughters that prophesy (Acts 2:17)?

J.T. That is the kind of thing that will come in in the millennium, but it is already seen here in character. The Holy Spirit comes on brothers and sisters alike;

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that is what Peter explained to them; it was what Joel had prophesied.

Ques. Would authority accompany all gift?

J.T. I think so. There is a great disregard of authority now in the world, even as to the governments. So the Lord would lay it upon us that it should be seen in the church, that the thing is there; if it is you cannot gainsay it. Think of a Galilean fisherman saying, "Men of Judaea, and all ye inhabitants of Jerusalem ... give heed to my words" Acts 2:14. You might say, It is the word of God, but that is not what is said, it is "my words". There is a man who has something to say; he has authority and there is no hope of the truth being maintained with us, unless this exists in some sense. Where the Holy Spirit is recognised, there will be authority.

Rem. Where the Holy Spirit is free there is always something of a prophetic character going on.

J.T. Yes; and there will be gift. Of course spiritual gift is of universal bearing, so that Peter here speaks out to a large company. A man who has gift may not travel much, but his attitude should be universal.

A.M.H. It says that "God has set certain in the assembly" (1 Corinthians 12:28). That is the whole assembly I suppose. Do you connect the idea of authority with being "set"?

J.T. God's authority is seen in the position each one has; you cannot disregard him. With Paul, for instance, no doubt many thought he was a poor speaker and they turned away, not from his doctrine, but from him. But as he says, "the Lord stood with me, and gave me power, that through me the proclamation might be fully made, and all those of the nations should hear" (2 Timothy 4:17). Paul was "set" in the assembly, and whatever others thought of him, the Lord stood by him.

C.A.C. Going on to Acts 4, I suppose you get the priestly side where the disciples resort to prayer (verse 24).

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J.T. I thought we might see that after the great exhibition of gift and leadership and authority, supported by the presence of the Spirit come down from heaven, there is in chapter 3 the exhibition of quality in two persons, Peter and John. And then true leadership is seen in that it is not only that one can lift up his voice and speak with authority, but he goes before, involving suffering for the testimony. Leadership is not in the reading meeting only, or the preaching, or the writing of tracts, but in suffering, so that Peter and John suffer. The true principle of leadership is thus marked off, and then being let go, "they came to their own company" Acts 4:23, which I think confirms what you say. There is that in connection with this great spiritual system which you can call your own. The idea that "they came to their own" is very precious. Then the prayer is mentioned, and the divine recognition of what was there -- the place where they were assembled being shaken; then that they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. It is confirmation and renewal, because the first impulse of a movement is sure to wane, but sufferings bring in a state that God can recognise. It says, "They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke the word of God with boldness. And the heart and soul of the multitude of those that had believed were one ... all things were common to them; and with great power did the apostles give witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all" (Acts 4:31 - 33). I thought we might note how in this confirmation or reassuring movement, the apostles that were in the lead, merge with the others, which is a wholesome thing. Merging with their own, the other ten come into recognition. The passage says, "With great power did the apostles give witness" Acts 4:33. It is not simply Peter and John now.

L.M. What is there in the thought of the place being shaken?

J.T. Well, it is the place where they were assembled;

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that is, it is not the idea of a building by itself. It is as if the place is distinguished by their being there.

C.A.C. Is it not encouraging to see that it is the whole company who lift up their voice in prayer, that when it comes to the question of prayer the whole company is identified with it, as in full sympathy with the leaders. Chapter 1 mentions the whole company, and even particularly mentions the women. So here, when it is a matter of prayer, the whole company come in, for it is surely not a question of leaders or gift; we can all be fully identified sympathetically with the testimony.

J.T. That is, gift does not necessarily take precedence in the prayer meeting. It is a question of spiritual capacity and stature. That is very important; we are before God as priests in the meeting for prayer.

C.C.E. Have you any thought as to the expression, "filled with the Holy Spirit"? It occurs four times in Luke, and the rest of the times in Luke's second writing, except for once in Ephesians.

J.T. You feel that Ephesians brings the saints to the level of the gospels, and of course the early chapters of Acts too. Ephesians contemplates the full result of Paul's service and ministry, and you get completeness, which would be in correspondence with what you have in the Acts and the gospels.

C.A.C. Is not the thought rather suggestive of a vessel in which there is no element hindering the action of the Spirit?

J.T. That is very important. John says of the Lord Jesus that He was "full of grace and truth" John 1:14, and I suppose the waterpots of stone would symbolise believers as filled up to the brim in view of what you say. God's thought is that they should be filled. I think the idea of fulness here and in Ephesians, is to maintain the truth subjectively on the level of the gospels. It says, "They were all filled" Acts 2:4. I think we may look for these features, God stirring us up and bringing about

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conditions through suffering, persecution, or whatever it may be, so that we seek "our own". Service is sweet, because one serving by the Spirit will have joy, but there is a peculiar sweetness in one's own. It says, "they came to their own" Acts 4:23. We can understand how Peter and John and the man who had been healed, would nestle in the affections of "their own".

M.W.B. There is great restfulness in returning to and sitting down with the brethren.

J.T. And it is not simply that Peter or John would pray; it says "when they had prayed" Acts 4:31. Priesthood belongs to all.

C.C.E. It is in contrast to the hierarchical system, where the one who is to pray is designated.

W.J.H. The family side is unknown in those conditions. "Their own" would suggest family affections and what is common to all; it is our own in the sense of those we love. It is very beautiful.

P.L. Would this answer to what Bethany was to Christ? "The hour being already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve" (Mark 11:11).

J.T. It would; I am sure the Lord found great sweetness in Bethany.

M.W.B. In connection with your remark as to God hating an empty vessel, have we not to be on our guard as to elements that would obstruct the filling with the Spirit? Along with remarkable light and increased privileges and fellowship, there is a constant danger of worldliness sapping the very life from us.

J.T. I am sure that is true. There is nothing more practical than being filled. Brothers and sisters come to the meetings without any sense of responsibility; they put it all on somebody else, and add nothing themselves. A person filled with the Spirit will add something.

G.W.W. The measure in which you are not filled with the atmosphere of the spiritual, is the measure in which you will be filled with the atmosphere of the scene around. There cannot be emptiness.

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Rem. It says, "they shall not appear before Jehovah empty" (Deuteronomy 16:16).

J.T. That is the idea. There will be no unfilled vessels in heaven.

M.W.B. You were suggesting that the feast of Pentecost continues, that there is no time limit in relation to it. Do these spiritual conditions continue whatever the outward break-up of the church may be?

J.T. They do. Do you not think we realise it as coming together in various places? What a thing it is to be set for -- the feast of Pentecost!

W.J.H. Despite the conditions it says that Samuel was presiding over the prophets. So the Lord has not resigned His presidentship; He never will.

J.T. "Be filled with the Spirit", is that your relations with God are on the principle of intelligence. Overflowing would involve loss. But this is a question of intelligence, of what I do with what I have. It is true that the water springs up, but the thought of overflow does not perhaps fully recognise the idea of intelligent control.

Overflow would mean that one has enough, that there is abundance. You have in Luke, "Good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over" (Luke 6:38), which would mean the abundance that God gives, but when we come to God, I think the idea is intelligent control in what we are doing.

M.W.B. So that in the assembly your remarks are not in ecstasy but in sobriety.

J.T. In the case of the woman in 2 Kings 4 the vessels were filled. The oil only stopped as the supply of the vessels stopped. There was no loss.

Rem. Then at the wedding feast the Lord caused that the vessels should be filled (John 2).

J.T. Yes; they filled them to the brim, and then the Lord says, "Draw out".

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THE HOLY SPIRIT IN ACTS (NO. 3)

Acts 7:55,56; Acts 8:39,40; Acts 10:44 - 48; Acts 13:3,4

J.T. I thought these scriptures would indicate the remaining features of the Spirit's service as seen in this book. In the Acts it is not so much a statement of doctrine as of actual facts and occurrences, so that we might have before us, in a concrete way, how matters stood in the early days of the church's history; and especially how the Holy Spirit is seen in connection with the enemy's attacks; that is, attacks of a spiritual nature. The Holy Spirit answers to the "middle bar" which went through the tabernacle, holding all together. What the Spirit was then, He is today; and if we are to be held together in the presence of the enemy's attacks, there must be room for Him, and not only so, there must be the state in which He can move and assert Himself.

The first attack insideis in chapter 5, where we find a man and his wife under the influence of Satan, and this is met directly by the Spirit, through Peter, who says to Ananias, "Why has Satan filled thy heart that thou shouldest lie to the Holy Spirit?" (Acts 5:3). His wife appears after three hours' interval, and Peter says to her, "Why is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?" (Acts 5:9). We have here an indication as to how an internal attack is met; the Holy Spirit is brought into evidence. Satan's effort was a subtle one, especially in the wife, who came three hours after her husband had met with his death. It was a question of spiritual power to determine, first the effort to deceive in the man, and then the counterpart in the woman. It is a sorrowful reminder of how evil works; also we learn here how only it can be met. If room is made for the Spirit it can be met. Then afterwards we see an attack was made concerning the Hellenists, in chapter 6, and how that was met. We also see how servants

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who come forward without special appointment, are vindicated and confirmed by the Spirit -- such as Stephen and Philip.

M.W.B. Do you regard the enemy's attack in chapter 5 as more difficult to meet, being internal, than the attacks in chapters 3 and 4, which were more external?

J.T. I think that is quite apparent. These two persons were inside, and what they were doing ostensibly was following a good lead in Barnabas. He had sold his possession and brought the money and laid it at the feet of the apostles. Ananias and Sapphira were apparently doing the same thing, so the evil was well disguised; it was hidden, and hidden things require special discernment.

W.J.H. Ananias and Sapphira wanted a name; Barnabas did not seek one, but had one from the apostles.

J.T. Yes, Barnabas had proved himself to be "a son of consolation" Acts 4:36. These hidden things which are amongst us, especially when they follow on a true lead, and are seemingly the same thing, though counterfeits, are difficult to detect and require great discernment. The question is, how do they affect the presence of the Holy Spirit? Peter says to Ananias that the lie was to the Holy Spirit and to Sapphira he says that the Spirit of the Lord was tempted. The agreement between the husband and wife made it peculiarly secret; they wanted to have honour, and Satan's aim was to make it appear that the Holy Spirit was not in the assembly. Satan sought to make it impossible for the thing to be detected. It is very solemn if there is light in the assembly, and yet evil being there it is not dealt with, for then the testimony is lost; it collapses; because the assembly must be marked by the presence of the Spirit of God. If the enemy can make it evident that evil cannot be dealt with, the testimony would collapse whatever light we may have, for it is not the word only, but the power. On the other hand, we see the awful ability the flesh

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has even in persons who are christians, as doubtless these two were, for they were buried. We see what the flesh is capable of, even in those numbered amongst us.

Ques. What do you attach to Sapphira having three hours longer?

J.T. There was opportunity for her to repent, as the Lord said to Thyatira, "I gave her time that she should repent, and she will not repent" (Revelation 2:21). In the woman, evil is more secretive, but Sapphira had longer time to judge it. One can understand if she were on spiritual ground what feelings she would have had, and so in regard to anyone amongst us who may be acting under Satanic influence, they are sure to feel it. It makes the sin all the more terrible that she had three hours in which to judge it, and yet she came to Peter with the lie; he said to her, "Why is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?" Acts 5:9. The Lord being brought in implies not only the Spirit, but the authority of the Lord.

W.J.H. Why are young men mentioned here?

J.T. It would be educational. I am sure they never forgot it. They swathed Ananias for burial and having carried him out, they buried him. There is a certain respect due to the most sinful amongst us. And then Peter says to Sapphira, "Lo, the feet of those that have buried thy husband are at the door, and they shall carry thee out ... And when the young men came in they found her dead; and haying carried her out, they buried her by her husband" (Acts 5:9, 10).

C.C.E. Do all these matters contain permanent lessons for conduct in the house of God?

J.T. I think so. We learn from them how things were done. If the day of the Spirit continues, as it does, and the Spirit of God is among us, we should look for these features. It is interesting to see how the young men are brought in here, and they are ready to respect even persons who are under the influence of evil. People are not stricken dead in this way today,

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but the judgment of God is inexorable; there is bound to be judgment against evil if God is with us. There is youthful energy among the brethren, and we learn here that what happens in the way of judgment or counsel does not exclude the young brothers, or indeed anyone. These things should be known to the saints.

C.A.C. I feel how serious this matter of the judgment of evil is. Was it not what largely led to the position of separation being taken up years ago, that J.N.D. and others felt that there was no power in existing bodies to deal with what was evil?

J.T. It seems to me that the young element in these matters is very important; they represent what is impressionable, and act with feeling and energy. The elder ones, of course, ought to have wisdom, but we have noticed in Exodus 24:5, that the younger men are sent to offer sacrifices; they are not called priests, but "youths". It was the great service rendered, when the covenant was ratified by blood. I think the Lord would encourage us to bring the youthful element into service, in connection with assembly matters.

M.W.B. Then you would not discourage young brothers from attending the care meetings?

J.T. Certainly I should not. This chapter would show the opposite; and the sisters should not be left in the dark as to matters relating to the assembly. Of course it is for them to find out -- "let them ask" -- but the principle is, that the consciences of all should be in action. If the consciences of all are not in action, we shall not get assembly judgment or assembly action; we shall not get results according to God without it. We get the law of the house of God in 1 Timothy and Titus to instruct us how brothers and sisters are to behave, both old and young -- that one should know how to behave in the house of God -- even the young women are brought into it. In 2 John we read of the elect lady and her children; what is written to her, implies clearly that she herself could exercise discipline.

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C.A.C. It is important that what is said and done should have assembly character in view. I also feel that if it were recognised that the Lord was present at the care meetings, it would have the effect of silencing a great deal.

J.T. Then, what is said in those circumstances should be brought and put on the consciences of the saints, so that they are brought into action. It is through the consciences of all (brothers and sisters together in assembly), that God exercises a judgment, and action is taken that is binding; it is thus the judgment of God.

We must pass on to the next chapter that we may see how tables are served, that is how the work of deacons is carried on, it is to be in the power of the Spirit. Everything in connection with the assembly is to be in the power of the Spirit of God, so that even the deacons are to be full of the Spirit. "Look out therefore, brethren, from among yourselves seven men, well reported of, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we will establish over this business" (Acts 6:3). We have Stephen mentioned first, as a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit. That raised the service of deacons to a high level, it was to be carried on in the power of the Spirit, and in that service we may advance; as it says in Timothy, "They that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 3:13). That is to say, we have the idea of a good degree and power of purchase. Simon Magus sought to purchase with money the power to give the Holy Spirit, but we have through good service in this way the power of purchase of a good degree.

C.A.C. What would you suggest is the service of a deacon today? Would you think it right to take it up as an individual responsibility, or from the will of the brethren?

J.T. I suppose we should look for correspondence, in every way to what we get in these chapters, so that if

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there is to be the service of a deacon there should be in him or her (here of course it is a brother), what corresponds to the Holy Spirit. The very giving of the bounty of the brethren ought to be in the grace of the Spirit, not merely as a matter of "charity". There should be a dignity in giving something from the brethren, they who thus serve are "messengers of assemblies, Christ's glory" 2 Corinthians 8:23; that is the dignity which marks deaconship.

C.A.C. You would look for a deacon to be one of the most spiritual men in the meeting; it is not a service for anyone to take up.

J.T. It says, "Look out ... from among yourselves seven men, well reported of, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom" Acts 6:3.

A.M.H. "Having prayed, they laid their hands on them". Acts 6:6.

J.T. There is confidence, and thus committal by the apostles. I do not see how we can get on without confidence in one another. What we see in this chapter, is the part the Spirit has in brethren who had no special call to spiritual ministry, but who nevertheless take it on, and in taking it on, the Holy Spirit confirms and justifies them. I think we may see in Stephen and Philip this feature. In Stephen's case it is a question of purchasing to himself a good degree. I should apprehend that the conferring of a degree is not only an honour to the person who receives it, but it carries with it the honour or power of him who confers the degree; and Stephen certainly vindicated the assembly with which he was connected, and in which he obtained the degree. He honoured it. He could say to the Jews, "ye do always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers, ye also" (Acts 7:51). That is what they were doing. He began by being full of grace and power, and his face shining like an angel, and he thus powerfully arraigns the murderers of Christ. Then we have the wonderful statement concerning Stephen, "being full of the Holy

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Spirit, having fixed his eyes on heaven, he saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God" (Acts 7:55). Advancement among us is a matter that should be observed. Advancement is right, and the means of acquiring it are indicated here, but the confirmation of the person, and the justification of his position is by the Spirit.

W.J.H. The way we handle things is a test, as to whether we are able to follow spiritual lines?

J.T. That is a question that should challenge anyone who aspires to service among the people of God; the service is very dignified. One cannot take up service simply because one is superannuated or has made one's fortune. God requires more than that. He requires more than desires; He requires the formation that develops out of secret history with Him in your earlier days. What formation is there? Because one has to bear the weight of the anointing. In Exodus, the greatest pains are taken to work out details as to the furnishing of the tabernacle; everything is inspected by Moses before he puts the oil upon it. Then when each item is in its place, it is in action; it is seen in function, so that there is no discrepancy or irregularity; all is according to Jehovah's commandments to Moses and in the dignity of the anointing.

P.L. Is not this seen in perfection in the Lord as anointed?

J.T. Yes, see how long He waited; there was a secret history for thirty years. We get in scripture the life-sized pictures of servants such as Jacob, Moses, David, Peter and Paul, and all are marked by secret experience with God. There are others whose early history we do not get, but they justify the position at once; they were in the testimony according to God. I think that is what we see in Stephen, in a striking manner. Then in Philip we have one who began to preach without any commission; he went to Samaria and preached the Christ and many were converted, although

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his converts did not get the Spirit immediately. It is a significant fact that God withheld the Spirit from his converts; it would have been a serious matter to him, and would have challenged him as to whether he was working with God. Peter's converts got the Spirit immediately, so Philip would no doubt enquire, Why should not my converts get the Spirit? That is the way I should look at the matter. I own the dispensational feature that Samaria had to recognise Jerusalem, but the fact remains that Philip's converts did not receive the Spirit immediately.

C.C.E. What was the defect in Philip?

J.T. There must have been something to be worked out in him; he had something to learn, because not a word is said about the Spirit in regard of himself, until he goes down to the desert, and then the Holy Spirit speaks to him. I am speaking of the way the Spirit records these things. Why did not Peter go to Samaria and preach, and his converts not get the Spirit? There was something for Philip in it. Then one among Philip's nominal converts wanted to buy the power to give the Holy Spirit to others; he was not genuine. We need to be very sure of our converts. In the beginning of our service we like to speak of and count our converts, but we may be counting people who are not converted. If I do not bring in material for the assembly, of what value is my work? Only those who receive the Spirit have any place in the assembly. Nobody is of practical value to God without the Spirit, he has no place in the assembly. Philip had to wait till Peter and John came down. There was great joy in that city, but what is wanted is material for the assembly; that is what the preaching of the gospel has in view, Of course it is true that men are to be saved, but this also requires that they should receive the Spirit.

C.A.C. The service is tested by what is produced. J.B.S. used to say, Do not tell me of your lectures, but show me your pupils.

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J.T. When Peter and John came down, one who was reckoned as Philip's convert and "continued with Philip" Acts 8:13 was found unreal. If I had been in Philip's position I should have found myself challenged. Then we read, that the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, Go down to the desert. Now Philip is being tested whether he will leave all this, as of course he could when the Holy Spirit had come. Philip is instructed to go to the desert, and he goes. Now he proves himself subject, and then the Spirit speaks to him and tells him to join the eunuch's chariot. I do not know a more excellent work than this of Philip's with one man, and the Spirit was so pleased with him that He actually raptures him, as we see in verse 39. There is not another servant distinguished just in that way. It is very beautiful to be raptured; "the rapture", as we speak of it, will be no new thing to Philip; he was caught away by the Spirit.

C.A.C. Do you think it was the recognition of the quality of his service?

J.T. Yes, it was an excellent piece of work. The Spirit says to him "join thyself to this chariot" Acts 8:29, and he found the eunuch reading Isaiah 53, and he went on with the reading. He "began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus" Acts 8:35. No passage touches the heart more than that.

C.A.C. He left the man absolutely independent of himself. Is not that the proper and legitimate effect of the exercise of gift to make the soul independent of the gift by which it was benefited?

J.T. It was as if the Spirit said to Philip, Your work is so good that I can absolutely trust it -- He thus caught him away. "The eunuch saw him no more" Acts 8:39. The eunuch was now trustworthy and so could be left.

A.W. There is no indication that the eunuch had the Holy Spirit?

J.T. We do not get the whole history of every convert. The great truth that those who obey Christ receive the Holy Spirit is stated earlier and so attention is not

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called to it in each case. From the facts mentioned here there cannot be a doubt that the eunuch received the Spirit. The Holy Spirit would never have taken away the servant from the convert, if the convert had needed him. One could not think of the eunuch being left without the Spirit in the desert. The eunuch was set up in all that is proposed in the gospel, which includes the gift of the Spirit. We see the same principle in what the Lord did in Decapolis. After casting out the demons He left the man there; it would be to show what a truly converted man can be for God in this world. The Lord left him in Decapolis. One might enquire How could that man survive in such a wicked place? But he did survive.

A.W. The apostles had to come down to Samaria to lay their hands on the Samaritan converts so that they should get the Spirit, but there is no word to show that this man received the Spirit.

J.T. The facts speak for themselves as was remarked; the Holy Spirit would not have taken Philip from his convert, if his convert had needed him; besides, the eunuch "went on his way rejoicing" Acts 8:39.

C.A.C. The man was thoroughly identified with the life of Jesus, and accepted His death as defining the position here. Was not that true assembly material?

J.T. That is what I thought; the man can be trusted. We cannot tell what happened in Ethiopia, there may have been an assembly there later, in which the eunuch would have part. The general facts presented show the work of God already in the eunuch, and the excellence of Philip's work in presenting the gospel to him, and the Spirit's pleasure in the servant.

P.L. Have we all this in Jesus; He was taken up into heaven? (Mark 16).

J.T. That is very good; the Lord was taken up after He had spoken to them. He left them provided for by what He had said to them. The early chapters of Acts prove that, and justify the Lord in leaving them; they

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could be left for ten days by themselves, to show the character of the material He had prepared for His assembly, and then another divine Person comes down.

Ques. What is the difference between the Spirit speaking in verse 29 and the angel speaking to Philip in verse 26?

J.T. Verse 29 means that Philip had advanced in his service -- the Spirit spoke to him, and God loves to signalise our progress. I think the character of Philip's work is beautiful; he went down into the water with the eunuch; there was complete identification on the part of Philip with the eunuch. There are not many coloured brethren in South Africa, though there are twenty millions of that branch of the race south of the Zambesi.

C.C.E. I am very hopeful of the natives of South Africa.

J.T. I am glad to hear that. I know that in one town of South Africa there was one white meeting, and one coloured; but that is not Philip and the eunuch going down to the water together. I like to test myself with this question; the prejudice is very strong in America; we are not without this test, and it is a very real one that we ought to face. Philip and the eunuch went down to the water together; there is complete identification between them. The Holy Spirit brings the eunuch forward; we get first the Hamite (Acts 8), then the Jew (Acts 9), and then the Japhethite (Acts 10), but the Hamite is first mentioned.

W.B.C. Why does Ham come first?

J.T. The humanly despised man comes first; that is God's way; He is different from us, He does not think as we do -- "What God has cleansed, do not thou make common" (Acts 10:15). This cuts across natural thoughts.

Ques. Is not the colour question settled by their both going down into the water together?

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J.T. Yes; and the next thing normally would be that they sat down together. The Lord's supper follows baptism; they were identified in the faith of Christ. We see the same spirit in Peter; when Cornelius would have worshipped him, Peter says, I also am a man; and they went into the house together. Acts 10:27 says, "he went in, talking with him".

The time is gone, but I had thought of mentioning that the Spirit comes in in connection with Peter in chapter 10, and that His action there involves a free hand; He had an entirely free hand in Peter's service; He came upon the gentiles as they were listening to the word, and before Peter stopped speaking.

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THE HOLY SPIRIT IN ROMANS

Romans 5:5; Romans 8:14 - 16; Romans 14:17; Romans 15:13

My wish in regard of this meeting is to help more particularly those who are young, and for this reason I have selected Romans, which is particularly calculated to meet the needs of young believers.

My thought is to speak of the Holy Spirit as seen in this epistle; and what one would say to all, and especially to young believers, is that the best Friend we have on earth is the Spirit of God, answering to what is in heaven; for what is there is here in principle; we can never limit a divine Person. So that in the presence of the Holy Spirit here we have, as I said, our best Friend on earth. It is important that He should be regarded in a personal way, that believers should become acquainted with the Holy Spirit. The Lord in His communications of love to His own at the supper table in Jerusalem, ere He died, spoke much of the Spirit as another Comforter; One who, by the term He uses, was to be known as taking charge of the affairs of the saints here. He spoke of Him as the Spirit of truth, sent by the Father in answer to His begging for Him; He spoke of Him as sent forth in the Son's name by the Father; He spoke of Him as proceeding forth from with the Father, meaning that He had perfect first-hand knowledge of the Father's thoughts about the Son, the Son being the subject of testimony, the Spirit should bear witness of Him; and then, the Lord would Himself send Him. As the Spirit of truth comes, He brings into this world a demonstration of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. You see, therefore, a divine Person is here, and His functions are in relation to the saints, He is another Comforter.

Now I want to show how He operates, as seen in this epistle, and first in regard to the hearts of believers.

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He is presented indeed earlier in relation to the Lord Himself as "the Spirit of holiness"; reminding us that what accompanies the gospel is the Spirit of holiness. He is also presented as the Spirit of life; the Spirit of God; the Spirit of adoption. All these designations are in relation to our souls' experience, and I mention them that you may have in view the comprehensiveness of the Spirit's functions and relations, as presented in this fundamental epistle. I say fundamental, because it is well to be grounded in the foundations; so that young people may have a basis for a superstructure which God will not fail to rear.

I wish to speak about the Holy Spirit in relation to our hearts. The heart is a sphere in which you would expect Him to be especially interested, for God would secure His people through their hearts; through their intelligence, of course, but the highest intelligence is through the eyes of the heart; the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God is through the "eyes of your heart" (Ephesians 1:18). Hence the importance of recognising this first service of the Spirit. He knows that the end in view in the gospel is a heart matter; and so, in the type in Exodus that is what God would stress in speaking to His people. He says, "I have borne you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself" (Exodus 19:4). This was after they had murmured, after they had complained, after they had talked about going back into Egypt. God knowing well our proclivities and how the things of the world cling to us, even after our conversion, delivers us out of them, bearing us on eagles' wings to Himself. What marks His early dealings with the people after they had passed through the Red Sea, after they had sung of His victory, is grace: on their side one complaint after another, but no reproofs, no punitive action on the part of God: it was the reign of grace; it was the era of grace.

Thus, in answer to their demand for water in their murmurings, God said to Moses, "Behold, I will stand

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before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock" Exodus 17:6. That is the idea. Instead of smiting the people, the rock was smitten; and "that rock was Christ" 1 Corinthians 10:4. That touches the heart; it is intended to touch the heart; that He was smitten instead of me when I deserved it; when I had shown by my wayward, rebellious and murmuring spirit that I deserved it, Christ was smitten. He was "stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted" Isaiah 53:4, as we read. So that the Holy Spirit comes, in type, and the water flowed in order that the people might have another state.

And then immediately Amalek attacks them, and the whole divine system, we may say, is engaged to give victory to the believer; for that is the idea. Moses and Aaron and Hur and Joshua, are all actively engaged, so that the believer, as having the Holy Spirit, should prove His power. The intercession of Christ on high in Moses, and the skill of Christ as a warrior in Joshua, are brought into action, so that the beginnings of the believer, as possessed of the Spirit, should be marked by victory; that the young believer should get a taste of it, and as he gets a taste, the thing will increase. That is to say, what began in the type in Exodus 17 ended in Joshua, in the people being set in possession of the land. It was the same power, but in increased measure; and it is continually increasing, for there is no limit. It is a divine power here, given without measure.

It is a question, therefore, of capacity in the believer; and so in the type after this God says, Now I want you to be for Me, a chosen, priestly nation. He would have them for Himself, for Jehovah's inheritance is His people; and that elevates the believer at once, for he is of the inheritance of God. You see how valuable the believer is to God; His heritage is His people, but then He would have His inheritance. Ephesians 1:18 speaks of "the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints". It is a marvellous thought! and directly it gets into the soul it elevates it.

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The believer belongs to God; he is the inheritance of God. God says, Now I want your hearts, but I want to open up My heart to you, so that you may know what a God you have:

"In the desert God will teach thee
What the God that thou hast found --
Patient, gracious, powerful, holy,
All His grace shall there abound". (Hymn 76)

That is in the wilderness. We have to know that God, and so He sets about at Horeb to make Himself known. I do not say at Sinai, for that is a question of demand, but Horeb, the mount of God where the covenant was made; there they spent a long time, and God opened up His heart to them. That is the principle of it. I know it was but partial, for the death of Christ had to take place for the full disclosure of the heart of God. "He ... spared not his own Son" Romans 8:32, we are told. He commends His love to us, as we are told in our chapter. He is so desirous that we might know it, and that it might be in our hearts. Think how God condescends to commend a thing that should never need to be commended -- the very best thing conceivable, the love of God! What a thing it is! and God condescends to commend it to us; reminding us of how slow we are to value what is most excellent.

Philippians 1:10 speaks of excellency, "That ye may judge of and approve the things that are more excellent". It is a fine habit. God commends His love to us, "in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8. But that is not enough. He intends that what He has commended should become resident in our hearts, and the Holy Spirit serves in that connection. He sheds abroad, says the apostle, the love of God in our hearts. Now this is most important for every young person, and for all of us, to have the consciousness of the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Spirit; a transaction by the Spirit of God; not simply coming to us,

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taking possession of us, sealing us, but bringing this love into our hearts, the love of God.

Now I pass on to chapter 8, a chapter, thank God, much read, and I hope understood; so that I do not intend to go into the details of the teaching relative to the Spirit, only that I would say that it answers in the types to Numbers 21 and what follows. It is an experience well-nigh forty years after that of which I have spoken. But it is not contemplated that this should be the case with us. It is well, however, to note the number of years that elapsed between Horeb and Beer, the well of which it is said, "Gather the people together, and I will give them water" Numbers 21:16. It is well to note that; so that we might not be "objective" merely in our apprehension of the truth; but that we may see that while the objective side is presented to us in the gospel, to be received on the principle of faith, the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures would teach us that a time -- however short or long -- elapses between that and the full formation in us that corresponds with it. That as God worked on the principle of time in Genesis 1, so He works on the principle of time in our souls; for we are still in time. Hence we find in Genesis that life does not appear till the third day. We have light on the first day; and then we have the heavens on the second day, all of which is what I may call objective; that is, what is presented to me, something outside of me, but which is intended to affect me and govern me.

Then on the third day you have the dry land appearing. Now the dry land alludes to what is subjective; because it is said immediately, that it is to bring forth of itself: "Let the earth cause grass to spring up", etc. Genesis 1:11. Of course, it needs the heat of the sun and the atmosphere; it needs water, although there is nothing said about rain until the flood; but it needs moisture. Thus on the third day -- that is, two days elapse, and then you have what we speak of as subjective, pointing to a result worked in us, a latent thing brought into existence by the work of

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God. No one should be content until he begins to realise the power of fruitfulness, of life operating. It begins at the new birth.

In this chapter (Romans 8) we read of those who are "after the Spirit" or "according to Spirit", as it should read. That includes the initial work of the Spirit -- the new birth. This chapter contemplates the possession of the Spirit by the believer. Before the Spirit worked in us we were "according to flesh" Romans 8:8 and we thought only of the things of the flesh, but the work of God in the soul leads to thinking of the things of the Spirit; we are "according to Spirit", we are that. That is not objective, it is the state of the person. Now these are most important and practical things, and I am speaking of them in connection with the lapse of time, with that principle as to God's work in our souls. Two days would be a testimony as to the time needed, according to Genesis 1. Two days spiritually imply much; three implies ample testimony. Seven would be a complete exercise; so that we need not, dear young people, think of waiting for forty years for the subjective result. It should be practically immediate, but on the principle of lapse of time; and this is calculated to keep us humble and dependent, for we must wait on God.

I wish now to show how the Holy Spirit in Romans 8 brings into evidence the sons of God. To be sons of God practically we need deliverance; and this book is to effect that. The experience of chapter 7, which perhaps is not much known by us, nor so much dwelt upon as it used to be, is essential. Every young believer should take that chapter up and work it out. It is, as it were, a problem. I know of no greater problem in the Scriptures than that chapter; but the greater the problem, the more the advantage when it is successfully worked out; and when this one is worked out the enemy has no more advantage over you through the sin that dwelleth in you. You acknowledge humbly that it is there; but you have it kept under lock and key, so to

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say. You have power to do it, for the Holy Spirit becomes like an armed official acting all-powerfully against a criminal whose sentence is pronounced. He restrains it. If it acts, you know it acts, and judge it; you regard its action by itself, and you are not brought again into bondage through it. "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:24 is the cry, and the answer is immediate: "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord" Romans 7:25. He has done it, but He does it by the Spirit. By His death, of course; for there could be no Holy Spirit for us, nor any deliverance save by the death of Christ; so that He is the Deliverer, and the Deliverer becomes the Husband, as we learn in Romans 7:1 - 4.

But then chapter 8 is to show how the thing is effected in detail. It is by the Spirit. The condemnation of sin in the flesh in the death of Christ having taken place, a mighty power comes into the believer and takes up residence there (for the idea is dwelling): "If so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" Romans 8:9, and He takes up His residence unchallenged. It is a poor thing if the Holy Spirit has to contest for His presence in the believer every moment of the believer's history. That will not do. The idea is that He is to reside, to have undisputed possession of the house, and if He does, He will give you a blessed time. Many of us know what wonderful times the Spirit of God accords us. The more latitude we give Him the better the time, the more enjoyment, the greater victory; "the Spirit is life" Romans 8:10, and "the mind of the Spirit life and peace" Romans 8:6. "God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh", Romans 8:3. It is condemned. How the love of God enters into that, sending "his own Son"! It appears twice in the chapter. And what for? "That the righteous requirement of the law should be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to flesh but according to Spirit". Romans 8:4.

Now that alludes in the types, as I said, to Numbers 21, where you have the brazen serpent lifted up, as you

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will remember, and following on that the springing well. The two things stand out, the one condemnatory of sin in the flesh, and the other an active power of life, a well springing up: "Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it" Numbers 21:17. So there is movement towards Canaan in that chapter. It is a chapter to be noted specially for the suggestions of energy; and it is military; "the book of the wars of the Lord" Numbers 21:14 is mentioned. How you would like to get into that book! Well, this is how we get into it, by recognising the Spirit, and as the Spirit takes full possession there is victory after victory, and no more murmuring. It is "the book of the wars of the Lord", and then "brooks" are mentioned there, and "poets" (N. Trans.). It is a chapter full of stirring things, all of which are the answer to the condemnation of the flesh, God having dealt with it judicially in the death of the Lord Jesus; and in the recognition of the Spirit of God. It is victory! It is a chapter of buoyancy; and so the people go right on towards the land. It says there, that they go as far as "the top of Pisgah" Numbers 21:20. You say, That is a look into the land. No doubt, but what is stated there is "Pisgah, which looks over the surface of the waste" (Numbers 21:20). It is a backward look, so that you may know better 'the God that thou hast found', not that you want to go back over it. No. The backward movement is over for ever, but the backward look is that you may think of the God whose love and whose support you have proved; so you may love Him all the more. And that is what comes out in this chapter: "those who love God" Romans 8:28. The wilderness brings out what God is to us in His love, and so we love Him, and there is nothing too good in His mind for those who love Him. "Things which eye has not seen, and ear not heard, and which have not come into man's heart, which God has prepared for them that love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9). And so it is here. He has foreknown us, He has predestinated us, He has called us, He has justified us, He has glorified us -- those who love Him.

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Now I wish to dwell on the thought of the sons of God. I have already anticipated it, but I will turn back to speak of deliverance, because we cannot enter into the idea or realise the thought of sons apart from deliverance. You may get the idea objectively as I said, but to know it in the soul is another matter, and so "because ye are sons", we learn elsewhere, "God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father" (Galatians 4:6). Now I touch sonship, "as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans 8:14). So in the type in Numbers, as I said, the movement is in the direction of Canaan. The backward look is just to enhance God in our minds and hearts, to review what He has been to us, but we are already moving, not now by the light and guidance of the tabernacle (that practically disappears for the remainder of the wilderness journey), it is a question henceforth of the power within. "As many as are led by the Spirit of God", that is the power within, "these are sons of God" (Romans 8:14). And so in the type, as they drew near to the Jordan, they were all sons; they were led typically by the Spirit of God; such are the sons of God. Moses took great pains to instruct them in the book of Deuteronomy that they might be characteristically that. "Ye are sons of Jehovah", he says, and he tells them many things they are to do, so that they might go into the land in the dignity and liberty and intelligence and glory and refinement of sons; that they should be in it according to God.

That is Romans 8 in a general way. Other things might be said about the Spirit. We have the first-fruits of the Spirit; and moreover He witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God, a touching and precious thing, He tells us inwardly that we are children of God (Romans 8:16). We have thus the comfort of being the objects of divine care here. The Holy Spirit reminds us of that. Be our circumstances severe, under pressure we may be, and what not, but the Holy Spirit would

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remind us touchingly in our spirits that we are children as well as sons; that we are children of God, and hence objects of the Father's care in regard of every matter relative to us, in the wilderness. "So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me" (Hebrews 13:6). We may nestle in that knowledge under the Father's wing, for love will do its best for us. "See what love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God" (1 John 3:1).

Then He intercedes for us, we are told, "The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered", Romans 8:26. Wonderful fact! there is perfect representation in that intercession of the needs of our souls, with groanings that cannot be uttered. God understands them all. So you see, dear young believer, what you have in the Spirit. You may not know how to pray as you ought to pray (the Lord teaches us how to pray, and we should learn from Him); but if we do not know, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Then God Himself searches our hearts; you see what interest heaven has in our hearts. "He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God". And then "we know" (by the knowledge we have of God) "that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" Romans 8:27,28. All that is Romans 8, and you can see how God brings you on gently, the Holy Spirit moving you inwardly, moving your affections and intelligence, so that you are moving towards Canaan. Egypt is behind for ever. You go into Canaan by attraction, but in the power of the Spirit, not led by the hand any more. You are no longer a child to be led by the hand out of the land of Egypt; we go into the land in the dignity of sons. You follow the ark through; you see it before you two

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thousand cubits ahead, in all its beauty and power -- Christ going into death. How admirable! how it touches the hearts of the saints as they see the Leader of their salvation going forward and dealing with death, so that it disappears from view. It is cut off in the height of its power, as the feet of the priests who carry the ark touch its waters. Hence, they went over by attraction, as I might say, in the dignity of sons, but as loving Christ. The apostle says, "If any one love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha" 1 Corinthians 16:22, as if he abhorred the thought, and pronounced a curse on any one that does not love Christ. So that we go over in the power of the Spirit of God as the sons of God following Christ; for He goes first. He is the Leader of our salvation. We go over Jordan as loving Christ; we are raised with Him by the faith of the working of God and we are quickened with Him.

Now I want to say just a word about the kingdom. It is a drop in a way, from what I have been speaking of, but the kingdom is a term that covers the whole position while we are down here. Although Romans shows that there is power in the Spirit to enter into Canaan, this being our place, yet the wilderness remains during our life in flesh and blood, but it is where the will and testimony of God are maintained, and the kingdom has its service in this connection. It is the guarantee for our protection and deliverance in view of the evil and the opposition that there is. It is not a question of dislodging the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Amorite; that is not the idea of the kingdom. That is a military matter; not but that the kingdom implies military power, for there was military order in the wilderness as in the land; but the order in the wilderness is much more pronounced, because it is to call attention to the permanency of the kingdom as here, as covering our position in this world.

So in chapter 14, after the apostle speaks about the authorities, "the powers that be" for whom we pray and

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whom God uses, he speaks about the kingdom of God; that is direct from Him. The kingdom of God is that in which God rules directly. The kingdoms of this world God uses, but He governs through them indirectly. Hence, the kingdom of God is brought in in chapter 14 over against meat and drink. By going in for the things that are common to men, that the flesh goes after, by going in for them without control, without spiritual intelligence, we may destroy the work of God. That is a serious matter; the work of God is most precious, and therefore "the weak brother" must be handled carefully. But I cannot go into that; I only wish to show you that the kingdom of God is over against these natural things, and that it is "righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit" Romans 14:17.

Now that does not necessarily mean when we are together. The kingdom of God, as I said, is a permanent thing. In the types it is seen in Numbers in the ordering of the tribes militarily. Each man pitched by the standard of his father's house, and they were all arrayed in relation to the tabernacle, and God dwelt in the tabernacle. That is to say, God dwelling there influenced the whole area of the tribes. The influence spread around from the dwelling of God to the whole camp; so that it was a kingdom, and Moses in a way was king in it. It is said of him that "he was king in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people and the tribes of Israel were gathered together" Deuteronomy 33:5. Moses had acquired that place. He was not always fully owned, for rebellion after rebellion showed itself, but I am speaking of the principle of Numbers, and it is the kingdom of God. It is a permanent institution in the wilderness; it is the rule of God as dwelling among His people; so that it applies to me in my house, in my business, as I walk in the streets. Whatever I do I am in the kingdom of God and under its protection.

But what is in view here is the enjoyment that there is in it; that it is an area in which there is righteousness,

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in which there is peace, and in which there is joy in the Holy Spirit; that ensures living conditions even when we are not together. When we are together, we come onto a different plane; but living conditions are assured to us in the wilderness through the kingdom of God. Righteousness is the first thing, practical righteousness, of course. The righteousness of God is demonstrated in the epistle, and the answer here in us is practical righteousness; so that every man in Israel, from twenty years and above, had his own place in relation to the centre. That is the idea of righteousness; that you do not veer away from your appointed place, you are governed by the will of God. Moses the mediator being there conveys the will of God, and that is what comes out in Numbers. Every one occupies his place, he is in righteousness, and he stands in relation to his brethren and considers for them. He sees that the occupation of his assigned position is essential to the welfare of the whole. Everything is divinely ordered by God in the camp. It is the kingdom of God; and I occupy my assigned place, I am in righteousness. Then I am in peace. I do not quarrel with my neighbour if I occupy my assigned position; and then the Holy Spirit is at liberty to fill my heart with joy. I have got it always; in every relation of life it is granted to me by the kingdom of God -- "righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit" Romans 14:17. You can see, as I have said, "the weak brother" would be cared for in that. The powers that be will not care for him; weak people do not get much favour in the world; they are not much thought of; but in the kingdom of God every provision is made for the weak brother; he is not to be stumbled.

The last thing I had in mind is the rejoicing. Chapter 15 is full of energy, but I just refer to verse 13: "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that ye should abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit". Romans 15:13. I thought, dear brethren, that we could hardly finish our meetings with a better

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verse than this, because the Lord gives us good times in these "holy convocations", but when we disperse we are apt to drop down, and not maintain the high spiritual level on which we have been, and it seemed to me this verse is very practical for us.

One might say much about the chapter. It is full of energy, as I said. It is the chapter in which the apostle speaks of the immense radius of his labours. "From Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum", he says, "I have fully preached the gospel of Christ" Romans 15:19. He was not a bit jaded. He says, I am going to come to you too. He was going to invade the Latin part of the Empire, as he had covered the Greek part. He had that in mind, and he said he thought of going to Spain also. No conqueror ever operated with such energy as this. What a mighty work was his! From Jerusalem, and in a circuit round to Illyricum he had fully preached the gospel of Christ. One would have loved to have heard him. How well he did it! "If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost" 2 Corinthians 4:3, and then he speaks of the "radiancy of the glad tidings of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" 2 Corinthians 4:4. That was what shone out in his preaching. He fully preached in the East, and was ready to come on to the West.

The Levitical energy that marks him in this chapter is most stimulating, and so you see the power in this word of his: "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that ye should abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" Romans 15:13. Well, let this mark us, dear brethren. It is a question of dependence on God, the God of hope; for as He has helped us during the past days, He can do more for us. He is not changed, He is the God of hope; He inspires hope, so that the thing is to go forth in hope; and then to be filled with "all joy and peace in believing" in the power of the Holy Spirit. May God grant it!

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THE HOLY SPIRIT IN HEBREWS

Hebrews 2:4; Hebrews 3:7; Hebrews 6:4 - 6; Hebrews 9:8; Hebrews 10:15 - 22

I have in mind to dwell on the Holy Spirit as presented to us in this epistle. I have no doubt that the manner of His presentation in each book of Scripture is distinctive, and that it opens up a wide subject for us; our understanding of each book would be greatly enhanced were we to lay hold of the setting of the Spirit therein. And so I would venture to look at this epistle from that point of view; for whilst the Holy Spirit, as we learn from the Lord's own word, does not speak of Himself, that is, as from Himself, He does speak of Himself as an object. He should be that in our minds, for it is a marvellous fact that the Holy Spirit of God, one of the divine Persons to whose name we are baptised, is still here. Indeed, He is the continual attestation to the divine gift here. The apostle says to the Corinthians, "Thanks be to God for his unspeakable free gift" (2 Corinthians 9:15, New Trans.). It was not something unknown nor merely historical; it was a living presence, and is livingly present. The fact that the "gift" in that particular passage is not specified, presents it in greater evidence and fulness as appealing to the intelligence and experience and consciousness of the saints of God. It is a divine Person here, a marvellous fact, the fulness of divine giving; and the more we so regard it, the more we shall be affected, and brought into accord with God.

Now that is the setting of the passage in 2 Corinthians. It is a question of giving. "He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever". 2 Corinthians 9:9. We are thus in the very midst of the unspeakable free-giving of God. The gift of the Spirit and all that it involves is of a piece with the gift of the Son; the Spirit of God continuing here maintains the sense of divine presence.

The epistle to the Hebrews has remarkable correspondence

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with our own times; it deals with apostasy. It indicates the divine way of meeting apostasy, and delivering the people of God from its current. As it was then, so now, the current is definite and strong. Young ones particularly are little aware of the strength of it, and how enormously it has been accentuated during the past quarter of a century; and hence the importance of understanding how God would fortify us against it, so that if we are caught by it, as some, alas, are, we may be delivered from it! The divine way necessarily hinges on the presence of the Holy Spirit here. The writer speaks of God bearing witness with the early servants "both by signs and wonders, and various acts of power, and distributions of the Holy Spirit, according to his will" (Hebrews 2:4, New Trans.).

We are thus brought back at the very outset of the epistle to the pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost, and His subsequent activities and services; it was a marvellous intervention, far exceeding that of the heavenly multitude which came down when Jesus was born. The Holy Spirit had come, taking up His residence here. It was not a passing thing. It was not a visit. It is said that He sat upon each of them; upon each of those assembled; which word usually denotes permanency as to position with something in view, however short or long the period. He came in definitely and resolutely to take up His residence in the assembly, the one hundred and twenty at Jerusalem being the work of Christ Himself. No one afterwards received the Holy Spirit as they did. The great initial idea of His coming and presence and continuance here is indicated in Acts 2. He sat upon each of them, and in the form of cloven tongues as of fire. That is, He was here to speak, and to speak universally; and with means of dealing effectively with all obstruction, for there appeared cloven tongues as of fire. There were thus the distributions of the Holy Spirit according to God's will (Hebrews 2:4).

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I think christians should begin with the great fact in their souls of what God has done, of what He did at Pentecost, and what He has done in a lesser degree since, even in our own time. There has been a great revival; not such as we have been speaking of this afternoon as seen in the work of Saul (1 Samuel 15). That was an incomplete work; it was not finished; it was like Sardis, of whom the Lord says, "I have not found thy works complete before my God" (Revelation 3:2). They may appear to be complete. Saul's victory over the Amalekites seemed to be complete, and he would persuade even Samuel that it was so, but it was not so before God. There had been disregard of the divine command in selfishly sparing what should have been utterly destroyed. And so, as at Sardis, which historically preceded our time, and which is still all around us, the works are not complete before God. Take all the great religious movements since the Reformation. In no instance do you find completion until you come to the true revival; not indeed what christendom regards as a revival, but what the Spirit would give us to understand as a revival, that is, in the recognition of Christ in heaven, and the Holy Spirit here; and, as a consequence, His presence for the maintenance of the assembly. That is completeness!

A believer begins with himself as regards the assembly; he is of it. As soon as I apprehend Christ in heaven and the Holy Spirit here, and what the assembly is, I begin to see that I am a Peter, so to speak, I belong to it; and then I begin to move. Then as to service, the Lord says, "Go, for I will send thee" Acts 22:21, and that is the important thing, especially for young people. I begin with it and move in it, and I hold myself in regard of it. So that you see what we come to in the wonderful sovereign mercy of God is genuine recovery, corresponding with what was at the beginning; and especially in the distributions of the Holy Spirit of God "according to his will" Hebrews 2:4. And that shuts out at once all human

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innovation in regard to the church of God. It is all a question of His own will. God's will must enter into everything as regards the distributions of the Holy Spirit. It is said as regards gifts that God has set them in the assembly. It is also said that "there are distinctions of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are distinctions of services, and the same Lord; and there are distinctions of operations, but the same God who operates all things in all" (1 Corinthians 12:4 - 6).

Thus you see how we are set in this connection; the Holy Spirit operating in gifts, in distributions, the Lord operating in services, God operating all things in all, as over all. We are in God's world, and man and his world are shut out. However small the limits to which it may be reduced, these great facts apply. So, as regards the distributions of the Spirit; they are not something merely abstract or theoretic, they are existent and actively, livingly present; and that is the first great thing to recognise as to the Spirit, these widespread distributions. Whatever they are, they are for the saints, for every one of them, old and young; and our salvation in the testimony depends on our recognising this, that all is on the principle of God's unspeakable free giving.

Following the distributions of the Holy Spirit according to God's will, the next thing is the partaking of It. Chapter 6 contemplates partaking of the Holy Spirit and the possibility of one having done so falling away (verse 6). In speaking of the Holy Spirit's presence here, and of partaking in It, it is well to hear in mind that it involves the system of grace which God has inaugurated; and that is what is implied in the figure of a well in the Old Testament. It is not only the Person of the Holy Spirit, and His availability, but the system of grace that has been established in His power here. In this book He is called "the Spirit of grace" (Hebrews 10:29), a significant term! "The Spirit of grace" involves the system of it, making what is of God dominant for good.

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Grace effects good in spite of evil. Hence I take Hagar in Genesis as a type of one who partook of the system, who had part in it, but fell away. She had part in the household of faith, and was treated accordingly. It is with her that the idea of a well is first introduced in scripture; and then with herself and her son. In the second instance (Genesis 21) she is an outcast, and he is an outcast, the "bondwoman and her son" Galatians 4:30, but grace pursues them. She was rightly an outcast from the house of faith, for her son was a mocker of Christ, but grace, as I said, pursues them. This epistle develops that thought; for it is the continuance of the overtures of God to His earthly people.

I refer to Hagar in a simple and practical way, as indicating how one may be a participator in the Spirit of grace in this sense, and fall away, and "fail", as it says, "of the grace of God" Hebrews 12:15. So in Genesis 21 she has her eyes opened. She cast the boy under a shrub to die, and a voice came to her from heaven -- that is the principle of this epistle -- the second overture to Hagar was from heaven. Then God opens her eyes, and she sees the well, and she filled the flask with water and gave to the lad, and he drank of it. She availed herself of it, but she did not continue in it. Abraham in this same chapter went on in it and contended for it. He rebuked the Philistines because of a well they had violently taken away. He valued it. The seven ewe lambs were to be a witness that he had dug the well. But Hagar did not go on in it. It says she took a wife for her son out of Egypt. I speak of this so that you may see how easily after coming to Christ one may turn aside and form links with the world. Ishmael became an "archer", and scripture says of Joseph that "the archers shot at him" (Genesis 49:23). As links in the world are formed the course then is rapidly down.

Simon Magus (Acts 8) would give money to receive the Holy Spirit, that he might be a great one, and Peter says to him, "Thou hast neither part nor lot in this

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matter" Acts 8:21. It is a terrible thing to have neither part nor lot in this matter, but here in Hebrews it speaks of those who had had part and who fell away. Such were not born of God; they had part in an outward way in the Spirit.

Over against this we have the Holy Spirit speaking. First in Hebrews 3:7,8, "Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts". In this chapter He is speaking about our hearts, and how susceptible they are to hardening, but in chapter 10 He is speaking clearly about the heart of God, that never hardens towards His people! Moreover He intimates, as He speaks about the heart of God, that God takes away the stony heart from us. How blessed to retire into the knowledge of God in His faithfulness! He takes away the stony heart and gives a heart of flesh. The thought of the covenant tends to make the heart soft and tender; and then He says, "I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them" Hebrews 8:10. The covenant implies that God in His faithfulness takes possession of the heart and mind so as to secure us wholly for Himself. He leaves not a stone unturned to reach the hearts of His people. We are to keep them with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23). The Holy Spirit sheds abroad in our hearts the love of God, so that God should rule and dwell there.

Chapters 8 and 10 speak about the covenant; and what I would point out is that what the Spirit says to us here is from the Old Testament; He gives it a present voice. Many belittle the Old Testament; scarcely a greater error could be made than to disparage or neglect the Old Testament. "Every scripture is divinely inspired, and profitable for teaching" (2 Timothy 3:16). So that you see the Holy Spirit makes these two passages speak now. He is a witness, "as says the Holy Spirit" (not "said"). Psalm 95 is thus written directly to us, for He quotes that psalm in chapter 3. He brings it to bear upon me, lest I should harden my heart; and in chapters 8 and 10 He brings Jeremiah to bear upon me, to witness to us of the covenant of God. Thus you

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see what the testimony of the Spirit is, what He is to us, even without going on to the full christian state, which this epistle hardly gives you, for that you would go to Colossians or Ephesians. The Holy Spirit is speaking directly to us in the language of the Old Testament as a witness. How important, therefore, to read the Old Testament!

And then as regards "the holiest" in Hebrews 9, we read that the Holy Spirit shows, for the word in verse 8 is "showing" or "signifying", that is to say, it is a question of typical instruction. The prophets are one witness, and the types are another, showing the importance of typical teaching. "The Holy Spirit showing this, that the way of the holy of holies has not yet been made manifest while as yet the first tabernacle has its standing". Hebrews 9:8. How needful, therefore, to read the types, for in them the Holy Spirit would show us things! We have not only what He says but what He shows. In Hebrews 10 He speaks, and brings in the covenant through Jeremiah. He speaks from Jeremiah, using his very words. He is speaking now, and all is in view of our entering "the holiest". For if the heart of God is so brought to us in these precious terms, in the thought of forgiveness, we are perfected by the one offering for ever (Hebrews 10:14) -- we have encouragement to draw near to God. He says, as it were, I wish you to be so perfectly free that you can draw near to Me. Is it not touching, dear brethren? He is in the tabernacle, so to speak, and He would call us to Him. In Leviticus God called out of the tabernacle. The way into the holiest is open to us; "Having therefore, brethren, boldness for entering into the holy of holies by the blood of Jesus, the new and living way which he has dedicated for us, through the veil, that is, his flesh" (Hebrews 10:19, 20). It is Jesus become Man here, and that involved His death. There is no other way than the death of Jesus; there is no way in for the natural man. It involves, too, the gift of the Spirit, for it is a living way.

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And then "having a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, sprinkled as to our hearts from a wicked conscience, and washed as to our body with pure water" (Hebrews 10:22). That is the way out of this world of apostasy. Inside the veil, outside the camp. How can we be outside the camp save as we go in sustained by the great Priest!

What a group of facts we have here! The blood of Jesus, the new and living way through the veil, which is His flesh, and the great Priest over the house of God. All these things are grouped together so that a way is made for us into the holiest. It is "heaven itself" that is opened up to us in Hebrews; it has been called 'the book of the opened heavens'. It has special application to us today. Heaven is the outlet from what is going on around us! May God bless His word!

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THE HOLY SPIRIT IN FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER

1 Peter 1:1,2, 10 - 12; 1 Peter 3:18 - 20; 1 Peter 4:14

My subject, dear brethren, is the Spirit of God and of Christ, in this epistle of Peter. The understanding of the place He has in each book and epistle helps greatly in understanding the mind of God in it; and whilst references in Peter are not numerous, being covered practically by the passages read, they are very significant, especially as bearing on the government of God, as Peter's ministry does. In his epistle he directs our minds back to antediluvian times, and onward to the new heavens and the new earth in which righteousness dwells. I hope to show that the references to the Spirit enter into all this instruction; so that we may see that the testimony of God is one whole, and so also the government of God.

I would stress the latter a little, because we are all subjects of it, but not always intelligently so, and thus much disappointment and discouragement enter into our experience. These would be eliminated were we more intelligent as to the government of God with us; for His government, like all else, is the outcome of what He is. Everything related to God proceeds from God, and God is love, so that His government is quite compatible with His nature. But the knowledge of the Spirit, as presented in these scriptures, enables us to link it up, whether it be in the entire extent of God's universal dealings or within the compass respectively of our own small histories. The knowledge of the Spirit and His part, enables us to understand, and to hear, and to profit, by what would otherwise appear to be against us. Jacob, as you will remember, thought that things were against him which in reality were for him, as intended to work out love in him. He, with certain other servants of whom we have life-sized pictures,

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serves to illustrate what we are naturally, and how love is worked out in us, in spite of this. Nothing can be more comforting than that God works out love in us, in spite of what we are, that He does not give us up as incorrigible, but keeps on in His patience and works out His design.

So Peter refers in the opening of his address to the "sojourners of the dispersion" 1 Peter 1:1. Why should they be dispersed? Why should they be where naturally they would not wish to be? Why should they not be in the land of promise? So it is, that in the government of God, we find ourselves in positions or circumstances contrary to our natural wishes. Perhaps there is not one in this audience who cannot attest to the reality of this. We have to learn from the outset that the government of God will not promote us in our natural thoughts and wishes and aspirations; it invariably cuts athwart these. So here the address is to the "sojourners of the dispersion". Dispersed where? Abroad among the nations. The land is not mentioned at all. Has then the love of God failed? Have the promises of God failed? Do my circumstances, which seem to be wholly different from my youthful aspirations, or my fondest desires, prove that love in God has failed? By no means! The Spirit of God addresses us in our present circumstances, whatever they may be. If they be such as we have worked ourselves into, by natural effort and manipulation, then the voice of the Spirit would be to leave them for they are not such as love would have me in; but if they be such as naturally I would recoil from, and as to which I have had no option, then evidently, the will of God has placed me in them, and I am safe, and God addresses me as "elect". Can I be safer, than as addressed as "elect ... of God the Father" 1 Peter 1:2, although in circumstances which seem to be contrary to God, and to His love and a Father's best care? The fact is, that these circumstances which apparently are contrary and irksome, are the evidence of God's love and of His

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election, they are the best possible for me now, in view of what I shall be.

Then as "elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father" 1 Peter 1:2, it is not a matter of light merely, precious as is the light of the mind and election of God, and we should be well grounded in the thought of election, but light does not make it consciously certain. Our calling and election, according to Peter, are made sure by certain additions. "Add to your faith virtue" 2 Peter 1:5 and so on -- knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly love, love -- these things being in us and abounding, we shall never fail; we shall make our calling and election sure, and so an abundant entrance shall be ministered unto us into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

So here (verse 2), as is usual with Peter, he does not rest in light simply, but in substance. If I am called, foreknown, and elect of God the Father, it is by "sanctification of the Spirit" 1 Peter 1:2. That is the first thought. If we take the ground, as we should, in the government of God, as being foreknown and elect in Christ, it should not be merely because of light, but because of something tangible. The Holy Spirit is here to make things tangible. Faith indeed is said to be that; it is the "substantiating of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). But without the Spirit, things can never be permanently real, and what God is forming is substance in His people. Then election is "by sanctification of the Spirit" 1 Peter 1:2. That is how Peter puts it. And so in his second epistle, if it be a question of what relates to godliness, "his divine power has given to us all things which relate to life and godliness"; and if He calls us, it is "by glory and virtue" 2 Peter 1:3, and then he goes on to the "exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world" 2 Peter 1:4.

We see thus, that Peter in opening up to us the certainty of divine life deals in substance, in realities --

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for these stand by us, if our calling and election are to be made sure to ourselves. And surely that is the point. It is a question of what is sure to us, not simply as a matter of light, but by these substantial things. So here, it is first by sanctification of the Spirit, and what for? "Unto the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" 1 Peter 1:2. You see how practical all this is; that the Lord Jesus entered into the sphere of divine government; He, who was ever in the position of command, took up the position of obedience, the position in which the government of God applied and in which the most perfect obedience was displayed in a Man, going on to the sprinkling of His blood, going on to death. That is to say, the Jewish christians are taken out of the realm of types and shadows -- "the blood of bulls and of goats and the ashes of an heifer" Hebrews 9:13 -- and brought into the realm of the obedience of Jesus, and the sprinkling of His blood, and that as the outcome, mark you, of the sanctification of the Spirit. It is not simply that I have the Spirit. Peter, in his early ministry, made it plain that all who obeyed Christ, got the Spirit (Acts 5:32), but now he is speaking, not of obtaining the Spirit, but of being sanctified by it, to this supreme thought of God, the obedience of Jesus. God has that standard before Him, and the Holy Spirit is operating in the believer so that he might be sanctified "unto the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" 1 Peter 1:2.

Now, this is a most important matter, dear brethren. God has given us light (we can praise Him for it) but what He is looking for is substance in answer to it. Wisdom causes those who love her to inherit substance, but it is by the Spirit. What, in this sense, is substantial is by the Spirit, not simply by light. Light goes a long way and causes joy, as we see with Miriam and the women of Israel (Exodus 15). They represent the subjective effect in the believer of light. Miriam dies, according to the record of Numbers 20, and in Numbers 21 the Spirit typically appears as the means of permanent

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refreshment and support. Miriam's refrain was very little; it was but the first two lines of the song of Moses and the children of Israel, but it was something. But she dies, and what follows upon that is the recognition typically of the Spirit of God by Israel: "Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it" Numbers 21:17. The well was dug "by the direction of the lawgiver" Numbers 21:18. That is to say, it is a question of obedience. The princes digged the well -- those who knew the value of the Spirit. As soon as I begin to recognise the Spirit in this way, the sanctification begins to take place unto the obedience of Jesus. That is what goes into the land; it is the result of the sanctification of the Spirit. This is a practical word for the young people, because it is not only that I have the Spirit, but I am sanctified. Much might be said about sanctification, but I confine myself to this: that the Spirit taking hold of the believer inwardly, in his intelligence and affections, separates him from the world and attaches him to Christ.

The next thing, in the order of the scriptures read, is the "Spirit of Christ", and the Spirit of Christ, not as given at the present time, but as in the prophets. As I have already remarked, I wish to show how the Spirit links us up, in this ministry of Peter, with the past and with the future. Take for instance, "For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead" (1 Peter 4:6). Why was it preached to the dead? It was not surely as dead in their graves, but when they were here in responsibility -- for that is a feature of Peter's ministry; he shows that the preaching of Christ extended back, even to antediluvian times. Whoever the persons used in the testimony it was no less than the Spirit of Christ -- even Christ Himself, according to 1 Peter 3:19. The gospel preached to those that are now dead was "that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit" 1 Peter 4:6. God is a Spirit, and the gospel is preached that men might live in the Spirit. The millennial day will be marked

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by men living for a thousand years, or more, in flesh and blood; but that is a provisional state of things, to show what God can do, and that Satan is defeated at every point, that God can keep men alive in the flesh even in this world where death reigned once. But what He is concerned with, is a race of men who live in the Spirit. That is why the gospel was preached to them. They will be judged if they refused it; they will stand before the great white throne, but God's thought was that they should "live ... in the spirit" 1 Peter 4:6, and it is His thought now. So that, you see, the Holy Spirit is the link right through from the beginning to the end of God's testimony, and therefore this salvation that we have, was looked on to by men who had the Spirit of Christ. They thought over it; they enquired into it: "Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow" 1 Peter 1:11. And what did they learn? "To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves but to you they ministered those things, which have now been announced to you by those who have declared to you the glad tidings by the Holy Spirit, sent from heaven" (1 Peter 1:12).

Now we have the Holy Spirit "sent from heaven", but the preaching went on before, and when we come to chapter 3, we find that Christ, in Spirit, went back even before the deluge. I want to impress upon you, that as we are brought into the realm of divine government, we are linked up vitally, with the whole scheme of divine testimony; that the Spirit that we have, is the Spirit that operated before the deluge and after the deluge -- that operates now, and will operate, so that we might make room for Him; and that we might not only be in the realm of God's government, but the realm of His love, and the realm of the Spirit. See how love enters into all these operations from the very outset, and that in all God's operations

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it is a question of the Spirit of Christ, as that in which He has pleasure.

So in chapter 3 you see that the Lord Jesus suffered in the flesh for our sins. We should not suffer for sins; there is no need for that. "Christ also hath once suffered for sins ... being put to death in the flesh" (1 Peter 3:18). Why therefore should I suffer for sins? We cannot be too much imbued with the thought of Christ's humanity. How real it was! He was "put to death in the flesh", but then it adds that He was "quickened by the Spirit" 1 Peter 3:18. This is the principle of the new order of things, the new life in Christ. And then the apostle links up all this with the past: "In which also going he preached to the saints which are in prison", 1 Peter 3:19. But when? "When the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was preparing" 1 Peter 3:20. What a period of long-suffering. Note that it was the Lord Himself who went and preached through Noah.

Oh! beloved brethren, as in the sphere of divine government it behoves us to be long-suffering. The government of God extends universally today, but it is to make way for the testimony. We must be with God about this; it is the time of long-suffering; it is the time of divine waiting upon men, and it is for us to enter into the long-suffering, and the waiting, which marks the testimony.

It was a wonderful testimony. "My Spirit", says Jehovah, "shall not always strive with man ... yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years". Genesis 6:3. Can we doubt that in every one of those days there was a testimony by the Spirit of Christ to a disobedient people? Noah was the preacher, directly or mediately, and it is very touching that in his second epistle Peter says that God spared Noah, one of eight, a "preacher of righteousness" (2 Peter 2:5), He was pleased with him. It was a question of a preacher of righteousness, there were seven others, but he is just one of the eight; he is the one that is preserved; the others do not come in for

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special notice; that is the idea. But let us mark, it was not merely preaching gospel sermons, it was the Spirit of Christ. That is the thought in preaching. The Spirit of Christ preaching, and perhaps no converts! There were none then, as far as we know, but the preaching went on as the ark was preparing. That is what marks these difficult days of ours into which the government of God enters. The Spirit of Christ continues on in patience, in the time of waiting; it is the long-suffering of God, whilst He is waiting upon men.

Well, these are important matters, the sanctification, and the Spirit of Christ in the testimony and in the preaching. As the Lord says, it is "for a testimony unto them" Mark 13:9. That is important with God. It is not merely the terms of the gospel, but the Spirit of Christ in it. How the prophets of old looked into these things. And the angels desire to look into them. May God arouse us to look more into the gospel! The current testimony and instruction are for us, upon whom as Paul says, "the ends of the ages are come" 1 Corinthians 10:11. All the education of the ages, is for the assembly, so that we might be fitted for the great service or function that is in the future for us, as "coming down out of the heaven from God, having the glory of God" (Revelation 21:10).

There is a further thing in 1 Peter 1:12, and that is "the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven"; not now presented as the Spirit of Christ, but formally, as a divine Person here. Think of the magnitude of the preaching, of "the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven"! 1 Peter 1:12. And what a word for every one standing up to preach the gospel -- whether he does so by "the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven"! The principle of being "sent" enters into the preaching. "How shall they preach except they be sent?" (Romans 10:15). All this enters into the action of the Spirit in the preaching. As Peter stood upon the day of Pentecost, it was with the eleven,

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not with the hundred and twenty. It is a question of the Spirit "sent down", and of those who are sent ones. Peter was "sent", and the Holy Spirit operated in him, He Himself being "sent down". We can understand, therefore, the position the gospel is in. Paul says, "Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" (1 Corinthians 9:16). The Holy Spirit operates in those who are divinely fitted to preach, those who have gift. So the gospel is imperative; it must be preached.

Well now, the final thing is in 1 Peter 4:14, where it is a question of suffering. It says, "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you". It is reproach for the name of Christ. Is there any professed believer here who has never come into reproach -- reproach for the name? You will all remember the well-known passage in Hebrews where we read that Moses esteemed "the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt" (Hebrews 11:26). I believe that thought is implied in the word "Hebrew" in the early part of Exodus. In Egypt, that word implied reproach, and that is what Moses accepted; he identified himself with "an Hebrew, one of his brethren" Exodus 2:11; he esteemed the reproach of Christ. Did "the Spirit of glory and of God" rest upon Moses? I think so, especially as he came back from Midian complete in identification with the Hebrews.. It was the reproach of Christ, and how the Holy Spirit loves to magnify Moses. "The man Moses", we are told, "was very great in the land of Egypt" (Exodus 11:3). God saw to that. We may put it down as a certainty, that where we are reproached, we shall be honoured of God; and what can be greater honour than that the "Spirit of glory and of God" should rest upon us?

Now, note the words "rests upon". It is akin to the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus. Luke tells us that "the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form as a dove upon him" Luke 3:22. I suppose there is nothing more sensitive in the whole universe than the Holy Spirit. We are

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enjoined not to grieve Him; He is very sensitive: and I believe the dove being mentioned means that the Spirit could come upon Jesus, and rest there, without any disturbance whatever. That is a challenge to one's heart, as to whether the Holy Spirit can rest upon us and abide there. Well, He comes in where we are reproached for the name of Christ. Where we accept that, the "Spirit of glory and of God" rests upon us. What a dignity that is! I know well enough how young people shrink from reproach, for it is hard to bear, but then that is the thing to face. In the book of Numbers we are all enrolled typically as military persons; not necessarily trained, but eligible for military service. The age of twenty is the age for military service in Numbers. It means that every person who believes in Jesus, and who has the Spirit of God, is enrolled for military service, and in all probability the first military action he will be called upon to endure, is the reproach for the name of Christ; the enemy will attack you on this line.

In due course we become trained military men, when we understand the captain of Jehovah's host, but that is not the book of Numbers; it is the book of Joshua. The book of Numbers, coincides with Romans, in that respect. Romans contemplates the young militarily, and so you do not get the "whole armour of God" Ephesians 6:13 in Romans, but the "armour of light" Romans 13:12. You arm yourself with light in Romans and that is armour for the wilderness. It is a question of light, that is to say, you know where you are, and why you are there, and what is involved in your being there. Therefore, Romans says, "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9). The confession with the mouth, of Jesus as Lord, and the belief in the heart that God raised Him, means salvation. It is not justification there although it is implied. Justification is chapters 3, 4, and 5, but salvation is chapter 10, and salvation involves what is

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military; that I have come under the authority of the Lord. He has undertaken to defend me, but I am attacking; I am in the ranks; I confess Him, and the enemy brings the effect of that to bear upon me. My schoolmate, it may be, or my fellow-workman or my employer, or my companion -- they are ashamed to walk or to be with me, because of "the name of Christ". Well, heaven looks down with extreme interest. The enemy would suggest to you not to take your place in confessing that Name; not to say anything about it; to keep it to yourself; that this is not the place for it. These, and others like them, are the remarks heard from the opposers. Well, the "Spirit of glory and of God" will rest upon you as you overcome such reasoning, as you manfully take your stand as a soldier, and confess the Name with all that is involved in it. Noah's dove did not find any rest for the sole of her foot in the deluge, but on the believer that confesses the name of Christ, and suffers for it, the "Spirit of glory and of God" rests.

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THE HOLY SPIRIT IN FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN

1 John 2:20,27; 1 John 3:24 (latter clause); 1 John 4:2,13; 1 John 5:6,8

The mention of the Spirit of God in the various books of the New Testament is a subject well worthy of enquiry; and I have selected this epistle believing that the Lord will graciously help, first, as regards the teaching of the Spirit. The idea of teaching is, I need not say, very extensive in the scriptures. As in nature, so in a spiritual sense; as born again we have to learn everything; and so we have many teachers. Even nature is accredited with teaching; and then God Himself teaches. Scripture speaks of Him teaching a "ploughman" (Isaiah 28:26) -- showing how the idea enters into man's circumstances, for God as forming the creation, has not left it to work its own salvation; it is not something thrown out to evolve itself at its own expense -- God is in it. We are told that in Him we all live and move, showing how near He is to us, even as Creator, entering into man's circumstances, for man is His prime object in creation, and teaching him as I said, even how to plough and how to sow his seed. In a numberless variety of ways God enters into His own creation, imparting intelligence to it.

But when we come to the spiritual realm, we have, so as to make the thing wimple, the teaching of grace in which all young believers particularly should school themselves; a teaching in which God is very gentle with us, allowing much contrariety and murmuring to pass unrebuked. There is also the teaching of the Lord which implies authority and a standard of education, in connection with which we get discipline; and there is the teaching of the Holy Spirit, with which we are now immediately concerned. The Holy Spirit is first mentioned in this epistle in connection with teaching, and it is in addressing the juniors in the graded school of God -- the little children. "I write to you little children"

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(1 John 2:13). Some of us who are older, are prone to look down with a measure of patronage on our younger brothers and sisters, but not so John, although he makes the fullest allowance for growth. Our younger brothers and sisters should accustom themselves to that, to the respect of grey hairs, but particularly of spiritual stature. Heaven will be graded that way; and it is so in the assembly, and in the families of God. It is sobering for the young ones to accustom themselves to the recognition of advanced growth in others. On the other hand, John connects the Holy Spirit with the little ones, and does not in the least convey to them that they are know-nothings, but rather that they "know all things" (1 John 2:20), and that makes a very great difference. It puts the young brothers and sisters on their feet, as soon as the Holy Spirit conveys to them that they know all things. But then this has to be understood; it is what I may call a potential statement, meaning that the Holy Spirit is in you, not simply as the earnest of the inheritance, a very precious feature, or as the seal of God that you belong to Him, but that He has dignified you -- in the way you read your Bible, in the way you attend the meetings, and in the way that you speak of the things of God. You do not speak of them as the most learned unconverted theologian does, but alongside of him you are dignified and he is despicable, unworthy of speaking of these things; in other words you are anointed; you have an unction, as it says, from the Holy One, and you know all things, at least in the principle of them. He knows nothing, nor can he know anything, he is unable on his present platform to know anything; he is attempting to know these things and to speak of them as a natural man, as a student with a trained mind, knowing the original languages, but he is utterly unfit to have to do with the things of God, "for what man", says the apostle Paul, "knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the

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Spirit of God" (1 Corinthians 2:11). These men may know the things of a man, but the things of God are only known by the Spirit of God. The youngest believer has the Spirit of God, even the Corinthians had, and we have the Spirit of God that "we might know the things that are freely given to us of God" 1 Corinthians 2:12. Thus the apostle John encourages young christians by putting this dignity upon them, and consequently he tells them that they do not need "any man" to teach them.

John is taking young believers (I am speaking to them particularly now) out of the range of men, for it is a question of men as such in this chapter, he tells them that antichrist is coming, and that there are many antichrists. They are legion in our time, never has there been a time, I believe, yielding more antichrists. Young people, going to schools and offices may be unaware of the influences that are being exerted abroad -- subtle influences in many respects -- to shut out Christ from their minds by bringing in man, and the sayings and teachings of man. So the first word here in regard to the Spirit is "ye have an unction from the Holy One" 1 John 2:20 -- not a degree, or degrees, according to man, but "an unction". A university degree gives a certain dignity to a man; the letters at the end of a name are intended to convey dignity and authority. Now, what we have here is that, only it is "an unction from the Holy One" 1 John 2:20; not that any christian would assume anything, but the point here is the dignity of the believer, even the youngest, as having the Holy Spirit; that the means of his learning and the character of his knowledge, are by the unction from the Holy One. Now that brings me down to what is very practical, and that is that all that is merely human, natural intellect and natural ability, is to be shut out from our mode of learning, and our mode of speaking one to another -- from our Bible readings, and above all from our ministry. The more the natural element has a place, the more degraded the teaching and the knowledge are; whereas where the anointing from the

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Holy One is owned all will take on a certain dignity, and corresponding superiority to anything that you could find in this world. A meeting of persons dignified in this way has its own distinction, which when put alongside a meeting of the most renowned theologians is noticeable at once. The unction from the Holy One puts a character on us that is inimitable; it places us far out of the range of man; there is power with it; there is something in it that man cannot deny. As was said of our Lord, "Never man spake like this man" John 7:46 -- there was something there that could not be denied; and that is what God is producing. So in verse 27 the apostle says, "These things have I written to you concerning those who lead you astray: and yourselves",1 John 2:26,27, that is to say, the apostle looks upon these dear "little children" not as shiftless, unprotected persons, but as "yourselves", -- those who have received an unction which abides in them.

Now let us take account of ourselves, not to be self-occupied, of course, but as comparing ourselves with what the world can offer, religious or otherwise. God has been doing great things for His people in our own times; it behaves us to bow in thanksgiving for what He has done. It is a day of small things, I admit, but it is nevertheless a day in which God's Spirit remains among us, and His covenant (Haggai 2:5); in which He says to us, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit" (Zechariah 4:6). And so the apostle would direct us in this sense to ourselves; it is a question of what God has done. And what is there outside? One would challenge anybody in the whole of christendom as to what there is; let them bring it forth. Now you will understand that I am not seeking for a moment that we should be self-occupied, but rather occupied with what God has done, so as to be grateful and humbled about it; for what He has done He will do -- and more, if we are dependent. Now what about "yourselves"? He says, "the unction which ye have received from

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him abides in you, and ye have not need that any one should teach you; but as the same unction teaches you as to all things, and is true and is not a lie, and even as it has taught you, ye shall abide in him" (1 John 2:27). Now you see the position as to "yourselves". In the gospel of Mark, when the Lord came down from the mountain with the three selected ones, the cloud having disappeared and the voice ceased, it was "Jesus only with themselves" Mark 9:8. They had seen the King in His glory, in His majesty, as Peter says; they had seen "the Son of man coming in his kingdom" Matthew 16:28; heaven was brought down to the mountain top for them, but all that had disappeared, and what an impression they must have had as they came down! It was "Jesus only with themselves" Mark 9:8, but the Jesus who was with them, had been the central object above, in the "excellent glory". That One who was the object of the Father there, and of all else, who had been transfigured before them, was now the humble Jesus with themselves. Did they need more? No, they did not need more; nor do we need more; for in speaking of the anointing I am speaking of Him. Christ in glory sent down the Spirit, that He might be upon us, that He might characterise us, that yourselves might be possessed with this, finding all outside but darkness and confusion. I would specially urge the young ones to look into this, into that which you have come into as believing on Christ. This epistle teaches us that what we have come into is already victorious, our faith which "has gotten the victory over the world" (1 John 5:4). And yourselves, our very selves, as I may say, through the grace of God, are brought into all this through the anointing, as he says, "which ye have received from him", and which "abides in you" 1 John 2:27.

Now you see we have come in this dignity of the Spirit into a certain fixedness; and that is the next thing I wish to speak of. I am not just speaking of fellowship, I am speaking of the word abide as used in

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this epistle; it refers to fixedness in certain relations. In this particular passage as having the unction, and as having been taught of Him, we find that all outside is not only confusion and darkness, but unnecessary; you do not need it. Of course I am not speaking of ordinary education for business, etc., I am speaking of what is spiritual; and this passage contemplates a certain fixedness, as being possessed of the unction which "is true and is not a lie" 1 John 2:27. There is not a shade of untruth in it. The fixedness of which I am now speaking is as true as that the earth abides in the sun. It is as intelligent by the Spirit, that the believer is in a certain fixedness in relation to God, and his righteousness in this respect is in remaining in that.

In 1 John 4:13, we learn how we know that we are in this fixedness: "Hereby we know that we abide in him, and he in us, that he has given to us of his Spirit". Now you see there is a sort of dual action in this principle. God has in His people, according to the teaching of this epistle, that in which He can abide. A marvellous thought! I commend it to the brethren. What God has in His people, viewed in the effect of His work, as seen in this epistle, is that in which He abides. I do not know in what way this could have appeared earlier. God had great delight in the creation; it was "very good" to Him. It was all the work of God, and He rested in a certain way in it; He was complacent in it. I can understand how God delighted in the work of His hands, having blessed it all, and how it was before His eyes as a restful scene. Indeed, the Holy Spirit commenting upon it hundreds of years afterwards, says, "on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed" (Exodus 31:17). But when we come to the incarnation we have something beyond that. God waited for thirty years before He announced His delight in Jesus. What can we say? He did it, and Jesus waited all those years for that announcement. It is as if God would indicate that if He announces His delight, it is because of moral

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worth. This is within the reach of all of us, for what value am I unless I have moral worth? And that is what came out in Jesus. Thirty years brought out the perfection in a Man in private life; known to Mary as to no one else, I suppose, outside of His Father, for she is the Lord's mother; known also to His brethren in some way, but poorly appreciated, but perfectly known and perfectly valued by His Father. So you see there is the idea of the Father resting in that One here; and He speaks both to Him and of Him. At His baptism the voice says, "Thou art my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased" (Mark 1:11), and at the transfiguration, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 17:5). There was an object on this earth in which God the Father could rest and abide. There was perfect fixedness, if I may reverently use that word of God, in a Man here. Every breath He breathed related to God. He was cast upon God from the very outset, as the scripture tells us; every word that He uttered, every movement of Christ related to God. Having come in as a Man in obedience, all was for the Father. Everything that He did was because He saw it in the Father. "The Son can do nothing of himself", He says, "save whatever he sees the Father doing: for whatever things he does, these things also the Son does in like manner" (John 5:19). How delightful to the Father! There was the affection, of course, which went back before the incarnation, for He loved Him before the foundation of the world, but I am speaking of moral worth, of that which came out in Him, of what God intended in man here; so that as the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form, it abode upon Him -- that is the idea. There was nothing there in that Man that would disturb the divine sensitiveness, for that, I apprehend, is the meaning of a dove in bodily form, so that God rested there. It was far beyond the rest He had in the Sabbath, although no doubt the Sabbath was a figure of the incarnation; He

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rested there and was refreshed; but what He had not hitherto found in man, He now found in infinite perfection; that is what we find here. So in 1 John 3:24 the apostle shows us how we may know we are in this fixedness: "Hereby we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he hath given to us". It is not now a question of words, but of the Spirit, that we are conscious of this blessed abiding in God, and God in us -- and what underlies it is moral worth.

You see, therefore, the function and service of the Spirit in this epistle, first in teaching, then in bringing about this conscious abiding in God and God in us. It indicates the divine thought as to us, that we are intelligent, outside the world, independent of it, and are now such objects to God that He is restful in us; that He abides in us and we in Him, and that we know this, in that He has given to us His Spirit. It is not a mere statement of scripture, but there is the consciousness, God abiding in us, and we in Him, by the Spirit which He has given to us.

Now chapter 4 also speaks of the Spirit as "the Spirit of God"; it is characteristic. We are told how we are to know the Spirit of God, and this is another matter, because this chapter is treating of spirits.

Many cults have sprung up and even the elect are exposed, so we are given a test in chapter 4, in which the name of God appears something like twenty-nine times. It is a question of God: "God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" 1 John 4:9,10. These great statements fit into this wonderful chapter, but I am speaking now of the spirits, and what is intended to expose to us the spirit of error, and how we are to know the Spirit of God (verse 2). It is not now a question of men or teachers as in chapter 2, it is a matter that may baffle the very oldest of us, that is to say, the operation of spirits abroad, how we are to discern

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the Spirit of God in the midst of all this spiritual activity. Agnosticism and blatant infidelity have not the place they once had; but they have been replaced by christian science, spiritism, and other like systems. There is the action of spirits all round us, but we are taught of God here, to know how to discern these spirits and to know how correspondingly to discern the Spirit of God. I cannot dwell upon it now, but the test is "every spirit which confesses Jesus Christ come in flesh is of God" (1 John 4:2). The Spirit of God, therefore, occupies us entirely and absolutely with that order of man. The spirit of error will deny that order of man, and will build up on the man that God has rejected and set aside for ever in the death of Christ. The Spirit of God confesses Jesus Christ come in flesh; it is His Person, of course -- a divine Person, but in flesh, that order and kind of man; and any teaching, any spiritual movement, that does not confess that, is not of God; it is the working of error, and the spirit of antichrist. In chapter 2 we have antichrists; here it is the spirit of antichrist, which is more subtle. We have to "discern" the antichrists who go out, but the spirit of antichrist is that which builds up man after the flesh, that is the test here. Anything that presents itself in the way of spiritual teaching, while building up man after the flesh, is not of God, but is the spirit of error.

In chapter 5 we come to the witness of the Spirit. It says, as you will observe, in this passage well known as to the letter of it, "it is the Spirit that bears witness" (verse 6). The Spirit is presented to us as a witness in relation to the things mentioned. "This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus the Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that bears witness, for the Spirit is the truth. For they that bear witness are three: the Spirit, and the water, and the blood" (1 John 5:6 - 8). The seventh verse should not be there, for there is no need of witness in heaven. Therefore we are in the presence of witness now, and a witness

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in relation to these two things in connection with which the Lord Jesus came. Observe that He came by water and by blood. It is not the incarnation exactly; it includes that, for that is how He came historically; but it is Christ come to die -- Christ come in relation to His death; for His coming would have no result or meaning for us did He not come in relation to the water and blood. The world being what it is, and we being what we are naturally, His coming in as a Man could only have made things worse had He not come to die. He came in connection with the water and the blood, as if He brought these two things; as if He came in with this provision of cleansing; and then it is added "it is the Spirit that bears witness, for the Spirit is the truth" 1 John 5:6.

Now, dear brethren, we are in the presence of the means of setting the saints in eternal life, for the epistle has this in view. The epistle contemplates a grand finish; that is, Jesus known in our souls as the true God and eternal life; we are thus kept from idolatry. We have the three standing witnesses before us. The first, not only for the judicial removal of our sins, but of ourselves; for self clings even to the most spiritual of us; it is the last thing we get rid of -- self -- some little thought lurking at the bottom of the heart that, after all, there is something good there, whereas there is not; and the water is the standing witness, in conjunction with the blood and the Spirit, that there is not. It is the water first, because we may be very ready to acknowledge our guilt, and yet retain something of self; and that something shuts us out effectively from the enjoyment of the spiritual blessing that God has in view, that is, eternal life in His Son; for in that, I have left behind for ever, myself, according to what I was in the flesh, as well as my sins. The water has reference to what I am; "bodies washed with pure water" Hebrews 10:22 refers to myself -- "Entering into the holy of holies by the blood of Jesus, the new and living way which he has dedicated for us through the veil, that is, his flesh"

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(Hebrews 10:20), and then (verse 22) "washed as to our body with pure water" -- that refers to myself; that is to say, all that I am morally, as a man in the flesh, is left behind effectively by this cleansing. The water is the divine provision for moral cleansing, including defilement contracted by contact with the world.

All this truth requires special attention in view of eternal life. The water and the blood are standing witnesses; they speak objectively, and if I reject the witness of God I make Him a liar. The Holy Spirit is an active witness; in Hebrews we read "Wherefore, even as says the Holy Spirit", that is in Hebrews 3:7; then in Hebrews 9:8, "The Holy Spirit shewing this", and in Hebrews 10:15, "The Holy Spirit also bears us witness". I want you to notice these three things. What the Holy Spirit says is actually a quotation from Psalm 95, and it is what He says. Who would despise the Old Testament? it is the very language that the Holy Spirit uses to speak to our hearts -- "Wherefore, even as says the Holy Spirit, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness" Hebrews 3:7,8. This was written hundreds of years before, but it is what He says; He is saying it now, using the language of the Old Testament to speak to us. Then in chapter 9 He alludes to the types. What the types mean is that the Holy Spirit shows us things. Who then can neglect the types? That is to say, the thing is shown as on a blackboard, to use a simple school figure. There is what He says, and there is what He shows; and the whole of the types are on that principle: The Holy Spirit this signifying, refers to Leviticus 16. Then in Hebrews 10:15, The Holy Spirit is a witness to us; and again it is by quoting the Old Testament (Jeremiah 31) -- all showing what a place the Old Testament has in the ministry of the Spirit among us. I am only bringing forward these passages to show the force of witness here; that the Holy Spirit is an active witness in regard of these two things, the water and the blood, and all to

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the end that we might be clear in our souls to enter on the blessing that God has for us, that is, eternal life. "And this is the witness, that God has given to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son". 1 John 5:11. May God help us to listen to this witness; it means a way opened up for us into the blessing of God.

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THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Revelation 1:10 - 11 (first sentence); Revelation 2:7 (first sentence); Revelation 14:13; Revelation 22:16 - 17 (first sentence)

I desire to speak about the Spirit of God. The subject is very extensive, for the Spirit of God is mentioned in the first chapter of the Bible, and in the last, and throughout all Scripture. It will be observed that He is alluded to in all the passages which I have read, and in at least six others in the Revelation: these six, however, are found in chapters 2 and 3, and are repetitions of verse 7 of chapter 2, and thus the four scriptures read convey the setting of the subject in this book.

The first scripture involves christianity. The book itself does not treat of christianity characteristically, nor does it treat of the church characteristically, although both christianity and the church are in view throughout. Nor does the book treat of the Holy Spirit in His normal functions: it treats of Him in relation to the book itself, which is a book of distance. It is sobering to accept the terms implying distance in this book, for they enable us, whatever our inward experiences and relations with God, to take our place in the public position becomingly. We have our part in it, and God values this, and the feelings that go with it. We are very barren in spiritual feelings, dear brethren, and God would lead to a deepening of these. I believe the acceptance of the public position, involving the judgment of God, and involving distance, would lead to deepened feelings. You find these exemplified in the writer of the book throughout; and I believe the intent is to bring us into becoming feelings, that we might sigh and cry, as they did of old, for the abominations that are practised. If we are at all with God we shall not be indifferent to these abominations. We shall feel with God about them, and these feelings will lead to prayers, and prayers

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will lead to divine intervention, so that in the midst of the conditions described there will be something for God in each locality -- for the idea of locality is another feature that the book would impress upon us. The book contains messages to the seven assemblies, and then the whole was sent to each; there would thus be universal intelligence, each assembly would know what were the conditions of all. Hence the book, whilst emphasising the locality, leads us out of undue occupation with that which is local into occupation with and concern for what is general. The book, therefore, has a very direct bearing upon us; but I want to speak about the Spirit, and perhaps the remarks I have made will help you to see more clearly what I have in mind.

The first mention of the Spirit in the Revelation indicates an outlet from all the harrowing conditions; and no one can really view them aright, or face them, unless as experiencing in some way this outlet. We may ignore the conditions; we may shut our eyes to them; but that is not an outlet from them: that is very objectionable and displeasing to God. On the other hand, we may become so taken up with them as to be damaged by them, affected and coloured by them. So the outlet is of immense importance. As availed of, it enables us to come into these conditions as from God, in a spiritual manner. We see all things clearly. It is an important matter, not only to see a thing, but to see it clearly. In the gospel of Mark we have the second touch of the Lord to the blind man, which enabled him to see "all things clearly" Mark 8:25. So that there is no despondency or discouragement, but deepened feelings and corresponding prayers. What our hands find to do we do with our might; we do not let our hands hang down; we see that there is possible result, that our labour is "not in vain in the Lord" 1 Corinthians 15:58; and so we move on with encouragement and with the approval of the Lord. The prophet John here speaks about the outlet: he says, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day" Revelation 1:10. He gives us also his geographical

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position, and why he was there; "for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ" Revelation 1:9 he was in the isle that was called Patmos. But although isolated in that way, he had an outlet into what was of God -- into the spiritual realm.

There are two great realms. One is the mediatorial realm, out of which, as I apprehend, we shall never go; being finite, we cannot get beyond that. Into it God has come in all that He is, and in such wise as to be known in all the blessedness of His nature, but yet in the mediatorial area. Corresponding with that area is the area of the Spirit -- the spiritual realm. The Spirit is here mediatorially, as Christ was, and in Him there is an outlet you see, not only from the physical limitations imposed upon us, as in John's case, but also from the limitations incurred by the failure of the assembly. It were utterly unintelligent to assume that there are no limitations accruing from the failure of the church. There are, but the Spirit is the outlet from all these things. This outlet is what the apostle calls here "in the Spirit" -- so that we may understand that that is available to us. It implies that there is at least a spiritual basis in us, but it is not within the range of the natural man: he understands not the things of the Spirit of God.

By way of illustration I would allude to the Acts, in which we get precedents and examples of things -- not exactly doctrines, although they are there, but examples in the things themselves being presented. You find such a precedent in Philip: one who set out very simply to serve the Lord, without having ostensibly any commission, except that he was a deacon. But he moved out to serve the Lord and the Lord blessed him. He affords a good lead for those of us who desire to preach: we go and do it, and it soon becomes evident whether we are effective in it. In connection with Philip, he was directed by an angel to go into the desert, but, as in the desert, he is directed by the Spirit. I speak of this so that we may see how we come into the outlet. The way

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in which he moved in obedience to the angel brought in the action of the Spirit. He is directed by the Spirit to join himself to the eunuch's chariot. One of the greatest things is an opportunity, and opportunities lost may never be regained: but an opportunity availed of may lead to others. It is a great thing to discern an opportunity, and to avail oneself of it. The opportunity was there in the eunuch in his chariot, reading the Scriptures. One of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to indicate to what we are to join ourselves. We should be very careful to what we join ourselves. I would not join myself to one reading a novel, one of the things this world produces as food for men; but a man reading the Scriptures is another thing. The Holy Spirit said: "join thyself to this chariot" Acts 8:29, and Philip was ready -- he ran and did it. And then he was equal to the service, going the whole way, down into the water with the eunuch, Philip and the eunuch together -- a fine spectacle for heaven! Afterwards the passage says: "the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip" Acts 8:39. I am showing you how the outlet is reached. One comes to a point where the Holy Spirit can take charge, so to speak, and not only take charge, but He caught him away. We have the two thoughts -- we have not yet been caught up: we are looking for it. Being caught away is very like being caught up. But the Acts, indeed, prepares us for the great event ahead of us, for it gives us the spectacle of a man going up! Hence the going up will not be new to those who saw Jesus go up. There is nothing for faith in that which man can do in the air at the present time -- much as it is. The Lord will come and take us, and we shall go up: the experience of going up will be ours.

Then there is the idea of rapture, or catching away. The apostle in writing to the Thessalonians speaks about our being "caught up" 1 Thessalonians 4:17 -- the power is from above, it is not something inherent. That is what we speak of as 'the rapture', but that will not be new to Philip,

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and it is recorded, not as a mere matter of history, but so that the possibility of it may be impressed upon us. It is mentioned not as something very extraordinary, but in the simplest way, the Spirit of the Lord caught him away. He was sent by an angel from a most successful work, and he obeyed; now he has again completed a most successful piece of work, and has commended himself, so that the Holy Spirit takes complete charge of him.

The brethren may praise us in serving -- and they should, surely -- but it may go too far. It does go too far, and there is too much comparison with one another. It is unprofitable, as we read those "comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise" (2 Corinthians 10:12). We have to consider whether the Holy Spirit is pleased. We speak of the Lord being pleased, but the Holy Spirit is intimately acquainted with what is going on in our service. So here it was the action of God, of the Spirit of God. He was so intimately acquainted with what was going on in Philip's soul in his work and manner of service, that He raptured him, "the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip" Acts 8:39. He came back again to his ordinary conditions and preached as far as to Caesarea. He evidently knew where to stop, for Peter was to come in at Caesarea and open the door of grace to the gentiles. If Philip had been at all on natural lines, or elated with his success in service, he would have conveyed a false impression to the eunuch, and maybe have suggested to him to take him in the chariot with him: he might have become a very distinguished man in the kingdom of Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians. But the very idea of a king having a chaplain or a chapel is ruled out entirely in the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit says, as it were, 'I want this man', and the eunuch goes on his way -- he "saw him no more" Acts 8:39.

Now we may see how these spiritual movements provided the basis for the spread of the testimony at that time. Peter is at Joppa, in the house of one Simon

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a tanner, by the sea. These details are not for nothing -- his occupation and the position of his house are mentioned, for heaven is moving. No one can read the Acts without being struck with the way in which heaven dominates the situation. The word to Cornelius is that he is to send to Joppa for one called Simon, whose surname is Peter; you have the person designated from heaven, with a sort of dual condition: he is Simon -- his responsible name -- but his "surname is Peter" Acts 10:5. It is a question of bringing into evidence and activity the spiritual side of the man, and ignoring the natural, for Simon would be occupied with the Jewish features and prejudices of the moment, as indeed he was, for he says: "I have never eaten anything common or unclean". Acts 10:14. He was a good Jew, but what about the other side? What about this other thing that is named -- this Peter? Without Peter, the spiritual element in us, God can do nothing with us in His testimony. As professing to be in the testimony, the point is Peter. Now will Peter show itself, or will Simon predominate?

Well, the first thing you get is that he goes up to the housetop to pray at the sixth hour. That is not Simon -- that is a fine movement! There was a current moving out towards the gentile world, and the great vessel had already been secured -- though as yet in obscurity -- but a vessel, Paul. The current was moving, and what will Peter do? Will he move with it? The divine current is always moving. Let us be on our guard against ignoring currents, for a current is always moving while the Holy Spirit remains here. There could be nothing finer than the movement of Peter here in going up to the housetop to pray. And while they made ready a meal, an ecstasy comes upon Peter. Now, you see, the Peter element comes into evidence. An ecstasy does not belong to the natural man: it is a spiritual man that becomes in ecstasy. Peter is in touch with heaven, and heaven will instruct him. He has found the outlet -- outside of judaism, outside of everything on earth.

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It is not now a multitude of the heavenly host saying certain things, but it is something in the great sheet that conveys the mind of heaven. I would urge the cultivation of spirituality, so that we do not miss the mind of heaven for the moment. Heaven comes down -- the mind of heaven, and the voice explaining what was in the sheet. While Peter is pondering on these things, three men knock at the door. We may find these three men knocking for us, and we may not be ready to go, we may not be moving with the current. But heaven prepared Peter, and he was ready to go. The Holy Spirit says to him: "go with them, nothing doubting, because 1 have sent them" Acts 10:20. Peter is now in such a state that the Holy Spirit can speak directly to him. His mind was set at rest, and he went with them, imbued with the mind of heaven. He had an outlet, in the power of the Spirit, into heavenly things, and instead of going by commandment as a prejudiced Jew, he goes happily under the influence of the Spirit.

Now you see all this enters into this first scripture. "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day" Revelation 1:10; as though the state of John opened up to him all that the book contains. He heard a voice behind him saying: "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last". What an inspiration! that One is speaking to you who is "the first and the last". How stimulating! Then He says to him: "What thou seest write in a book, and send to the seven assemblies". Revelation 1:11.

The next references to the Spirit are the seven times He is mentioned in chapters 2 and 3, a word for every saint: "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches". Revelation 2:7. The Holy Spirit is alluded to in these chapters as speaking, not as having spoken. The chapters tell us what the Lord said, but they do not tell us what the Holy Spirit says. The Holy Spirit being here, a divine Person, is a great reservoir of divine things. We have little idea of the magnitude of the thought of a divine Person here. The Father would

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send Him, in the Lord's name, and He would tell them all things, and bring to their remembrance all that the Lord has said to them. That plainly indicates that all the thoughts and words of Jesus, and all the doings of Jesus are carried through: nothing has fallen to the ground. If none of the words of Samuel fell to the ground, you may be sure that none of the words of Jesus will. It is not that all the words of Jesus are written in the gospels. One of the most beautiful touches is that saying which is not recorded in the gospels, but in Acts 20:35: "It is more blessed to give than to receive". The Holy Spirit has all these things treasured up, and brings them out from time to time. Nothing of the secret history of the Lord in His relations with His Father is lost: His words, His prayers and then all His public ministry -- all is treasured up by the Spirit. How important, therefore, it is to listen to "what the Spirit saith unto the churches". And that implies the idea of localities. If I have an ear I would seek to hear what the Spirit says to the churches. You may ask me how it is that the Holy Spirit speaks? It is a very simple matter. The Holy Spirit is not incarnate, as Christ was. He is here in the church, and He employs members of the church. He has His own way. He makes His own selection, and He makes sure that His voice is heard. He is saying something: let no one assume that He is quiescent, or silent. It is therefore incumbent upon everyone with an "ear to hear" to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches. If I hear this, it gives me an understanding of the universal work of God.

Passing on from that, I would refer to chapter 14 by way of encouragement. "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth". Revelation 14:13. Dying in the Lord would link on with calling on the name of the Lord. Dying in Christ is not quite the same. Every true believer dies in Christ, for "the dead in Christ" 1 Thessalonians 4:16 includes all believers. But dying in the Lord alludes to my position in relation to the Lord, to His will, and to

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His testimony here. So you see that, as it is still the period in which believers are falling asleep, the great point is to die in the Lord; for the word is: "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth". Revelation 14:13. And then the Spirit adds: "Yea, ... that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them" Revelation 14:13. How encouraging for those who are workers -- and we should all be workers, surely! The Holy Spirit has intimate knowledge of everything done -- first-hand knowledge. Is that not a great incentive to toil, to labour? "Yea", says the Spirit, as though He were affected; as if His feelings entered into it. There is the love of the Spirit, as well as the fellowship of the Spirit, and how He takes note of the emotions of the hearts of the saints. "He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God" (Romans 8:27). He makes intercession for us "with groanings which cannot be uttered", and so you can understand how He takes account of the labours of the saints, in the Lord; how His feelings are brought into it as they "die in the Lord". The saints die with flags flying, with no lowering of the standard, for the principle is that you serve by the standard of your father's house; that is the local idea; that is never to be lowered; and you die in the Lord. It is the testimony, and the Holy Spirit is keenly in that: "Yea, saith the Spirit, ... and their works do follow them" Revelation 14:13, in rejoinder to the voice from heaven. Not one of these works will be missed out: they follow on.

The final reference is in the last chapter. We began with the outlet -- being "in the Spirit on the Lord's day" Revelation 1:10. The church is moving on with the Spirit. You get a view of the Spirit in the first chapter, and you never lose sight of it. It is the outlet from the whole scene -- a scene into which you have to return, but which you can take account of according to God. What could be greater than to be moving on now, under the

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leading of the Spirit, as Rebekah did. "Wilt thou go with this man?" Genesis 24:58. It is moving on with the Spirit. She says, "I will go" Genesis 24:58 -- she is resolved to go. If I learn what it is to be in the realm of the Spirit on the Lord's day, I get a view of the church according to the mind of God, and I will not let that go: it is that which will enable me to go on to the end. One would love to draw the young ones here into the current of these things. Then there is the power that carries you forward, in the camels of Isaac. What you find in Genesis 24 is that Isaac came from the way of the well Lahai-roi: he comes from going there. It is Christ in heaven, in relation to the Holy Spirit, and the great system of the Spirit. That is the thing that sustains the assembly. He came from there, and "he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming" Genesis 24:62 . She is coming home: it is the end. That is the position. The Lord is standing at the centre of things in relation to the church at the moment. Christ knows the full value of the well: it is the system of the Spirit. In the power of this we can go through to the end, and hence the Lord announces Himself. He says: "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star" Revelation 22:16. That is the announcement. The root of David is John's gospel, it is the Person of Christ; the offspring of David is Matthew's gospel. These expressions are perfectly intelligible to the Spirit and the bride. The bride understands, It is a very fine tribute to the work of the Holy Spirit, that He has the bride here in intelligence as to the Person of Christ. Normally, the church cherishes that. The Lord had said: "Whom say ye that I am?" Matthew 16:15 and Peter knew who the Lord was, and the church knows who He is. These two things put together in our souls keep us right as to the Person of Christ, and we want Him to come. The Spirit and the bride say "Come!"

One might say much about David, for he speaks of all

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that is best and most refined in Scripture. It is a question now of spiritual refinement: David refers to that, and music is the expression of it. It is he that elaborates the great subject of music, and carries it forward in the service of God. It runs through this book. The harp, a stringed instrument, is presented as used in heaven, and the singing is so select that only one family on earth can learn the song of the family singing above -- the 144,000 redeemed from the earth, who are with the Lamb (Revelation 14). Think of the refinement and ability of the family in heaven and of all that the Holy Spirit has accomplished! The church is completely in accord with Him in these instincts and desires, so that "the Spirit and the bride say, Come" Revelation 22:17.

That, dear brethren, is what one would seek to impress upon us: we are to move on with the Spirit in these circumstances so as to be ready for the announcement of the coming of the Lord, the announcement rather of His Person, which is greater than His coming, and the Spirit and the bride say, Come! We want that Person here.

May God bless the word to us.

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THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE TYPES

Genesis 21:14 - 34

J.T. I was thinking of the great place the Holy Spirit has in type in these early books, taking this chapter as illustrative of the subject in the idea of a well or a spring. We find the idea of a well or spring running through Genesis, Exodus and Numbers, and later, too; and I thought it would be helpful to look at it as typical not only of the Spirit, but of the system of grace in which the Spirit of God is dominant. It may be observed that the idea is connected with Hagar for the first time in Scripture, so that fact emphasises the thought of grace, in its being connected with such a person in chapter 16 and in this. But although emphasised in her history, she fails of the true gain of it, and in that there is a warning. Then in Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses we have faith availing itself of the divine provision; so that we should not lack of the grace of God, nor put the flesh in the place of the Spirit in our service and testimony, and our general experience. I thought this passage would help us on that line, for Abraham takes up the thread in his communications with Abimelech, and shows how he valued the well.

Ques. Would you mind opening up a little more your thought in relation to this being first introduced in connection with Hagar?

J.T. Well, it was typical of God's overtures to the Jew. In Luke, the Lord makes a point of the disciples not leaving Jerusalem until they received the Spirit; it was the Spirit of grace. The Jews did despite to the Spirit of grace in result, but God took the greatest pains to present that testimony to them. Hagar was, like many young persons, in self-will when the angel found her; it says he found her by a spring on the way

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to Shur. That is what comes out, as she is in self-will fleeing from her mistress, he found her there.

Ques. Do you think there is anything for us in the distinction between the bottle of water which she took and which ran out, and the well which was discovered to her?

J.T. Evidently there is a very great difference between a bottle of water, which is very limited, and a well; we can scarcely limit the well in a spiritual sense.

Ques. Is your thought that everything that God has available for His creatures here upon earth lies in the Spirit?

J.T. That is what I thought we might see, and that God emphasises His grace in connecting it with such a person as Hagar. It is not going to stop with her, but God emphasises His grace in beginning there.

Ques. With a person in bondage, would you say, but having in view her liberation?

J.T. The test was obedience. She was fleeing from her mistress, that was what marked her; but it says an angel found her by the spring; he found her by it. Where did the spring come from? Who provided it? That is the next question. Spiritually, it cost much that there should be such a thing as that. But there it was, and the angel found her by it, but before there could be any profit from the spring there must be subjection; so that he challenges her as to her position and why she was there. He says: "Hagar, Sarai's maidservant, whence comest thou? and whither art thou going?" (Genesis 16:8). That is the challenge. He was really raising the moral question with her, as the Lord did with the Samaritan woman. The well was there, but the moral question had to be raised and settled.

Rem. It says that God opened her eyes to see it (Genesis 21:19).

J.T. The thing has to be shown. God has to call attention to it, but it was there, and there for such an one as she. But the moral question had to be solved,

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and he raises that with her -- why she was there, and where she was going?

Ques. Is your thought that, as with the woman in John 4, the Lord raises the moral question here?

J.T. That is what specially corresponds. With the woman in John 4 it was a question of her past history; the Lord says: "Go, call thy husband, and come here" John 4:16; but with Hagar it is: "Whence comest thou? and whither art thou going?" Genesis 16:8. But he recognises her as the handmaid of Sarai -- she is known to him, but she has to tell -- these questions have to be answered.

Rem. Where there is a wrong moral principle actuating the soul, the resources of the Spirit are not available.

J.T. Quite, and that is what the angel would bring up -- whence one has come, and whither one is going? These are very plain questions.

It would appear that she happened to be near the well (Genesis 16), but it was very carefully arranged that the angel found her there. He could have found her before, because she had been fleeing, but he waited till she arrived at that spot.

Rem. Like the woman in John, she did not know the Lord was there, but God ordered that she should meet Him.

J.T. Quite so; what comes out in chapter 16 is the name of the well, that is, we have reached spiritually a historic position in the name of the well. It is more the objective side in the system of grace; it is a question of the revelation of God which Isaac afterwards recognises. It did not come in in his history, it came in in Hagar's history, but he valued it. He came from Beer-lahai-roi as Rebekah approached, showing that it is spiritually a point reached that stands and the church (Rebekah) approaches in that relation.

Ques. Do you think Hagar got to that position because she did not make excuses? She confessed herself as an insubject person and so got a revelation.

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J.T. Quite. Is it not wonderful grace that, though she is in that position, yet the revelation is made to her? She is in an insubordinate position, but God would magnify His grace. I think that is how it stands in Scripture, how grace has been magnified in God's overtures to the Jew.

Ques. Would you say as to every one of us who have come into blessing that that is the way we have come?

J.T. I think so; it is a question of coming into the light of God, that God sees you; as it reads, "she called the name of Jehovah who spoke to her, Thou art the God who reveals himself, for she said, Also here have I seen after he has revealed himself. Therefore the well was named Beer-lahai-roi" (Genesis 16:13, 14, New Trans.). And then we are told where it is, its geographical position, so that we have reached a definite point here. If she ultimately does not get the good of it, others will, but the magnitude of grace shines in that it is with such an one as this, that the idea is first connected.

Ques. Is that why the apostle in Galatians makes so much of the thought of grace?

J.T. Yes, I thought that. "He therefore who ministers to you the Spirit" (Galatians 3: 5, New Trans.), he says. That was the thing, it was the ministration of the Spirit. They were turning away from it. In this chapter Hagar is fleeing, but in chapter 21 she is an outcast, which makes it more emphatic that it is the magnitude of grace that God would bring before us. She first fled from the house of faith, and now she is an outcast from it with her son, and yet God is there by her.

Ques. Did Hagar name the well?

J.T. No, I do not think so. I think it is just that the well was named. It was by someone else, I judge, who valued it more than she. But she conveyed that, you see, in what she said: she got some gain. You might call it superficial, but she got some gain.

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Rem. She got the impression of having seen the living One who had revealed Himself to her there.

J.T. Quite. So that chapter 16 is more what we call objective. In chapter 21 she is an outcast from the house of faith, and yet God is there. It is said, "What aileth thee?" Genesis 21:17. It is a voice from heaven now: "God hath heard the voice of the lad, where he is" (Genesis 21:17), but she is to take him into her hand and hold him there; that is, accept, definitely, responsibility for him.

Ques. Would Isaac be presented to us as one who got more of the benefit of the position?

J.T. I think Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses are all witnesses to faith's appropriation of the system of grace. Each is found identified with the well. And so Abraham here is introduced at once in this connection. Hagar takes a flask and she fills it and gives drink to her son, but she goes into Egypt and takes a wife for him; that is to say, she negatives the whole thing, as many christians do; they avail themselves of grace, but they go to the world, and that is what God abhors. A flask filled once is a very limited use of a well. Rebekah supplied water to Abraham's servant and his camels until all had enough.

Rem. I wondered whether there was instinct with Hagar. She went into the wilderness, but she did not maintain the appreciation of the God that made Himself known to her in the wilderness?

J.T. No, I think she and her son -- particularly her son -- would be typical of the Jew in the last days, for God says, "I will make him a great nation" Genesis 21:18 and God was with him. But for the moment she took him a wife out of Egypt, and he dwells in the wilderness and becomes an archer. You would not expect much of him. Anyone who gets the good of the Spirit and goes into the world for a wife, will not be much in the testimony. The archer in Genesis attacks Joseph. I do not say that he did, but the archer in Genesis attacks Joseph. "The archers ... shot at him" (Genesis 49:23). I think

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there is a great warning therefore in the appropriation of grace with no corresponding effect, but a going into the world.

Ques. Does this show that the whole system of grace and all connected with it is in relation to the Spirit?

J.T. That is the idea. The Spirit dominates it, so that in contrast to Hagar, in the New Testament you have the woman of Sychar. She had the idea of grace; she got the Lord's thought in that she left her waterpot and went into the city, but she goes to the men and calls them out of it. "Come, see a man". John 4:29. "Come": that is the opposite effect. She did not go back into the world.

Rem. Then, if we fail in spiritual development, it is because we are not availing ourselves of what God has provided?

J.T. That is the thing. The means of development and growth are there. In fact it says here, the lad grew and God was with him. But the mother came in; she took him a wife out of Egypt, and that is the end of the record of her here.

Ques. Would that suggest natural relationships?

J.T. I think so, that one is capable of being so affected. Why should he not select his wife? Of course, we have the idea of a parent taking part in the procuring of a wife in Abraham and in Isaac. Isaac advised Jacob as to his wife, but Jacob went to get her. But there is nothing said about that here; it was the mother, that is, the Egyptian element was unjudged there in her, and he had never found his own footing. He had never been weaned, as it were; that is quite obvious. A man who allows his mother to get his wife has never been weaned. The mother would control the position, and that is not of God.

Ques. Would this go to show that the primary movement of the system of grace, according to this chapter, is the revelation of God; and what you referred to in John 4, the bringing in of the Father so that worshippers are secured?

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J.T. Exactly; so that in the case of the woman of Samaria, through her the Lord finds a place and abode there two days. That is the result of her testimony. It is something called out of the world that is the result of her testimony. Popular evangelisation never does that. I have no doubt that Hagar could tell a good deal to an Egyptian about Abraham and the wonderful relations he had with God, but she could not say to the Egyptian, "Come". She was not judging Egypt at all; she had taken an Egyptian for her son.

Rem, So that the testimony of grace goes out in the power of the Spirit, as seen in the end of Luke. They were to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high.

J.T. That is the important thing. They were to tarry in Jerusalem, and repentance and remission of sins were to be preached to all nations, beginning there. They were to begin there as clothed with heavenly power, that was the kind of thing. It was the magnitude of grace beginning there, and beginning in such a way -- in the power of the Spirit. But this action of Hagar, I believe, has a very powerful voice, for many take up grace and benefit by it up to a point, but as the time goes on the lad grows and God is even with him, but then the thing stops, for Egypt is brought in, and that is the end of the matter for that person. But it is not the end of the matter for God, because Abraham is immediately brought in in regard of a well; and then Isaac and then Jacob, and finally Joseph is a fruitful bough by a well. That is how the thing stands in Genesis. There is, I think, a very powerful voice in Hagar's action here.

Rem. Abraham has exactly the opposite exercises in regard to a wife for Isaac, and Sarai had died before that.

J.T. He made the servant sware in regard of family relations -- that the wife must be of the same family, and then Isaac charged Jacob on the same point.

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Ques. You were speaking of such great men as Abraham and Isaac -- one a man of faith and the other a man of resurrection -- choosing wives for their sons. There is much in that, is there not?

J.T. There is a great deal in it. As we have remarked, Hagar had no thought of a spiritual link between her son and his wife. But one great idea in marriage is that the thought of the sister must come first. "Have we not a right to take round a sister as wife?" (1 Corinthians 9:5). That is, the family link is there first, the spiritual link, and that is what Abraham and Isaac had in their minds; but Hagar did not have anything like that.

Rem. The issue of Hagar's act was that there was a generation that dwelt "opposite to Egypt, as one goes towards Assyria" (Genesis 25:18, New Trans.).

J.T. Yes, and really he was "a wild-ass of a man" (Genesis 16:12, New Trans.).

Rem. That is where the posterity of that man was found, but the posterity that came from the other marriages inhabited the mount of the Lord.

Ques. Is our danger leaving these thoughts to unconverted people and not getting the exercise of them in our own lives? We are a little apt to think of Ishmael as being entirely on the lines of a man after the flesh.

J.T. I suppose he would represent the flesh in any of us.

Rem. Galatians says: "he that sows to his own flesh, shall reap corruption from the flesh" (Galatians 6:8, New Trans.).

J.T. Quite. It was a company of Ishmaelites, apparently in conjunction with the Midianites, who purchased Joseph as a slave. There was evidently no spiritual compassion whatever with them. We read of "the anguish of his soul", his tender feelings, of which any compassionate person would take notice, but the slave-monger took no account of that. That is the sort

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of thing that you get from an alliance like this -- persons appropriating grace and allying themselves with the world.

Rem. It brings in the commercial spirit, which is destructive of the unity of the brethren.

J.T. Exactly; and I have no doubt that with the archer the link is there. "The archers ... shot at him", and this is what Ishmael became.

Rem. And he mocked also in Genesis 21.

J.T. You would have thought, if he recognised what is of God, that all this grace shown him (for he was a lad of fourteen years old) would have affected him. His relationship to Abraham ought to have deterred him from any hardness towards the seed of Abraham; but you very often find that worldly christians become the bitterest enemies of those who are in the testimony.

Ques. Is there anything in the fact that Hagar, after she had had this revelation, goes back to Abraham the man of faith?

J.T. Though, as a matter of fact, she does go back, it does not definitely say so.

Rem. I was wondering whether faith and the Spirit go together.

J.T. It does not seem as if the Holy Spirit brings out anything to indicate faith in this woman at all; yet it is with her that all this is connected.

Rem. Speaking of Ishmael becoming an archer, it says in his early days that God was with the lad (Genesis 21:20).

J.T. That is from the divine side; it is what God is towards us; what He was towards the Jew. See what He was presenting in the early part of Acts -- but in result what came out was that they were perverse; the apostle speaks of that -- their hand was against every man (Genesis 16:12).

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Rem. They were more bitter than the purely worldly element.

J.T. They were indeed. Well now, I think we may see in Abraham's interview with Abimelech here, how beautifully grace had affected his heart; looking at him as a typical believer, for that is what he is. God was blessing him to such an extent that the Philistine took notice of him and came to him with Phichol, the captain of his army, and Abraham gives him sheep and oxen. That is, Abraham is the greater of the two; he is like God, he is representative of God. God has made him great and he is great, so that he is the giver. He selects seven ewe lambs and sets them by themselves; they are special. There is the general effect of the blessing of God on the believer through the system of grace, but there is the special effect. You may not find it with all, but it was certainly there with Abraham; and these seven ewe lambs are set by themselves, and the king enquires as to what they mean. Well, they meant something very different from what was in his mind. He was thinking of his kingly power and of his army, because the captain, the military representative, was there, not the secretary of war, but the captain, doubtless a man of prowess. That was the Philistine idea -- something to show, bigness, external power. It is what the Corinthians were working at; they would be equal with Paul; they would not be behind, as it were. But the apostle brings in this very point; he says his ministry among them was "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; that your faith might not stand in men's wisdom" (1 Corinthians 2:4, 5, New Trans.).

Ques. Do you think all this is an indication of Abraham's appreciation of what lay in the Spirit?

J.T. That is what I thought. The seven ewe lambs are by themselves; they stand out separately, and that is what Paul emphasises throughout 1 Corinthians. It is that kind of thing. It is not what the local leaders had -- their learning, their means, their natural ability

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and all that. He says, I have definitely avoided anything of that kind among you, my word and my preaching was "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power" 1 Corinthians 2:4. I think that is the seven ewe lambs; it is the perfection of the subjective result.

Ques. Would he refer to that when he speaks of beseeching them by the meekness and gentleness of Christ? (2 Corinthians 10:1).

J.T. I think that is very good; it is just the idea. That comes in his second letter.

Rem. Yes. He speaks of his warfare in that chapter, that the weapons of his warfare were not carnal. Is not that in contrast to the thought of the Philistine?

J.T. Exactly. His weapons were carnal. I have no doubt he would have told Abraham the strength of his army, as men do now -- or if they do not say so, they make a show, and if you go to their houses you find it is all there -- what they are living on. That is what was going on at Corinth.

Rem. A man that is living on the well is not overwhelmed by a show of earthly power.

J.T. No. I have often thought and spoken of Moses' position. Genesis gives the thing -- the system of grace as in the mind of God. Exodus is the administration of that. It says Moses sits by the well, as if he had learnt when he reached Midian that that was the power, not the power that he employed to kill the Egyptian. It was a question of the power of God springing up, and he sat by it; and all through his ministry you have that principle. It is the administration of that -- wells of water, and the well springing up under "the direction of the law-giver" Numbers 21:18.

Ques. What is the significance of Abraham saying "I have dug this well"? (Genesis 21:30, New Trans.).

J.T. Well, Abimelech says, What about those seven ewe lambs? He never had such a conception before. The natural man has no such idea; he cannot understand the Spirit of God. Abraham says, These are to

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be a testimony to you that I have digged this well. That is to say, this well is the secret of what they represent; you cannot have that spirit without the springing well. It is the fruit of the Spirit. That is what the apostle emphasises in Galatians -- nine different fruits of the Spirit, beginning with "love, joy, peace", etc. (Galatians 5:22).

Rem. You cannot have what is external without having what is internal.

J.T. Exactly; that is the idea of a well -- what is internal. Abraham would make it clear that that was the secret of his power over against the Philistines' army. Why did he come to Abraham? Not because the latter had three hundred and eighteen trained servants; we do not know whether he had them now. Why had he come? It was the power of God in the man, Abimelech had observed this.

Rem. It says that God was with the lad and he became an archer. That is in contrast to Abraham; he did not become an archer.

J.T. God did not make Ishmael an archer; it was what he became, as you say. But Abraham was relying on this kind of power, as it says in Romans: "If ... thine enemy should hunger, feed him; if he should thirst, give him drink; for, so doing, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head" (Romans 12:20, New Trans.). It is that kind of thing.

Ques. Is it the feature that came out so distinctly in Moses? He is spoken of as the meekest man in all the earth.

J.T. Yes, it was fully expressed in him.

Ques. Would you say a word on what follows after Abraham says that they are for a witness? It says that he called the place Beersheba, because there they sware, both of them. Then he made a covenant and, in the third place, he planted a grove. Would the three features be the outcome of this subjective thought in regard of the Spirit?

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J.T. Well, the first great point is the well -- he dug the well; then there is the covenant; he could well afford to enter into a covenant with this man because it was not yet the time of ejecting the inhabitants of the land. It was a question of living peaceably with all men, with one's neighbours. Abimelech's thoughts were for himself, his son, and his grandson; that is, he was making provision a long way ahead. Abraham could well afford to enter into covenant with him. Seven ewe lambs would never hurt anybody. That was the spirit of Abraham. You do not want to hurt anybody; it is the period of grace, not a time of executing judgment, but of blessing. So that one can very well enter into covenant on these lines, living in peace with all.

Rem. In the last verse it says: "Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days" (Genesis 21:34).

J.T. It is wisdom to live peaceably with all men, as much as in us lies. Then he plants a grove and calls the name of the place Beersheba (verse 31); it is not yet the city. The idea is faithfulness -- the place of the oath. He calls the place Beersheba, and then he calls on the name of the Eternal God; that is to say, he can go far ahead of Abimelech; Abimelech was thinking of himself -- of his three generations; but with Abraham it is a question of the Eternal God, and from that point of view you can make a covenant for good, for a much longer time. He will be with you; He will enable you to carry it out. It is the power of the Spirit of God in us.

Rem. It would be good to have a greater sense of that, to be delivered from all fear of men. I was wondering whether Abraham would be a good example of one who is walking in the principles of the kingdom -- accepted of God and approved of men?

J.T. That is it; that is the anti-type of all this. We were referring to the place here in chapter 21. In chapter 26 God appears to Isaac and the Philistine comes up again. He recognises Isaac. God had blessed Isaac; he had sowed the land and got richer and richer, and

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the Philistines hated him and sent him away. Then there was conflict about the wells, and God appears to him as he moves to Beersheba. Then the Philistine brought a third person with him, "his friend". It is a social thing, as if the heavenly man -- Isaac -- needed more to influence him than the military power. But it did not. Isaac stood his ground; he sent them away with the same kind of a covenant, but he sent them away (verse 31). It says: "Isaac sent them away ... and it came to pass the same day, that Isaac's servants came, and told him concerning the well that they had dug, and said to him, We have found water" (Genesis 26:31, 32). Now he is supported by this well and he calls it a city. You have reached a point now where there is definite order and government; you have overcome the Philistine morally, and have reached a place where your influence becomes more extended -- the city.

Rem. So that there is a system of things now, in which Philistine principles are refused and the principles of the Spirit prevail.

J.T. That is right. The city marks the progress made; it stands over against the social element -- we have a city.

Ques. Have we, in that way, a sort of allusion to the assembly?

J.T. I think so; we have to deal with the antitype. It is a question of the state of your soul. The world comes to a young christian with its power, and especially on its social side, but if faith is in activity he will say: 'See what I have among the brethren. I have more than you can give me!' That is how it works.

Rem. Abraham had grown a great deal since he said: "O that Ishmael might live before thee" (Genesis 17:18).

Rem. And he and Isaac were very jealous as to the preservation of the well.

Ques. Would there be a difference in the type, that they digged the well, Abraham and Isaac?

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J.T. I think there is. What comes out in connection with Hagar is, I think, the system of grace from the divine side. We have to ponder what it cost God to provide it; but that is not in evidence, it is a question of grace. But when you come to faith using the well, then the digging is necessary. I suppose it is the disallowance of the flesh; that is how you get the good of the Spirit; and you go on digging till you have a well of your own.

Rem. You have a man full of the Spirit. Digging did not put the water there, but it made the water that was there available.

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THE SPIRIT'S OPERATIONS IN VIEW OF THE WILL OF GOD AND THE INHERITANCE

Romans 8:13 - 17; Numbers 33:50 - 54

I am exercised, dear brethren, to speak about the Holy Spirit, especially in His operations by which He leads us into the enjoyment of our inheritance. He is the earnest of our inheritance. The subject of the Holy Spirit is necessarily a very extensive one, covering every part of the truth; indeed, there is a remarkable statement in John's first epistle, where the Spirit is said to be "the truth". So that He is to be regarded in relation to every part of the truth.

It is quite clear that one could not deal with all that in a short address, but I desire to speak of His operations in connection with the believer's state, leading up to our having part in the inheritance. It is well for us to bear in mind that christianity stands publicly in relation to the Spirit, as well as to the Father and the Son; so that one may be quite free to speak of the Holy Spirit in this definite way. Indeed, the chapter in Romans from which I have read is occupied with this great subject of the Spirit of God, according to what He is to the believer.

I would add to these preliminary remarks a word about 1 and 2 Corinthians, and the general bearing of these epistles on this subject. The first epistle, among many other things, may be viewed as setting forth the limitations which the will of God concerning the saints necessitates. God has seen fit to impose certain limitations on His people, viewed as His assembly. The epistle is marked by directions and commandments; and the test of one's spirituality is the recognition that the things which the apostle wrote are the commandments of the Lord. That is to say, the Holy Spirit in the saints here works out entire conformity to divine

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limitations; the Holy Spirit can never be in any movement amongst believers which transgresses the Lord's commandment. The Lord said, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me" John 14:21.

The Holy Spirit in the believer operates on the line of producing complete conformity with all these ordinances, directions, and commandments. It is indeed the glory of the saints that they conform to these commandments. It is said in Psalm 19:1 that "The heavens declare the glory of God"; but in the incarnation -- that is, the Son becoming Man here -- we have the glory brought down to earth. In that psalm the sun in the heavens is likened to a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoicing as a strong man to run a race; he makes a circuit of the heavens. Then in verse 7 we get the law of the Lord: this was taken up by Christ as having become a Man; He took it up, delighted in it, magnified it, made it honourable; so that the carrying out of the will of God, which marked the heavens, has now been seen on earth. The glory shone in every step of Christ, as He moved on in the path of God's will, but that will involved certain limitations here. The Lord in grace came into them, accepted them, and moved within them, and in so doing He glorified God. There was entire correspondence between the great and blessed truth that He was the Son of man in heaven, and the fact that He was here in the most humble circumstances.

In John 4 He is seen sitting "as he was" on the well; He was weary, and the will of God involved that. He says in that chapter that it was His meat to do the will of the One who sent Him, and to finish His work, and throughout His whole course the Lord moved in submission to the will of God, and delighted to do it. There is food in it for us; it is indeed the manna, the mighty's meat: "Man did eat angels' food" Psalm 78:25. What is that food? It is Christ here in every circumstance of life, moving in relation to the will of God, which

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involved certain limitations, which He accepted. He came down from heaven; indeed, He was "the Son of man which is in heaven" John 3:13, and He could return there, but He came to do the will of God.

Now in 1 Corinthians we see what corresponds with this in regard to the church. There are certain limitations made obligatory by the will of God, and the spiritual man observes them, and as a lover of Christ he has them and keeps them, they are not irksome to him; they remain in all their authority as the commandments of the Lord. The Lord manifests Himself to such an one as that, and the Father loves him. The whole point, as to our position here, is that we are for God's will, whether individually or viewed in relation to the church. The Holy Spirit would ever maintain us in accord with that.

The Holy Spirit in us also links us with that which is outside the bounds of time: and the second letter to the Corinthians presents the accompaniments of this. That is, you have such expressions as, "we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18). One has often remarked, and it is worth repeating, that the feast of Pentecost in Deuteronomy is not bounded by time like other feasts, because it refers to the coming in of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit recognises all the bounds which are set about us by the Lord's commandments, in the time conditions, and the spiritual man recognises and keeps them all. But the Holy Spirit is also the link with what is outside time; He is the link with eternity; and so the apostle says, "If our earthly tabernacle house be destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens ... Now he that has wrought us for this very thing is God, who also has given to us the earnest of the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 5:1 - 5, New Trans.). We have the Spirit already in the way of earnest, and

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in the power of the Spirit we may enter into eternal blessedness.

Now I want to connect these verses in Romans 8 for a moment with that. 2 Corinthians develops the accompaniments of this outlet from time limitations into eternal blessedness. Chapter 5 further states that "if any one be in Christ, there is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold all things have become new: and all things are of the God who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:17, 18). That is wonderful to think of; if any man be in Christ he is not only a new creature, but he is in a new creation, and in that new creation all things are of God. So in the power of the Spirit one may pass out of time limitations into eternal blessedness. Hence the apostle says further on, "I know a man in Christ" 2 Corinthians 12:2; he had the experience fourteen years before, of being caught up to the third heaven, to paradise -- to the place of eternal blessedness. Think of being caught up to that! He was let down the wall in a basket at Damascus, and in the next statement he can speak of being caught up to the third heaven. It was "a man in Christ"; he was not bound by bodily conditions, for he was quite unconscious whether in the body or out of it. But he knew something of the place; it was paradise -- a place of supreme blessedness. That is the prospect for the christian, and the Holy Spirit is in him to bring him to know something of it whilst he still has part in time limitations.

The verses in Romans that I have read treat of life. John does not in the main take us off the earth; it is a question of God coming here, and having His children here, who, as in the faith of the Son of God, have the victory, and are clear of death. So we do not get John employing the word "sons", with one exception in the Revelation; whereas Paul is occupied with the thought of sons because he would bring us to God; he would lead our souls to God in suitable dignity. So he first

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speaks here of life; he says, "if, by the Spirit, ye put to death the deeds of the body, ye shall live" Romans 8:13, and then he goes on, "ye have not received a spirit of bondage again for fear, but ye have received a spirit of adoption [or sonship], whereby we cry, Abba, Father" Romans 8:15. You have received that Spirit, he says, and by that Spirit we cry, "Abba, Father"; it is not simply the employment of words; we cry, "Abba, Father" by the Spirit. Paul must bring himself in when it comes to enjoyment; he says, "We cry". You will recall that in Galatians the cry is the Spirit's; the Spirit of the Son coming into the believer turns to the Father and cries, "Abba, Father" Galatians 4:6. Then you will observe in this chapter, "as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" Romans 8:14. Romans gives us the operations of the Spirit in the believer, and brings in the thought of the Spirit leading, and that those who are led are sons of God.

Now I want to connect that with Numbers, and to touch on a point or two in that book. Most of you will recall that the Holy Spirit is viewed as having been received by believers typically in chapter 21, and it is in the light of that chapter that all that follows should be read. Hence when Balaam sees the people, he does not see them in relation to God's tabernacle; he says nothing about God's tabernacle; he sees the people in their tents; it was a question of what they had severally. It is the saints viewed as having the Spirit; their tents are worth looking at now. "How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel". Numbers 24:5. He saw them as having the Holy Spirit typically, and abiding in their tents according to their tribes. May God help us to lay hold of this! It is a question of families. The family feature is what the Holy Spirit would emphasise.

In the early part of the book the tents of the tribes stood in relation to the tabernacle of witness. That had its place in the early part of the book, but there is nothing said about that here; they are seen dwelling in their tents according to their tribes. It is the saints

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viewed as having the Holy Spirit -- not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. Balaam sees them without a discrepancy; how beautiful! "How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob". Numbers 24:5. Sometimes we speak of Jacob as a poor, crooked, failing man, but he is not so seen here. I understand Jacob here to speak of man as he is set up through redemption and the gift of the Spirit; whereas Israel is the man of purpose. You remember how the Lord speaks in Luke 18 of two that went up into the temple to pray, and says that the one returned to his house justified -- that is, he took righteousness back into his house. His house would be marked now not by crookedness and corruption, but by righteousness. Israel would speak of a man wholly in the Spirit, a man whose name is changed; one who was bringing in all that was of God into his tabernacle; one governed in it by what God is, an imitator of God, walking in love, as Christ also hath loved us. That is what you would look for there. Then he goes on to say, "As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters" (Numbers 24:6). What a view, dear friends! let us not put it away in the distance. The Spirit of God would bring this picture before us. The saints are viewed now as having the Holy Spirit; the tabernacle is not in view because it is not now a question of being occupied with what is objective in heaven, or the great system that has been inaugurated on the ground of redemption. It is another side, which is connected with the Spirit.

When we come to Numbers 33 the spiritual geography is very pronounced; it is, "in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho" Numbers 33:48. I wonder whether we know this territory, dear brethren? Aaron has died, and Moses can go no further; the lot is just over Jordan, the rich inheritance of God. And the word is, "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan" Numbers 33:51.

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What is now in view is their being led by the Spirit in regard to the inheritance. I am not referring to the leading of the Spirit in connection with the passage of the river; all that Christ is to us in love comes into that, and the surrender on our part of all that is natural. His love led Him there, He went down beneath those waters and drove back death, so that it disappeared altogether. There is nothing to dread or to conquer there. The passing over Jordan is typical of what we have in Colossians; it is entering into this, "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead" (Colossians 2:12). But all that is simple light, and I am occupied for the moment not with the light, but with the Holy Spirit in the believer in relation to that light. Then, further, when they had passed over they should destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places, but I am not now occupied with that. I want to go on to the inheritance, and to show you that it is to be divided mutually. I want to show you how the Holy Spirit in the saints forms us in relation to one another, so that we think of each other in love.

Do we understand, dear brethren, the principle of mutuality? I think the Lord began with the Supper, and He has set before us in that institution the mode in which the saints should be together in family relations. He had no thought of large congregations; although the Israelites had to go up to Jerusalem to keep the passover, because Jehovah's name was there, yet they kept it family-wise. It was not one huge congregation keeping it; it was a family affair, if one might so say. The Lord kept the passover with His disciples, and it was after the passover that He instituted the Supper, and in the institution He intimated His thought that the saints, during His absence, should retain these family relations, and that in these relations there should

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be mutuality. He never thought for a moment that there should be saints eating the supper together unknown to each other. They were to be known to each other; every one in the company should know all the others. How could it be otherwise, if the relation is to be that of the family? A large congregation does not admit of that; there are many not known; they come and go, and we do not know them. The Lord's intent was that there should be circles of brethren, of disciples, small enough for each to be known by all, and that each should partake of one loaf and one cup. For it is the cup. He says, "Take this, and divide it among yourselves" Luke 22:17. That is, it was to be mutual. There is no evidence that He handed it first to Peter or the loved disciple, but He says, "Take this, and divide it among yourselves". He says again, "By this shall all know that ye are disciples of mine, if ye have love amongst yourselves" John 13:35. That is mutuality. I am speaking for a moment of the position of the saints as viewed in the Supper. The principle is mutuality. It is the very essence of the church's position here. We are to have love amongst ourselves.

In Numbers 33:54 he says, "And ye shall take for yourselves the land as an inheritance by lot according to your families" (New Trans.). You see it was themselves; they were to do it. It is not here Jehovah giving the inheritance, or Moses, but they were to take it for themselves on the principle of mutuality. "To the many ye shall increase their inheritance, and to the few thou shalt diminish their inheritance: where the lot falleth to him, there shall be each man's inheritance; according to the tribes of your fathers shall ye take for yourselves the inheritance". Numbers 33:54. Dear brethren, what a rich inheritance is ours! The Spirit does not enlarge on the inheritance in Romans, but He brings in the thought that we are heirs, "If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ" Romans 8:17. But the passage in Numbers runs on to Ephesians because it

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speaks of the inheritance not yet possessed, but about to be possessed, and when possessed it is to be shared on the principle of mutuality -- that is, I love the brethren, and all that I have I want them to share. The lot brings God in, but the passage has in view the love that the saints have one for another. The presence of the Holy Spirit brings about these mutual conditions. And I would remark that it is to be "according to the tribes of your fathers" Numbers 33:54 -- that is, anything that we have in the nature of a spiritual inheritance is not simply for the few near to us, it is for "the tribes". The division of what we have must have all the saints in view. We must not be narrower in our affections than the whole church. The good things that we have in the Spirit are the common inheritance of all the saints and so the Ephesians are said to have love for all the saints. The division of the inheritance is to be according to their families, according to the size of the families, and according to the tribes. The word "tribes" suggests much to faith. God never had anything less before Him than the twelve tribes, nor did ever any man of faith have anything less before him. Nor will any man who has the Spirit today, and walks in the Spirit, think of anything less than all the saints of God. They all belong to the church, and what we have in the Spirit we share with them, according to the size of the families, as it says.

The Holy Spirit would produce this in us. It is important that we should have love one to another, and that unalloyed by any selfish considerations, and as walking in the Spirit, and loving in the Spirit, we should embrace all the saints. Whatever we have in the way of spiritual gain and blessedness is to be shared with them all. Divine love in us leads to enlargement, so that we embrace them all in our affections. May the Lord bless His word!

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THE LIVING WATER

John 4:1 - 15

J.T. We might consider the way the Holy Spirit is presented in the gospel of John, and I suggested this scripture, to begin with, as indicating how the need of the individual is met, so that he might be qualified for testimony in chapter 7; then, in the section from chapters 14 to 16 inclusive, we have the Spirit presented mainly in the character of Comforter, in relation to the company.

Rem. He is presented first in relation to the individual, and then in relation to the company.

J.T. Yes. And in chapter 20 He is not presented formally as the Person, it is the Spirit characteristically that is prominent; Christ as the last Adam breathed into His disciples and said, "Receive [the] Holy Spirit" John 20:22; the reference is to the lungs, so to speak.

In chapter 1 the Spirit is introduced by John in a general way -- "He" (referring to the Lord) "it is who baptises with the Holy Spirit" John 1:33. Baptism with the Holy Spirit conveys the idea that we are merged or covered in Him; it is a remarkable expression. "For by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body" (1 Corinthians 12:13), so that, as baptised one is so to speak merged in what the Holy Spirit forms here, and in that sense out of sight by the Spirit. This is of very great significance when considered in the light of what Christ does in taking up each of us and affecting us in this way -- in baptising with the Holy Spirit.

M.W.B. Suggesting that He is the One who pervades everything through the Spirit, and is thus marked off as the Son of God.

J.T. He has power in that way to effect everything, so that all is merged in the Spirit. Baptism with water means that one is put out of sight. The idea of being baptised with the Holy Spirit is put over against John's

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baptism. In his case it was baptism with water, in contrast to what Christ would do, in baptising with the Spirit -- the latter is an immense thing for us. The former is negative, having reference to the judgment of sin, the latter is positive. In Corinthians the application of the baptism of the Spirit involves the truth of the body -- "For by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body ... and have been all made to drink into one Spirit" 1 Corinthians 12:13; the double statement in the verse refers to the two ordinances, baptism and the Lord's supper, but making the thoughts spiritual. John 1 brings Christ in, as the One who baptises with the Holy Spirit, so that finally the whole scene will be so characterised.

A.M.H. And will stand in relation to Christ as the One who does baptise.

J.T. Yes. The baptised stand in relation to Him.

A.M.H. Water is dissociation, while baptism with the Spirit links all with Christ.

J.T. In the application of this passage to christians -- the baptising with the Holy Spirit -- the body is brought in; the principle in the millennium will be the Spirit pervading all; all will then, in some way, come under the Spirit, and will, therefore, be in accord with Christ. It is an immense thing, bringing in as it does the glory of Christ, and fitting in with John 1 which deals with that. John minimises what he is doing himself. He affords us a model, a key to the gospel in this way; he was one who had great opportunity of exalting himself -- none had greater -- and yet he refused to take advantage of it. 'No', he said, in effect, 'I am going to make much of Christ; that is my mission'. The test he is subjected to brings that out; in his own estimate he is just a "voice". 'As to anything I am doing', he would say, 'it is not to be considered; it is what Christ is doing that is of moment'. He is speaking of the insignificance of his work in comparison with what

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Christ was doing. Of course, his baptism was of great importance in its own place.

M.W.B. He says, "I must decrease" John 3:30.

J.T. Yes; it is the consummation of humility; his setting sun goes down with joy, so to speak, in the light of Christ. "He must increase" John 3:30; so he disappears, not in any disconsolate way, but in joy. He is a remarkable model for us in these last days, and shines, too, in intelligence, as evidenced by his words when he sees Jesus coming to him, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" John 1:29.

Rem. He had the Holy Spirit from his birth.

J.T. John the evangelist does not tell us anything about John the baptist's failure, showing, I think, that he has some special object in view in introducing him as he does.

H.F.N. He represents the beginning of what is spiritual.

J.T. Yes. He is introduced abruptly as a man sent from God and the Spirit immediately states, "He was not that light" John 1:8, as if to say, 'Do not be mistaken, he has come as a witness; but he is not that Light, the true Light has yet to come'. John was partial in his outlook, but the Lord was bringing in what was universal.

J.H.W. John receives direct communication as to the Spirit: "but he who sent me to baptise with water, he said to me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and abiding on him, he it is who baptises with the Holy Spirit" John 1:33.

H.F.N. With reference to baptising with the Holy Spirit; how would you connect, or contrast, it with the anointing of the tabernacle? Are they kindred thoughts?

J.T. The anointing is for dignity, and brings in what God is. Jesus was anointed; it does not say that He was baptised with the Holy Spirit, but He was anointed. It gives dignity and qualification for service. Being baptised with the Spirit carries the thought of being

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merged, so that one's individuality is lost; it is what is effected through the Holy Spirit; the Spirit is dominant in the body.

P.L. You get this thought all through the gospel of John. You see it in Mary, Joseph, and Nicodemus. They are not heard of after a certain point. The history in detail of persons is not taken up.

J.T. So with Lazarus after chapter 12.

P.L. Is that the thought of merging? You have brethren at the end; their names are not given.

F.F. In chapter 10 we get "one flock" and "one shepherd".

J.T. Yes; the man in chapter 9 receives sight, but he is merged in the flock in chapter 10. Mary Magdalene would be merged in the brethren in chapter 20.

A.M.H. Does it touch reconciliation on Paul's line?

J.T. Yes, in Ephesians. I am pleasing to God as in relation to the body of Christ; "that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross" (Ephesians 2:16).

Christ is the One on whom the Spirit descends and abides; all the pleasure and satisfaction of God are seen there. One gets a sense of the intense delight of God in this Man. First He is seen walking to John, suggesting His death; then the Spirit records that He is walking, without saying where to, "As he walked" John 1:36. According to Ephesians, we are reconciled as merged in the body.

P.L. Is the thought in one case His pathway into death, and the other His Person?

J.T. The former refers to His death; His coming to John suggested that; He was fulfilling all righteousness. Then it says, "And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!" John 1:36. It is an expression of admiration. What must the walk of that blessed Man have been to God! The two disciples apparently did not notice the beauty of that walk till their attention was called to it, showing perhaps the value of ministry.

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There are many things we do not see till our attention is called to them.

J.H.J. Christ is presented in regard to what He will effect for God, before reference is made to what is effected in us.

J.T. Yes. This is a wonderful chapter, seven or more different titles being employed to designate the Person of Christ. Baptism with the Holy Spirit is an immense thing in its bearing.

Rem. You inferred that the thought was carried on to the world to come. Will you say in what way?

J.T. You get it referred to in Joel, as quoted in Acts 2 when the Spirit came and sat upon each of them. That is the public side of it, and Joel's prophecy received a partial fulfilment on that occasion. In Acts 10 it is said that while Peter was speaking the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word, and in recounting the incident, Peter says, "I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, John baptised with water, but ye shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit" Acts 11:16. The same word "fell" is used in Acts 10:44 as in Luke 15, where it says the Father fell on the prodigal's neck; the Holy Spirit fell on all them which heard the word; it involves energetic action, not simply the ordinary thought of the word. The Holy Spirit, so to speak, takes charge of that company. While Peter is speaking the Spirit falls on his hearers, and in the next chapter Peter says, "I remembered the word of the Lord ... ye shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit" Acts 11:16.

M.W.B. Peter recognised this action of the Spirit as being similar to what took place on the day of Pentecost. "Even as upon us also at the beginning" Acts 11:15, he says.

H.F.N. Have you any thought as to why the baptism of the Spirit is linked up with the reception of the gentiles?

J.T. I think it shows the great interest the Lord had in the gentiles. It is illustrated, as we were saying, in

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Luke 15God being so delighted with the returning gentiles, He expressed His delight in this way. While Peter was preaching, God was, we may say, looking into the hearts of the audience, and He recognised what was there. The Holy Spirit would be given in reference to what was within, and now they would be characterised by this; so that 1 Corinthians 12:13 would have reference to it: "by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body"; hence the body is the vehicle for the moment by which this truth is exemplified.

H.F.N. 1 Corinthians would prepare for the anointing.

J.T. Yes. It is "the Christ".

Ques. Would baptism of the Spirit be the moral preparation for dignity?

J.T. It is presented there, "So also is the Christ"; and it brings in the thought of representation here. Dignity is placed on the vessel; it is the anointed vessel (1 Corinthians 12:12).

A.M.H. Is it Luke's line rather than John's? "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me" Luke 4:18.

J.T. John speaks of it too, but Luke gives the anointed Vessel (Luke 4).

A.M.H. What is the thought of the anointing in John?

J.T. Independency of man in the sufficiency of the Holy Spirit. "Ye need not that any man teach you" 1 John 2:27; it saves you from antichrists. Luke gives the anointed Vessel for service here; God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power: He went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him. God stands by what He anoints. In Christ there was no disparity between the Vessel and the anointing. A vessel in whom there is discrepancy occasions sorrow, but the "oil" must be recognised.

M.W.B. God's vital system is always marked by what is comely.

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J.T. Yes; the moral precedes the official. The Lord was anointed at the age of thirty; He was qualified according to what He was as Man. He came up from the water praying, and as He prayed, the Spirit came upon Him. Then it is said that He "was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil" Luke 4:1,2. The Spirit took the initiative, which we can understand, and it was right that this should take place as regards the Lord, in having to do with Satan. If I have to do with evil, or if you have, it should be because the Holy Spirit leads us to it, otherwise we shall be damaged.

H.F.N. The Lord was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness according to the gospel of Mark.

J.T. Yes; the energy of the Spirit alone should lead one to take up evil. If I read a bad book or go to the playhouse, etc., it will do me harm, but if the Holy Spirit calls me to deal with evil, that is another matter; very few, however, are called to this.

Ques. Does Mark give you the controlling power of the Holy Spirit?

J.T. The Holy Spirit takes the initiative. Becoming Man, the Lord was subject, and so was "driven" into the wilderness; but after the temptation had ended He returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee; it is His own action now. And then He stands up in the synagogue, turning formally to the text in the prophet Isaiah and reads it, as if to say, 'This is the text for the moment'. Luke seems to delight to expatiate on the grace of the anointed Vessel, and to record that the people "wondered at the gracious words which proceeded our of his mouth" Luke 4:22.

M.W.B. Contrasting that with John 1, we find His personal greatness attaching to what He did there.

J.T. It is His own personal dignity in John; it is what He does -- He baptises with the Holy Spirit -- He gives living water, etc. As the other gospels present Him, He is subject to the Spirit, and a pattern for us,

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but John gives us specially the personal glory of Christ.

J.H.J. Chapter 4 treats of the Spirit given to us.

J.T. All is set out there as what the Lord can effect. When we come to need in a man's soul, which chapter 4 presents, and the Holy Spirit in that connection, the woman being a representative case, you find the Spirit presented on the side of gift; in chapter 7 it is a question of reception. "This spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive". John 7:39. Here in chapter 4 it is, "If thou knewest the gift of God" John 4:10.

M.W.B. What is the difference?

J.T. Chapter 4 is from the divine side; chapter 7 from the side of reception by the believer.

A.M.H. Is there a measure of state assumed in chapter 7?

J.T. The fourth chapter simply gives the divine gift, and is connected with the Giver, whereas chapter 7 emphasises the receiver.

A.M.H. "Living bread" precedes this, suggestive of the building up of a constitution.

J.T. The point in chapter 7 was not that He could give living water, but that any one who believed could receive it. It gives a sense of the greatness of the believer, and indirectly of the greatness of Christ as it is a question of the one who believes on Him.

M.W.B. There is a kind of royalty attached to the believer.

Ques. What produces the state that has been referred to?

J.T. First, there has been new birth (chapter 3); then living water (chapter 4); the power of the Son of God (chapter 5); and finally the Son of man as bread from heaven (chapter 6). There is thus brought about in the believer a state corresponding with chapter 7.

Rem. There is a moral order no doubt in the way these things are presented.

J.T. The greatness of the believer is drawn attention to, not indeed to occupy us with that, but to emphasise

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the greatness of Christ. 'Whatever you may think of Me', the Lord said in effect, 'even from a believer in Me flow out rivers of living water'.

P.L. Would the thought of "flow" refer to fertility, while the believing would have reference to Christ glorified?

J.T. I think that is right. The thought does not go beyond what is here; what is arid here is made fertile with this influence. The Spirit is here in the way of general refreshment. The thought of rivers is a great one; it carries you back to Genesis 2, and suggests influence and refreshment.

P.L. It is a primary thought.

J.T. Yes; but the point is one believer in Christ has rivers of living water, "this spake he of the Spirit" John 7:39, it says. It is the effect of the Holy Spirit coming from Jesus glorified -- from heaven.

J.H.W. Christ, according to Isaiah 32:2, is reproduced here. "As rivers of water in a dry place".

J.T. If we saw that, we should think the believer a person of some importance, and if we get a number of such persons we have what is greater still.

H.F.N. Believers' meetings of that character would be all right!

Rem. The thirst in chapter 7 would be of a different character to that in chapter 4.

J.T. Yes. "Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink" John 7:37. It is thirst as to greater things I apprehend, and thus different from chapter 4. It supposes an intelligent state in believers.

H.F.N. Chapter 4 would be the result of the administration of chapter 3.

J.T. Yes; it shows the greatness of the administration. The Father loves the Son and gives everything into His hands, and this is the result, He gives living water.

M.W.B. Is the issue of chapter 4 -- the springing up -- greater than that of chapter 7?

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J.T. It may be greater for the believer, but morally rivers are greater -- greater for man. Chapter 7 includes chapter 4.

M.W.H. I wondered if chapter 4 was priestly, setting forth the holy priesthood, and chapter 7 royal.

J.T. Yes; perhaps it would bring that in, and what you see in the two chapters is the unlimited character of what is of the Spirit. "God giveth not the Spirit by measure", John 3:34 tells us. Then in the next chapter it springs up into everlasting life, so that it touches what is eternal. We should consider the greatness of the believer as indicating the greatness of Christ, and when we think of the aggregate of believers in the heavenly city, we have some sense of the place it will fill in the universe of God.

A.M.H. Does the thirst in chapter 4 arise from lack of good, and in chapter 7 from having tasted good? You want more on that line, so that morally it is an advance.

J.T. Yes. You get the thought in scripture of hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

M.W.B. Why is the term "living water" used and nor "the Spirit"?

J.T. A thirsty soul appreciates water; nothing appeals to such an one more than water.

P.L. Would the fountain of living water meet conditions in the believer, and the "rivers" meet conditions outside?

J.T. Yes; hence the latter thought is greater. The lower affections are in view there; these are to be actuated; "out of his belly shall flow rivers" John 7:38, and we read of "bowels of compassion". It is the taking account of man here in his need and showing mercy.

A.M.H. For that there must be stature.

F.F. Living water is connected both with God and with Christ in chapter 4, and with Jesus glorified in chapter 7.

J.T. Yes. "Jesus" suggests what He is as Man, the

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Head of man, and this is how He meets the boundlessness of men's need, in men like themselves.

W.C. This is the antitype of the feast of tabernacles when every need was met, and the widow and fatherless provided for.

J.T. Yes; it takes the place of that.

Ques. Does the position the Lord takes in this chapter (7) have any bearing on our subject? They sought to kill Him. In chapter 4 we find Him coming to the woman and meeting need; in chapter 7 He is rejected, and the Jews' feast of tabernacles is made prominent.

J.T. Yes, that is right; so in the next section that we shall consider, He gives the Holy Spirit as Comforter to be with His people, but here it is compassion more.

Rem. The feast of tabernacles should have been a time of joy, but they sought to kill Him.

J.T. It all serves to bring in the grace of the Spirit being given consequent on Jesus being glorified, and it works out in those who receive Him, and thus the christian is a benefit in the world. It is not a question of what we are to one another, but of rivers of water flowing out for the benefit of all.

Rem. It is greater than all that preceded it in God's ways.

J.T. Or anything that succeeds. It is the greatness of christianity.

J.H.W. We are reminded of the spirit of David, anointed in the midst of his brethren. All got the gain of this.

J.T. Yes, even Nabal. That illustrates how chapter 7 stands. The believer affords God a vessel in which He can express His compassions to all men, and we are to be here in that light, not local, or national, but on the line of meeting need universally. It is what makes a man morally great.

Rem "All the rivers run into the sea". Ecclesiastes 1:7.

J.T. We look to see the rivers, that is the idea. It is

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not that they run into the sea, but the influence they exert on the plain -- the fructifying effect on their way to the sea.

M.W.B. It is not a lake.

J.T. No; the idea of a river is fructifying power. The primary suggestion is plural. "A river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads" or "main streams" Genesis 2:10. God influenced every part of the earth and refreshed every part. Rivers would suggest volume. The bearing of the rivers in Genesis was universal.

A.M.H. "There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God" (Psalm 46:4).

J.H.J. The flow of the rivers in John 7 would be more in view of the scene here than in view of the saints.

J.T. The bearing is general; we want to keep that in view. "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely". Revelation 22:17. The saints are always supposed to be evangelical.

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THE COMFORTER

John 14:15 - 17; John 15:26,27; John 16:7 - 14

A.M.H. Will you say, briefly, what was taken up yesterday in relation to the first section of John?

J.T. What came before us in chapters 1 - 7 was the truth in connection with the Spirit, as it applies to the individual believer; the individual is in view in that section of the gospel. We dwelt on chapter 1 -- the baptism of the Holy Spirit -- as suggesting the way in which the believer is merged in that which the Spirit forms, as is seen in the epistles. "By one Spirit are we all baptised into one body". 1 Corinthians 12:13. The general position of chapter 1 is brought in to establish the greatness of Christ -- He baptises with the Holy Spirit, while in Acts 1:5 it is "Ye shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit". The fact of baptism is emphasised in the latter scripture, whereas in the former, it is the Person who does it; and the bearing of it is towards the whole universe. For the moment, however, the baptising takes form in regard to us in the body, so that we lose our individuality, and are merged in the body -- the vessel in which Christ is to be expressed. Then, in chapter 4 we have the Spirit on the divine side as gift, meeting the need of souls; the woman being a representative case, sets forth one, who having failed to find satisfaction in the world, finds it in Christ. We read in chapter 3 that the Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hands, and in chapter 4 what that involves is set forth. The administration committed to the Son involves the gift of the Spirit as meeting thirst in a human soul, and the setting up of that soul here in independency of everything else. Living water is given -- a fountain within -- so that one has resources in oneself, and satisfaction is known; and thus the affections are led outside of the channels of sin into holy channels, complete deliverance being in view, with no limit as to

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result -- "springing up into everlasting life" John 4:14. Then in chapter 7 the Spirit is presented from the side of the believer's reception. What the believer in Christ receives is spoken of, and the effect on the receiver in public testimony -- refreshment working out through his compassions. The lower affections are in view, "out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" John 7:38; the thought referred to in this way being the expression of kindness, bowels of compassion and consideration for all men; so that the Holy Spirit in the christian answers to what God is to all men in the way of consideration. Briefly, that is what we had before us last night.

A.M.H. And you remarked, reception supposes a certain amount of stature to take advantage of what Christ has given.

J.T. Yes. Chapters 5 and 6 in that way tend to build up the constitution. In the former Christ is seen in His power as Son of God, the extensiveness of that power -- not merely for the saints, but for all -- being set forth. There is no evidence that the man at the pool was wrought on morally, but he got the great benefit of Christ's power. Even the wicked dead are brought out of their graves as hearing His voice. It is a great item of faith in the soul of the believer as having to do with adverse power now, that Christ's power is supreme. Then in chapter 6 food is provided to sustain the soul in life, and chapter 7, as has been said, supposes a certain receptive state which enables one to come and drink. The general teaching of the Old Testament in regard to water finds its fulfilment in this way in the believer -- a great matter in face of the pretensions of the Jews.

W.C. What is the thought of the Spirit quickening in John 6:63?

J.T. "It is the Spirit which quickens". Chapter 6 exposes flesh. The flesh profits nothing, but the Spirit quickens. It says in 2 Corinthians 3:6 "the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life". Hence we are dependent

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upon the Spirit for quickening. It is set over against the flesh.

W.C. Would it lead to the state referred to in chapter 7?

J.T. Yes. It is an important point that the flesh profits nothing; we may as well be done with it.

A.M.H. It is the taking of it up as the result of a measure of experience; it is not only a matter of light.

J.T. What we get in chapter 6 is intensely spiritual; "the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" John 6:63, as if to shut out all that pertains to the sacerdotal system. It is shocking to contemplate what has been built up in a material way upon what this chapter suggests.

So we see in result that a believer as being in the good of what precedes chapter 7 would be spiritual, and his affections, as acted on by Christ, would go out in compassion towards all men.

A.M.H. What is the thought of feeding on Christ? One would like to get some more definite understanding of chapter 6.

J.T. This food tends to build up a constitution that would enable one to think nothing of oneself as regards position in this world. It is a going-down principle. The bread "comes down". The Lord Jesus coming down and dying, in order that the world might live, opens up a wide range of thought as to what I shall become if I eat that food. It is a question of going down and dying here; that kind of constitution is brought about, and one lives spiritually as a result.

A.M.H. The thought of feeding on Christ is very precious but when we try to define it, we are made to feel we do not know much about it. How are we led on to the next section?

J.T. Much is taught in the intervening chapters which we can hardly touch, as we are dealing with the Spirit. We may say, however, that in chapters 8 - 10 the believer is led out of the world and set in the "one

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flock". When we come to the next section, which commences with chapter 13, what is suggested is that the saints are not seen in their individual capacity, but as related to one another, so that chapter brings in the principle of mutuality, the thought of serving one another, and Christ is brought before us as the great example of service. "Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; he riseth from supper", John 13:3,4 etc. Emphasis is laid on the fact that He knew these things, not simply that they were predicated of Him -- the thought being the sense He had of the dignity of His position. In the consciousness of it He laid aside His garments. He is not to serve the saints in official dignity, all that is laid aside, and in that way He affords us an example, the effect of His service being that a company was brought about marked off as disciples of Christ down here, in mutual relations serving each other.

M.W.B. It is striking that the chapter should commence in a similar way to what we read in chapter 3, namely, that the Father had given all things into His hands. It seems to be a fresh beginning.

J.T. The great point in the chapter is that it provides an example for us as to how we are to serve. He is a great person who can cheerfully and happily become small in order to serve all. Laying aside His garments suggests that the Lord would divest Himself of everything that would give Him an official place.

M.W.B. Conscious greatness enables one to take a small place. The Lord was pre-eminently first in this wonderful stoop. Nothing as a servant could ever equal what you are as a saint.

J.T. If things worked from the other end, we should make ourselves great because of our service. This is what marks official christendom.

W.C. What is the application of the thought of

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coming from God and going to God? Is it personal to the Lord?

J.T. All service emanates from that. It is a great thing to bring in the divine element, "Knowing ... that he was come from God, and went to God" John 13:3. This section does not deal with spiritual privilege; it is not "our God" and "our Father"; throughout these chapters it is "the Father"; we are not brought on to the ground of association with Christ in heavenly relationship until we come to chapter 20. It does not say we are His brethren here.

H.F.N. Could you open out the line of these chapters as to our position in contrast with chapter 20?

J.T. Our position in this section flows from the revelation of God, and what Christ is as going in to God, and is thus the outcome of what God is in Christ towards us, and what man is in Christ towards God. Going in to God involves the latter. It is not a matter of family relationships, but of a people known to be His disciples and the furnishing of them for that position.

H.F.N. Would it involve priesthood?

J.T. Yes.

P.L. Would reconciliation be the thought as applied to us?

J.T. Yes; it involves that we are reconciled.

M.W.B. You emphasise that the saints are presented as occupying the position Christ previously had, therefore the Spirit is given as Comforter.

J.T. Yes; the disciples have learned from Christ. He sets the example before them in chapter 13, so they are to be of His order -- like Him -- in their relations one toward another down here.

M.W.B. Is there any instruction in the fact that the Spirit is not spoken of as Comforter in connection with the individual? It seems to be a collective idea.

J.T. One can see the working of that. Personally

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He is with the company. As regards individuals He is with us state-wise -- that is, as meeting our state, overthrowing the flesh, and producing what is agreeable to God, but He is with the company personally. The book of Acts shows how the Holy Spirit as a divine Person acted in a sovereign way in the ordering of things. He said to Philip, "Go near, and join thyself to this chariot" Acts 8:29, and in Antioch He directed that Barnabas and Paul should be separated for the work to which He had called them; He is there operating as a divine Person, as I have said. In John 14 He is introduced in the way of comfort and support in view of the position we are to occupy here, "that he may abide with you for ever" John 14:16. It is more the thought of His companionship in this chapter, not what He effects publicly. The word "Comforter" signifies that He takes hold of and manages the affairs of the saints -- an immense thing as a resource in the absence of Christ. The chapter does not go beyond sympathy and support privately, but chapter 15 widens out to testimony publicly, while the Spirit in chapter 16 brings about the conviction of the world -- brings it about demonstratively so that it cannot be denied. Any one can see that it is an immense thing in testimony and conflict, that the enemy should be publicly exposed to be in the wrong; it makes a great moral difference. So chapter 16 establishes the fact that the world's attitude is wrong.

J.H.J. You mean it is established among the saints.

J.T. Yes. The presence of the Holy Spirit here demonstrates the fact that the world is wrong. He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. The demonstration is against Satan, and in favour of the saints. It is not implied that the conscience of the world is convicted, but that a demonstration of its guilt is there, so that it cannot be denied.

A.M.H. The world is weakened in its springs. A man can maintain a fighting attitude as long as he thinks he is right. Chapter 14 implies that up till then the

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Lord had seen them through, now the Spirit is to take that place.

J.T. The word "another" would bear that out; later, both in chapters 15 and 16, it is simply the Comforter, showing that the Lord would make provision for the loss sustained by His departure.

Rem. This other Comforter would not leave them.

J.T. No; leaders come and go, but this other Comforter would abide. It is not simply that He was to be on earth, the point is that He will "abide with you for ever" John 14:16. It is the thought of companionship, and the companionship of One who would take account of their affairs, and look after them divinely. If we only took that in, what a great thing it would be for us! You get the word in Haggai 2:5, "... and my Spirit, remain among you".

H.F.N. How would you link this with "I am coming to you" John 14:18?

J.T. It is an accentuation of companionship, and is special. I suppose verse 18, which you quote, applies to what marked the beginning of things among the saints. The Lord came to them; it was His attitude. A week might intervene, but John 20 shows that that was the attitude He took up. One has remarked that church history is made up of weeks, but private individual history is marked by days. The saints would understand that the Lord would act as He did at the beginning in coming to them on the first day of each week.

H.F.N. Would we be justified in linking it with the Supper? It is not the thought of heavenly association.

J.T. That is later. "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me ... and ... I will manifest myself to him". John 14:21. This alludes to the failure of the church, and the proof of love now lies in keeping the commandments of Christ. A manifestation is granted to the one who does; the whole thought being to support us in our position here. These

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are wonderful provisions for us, but the Lord is not dealing here exactly with heavenly privileges.

M.W.B. Unless we are rightly sustained here, we have no capacity for entering into our true spiritual position.

J.T. All depends on spiritual power.

M.W.B. We are set together as those who are to take the place of Christ during His absence. It is essentially church ground, though the word church is not used. Why is the promise of the Comforter based on "If ye love me" John 14:15?

J.T. That describes the qualification of the vessel. The Holy Spirit would not come unless there was a state of soul suitable to receive Him. The state must be in correspondence. So the Lord says, "If ye love me". It would raise the question with the disciples, Do I love Christ? If I am to get the benefit of the Comforter it is on that line.

A.M.H. Another Comforter would hardly be valued unless the Lord had His right place. If they valued the Lord as with them, they would value the Comforter as sent by Him.

J.T. Saints in general get the benefit of these provisions made for the sustenance of the church. The whole church in some sense is a gainer, but many do not take up the special privilege accorded to us. This chapter gives us the provision made for the position, and every one to some extent gets the benefit.

F.F. The revelation of God is maintained and continued by the Spirit, He shall "bring all things to your remembrance" John 14:26. It would seem as if the hearts of the disciples were secured in chapter 14.

J.T. Light would soon disappear if not sustained by the Spirit. The Lord would revive the thought of what is universal among us, so that our exercises might take form accordingly. These provisions made for the company in the absence of the Lord involve universal benefits.

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M.W.B. In what way?

J.T. One is exercised in regard to all saints, and in regard to all men. We are apt to be too local. The sense of local responsibility has been revived among us, but it may be worked out to the detriment of the universal principle. The saints are all precious to Christ, and what is outlined in these chapters shows that all are to be benefited in some way.

P.L. Is that why the thought of locality is absent in this section of John's gospel?

J.T. Well, probably it is. Chapter 14 emphasises that the Comforter would be with the saints, and that the Lord Himself would come; in chapter 15 the position is changed -- "Let us go hence" John 14:31 -- He takes a public position now. The Spirit would testify of Christ, and the apostles would also bear witness, and fruit-bearing is in view. Chapter 16 is the battleground, and conflict is contemplated.

M.W.B. Seclusion marks chapter 14.

J.T. What we are contending against is exposed in chapter 16. "Earnestly contend for the faith" Jude 3, the word says. The great point is to make sure that what you contend against is exposed. If things are exposed, they have no moral weight with those whose consciences are exercised before God.

W.T. In what way do you mean?

J.T. The word "demonstration" conveys the thought. In an exhibition, for example, you get all kinds of demonstration as to what things are. It is not that the world is convicted in itself -- not that -- but the thing is exposed for those who have eyes to see.

Rem. As at Pentecost.

J.T. The issue is between Christ and the Jews -- Christ and the world, and God decides the issue, and the decision is that the Holy Spirit came out from Christ to the disciples. This could not be denied. Thus we see that God had decided against the Jews.

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Rem. It comes out even at the cross in the testimony of the thief, "this man hath done nothing amiss" Luke 23:41.

J.T. Yes; but this is more positive.

H.F.N. The Lord's thought is that His people will be formed so that they are clear of the world as thus exposed.

Rem. The Spirit convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.

J.T. The Jews were guilty in regard of sin, because they did not believe on Christ, and guilty in regard of righteousness, as the One they rejected was accepted with the Father. He goes in to God in the right of His own Person as Man. His being with the Father is a proof of His righteousness, and the Holy Spirit witnesses to that, and also to judgment.

A.M.H. These are three great indictments which the world has to answer for. One could take up this ground with any one.

J.T. That is right, the exposure is there.

W.T. We should be more effective if we were more spiritual, if the Spirit had more His way with us.

A.M.H. If there were more travail the "Man" would be brought into the world.

J.T. Quite so. At Pentecost the power of the Spirit was so evident, that it could not be gainsaid. "We do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God". Acts 2:11. It may be regarded as a judicial or court scene; Peter's address was, so to speak, a 'summing up', and it brought conviction.

M.W.B. Take a case of discipline, when a man seems insensible and is not prepared to admit the evil, would conviction be carried home to his conscience if this state existed among all?

J.T. No doubt it would. "Them that sin rebuke before all". 1 Timothy 5:20. The force of that is not exactly that you administer a formal rebuke, but that every one present knows that the person is guilty; the foundation of his position is thus sapped. The Holy Spirit is with us to

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help us in all these things, and He remains with us.

F.F. Chapter 14 would give the thought of peace -- "my peace"; chapter 15 "my joy"; and chapter 16 power.

M.W.H. All these chapters presuppose a state of love among us, which would secure the recognition of the Spirit as Comforter.

J.T. So we value one another, and come together to get the good of the Comforter.

Rem. What is the thought of the "Spirit of truth"?

J.T. Truth is a sort of key-word in John. His writings are marked by the idea of being true, "his record is true" John 19:35. The truth carries the thought of complete measure. The "Spirit of truth" is spoken of in chapter 14, then in chapter 16 it says, "when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all the truth" John 16:13. That is another thing.

J.H.J. He is mentioned as the Spirit of truth in chapter 15 also (verse 26). In connection with the witness, is it to establish our hearts as to the position of Christ in glory?

J.T. I think so. "And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning" John 15:27, showing the abundance of testimony there would be. The Spirit's testimony would involve Paul's ministry.

H.F.N. Does Paul's ministry come out in a peculiar way in chapter 16 to unfold to the saints all that lies in the Spirit? Would chapter 14 set forth John's ministry especially; chapter 15 Peter's; and chapter 16 Paul's?

J.T. I should think so. "Ye also" would carry Peter's feature, for, in a sense, he represented the twelve. (Compare Galatians 2:7 - 8). Then it says in chapter 16, "he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come" John 16:13. This would involve Paul's ministry.

A.M.H. Does it carry the thought of finding a way through the maze of this world, in relation to the testimony? We need constant application of light in

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order that we may find a way in the midst of confusing elements.

J.T. What has concerned one often in considering ministry is -- Is the Spirit of truth behind it? There may be true things in what is ministered, but the point is, is the Spirit of truth there? In the Spirit of truth there is adjustment. Saints get clear, fogs disappear, and questions vanish.

M.W.H. There is a moral necessity that the Spirit's demonstration to the world should precede the guiding into all truth. If not clear as to the world we cannot be free to be led into the Father's things.

J.T. Yes; we want to be in the sense of the moral victory brought about by the exposure. Guiding into all truth involves what is new -- that which would be introduced by Paul's ministry.

P.L. The demonstration is incidental although most important; the objective lies beyond.

Ques. In chapters 14 and 15 there are conditions attached to the coming of the Comforter, but here in chapter 16 it is simply privilege. "He will guide you into all truth" John 16:13, etc. How would you regard it?

W.C. Would it be development in the truth?

J.T. At the end of chapter 16 the Lord turns to their exercises and sorrows, as they are about to enter into that new phase of things; He brings in the Father as having affection for them, and says also (verse 26), "At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God" John 16:26,27. Things seem to clear for them as He announces that He is going to the Father, and they respond, "Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb" John 16:29. He deals here with the prospect of immediate sorrow, but the general thought is that we can ask the Father, and can surely say, as having loved the Lord Jesus, that the Father loves us.

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M.W.B. There is no condition here. Chapters 15 and 16 bring in a conditional state. Here provisions are bestowed freely and gratuitously.

J.T. The Lord is dealing with their sorrows; He shows them peculiar compassion and consideration in view of their being left here in a scene of suffering and conflict.

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THE SPIRIT IN RELATION TO OUR HEAVENLY POSITION

John 20:19 - 23

J.T. I suppose all will know that our subject is the Holy Spirit as presented in the gospel of John. It may be noted at the outset that the term used in chapter 20 is simply "Holy Spirit". The Authorised version gives the article, but it should be omitted, as it is the character of what we receive, more than the Person, that is presented in this chapter, in order that we may be impressed with what is spiritual.

W.G.B. Like the early verses of Romans 8.

J.T. I suppose so, only what precedes the operation -- "He breathed on them" John 20:22 -- has to be taken into account. Christ viewed as having ascended imparts to His brethren His own breath. It is what may be called the highest order of life, for life in Scripture is graded. Certainly, in the material creation it is so (Compare Genesis 1 - 2).

A.M.H. It is what is enjoyed together: "Receive [the] Holy Spirit" John 20:22.

J.T. Yes; it is what the new race, so to speak, enjoys.

T. The same as in Genesis 2.

J.T. Yes; the reference is to that: only here it is a Man breathing into the disciples, and doing so as last Adam. I mentioned the thought as to "Holy Spirit" being characteristic as a help; but in order to understand the bearing of the chapter aright, we must view it as a whole, as the facts narrated in regard to resurrection suggest that the Spirit is occupied with what is of God in the disciples, and not with their unbelief. In the other gospels their unbelief is emphasised, but not here.

M.W.B. This chapter gives the purest heavenly blessing that saints have power to enter upon in association with Christ, the setting being thus in contrast to

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chapter 14, where it is a question of the support and sustenance of the Comforter down here.

J.T. The position in that section of the gospel from chapters 13 - 16 flows from the revelation of God, what God is as revealed, and what Man is as seen in Christ. It is His Father in those chapters, or the Father, not our Father; whereas here it is His Father and our Father, His God and our God.

M.W.B. The setting of chapters 13 - 16, generally speaking, corresponds with the idea of God known in covenant relationships.

J.T. Yes; a people here knowing God, and having learned what man is as suited to God, "and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" John 17:3. Chapters 13 - 16 give us what furnishes us for the position down here -- our equipment; but here (chapter 20) our special spiritual privilege is more in view, so things are presented more formally. "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you" John 20:21; the ground is somewhat formal. In apprehending Him as the One who has been sent of the Father, and receiving the Spirit of that Man, we are to represent Him, so it involves what is heavenly.

P.L. What is the distinction between going to God and ascension?

J.T. That is worthy of special attention. In the earlier chapters, while the Lord speaks of going to God, He never uses the word "ascend". It may seem trivial to mention this, but it is not so. "I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God" John 20:17, is of special importance in view of what we have before us, as it involves our greatest blessing and privilege. In these earlier chapters what we have is God revealed in relation to Christ; as already said, it is not as our Father, but as the Father, or Christ's Father. Revelation is general, not specially for us. We come into the effect of it in believing the gospel, and it is in keeping with this, that the Lord sets forth what believers should be to one another in service. Besides, the bearing of

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revelation goes on to the future; the Father will be known, and God will be known in the millennium; but now we have this peculiar place in relation to Christ -- His brethren.

H.F.N. Would the highest thought in connection with revelation be "that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent"? John 17:3.

J.T. Yes; revelation is a question of what God is as seen in Christ, and what man is as seen in Christ. The passage you quote (John 17:3) does not go so far as this chapter.

H.F.N. The climax would be eternal life, but when we come to ascension, family relationships would be developed and this would correspond with Ephesians.

J.T. Family relationships and privileges come in here (John 20). Ephesians is: "who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" Ephesians 1:3. There it is not only what the blessings are but where they are. It is wonderful!

Rem. Ascension is the platform in Ephesians.

J.T. "Hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" Ephesians 2:6; that word "together" refers to one another; one is not to occupy that place alone, but with the brethren. This chapter is intended to emphasise what is heavenly and spiritual, so it is "Receive [the] Holy Spirit" -- that kind of Spirit. We get excess here, and the chapter shows how we are formed to occupy this new and great position. According to the accounts by Mark and Luke the disciples were marked by the most extraordinary state of unbelief as to the Lord's resurrection, not only in regard of the Scriptures and His own words, but in regard also of the testimony of persons with whom they were well acquainted, and whom they would not have doubted ordinarily, such as Mary Magdalene and the other women: "their words", we read, "seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not" Luke 24:11. This suggests what flesh is, even in the presence of the most unprecedented advantages.

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When we think of all they had seen in Christ, and the power of resurrection demonstrated in His works, which works they were witnesses of, it seems extraordinary to find them thus unbelieving on the resurrection morning. So we see that the Lord had a great work to accomplish in them, in order to establish in their souls a state of faith, to lead them to apprehend life out of death, and to bring them into spirituality. But the Lord accomplished it, and we find these same men, after the Lord's sojourn with them for forty days, not only believing, but spiritual and intelligent.

The Lord "showed himself alive" Acts 1:3 to them, that would be in order to impress them with what was living outside of death, And that was not all, for what we have here is an advance on that; following up His message to them He showed Himself to them in spiritual conditions, coming and standing in their midst, having entered through the closed doors; and now what comes to light is that they are spiritual, as viewed in this connection; there is no evidence of their being disconcerted in any way, whereas in Luke they were. There, we are told, they were terrified and affrighted. My exercise is that we might see how this gospel leads up to heavenly-mindedness and spirituality, and the Holy Spirit is presented here in that relation, to bring this about. The breath of the heavenly Man was to be imparted to them; the thought is the principle of their life -- of their existence.

Ques. What is the difference between this and Acts 2?

J.T. In the latter it says the Spirit "sat upon each of them". It is a public testimony. The people were all together, and there came a sound like as of a rushing mighty wind, and "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" Acts 2:2. The point there is public witness. Joel spoke of it prophetically. So Peter says, "he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear" Acts 2:33. He does not say, 'which we enjoy', but "which ye now see and hear".

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But this (John 20) is not to see and hear, though it would result in that, of course; it is a private and intimate transaction, involving the vital principle of their being.

H.F.N. Acts would give more the official position.

J.T. Yes; here it is what Christ is inherently, what He does Himself as the One who ascends.

H.F.N. As last Adam infusing the breath of life, and thus constituting the disciples heavenly men.

J.T. Yes; made heavenly in their spirits, in the principle of their being, so that there should be no disparity between them and their position. They are made equal to the position announced in the message.

H.F.N. Is "I will come to you" in view of what you have been saying as to coming into the midst?

J.T. In this chapter the reference is entirely spiritual. In verse 19 the text, I believe, should read "where the disciples were" (New Trans.). It does not say 'gathered'; it is not the outward public position. This serves to confirm the thought that it is an entirely spiritual matter -- not the assembly as seen in 1 Corinthians.

M.W.B. There seems to be a twofold thought, then, in regard to the assembly. We are gathered together, in divine order, men being distinguished from women and the company taken account of as actually on earth in the wilderness. To that place the Lord comes to us, but in order to conduct us to a spiritual region outside.

J.T. Yes. The latter is seen here. These people are great in the Lord's account, and He comes to where they are. His presence is apprehended in a spiritual way. They are not here viewed as "orphans". In chapter 14 He promises to come in view of their position here in His absence.

M.W.B. Will you explain the distinction between the Lord's coming to us on earth where He died, and the way He comes in here as apprehended by the spiritual man?

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J.T. He does not speak of the effect of His coming in chapter 14. His coming to them there is an additional provision for the position they were to occupy. In chapter 20 they are His brethren -- their greatness is in view. It is the need side in chapter 14.

H.F.N. Would we be justified in linking chapter 14 with the Supper?

J.T. Yes; here He says first, "Peace be unto you" John 20:19, then they rejoice, and then Jesus says again, "Peace be unto you" John 20:21 -- as if to confirm and establish them in the first effect of His presence. So we find they have gained something by the apprehension of Christ.

P.L. His presence in support, according to chapter 14, is promised, but here it is the sovereign movement of His love.

J.T. In grace the Lord subjected Himself while here to certain limitations that governed creation, but in resurrection He is no longer bound by these; and this chapter is intended to impress us with the region outside of natural laws -- a spiritual region -- so the doors being shut, He enters. The Spirit presents that side here to show the effect of His ministry.

Rem. Would chapter 14 suggest the position of the saints at the Supper, and chapter 20 the spiritual outcome, what is beyond the Supper, but which properly it leads on to?

J.T. Yes; the Supper is a testimony to the fact that the Lord is not here -- it is a remembrance of Him.

M.W.B. These three chapters -- 14, 15 and 16 -- are necessarily introductory to this one. We could not omit these intermediate chapters.

J.T. Rightly apprehended they lead to this, but we must see that this is wholly spiritual; we get, too, in the main what is of God in the disciples, so that there is correspondence in them to this movement of Christ, and thus they are equal to the visitation.

Rem. Mary is one in the good of chapter 14.

J.T. She behaves well as a sister. She waits till the

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two disciples look into the sepulchre, and then she looks in; and in doing so she gets the benefit and sees the two angels, sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet where the body of Jesus had lain. The Person who had lain there was divine, and reverential respect is to be shown to the spot where He lay. Mary says, "they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him" John 20:13. Having said this, she turns backward, thus turning away from the angels. There seems to be spiritual instinct in this action: the angels were not the ones to lead in spiritual thoughts. In turning, she sees the Lord. It was He who could instruct her in what was spiritual; this He proceeds to do, telling her first not to touch Him, then He entrusts her with the wonderful message, "go to my brethren and say to them, I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God" John 20:17. And Mary, without any questioning goes and tells them, and there is no evidence that they disbelieve her.

P.L. She says, "Rabboni" -- my Teacher. Is He to instruct her now in relation to the spiritual?

J.T. Yes; that is how it stands.

P.L. Instinctively she seems to anticipate the greatness of the company to which she belongs in the new position; she realises that the dispensation of angels was eclipsed for her.

A.M.H. We want to go on to what is spiritual rather than to manifestations of angelic power.

H.F.N. "God is a Spirit". John 4:24.

J.T. That is a great feature, giving character to this gospel.

Rem. The two disciples turned to follow Jesus in chapter 1. Mary turns here.

J.T. It is a great thing to turn at the right moment.

P.L. With Mary it is a question of leaving earth in principle and anticipatively. We do not require angelic care in heaven.

J.T. John in Revelation 1 turned to see the voice.

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He had been occupied with what was heavenly, but what he was to take account of had reference to earth; whereas Mary turns the other way to the heavenly.

M.W.B. Comparing this with chapter 16, where we have "For the Father himself loveth you" John 17:27, there seems a further development of thought as to the Father. Here it is "My Father and your Father" John 20:17.

J.T. We want to distinguish between "the Father" -- the thought in revelation as expressed in "one God, the Father" 1 Corinthians 8:6 -- and our Father. Paul generally, indeed almost habitually, speaks of our Father: his thought is to bring men in to God in the relationship of sons; so he says, "God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father" Galatians 4:6.

H.F.N. "Access by one Spirit unto the Father" Ephesians 2:18; would that be revelation?

J.T. Yes.

H.W. Does the thought of family relationship lie behind our having access? Is it built upon it?

J.T. "That he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross" Ephesians 2:16 is properly connected with revelation. "Access" has reference to our position down here. The second section of Ephesians 2 treats of what had been brought to pass upon earth through the testimony of God.

H.F.N. What scriptures would you use to build up the thought of family relationship?

J.T. John 20, Romans 8:14,15, and Galatians 4:6. In Romans the Spirit enables us to cry "Abba, Father"; in Galatians He cries "Abba, Father" in our hearts. See also the opening verses of Paul's epistles. "Grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father". All these, and other scriptures, enable us to take this ground of relationship with God.

H.F.N. Would "the Father" be the universal thought, and "our Father" more what is private, what is of the family?

J.T. The revelation of God is general; the declaration

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of the Father's name is special. In John 1:18 it says, "The only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him", without saying to whom; but John 17:26 it says, "I have declared unto them thy name"; that is special. When made to some person or persons the revelation is effective; when it is general, it may not be effective in all.

In verse 21 it says, "Jesus said therefore again to them, Peace be to you: as the Father sent me forth, I also send you" John 20:21 (New Trans.). The "therefore" seems to connect with the rejoicing of the previous verse; it alludes to the joy; so the Lord says again "Peace", in this way sealing and confirming it. Then He comes on to their commission. "As the Father sent me forth, I also send you" John 20:21, and this is followed by the breathing into them, thus indicating His concern that there should be confirmed peace and a right spirit in them as representing Him. This is important with us. The palsied man who was sent to his house would have a sense that he was sent there by Christ, and in consequence he would have a sense of his responsibility to represent Christ there, and the Lord would have us marked by a right spirit as representing Him down here.

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A WORD ON THE HOLY SPIRIT

John 4:13,14; Genesis 21:17 - 34

J.T. I thought a word on the Spirit would help us, and that we might look at the power and effect of the truth typically upon the woman of Samaria and on Hagar. Then I think we may see how the idea of the Spirit, or the well in Genesis, is carried through in Abraham. The idea of the well goes further than the Spirit personally, including, as it does, the system of grace in which the Spirit operates, and from that point of view it is introduced first in scripture in connection with Hagar, as belonging to the household of faith, though she never fully availed herself of it. That is, it had no permanent effect, so that she goes to Egypt for a wife for her son, she being an Egyptian. But the woman of Samaria goes back to the men of the city, but they have no power over her. Hagar goes back to where she came from for a wife for her son, proving that she was not free of it; but the woman of Sychar went back to the city, to the men, and proved that she was completely delivered from them, and from the world, in that she invites them to a Man who is not of it at all, and her invitation is effective. That is, it has power, in that it is from one in deliverance. It is in that power of deliverance from the world, that we may hope to attract persons out of it.

P.G.T. Is there any difference between the thought of the well, and the rivers in chapter 7?

J.T. In chapter 7 it is rivers, alluding to the superabundance of the effect of the Spirit. "This he said concerning the Spirit, which they that believed on him were about to receive" (John 7:39, New Trans.), which I believe alludes to Pentecost, where you see the full result of the Spirit come down. Rivers in scripture suggest sources of influence, bringing to light primarily what is of God -- gold and the like (Genesis 2:12 - 13).

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A well is a much smaller subdivision of water. An ocean may affect continents, for according to the size of the body of water, so is its influence; while a well, being the smallest subdivision of water, rather suggests what is applicable to one person at a time; and also it suggests freshness and vigour, so that it becomes a well or spring in the believer.

E.W. Does the well link one with God Himself?

J.T. I think it does. It springs up into everlasting life; it has God in view. It springs up, and the action of it here shows that the result is for God. It is the smallest subdivision of water mentioned, and is first connected with Hagar. It comes to light here first, and the well is called "Beer-lahai-roi" (Genesis 16:14) -- the well of the Living who was seen. It is by the well that she is brought into direct touch with God. The moral effect was not there in Hagar's case, but it was evident in this woman of Samaria in John 4.

W.T. You are not speaking of the Spirit as the Comforter, but as of service as in us individually.

J.T. The thought of the well is first connected with our state of soul, for that is the point the Lord makes; He says, "Go, call thy husband" John 4:16. The moral state has to be adjusted before we can come into it. Hagar did not answer to it, though it was the place where she came into touch with God. At first she left the house of faith in self-will, but in spite of that, God met her. She goes out, but God met her; showing what grace is, and how this type involves that God follows us up.

The woman of Samaria, on the other hand, was an outcast, and when she gets instruction as to the well, she seems to get the spiritual thought, for she says, "give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw" John 4:15; but the Lord says, "Go, call thy husband" John 4:16. The moral question has to be gone into. She is able to go to the men of the city, and say, "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did" John 4:29. She had already been exposed to herself, and evidently

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judged herself accordingly. This is the way it was meant to affect her; for the application of the well has to do with the self-acting organs in us. It has to do with the lower affections; they have to be operative, and that is by the word. Unless one is cleansed morally, there are no practical results, and then the self-acting organs are brought under the control of the Spirit, so that there is a "springing up".

G.H.C. Is the gift of the Spirit intended to link us up with a living Person, whereas in Hagar's case it was just temporary relief?

J.T. It did not bring Hagar into a link with God. God showed wonderful grace in allowing her to find herself in these circumstances, for in them she would get the benefit of the system of grace, circumstances brought about by her own conduct. But it is added that she goes to Egypt for a wife for her son. She is responsible for her son: "lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand" Genesis 21:18; she was held to that. She made her son to drink, then she goes off to Egypt. The self-acting organs, so to speak, were not under the influence of the Spirit. The woman of Samaria goes back to the city and says, "Come, see a man" John 4:29. She is delivered; the men of the city have no power over her; she has power over them for good; she is completely delivered, being in possession, in principle, of the living water.

J.H.T. Isaac came from the same well as Rebekah drew nigh.

J.T. He valued the thing, though Hagar did not; but you had something more in your mind.

J.H.T. I was thinking of the contrast between Egypt and the well.

J.T. Rebekah knew how to use the well. She is seen coming to it with a pitcher at the time the maidens came to draw water. She is not like this woman; she had not to come when others were not there. She could lift up her head. She is one who is already morally right, and she knows what to do. It is there she comes

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to light as a type of the church. The remarks of the servant of Abraham about her are very beautiful: "And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder ... and she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also" (Genesis 24:45, 46). Now when she reached Isaac he had just come from the well. He dwelt in the south country, and that is where the "well Lahai-roi" was. He is by the well; it is the means of sustenance. Moses (Exodus 2:15) sat by the well, and "Joseph is a fruitful bough ... by a well" (Genesis 49:22).

E.W. The Lord was waiting by this well in John 4.

J.T. In the end of chapter 3 it says, "The Father loves the Son, and has given all things to be in his hand" John 3:35. This is the filling out of that. "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water". John 4:10. The gift of God is through a divine Person, "who it is that saith to thee".

W.T. On the other hand, would you say Rebekah made room for the Spirit?

J.T. She made room for Abraham's servant. One great idea with Rebekah is sufficiency, plenty of room, plenty of everything; but there is nothing of that about Hagar, only narrowness and worldliness. And yet God helped Ishmael; God was with him, and he became an archer, but his mother took him a wife out of Egypt. She is a type therefore of those who today participate in the Spirit (Hebrews 6), but are worldly, and never come to anything spiritually.

J.W. Did the action of Rebekah show that she knew the wealth that was connected with the well?

J.T. Quite. If you take the thing typically, it is a question of the Spirit. We have to understand the types from the standpoint of the New Testament, so the well in these passages points to the energy of life and consequent power and wealth that lie in the Spirit.

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F.W.B. What is involved in Ishmael becoming an archer?

J.T. It is rather a reproach in Genesis to be an archer; it is a man who fights at a distance. It is recorded of Joseph that he is a "fruitful bough by a well" Genesis 49:22. That is Christ in the fulness of grace; "the archers ... shot at him ... but his bow abode in strength" Genesis 49:23, 24. That is what the Jews did to Him, and Ishmael and Hagar are the Jewish element. They were the persecutors of Christ.

W.T. The woman in John 4 was needy.

J.T. You see the complete deliverance in John 4 in this practical way, that she goes back to her old haunts and has power for good over the men, and she directs them to a Man she has found who told her all things she ever did. She valued and enjoyed the light, although it exposed her.

W.T. Is that connected with revelation?

J.T. Surely; the only-begotten Son was there, declaring God. Of Hagar it reads, "The Angel of Jehovah found her by a spring of water" Genesis 16:7, as if it were God showing interest in her though she was self-willed and then the well is named because she was conscious that God saw her. It would be like the revelation of God to her. In the next incident her eyes are opened and she is held responsible. "Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand". Genesis 21:18. The lad drinks, but there is no moral effect, and his history shows that he corresponds with the Jews as hating Christ. Unless inward members are morally cleansed through the purifying of the mind, there will be no outward effect in separation from the world. I think it is a very poor thing if, while we may talk about having the Spirit, we are not delivered from the world. Unless the effects are seen practically, what is the use of talking about it?

W.T. Have we any antitype in the New Testament? I was wondering if there were any instances in the epistles to throw light upon it.

J.T. In the epistle to the Galatians it is brought in

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formally; they are said to be going back to the beggarly elements. There it is the world of religion, but at Corinth they were going back to the world of sensuality.

Ques. Do you think the woman in John 4 appreciated the difference that existed between Samaria and Jerusalem?

J.T. I think you see how she overcomes the prejudices that existed between Samaria and Jerusalem. She had talked about the Jews and the Samaritans and their rival claims. The Lord asserted what God had set among the Jews, that salvation was of them, and His word evidently affected her. The result was that her testimony brings about an abiding place for Christ among the Samaritans, for "he abode there two days" John 4:40. How can there be a state of things suitable for this in a local company save as they are unworldly? The result at Samaria would indicate deliverance from the world in a moral sense; they were not thinking nationally, for as they came to Him and heard Him themselves, they say, "we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world" (John 4:42). "He abode there two days" John 4:40; the period of testimony.

J.H.T. I wondered if the result in Samaria would also be seen at Colosse, where the apostle speaks of their love in the Spirit? Then they would be walking in wisdom towards those without, redeeming opportunities.

J.T. Yes; "Christ in you" (Colossians 1:27); suitable conditions were there.

Rem. Referring to Isaac, he comes from the well Lahai-roi, and then he dwells there. That is in contrast to Hagar going down to Egypt, is it not?

J.T. Genesis 21 taken together with this chapter helps immensely, showing the power of the divine system of grace. Hagar did not come into the good of the thing; but what about Abraham? He is a characteristic believer. It says Abimelech and Phichol the captain

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of his host come to Abraham. He had moral power, and the Philistine respected that. The Philistine will never respect you unless he has to, and then he will make the best terms he can, but he will make a show of what he has. So here, he brings his military man and says, as it were 'You are a man of distinction'. Every man delivered from the world is that; he is marked off; he has power, and the blessing of God is with him. The Philistine king wanted to make terms regarding himself, his son, and his grandson. The power and blessing of God marked Abraham, and so he was formidable. Abimelech recognises this, so he makes a show and brings his military man, indicating that he has an army. Abraham has no army, but when the need arises he is not behind. He had trained servants in his house (Genesis 14:14). But this is a question of those before whom you have to live; he took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, but he reproved him on account of the well. He shows he is a man of power, and you must be to stand up against a king. Abraham had no crown except a moral one, but Abimelech makes terms with him for three generations. Abraham says in effect, 'Here are seven ewe lambs; these are what I am thinking about; they represent the spirit which marks me. I do not think of being at war with you, I want to be a man of peace'. Ewe lambs are the opposite of being armed to the teeth.

R.D-s. What would that imply?

J.T. It is Romans 12:20. "If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink". You are thinking of the system of grace, and you want to gain people; you do not want to be quarrelling. It is peace.

J.H.T. Why seven ewe lambs?

J.T. They set forth the perfection of the subjective results of the Spirit. You are not aggressive. The Philistine had never thought of that. It was a new thing to him, but that is the kind of man he had to reckon with. It suggests the fruit of the Spirit. There

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are nine varieties of the fruit of the Spirit given in Galatians 5:22 - 23: "Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, fidelity, meekness, self-control". If that is the spirit of Abraham you can trust him. He has a wonderful influence for good. He says, "For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well" Genesis 21:30. He commends the system of grace. The spirit of Christ, which marked Abraham, would thus be represented before Abimelech. The well which Abraham dug was the secret of this.

J.H.T. Why is this proposal in John 4 made to the woman and not to Nicodemus in chapter 3?

J.T. It is very remarkable that this great truth should come out in such a woman as this. I suppose it is to illustrate the system of grace. That is just what the grace of God is; it takes up the worst kind of people and makes them vessels for the display of itself. For she left her waterpot. She was a better pupil than Nicodemus; she left her waterpot. She saw the benefits of living water and immediately put the thing into effect, and the effort was successful, for the men came and believed.

Ques. Would the waterpot signify all that she was engaged with in her past history?

J.T. Yes; leaving it she indicates spirituality, that her body was to be the vessel. She saw that her body was henceforth to be employed in the system of grace. Romans brings it out that our bodies are to be used; our members are to be yielded as instruments of righteousness to God. Nicodemus is a man who never came out in definite testimony in the Lord's lifetime. He was a secret disciple. This woman identified herself with Him and was a successful evangelist immediately. Nicodemus is a very poor disciple. The woman is immediately a witness, and, through her, room is made for Christ -- a very great result.

J.H.T. Is the gift of the Spirit intended to make

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Christ greater to us than any one else? In John 4 He is greater than Jacob, in chapter 6 He is greater than Moses, and in chapter 8 He is greater than Abraham.

J.T. Very good. She says to the men, "Come, see a man" John 4:29. The Person was before her soul. That is the effect of the Holy Spirit; He engages our hearts with Christ. You feel that Hagar had never come into the assembly, typically, but this woman of Samaria had. Hagar represents the Jew with all his advantages. It has been mentioned that the effect of the Spirit is to bring testimony for Christ. Compare Nicodemus with this woman; although he came out at the end, this woman is immediately a fruitful witness, and room is made for Christ.

I think Abraham intended that these ewe lambs should be before Abimelech as representative of his spirit, and it was to maintain the well in its proper character. It would be safe in the hands of Abraham. It is very important to keep the system of grace clear, for it ought to produce the same spirit in any one. The Galatians were giving it up. Then in chapter 26, Abimelech discerning that God was also with Isaac, comes back to Isaac with Ahuzzath his friend, and Phichol the captain of his host. He comes back with an additional man, that is his friend -- three of them, which I suppose would be royalty, military power, and the social thing, the latter being based on friendship. That was a formidable array, and that is what we have to contend with. The social element is an added thing, but it did not overcome Isaac. He sent them away, and that same day his servants came and told him that they had found water. It is called a city in chapter 26; in chapter 21 it is called a place; there is advance in the instruction. The city implies that there is an order of things in which there is light and rule. We are to cherish assembly order. We have been speaking of people with whom the Lord can abide, but now it is a city (verse 33). You must have light and

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rule and authority; all that stands in relation to the well Beersheba. Beersheba also stands for the faithfulness of God. It is where God appears to Jacob as the God of his father Isaac, meaning that everything is secure in a risen Christ; it is Isaac, not Abraham.

E.W. What is the point in Abraham planting a tree by the well and calling on the Eternal God (Genesis 21:33)?

J.T. He has gained a moral victory and entered into an engagement with Abimelech; this was in the knowledge of the Eternal God. Moses alludes to the idea afterwards: "The eternal God is thy refuge" (Deuteronomy 33:27), and "thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations" (Psalm 90:1).

Ques. Does making room for the Spirit enable us to magnify what is of Christ and then get rid of these things?

J.T. The use of the figure of the well is in view of being independent of the world. Moses sat by the well, that being the divine thought instead of the energy of the flesh. The great legislator and administrator sat by the well. The thing is set up in Genesis in Joseph, a fruitful bough by a well. Moses sat by the well as the administrator of it. John 4 is really administrative, the Father having given all things into the hand of the Son.

Ques. Where does the well in Numbers link on with this subject?

J.T. The well in Numbers has a very great link. The administrative side is in view in "the law-giver" and "the princes", but it is the power by which they go into Canaan. "Spring up, O well" (Numbers 21:17). After that the people go from one point to another until they reach the top of Pisgah, then they take a retrospective view of the journey and see all that God has been to them. You see the wilderness, and the point is to look over "the waste" to see what God has

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been to you there. The Spirit enables us to look back over our whole history and see how God has been working with us, what He has been to us.

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THE ASSEMBLY -- THE ANOINTED VESSEL

Luke 4:16 - 22; 1 Corinthians 12:12 - 13

J.T. The expression in 1 Corinthians 12:12, "so also is the Christ", evidently alludes to the assembly as anointed. It seems to convey what the apostle had in mind mainly in writing to them -- that they might arrive at the divine thought of spiritual dignity and power in the anointed vessel -- the assembly. The anointing involves sanctification. Much is said of it in the Old Testament in the types, especially in Exodus and Leviticus, God thus intimating that the tabernacle and the priestly service connected with it should represent that holiness and moral dignity that are becoming to Himself. One feels that there is a great deal of light amongst the saints, and perhaps much enjoyment of it, but without that separation, and sanctification, and dignity which are becoming to the light. It is obvious in the first letter to the Corinthians that the divine intent was that there should be in Corinth a vessel answering in sanctification to the light within. I thought it would help us to see how important the anointing is as first presented in Christ in Luke. Luke makes much of it, because he is concerned as to that which is comely and dignified, and free from the natural and worldly elements that so often creep in amongst us.

Ques. Is the thought of holiness and that of sanctification the same idea?

J.T. Yes. Aaron is called the "saint of the Lord" Psalm 106:16, as officially representing the divine thought.

Ques. Is not the thought of holiness linked with the divine nature? Is sanctification identified with that in Scripture?

J.T. It is the same idea; we are set apart in holiness. "Be ye holy for I am holy". Sanctification on our side corresponds with what God is in His nature. Man was perfectly presented in Christ even from the outset of His

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being; as born into this world He is spoken of as "that holy thing" Luke 1:35, and as ascended into heaven, He is "holy, harmless, undefiled, separated from sinners" Hebrews 7:26. The divine idea is brought into manhood and developed in the Lord Jesus here, so that at His baptism it is seen that the vessel was morally suited to be anointed, and the Holy Spirit came down in bodily form as a dove upon Him. He identifies Himself with the vessel. What God is, is thus manifested in a Man. Now that is to become true in men, so that there may be a vessel here -- the assembly -- to which God can commit Himself. A vessel was there in the Lord as the Son; holiness was there inherently in Him, but it showed itself humanly, so to speak, in incarnation. The anointing is God committing Himself to men, and giving them such power as would enable them to truly represent Him.

Ques. Various people in Scripture are anointed: what is the underlying thought of anointing?

J.T. It is God committing Himself to men, I think, and dignifying them by conferring power by which they should rightly represent Him in testimony. Satan, according to Ezekiel, had been anointed -- "Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth" (Ezekiel 28:14). He was in some measure in the secret of God's purpose, he stood in that place. So too in the Psalms, in reference to the covenant made with the patriarchs, God says, "Touch not mine anointed ones, and do my prophets no harm" (Psalm 105:15). The idea of anointing is also connected with the priesthood and the prophets, then later with the king.

Rem. In the leper, too.

J.T. Quite: but these are the official features in which it is set out -- in the priest, in the prophet, and in the king. But then there is the tabernacle, which suggests the thought of an entire system, representing the whole created system -- the moral system in which God is to shine out; that too was to be anointed.

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L.D.M. Do you think the anointing is specially in view when the Lord says, "tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high" Luke 24:49?

J.T. Just so. They could not rightly represent God otherwise; so that the idea of representation enters into it, hence the moral qualifications must underlie the divine committal to us in the anointing. There must be a vessel fitted for anointing.

G.N. So it would be a serious thing if we stooped to act in the flesh instead of in the dignity of the anointing.

J.T. Yes, that was what I was thinking. One has to say it feelingly that generally the walk and conduct of the saints are below the divine thought. Luke presents the divine thought set out in the Lord: Paul, in the main, I think, is occupied to bring it about in the saints.

Ques. Is that due to lack of enjoyment?

J.T. I think so. The word in 1 Corinthians 12:13, "For by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit", gives the thoughts that underlie the public position, that is to say, the baptism into one body merges the saints in a spiritual way, it merges us all in one another, and you accept the position, you are not restive, you are content in it; but in being given to drink of one Spirit, you enjoy it. Drinking is the practical enjoyment of the thing. It brings in the thought, too, of mutual enjoyment; whereas baptism, being the act of another, merges us all together, so that each has his place. The one is according to the divine will, and the other that I accept it and enjoy the position given me, by drinking into the one Spirit.

A.H.C. In Leviticus 8 Aaron and his sons are bathed with water, then clothed, then anointed: is that what you have in mind?

J.T. Yes. I think the truth stands in Leviticus thus: God is in the tabernacle and He speaks out of it,

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that is the position; then He invites the people to draw near according to their measure. It is the worshipper -- the man himself -- who draws near; he comes with an offering, a burnt-offering, a meat-offering, a peace-offering, a sin-offering, or a trespass-offering; it is his doing, and according to his own measure. These chapters therefore bring out the moral qualities of the saints, as built up for the divine pleasure; the worshippers show, by their voluntary action Godward, the measure in which they correspond with Christ, and how far they see what He was, as represented in these various offerings, in going into death. Their appreciation of Christ is measured by their offerings on whatever line they may approach. Then the law governing all these offerings was given to the priests, so that the standard might be maintained amongst the people of God. In chapter 8 God reverts to His own thought; so the high priest is anointed apart from death, and the tabernacle is anointed with him, setting forth the position of Christ as the inaugurator and maintainer of the divine system. Christ was anointed in manhood apart from any thought of death; the Spirit came down and identified Himself with Him at the outset of His service here for God. His death comes in on our account, so when we have learned the epistles, and they have had their place with us, we go back to the gospels to see the divine thought set forth perfectly in Christ -- it is seen in absolute perfection in Him -- His personal dignity and immunity from death. Then the saints -- typified in Aaron's sons -- are brought in through death in connection with Him.

G.N. So we see and learn the thing as presented in Christ as man.

J.T. Yes, I think that is how we believers learn it. We begin with Romans, we learn it first there; that gives us the Spirit individually; then in Corinthians we see the place of the Spirit in regard to the company, and as set up in the Spirit we go back to the gospels

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and learn the perfection of every quality in Christ personally. I apprehend the gospels were written later than any of the New Testament books, for they were given when they had become necessary to the saints as empowered in the Spirit. They were qualified in the Spirit to contemplate perfection in Christ. That is what gives the gospels their great importance; they stand alone. In Leviticus 8 we have perfection in a man presented typically, and the whole system anointed with him.

Rem. In the end of chapter 8 we get the food of the priest; is not that an important point? It was not simply appropriation but assimilation. In partaking of it, we become like what we partake of.

J.T. Quite so. That is what the gospels I think are for: they are strong meat to build up the priestly constitution. Aaron and his sons were to remain in the tabernacle throughout the whole period of their consecration. Chapter 9 brings out Christ in relation to Israel, but chapter 8 sets out particularly the church position, and in a way may be said to be "the Christ". God has secured the system of things which was prefigured in the tabernacle, and a priesthood in it sufficiently dignified to represent Him here. The thought of the priests as maintaining for God during the entire period of their consecration needs our special attention. The food of the priests is given in chapters 6 and 7; the skin of the burnt offering went to the priest, setting forth complete correspondence to Christ in his devotedness to God.

Ques. Would you say that is brought about by the Spirit? In Corinthians it says, "So also is the Christ". Would it refer you back to the gospels and show how by the Spirit the thing has been effected?

J.T. Yes, hence you have the thought of the Spirit and the drinking into it. The baptism into one body, and the drinking of one Spirit are both necessary to the divine thought of the anointed system.

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Y.Y-L. You could hardly get the thought of "the Christ" in the gospels, could you?

J.T. "The Christ" means the anointed; obviously in Corinthians it refers to the saints.

Y.Y-L. That is why I asked whether "the Christ" covers more than Christ personally as presented in Luke 4.

J.T. Yes, as in Corinthians "so also is the Christ" refers to the saints, to the whole system -- the anointed system. But the nations are banded together against the Lord and His Christ, or His Anointed, which is the same thought. Where you get God committing Himself to us -- to men -- the enemy seeks to attack. So when the Philistines heard that David had been anointed they attacked (2 Samuel 5:17); it is the same in Psalm 2, they are against the Anointed. Even as to the Lord, it is after He was anointed that He was carried of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted. The thing was put to the test; the greatest possible test was brought to bear upon Him, and He overcame. The dignity in which He overcame, the great moral power that marked Him, greatly affect one: no struggle, no effort, it was done in dignity. What power was there! He answers by the word of God and the enemy is powerless. Then he comes to Nazareth, and we do well to see how the anointed Vessel comports Himself in the place where He had been brought up. He comes into the synagogue, and as one anointed by the Spirit, He avails Himself of what was there. The Old Testament was in the synagogue, and we see how such a One uses the Scriptures. Today we see how thousands misuse the Scriptures, for, alas! they are not anointed, with the result that the Bible is brought into discredit.

Rem. Philip knew how to use the Scriptures.

J.T. Quite: but look at the Lord here, and look at Paul in his handling of the Scriptures; but this is a unique passage; we see here what use can be made of the Scriptures by an anointed vessel. Here in Luke

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we learn how grace is presented to men, and what place the Scriptures have in that service; it is presented in this gospel to call attention to the anointing. In going among the heathen, one might not resort so much to them, because they are not accredited there: one would need a miracle perhaps, a sign from God; but here in the synagogue of Nazareth, where the light of God was acknowledged, that was not needed: the Scriptures were already there, and the Lord's use of them is a guide for us now. We do not need signs in christendom: the Scriptures are already recognised, but we do need to know how to use them, otherwise we shall bring them into discredit.

Rem. It is remarkable in that connection how Peter is able to take up and apply the Scriptures after the Holy Spirit had been given.

J.T. It is remarkable. One is thankful that the Authorised Version is 'Appointed to be read in Churches', in synagogues, so to speak, but a serious responsibility attaches to those who discredit them officially. Many of them are not anointed and therefore are not qualified to handle them. The Lord went into the synagogue. The book of the prophet Isaiah was delivered to Him -- that particular volume of the Scriptures had doubtless been read by others; the Lord knew what was in it, He took the roll from the attendant and stood up for to read, and found the place where it was written. He knew where the text was which furnished the light of the position at that moment.

G.N. That is continued in Peter in Acts 2he knew the text that would apply to the situation.

J.T. He stood up in the dignity of the anointing.

Y.Y-L. When you speak of the dignity of the anointing, do you mean a man standing up in the power of the Spirit?

J.T. When it is a question of ministry, yes. I am thinking also of what is in 1 Corinthians, which is not

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a question of ministry, though that is included, but what the saints are collectively.

Y.Y-L. As the anointed vessel?

J.T. Yes. If one stands up to minister, not as relying on the energy of the flesh, nor as allowing natural ability or education, but as relying on the Spirit, he does so in spiritual dignity. There is a dignity about that man and he will not discredit the Scriptures; he will rather enhance them. So Luke gives us the details as to the Lord in the synagogue; he shows that the roll of the scripture was handed to Him, and that He found the place where it was written (this is not merely an incident, it is in keeping with what Luke has before him), and He reads it, then He closed the book and gave it again to the attendant and sat down, as much as to say, This scripture covers the dispensation. It is a fixed thing, there is no uncertainty about it -- He sits down. Then He begins to speak, and He makes application of what He had read -- "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he hath anointed me to preach" Luke 4:18, etc., saying, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears" Luke 4:21.

H.H. He knew where to stop in the reading of it.

J.T. Quite so, and it is an important thing not to go too far.

Ques. Does Peter standing up with the eleven suggest the vessel?

J.T. That is a Levitical touch: it shows he was not beneath his dignity as a Levite. In chapter 1 he stands up in the midst of the brethren, showing that he understood the assembly, but in chapter 2, he stands up with the eleven, showing he understood his Levitical position.

Y.Y-L. If the ministry needs to be in the grace of the anointing, what about those who listen?

J.T. That I think comes out in the company. It is just the general thought that I would press; how the Lord handled the Scriptures and what an effect it had

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on His hearers, though the sequel shows there was no work of God in them, but the manner of the minister was such that they were all affected. If there had been a work of God there, they would have fallen down and owned that God was there.

G.N. Whatever the position calls for, there is that in the anointing that can meet it. Here it is a question of the expression of grace, is it not?

J.T. That is what Luke has before him, that the vessel is in keeping with the testimony -- the testimony is not discredited by the minister, for all was in the grace of the Spirit. So they marvelled at the words of grace that came out of His mouth -- attention is called to the Vessel. Although in result they opposed Him and would murder Him, nevertheless the testimony of grace was brought to them.

A.H.C. The chapter (Luke 4) opens with mention of the Holy Spirit: is that important?

J.T. I think Luke emphasises that. John, in speaking of the Spirit, uses the word "holy" occasionally, but Luke almost invariably so, and that because it is a question of holiness and dignity, and because he is emphasising the moral quality of holiness. The Lord is referred to as "that holy thing" Luke 1:35, indeed the early chapters of Luke impress you with holiness; holiness marks the whole scene. Everything is marked by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

F.W.J. This was in humiliation too in Luke, so it involved being despised.

J.T. Yes, and I think that the holy anointing oil, with which the priests were anointed typified really the spirit of the lowly, dependent, suffering One. The leading ingredient was myrrh -- which means the spirit of a suffering Christ. As we understand the truth as to the Spirit according to Romans and Corinthians -- that is as given to us individually and collectively -- then we begin to see it is no less than the Spirit of Christ, of a suffering Christ. Philippians answers to it;

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the Spirit of Christ in the saints involves suffering; and all priestly service involves suffering. Luke, when he records in the Acts the Lord appearing to them in resurrection, says "after he had suffered" Acts 1:3.

F.W.J. Will you say a little about the assembly as being the anointed vessel.

J.T. I think the apostle had that in his mind in writing to the Corinthians. The facts that come out in the epistle show that they were very far beneath the divine thought. He could say they came behind in no gift, which was true, and that God was faithful who had called them to the fellowship of His Son; but their practice was not marked by the holiness which priestly service calls for, so the apostle has to exhort them to self-judgment. I hear, he says, there are divisions among you; one says I am of Paul, another, I of Cephas, and another, I of Christ, that is to say, there was the revival of the old Greek method of hero-worship among them. This had marked the Greeks, and of course it marks man, but particularly where there is ability amongst men, and where there is ability there is sure to be party work; men become leaders of a party. The assembly at Corinth had dropped from its dignity as having the Spirit of God, to the level of men. Paul says to them, "Are ye not men?" "for ye are yet carnal" 1 Corinthians 3:3. Then he immediately proceeds to point out to them the manner of his preaching, that it was not in human wisdom, or human learning; he did not go to the Greeks for any help at all in his preaching: he did not study their eloquence, or bring it into his ministry; he would know nothing among them "save Jesus Christ, and him crucified" ... "And my speech and my preaching", he adds, "was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power" 1 Corinthians 2:2,4. He would own no power save the power of the Spirit. In chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4, he deals with the question of his ministry, what it was, and what ministry should be, a ministry which owed nothing to man.

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Y.Y-L. There would be great spiritual gain amongst us if we gave more place to the Spirit.

J.T. Yes. Many of us, alas! have gone to the Greek schools for help, that is, we have relied on natural ability; Paul says deliberately, he had used none of these things. They had made him a leader, but he never intimated in the least degree that he wanted a following; he realised that he was anointed. His preaching was on the principle of the anointing.

Ques. Was the fact of the anointing the way to meet the situation -- that he should come in among them and know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified?

J.T. Quite. In Luke 4, immediately the Lord ministered on the line of the anointing, their natural minds began to work -- "Is not this Joseph's son?" Luke 4:22; on another occasion they said, "How knows this man letters having never learned?" John 7:15. They could not see how a man without any training as far as they knew, could thus minister; they could not appreciate the anointing; they say virtually, how can he minister? And Paul, although he had polish, and education, and ability too, determined these should not be seen; he would know nothing save Jesus Christ and Him crucified; in his ministry he would be marked by the anointing. Then when he wrote his letter to them, he sends Timothy with it so that he might bring them into remembrance of the apostle's ways -- "my ways which be in Christ" 1 Corinthians 4:17 as he says: having Timothy there would be like Paul in their midst.

Y.Y-L. As reflected in Timothy.

J.T. Exactly. His child in the faith.

A.H.C. The training for the ministry as men say, which we find in christendom, is practically a denial of the Spirit.

J.T. It is, and it leads alas! to the discrediting of the Scriptures. It works out in that way, for they take up the 'Higher Criticism' and other things, which undermine the authority of the Scriptures.

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F.W.J. Do you view the anointing as upon a man in service in distinction to the Holy Spirit indwelling?

J.T. Yes, I do. I think it shines there particularly, for in presenting the testimony the point is that it should not be discredited but rather enhanced by the vessel. We have to distinguish between the indwelling of the Spirit and the anointing of the vessel with a view to a true representation of God here. The princes of this world did not recognise the wisdom of God -- the hidden wisdom which God had predetermined before the ages for our glory. The princes would, I suppose, be the great people -- the learned people, but none of them knew the "hidden wisdom"; for if they had, they "would not have crucified the Lord of glory" 1 Corinthians 2:8, for it was all there in Him.

Ques. Would you say the anointing gives the true christian character?

J.T. Well, it does. It enters into our walk and ways and it enters into our being taught in the truth (1 John 2), "the same anointing teacheth you of all things". But I think Corinthians has in view the ministry first, and then the vessel in which God is seen in this world -- "God is indeed amongst you" 1 Corinthians 14:25. It is not just the Spirit as given to an individual christian.

Rem. So that one should always be characterised by the anointing.

J.T. Always.

B.E.R. The anointing brings about unity. Would you say a word in regard to Psalm 133 in this connection? There the company is in view.

J.T. That is the last of the Songs of Degrees, except one. It is the culmination of the exercises of the remnant; they arrive at the thought of brethren, and brethren dwelling together in unity, and that is the result of the anointing. The psalmist says, "It is like the precious ointment upon the head" Psalm 133:2, because they have arrived at the thought of brethren as dignified by the anointing -- "the precious ointment upon the

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head that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard; that went down even to the skirts of his garments" Psalm 133:2. I think the psalm brings out in a beautiful way what we are speaking of, what brethren are as having come to the unity of spiritual affections; the dignity of Christ in heaven is seen descending on them.

Y.Y-L. So would it be right to think of the assembly as having the anointing, having the mind of Christ -- a competent vessel for the thoughts of Christ?

J.T. Certainly, and now God would bring about in every local company some correspondence with that. What underlies it is "by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body" 1 Corinthians 12:13. It works out practically as we find ourselves baptised into one body and made to drink of one Spirit; that is, we are all merged: not in socialism, but in spiritual power. We lose our peculiarities in the merging. Water baptism means that I am submerged, but as baptised by the one Spirit, I become merged.

Y.Y-L. Baptism by water separates, it does not merge.

J.T. It takes you out of the world; but the baptism of the Spirit means that I am merged. One may have distinguishing features naturally, but it is not nature there; all is in the power of the one Spirit: that which made me distinguished after the flesh is laid aside, the baptism disposes of all that, so that one fits into the company, and answers to the divine thought as to the company as the vessel of the Spirit. Then further, it is not simply a question of being subject, but I am happy in it, so he says, we "have been all made to drink into one Spirit" 1 Corinthians 12:13. If I have drunk into it, I have enjoyed it, and when this is so, it becomes true that the vessel of the glory of God is secured.

F.W.J. Then the anointed vessel becomes the witness of the moral glory.

J.T. Yes. So in Exodus, God says, "The tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory" Exodus 29:43, but the anointing underlies that. So the apostle says, in 1 Corinthians 14:23 - 25

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"If therefore the whole church be come together into one place and ... if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all ... and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth". The glory is there; it is God that is manifested.

B.E.R. Would you say the sanctification is the result of the anointing?

J.T. In that full way, it is. I think the element of sanctification begins as you apprehend Christ's death as closing up all that is of the flesh, and you desire to be true to His death; you see God is holy; but in that complete way, the sanctification of the vessel -- of the system -- is by the divine presence; God is there. So the man falls down on his face admitting it. It is a wonderful thing to come into a company and see such subjection and unity -- each one so fitting into his place, that there is room for prophecy; and the mind of God being thus brought in, a man coming in is affected: he says, "God is there". The assembly is the anointed vessel for the divine glory to shine in and no one can resist that -- the man falls down and admits it. There were three companies in Corinth -- the Jew, the gentile, and the church of God. All three might be in the same street, so to speak -- the synagogue, the greek temple, and the christian assembly. If I go into the synagogue, what do I find? Maybe I find the Scriptures there, and Jewish Rabbis there -- Rabbis who assume to minister from the Scriptures. There are traditions, musty effete things spoken of, and my soul is withered. I get nothing, nothing at all, death reigns there. Then suppose I go into the heathen temple. What I find there is satanic power; greek wisdom and philosophy -- greek learning, but satanic learning is represented there, and I recoil from it. I get out of that place. Then there is the church of God and I come into the christian assembly, where I find

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men and women sitting -- anointed persons, subject to God, and they have the Scriptures. A brother gets up, he is in the dignity of the anointing, and he reads the scriptures with power, he speaks about them, he applies them, and my conscience is affected, I say, "God is there". The testimony is enhanced by the vessel as the result of the anointing; that was what the apostle had in mind. The same thing applies now; in any locality where the saints are, there should be this moral dignity, so that souls are attracted; they find God there.

Ques. Is not that the real need amongst us -- being under the power of the Spirit so that souls are attracted?

J.T. I think that God has before Him at the present time to bring about that very thing -- that there should be something to attract souls, as they come into our meetings.

G.N. It is as we walk in moral dignity we have any influence with our brethren. It is said of David "he walked wisely"; he had tremendous influence in Israel. We read he was anointed in the midst of his brethren -- what is the meaning of that?

J.T. It is a type of the Lord, I think; He was distinguished in that way; Christ is distinguished among us. The position in 1 Samuel is set out in Hannah. Her desire was for some one to meet the situation that had become so bad. Being the desire of a woman, Hannah represents the subjective state of the remnant, that, taking account of the situation according to God, would desire to have it met. Then, alongside that, there was the natural desire of the people to have a king like the nations, and they get their desire -- they get Saul. And yet again, alongside that, there is the desire of God, there is the thought of God, to bring in a man after His own heart. Outside Hannah's desires and outside the people's desires, God had His own desires -- "Jehovah has sought him a man after his own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14). It touches one to think of God's own heart, His own desires! Then Samuel is sent to

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Bethlehem to the house of Jesse, for God had said, "I have provided me a king among his sons" 1 Samuel 16:1. God Himself had taken account of the state of things and He had found a man after His own heart. Samuel goes, and the proceedings went on: but David -- God's chosen king -- was not there when Jesse made his seven sons pass before Samuel, so he said to Jesse, "Jehovah has not chosen these" 1 Samuel 16:10. David had not entered into any one's mind, and yet it was he who was in God's mind. So Samuel says, "Are these all the young men?" And he said, "There is yet the youngest remaining" 1 Samuel 16:11. Yes there was another, but one who had never been thought of by any one, not even by those who were nearest and dearest to him, but he was the man God had chosen. Samuel says, "Send and fetch him, for we will not sit at table till he come hither" 1 Samuel 16:11. And as soon as he arrived, Jehovah said, "Arise, anoint him, for this is he" (1 Samuel 16:12). He is anointed in the midst of his brethren; he is distinguished in that way -- in contrast to Saul, who was anointed in a sort of private way -- and in the power of that anointing he went forth. Samuel was to take an heifer with him when he went to Bethlehem to anoint David, meaning that there would be a subjective answer to it -- the feminine animal gives a subjective thought. Saul sought to check that by bringing in Merab and Michal for David, but they did not conform to the anointing at all: David's spouse must be of a different family from Saul (see 1 Samuel: 25). That is what Paul aimed at securing. He says, "I have espoused you unto one man to present you a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:2). The apostle knew well that Satan's effort would be to corrupt their thoughts.

F.W.J. Do you view the anointing rather as the operations of the Spirit than of gift?

J.T. It is more a question of the operations of the Spirit in chapter 12. The chapter opens with the subject of spiritual manifestations, and, as the chapter proceeds,

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the apostle works the thing down to the truth of the body, and then he says "God has set certain in the assembly" (verse 28), and he gives the order -- first apostles, etc. The truth of the body must be seen first, and when we understand that we are Christ's body and members in particular, then each christian has his place in the power of the Spirit; then there is room for the gifts.

F.W.J. Is it the capacity of the body as the anointed vessel rather than the resources that come from the Head?

J.T. Just so, but you can see how the exercise of gift in testimony is made to fit in with the idea of the assembly as the anointed vessel. Each saint should have his place, then there is room for gifts.

F.W.J. The vessel in the scripture you quoted is the vessel in a corporate position; "so also is the Christ", then "members in particular" gives the idea of all the members.

J.T. Yes. "Ye are Christ's body". 1 Corinthians 12:27.

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THE LEADING OF THE SPIRIT

Luke 24:50 - 53; Acts 1:9 - 14

J.T. I was thinking of the leading that is furnished to the saints. The Lord led here in Luke; the leading of the Spirit, I believe, is illustrated in the passage in the Acts.

J.W. Is the leading of the Spirit suggested by the mount of Olives in the Acts?

J.T. Yes. The passage read involves our understanding the way into heaven, so that emphasis is laid upon the fact that He was taken up, they beholding Him. It is not only the fact that He was taken up, but that they beheld Him. In Luke it is as He blesses them that He is carried up; mention is not made of their seeing Him, but in the Acts note is taken of the fact that they beheld Him. Then again the two men say, "This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, shall thus come in the manner in which ye have beheld him going into heaven" Acts 1:11. So that the instruction here, I believe, includes our knowledge of the manner of going into heaven and of coming out of heaven. The Lord must lead in everything. They beholding Him would get the impression of how He went in, and then that He would come out as they had beheld Him go in.

The principle of divine leading is most essential now -- as at all times, but now, because of the extraordinary difficulties that souls have in finding their way, and then as having found it, in being brought to the point of understanding the leading of the Spirit. The leading of the Spirit has to be taken up by itself. It is said in Romans 8:14, "for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God". It implies what is more advanced in our experience than the leading of the Lord. There is also angelic leading, which the book of Acts indicates, and which has to be noted;

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but I thought we might confine ourselves to the Lord's leading and where He leads to, and then the Spirit's leading. Many, I think, stop with the Lord's leading. It is well of course, that they should understand that, but the Spirit's leading takes us all the way. In the types, the leading of the Lord is implied in the cloud over the tent of the tabernacle. The leading of the Spirit comes in after Numbers 21, where the springing well is mentioned, and from that point they go into Canaan. It is the sons of God who go into Canaan, and as led by the Spirit they prove themselves sons of God.

Rem. The leading of the Spirit can only come in after the Lord has been received up, hence it is more advanced.

J.T. Yes. We have the leading of the Lord after we learn in subjection how to follow the Lord. The Corinthians were defective; they were not even proving the leadership of the Lord in their position at Corinth, greatly as they needed that leading; they were occupied with men as leaders. One said he was of Paul, another of Apollos, another of Cephas, and another of Christ -- not Christ in the proper sense, but Christ as connected with a party, which He could never be. We can never connect Christ with a party, but these men were endeavouring to do it for the sake of appearance. It was on partisan lines; it was not the leading of the Lord at all. Hence 1 Corinthians 1 shows how to get rid of the natural man who has become distinguished and influential among christians and seeks to be a leader; the first chapter shows how the saints should get rid of him. Chapter 2 makes room for the Spirit so that the Spirit has His place amongst us.

T.T. Is there a definite end reached in Luke's gospel?

J.T. That is what I thought we might note. He led them to a point. There is no definite point reached in the Spirit's leading, because He leads to eternity, so to

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speak. He leads us into the land, and we cannot limit that; but the Lord leads us to a point, to the place where love is known to reside. There is that on earth at the present time, a place where love is resident, and known to be resident. Love is a quality or thing that the Lord speaks of: "Have love among yourselves" John 13:35. He leads to where love is; Bethany represents this.

Ques. What corresponds with Bethany today?

J.T. The features of Bethany appear in the assembly. The exercise which leads to Bethany in John's gospel is in chapter 9, where the man has his eyes opened, and his neighbours enquire as to it and he is able to give an account. It has a local bearing. In his confession of Christ he is outside the camp; he is cast out, and the Lord finds him and reveals Himself to him as the Son of God, and he worships Him. That is the beginning of what terminates in Bethany, a local setting where there are those who, as loved of Christ, love Christ and know what to do.

T.T. Is it like the two last songs of degrees -- we are led to a certain point?

J.T. Very much like that. The songs of degrees begin in Psalm 120, after Psalm 119, meaning that I am thoroughly adjusted as to the word of God, the law of God, the testimony of God, the precepts of God; all these are cherished in a believer's heart, and that is the man that goes up. Unity is reached in Psalm 133; that state among the saints is reached and so the blessing is commanded -- "there the Lord commanded the blessing".

J.L. Would you say, in connection with the Lord's leading, that Luke would lead you out of wrong circumstances, and John would lead you in to what is of God?

J.T. That is right. Luke leads us out; he leads us outside the camp -- not simply negatively, but in a positive way. That is what young christians ought to see; there is a positive thing outside, and that is what

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Bethany represents. It is a place where love resides; it is known to be there.

W.S.S. Would the point reached in Acts 1, where these various ones are named, represent the basis of the leading of the Spirit?

J.T. Yes, I think so. The Spirit leads upward, but you begin with Bethany, I think. The Holy Spirit operates where love is; here there is room, so to speak, and there you begin to see the movements of the sons. It is one thing to see the movements of the subjects of the Lord, but the movements of sons are in relation to heaven and indicative of what heaven is.

W.S.S. Do these two characters of leading run concurrently?

J.T. Yes, they do; hence while we are down here we are always under the Lord's direction, so that the Spirit's leading enters more into assembly relations.

W.S.S. I was thinking in that connection of the overcomer, with whom the hearing of the voice of the Spirit is so closely connected in Revelation.

R.R. It says in Matthew 21:17, "he went forth out of the city to Bethany, and there he passed the night". That would be shortly before leading them out to Bethany.

J.T. It was a retreat that He had, because it was a place of love; it was a place where He was honoured. He knew it well. The Lord knows the spot where love is. If any young christian is being led by the Lord, He is leading him there. He has Bethany here today, and He has been there Himself. The Lord ever comes to where love resides.

J.H. It says, "Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus", John 11:5, and they returned it; there was a sphere where love was, as thus shown.

J.T. No one knew it better than the Lord. When He went there at first, Bethany was a chilly place. Martha did well in inviting Him into her house, but she criticised Him afterwards. Being invited into a

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house is not everything; sometimes you would rather go elsewhere. The invitation is not all; what is found in the house indicates the state of the host or hostess. Luke 7 shows that while Simon invited the Lord he had no love for Him.

Rem. The great testimony is rendered to love.

J.T. Martha received Him into her house. It was evidently her house, and she did well in receiving Him, but ill in her treatment of Him afterwards. The after treatment indicated the state she was in.

T.T. It would seem that what we have at the end of Luke is preparing us for the leading of the Spirit. They were to remain in the city until they were endued with power from on high. This would prepare for that?

J.T. Yes, they went back into the city from that point. It is well to note the beginnings of Bethany, because it describes the beginnings of most of our meetings; the initial history of most of the meetings may be described in that way. The Lord is owned and received, but He does not afterwards obtain the attention and the respect that is due. Martha complains to Him: "dost thou not care ..." Luke 10:40. She complained about her sister, but about Him really, that He was involved in what she considered the inertness of her sister, and therefore she created a very unhappy state of things. So that all that subsequently came about in Bethany was His own doing. He knew their history well; He laid the foundation of love in that place; and Mary was the link, for she sat at His feet hearing His word. The Lord is obliged to defend one disciple against the attacks of another. That is how things work out in many gatherings; He does it, and never fails to do it, so that no one needs to defend himself against personal attacks. Where there is dissension, as at Corinth, there is a chilliness in the place, and the Lord, instead of finding a congenial spot, has to be occupied with putting things right. That is what marked the beginning of Bethany, but He did put things right in a most

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effective way, so that His last visit there was evidently delightful to Him. He came at a definite time -- six days before the passover -- because in John He is never governed by religious custom. He respects certain Jewish customs according to the other evangelists, but not in John; here He takes His own time; He is the maker of time, He had set the sun in the heavens. He is not governed in John by anything that is here. He is making His own time, and we have to be prepared for that. He comes six days before the passover. But they were ready evidently; He did not take them by surprise. They knew the Lord; they knew what to do as He came to them. They knew well that He would not come as a Pharisee would come; He would come in His own way; they had things ready; "there they made him a supper" John 12:2. It will be noticed in the New Translation, that "therefore" is used several times in the first few verses of John 12; it is to emphasise that they were acting on the principle of sequence.

J.E. Under the leading of the Lord in that way, do we get to know even as the Lord, that love is resident there?

J.T. Yes, we do. "Jesus therefore, six days before the passover, came to Bethany, where was the dead man Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from among the dead. There therefore they made him a supper". John 12:1,2. That is, He being there, it was no question of their invitation, it is a question of what the Lord does. In John He is acting of Himself.

J.W. You would read what happens here in the light of John?

J.T. Yes; it has allusion to what was in Bethany. John gives you more than any one as to what was at Bethany, because he would bring out from the facts relative to Bethany what a locality should be. He is concerned about what a locality should be for Christ, that is, it is the residence of love, and the Lord can come at His own time -- not when we expect Him,

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but at His own time; if love exists He can always freely come.

J.W. What is the force then of His leading as far as to Bethany in Luke 24?

J.T. He knew exactly what was there; He knew the history of Bethany. No one else knew as He did, and He led them there in view of ascension. Lazarus was there. In John 12 He comes in relation to Lazarus, but here all that marked Bethany would be in view.

T.T. This was really a place of His own making. The Lord has to prepare a place really; He has to adjust us.

J.T. Yes, it is His own making. He found a chilly place there at first, but He did not leave it like that. It was a place of love according to John's gospel; that is to say, from John's point of view, local conditions are so affected by love through the Lord's teaching and influence that He can come at His own time.

W.S.F. Do you get the family circle in Bethany and the Supper as following on?

J.T. The point at Bethany is not the Lord's supper; they provide Him a supper. It is what they make for Him.

Ques. How does that apply at the present day? How do we provide for the Lord?

J.T. What He provides for us is His supper; that is, on the first day of the week. It is connected with a day and an hour in Scripture; but when the Lord came to Bethany, it was at no set time. In John, set times are set aside, because love is not governed by set times. Heaven is not regulated by set times.

R. In Canticles the bride found herself unprepared. We might not be ready for the visit of the Lord.

J.T. Yes. If I go to a house to which I am not invited, I may be received in, but perhaps I am made to feel that I am not there by invitation; or even if I have been invited, I may feel that I have come too soon. John is on the line of liberty, the liberty of love, that if

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the Lord comes He finds things ready -- and there is no intimation, as far as Scripture goes, that He was coming to Bethany. He had waited two days in chapter 11; it was necessary that He should wait before He came to raise Lazarus; but in chapter 12 there is no intimation that He was coming.

J.E. When He came, suitable conditions were there.

J.T. That is the point. If love resides in a place, the Lord can come any time and find something for Himself.

Ques. Had you something further to suggest in His lifting up His hands and blessing them?

J.T. Well, that is where the blessing takes place. It is not only that He blesses them, but He blesses them there.

T.T. This would raise a very serious exercise in regard to our local conditions.

J.T. That is what I had in mind.

I.R. Had you in mind that the Lord should be free to come in on any occasion we come together, whatever may be the character of the occasion?

J.T. Yes, and even if we are not together. The point in John 12 is not that He came to a company, but He came to the place; we are to notice that. The Lord may come to this place any time. The place may have two, three, or a dozen companies; all would be in view in His coming. If He comes to a place, what does He find in it? Suppose there are two or three companies as in B --: it is a question what conditions exist. Are the relations right between the companies? The place involves all that; or has He to come to set things right? If He has to come to set things right, they cannot make Him a supper; they are not free for that on account of their state.

A.F.G. Would you say this readiness should be normal -- readiness for the Lord?

J.T. Yes; love makes you ready. As has been remarked, the bride in Canticles was not ready when her Beloved came; she does not at first open the door.

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Ques. Is there any reason why it is only in John you get the mention of Lazarus?

J.T. Yes, a very good reason. He is a risen man. He does not speak, but he is a testimony to Christ nevertheless. That is an element that you would expect in John, because a living man influences people without saying anything; his very breathing, the way he sits down, the way he stands up, the way he moves about, everything in that man is effective; there is testimony in it.

Rem. It would seem that it was really the result of the operations of God in Lazarus that the conditions were found at Bethany.

J.T. Yes; there was not a man like him in the whole world, and yet he is never said to have spoken.

R.R. Does he in that way become the special attack of the enemy -- they sought to kill Lazarus?

J.T. Yes, that shows what a testimony he was. And then there is what he was to the Lord. "Jesus ... came to Bethany where was the dead man Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from among the dead". John 12:1.

T.T. Do you think the Lord sometimes puts one or two brothers or sisters through discipline to help the whole gathering to this end?

J.T. I am sure He does. That is how gatherings are helped by the principle of leadership. Chapter 11 is that one man dies for the people; that is the principle, so that this condition existed through Lazarus' death.

W.S.E. Would you say a word as to how the principle of Lazarus would apply today?

J.T. It refers to the power of life. It may be in a brother or in a sister; it is an element in the gathering. It may be very widespread or it may be only one in the gathering; but whether it be one or many, it is an element. Sisters do not speak in the meetings -- they are obliged to keep silent; but that does not mean that they have not an influence, but the very opposite. They

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have a profound influence if they are spiritual; God provides for us in this way.

W.S.S. All this has to do with the Lord's leading?

J.T. Yes. The Lord, knowing these conditions at Bethany, led His disciples to that spot. That is a pattern. He led them to that spot, and that is what He has been doing ever since -- leading His people to where love is known to be. A risen man represents spiritual nobility, the nobility of the sons. "Lazarus was one of those" John 12:2 -- he is a type.

Ques. Did you say nobility? We sometimes sing, 'Poor and feeble though we be'.

J.T. That will not do for heaven or for the assembly. It is quite right to feel that personally, but "as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" Romans 8:14. Those who went up to the mount with Moses (Exodus 24) are called "nobles". That, I think, is what Lazarus represents.

T.T. Do you think that these conditions which are pleasing to the Lord would be supplied by one or two, if one or two were in the good of these things?

J.T. Yes, they could; but the idea is that the place is characterised by love; that is the idea of the local assembly, and that is what Bethany was. You have the kind of people that sat at table, the service in Martha, but Mary is the one the Holy Spirit had specially in mind, because it is mentioned that "it was that Mary that anointed the Lord" John 11:2, and so you have the three features -- dignity, service, and worship -- in the company at Bethany.

J.I. Do you think we must be risen with Christ to appreciate these Bethany conditions?

J.T. Yes; it is Colossians. The Lord knew the history of the place, and hence He led them out as far as Bethany; and then He lifted up His hands and blessed them. He might have blessed them in Jerusalem, but He blessed, them in that place.

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J.E. Is the blessing connected with the Spirit in that way?

J.T. The fulness of it would mean the gift of the Spirit. But the point here is that the blessing is given in that place, and that then, as He is blessing them, He is carried up into heaven. You are impressed with what heaven thinks of Christ, because after all heaven must have the last word; it has the best judgment, and so what heaven thinks of Christ comes into view.

J.H. Does not Bethany form a link with heaven in that way?

J.T. Yes; heaven now comes into view. We are not told what agency is employed to do that, but the fact is stated that He "was carried up into heaven" Luke 24:51; so that you are impressed with what is done. It is part of the education of the assembly that it should be a reflection of what is in heaven, and you begin by seeing what heaven thinks of Christ.

J.L. I was thinking that perhaps the conditions of John's gospel would come in after the conditions of Luke's gospel, that is, that in Luke the Lord would lead out of certain circumstances, but in John He would lead by the Spirit into other circumstances?

J.T. Yes, in John we reach association with Christ in heavenly relationships.

A.G. What is in your mind as regards the leading of the Spirit?

J.T. The leading of the Spirit has reference to "the land", as I said, in the types. It opens out in Romans 8:14, "as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God". The Spirit of God is now in your movements. It is not simply that I am alive but I am moving in relationship with God. A son moves in the sense of his relationship with God, and in relation to God as his Father, so that the evidence of the Spirit in a believer is that he cries, "Abba, Father". That is a son. My voice, my words, indicate that I have the Spirit of God. I speak to the Father; I speak to God as Father.

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T.T. What is the thought of the Spirit coming at Jerusalem and not at Bethany? They returned to Jerusalem, and it was there that the Spirit was given.

J.T. In Acts the disciples returned from the mount of Olives -- the suggestion is that they were already moving in a spiritual way; they go, not to the temple, as in the end of Luke, but to the upper room. They return to the city, but go to the upper room, which is, I think, an indication that they were, so to speak, led by the Spirit, because in that upper room you have, in principle, the assembly. The idea of the upper room is moral elevation, and the Holy Spirit leads in that direction. They did not go to the temple; they went to the upper room. They knew what to do instinctively, and then the mention of the people that are there has its own meaning. The Holy Spirit leads us in connection with persons who have a known reputation as loving Christ. Bethany was a place of love, known to be that; now heaven is a question of persons; the assembly is a question of persons -- persons of spiritual nobility.

J.I. Would the upper room answer to Bethany?

J.T. It goes beyond Bethany; it goes more into Ephesians, the great spiritual area opened up for us and into which the Spirit leads us.

J.I. Would you say that they take Bethany impressions with them?

J.T. Yes, they do; Bethany and Olivet are closely connected geographically and spiritually.

J.I. Why is Bethany omitted in Acts?

J.T. According to Luke, they went into the city from Bethany and were daily in the temple; they were governed there by remnant instincts, and they were a contribution to the nation in grace. It was a wonderful thing that the true Aaronic priesthood was there in those men, and available to Israel if they were ready to receive them; but Acts has the assembly in view, hence Bethany is not mentioned, but the mount of Olives is, because that is the Spirit, and that is what the assembly

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needs. The recognition of the Spirit takes one away altogether from Jerusalem and the temple, from the Jewish system, to the upper room. It leads away from all accredited religion on earth into an inconspicuous place, but into a place of moral elevation, where heaven is represented.

A.G. Would the result of the leading of the Spirit be that we learn the full liberty of sonship?

J.T. Yes, and as sons we are outside of the realm of accredited religion on earth.

J.W. They were beholding Him, and as they were gazing into heaven He is spoken of by the "two men" as "this same Jesus".

J.T. Yes; stress is laid on what they saw; it is educative, so that we may understand from this passage how He went up. His being carried up into heaven is a tribute to His Person; in this passage it is how He went up -- "the manner" of it.

J.W. That would secure personality in them.

J.T. It would, and show them the way into heaven. If I am to be led by the Holy Spirit I must have some idea of the way into heaven. I am not only living, like Lazarus, but I am heavenly; I know the way in, I have seen Him going in, and He is coming out just in that way, showing that it is heaven's way.

A.G. What is the "manner"?

J.T. It is a spiritual manner. If I could have conversed with those disciples, they would have told me what they saw. Christianity is largely the result of impressions, and the impressions that were conveyed by Christ when here, and conveyed as He went up, are retained. The Holy Spirit retains them, so that christianity is a heavenly thing, impregnated with these impressions. If I saw the Lord go up I would be impressed, and I would pass on the impression. The assembly becomes enriched by these impressions. You have got something if you have an impression; it is something that is there. You may not perhaps be able

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to put it into words, but the impression itself is wealth. We have here the secret of going into heaven. "This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, shall thus come in the manner in which ye have beheld him going into heaven". Acts 1:11. That impression remains here; it is part of the wealth of the assembly.

Ques. Is there any special thought in "this same Jesus"?

J.T. There is not another, and there will be no change in Him. It makes everything so real to you. The Lord is acting Himself Luke makes much of that -- "I myself" Luke 24:39.

Rem. I was thinking of Paul speaking of the rapture; he says "the Lord himself" 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

J.T. What a thing it is to have impressions of Christ! What the three disciples got on the mount of transfiguration was for the church. Peter says, "having been eyewitnesses of his majesty" 2 Peter 1:16, he never lost that impression. It was for the church, and so every spiritual impression one receives is for the wealth of the church.

Rem. We need not that any man teach us, we are taught by the Spirit. It is exceedingly precious that we are taught by "the unction".

J.T. When they came into the upper room, they came into a gathering of people of spiritual history; these all had impressions of Christ.

Ques. Is that why the names are given?

J.T. Yes. Take Mary herself, "the mother of Jesus" Acts 1:14; that is how she is mentioned here; she had impressions of Jesus in that relation. Who could speak of Jesus like Mary? She could speak of Jesus as a Babe, and as in His youth -- before He came out in public ministry. You can see the wealth that lay in that woman as she sat in that upper room. "His brethren" were present also. Latent wealth was there, and when the Holy Spirit came it was distributed. Paul would converse with Peter as to Peter's impressions; how much Peter could tell him! "I remained with him fifteen days". Galatians 1:18.

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He went up to Jerusalem specially to see Peter; he knew that Peter had impressions of Jesus that no one else had. These impressions are all carried forward in the assembly. Acts is a book of impressions that were to be distributed and retained here in the church as wealth.

Ques. Is the "beholding" the same as comprehending with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height?

J.T. Just so; you cannot take it all in, but you get a view of the thing, and an impression.

Ques. Did the Queen of Sheba get an impression when she saw the ascent of Solomon?

J.T. Yes; she would never forget what she thus saw.

Ques. This acted upon in a city would make room for the Holy Spirit in a wonderful way?

J.T. Yes, it would. The leading of the Spirit is of the sons. The sons have relation to the Father; brethren have relation to Christ. That is what should characterise us when we are properly in assembly; it is the place of sons, and how the sons move; they are led by the Spirit. It is a question of the promptings of the Spirit in us, and our movements are indicative of that.

A.G. In addition to the personalities you mention, it also states "and the women" Acts 1:14. Why does it specially mention the women?

J.T. I think they would be the reserve in spirituality. I do not believe you could properly have an assembly in the Corinthian sense without women; the divine thought is that women should be there. Luke 8 brings in the composition of the assembly; that is, the man who had the demons is sitting and clothed and in his right mind; that is the intelligence that belongs to the assembly. And then the woman who was healed by the Lord; she has to own everything outwardly; there is transparency. Spirituality in the assembly is marked by transparency. The Lord makes her tell everything openly. She would have secreted the thing, but the

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assembly is not to be marked by secrets as regards those who compose it. The mystery is as regards the world, but within everything is to be open and transparent, so that she has to tell out "all the truth". Then the girl of twelve, Jairus's daughter, represents the freshness of life -- the new man. We have these three essential features of the assembly -- intelligence and spiritual power; transparency; and fresh young life.

Ques. Would you say that it is the privilege of every member of the company to receive impressions of the Lord?

J.T. It is, and I think that is the reason why 1 Corinthians brings in so many appearings of Christ, because that is where they were defective at Corinth; they were not rich subjectively. They were rich in gift and knowledge and all that, but they were not rich subjectively; they were not furnished with a wealth of impressions of Christ. In chapter 15 the apostle brings in that the Lord appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve, and then to above five hundred brethren. Think of the wealth of those five hundred brethren as the result of that wonderful occasion when the Lord was seen of them at one time! Paul says, "Of whom the most remain until now, but some also have fallen asleep" 1 Corinthians 15:6. I gather from that that he knew where they were. Paul also had his own appearings and consequent impressions. A glorified Christ had appeared to him. Besides, he had been in the third heaven.

Ques. Would you say that whatever impressions of Christ there are in a locality, unless there are the Bethany conditions they cannot be set forth?

J.T. No; you have perhaps to keep them to yourself. The impressions are there. Paul specially represents the ability to keep an impression. What he saw "fourteen years" before, he had apparently never spoken of -- as far as we know from scripture; but it was there in his soul, and we may depend upon it that

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Paul's ministry during those fourteen years was affected by that impression.

W.S.S. All that he had to say at Corinth in regard to assembly order had the spiritual side of things in view, and their entering into it.

J.T. Yes; and his heart was full, but he could not go beyond Christ and Him crucified, for they could not take in "the hidden wisdom".

I.R. If every hard question was answered in His presence, we should be able to enjoy Bethany conditions.

J.T. The answering of enigmas makes room for impressions; thus the Queen of Sheba was affected by what she saw.

R.E. And the impressions are what are of value to the assembly.

J.T. Yes. Each one of those you get in Acts 1 is relative one to the other; they are separate individuals, but they are put together, fitted in. What a delightful thing it would have been to go there and have a little talk with Peter! How much he could tell you! And then each of the apostles had his own distinctive impression of Christ. Then women are there, and the Lord's mother, and His brethren, as we said. The brethren of the Lord could tell you things even that Mary could not.

W.S.S. It would correspond in the spirit of it to Psalm 133 -- "there the Lord commanded the blessing".

T.T. They were "staying" there. Would that suggest that this is the proper place for impressions?

J.T. It means that they were not transitory. It is the idea of a local company; they stayed in the place. This thought of the Spirit's leading takes the sons outside the realm of accredited religion and what is accepted in this world. The sons of God are outside of all that, outside in obscurity.

Ques. In the first scripture they continued in the temple, and in Acts they were in the upper room,

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continuing with one accord in prayer and supplication with the women and Mary and His brethren?

J.T. Yes, in the upper room. The passage in the gospel presents grace, what God would do for Israel, "beginning at Jerusalem" Luke 24:47. The preaching has to begin there; it is God's contribution to the city and the temple, but Israel was not ready for it. But Acts has the assembly in view, as I said.

J.H. Why is it that at the end of chapter 2 they are continuing in the temple again?

J.T. That comes back to what we have in Luke; God is graciously waiting on Israel, placing in Jerusalem this wonderful testimony, the presence of the Spirit in manifest power.

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DIVINE ANOINTING

2 Corinthians 1:21; 1 John 2:27; Luke 4:16 - 22

I am thinking, dear brethren, about divine anointing, hoping that the Lord will help us as to the import of it. It is a familiar expression, but perhaps we may be helped further in our understanding of it. What comes out in scripture shows that it represents God's rights in administration or service, and thus correspondingly shuts out mere human ability; God from the very outset of His operations indicating that whatever the instrumentality or instrumentalities employed, He had had to say in the operations. We find, therefore, that the idea of the anointing has a very wide bearing, and brings God in authoritatively and in suited dignity in the instruments used. We find in the book of Ezekiel the idea connected with a great being whom we have to regard as now fallen, who is spoken of as "the anointed cherub that covereth" Ezekiel 28:14. Thus before ever men were anointed the idea existed, and God anointed some great personage for a definite purpose. The king of Tyre is taken up as the immediate personage in Ezekiel 28, but the Spirit of God has more than the king of Tyre in view. So we have an inlet into angelic service, how God employed, and does employ, angels; but in the service rendered there was that which denoted that it was on God's part, it was not done independently, it was not done in the person's own power.

So, in coming into our own realm, the creation of Genesis 1, the creation as we are in it, we have the thought introduced in a very familiar and simple manner, in Abraham and others who are said to be God's anointed ones. Even in those early days what was being done bore the divine stamp. God said He reproved kings on account of His anointed ones, showing what they were to Him: "Touch not mine anointed ones" (Psalm 105:15). They were moving under God, and God

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had an obvious part in their movements, they were not ordinary people. They had part in ordinary affairs outwardly like other people, and they prospered in material things too, but there was a distinctiveness about them that marked them off, even in the presence of kings, so that ultimately these anointed ones could bless kings, for their distinctiveness, their dignity, their moral authority, indicated the anointing. Thus God marked them off as His anointed, standing out in dignity and moral power, and in Abraham's case enabling him to rebuke a king.

I am speaking very simply, dear brethren, because I am impressed with this, that God would put dignity and power upon His people in dealing with men in this world. He has a hand in our movements, with the result that there is a constant rise in power and dignity in the saints before the eyes of those with whom they have to do immediately. So that as you see with Abraham, he could rebuke the king of the Philistines. So with Isaac. They were few and of small account in this world, but there was something that marked them off from men, and caused a gradual rise in power and dignity, so that they did not have to lend their shoulders to servitude; they were not brought under the power of this world, there was a superiority about them that lifted them above the current of the world. So that Isaac was able to speak on more than equal terms with the Philistine king, although he brought the general of his army and his friend with him, as an evidence of military power and social influence; but it was not enough to overwhelm Isaac. And then in Jacob you see the same thing; he stands before Pharaoh and blesses him. The Holy Spirit, commenting upon a similar occurrence, says that "the less is blessed of the better" (Hebrews 7:7).

Now, what comes out is that all this in Genesis leads up to a great position: Joseph is a fruitful bough by a well, and the branches run over the wall, and "from

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thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel" (Genesis 49:24). That is the position in Genesis. Then in the typical books that follow you have the ministry or administration of it, and the way it is to be diffused and to reach men; that is the principle. So you have the anointing of Aaron and the anointing of the tabernacle and its utensils, with all that pertained to it; for God intends to shine out and to operate, and to show Himself in a domain dignified by the anointing. He has to say to every part of it; no other rights are recognised there.

Now that is to reflect on our present position; there are no rights to be asserted among us, save God's rights. The anointing makes the position too dignified to admit of any assertion of human rights. God puts in His claim in the most positive manner in the anointing, so that in the tabernacle and its utensils anointed you get what typically represents the heavens and the earth; and then Aaron is anointed in relation to that, and you have a domain in which God's rights are asserted and maintained. The One who ministers there serves in the sympathy that belongs to the divine nature; for in Aaron it is a question of the manhood and priesthood of Christ. All that God is, embodied in a Man, in order that what God is may be brought in in the most sympathetic manner in that whole domain; and that God Himself may be served in it.

Now you see what Exodus and Leviticus denote -- what a scene is presented -- and what a Person is anointed in that scene! So that we have the rights of God in every detail asserted in the priest, but in the most sympathetic manner, for they are not arbitrary. What can be better for us, dear brethren, than the rights of God? The more they are asserted the better; for what are they today but His rights in mercy? It is a question of His right to be merciful and gracious, and the more we admit these rights, both in ourselves severally and in the whole domain in which God is operating, the happier and richer we shall be.

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Now I want to come to 2 Corinthians, because the anointing is specially mentioned there. It is not formally mentioned in the first epistle, though it is involved in the expression "the Christ" in chapter 12; but not as implying that the Corinthians were marked by it, for they were not; they were marked by the very opposite. Although having the Holy Spirit, and as in that sense anointed, they were marked by man's doings and sayings and party spirit, which is the very opposite of the anointing. That is simply the world, and walking according to men, and is, I need not say, degrading. But still, there it stands, "as the body is one and has many members ... so also is the Christ" 1 Corinthians 12:12, "the Christ" alluding to the saints as anointed as in relation to Christ, but it is not formally applied to the Corinthians. But in the second letter it is applied, for they are included, as I understand, in the idea with the apostle himself: "he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God" 2 Corinthians 1:21.

Now, dear brethren, I wish to seek to make clear the import of that statement, appearing as it does in the second letter, which is based on a certain effect in recovery from the first letter. It indicates that the anointing refers to something of God in the persons anointed; that it is intended to enable us in a dignified positive way to convey to others what we are enjoying. If God has saved me, has justified me, has given His Spirit to me, has brought me into the joy of the kingdom, "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" Romans 14:17, then I say, Well, I can speak of that, and indeed I should; but the anointing means that I have power to speak of it effectively, that I can speak of it rightly, and in force, so that it affects others. It is not a matter of incidental comment, but the thing impresses you, and you are enabled to speak of it effectively. But, as I said, we have to bear in mind that the anointing is in the second letter to the Corinthians, not in the first. Not that it could not be spoken of in the first in an

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abstract way, but it is spoken of in the second in a positive way; and what follows is that He has sealed us and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. Underneath the anointing is the sealing, the fact that you belong to God, that God has put a stamp on you, that you are His; He has a right to you. But then, what have you got? Well, you have got in your heart the earnest of the Spirit -- that is something. And there I may liken you to Jacob in Bethel, for in this respect we may read these epistles into Genesis 28.

The idea of the anointing was already there; Abraham was one of the "anointed ones" (Psalm 105), and that has to be borne in mind if we are to understand aright Jacob's action in pouring oil on the stone. It was but very little, the stone was hard, denoting hard circumstances; it was his own selection, he set it up himself; it was one of the stones of the place, and he took it and used it for a pillow. But you see there was something there, something had come into Jacob's soul that had never been there before. I cannot dwell on it; you all know the chapter; but it is so important for young people to lay hold of the idea of something coming into the soul, changing the whole texture of the person. Jacob was trammelled as yet by much of the flesh and nature, selfishness and natural ambitions, and other things, but there was something, perhaps indefinable by himself, which was there, and he was able definitely to take that stone and set it up and pour oil on it; there was spiritual intelligence and purpose in that action.

Now to show us the bearing of the anointing, dear brethren, in the next chapter you see the energy of the man on behalf of others. He went his way to Haran, and looked around and saw a well, and three flocks of sheep lying there. I only touch on that; I want to show you that the anointing of the stone spiritually alluded to Jacob himself, and was to show itself in his energy; he served "by love". He did not roll the stone from the

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well's mouth until Rachel arrived with her father's sheep, and then he rolled away the stone and watered the flock; he served by love, as I said. That is the divine way to serve, the effect of the anointing; and it is within the range of the youngest as well as of the oldest, to serve by love; it is heaven's way. You say, The world serves by love. No, it does not; you will not get any service by love in the world. Serving by love is a heavenly thing; it comes out of heaven. It is in the Person of Jesus that the thing is fully expressed, for Jacob was a type of Jesus.

We have not far to go for objects of affection. Before Rachel arrived Jacob said, "My brethren, whence be ye?" Genesis 29:4. And they said, "Of Haran are we", and they knew Laban. Jacob could speak of the time of day, and that the flocks should be watered, but he did not do it; that is to say, he could speak of the need of things being done without doing them, but as soon as an object for his affections appeared, he rolled away the stone and watered the flock. He is a type of Christ. What he did is typically the product of heaven brought down, and brought within the range of the youngest believer -- to serve by love. The greatest power in the whole universe is love; and it begins in a small way; if you have a brother or a sister an object for your affection near you, you can serve by love. Jacob rolled away the stone without any apparent difficulty.

But as he came back to Bethel twenty years later, he set up "a pillar of stone"; the idea is increased in his mind. That is why I am connecting this passage in Genesis with 2 Corinthians; it is very much like Jacob's second visit to Bethel. In this letter we have the new covenant. The apostle discerned a change in their state; self-judgment had taken effect. So he is able to open up to them the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, the new covenant, and then the ministry of reconciliation; he brings in the two thoughts. One reconciled, having the love of God in his heart, moves here pleasing to

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God. You see a person who loves is like Jesus. "Hereby we have known love, because he has laid down his life for us; and we ought for the brethren to lay down our lives". 1 John 3:16. The love of God learnt in the heart leads to similarity to Jesus; and similarity to Jesus brings out the divine approbation. It is sure to do that. God has His own way of bringing to the heart the sense of His approbation, a most blessed thing.

So that the life of a person truly in the good of reconciliation is a life for the pleasure of God. It is a most practical thing. God has refreshment in every little bit of service rendered by a person who is truly in the good of reconciliation. Hence in Genesis 35 Jacob sets up a pillar of stone; not now simply a stone that had been his pillow, or a mere piece of stone, but "a pillar of stone". The idea of a pillar is more permanent; and the substance of this is stone, it is something to remain; and Jacob is conscious in setting it up that he has been pleasing to God. And how pleasing? God came down and spoke to him, standing by him, not at a distance, as before, and Jacob so revered the spot that he set up a pillar there, and poured a drink offering upon it; that is why I linked it with 2 Corinthians, for there is no doubt that spiritually the stone pillar was there.

There was something for God at Corinth. The Lord had said, "I have much people in this city" (Acts 18:10), and the stone, so to speak, was set up. But there had not been continued pleasure; the Corinthians retrograded and man got in. But now there is a change, and God speaks of the new covenant, and reconciliation, so that the idea of the anointing can be brought in. God was pleased with them as they were repenting as to the evil among them. Jacob was conscious in the second visit to Bethel that God was pleased with him, addressing him by name -- surnaming him -- and ennobling him. In effect God said to him, Your name is to be Israel henceforward, and My name is God Almighty. What a

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marvellous occasion! God Almighty standing by Jacob; his name changed to Israel; God speaking with him; and then a stone pillar is set up with a drink offering and oil poured upon it! Thus you have the idea that there is something that pleases God underneath the anointing. That is to say, in our preaching or other services, unless there is the consciousness in motive of pleasing God, that I am moving in relation to the great anointed Man, like Him in motive, the anointing must be ineffective. There must be that underneath it which pleases God.

I will come back to that in relation to the passage read in Luke, but I wish to show how this principle is applied to our education, and that is what John dwells upon. The anointing here implies more than simply oil poured on, it is a sort of rubbing in. That is what we need; many of us take things on too lightly when it is a question of education, and that particularly applies to the young; but there is this thing that God, as it were, rubs in, so as to enable us to shut out all man's teaching. I do not mean the teaching that is necessary for ordinary service or to earn a livelihood, because for these things we need a certain education; but I am speaking of what relates to God, and of the superiority of the teaching of what is here called "the anointing", "the unction". It is received from the Holy One. It is not called the Spirit; it is something known, as received.

Now the question is, dear brethren, as to the use of it. This is addressed to little ones, not to the young men or the fathers, but to the little ones in John's family. The apostle addresses us as a class, "yourselves" -- a very suggestive expression! I think the Lord's supper brings that about; and as to this, one would speak specially to any one who is not a partaker of the Lord's supper. "Yourselves", as used here, is a very precious word, it refers to a special class of people. The Lord's supper brings us together in the most touching manner; it began with the Lord making a selection. He never

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intended His supper to be an open thing; He never intended it to be common to every one; He intended it to be jealously guarded, as for those who love him. He selected those that were to be with Him when He instituted it. He sent ahead to make preparation for it; and He placed Himself at table, when the hour was come, with His disciples -- the twelve were with Him. He said, "With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer" Luke 22:15; and then, "This is my body which is given for you" Luke 22:19, and in keeping with that "you" we have "yourselves" in this passage. You also get, "Beloved ... keep yourselves in the love of God" (Jude 20 - 21). You must not be outside of this, dear young people, nor can the Lord's supper be exposed to unhallowed hands; it must be kept within the setting in which Christ instituted it. It is a select affair, and brings about a sense of privilege, this is implied in "yourselves". "The anointing", says John -- and how qualified he was to speak of it! -- "which ye have received of him ... teacheth you". "Ye need not that any man teach you". 1 John 2:27.

Now this is a most practical thing, especially for our dear young brothers and sisters, that they might be preserved in the sense of what they have received, as receiving the Holy Spirit and using it, in their understanding of things, in their communications in regard of divine things. It is thus that we get, as I may say, the tabernacle anointed. However you look at it, we have this thing ingrained in us, so that there is a rigid exclusion of man's influence and man's teaching and man's thoughts. We are kept together thus, dear brethren, in holy dignity as in intelligence, for in this passage it is a question of spiritual intelligence. We have received the unction from the Holy One, so that we are kept together in a holy circle in a positive way by the anointing. There is a dignity about all our communications with one another, both in our ordinary relations and in our comings together. There is something marking

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us that indicates God's rights, something that is of God, and that man cannot imitate, nor cope with; he has to give way before it, he cannot stand before it; it is God in His holy dignity amongst His people.

I wish now to show you how this appears in perfection in the Lord Jesus, because God would have us to see the perfection of everything, and this is always in Christ. God would bring us to that level in everything. But I am speaking for the moment of the anointing, and would have in mind more particularly now those of us who are older, and who are specially laying ourselves out for the service of the Lord and His people; that we may see how the thing is to be carried on in correspondence with Christ. What you find in Luke 3 is that as the Holy Spirit comes down on the Lord Jesus, it is in a bodily form as a dove, and there is the Father's voice to Him, "Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased" Luke 3:22. What I have been saying is verified in this; there was something there to be anointed -- an infinite something, but in man; the Father was pleased with it, heaven was pleased with it. As He came up out of the water and He was praying, a dependent Man, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit came down in the form of a dove and abode on Him. Then the Father's voice indicated His pleasure in what was there: "In thee I have found my delight" Luke 3:22. One dwells on that with peculiar restfulness, on what was there, so well known to heaven, and, alas! so little known to men.

Then it says, "Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age" Luke 3:23; I wish you to take notice of that, it is what He began to be; the service of God in the anointing is to be in those who are fully matured; that is in view, Levitical maturity. It is not a mere historical fact that He was just that number of years old, but He "began to be about thirty years of age" Luke 3:23. Now you see the idea in what He was, not simply that He was born on a certain date, and so many years had elapsed; of course,

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there was this literal period, but really you cannot measure the life of Jesus by ordinary years. No, beloved, one day of that life is like a thousand years to God. It is what He was, who can say what was there? God conveyed it in that wonderful expression from heaven, "Thou art my beloved Son: in thee I am well pleased" Luke 3:22, and how well pleased! Every moment of that life was for the pleasure of the Father. He was cast on God from the womb. Think of that! What a life! And every breath of it filled up with motives and feelings and emotions all referring to God. What a life that was for God!

God has His own years, His own days, His own methods of measurement. We cannot limit God to finiteness. The Holy Spirit came down in a bodily form upon that blessed Person and abode upon Him; there was in Him a resting place for God. As we read, "In him all the fulness was pleased to dwell" (Colossians 1:19). While that entered into time it involves the infinite, and so room had to be made for time as God reckons it. Who knows the Son but the Father? No one! We observe and we worship. Those years were wonderful years to God. They were not the attenuated years of some of us; how little there is, alas! As Jacob said, "few and evil have the days of the years of my life been" (Genesis 47:9) -- he spoke for most of us; but not so with Jesus, a short life, thirty-three years or so -- not half the span of man's allotment, but what a life! Who can measure it but God!

Well, now you see that is the idea which is underneath the anointing. There was all that; He "began to be about thirty years" Luke 3:23, He is fully matured; He is a model now for us all; He is seen praying. We have arrived at maturity, such maturity as implies that my personal motives are to be wholly set aside. Not that Jesus had any different motives, but the servant now is to be dependent entirely on God, the flesh profits nothing. The flesh is repudiated, the anointing is

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enough; and so I yield to the Spirit. The Lord is "led by the Spirit in the wilderness" Luke 4:1. That is another thing; He is entirely now in the hands of the Spirit, and that is really the full thought in the service of God. He was "led by the Spirit in the wilderness", and He was tempted and came out victorious -- He overcame. Then He returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee and came to Nazareth, where He was brought up. You see He waits until He comes into the circumstances in which He was brought up; circumstances which are the most testing for us, for our relatives know us best, and we are not likely to get any help from them unless they are spiritual. That is a warning. Nature is utterly profitless and will not stand by you; your father, mother, or brother will fail you on this line; it cannot be trusted. So our relatives become the test, for they know us, and unless they are truly in the testimony they will be critical, they will oppose, and the opposition will be constant.

And so in His service the Lord reaches Nazareth, where He was brought up, and He enters into the synagogue and stands up to read the scripture which speaks of His anointing. The Holy Spirit loves to portray the full position of the anointing in this passage. It is Luke, the beloved physician, who is used of the Spirit of God to present to us this unique setting out of the anointing in the perfect Servant. And so we have the position; He stands up to read, and He finds the scripture. Then as He rolled up the book and delivered it to the attendant, He sat down. Then He began to speak, saying, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears" Luke 4:21.

Now look at the moral weight of all that is thus depicted; what shines out in His movements, in His standing up, His finding the scripture, His reading, His sitting down, and His speaking. He says, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears" Luke 4:21. That is the idea of ministry; that is not simply future or past events;

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as in prophecy -- that has its place; but it is, this day; to bring scripture as it bears on "this day" to the ears of the saints. That marks an anointed ministry; it is not the unfolding of prophecy, you see, right as that is. I believe that in the early days of the revival ninety years or so ago, prophecy had a great place; it was in order that the saints might locate their position. Prophecy unfolds the mind of God as to the future, and opens up the position so that you might see where you are; a most important matter. But when you know where you are, when you see what God intends for you, then the question is how does scripture apply to you now? The point is what God has to say as to the saints now. That is the important thing, the way the scriptures are brought to bear upon us today -- "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears" Luke 4:21. And what a fulfilment! Alas! they did not have circumcised ears and hearts, as the sequel shows, but I am speaking of the anointing and how it is fully set out in Christ in this passage. There was a fulfilment in power, in the ears of those in the synagogue of Nazareth that day, of that wonderful word, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel" Luke 4:18.

I would commend to you, dear brethren, this matter of the anointing, that the idea may pervade us all as it pervaded the tabernacle, and that it may be seen especially in those who are ministering the word, that the scriptures may be brought to bear on us today in power. May God bless the word.

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THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVEN AS THE RESULT OF CHRIST'S ADMINISTRATION

John 3:25 - 35; John 4:13 - 14; Romans 8:15 - 16

I want to say a word as to the Spirit. I desire to show how He has come as the result of Christ's position as Administrator; so I have read this passage in John 3 because it shows the situation which governs the present time: "The Father loveth the Son and hath given all things into his hand" John 3:35; hence what we have is an administration given over by the Father into the hands of the Son. "The Father loveth the Son" -- that is a statement by the evangelist after his record of what John the baptist had said about Christ. John the baptist is at his highest, one might say, in this chapter. He had a most extraordinary position, one that afforded the flesh a rare opportunity. Perhaps no man had greater opportunity of giving out that he was a great one, and Satan was not slow to suggest to John that he should take advantage of it (Compare John 1:19 - 27). Instead, however, of taking advantage of the opportunity of clothing flesh with the greatness which his mission gave him, John brings before us the greatness of Christ; he sets before us his appreciation of Christ. He says, "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice" John 3:29. "The friend of the bridegroom" -- that was John the baptist; he stood and heard. He was not exactly a disciple of Jesus; he was "the friend of the bridegroom". The Lord said of him that no one born of women was greater than he -- so that he represents the old order of things at its best; and what I want to show is that the new is not introduced in an arbitrary way, but in its moral superiority to the old; and its moral superiority is acknowledged by the old. I wonder if we have come to that? Have we arrived in our souls at the point

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when we recognise the moral superiority of Christ? "I am not the Christ", John said, "Ye yourselves bear me witness that I said, I am not the Christ". John 3:28. He is not here sending out one to inquire, "Art thou he that should come?" Luke 7:19 but gives us these remarkable words, "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled" John 3:29. John arrived at the end of his course in this way; he arrived at the moral superiority of Christ; and you will never disappear voluntarily till you arrive there. There are many who will be forced to disappear. Antichrist and all his votaries will have to disappear, but they do not disappear voluntarily. I would encourage any one who is exercised about the spirit of antichrist, which is rampant at the present time, to read Revelation 19. There you find the beast and the false prophet taken alive in all their energy and cast into the lake of fire; they are not allowed to die an ordinary death. They are not subject to the Son; they are under wrath and are removed forcibly. How much better and happier, to see a man disappearing joyfully like John, to make room for Another whom he recognises to be superior to himself! And not only does John own that He is superior to him, but he says, "He that cometh from above is above all" John 3:31. He recognises the Lord's superiority and supremacy universally.

Thus the ground is cleared and the idea of administration is introduced. God, as it were, says, 'If you have appreciated the heavenly One I appreciate Him more'. Hence the evangelist adds, "The Father loveth the Son and hath given all things into his hand" John 3:35. The Baptist disappears joyfully to make room for the heavenly One, so he goes on to say "He that cometh from above is above all" John 3:31. Now that is a most essential point to arrive at in the history of our souls. We shall never get on with one another, until we arrive at that point; when we do make room for those whom God has made

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superior to us. Do you make room for a leader or for a greater gift, or are you feeling that you are overshadowed by him? How much better, as valuing one who is morally greater, to give place to him joyfully! How much better it was for John the baptist, to make room for Christ! The question really is, am I to occupy the ground or Christ? Thank God the supreme position is occupied by Christ now! It is His by moral as well as personal right. John saw the moral superiority of Christ and gave way to the heavenly Man. Following on this we have the inauguration of a heavenly system.

This is seen in the evangelist's statement, "the Father loveth the Son and hath given all things into his hand" John 3:35. The Father entrusts the Son with the administration of all His wealth; and as I said, the coming in of the Spirit is the great outcome of that. The Spirit is characteristically the heavenly gift and by the coming in of the Spirit, heaven made itself heard. That is the next point I wish to say a word about. Heaven asserts its right to speak. Indeed, a great point is reached when it is owned that heaven has a right to speak in the gift of the Spirit. In the incarnation of Christ you have the heavenly introduced on earth, and its moral superiority to what is earthly is demonstrated. We should read the gospels in this light. Here is John the most honoured of men, and he stands to hear. It is not a question of his being a disciple of Jesus; what is being said is such that he stands to hear. He is detained by the Bridegroom's voice. The superiority of the heavenly is demonstrated in the four gospels. Christ goes back into heaven, and the Spirit comes; heaven speaks through Him. First, there is a sound out of heaven as of a rushing mighty wind; for heaven must be heard. It is our wisdom to listen to heaven and to turn a deaf ear to every earthly voice. There is no earthly voice now entitled to a hearing; to listen to such is to be deflected from the line of God's purpose, which has reference to heaven. First, in Acts 2, there was a sound but no

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articulation, simply a reminder that heaven is entitled to be heard. But when we come to Acts 9 there is a language, a known language spoken from heaven. Mary spoke to the Lord in the Hebrew language in the garden. We are not told the language in which the Lord communicated the message to her, but when He spoke out of heaven to Saul, He spoke "in the Hebrew tongue" Acts 26:14. Heaven is now not only asserting its right to speak, but it is speaking. This is the dispensation in which the speaking is from heaven. David was not only a ruler but a speaker, so Solomon, also. David spoke of heavenly things. Solomon spoke of things on the earth; Christ rules in heaven and the One who rules, speaks, and He spoke to Saul in the Hebrew tongue. I only refer to that by the way to show what marks the present moment. It is a moment when the Lord speaks, and the speaking is sympathetic with men on earth. It was out of sympathy of heart that He spoke to Saul in his own language.

Now the gift of the Spirit is the expression of the administration, and it is commensurate with the Administrator. What is here is equal to what is there. The Spirit is presented in chapter 4 under the figure of water. Water is for the satisfaction of thirst; it is also employed as a means of cleansing (chapter 2). Standing water may be used for cleansing, but springing water is suitable for refreshment. So the Lord is pleased here to use the figure of springing water, and the obvious reason is that souls were in need; there was thirst -- this woman was thirsty. What the Lord brings out is that the effect of springing water is to lift the soul into eternal life. Eternal life is in this sense a terminus, and reaching that terminus, it is then a question of what you have in the way of excess. The water is said to spring up to eternal life. After you reach that point you begin to reap; you cannot supply anything until you reap. Galatians 6 teaches us to sow to the Spirit, so as to reap of the Spirit eternal life. As reaping

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eternal life we have means -- spiritual means -- and now there is something for God to reap. He does not reap eternal life -- it is His gift -- we do; but you will never get a harvest if you do not sow. If you sow to the flesh you will reap a terrible crop -- corruption; but sow to the Spirit and you will reap eternal life. Hence it is that the great gift of the Spirit is proposed to this woman. She had been drinking and thirsting -- that was her history. Now the Lord says in effect, If you were in the light of the third chapter, you would ask from Me, and I would give you living water, and the water that I would give would be in you a fountain of water springing up into eternal life. That is the Spirit coming into the believer, taking hold of his affections, gathering them up and centring them on Christ. That is the mission of the Spirit on our side, on the side of need; and all issues in the great terminus of eternal life. Every spiritual desire finds its satisfaction there. "The water which I shall give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life" John 4:14. I do not say eternal life is in heaven, but it is morally above earth, it is "up" -- the water springs up. Then God begins to reap His harvest, for the believer is now free to enter into His great thoughts which centre in Christ, according to His eternal purpose.

I would refer you for one moment to chapter 12 of this gospel. There, Mary has, so to speak, arrived at the terminus. She is not regarding Christ as a Servant or as a Friend now to help her in time of need; she is in His company. It is a resurrection scene, and the saints are there, sitting at the table with Him. Now it is a question of what you have got in the way of excess, what you bring into that sphere. What did Mary have? There are few believers who can take a pound of ointment to anoint the feet of Jesus, so that the house is filled with odour. Mark that! -- the house was filled. It was expensive, but Mary had it. It is excess, and that is what God looks for. She was there in the sphere

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of life, but more than that, she could fill the house with odour. Had she sown to the flesh how different it would have been! it would have been another odour, but, she had, so to speak, sown to the Spirit. Not only did she reap eternal life, but she had that which would fill the house, Not only did the Lord Himself enjoy that pound of spikenard, "very costly", but every one else there shared in it -- the house was filled. Have we not seen a brother get up, and in the energy of the Spirit give thanks in such a way that every one is affected? See what Judas had in that scene, what he would introduce. He would have sold the ointment and given the money to the poor. He would leave the Lord out of all his calculations, and in his false piety think of the poor. We cannot care for souls till we give Christ His place! Judas would leave Him out altogether under the pretence of looking after the poor. The Lord says "the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always" John 12:8. Let me assure you as I said, that you will never help the poor till Christ has His place. Not that Judas did mean to help the poor; he would no doubt have put the money into his own bag. Mary thought of the Lord. The Lord says, "against the day of my burying hath she kept this" John 12:7. We do not know how long she kept that treasured box, but she kept it for one purpose -- to anoint the Lord Jesus in view of His burial. She anointed him six days beforehand for His burial.

Now, I want to show from Romans 8 that the Spirit in the believer is not only given for His benefit in the way of income here, but in order that the Father should reap, so you have the word, "Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ... the Spirit of adoption [sonship], whereby we cry, Abba, Father" Romans 8:15. I was speaking about administration. It is in the hands of the Son. Now what will the Son effect in administration? He will bring in what the heart of the Father seeks. That is what I would emphasise. He will bring in from

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you and from me, through His administration what the Father's heart seeks. This leads me to what one might call the new position. Eternal life is the fundamental principle of the new position. Your feet are resting now on solid ground; you have arrived at what is prefigured in the third day of Genesis 1, that is resurrection. The dry land is separated from the sea; your feet are on dry land; it is the new position. In that connection I would refer to Joshua 5. In the new position the first question that arises is, am I suited to it? The flesh is apt to clothe itself with the power of the Spirit working in you in the way of life. You remember the Canaanites were in terror of the children of Israel; the power of God was with them, and the hearts of the Canaanites melted because of them. "Make thee sharp knives" Joshua 5:2 -- that is the instruction to Joshua. You are in danger! The very fact that the Spirit is working in you and that you are marked by power exposes you to the flesh; the flesh will seek to take credit to itself, for the very power that has effected your deliverance. The knives cause a wound, and the wound brings pain; in other words, there is suffering in the flesh. But the Israelites are told to wait till they are whole, that is, to come to resurrection in one's own state. After that they celebrate the passover. Suffering in the flesh, you cease from sin. They celebrate the passover after they suffer in the flesh, which signifies that they had respect to the sufferings of Christ and not to their own sufferings. Then follows the old corn of the land. The manna ceases and there is new food suited to the new place; this food is Christ as the heavenly Man. As you suffer, you cease from sin; then you recognise Christ's sufferings for He has suffered in the flesh. Then the old corn of the land, the heavenly Man, comes into view, and now you recognise Him as your Leader. The Man with the drawn sword appears.

Well! these are the circumstances of the new position -- the position where God reaps what His heart is

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set upon. So here we get the Spirit of adoption; there is a new relationship. It is not now "springing up into eternal life" John 4:14, but the Spirit is now free to act in your soul in connection with the new relationship. The relationship is bound up in the message sent to the disciples through Mary. We are to be companions of Christ -- His brethren. His Father is our Father, so the Spirit acts in you in connection with this new relationship. There are entirely new circumstances suited to the place. The flesh is no longer intruding, and the Spirit, by which we cry, Abba, Father is thus free. Then next, the Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we are of God's children.

This is what I had to bring before you, beloved brethren, and I would say that whilst God is pleased to bless us richly and abundantly in the Spirit, He also would emphasise the place of our blessings, and what He looks for is response on our side, not only to the blessings, but to the place in which they are given us, which is heaven (Ephesians 1). But there is also the circle of the saints in which they are realised now. In Joshua 17 it is said that when the distribution of the inheritance is made, the daughters of Zelophehad come forward to Eleazar and Joshua to claim theirs; they say, "Jehovah commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brethren" Joshua 17:4. Where do you want your inheritance? Do you want it alone? Those women wanted it amongst their brethren, and they got it there. In fact, the apostle Paul's gospel announces the same thing. He was to go and preach "that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified" (Acts 26:18). Do you want your inheritance in the world? If you do, you will become like the world, and you will carry your inheritance to adorn the world. The gospel proposes that you receive it among the sanctified; whilst down here your blessings are now to be enjoyed among the brethren. You want to enjoy the very best things you have with those you

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should love best, and they are the brethren. Presently we shall not only have it amongst our brethren, but we shall have it in the heavenlies with Christ -- all together -- and not the least part will be having all the brethren there, as the hymn puts it:

Nor what is next Thy heart
Can we forget;
Thy saints, O Lord, with Thee
In glory met. (Hymn 160)

The book of Joshua not only shows the power to give the inheritance, but also the desire to have it. May the Lord give us to desire our inheritance and to avail ourselves of the power by which it is enjoyed!

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THE HOLY SPIRIT AS INCLUDED IN THE GOSPEL

Acts 2:37 - 38; Acts 8:14 - 17; Acts 10:44 - 48

Some of you may not have in mind that the Holy Spirit is included in the gospel, whereas He is. Not only is it preached by His power as Peter says: "by those who have declared to you the glad tidings by the Holy Spirit, sent from heaven" 1 Peter 1:12, but He is also a subject in the gospel. As here, He uses select vessels for the preaching, as we have recorded in this book, "Separate me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them ... They therefore, having been sent forth by the Holy Spirit ..." (Acts 13:2,4). But then, whilst He is the power for the preaching, the preachers being anointed by Him, He also is included in the preaching, as necessary to all that the gospel proposes; He is necessary to salvation and life, and for the enjoyment of forgiveness. So that obviously He forms a very important part of the gospel testimony, of which believers need to take note specially, because, as I shall show, believers may be without the Spirit, and thus without practical salvation and life, and the joy they afford. They are, as has often been remarked, safe from the divine side, but not saved. The apostle Paul speaking about the word of the cross, says, "Unto us which are saved it is the power of God" 1 Corinthians 1:18, so that every one should question his heart as to whether he is among the saved.

Three features of the Spirit are indicated in these passages; but first I would make plain that, whilst the Spirit enters into the gospel testimony, He could not be thus presented to us, save as redemption has been accomplished. So in the great type in Exodus 17 of the Spirit being made available as water from the rock Moses was directed to take the elders of Israel with him and go before the people, and Jehovah would stand on the rock there and Moses should smite the rock with

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his rod, and thus the water would flow. In that type we see that there could be no Spirit available to man apart from the atoning sufferings of Christ. How touching it is to us who have the Spirit and know the joy that He brings into our hearts -- "joy in the Holy Spirit" -- to remember that it cost the smiting of Christ! There is nothing said there of actual drinking, the point is that the water was available, and, as made available -- there was competent witness to proclaim the fact, and that is how the preaching goes on today. There is competent testimony to the fact that Christ has been smitten, and that the water has flowed, and is therefore available for every thirsty soul. The ground on which the gospel is presented is in the sense of witness; and that is to the smiting of Christ. Why should He be smitten?

Now Peter in his first great address, recorded in Acts 2, was a witness. There were eleven others with him, and behind them there were many more competent witnesses: he speaks with authority, saying, "Hearken to my words" Acts 2:14. As Elijah of old had said in Israel, "There shall not be ... rain these years, except by my word" 1 Kings 17:1, now here is one who had a word, and he calls upon Israel and the dwellers at Jerusalem to hearken, and as they hearkened he spoke and bore witness to the sufferings of Christ. So the prophets "testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow" (1 Peter 1:11). The gospel relates to the glory that should follow; it relates to the unsearchable riches of Christ -- riches which God is prepared to lavish on men; for as He is lavish in giving witnesses, so too with His riches, as the prodigal proved so well when the best robe was brought out and the ring and the shoes were put on. What a wardrobe it is!

Now I dwell on this thought of witness because God never leaves Himself without witness; and not only in a general way, but personally. Even in the visions of the night God follows up men (Job 33). Can He not do it?

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Is He not great enough to follow up every individual on the face of the earth, now, and at any time? Are you of those to whom God has witnessed, not only in a general way, but in a specific personal way? -- have you neglected to pay attention to the witness? The witness that you disregard now will appear later, God will confront you with it. There were three thousand who paid attention to Peter's testimony here; if there were those who did not, that testimony will come up before them again. But as Peter in the power of the Spirit of God in Jerusalem on that auspicious day, lifted his voice to the men of Israel, three thousand bowed their hearts and said to Peter and all the apostles, "brethren, what shall we do?" Acts 2:37 -- notice they recognised all the witnesses, there were twelve of them: every one of these men became of interest to the convicted hearers. They would not mock at these Galilaeans now, they were convicted; the testimony of the gospel through the mouth of Peter had done its work. There was the smiting of Christ, for by wicked hands they had crucified and slain Him, but God had raised Him up. What a glorious fact! God had raised Him up and He had gone up into heaven. "Being by the right hand of God exalted", said Peter, "he hath shed forth this" Acts 2:33. That was Jesus, active in heaven: He was put to death on earth, but Peter cites, "thou wilt not leave my soul in hell" Acts 2:27 -- Jesus said that, but the Jesus who was in hades, is now in heaven, and active there. "Having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which ye behold and hear" Acts 2:33.

I want now to show, that this first feature of the presentation of the Spirit as a subject of the gospel is to be the outcome of a certain process in the soul. "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Acts 2:37. They were speaking to the apostles, the authorised witnesses of God, men who could answer the question. It was a most important matter that there were those in Jerusalem who could answer that question raised by persons

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convicted in their hearts. This was a real heart matter, and it must always be so: repentance is not a head matter, but of the heart and conscience, and that is what it was here. And they asked the right persons, Peter and the other apostles, the authorised witnesses of God, what to do. The whole world might come and enquire from these men, they were authorised to speak for God. What a boon for mankind to have twelve such men ready to answer questions! And the same thing still holds: an authorised answer is available for every convicted one, as to what he is to do. What shall we do, they say? Peter had been telling them what Jesus did and what God did; that is the gospel; the gospel is not what I can do, it refers to what God has done through Christ; to what Christ has done, and what God is doing and what God will do. But then there is the pertinent question, What shall we do? Did you ever ask that question as convicted of God? Maybe you have asked the wrong person; but these people made no mistake, they spoke to the apostles of Christ, authorised witnesses of God. I am speaking of the reception of the Spirit as a feature of the gospel. Peter says, "Repent, and be baptised, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for remission of sins, and ye will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" Acts 2:38. You could not get any answer more precise, and I commend it to any convicted soul. It refers to the process of soul that is essential for the gift of the Spirit; I refer to the word repent. Repentance is a subject of the gospel too: God will let you repent, He has opened a door for you to do it. A time will come when He will close that door, as in Esau's case, he found no place for repentance (Hebrews 12:17) -- but today the door is still open.

Well now, I want to show that in this particular case, it is not said that these three thousand people got the Spirit; because, in presenting the Spirit as the Gift of God, it is well to leave it with the soul that there is a process. It is for you to think over that well. It says

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that those who heard the word were baptised. It does not say by whom, it is a question of being baptised, and that is no empty ceremony in the light of Scripture -- it is a solemn matter. It is emphasised that these converts were baptised; they received the word, and the word implied that there should be baptism -- that the world must be left. The reason why the gospel is not effective in thousands is because the world is not left: so the Lord said, "He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). It is not a question of who does it. In Matthew it is a question of who does it, the apostles, or disciples, were to do it, but here it is not that: they were baptised, and if they were not, they would not get the Spirit. There was to be a complete cut with what they were going on with, an abandonment of the world; Peter says, "Be saved from this perverse generation", Acts 2:40. And so it is said that they were "added", without saying anything about their reception of the Spirit. But they were baptised. You may say, 'Why are you dwelling on that?' Because the weakness in many through the want of baptism in its true import, and so that you may see that it is done in this sense. You see it to be a necessity, for God is not going to take you up and leave you in the world. "The friendship of the world is enmity with God" James 4:4, is ever true; and God is not giving the Holy Spirit to His enemies. Baptism thus implies that I have turned my back on the world. So the three thousand were added; and we are told the number, which shows that they were precious to Christ. They were part of the "treasure" in the "field" (Matthew 13:44). The Lord was just beginning to get His return; and so we have the number added; not simply so many saved or so many baptised, but so many added. Of what value are you if you are not added to what is of God? It is not what you are added to in verse 41, but that you may get the principle involved into your soul that every believer is either in the world or he is added

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to the assembly. In verse 47 it is said, "the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved".

Passing on to chapter 8, I want to show how under a powerful gospel persons may profess to be converted and yet not be so. Philip's preaching is unique, what marks it is great external power; there were many notable miracles. Wicked spirits went out, sick people were healed, and there was great movement, so that a great many believed nominally, but they did not get the Holy Spirit immediately. I am sure it has often challenged hearts, that having believed they did not at once get the Holy Spirit. You may ask, why was it that these people did not get the Holy Spirit? Well, that is a very important and interesting question. They were Samaritans, and were converted nominally by a powerful preaching accompanied by remarkable signs. But what about conscience in all this? It was a general movement in the city for the moment. I have heard of such movements during the past century in what are called 'revivals'; but what about having to do with God individually? What about getting alone with God? I can understand the people in this city of Samaria singing hymns on the street corner, it was no reproach, the whole city was affected. I am not disparaging the work, for it was of God, there was real joy, but there was no Holy Spirit given to the converts. The Holy Spirit was in Philip, it was by him these wonderful works were accomplished, but he was the only one at the outset of the work, as far as the scripture shows, who had the Holy Spirit. You see they were Samaritans. We are told there was a man among these converts called Simon, he also believed and was baptised like the rest, but he was not saved; he was not convicted in his conscience, he was selfish, he was in the bond of iniquity. The solemn fact is, that in his case there was no having to do with God about his sins and his state, no getting alone with God. It was the public matter that was affecting him, he would not be out of it. Then besides,

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these people were Samaritans and had been rivals of what was of God; is there not that amongst us? -- rivalry of what is of God. We have not far to seek to find what is of God, believers are of God: as John says, "We are of God" speaking of the apostles; and then, "Ye are of God, little children" 1 John 4:4 -- believers are characteristically of God. Am I a rival of them? Am I envious of them? I will not get the Holy Spirit with that spirit. The Samaritan woman of Sychar said to the Lord, "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship" John 4:20. She was a rival of Jerusalem, and she says, "the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans" John 4:9. But the Lord was dealing with her, and regarded her as a Samaritan. He had dealt with that poor man, evidently a Jew, who fell among the thieves (Luke 10), but the native Samaritan says, 'No dealings! You stand aloof from us and we from you'. How often you find that spirit in people who come in and out amongst the people of God! But the Jews have dealings with the Samaritans! The Lord said, "Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship" John 4:22, and as knowing whom we worship we nevertheless have dealings with the Samaritans! It is our business here to have dealings with the Samaritans. We have no rivalry in our hearts, we only wish for their salvation. While salvation was of the Jews, as the Lord said, it is now through and in Him.

But to return to Acts 8, the spirit of rivalry at Samaria had to be dissipated. Wherever it is in the heart against what is of God, you will be made to wait, and in the waiting process you will be made to search your hearts as to the rivalry and all else, for the Holy Spirit will not come into those associations. And so the apostles that were at Jerusalem hearing that the word of God had come to Samaria, and the Samaritans were believing, are ready to have dealings with them, they are like their Master. So here tonight we want to have dealings with you, we want you to get the Holy Spirit. You have

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been enlightened maybe, but there is rivalry or some other feature of the flesh cherished in your heart; and this has to be judged before you can receive the Holy Spirit. You will not get the Holy Spirit save as judging your sins and the state of your natural heart before God. They are kept waiting at Samaria, and Peter and John come down. These important men were sent down by the apostles at Jerusalem, and the believers at Samaria have to bow, to recognise divine authority: disregard of this is where the difficulties of many lie. Many are maintaining independency and disregard of recognised divine authority. If you are one of such you do not get the Spirit, you have no joy, and you are not "added", you are just independent, and you are out of the blessing, and it may be that you will be discovered, like Simon, in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity. The word for you therefore is, "repent ye and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15).

Chapter 8 alludes to the recognition of divine authority here in this world. You say, 'Where is it?' It exists; as soon as you want to bow to it, you will find it, you will not have far to go. The difficulty with many is independency; they would not say they are independent of God or of Christ, but they are independent in regard of what God and Christ recognise down here -- that is Jerusalem, which now is the assembly. The Samaritans had to learn to recognise what was of God. God will not be turned aside from what He accredits here, He will stand by it, however weak it is; and if you are resisting or disregarding it, you will not get the Spirit, but will have to wait, and to humble yourself; you will have to judge yourself, lest you be found in the bond of iniquity like Simon Magus. But Peter and John came down, and prayed for them. If there is any one who has not the Spirit and so has no peace and joy in his soul, how we would love to kneel down with you and pray with you! So Peter and John prayed for the Samaritans and they received the Holy Spirit: it is not

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put off, it is not left vaguely for them to find out. Will you not abandon your rivalry and independency now so that you may get the Spirit? Scripture says, "The Holy Spirit also, which God has given to those that obey him" (Acts 5:32).

Now the third feature is in Acts 10:44 - 48, and there we come to "the heart-knowing God". There was not an atom of rivalry in Cornelius and his company. The story that leads up to these verses is most interesting, but I wish to speak now of the heart-knowing God. In this passage the reception of the Spirit is not a question of externals at all. You have not to do with men at all, nor are you asked to repent or be baptised, these people were not baptised when they got the Spirit. The heart-knowing God has dealings with us from His own point of view, and what a God He is! How gracious He is! I would ask you to enter into transactions with the heart-knowing God direct, He deals with you according to what is in your heart. God is the heart-knowing God, and He gives the Spirit from His own point of view. It is here to persons who are listening to Peter, who "heard the word". He had not finished his address, in fact he says himself "as I began to speak the Holy Spirit fell upon them" (Acts 11:15). It is as if God were to say to Peter, 'This is My matter'. The gentiles were to hear the gospel through Peter, but the gift of the Spirit to them was not through his intercession but directly from God. I have been speaking of those whom God uses in this world, the disregard of whom keeps many from Him, but now it is God Himself acting directly. And so, as they were listening to Peter, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. That is the third and final phase, I had before me -- that God gives the Holy Spirit according to His own perfect knowledge of the heart of the person to whom He gives it. It is His own right to give it, it is His own gift; we cannot force Him, we cannot make Him act automatically, we must leave it with Him; and, as we leave

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ourselves in His hands, He gives the Spirit according to the state of our hearts. What do you think the state of the hearts of those men was? They were subject. Can we doubt that Cornelius and his company were wanting in any of those features I have alluded to? I am certain they were not, and God knew it. And so I would urge upon you to get to God; if there be repentance in your heart; if there be self-judgment; if there be belief of the truth; if there be appreciation of His word, belief of the gospel: He knows, you do not have to tell Him, nor indeed anybody else, He knows, He is the heart-knowing God. You must tell somebody else if you are to be saved, for salvation depends on confession as well as the belief of the heart, but the gift of the Spirit as seen here is not on the ground of confession but on the ground of the state of the heart, which God knows -- He gives the Spirit on the ground of that, and confession follows. On Cornelius and his company the Spirit fell; there was an energetic action of the Spirit to take hold of them -- for the church, for heaven, for eternity! But they were not going to heaven just then. Very few go to heaven just as they are converted. The spirit of the thief went to paradise with Jesus, but God saves people to leave them down here in testimony, before they go to heaven. He has a testimony down here; I have been speaking of something to be added to, and He intends to add us to that for testimony. These dear people are "speaking with tongues" Acts 10:46, and tongues are not for heaven but for earth, they are to be used in the testimony. So Peter says, "Can any man forbid water?" Acts 10:47. It is a question of Peter now. Cornelius did not propose to be baptised; the Samaritans were baptised, we are told, and Peter told those converted in Jerusalem to be baptised, and they "were baptised", but now it is his doing -- he commands them to be baptised. This is the authority of God, and this authority is vested in Christ. Hence they were baptised "in the name of the Lord" Acts 10:48. They had already received the

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Father's "kiss" like the prodigal, but they were to be baptised now in the name of the Lord, so that, as having the Holy Spirit, they might move about in this world under the Lord's protection and as subject to Him, speaking with tongues and bearing testimony for Him.

Well, the three points are briefly: the process essential to the reception of the Spirit (chapter 2); and then the recognition of what is of God on earth and the abandonment of rivalry (chapter 8); and finally that the gift of the Spirit is really God's own action, and because of His knowledge of the heart, therefore it is a gift between God and yourself; but as having the Spirit you are, as baptised, to bear testimony, as in subjection to and under the protection of the Lord.

May God bless these thoughts!

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LIVING WATER SPRINGING UP AND FLOWING OUT

John 4:11 - 14; John 7:37 - 39

J.T. I thought it might help us to have our attention called to the Spirit's activities in the saints, as adjusting our souls so that we might know relief and satisfaction, culminating in everlasting life. That is what comes out in chapter 4. And then to see how He acts from the heavenly side, which brings in the influence of heaven here -- that is chapter 7. These chapters taken together present two sides of the Spirit's work at the present moment. We have to notice that what chapter 4 presents is the result of an administration committed to the Lord. "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand". John 3:35. Then chapter 7 is the result of Christ being glorified. He goes up to heaven and sends the Spirit, so that the coming in of the Spirit is in order that there should be the influence here of heaven; that is, the superiority of the heavenly is brought into evidence -- it is to influence all, as indicated in the remarks of John the baptist in chapter 3.

Ques. Do you connect chapter 7 more with the Person of the Holy Spirit in contrast to the Spirit in connection with "life" as in chapter 4?

J.T. It says, "this, he said, concerning the Spirit" John 7:39. The Person is more in evidence in chapter 7, where you also get the Levitical idea. Chapter 4 is more in accord with Numbers -- the type of the springing well.

Ques. What do you mean by Levitical?

J.T. I mean the priestly tribe as in Joshua. The divine thought was that they were to be distributed throughout Israel. They had cities allotted to them in all the tribes, and so were distributed throughout the whole area, and in that way a heavenly influence typically, established amongst the people, and diffused through all.

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Ques. Do you connect that with chapter 7?

J.T. Yes; it is quite clear that before we touch the heavenly, our souls have to be adjusted as regards our previous connections in the world. The Lord's proposal in chapter 4 meets that. I think it is founded on the end of chapter 3. There is an administration -- not exactly as with the apostles, but between divine Persons, the Father committing things into the hands of the Son, and the Son gives "living water" to any one who asks of Him. The great gain of the living water is, that if one drinks of it, one never thirsts for ever. Chapter 4 is the final solution of the whole question of man's need, in mind and affections. In a way it runs parallel with Romans, whereas chapter 7 is parallel more with Ephesians.

Ques. Would you connect the gift of living water in chapter 4 with chapter 20 -- "Receive [the] Holy Spirit"? John 20:22.

J.T. Only there it is not so much for relief; it is no question of our need, but rather of supporting us in the new and dignified position which the Lord's words had given the disciples.

Rem. I was thinking about the standpoint from which it is viewed.

J.T. Eternal life is brought in in chapter 4. John 20 goes beyond that. It is the Spirit of the heavenly Man breathed into them so that they have His Spirit -- a most intimate transaction. Being breathed into is very different to having water given to you. Chapter 20 is not so much the deliverance side, but rather to give you an income equal to your dignity.

P.R.M. So you would connect John 4 with Romans 6:18 -- "having got your freedom from sin, and having become bondmen to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end eternal life"?

J.T. Chapter 4 shows how you get into Romans 6; it shows how the soul reaches it subjectively. It is as if one's affections had been scattered hither and thither, with a view to gratification, just as with the poor woman

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here, but the Lord proposes to give her living water so that they may be gathered up and directed upward. The Spirit of God comes in and takes up all those affections, and the tendency is upwards instead of downwards. It springs up into something.

Ques. One must first be satisfied in mind and affections, before one can know eternal life. Not thirsting for ever. Do you look at that as something true in us before we enter into eternal life?

J.T. I think morally one has to be satisfied.

Ques. Eternal life is over Jordan, you would say?

J.T. I think that ought to be made very clear.

Rem. This chapter is helpful because it shows John's way of presenting "over Jordan". Eternal life is in Christ, and Christ is over Jordan.

Rem. "The act of favour of God, eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Chapter 5 through Jesus Christ, but chapter 6 is in Christ Jesus.

W.J. Do you mean deliverance is the result of satisfaction?

J.T. I think so. The affections go out here irregularly, all with a view to gratification. In the instance of the woman they were grossly irregular, it is an extreme case; but nevertheless, we are all the same more or less. The Lord shows that His proposal will bring in satisfaction that will he permanent. The solution is final.

P.R.M. I would like a little help as to what "over Jordan" means.

J.T. It means that you are outside human relationships -- all that pertains to life in flesh. We are entitled to be there on account of our acceptance of the death of Christ.

Rem. Paul develops our death and resurrection with Christ; that is, you touch "over Jordan".

J.T. The great need is satisfaction. We do not see the compensation there is in the Spirit. It culminates in an order of things outside nature altogether. We are apt to live in nature, but the Spirit would lift us outside

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of nature. The proposal the Lord makes here is, to give us that by which we are lifted outside of nature, to find permanent satisfaction in another region, that of eternal life.

W.J. Is "Come and see" in John 1:39 connected with Colossians? "Come and see" involves that He will bring you over Jordan.

J.T. I think John presents Christ very much in the way that the sun is set in the physical universe. It is placed there to regulate things and to set things in movement. John is very astronomical. He introduces Christ as One who sets things in movement, divinely, in the way of impulse. You will find from the outset He gives impulse. If Jesus begins to move, others move, not by commandment, but by impulse; they move under His influence. He sets saints in movement. You get it set forth in John 1; the two disciples are first attracted to Christ, and directly the two disciples of John follow Him and find His abode, they are set in movement, and then in their turn they affect others -- Andrew finds his brother Simon, and he too follows, and Philip finds Nathanael, and then others also are drawn after Christ.

W.J. It is all a question of movement -- to "come and see" the greatness of what was there.

J.T. And so in this chapter, we find the same effect in the woman. She is set in movement at once. She goes to the men, and says to them, "Come, see a man who told me all things I had ever done; is not he the Christ?" John 4:29. It is the intrinsic value of the living water, that is manifested, to give permanent satisfaction; the affections are satisfied, and the mind is satisfied. Thus there is liberty and power to go over Jordan.

W.J. We must leave earth to gain heaven.

P.R.M. What I find souls want to know is, what is the present, practical gain of eternal life down here.

J.T. It is a very great thing to enter a region of satisfied desire, so that you do not have to cast about

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for satisfaction. And there is no fear of death in one who has touched eternal life.

Rem. The result is a witness of life down here; that is God's testimony that God has given us eternal life.

J.T. The defect lies in this, that we live in nature. The woman is a most extreme case; she was steeped in corruption. Jesus proposes that which will give deliverance from sin, and permanent satisfaction to the affections. Besides that, eternal life implies that one is released from the pressure of death -- a very wonderful thing! Surely that is a great gain!

P.R.M. What do you mean by living in nature?

J.T. In natural relationships. They are right in their place, but the law of new creation lifts me out of them, so that I am not obliged to live in them; death terminates them; and as having drunk of the living water I have power to enjoy eternal life.

Ques. Are not natural relationships right?

J.T. A man, who is over Jordan, will be a better husband and father, than one who is not. You fulfil every right relation whilst really living outside them. And you are set free from the fear of death as to them. Whilst there is the fear of death, you are not enjoying eternal life. In the living water springing up into eternal life, the soul is delivered from all that would detain it, even natural ties.

F.H.B. In the case of this woman, you spoke of her being set in movement, so that she might know what she had outside this world.

J.T. Yes. One great defect with us, as I said, is that we live in nature, and the more cattle you have, the more you are detained, as we see in the tribes that refused to go over Jordan.

Rem. You cannot have eternal life without touching the righteous One.

J.T. What the Lord indicates in John 17 is that the believer should be brought into acquaintance with God, and into the knowledge of a Man before God for His

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satisfaction. The knowledge of the Father as the only true God, and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent is eternal life. Eternal life is the adjustment of everything on the earthly side. No one can pass in to the heavenly side without eternal life; but eternal life is not special to us. Others will have it, and though no doubt it has a special character now -- we have it in a peculiar way -- yet it is not our special blessing. There are things that are special to us, as the truth of the church and sonship in its heavenly character, which the Holy Spirit would lead us into; and in order to come into these special things, we must move into the region of life everlasting.

P.R.M. "Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent" refers to His service John 17:3.

J.T. Of course now it is Christ in heaven, having accomplished redemption, but it includes what Christ was as Man down here under the eye of God, in the power of the Spirit. It is not His eternal relation, but the Man -- the Sent One. The knowledge of Him and of the true God is eternal life. Then there is subjective energy, and that is by the springing up of living water within; so that the soul is sustained in the position indicated, your affections fully satisfied; you are not afraid of death, and you are in all the blessed light of the revelation of God. A man free of death in his spirit is a great testimony. And a man who does not want things in this world as possessing something better, must be a testimony to it. What the Lord proposes to the woman is that He is going to set her up just where she was, in independency of all the gratification the flesh seeks, with something that is permanent within her -- the energy of life. He gives her a new spring -- a source of satisfaction.

G.W.W. Are not Othniel and Achsah examples of natural relationships held rightly? Everything with them was held in its proper place; her interests are in the inheritance, and she makes demand for the upper and nether springs.

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J.T. The "upper springs", I think you have in John 7, but the "lower springs" are John 4. Eternal life is not only outside the world, but outside natural relationships.

G.W.W. You regard natural relationships in the light of eternal life.

J.T. A man rules his own family, and maintains every right relationship and obligation, but his life is elsewhere. He is not afraid of death, though it lies on his family relationships -- he is lifted above it, he has passed from death into life.

G.W.W. In contrast to the two and a half tribes, he is like those in the land.

J.T. I think most of us are Gadites, Reubenites and Manassites -- we live in natural things.

W.J. We are most reluctant to leave earth.

J.T. The more "cattle" we have, the more difficult it is.

P R M But do you leave earth for eternal life?

J.T. You live outside it. The word here is "springing up"; that shows the direction the living water in chapter 4 takes.

P.R.M. What does 'leaving earth' mean?

J.T. We are speaking of the earth as the sphere of natural things, which in themselves are legitimate; but it has also a bad sense as in James 3:15. Eternal life is a spiritual realm or order of things outside of it, it is entered into through death, but in the power of the living water within the believers.

H.D'A.C. Is it not that you are on the earth, but in a new condition -- the relationships taken up on new lines -- on resurrection lines?

J.T. Resurrection does not literally take us off the earth; it takes place on the earth. But the earth is also viewed as the sphere in which nature lives -- I was using it in that sense. Eternal life is outside all this. It involves spiritual knowledge and power.

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Ques. Why is Christ not spoken of as "the eternal life" until after He is risen and in glory?

J.T. It could not be available for us until redemption was accomplished and the Spirit given. Of course He speaks of Himself as "the Life" before His death.

P.R.M. It is down here that eternal life is known and enjoyed?

J.T. Yes, in a sense, but as over Jordan. We must not, however, confuse it with heavenly privilege. These chapters refer to christianity. We cannot separate resurrection from the heavenly position so formally as we shall be able to do in the millennial world. God is not developing any earthly order of things now, but a heavenly; so that although we share in what those in the millennium will enjoy on the earth, the things as applying now have a distinctive character and cannot be separated from our heavenly portion.

P.R.M. Is not eternal life heavenly life?

J.T. We are on the road to heaven.

P.R.M. It is here that it is known and enjoyed.

Ques. What was in your mind in connection with eternal life referring to the Lord's life here? Do you speak of the knowledge of Jesus Christ as "sent" as referring to his path upon earth?

J.T. I referred to the knowledge of the Man -- the true Man, as we may say.

Ques. When you speak of the knowledge of the "true Man", have you in your mind the Person of Christ in resurrection?

J.T. I do not detach what He was down here from what He is up there.

Ques. You would distinguish between Psalm 16 and the thought of eternal life?

J.T. The Lord had His wilderness position, but then all that He is up there was in principle seen in Him down here. It is to "know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ" John 17:3 -- The Man. The knowledge of Jesus Christ implies all that He was down here.

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Rem. It is God, who has taken the name of "Father", and Jesus Christ, speaking of the Lord as a Man.

J.T. "This is life eternal, that they might know thee, etc" John 17:3. How am I to know that blessed Man unless I study the gospels, which tell us what He was down here? But what He is now in heaven, as known by the Spirit sheds light on what the gospels present.

Rem. Every divine thought is seen in Jesus Christ. Take, for instance, Psalm 16, where you get the thought of the perfect dependent Man -- you would not connect eternal life with that -- every responsibility fulfilled.

J.T. But then the knowledge of Jesus Christ implies all these things. One has to acquire the knowledge of Jesus Christ -- what a Man He was, especially as solving the question of responsibility and life. How can we know Him save as we study His path of dependence? We must keep to the terms of the Spirit -- "Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent"; that is a Man here carrying out God's will, and thus He resolved the question as to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. It is not family relationships -- it is a question of God and Man brought together. Family relationships lead to heaven.

Ques. Do you think that is John 17:1? He lifts up His eyes to heaven. Sonship is unfolded by Paul.

J.T. Yes. In John 17:1 - 5, His personal glory is in view. It is divine Persons there: verse 5 refers to something beyond us -- "the glory which I had along with thee before the world was". Verse 1, is the Father and the Son, in connection with what they were carrying out according to purpose.

Rem. That is very clear, for it goes on to say, "As thou hast given him power over all flesh" John 17:2.

J.T. Yes; and then "This is life eternal that they might know thee" John 17:3 -- He explains that wherein it lies -- eternal life is the knowledge of the true God -- delivering from idolatry -- and the knowledge of the true Man -- delivering from lawlessness.

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H.D'A.C. Who is the "Thee"?

J.T. That is the Father, "the only true God"; for eternal life we have to know the Father as the 'true God'.

P.R.M. It is a question of revelation -- not of our relationship with him.

J.T. The Father is the only true God. We have to know that eternal life is the knowledge of the true God.

H.D'A.C. Not only God as Almighty, or Jehovah, but God fully revealed as Father.

J.T. The point is that you have in your soul the true God. The Lord says, "the true God". For eternal life you must have God and man brought together. Man lost God, and had become idolatrous; and the point is to bring in the true God. The idea of "eternal life" is there. God and man must be brought together in righteousness before you can have eternal life. "The only true God" involves more than "the Father". With the latter we cannot connect judgment (John 5:22), but we can with the true God.

P.R.M. I think what meets the difficulty as to the Father is this -- eternal life can only be in the knowledge of God in full revelation. It is not there our relation with the Father -- it is His.

J.T. In endeavouring to emphasise the thought of "the Father", you are apt to weaken that of "the true God". Here it is the Son addressing the Father whom the Son knew. It is one divine Person speaking to Another as revealed, that is, according to the relations They had taken, What is prominent here is "the only true God". It is not, to know Thee the Father. He is addressing His Father, but it is not the Father in relationship as regards us.

H.D'A.C. It is very important to have the knowledge of Christ as the true Man of God's pleasure.

J.T. Yes; a Man who did everything for God's pleasure. There is the utter overthrow of idolatry in the knowledge of the only true God, and of lawlessness, in the appreciation of Christ as the Man who loved

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righteousness and hated lawlessness, so that you have God and Man brought together in relationships which are perfectly adjusted. You see it first in regard to God and Christ, but redemption being accomplished, it is perpetuated and maintained in men here in the power of the Holy Spirit.

P.R.M. What about 1 John 1:2 -- "We ... shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father"?

J.T. That is what was seen by the apostles. The true Man involves eternal life characteristically down here, manifested to the apostles. They all declare it and speak about it. Christ was it.

P.R.M. And you would say it included the forty days during which He remained on earth?

J.T. No doubt. It is what He was as Man with the Father. The apostles were witnesses of that, since they "handled" Him. In 1 John 1 it is "from the beginning", not in the beginning. It is the beginning of christianity including the incarnation. It does not refer to Christ as in pre-incarnate Deity.

P.R.M. If you were asked to point out in the pathway of the Lord Jesus that which spoke of eternal life, what would you say?

J.T. Wherever we find Him in direct relation with God. The eternal life was seen in what He was in power outside of and superior to all here, including death, as with the Father.

P.R.M. "I praise thee, Father, Lord of the heaven and of the earth", Matthew 11: 25?

Rem. "As the living Father has sent me, and I live on account of the Father". John 6:57.

J.T. As a Man, all His springs were there. There was the bringing together of God and man in Christ down here -- that is to be received as light in the soul and is to be sustained. He gives the gift of living water, so that the Spirit springs up in the believer, withdrawing him from every natural or worldly influence, freeing him so that he is practically out of death and in life.

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G.W.W. As to the forty days, what was there for God as distinct from what His life was among men?

J.T. Morally there was no difference as to Christ; but He had laid down His life in flesh and blood which properly is not the condition for eternal life. Eternal life in its true spiritual bearing is seen in these forty days -- an out-of-the-world heavenly condition -- outside the need of material things. It is true that men, even nations, will enter into eternal life in the millennium, but believers have it now in a fuller way.

Ques. Do you make a distinction between "life" and "eternal life"?

J.T. The terms are often equivalent, especially in John's epistle, but in Romans 8:10 "the Spirit is life", implies potentiality. Christ had His own blessed relation with the Father outside of everything. "That eternal life, which was with the Father". 1 John 1:2.

D.L.H. Your thought in regard to eternal life is that God, as such, had that thought in regard to man, as such, from the outset? I refer to the two ideas in the garden of Eden -- the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the tree of life. The idea of relationship -- the Father, and we standing as children, or in sonship, comes in as additional in relation to God's counsels.

J.T. It was God's thought for man. The thought of God for man was set forth in the tree of life in the midst of the garden.

P.R.M. That, too, is purpose?

J.T. Not quite; it is promise -- "the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus" 2 Timothy 1:1. I think it had in view a need; whereas purpose is for the satisfaction of the heart of God Himself, apart from any question of need on our part. When you come to heavenly relationships, they are hardly to meet a need in us; they are not promise, they are entirely a matter of counsel. You and I would have been satisfied with eternal life. The heavenly calling is what you might call excess -- We were "marked ...

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out beforehand for adoption through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has taken us into favour in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:5, 6).

D.L.H. In Ephesians we get the two thoughts in connection with the two prayers. He is spoken of first as the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, and then as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which brings in the thought of family relationship.

P.W. The expression as used in John 17:3 "the only true God, and Jesus Christ" leaves room for those who shall come after us.

D.L.H. So the bringing in of eternal life verifies God's original thought in the tree of life in the midst of the garden?

J.T. Yes. In the millennium the men who live will be in correspondence with the Man of God's pleasure -- Jesus Christ; they will be freed from idolatry and lawlessness -- God's law in their hearts and minds, and the pressure of death removed.

D.L.H. The introduction of heavenly relationships into John 17:3, is really to obscure the thought of eternal life.

J.T. Yes. To arrive at any divine idea, you have to see it by itself in relation to Christ. In Scripture the Spirit is connected with the side of family relationships as well as with covenant relationships. You have in Romans what may be called covenant conditions -- the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Spirit; but then you get a further thought in Galatians, where the Spirit is the Spirit of sonship. We stand in certain relations, and there are affections which go with them, and we need the Spirit whatever the relation may be. I do not know anything less understood than the action of the Spirit as bringing us to recognise family relationships, and the affections connected with them. They are outside covenant conditions and those of eternal life.

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D.L.H. Distinguishing them and putting them in their right relations is most important.

J.T. Chapter 7 suggests the heavenly side of things, the Spirit coming down from heaven -- from Jesus glorified. The result is that you have a great heavenly power and influence down here -- "rivers of living water" John 7:38.

W.J. Mr. Stoney used to say that instead of the earth contributing or ministering to you, you now contribute to the earth.

J.T. Chapter 7 supposes an Ephesian saint; there is excess -- flowing out. You really do not come to the divine thought of giving until you take heavenly ground; the forty-eight Levitical cities to my mind suggest the bountifulness of heaven distributed over all the land. God would follow up His people with a heavenly influence; even though the two and a half tribes chose to remain on the further side of Jordan -- God would follow them up with a heavenly influence, He gives the Levites to dwell in certain cities among them.

D.L.H. Referring to the two and a half tribes, have you any thought why one tribe was split in two?

J.T. That question has been in my own mind. I think it shows one thing at any rate: that the half tribe which went over Jordan, set forth special spiritual energy, for they cut themselves away from the rest of the tribe; they broke away from their own brethren, who had settled on the further side of Jordan. To them belonged the daughters of Zelophehad, who are mentioned by the Spirit as demanding their inheritance among their brethren, the sons of their father -- that is where they wanted it. They were marked by special spiritual energy.

D.L.H. There must thus have been peculiar energy in the half tribe that went over.

G.W.W. Do you think there was anything in the fact, that the Levites were all first-born ones, being taken instead of the first-born of Israel? As showing the

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sovereignty of God, two of those who remained on the wilderness side of Jordan were set aside. Reuben was Jacob's first-born, but he was set aside, and then the same is true of Manasseh, Joseph's first-born.

J.T. Where nature is active the elder brother is owned -- but God set aside the first-born after the flesh. The flesh puts in its claim, but God sets it aside. It is significant in this sense that Reuben and Manasseh failed to value the inheritance.

It is striking that Job's eldest son is mentioned as having a place. Twice over in the first chapter he is specially mentioned. His brothers and sisters were feasting "in the house of their brother, the firstborn" Job 1:18 when the great wind blew and smote them all. The first-born in nature is always put forward by the flesh which acts contrary to the mind of God. So you find that with people who live on the other side of Jordan there is natural precedence and superiority, instead of the law of new creation. The laws of nature regulate us. The law of new creation makes the last first; "He who is the least among you all, he is great" Luke 9:48.

P.R.M. That is confirmed in Galatians, which almost seems to refer to the blessing of Jacob, who guided his hands wittingly in relation to Manasseh and Ephraim: "As many as ... walk by this rule" -- that is, of new creation -- "peace upon them and mercy, and upon the Israel of God" (Galatians 6:16).

J.T. The energy of faith that breaks loose from nature, as seen in the half tribe of Manasseh, is worthy of special note.

D.L.H. Though in Corinthians the apostle Paul says, "Does not even nature ... teach you" 1 Corinthians 11:14.

P.R.M. Nature teaches you but does not lead you.

J.T. Nature must have its place, and we may learn from it; but it must not govern us. When it comes to what is law to you, that must be "new creation".

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BEING FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

Luke 11:13 - 14, 24 - 27: Ephesians 5:18 - 20

I have before me to speak a little about the Spirit of God, particularly with the end in view that room may be made for Him; that as those who have received the testimony of Christ we may be filled with Him, otherwise there will be a disparity between the light and ourselves. The early christians, as you will remember, were specially marked as being filled with the Holy Spirit. You will find it as marking them at the outset, that is, on the day of Pentecost; the Holy Spirit having come on them represented the wealth of heaven, and the vessel here was equal to what had come in. And so we read in Acts 4 that having prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and then that they were all filled with the Holy Spirit; and again in chapter 6 where the necessity for the work of a deacon or deacons arose, the requirement was that they were to be men full of the Spirit -- a very great point, for these deacons were to move about visiting the saints, particularly the poor saints.

You can understand how great would be the influence of these seven men in Jerusalem who were full of the Holy Spirit, as they moved about in His service among the saints, caring for their bodies, ministering to their temporal needs. And then what we find in the leading one -- the most distinguished of the seven -- Stephen -- is, that he is said to have been full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; so he would bring light into every house visited and with the light he would bring in all that marks the Spirit. He would not sit down in the houses of the saints and occupy the time, speaking of current events in this world, but being full of faith he would bring in the events of the spiritual world, the world set up in Christ in heaven. He would talk to the saints of the things of that world; he would be, as it is

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said later, one of those who spoke of that world. "The world to come whereof we speak". Hebrews 2:5. In a later chapter, we read that when he stood before the council his countenance shone as it had been the face of an angel.

Stephen is thus set before us as a type of a believer, not as a gifted man, for there is nothing said about his gift; what marked him was that he was full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and again it is said of him that he was full of grace and power. Being such a one he is able to stand up in the council, and deliver such an address as embraced the whole history of the testimony of God up to that moment, and in finishing his service by martyrdom he is able to exhibit in the most striking manner the spirit of his Master. How much it was needed that he should be full of grace and power I need not say; he was, as it were, the last word from God to Israel, and in that last word there was the expression of Christ, so that the grace shone and the power shone. He needed both, beloved, for he was in the presence of all that Satan could bring against him at that moment; he needed power, and the power was present. The power was seen in the way he bore the persecution, and in bearing the persecution, he is able to exhibit grace. Grace shone as he kneeled down and prayed for his murderers. "Lord", he said, "lay not this sin to their charge". Acts 7:60. Other sins might have been laid to their charge, for he had laid many to their charge in his address which was a tremendous indictment, but he did not lay this sin to their charge -- the guilt of his own murder. Vindictiveness was not with him, he did not wish that sin to be laid to their charge, there were enough. Such is the intelligence and grace and power that came out in this wonderful vessel who is set before us as a type of the believer!

Now, I want to show you how God will bring us to what is set forth in this type; in one word it is by the Spirit. And so in this passage in Luke, the Lord, having spoken about prayer, arrives at the maximum

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of what prayer may result in, which I apprehend, is presented in the verse: "how much rather shall the Father who is of heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him!" Luke 11:13. God, beloved, can give us the very smallest thing that we may need; we must not think that anything is too small to ask for. God can descend to the minutest detail in human life. We have in this passage of Scripture part of which I did not read, "the finger of God" spoken of, which would indicate discrimination and detail. "If by the finger of God I cast out demons" Luke 11:20: Luke, in his way of presenting God in Christ, impresses us with God's knowledge of each of us, and so the gospel itself is written to an individual -- an individual who is addressed by name. Was it for the sake of Theophilus only it was thus written? No, God would impress us with His interest in each one of us, and that as He knows the number of the stars and calls them by name (Psalm 147:4) so He knows the saints, He knows them each by name. And so Theophilus is addressed by name, and if God acts with His finger in casting out a demon, it indicates that He knows the person, He singles out the person out of whom the demon is to be cast; He knows him, and if He knows the person, He knows all about him; the very hairs of our head are all numbered. So that no request is too small. If you begin with small requests, you will increase in your demands. And so the Lord here, in dealing with prayer, reaches the maximum gift (if I may use that word) which God gives. What more could be conceived in the way of gift than that the Holy Spirit should be given to us, and given so as to be received? The gift is so complete that it can be received. "This he said concerning the Spirit, which they that believed on him were about to receive; for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified" (John 7:39). But then if you look at the gift of the Spirit, there is nothing too large to ask for, and that is how the Lord ends up His instruction here in regard of prayer.

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I hope to come back to that in a moment, but I want to show you first how room is made for this great gift. God indicates the room required, and it is for you and me to accord it and see that the room that the Spirit should have is not occupied by anything else. It says, "He was casting out a demon" (Luke 11:14). It is not here that He had cast out one, as you find elsewhere; it is the act itself that is brought to our attention here, Luke would keep the Lord before us in what He was doing. It is the grace of Christ here, and even although it be such a work, He would have you to rest your mind on it, that He was casting out a demon. The incident comes in immediately after the Lord speaks of heaven's great gift: that those who ask for the Spirit receive Him. Mark you, it says "the Father who is of heaven" Luke 11:13. It is not your heavenly Father, it is not that He is in heaven, but that He is of heaven: "how much rather shall the Father who is of heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (New Translation). So that the gift is brought to our attention and then it says, He was casting out a demon. Have you ever seen the Lord casting out a demon? You will understand I am speaking of the principle of the thing. You may watch persons who are under the influence of evil, but you feel powerless, you can do nothing. You see the action of evil, of will in a person but nothing will suffice but that it should be replaced by the blessed Spirit of God. Education will not suffice, example even will not suffice. I believe the leaders of this world are at the end of their resources, if they were to tell the truth. Were it not for personal ambition in these leaders of the world, where would they be? Were they thinking entirely of the welfare of the race, and of the possible or probable results of present methods, they must feel that they are entirely 'at their wits' end'. The matter is absolutely hopeless. But present gain, a little bit of honour or distinction that may accrue, and great ambition, keep them going. Christians know that the matter is hopeless; we have no

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personal interest in it, they have. We know that education and legislation cannot meet the present situation; and so as we see sin working we say, Would to God that instead of that will, instead of the will of the flesh, instead of the power of Satan in this or that one, there were the blessed Spirit of God! And that is what is yet to come about, beloved, in regard of this world. There is He "who takes away the sin of the world" John 1:29, not only vicariously in His death but in power by and by. He baptises too with the Holy Spirit, and we believers rejoice in the very thought of it, that instead of what marks the world at the present time, we shall have the blessed Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit will be poured out on this earth and He will give character to it. "I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh". Acts 2:17. And so as I bring it down to one of my children it may be, or to one of my parents, or one of my brothers or sisters, I say, 'Would to God that that will that I see so active were replaced by the Spirit of God!' And we know that it is possible; this passage teaches me that it is possible, by prayer, it teaches me, too, that the gift of the Holy Spirit is given by the Father to those who ask Him; but it also teaches me that the Lord Jesus deals with the evil to make room for Him.

There is no hope of getting on together, unless we maintain what is due to God amongst the saints, unless we see these two things -- that there is the Spirit of God, and that there is the action of the Lord in dealing with the evil. And I want to point out further that He was doing it, He was casting out the demon, it says, and if we are to deal with evil we have to see how He does it. It was a dumb spirit -- a peculiar form of satanic power which hindered the man in speaking. Now God intends that man should speak, and we are in the dispensation of speaking; "every creature of God is good ... if it be received with thanksgiving. For it is sanctified by the word of God" -- that is God's speaking; "and prayer" -- that is my speaking (1 Timothy 4:4). We

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have thus God speaking to man, and man speaking to God. These are the things that Luke would bring out. Here is a dumb man, a dumb spirit, he is not able to speak, and it says the Lord "was casting out a demon" Luke 11:14. In order to deal with evil, dear brethren, we have to see how He did it, and I believe Luke calls attention to the fact that He was doing it, and as having done it, the man spoke. Need I say, that the connection is that if he spoke, he spoke by the Spirit, for speaking according to God must be in the power of the Spirit.

Well, the Lord having done this we read (Luke 11:24 - 27) that "when the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first". Now this is a picture of one of the most dreadful events that will happen in christendom. It has a dispensational bearing. The Lord has favoured a certain area of the world specially, and idolatry has been overthrown, the wicked spirit has gone out, but he is coming back presently. He comes back and he finds this area, instead of being in heathen darkness, illuminated by the gospel. Men are wonderfully intelligent, they are marked by great discoveries, the house is ornamented -- "swept and adorned"; but the wicked spirit comes back into it, and he takes with him seven other demons worse than himself and they dwell there. Terrible prospect! Let no one be deceived as to the end of things in this world in which we find ourselves! Satan has his eye on it, and the demon that has been ejected will come hack again; he is walking through dry places, and is not finding what he wished for. It is a very solemn thing that in the Lord's miracles in casting out demons, He did not restrict them. If men were to know that, it would enable them to understand

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many things. The Lord did not restrict them. What a world! Demons unrestricted! The Lord's concern for the moment was the relief of the individual, and that is what is going on now -- individuals relieved in the world, but the demons are unrestricted. Here is one demon walking through dry places and he says, "I will return unto my house" Luke 11:24. Note, the demon claims it! If I were to say to the leaders of christendom at the present time, 'This is a demon's house' they would say, 'How dreadful'! But he says, "I will return unto my house" Luke 11:24; he is unrestricted, although as a matter of fact there is a certain governmental restriction on evil in this world, and we can thank God for this. Another thing is that Babylon is said to have fallen, and that it has become the "cage of every unclean and hateful bird" Revelation 18:2. The "cage" is restriction; that is to say, the Romish system will not allow men to do and say what they please, they are restricted. But that is not to further the work of God, that is not to help men or to save men from these unclean and hateful birds, it is rather to add to the system itself. They can use these unclean and hateful birds but under restriction. Such is the power of that system that they can control these foul spirits and hateful birds and yet use them!

Then there is Protestantism, which is likened in this gospel to the mustard seed becoming a great tree in the branches of which the fowls of the air lodged. They are at liberty there; men can say what they please and do what they please, and no one can restrict them. What does that mean? It means that the Lord has allowed the demons latitude. Who is immune from them? He who is occupied divinely and only he. When this wicked demon comes back, according to Matthew, he finds the house empty, that is "unoccupied". That I specially mention for the young people. The Lord has wrought for you, He has east out the demon, so to say, He has brought down that will of yours, and you have accepted Him as your Saviour; now see to it that

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you are occupied by the Spirit, that there is this right occupant in your house, for the demon will come back. I may say here that while my remarks as to demons in a dispensational sense are literal, what I am saying as to an individual is more figurative of various forms of evil. You may go on well and happily through the power of the light you have received and the influence of the brethren, but depend upon it the evil will come back, and if it finds you unoccupied, that is the danger. Matthew tells us that the house was "unoccupied", or "empty". If the demon comes back, and finds you unoccupied, he will come in, and you will have no power to keep him out. That is a very solemn thing for all of us; but I would specially urge it on young believers to see to it that you are occupied. That you are swept and garnished is quite obvious, you are not a heathen, you are not a Jew, you believe the Scriptures and the gospel, maybe you attend the meetings, and in that way you are swept and adorned, but if you are unoccupied you are exposed, and the demon will come back with seven others worse than himself, and as we read, the last state of that man is worse than the first. I would urge you, young people, see to it that you have the Holy Spirit, and not only that you have the Holy Spirit, but that you are filled with the Holy Spirit. If you are filled with the Holy Spirit, Christ will be all to you. You say, 'How do I know that I am filled with the Spirit?' By Christ being all to you. The Holy Spirit will say to you, No, not that but Christ. You say, 'Well what about this book, I have had to read it at school, what about it now?' What would the Holy Spirit say? Are there lies in it? Is it about Christ? Does it help you in regard of Christ, or does it hinder you in regard of Christ? If it hinders you, the Holy Spirit would say to you, 'Not that book but Christ', and, you may depend upon it that if that is the state of your soul, if there is the disallowance of all that is not of Christ, and the urging of what is of Christ, that

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is the principle of being filled with the Holy Spirit. If you allow bad books the demons will come back to you through them. I believe demons are largely employed in writing books at the present time. There never has been such a time as this for books, and so it is the devil's way, for men want books and a great amount of time is devoted to reading.

Take now an instance by way of illustration. In the city of Corinth there is a young believer, he is a Greek, he has just been converted. In the same street, we may say, there is the Athenaeum, where the news of the day is dealt out. He goes in there -- I suppose in every Greek city there was a "Mars Hill" where men came to hear and to tell some new thing -- he goes in there, he looks around, he looks at the books, and the papers, he finds the news of the great Greek scholars, the orators, and poets, he finds idolatrous books there. Anything to remind him of God? No, nothing. Men are talking about the events of the day and exchanging the news. He turns and goes out, and enters in to the Jewish synagogue in the same street; maybe they are reading the Scriptures there -- thank God for that! They were read in the synagogues, but how were they read? They were read in a dead, ceremonial way, with not a ray of light -- men sitting there with their hats on, it maybe. This young convert is a believer in the Lord Jesus, and he finds hatred of Christ there, and His name is scorned. He leaves the synagogue and goes into a christian meeting room near by; he finds christians there; they, too, have the Scriptures; it may be Paul is there, and, discoursing to the brethren; he sits down and another stands up and speaks, then another gets up and prophesies, and he finds that God is there. All that is within him responds to what he finds. And so I say to the young people here, minister to those sentiments in you, develop those sentiments in you that make much of Christ, and that find delight in the company of God's people. It is as you do this that you are filled

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with the Holy Spirit. You come in that way to test everything for yourself; you can test the book, you can test what you meet in everyday life, for Christ is the test of everything. "As ye have, therefore, received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him; rooted and built up in him" (Colossians 2:6). Then the demon will knock in vain -- you are occupied. And I may say to you, beloved, that that is the only hope of continuance, for the demon will come back in some form or another, however much light we have, unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

And so as I read in Ephesians 5:18, it says, "And be not drunk with wine ... but be filled with the Spirit"; and then it goes on to give the details as to the effect of being thus filled: "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" Ephesians 5:19. The question is constantly being raised as to young people, what are we going to do with them? Give them the best thing you have; they are worthy of the best. They brought little children to the Lord that He might lay His hands on them and pray. You may say, 'Why did they not bring those little ones to Peter or John, they could have understood Peter and John better than the Lord'. But they brought them to Jesus. The very best that heaven could give them was there, and those who brought these children knew it, so they did not go to any one inferior, they brought them to the Lord, and it was that He might lay His hands on them and pray. Think of the Lord interceding for the little ones! Could I expect the Lord to pray that they might become more accomplished in earthly pursuits? No, He would not pray for them in that relation. He would pray for them to be delivered from that. He laid His hands on them, and blessed them, and departed thence. What did He depart to do? To die for them. He has gone into heaven for them, and He gives heaven's best gift to them -- the Holy Spirit. What the Holy Spirit has brought into

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the world is the best, and it is not too good for them. It is a question of wisdom, how to bring it to them, but be sure of this, they are worthy of the best, and they understand more than we give them credit for sometimes. But then the word here is, "be filled with the Spirit" Ephesians 5:18. If you profess to be a believer and have the Spirit, then the next thing is to be filled. And then we have the details working out as I said: "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs making melody in your heart to the Lord" Ephesians 5:19. What a delightful occupation this is! The vessels are filled; filled -- not only with light but with the Spirit, and the outcome is, "singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord". We are in accord, I believe, with heaven in this employ. It is not a question here of the meetings exactly, of worship in the meetings, it is more what marks the saints generally. Then what follows upon being filled and the outlet of song is, "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" Ephesians 5:20.

Thus as the saints are filled with the Spirit, we get the singing to ourselves, and then making melody in the heart to the Lord. The Lord would thus have His part in everything, whether it be a happy season together in one of our houses, or in the assembly, and it is a challenge to one's heart, Can the Lord have part in this? The Old Testament provides that there should be something for God in everything, there was something that the saints enjoyed, something for the priests, and something for God. So here, if we sing to ourselves, which is the idea of the peace offering, there is at the end, making melody in the heart to the Lord, and that is His part. We enjoy the things together, but the Lord has His part. It is melody in the heart to the Lord, then thanksgiving to God and the Father. Thus in the households of the saints, in everyday life, God has His part, and the Lord has His part, and there is in the saints here, as possessing the Spirit, and being filled

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with the Spirit, the counterpart of heaven; that is to say that what is going on in heaven is duplicated, so to speak, on earth.

May God bless the word!

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CHRIST KNOWN BY THE SPIRITUAL

Luke 2:25 - 32; 1 Samuel 6:7 - 16

I read these two scriptures so as to make some remarks as to spirituality. Two great features mark the dispensation; one is faith, and the other that the Holy Spirit is here on earth; so that it is not only a dispensation of faith, but of spirituality. I selected Simeon as representing the thought of spirituality, especially in the gospel of Luke. This gospel stresses this thought; it is not so much the question of energy on our part, but the fact of the Spirit's presence, and how He acts upon us; that finding us in a condition suitable, He acts upon us. Matthew contemplates the energy that is needed on our side, and records the Lord's remarks after He arose that they should go to Galilee and see Him, forbidding thus the idea of indolence, and stressing energy -- journeying. They have to go to Galilee to see Him: "there they shall see me" (Matthew 28:10). Whereas Luke quotes the Lord as saying, "tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). That is not by any means inertness or laziness, but a state of restful faith. It is one thing, dear brethren, to believe on a certain day, in a certain year, and receive blessing, but it is another to be named by the Spirit as a believing person, such as Timothy's mother; it is not simply that she believed, but she was a "believing woman" (Acts 16:1). So that as a believing person I am restful and the power comes: "until ye be endued", the Lord says, "with power from on high" Luke 24:49; but before one undertakes to serve he goes to Galilee as it were, or he will get nothing. It is a matter of soul exercise and travail; he goes to where the Lord is to be seen: "there they shall see me". But then according to Luke, the Spirit comes, that is to say, the two evangelists run together; both are necessary. As the service is undertaken the power comes; but prior

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to this, there is the exercise, as indicated in Matthew. Simeon represents Luke's side of the truth. He was a man "in Jerusalem" Luke 2:25, that is, he was not a travelling man. The preposition does not even imply that he had come to Jerusalem, but he was there; he was in Jerusalem. "There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon". Luke 2:25. He is ready for the smallest presentation of Christ; he discerns it, and is able to enlarge upon it; he is able to take account of it in the largest possible way. That is what I have in mind, that we may get the thought of "a man in Jerusalem" and what marks him in a spiritual sense.

I will come back to this, but I wish to show first, the relations in which spirituality is developed in the people of God. It begins with instinct, and when I use the word 'instinct' I have in mind that which marks a subject of the work of God from the very outset, as illustrated in a babe; one of the things that marks a babe is instinct. You cannot speak of a babe as marked by acquired knowledge, or even intuitive knowledge, it has instinct. Thus if the importance of what I am saying is considered, it will be seen that spirituality is not something that comes in at the end of one's life on earth. I do not think God cares very much for the end only, although He values everything that is the evidence of His work, however tiny; that is a feature of John's gospel. But then God has a way of showing that He values what is normal. Gold is gold wherever we see it, but God has great respect for what is normal; that is to say, for the appearance of spirituality from the outset of the believer's history. Luke, indeed, gives us this feature in the Lord Himself, in whom, of course, perfection is always seen. Luke does not present the Lord in His infancy as Matthew does; he speaks of Mary and Joseph before he mentions the Babe; the shepherds, arriving at Bethlehem, "found both Mary and Joseph, and the babe" (Luke 2:16); the Babe was in His normal place; the idea is not to present the Babe first

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as in Matthew. And so as He is presented in the temple He is just a Babe to outward appearance; whereas Matthew says that when the wise men arrived at the house, they found "the little child with Mary his mother" (Matthew 2:11 New Translation); not a "babe", but a "little child", and the little child is mentioned first. That is the spiritual side; but Luke gives you normality, and God has great regard for it with us.

So I have taken up this passage in Samuel because it gives that side of the truth of spirituality -- instinct, I need not enquire in the language of scripture, "Does God take care for oxen?" 1 Corinthians 9:9. He is not thinking of the sagacity of cows in this passage: it is written "for our sakes" not to regard us as kine, but as typified in our beginnings, as having spiritual instinct; and there is nothing surer, nothing more reliable in its place. Persons that rely entirely upon acquired knowledge in the things of God are not to be trusted. We may be in the mind of God today and miss it tomorrow; but spiritual instinct is to be relied upon, and hence the great importance of it. The young people should begin in cultivating it. I refer to this passage because spiritual instinct appears so obviously; milch kine with calves, what will they do under these circumstances? I am converted to God as a member of a family, with affectionate parents, affectionate brothers and sisters, and one day I am tested as to Christ (here He is in Philistine hands where He is not respected) -- I am tested as to what I think of Him: whether I can identify myself with Him however small the way in which He is presented, or whether I prefer to be governed by what is natural, by natural affections. If I am governed by the latter, I shall have no part in the service. I may come to the meeting on Lord's day morning, and have part with the brethren, but I miss the spiritual part of it.

It is a question, dear brethren, of what is going on in the soul. But on the other hand, I am responsible and

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the presentation of Christ to me should command my attention; I must identify myself with that. These kine are tied to the cart. What is on the cart? The most precious thing on an unsuitable carrier. And what will these creatures do? The calves are held behind. The kine have no one to guide them. Someone here complains of the brethren: they give a poor lead. Well, perhaps they do, but these kine have no one outwardly to lead at all. They went along without a leader; there was no one to look after them. What will they do? That is the test. What will you do? Really the whole public position of the ark enters into this issue: Will they go by the one highway, or will they turn back? What will they do? "They went by the one high way" we are told (1 Samuel 6:12, New Translation). They felt it; they were not indifferent to the calves. No one should be indifferent to the claims of nature in their place, for to be without natural affection is to be in the apostasy (2 Timothy 3:3); but the point is to subordinate natural claims to the claims of Christ. They went by the one highway, lowing as they went, but they went. How delightful to heaven was that journey! Where did it lead? You say, The one highway of God leads to glory; it does. That is where it will end, but for Jesus it led by the cross. That was the way it led -- that one "way" which the gospel of Mark brings before us. Jesus was in it, and there were others who followed Him in it. He made perfectly clear to them what it meant (Mark 10:32 - 34); it was the way to glory, truly, but by way of the judgment-hall, and the praetorium and the cross; it meant that way! The Lord deceived no one as to what was in that way. He even taught His disciples as to it (Mark 8:31). These kine were on the highway, and they went all the way to Beth-shemesh, which I may say was the terminus of that way. It is typically spiritual instinct. You can understand it; the ark was on the cart; the influence of Christ was there, even though the circumstances were wholly unfitting, but

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He was there. Christ is Christ; He is the power of God and the glory of God, and wherever He is He occasions a current. The physical creation abounds with illustrations of currents flowing in a certain direction. Under certain circumstances certain materials are unaffected by what affects other materials; so if I am a subject the work of God, normally I am affected by what is of God in this sense; it flows in one direction; and is what comes out here. "The kine went straight forward on the way to Beth-shemesh; they went by the one highway ... they turned not aside to the right hand or to the left" (1 Samuel 6:12). They were in the current of the ark, as I may say, and they went in the way of it, and they went the whole way of it; that is the point. They were not like that young man that ran into the way and knelt down to the Lord Jesus and called Him "Good Master" -- merely a religious attitudinarian. He knelt down, but kneeling down counts for nothing, unless the person who does it feels exposed and judges himself as before God. He left the way; he never came into the current of that way; he did not have the corresponding element which would lead him into it. These kine were typically in the current of that way, and they went on and on, until they came to the stone in the field of Joshua. That was the terminus, and they were slain, offered up there, showing, that what is required for the moment is the element of going forward even to death, with no idea of glory in this world.

Now as one takes on that attitude instinctively he must go that way; he thinks not of his own glory. The claims of the testimony must be above those of nature. This is imperative. It is like laying down one's life for the brethren. There is no manifestation in this way of personal consideration or ambition. Death lies at the end. I do not now stop to speak about the glory beyond; as the apostle Paul says, "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the

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things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen" (2 Corinthians 4:17 - 18). It is the "eternal weight". Think of that! One often stops to think of the idea of weight and measure with God. The physical creation suggests it in a marked way. The "eternal weight"! How substantial the glory is.

But I was speaking of the instincts that mark those who are normally subjects of the work of God; and then when you come to the end, that is to say, when the kine reached this field where they were offered up, you find the Levites. Levitical service comes into view at that point, indicating that at the outset we have to wait; the principle of death has to be accepted before we can enter into service. We have to understand these statements spiritually, as accepting the principle of death -- the principle of sacrifice. The Levites come in here. At the beginning of the journey we had the Philistine diviners, and we are not to despise them in this respect, because they told the Philistine lords what to do. We begin with them. I have no doubt they suggest how awkward we are, how unintelligent; though in the main the Philistine diviners had some understanding of the reverence due to the ark of God. It was they who directed that the cart should be made and the milch kine, on which no yoke had come, attached to it, so that "the ark of Jehovah" with a trespass offering should be sent back. But with reference to Levitical service we are told that the Levites went in at twenty-five, which implies that they served as apprentices until thirty. It is well for young people to understand that they have to go through a process, and it runs concurrently with what I am speaking about; you are proving the reliability of spiritual instinct. You prove it by the fact that you can see Christ when He is presented to you, and you do not turn against Him. If Christ is presented to me in the smallest way, and I do not see Him, I am wanting in spiritual instinct; I have been cultivating something else. Even if He is

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presented to me, as He is here, on a cart, in an unsuitable position, and I do not discern Him, I am wanting in spiritual instinct. Very often you get Christ presented in a most awkward way, but if it be Christ and I do not discern Him, there is something wrong. You say, Well look at that cart! But look at that ark! That is the thing to look at; dismiss the thought of the cart for the moment. Look at the ark. That is the thing, dear brethren: ability to discern Christ and to identify myself with Him to the point of death, laying down one's life for the brethren. As soon as I reach that point I come to the Levites. You say, Somebody else will do that work. Not at all; the spiritual idea is, that that is what I am; I am under these circumstances qualified. The Levites took down the ark. As to the cart, it is your business to provide something better. How is that done? I become a Levite through the experience I have spoken of. I serve my time till I arrive at the age of thirty, and as soon as I arrive at that point I desire to do something else with the ark. I say, I want to carry that precious ark on my shoulder. That is the way. If somebody provides the cart, it is my business to provide a shoulder, and it must be a Kohathite shoulder, not a Merarite shoulder, nor a Gershonite shoulder. The Gershonites had wagons themselves -- not a cart, which is an open vehicle -- the Levitical wagon is covered, "covered wagons" (Numbers 7:3). But the ark was not even to be carried in a covered wagon; the ark was to be carried on Kohathite shoulders; that is to say, on the shoulders of believers who are spiritual. There are grades of spirituality in the service of God, because God puts up with much in us; in fact He provides for the Merarites and Gershonites in this respect, or rather the princes provide for them in giving wagons, but they are covered ones. But that will not do for Christ as typified in the ark. When it is a question of the ark, it is a Kohathite shoulder that is called for, and I want everyone here to question his

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own heart as to whether he has that shoulder. It is very much akin to the shoulder of Christ. The shoulders of Christ according to the type bore all the names of the tribes, six here, and six there, and the Kohathite shoulder corresponds with that. It is by learning the love of Christ, the way that He has supported me, that I want to carry Him in testimony in this world.

I am speaking now of the shoulder as a symbol of strength, the power for carrying what is of Christ. That is what appears here, and I want to show you, as I said at the beginning, how it works out in Simeon. He was "in Jerusalem", that is to say, he has advanced beyond the mere thought of spiritual instinct. He is "in Jerusalem" that is where all spiritual thoughts converge; I am speaking of Jerusalem in its divine setting. That is where he is. If I may make a present application, it is the church; it is that in which the divine interests are centred -- the church, not merely as a vessel on the earth in testimony, but viewed abstractly, as heavenly; it is "Jerusalem above" Galatians 4:26. Simeon was in Jerusalem. He had intelligence. It was a question of the Holy Spirit. The divine nature is marked by spiritual instinct, but then we have to distinguish between that and the Holy Spirit in the believer as "the unction". Simeon was in Jerusalem, and looking for "the consolation of Israel" Luke 2:25, and the Holy Spirit was upon him; he was suitable to be so distinguished. The Holy Spirit comes upon us according to what we are as the subjects of the work of God. Think of how He came down on Christ! He is so unerring; He came down as a dove to denote the delight that Christ was to heaven; there was nothing in that holy Man to grieve in the least degree the Holy Spirit, for the dove is most sensitive; it is symbolic of the sensitiveness of the Holy Spirit. He came down in that way on Jesus; but He was upon this man as if He could commit Himself to him. "The Holy Spirit was upon him. And it was divinely communicated to him by the Holy Spirit" Luke 2:25,26; he

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was a man to whom the Spirit of God could reveal his mind. How many of us understand the Holy Spirit, a divine Person down here, as One with whom we are to be conversant and He with us? It was revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. What a man he was! And he came into the temple, by the Spirit. How, dear brethren, do we regard the Holy Spirit as down here? Do we move by Him, walk by Him, serve by Him, come to the meetings by Him? Simeon went into the temple by the Spirit -- or really "in the Spirit", it is that he came into it, in that holy state, "in the Spirit". The parents brought in the Child Jesus. There is no attempt to make Jesus more than He might appear outwardly, as I was saying; in Luke, He is just presented as He was normally. He had been circumcised at eight days old, and was brought by His parents to be presented to Jehovah according to the law. Now, that is the test. Can I discern Christ presented to me, brought to me, in this way? Of course the parents brought Him, and as parents they did not detract from Him, but Simeon's attention is not called to Jesus specially by outward circumstances. It is just what was there: can I discern Him? You say, I only heard so-and-so speak, and you revert back to the honoured servants who have gone, but then Christ was presented to you by the brother you consider so insignificant -- did you discern Him? It is the same Christ. But when I speak of Jesus as seen in such outward smallness in the temple, I am not referring to His Person. What underlay this was the fact that one was there who is "God over all" Romans 9:5. Let no one assume for a moment that He ceased to be that; He is ever divine; but I am speaking of the way Luke presents the truth; He is just a Babe as in the temple. Someone brings Christ to you and perhaps you do not see Him because of the person who brings Him. There may be some feeling against that person, and you do not see Jesus because of that. But He is

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there. If I do not see Him I am not a Simeon, I am not "in Jerusalem", not in the temple "in the Spirit". Simeon was; so he received the Child in his arms. Never mind for the moment the person who brought Him: he received "the child". As you receive Christ, so to speak, the person who brought Him will be enhanced in your eyes. Having blessed God, Simeon also blessed Joseph and Mary. There is no evidence that she said a word to Simeon to enhance the Babe. It is a question of discernment; it is a question of the Babe. Is Jesus there? If I am a priest, if I am spiritual, I shall know. "The spiritual discerns all things" (1 Corinthians 2:15), especially if it is a question of Jesus. The Holy Spirit enables you to see Him, and makes you know He is there. Simeon took the Child in his arms. How he enlarged on Him! He blesses God and says, "now, thou lettest thy bondman go, according to thy word, in peace; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation" Luke 2:29 (New Trans.). He was looking at that -- not at outward appearance. He saw in the Babe the salvation of God. That is spirituality. "Mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples; a light for revelation of the Gentiles". Luke 2:30,31. How great his thoughts were! Do we not need those thoughts, dear brethren? I visit a good many prayer meetings and I but seldom hear the whole field of God's operations brought to the golden altar. Simeon thought of the Babe in His greatness as a light for the "unveiling" of the gentiles. The gentiles, as yet in heathen darkness, were to be brought into the light and favour of God by this Babe. How glorious! And then he says, "The glory of thy people Israel" Luke 2:32.

That is what I had to say, dear brethren; I am sure you have all followed. Our spirituality is the outcome of the work of God in our souls. It begins with instinct and goes on to intelligence; that is how it proceeds. So I become practically a priest; I reside "in Jerusalem", I take account of the Lord's interests, not only locally

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but universally. Being "in Jerusalem" is more than being in a local gathering; it means that I apprehend the church in its greatness, in its heavenly position; I take account of it abstractly, according to what it will be -- not only what it is, but according to what it will be when it comes down from God out of heaven. So the Spirit of God enlarges us as we are spiritual, and leads us forward in the great thoughts of God.

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THE WINGS OF A DOVE

Psalm 68:13; Revelation 4:1,2

It is in my mind to speak about the Ho]y Spirit, but to confine my remarks to the Spirit as the power in the believer by which alone he can lay hold of and enter into his heavenly position. I have selected this verse in Psalm 68 because it speaks of doves' wings; "the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold" Psalm 68:13. It refers thus emblematically to the Holy Spirit as characterising the believer. To those spoken of it is said that they should be like doves' wings. It is not that they have them, but that they should be as them. "Yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove". The dove is emblematical of the Holy Spirit. We all remember how the Holy Spirit came down on our Lord Jesus Christ in bodily form as of a dove, and abode upon Him.

When He came down at Pentecost it was as cloven tongues of fire -- "it sat upon each of them" Acts 2:3. The fact that He came in that way had its own voice: "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them" Acts 2:2,3. First, there is the sound: and then the cloven tongues of fire; thus there should be on the one hand speaking, and on the other the means of consuming what is unsuitable to God. The result of the activity of the Holy Spirit as thus seen would be to bring about what we get in this verse; that although the saints had lain among the pots, they should "be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold" Psalm 68:13. That is the end reached; in other words, the believer is brought by the operation of the Holy Spirit in him, to conformity with Christ. He should be as wings of a dove, only "covered with silver". The dove which

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came upon our Lord did not need that. We are not told what the wings were like or the plumage. It could add nothing to Christ in these respects, for all divine beauty was embodied in Him. The Holy Spirit came and abode upon Him; that is, there was a divine resting place there.

In Genesis 8 we get the first reference to the dove in Scripture. It says there, "God remembered Noah" Genesis 8:1, and as the waters of judgment abated on the earth, Noah sent out a raven. The raven went to and fro until the waters were dried up. He brought back no tidings to Noah. Nothing accrued to Noah or the occupants of the ark through that enterprise. Then it says, "He sent forth a dove from him" Genesis 8:8; as if to remind us of the link between Noah and the dove. One need not say as to that, that the Holy Spirit is in the Godhead. The Holy Spirit is referred to in Scripture at the very outset; He was hovering over the face of the waters. He fully represented the divine thought in regard to the chaotic state which had come in. He hovered over the face of the waters, and was there when God said, "Let there be light" Genesis 1:3. By him God garnished the heavens, and now when the raven fails to return, Noah sends out the dove from him. There was a link between him and the dove. We are then told that "the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark" Genesis 8:9; suggestive again of a link between them. Then it says, "he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him" Genesis 8:9. The dove goes out again and returns with an olive leaf plucked off. This shows us that the Holy Spirit does not rest in a scene under judgment, but He takes account of the fruit He produces. It was not an olive leaf floating on the waters, but one plucked off. The product of the Holy Spirit in the believer is not regarded as detached, but in relation to its root; hence it says it was "plucked off" and brought back to Noah in the ark. What a remarkable testimony! It is a kind of foreshadowing of the day in which we

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now are. The deluge is a type of baptism: "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us", says Peter, 1 Peter 3:21. In relation to that the Holy Spirit produces fruit for God. There is a nine-branched fruit tree in Galatians 5, which we should ponder. The features the Holy Spirit looks for are the elements which survive the judgment. In those who recognise the Holy Spirit and walk in Him there is that blessed fruit for God, evidence of vitality; the dove brought the olive leaf back. There was the fruit of life in the midst of death.

Now the believer, as being like the wings of the dove with feathers of gold, may rise and enter into his distinctive heavenly portion. It was said that God bore Israel on "eagles' wings" and brought them to Himself. Mark, it is eagles' wings, not doves' wings. When it is a question of being taken out of Egypt there is no thought of beauty or adornment, but when entrance into the divine sphere is in view the thought of adornment is introduced. If one is cold, one is not concerned as to the colour of his clothing, but the warmth that will accrue from it; if we need light we are not concerned as to the kind of light, we want the means by which to see, and so it is in regard of power. When the Egyptian monarch was close in pursuit of the Israelites, they were not thinking of the beauty or order of their equipment, what they needed was power and swiftness so as to escape from the hostile armies close upon them. The eagle is the emblem of these features. So Jehovah says, "I have borne you on eagles' wings, and brought you to myself" Exodus 19:4. They are the wings of deliverance. But when it is a question of entering into the divine sphere there is something further. Hence in Colossians we get the word "meetness", because now it is a question of entering into Canaan. In Romans it is exit from the world, which corresponds with Exodus; but Colossians is like the book of Joshua. Hence in Colossians we read, "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us

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meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light" Colossians 1:12.

There is often carelessness among the saints as to entrance into the presence of God. We have learnt something of the eagles' wings, but what about the dove's wings covered with silver and her feathers with yellow gold, and entrance into the presence of God? When coming into the assembly it is not a question of eagles' wings, but of doves' wings. We are made "meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light" Colossians 1:12. In the message through Paul the word was that they should receive an inheritance among them which are sanctified; the title to that is in the gospel, but Colossians speaks of meetness. Think of the light which shines in the circle of the saints.

Were I to be ushered into heaven tonight what I should find would be ineffable light. Think of the magnitude of the grace of God which "hath made us meet" for that! We know something of the full light of the sun at noon-tide, but the apostle in his exuberance describes the light that shone around him as "light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun!" Acts 26:13. It brought him down to earth. Were we ushered into heaven tonight, ushered into all that light, there would be no falling down, we should be "holy and without blame before him in love", for we are "accepted in the beloved" Ephesians 1:4,6.

The King's daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold. The "within" does not refer to her clothing, but to the King's palace; her clothing is in every way in keeping with the King's palace; yea, she adorns it. It was thus with the prodigal, the servants were told to bring forth the best robe and put it on him; the robe was brought out. It is what Christ is as Man in the presence of God put upon the christian. Is there anything more magnificent than that? The robe is brought out -- the best robe. There is only one best. The Holy Spirit brings out of

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heaven what Christ is as Man and puts it on the christian, and he enters in that robe. It is wrought in the christian as here. The silver is the token of redemption; we go in on that ground.

'Higher and higher yet,
In Thee, through blood, made nigh;
We taste the love that knows no let,
And "Abba, Father!" cry'. (Hymn 427)

Now the apostle John in the book of Revelation helps us as to this. In thinking over the subject my mind reverted to the epistles and traversed Romans, Colossians, Ephesians, and finally reached Revelation. The epistle to the Ephesians coupled with the book of Revelation shows the power of the Holy Spirit in the christian as enabling him to enter into his heavenly portion. In Romans the Spirit is connected with the state of the christian; through Him deliverance is practically effected. In Revelation the believer is seen outside natural laws and impediments. It is well to take note of that. The epistles take account of us in this world for God. The book of Revelation contemplates a state outside natural laws; it comports in that respect with the feast of weeks (Deuteronomy 16), a feast not bounded by time, like the other feasts in Deuteronomy. The feast of tabernacles is the millennium; it is governed bytime -- a long era of great blessing, but having a limit. When we come to the feast of weeks it is not so; no time of duration is given; it refers to what lies in the Spirit, and the Spirit is power in us by which we rise outside of time and its limitations, and reach what is eternal. We see in Revelation 21 the holy city coming down from God out of heaven. In order to come down it had to be placed in heaven, and Ephesians and Thessalonians instruct us as to this. Revelation touches on the power of the Spirit by which the believer has an exodus out of time limitations into eternity. Hence

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at the outset we read, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice ... and I turned to see the voice that spake with me" Revelation 1:10,12. He sees Christ and sees Him here in the midst of the churches. After this, things are shown to him and the passage I read says, "I saw, and behold, a door opened in heaven" Revelation 4:1. It is not translation, for that is not by the Holy Spirit, but by the direct act of the Lord Himself He comes Himself, as in Thessalonians: "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout". 1 Thessalonians 4:16. The Lord comes down to meet us and take us up. Here John hears a voice which said, "Come up here" Revelation 4:1. That voice has resounded throughout the dispensation. If it enters our souls it makes strangers of us as in this world. If strangers then pilgrims. The Lord calls us to our heavenly portion. John says, "immediately I became in the Spirit" Revelation 4:2. We see thus that entrance into heaven now is by the Spirit.

I refer only to the principle, as of course what is spoken of in these verses was special. There is no ladder in view here as in Jacob's vision. There a ladder was set up on the earth and the top of it reached to heaven, and angels of God ascended and descended on it. The ladder was for the angels to go up. The point was that Jacob here on the earth was the object of interest to heaven; that is, in picture, the millennium. The Lord says, "thou shalt see greater things than these ... Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man" John 1:51. But now the Lord is in heaven and there is no ladder for us to ascend by, but John was in the Spirit. To enter on our heavenly portion we must become in the Spirit and know how to retire into what is spiritual. We can enter into divine things only by the Spirit; we must be as the wings of a dove; we become that by the power of the Holy Spirit. "Though ye have lain among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow

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gold". Psalm 68:13. The christian enters in that beauty into the presence of God. We shall have spiritual bodies also.

Thus beloved brethren, we can understand the correspondence effected by the Spirit between Christ and the saints. They find their place as holy and without blame before God in love, as those taken into favour in the beloved.

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THE RIVER OF GOD

Matthew 18:19,20; Ezekiel 47:1 - 12

My object in reading these passages is that we may see what the effect of the presence of the Spirit is here. Broadly speaking the effect of christianity, rightly apprehended, is to produce living conditions. It was the divine thought that what God would present in the way of teaching and preaching should be accompanied by living conditions -- the evidence of life, for only thus is the doctrine of christianity verified. We have the principle in our Lord, of whom it is said, "In him was life, and the life was the light of men" John 1:4. What He said was life, because He was altogether that which He said. There was the truth expressed in a living way in the Lord here; what He said, He was.

Now I wish to show from these scriptures that the presence of the Spirit here, sent down by the Lord as exalted in heaven, was to be marked by the same principle; there was involved in His presence the administration of all the wealth of heaven. It was an administration. We have to distinguish between administration and government. The coming down of the Spirit was an administration; it involved the wealth of heaven being brought here. So there was a dispensation; what is called the dispensation of God, that in which things are dispensed according to God, and that in His house. For while God dispenses His bounty through Christ, it is mediately by the Spirit in His house. It is said further that the dispensation of God is in faith (1 Timothy 1:4, New Trans.).

I have read the verses in Matthew 18 because they indicate how this is worked out in a day such as ours, when that which had boasted of being the divine system has become corrupt. The Lord, having spoken of the assembly in the earlier verses, uses the word "again" in verse 19, meaning it was a new subject,

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or the same subject in another development. The assembly in the previous verses is regarded as intact, as that which was to be heard, and woe to him who refuses to hearken to it. But in the verse I have read (verse 19) the Lord says, "Again I say to you" Matthew 18:19, as if to introduce a new development, and make provision for it; for there are no afterthoughts with God. Provision is made at the outset for every contingency; the breakdown of the assembly as a public body is provided for in these two verses, so that saints should not be hampered, but that the divine thought at the outset should be still operative. Hence the Lord brings the thing down to "two of you" Matthew 18:19, that is to say, not any two believers, but two of the assembly. Now Matthew, as some of you may have observed, deals in twos; where the other evangelists in parallel passages speak of one, he usually speaks of two. He had in view the breakdown of the world-system that was opposed to God, that had its centre in Jerusalem. It was a combination; the strength of the world lies in combination. Organised opposition is the most effective opposition to God, and so at Babel from the very earliest times, the world became organised, and from Babel onwards organised opposition was most damaging, and it is so still. But God met it by an organisation of His own, and Matthew introduces that. You find Matthew dealing with two demoniacs, with two blind men, and instead of one ass, he presents to us an ass and a colt; and so he deals with two of the assembly. Two of the assembly are the most important that can be found in the whole of the universe outside of divine Persons -- "two of you".

I desire that we may rightly estimate the value, potentially at least, of two of the assembly. Matthew brings forward the Lord's words in regard to them; He says that if there be unity, if there be agreement, two of the assembly shall receive from heaven anything they ask. There is no limit according to this passage to what may be received and obtained from heaven by

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two of the assembly who are agreed. Our resources as of the assembly, as agreed, and as praying are limitless. Our way can never be shut up locally, or generally, while there is agreement on the part, even of two, of those who are of the assembly; and this explains how the reign of grace, the operations of grace, can he effective in these last days.

Now I say that before I proceed to Ezekiel, because it is of no real use to bring before you such a passage as I read in Ezekiel 47 save as in some sense it has a present application. We are entitled to speak of things, of which the application is entirely future, but one prefers to bring in what is of present application, and so the administration of the things in heaven being set up in Matthew, I can proceed to Ezekiel to show how that can be effective in two of the assembly as agreed, for things are given to them of the "Father which is in heaven" Matthew 18:19; whatever they ask shall come to them. God makes it evident that it is in regard to them; and then again, "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" Matthew 18:20. Notice the emphasis on the pronouns as calling attention to those who are of the assembly, those who seek to walk in the light of it, and are making operative what marked the assembly at the outset; so He says, "there am I in the midst of them".

In Ezekiel, as you will observe, the house is in view. Much is said about it in the chapters immediately preceding. You will remember that the prophet was brought into "the land of Israel" Ezekiel 40:2, and set upon a very high mountain, and he sees the frame of a city towards the south; all very auspicious, portending blessing in the way of rule and light from God; but as he arrives at the place, it is not the city that is enlarged upon but the house; for it is house-wise, that the blessing comes. The city will have its place by-and-by; we recognise it, but God is dealing at the present time house-wise, and

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so the prophet is engaged with the house, and that not an empty one.

The God of Israel comes in from the east, and enters the house; His glory fills it. But now, having that in view, the prophet is shown it, he is taken to it, and its aspect is eastward, We have to learn to take account of the points of the compass spiritually; the aspect of the house is eastward. The existence of the house of God here at the present time is provisional; for us it continues unto the coming of the Lord. We do not read of the house of God in heaven, it has a provisional existence here, it continues unto the coming of the Lord. It looks eastward. It is set up here according to wisdom, for "Wisdom hath builded her house" Proverbs 9:1; it is in every way fitted to he the vessel of divine administration, and it points on and looks for the coming of the Lord; therefore the aspect is towards the east. It is "until he come", and what we find is that the waters flow out. There is nothing barren, nor dried up about the house of God. It is to be the source of everything of God in a provisional way, all coming down from heaven in the gift of the Spirit; for the Spirit of God came down once, and He has remained here. There were not two outpourings of the Spirit, it was one event; what occurred at Pentecost was not repeated. The Holy Spirit involves the presence of God Himself here, and thus everything operates house-wise, so the waters flow out from the right side of the house.

In order that we might be duly affected by what it cost Christ in order that the waters should flow, the Spirit of God tells us that they flow from the south side of the altar; that is to say, the death of Christ in its results is favourable to man; and then lest we should forget the sufferings of Christ that the altar involves -- sufferings untold -- the prophet is led round by the way of the gate towards the north, as if to be reminded of the awful blast of divine wrath that was directed against the Lord, our sacrifice, as on that altar. As we

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enjoy the results of it, it is well to be reminded of the cost. The north -- the bitter, cold wind from the north -- refers to the judgment of God. We are to be reminded that what we enjoy, cost Christ the bearing of divine wrath; that sobers us. And so from that Ezekiel is led round towards the front of the house, which looketh towards the east, and the waters issue from the right side. We have had the south side, now it is the right side of the house. It is one thing for God to be favourable to us, but it is another thing for Him to use all His power for our help and blessing; and so it is that Pentecost was not only the indication of the favourable attitude of the administration, which it was, but God said virtually: 'In all my power I am for man'. It was the right side of the house. And so the river is flowing.

And then the Spirit of God occupies us with its increasing depth. There is no allusion to tributaries in these symbols; nor is it a question of draining the land; it is the pure, holy source that is specially in view, and then the increasing depth. The Holy Spirit came down from heaven; there was nothing here to add to Him. He brought everything with Him. What comes to light in the river is its increasing depth. Take any other system in the world professing to he religious, and examine it, you will find nothing like this. Instead of drying up and becoming evaporated by the eastern sun, this river increases as it flows, until it becomes waters to swim in, a river that cannot be passed over. How we christians understand it! What a sense of victory we have in confronting present opposition; we know we are in that which is beyond the opposers; we know they are dealing with surface methods. We have to do with what is impossible to nature; it is waters to swim in, a river that cannot be passed over. I wonder if the young believers here understand the depth of it, what there is in it; there is more in it than you can ever take in. You may question and criticise,

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but you go in for it, and you will see it has a depth beyond you. It is more than enough for you; deliverance is in it. Those who have learnt to swim in it are delivered, and they discover that it deepens as it goes.

Having thus referred to the features of christianity as indicated at Pentecost, I want to show you a little of its results, because we want results, and Matthew 18 shows these are possible even in a day like ours -- a day of small things; and what you find is that the river has banks. The prophet is taken to the banks of the river, and on the banks are trees. Banks allude to limitations; not that the Holy Spirit is to be limited, but they indicate where the river flows. I have no doubt they allude to the doctrines of christianity; we must not he defective in doctrine, while dealing with the positive thing, that which produces life, we must be regulated. Paul says, "thou hast ... known my doctrine" 2 Timothy 3:10. In his doctrine we have indicated what the things are, where the Holy Spirit is, where divine things are; and in connection with the banks you have trees, which are, as I apprehend it, men developed; they have grown there. We need men. The Corinthians had not arrived at that; the banks were hardly visible at Corinth, they were well-nigh obliterated. The apostle had to write in order to establish them, that it might be known where the river flows; it has its own way. So he says, "Brethren, be not children in your minds, but in malice be babes; but in your minds be grown men" 1 Corinthians 14:20. I fear they were more developed in malice, in the fruits of the flesh, than they were in the graces of Christ; and so he urges upon them to be men in their minds. Ephesians goes further; ministry is to the end that we should arrive "at the full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fulness of the Christ" Ephesians 4:13.

Now one finds gatherings where banks are hardly discernible, and there are no men, no "trees". What is needed are the trees; not indeed out of proportion, as with the blind man according to Mark who saw men

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"as trees, walking" Mark 8:24; they were out of proportion m his mind. Trees are used to symbolise men as in growth; and I believe local growth is of the greatest importance -- that there should he those who are developed into manhood, who can be seen, who have distinctness.

The Spirit of God comes back to the thought of trees -- men; having mentioned them in verse 7, we have them again in verse 12, so as to develop more fully what he has in his mind with regard to them -- that they should bear fruit, that there should be variety, that they should he evergreen. These ideas of fruitfulness, of freshness, of the energy of life are to be seen in men -- in the trees. How lovely is the picture! Scripture enlarges on it elsewhere. I only dwell on it here as the outcome, typically, of the operations of grace connected with the Spirit of God, within certain doctrinal limitations. I believe that what is needed in the gatherings of the Lord's people is just this growth; a growth from the babe-state into the state of manhood; and not simply that we are men in our minds, having the right thought of everything, but that there should be that holy state, that fruitfulness, that ever-greenness, which is delightful to God, and refreshing to man.

You will all remember the first evidences of life in the creation according to Genesis 1, where the earth was to bring forth grass, then fruit-trees yielding fruit after their kind, the seed of which is in them, on the earth. The grass symbolises greenness and freshness, whereas the trees refer to personal distinctness; then "the seed of which is in them" Genesis 1:11, means the power for continuance, power for propagation with no admixture. That which is propagated is of the same order as that from which it has sprung. It is typically an outgrowth from Christ. The believer is to be here thus; whatever propagation there is, it must be according to Christ. The seed is in itself, to be of its own kind. These trees on the banks of the river, I believe, allude to this growth;

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nourishment from Christ in the power of the Spirit produces men who are fruitful according to God.

Ezekiel is not occupied with officialism; with him here it is a question of the river, a question of life, a question of the power of God; indeed his name signifies that -- the 'strength of God'. This is brought about by the nourishment of the Spirit known within these bounds; it produces those who in their minds are grown men; they have doctrine, that is verse 7 and in verse 12 they are spiritual, fruitful. The fruit of the Spirit is there, and with the life there is freshness.

Wherever the river came there was life, that is the test of what is of God. It says in verse 9, "And it shall come to pass that every living thing which moveth, whithersoever the double river shall come, shall live. And there shall be a very great multitude of fish; for these waters shall come thither, and the waters of the sea shall be healed; and everything shall live whither the river cometh" Ezekiel 47:9. One might speak much about this river in its prophetic character. I have no doubt the river of God, coming out from God, from Jerusalem, will affect the east. Christianity is flowing towards the west, but the east is in the mind of God; He has not forgotten it. More than a third of the population of the world is in the east; God has not forgotten that, He will take account of the east in due course. We may thank Him that the river of christianity has come westward.

Prophetically this chapter in Ezekiel alludes to God's gracious dealings in the east. Wonderful times await that quarter of the earth, but I am speaking of the chapter as part of the "all scripture" which is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable "for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" 2 Timothy 3:16. So this scripture is most useful, as showing that professors are unresponsive to the Spirit unless there is life. Wherever the waters come, anything that has life lives, it does not die. Whatever is of God in the world, as

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coming into contact with them is made to live. So we may easily determine whether God is working in us, and through us. Are things in our readings living? Is our ministry producing life? Is our service producing life? Otherwise we are not supported by God. The energy of the Spirit of God in us leads to life. Wherever anything living comes into contact with the river, it lives; so that the outlook and concern of the christian is to see what God is doing within his radius, so that through him these blessed waters should flow, and that what they come into contact with should be made to live. The word to the prophet is, "Shall these bones live?" Ezekiel 37:3. That is Ezekiel, and they do live. God works with us; the waters flow out house-wise, and wherever they flow we may reckon upon it there is life, and thus instead of the things of God dying out, they are made to live and to continue.

One is exercised about these things in view of living conditions; first, that there should be men who are men in their minds, who have right doctrine, who have the mind of God, and who correspondingly are living, are spiritual, have spiritual affections, and are fruitful; and then, too, as to the general result, and wherever the waters come, there is life, and thus the things of God do not perish. It is not that anything of God ever dies, but there is a danger of those who have life becoming like the world around them. Bring the water to them. Let us be exercised that the water through us should come to them, so that instead of dying they should live. It is the time of life-giving. This dispensation is not yet finished. God remains what He was; Christ remains what He was; the church remains what it was in principle; so we still have the dispensation. Let us see to it that christianity is operative, that the presence of the Holy Spirit is operative, and this will eventuate in life.

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THE HOLY SPIRIT AS CAPACITY TO APPREHEND DIVINE THINGS

Luke 2:25 - 32; Revelation 1:10 - 11

My thought is to seek to call your attention to the Holy Spirit. I do not intend to speak of Him in the varied relations in which He is presented to us in the Scriptures, but I wish more particularly to speak of Him as giving us the capacity to apprehend divine things. I wish to engage you with the great fact of the presence of the Spirit here, in regard to what God is going to establish publicly in the future.

It is a matter of the greatest importance, that we should understand that all intelligence as to divine things, is of necessity by the Spirit of God. You will recall how the apostle introduces this in the epistle to the Corinthians. He introduces it in connection with that which was creeping in among the christians at Corinth; that is to say, the activity of man's mind in divine things. That is wholly excluded from the sphere of divine things: it has no place there. In the first place, God would not admit of it; in the second place, it has no ability whatever to take in the things of God. "What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God" (1 Corinthians 2:11).

God has not given to us the spirit that is of the world. He has given to us the Spirit that is of God, that we may know the things that are freely given to us of God; and it seems to me to be of immense importance that every believer should be concerned as to the things "which God has prepared for them that love him" 1 Corinthians 2:9. God takes account of the love of His people, and prepares things for those that love Him, and before they are actually displayed God has given His Spirit to us that we may know them. We all believe the doctrine of the Holy Spirit down here, but we want to realise

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that the Person is here. I think if there is one thing more than another that God would have emphasised for His people at the present time, it is the great preponderating fact of the actual, living presence of the Spirit of God here below, in answer to Christ as Man in heaven. He shows us things to come, and He is also the power in us whereby we understand and appreciate these things. "We have the mind of Christ" 1 Corinthians 2:16; that is to say, we have a divinely given faculty of thought, and this is by the Spirit of God. He would engage our hearts with the unseen system of things; the system of things that is to replace the present, and which is to abide. As the apostle says, "we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" 2 Corinthians 4:18.

What I think the enemy succeeded in doing at the outset, was to reduce divine things to the level of man's mind. Divine things are sacred, and we treat them as common when we reduce them to the range of the human intellect. We must be on our guard as to the mind of man; reducing the truth of God and the things of God to the level of man's mind, is what has to a great extent brought about the present state of christendom.

Now what strikes me in regard to the gospel of Luke is the prominent place the Spirit of God has in it. His presence and activity give character to the opening chapter, first in relation to John the baptist, and then to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself What a peculiarly holy scene is presented! How entirely out of place would be the mind of man there, and all that man is after the flesh! It opens with Zacharias, the priest, who has a wife of the daughters of Aaron; then there is that wonderful character, Mary, the mother of the Lord; and the Holy Spirit comes upon each. Then we see Him in Simeon, and John the baptist, and finally, but in a unique way, and permanently, in the Lord Himself. As taught of God we recognise the suitability

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of all this. The birth into this world, and public appearance of the Lord for ministry, necessitated morally all this divine interest and activity; and no attentive reader can fail to appreciate the holy simplicity of the scene presented, as pervaded and controlled by the Spirit of God. I desire that each one should understand that christianity involves the complete exclusion of every trace, morally, of the first man, and the introduction of Another, who has become the Head and centre of an entirely new system of things, which is pervaded in the power of the Spirit, with divine simplicity, holiness, and blessedness. That is what is seen at the incoming of the Holy Spirit from Christ in heaven. Look at that wonderful chapter in the opening of the Acts, and see the beautiful simplicity of those disciples of the Lord as He is taken from them! There they are gazing up into heaven after the object of their affections, who had gone in there, and then they return to Jerusalem, according to His words, and there they are seen in prayer. Look at the simplicity of all that! It was the fruit of the Lord's own work, and it conveys to our minds what was to characterise christianity, that is -- affection and dependence. And now the blessed Spirit of God comes, and there is that marvellous display of divine power down here for God. The early chapters of the Acts, present christianity to us in its original power and simplicity, and I believe the Lord would recall our hearts to this, and He would maintain us in it so that our walk would be in accordance with it. God would maintain christianity down here, for if this is allowed to slip away, the testimony of God slips away with it.

In the opening of Luke, as I was saying, you get the Holy Spirit in connection with the birth of Christ, and then in chapter 4 in connection with His ministry. What you get in Luke is the exquisite beauty of humanity according to God as seen in the Person of Christ; it is Man as anointed by the Spirit that is brought before us,

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and chapter 4 presents a striking illustration of this. Dwell for a moment on the picture of that blessed Man standing up in the synagogue at Nazareth to read There had never been such reading in the history of the world. Did you ever think of the Lord Jesus Christ standing there in the presence of men to read? He stood up to read, and He would have a scripture; then He closed the book, and handing it to an attendant, sat down. It is all recorded for a purpose, there was grace in every movement: it says, "the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him" Luke 4:20. Then he begins to speak. Oh, what speaking! Do not for the moment dwell on what He said, but seek to discover how He said it. The passage further said they "wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth" Luke 4:22. The Spirit would engage our hearts with Christ thus presented, and would produce in us such spiritual taste as would enable us to appreciate divine beauty and perfection seen in a Man. There was a time when I had very little interest in the gospels, I had much more in the epistles; but I can say now, if one may make comparisons, that there is no part of the scripture that attracts me more than the gospels. In this chapter it is Christ anointed to preach that is before us. Would that all who preach made Him their model! First, He selects the right scripture and reads it, stopping at the proper place, then He sits down, His movements being attractive, and finally He speaks, and His words are words of grace. Note, that the point of view here in regard to Christ is not that of a divine Person acting as of Himself; it is Man, although ever a divine Person, in the place of obedience, acting in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Now I want to direct your attention to Simeon -- to the particular phase of the Spirit's work which we see represented in him. We may speak of it as an illustration of the believer being directed to the temple; Simeon came into the temple by the Spirit of God. There is

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nothing at all in the way of movement or activity of any pleasure to God except what is by the Spirit. This is a great day for the activity of man's mind in research, discoveries, and inventions, but do you think God has any pleasure in that kind of activity? No; but if a man moves towards the temple by the Spirit, that is a matter of excessive importance in the eye of God. It matters little what you may be publicly, if your heart is under the control of the Spirit, you may depend you are of intense interest to God. You can conceive of Simeon moving towards the temple. It was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, until he had seen the Lord's Christ, and this was to be in the temple. That is where you see all things in their true light and bearing. You cannot be intelligent without the Scriptures, but if you move by the Spirit into the temple, you will be surprised to find how much you discover there. The oracles of God are in the temple, therefore that is the place to go to find things. What a wonderful thing it was for the christians at Corinth, in the presence of all the activity of man's mind, to discover by the letter of the apostle, that they were the temple of God! He says, "Ye are the temple of God" 1 Corinthians 3:16. All divine light is in the temple, and it is in coming into it, that you are made acquainted with the mind of God. What did Simeon find in the temple? I will tell you what he found: he found what you will find there -- he found Christ! Speaking of the temple in this way may seem to make much of the saints; be it so; the Scripture says that christians are the temple of God. We are on safe ground when relying on Scripture, especially if recognising Christ, the Spirit, and the temple.

Simeon took the little Child into his arms, and said, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation" Luke 2:29,30. This is the light in which Simeon first speaks of Him. Christ is salvation, He is salvation personally, whatever the position He occupies -- whether He be on

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earth or in heaven. It is not that He was salvation for Simeon, simply; He was God's salvation, which had been prepared "before the face of all people" Luke 2:31. To the man who needs salvation, Christ is preached as Lord in heaven, salvation for every man is obtained through faith in Him; but it is another thing entirely to come, as it were, by the Spirit, into the temple, and apprehend Him as God's salvation. You will always find Christ in the temple: He is there by the Spirit.

Now I desire to go a little bit further. Simeon does not stop with the thought of salvation. He says, "A light to lighten the Gentiles" Luke 2:32, or more correctly rendered -- "A light for revelation of the Gentiles". The gentiles had been like a dark body upon which the sun did not shine. The light of God only shone upon a small part of the earth -- Palestine. Intense darkness covered all outside, but now this marvellous moral Sun rises upon the earth for the revelation of the gentile world; it brings the heathen nations into the view of God for blessing. Did you ever apprehend Christ in that light? You are led into it by the Spirit of God. The gentiles are to be no longer regarded as outside the pale of blessing, and privilege: their Head has now appeared, and henceforth they appear as related to Him, under the eye of God.

But there is a third point: "The glory of thy people Israel" Luke 2:32. That is what Christ is. He is the salvation of Jehovah, the light for the revelation of the gentiles, and the glory of His people Israel. You want to apprehend Christ in all these connections, but how can you do it? You must give place to the Spirit of God. If you recognise the Spirit of God, you will find that He will bring you into the intelligence of Christ in all these wonderful lights, and much more.

I will dwell for a moment on the passage in Revelation 1. It is only to connect the thought of revelation with the Spirit. The impression I should like to leave upon every heart here, is that of the greatness of Christ and

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the varied relations in which He is presented, which can only he apprehended by the Spirit. John says "I was in the Spirit" Revelation 1:10. See how the early christians recognised the Spirit! Being in the Spirit seems to be mentioned as something that occurred frequently. No doubt John was always "in the Spirit" as to his state, but I think that what is indicated here is a man so under the control of the Spirit as to be abstracted entirely from seen things. We cannot expect to realise all the experience which John had in Patmos, but we can enjoy something of the blessed privileges involved in being in the Spirit on the Lord's day. If the Spirit of God controls your heart and mind, wonderful things will come before you; the things of God will be opened up to you. The Lord's day was a very proper time to be "in the Spirit", the Lord and the Spirit go together. If the Lord has a day, you may depend the Spirit will have a day, and the saints will have a day, too. We should be for the Lord each day in the week, but I think He would have us, entirely apart for Himself on the first day. It would be well if we were to consider this. The conditions spoken of here were not peculiar to John, they are available to all christians. We have the Lord, the Spirit, and the Lord's day. John goes on to say, "and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet" Revelation 1:10. Whose voice was it? The voice of the One whose day it was -- the Lord's voice. It was the Lord's day and He was speaking. He calls John's attention to Himself "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last" Revelation 1:17. John heard this, and he heard and saw a great deal more, as may be seen in this wonderful Apocalypse. How did he come to hear the Lord and see all these things? He was "in the Spirit". Simeon also was in the Spirit, he had come, by Him, into the temple, and so saw the Lord's Christ.

May we yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit, who will not fail to engage us with divine Persons, and will open up divine things to us!

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THE HOLY SPIRIT AS POWER FOR MOVEMENT

Romans 8:1 - 17; Exodus 17:2 - 7; Numbers 21:17 - 18

These passages speak of the Spirit of God; those which I have read in the Old Testament typify the things spoken of in the New Testament scripture -- Romans 8. My exercise is that we might see how the believer begins to progress by the Spirit. The light first comes to the soul and enables us to see what the world is, and, further, what the flesh is in ourselves. This light tends to movement, but we shall not move very far until we are conscious that we have the Spirit of God, and it is only in the consciousness of the possession of the Spirit that continuous movement takes place. Unless the Spirit is recognised in the believer, and ungrieved, we shall not move on, either individually or collectively. We shall settle down with a certain measure of light, but there can be no progress or growth.

The introduction of the Spirit in John's gospel (John 4) is in the figure of living water, meaning that which brings refreshment and energy. It is the Spirit Himself for deliverance. In John 7 it is the Spirit for testimony. In Exodus 17 we have complaint on the part of the people; the people thirsted for water. Until the young believer receives the Spirit, he is sure to murmur against God and against Christ. He may go on for a time on light, but until he knows that he has the Spirit, he will be disposed to murmur against God and against the brethren; indeed, he may even become a persecutor. Moses says here, "Yet a little and they will stone me" Exodus 17:4. But God does not chide the people; He directs Moses to go to Horeb, and says "Behold I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb, and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it" Exodus 17:6. Christ must suffer to meet the state of our souls, in order that we should have the Spirit.

Many believers do not see that the Spirit is the direct

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answer to the sufferings of Christ, and that what necessitated the sufferings must be judged in me. They would have stoned Moses, but God forsook the Lord Jesus on the cross. The sufferings there, were from the hand of God. Sufferings from man would never have wrought atonement. Christ did suffer from man's hands, but atonement was effected through sufferings from God's hand. Atoning sufferings are therefore from God's hand, and the death of Christ, in that aspect, was in order that man might receive the Spirit from God. As having received the Spirit, the saints should therefore be free from murmuring. It is a point reached to appreciate the Spirit as the result of the sufferings of Christ.

But then the believer immediately finds himself in conflict. He had been the aggressor before, but now Satan attacks him, so in the type we have Amalek come to attack Israel in Rephidim. Amalek is Satan working through the flesh, for as soon as I receive the Spirit, Satan will attack me. Amalek is not the flesh, but Satan working through the flesh. That is where the believer begins conflict, and this conflict continues. The Lord said there should be war with Amalek from generation to generation. The conflict goes on in the believer's soul. "The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh". Galatians 5:17. Then we have the provision in the intercession of Moses, Aaron the priest introducing the thought of holiness, and Hur, that of purity. These all combine in the soul, that is, the consciousness of Christ's intercession, and the elements of holiness and purity: these three combine in the soul of a believer, and he begins to make progress according to God. There is the sense, too, of one's own helplessness, but you understand that Christ is pleading on high for you, and you have a sense of holiness. Christ was raised according to the Spirit of holiness, and the Holy Spirit sheds abroad in our hearts the love of God.

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Where you have the word "Holy" preceding Spirit -- Holy Spirit -- there is a reference to what we are, and an indication that there must be no tolerance of the flesh. To get the good of the intercession of Christ, there must be the rigid refusal of the flesh, that is holiness, and there must be purity. I see to it that my motives are pure. Hence there is victory over Satan working through the flesh, under these conditions. I thus acquire the habit of victory, which will stand me well in later days, when putting on the whole armour of God and combating with evil powers in heavenly places. The young believer, therefore, begins to learn victory in his soul: "He ... is better ... that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city" Proverbs 16:32.

It would be a good thing for all of us to see if this is our experience. One would like each believer to see that he may be a victor personally. This is the initial idea of spiritual headway. The believer is now beginning to learn war. Earlier in the type, he was sheltered from war; God diverted Israel when they came out of Egypt, so that they should not see war; and at the Red Sea He came in between them and the Egyptians. He becomes a wall between us and our enemies. But this was only at the beginning. We have to learn war, and we learn it when we have power to wage it. As soon as I discover that I have the Spirit I have the power to wage war. As possessing the Spirit you have the power of combat, although you may not as yet have overcome.

"And it came to pass when Moses raised his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed" (Exodus 17:11). It is important that the young believer should learn how to be dependent at the beginning. The battle may sway, but presently the believer gains the victory. He gets a taste of victory. It comes to him through great exercise. It is well we should see that the thing does not come to us without anxiety. If Amalek prevails for a moment, I become

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anxious as to it. There can he no weakness in our Moses' hands; the weakness, therefore, would be in my faith. I believe it is the making of a believer to go through this experience.

Then another figure is here, and that is Joshua. I get a sight of Joshua in conflict. He is a type of Christ -- not officially but spiritually. Joshua is not represented as having any official place, hitherto he was simply Moses' minister, but now his military capacity is tested. This is an element that will increase later, until we see it fully in the "captain of the host of the Lord" (Joshua 5:14). I here get a glimpse of Christ as the military leader of the host of God. We do not see Joshua again in this capacity for forty years, but we have this glimpse of him, and we see what he is and what he will be. For the moment, the point is, my personal victory. Joshua broke the power of Amalek (verse 13). Then this was to be written for a memorial, for it was to be referred to later. A memorial is to be carried along. The doctrine of this we find in the end of Romans 7"O wretched man that I am I who shall deliver me ... ? I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord" Romans 7:24,25. I come to victory, and the door is thus opened for chapter 8. I now see that I am not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. I have reached a definite point in my soul. But it is a point reached through conflict, and the Holy Spirit in me maintains me in that conflict.

But before we go on, there is the altar. Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi -- the Lord my banner. Now I have an altar, which involves a banner. I have gained this great victory through the Lord. This altar is my public testimony. As soon as I have an altar, I have set up a public testimony, I am not going to persecute the saints now; I am not going to be a murmurer and a complainer; the saints can say now, 'He is an asset'. Last year he was a complainer, now he is a help. An altar means that I am publicly in relation with God; the banner is the public testimony,

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and you fight under it. "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord" Romans 7:25; that is the banner; so that Romans 8 is under that banner. It is God who has gained the victory; "by my God have I leaped over a wall" 2 Samuel 22:30. Here we are at the beginning of the wilderness. Numbers takes account of the people from this standpoint, and they are all set up in a military way, qualified for military service. Each one is numbered, each one has his place in relation to the tabernacle of witness.

Now when you come to Numbers 21, we have the people speaking against God and against Moses, and God sent fiery serpents among them, and they bit them. God is now occupied with sin in its source. I have not only to learn what sin is in man, but what it is in Satan. The introduction of the serpent here takes your mind back to Genesis 3, so that the believer should see what sin is, and whence it is. "By the law is the knowledge of sin" Romans 3:20, and Romans 7 shows how that works out in me. But I have to know its origin, and so the Lord, in John's writings, goes back to the origin. Satan is a liar, and the father of lies; the devil sins from the beginning. Before there was sin in Eden, he had sinned, so that in Numbers 21 we are dealing with deeper things. We are now to be with God in regard to the whole question of sin, not only its working in man, but in Satan. The Lord Jesus Christ had to deal with it in all those respects. So that on the cross it is the serpent lifted up. God was dealing in the death of Christ with sin at its source, so that it can never again rise against God. The thing has been settled in its source. God has done with it.

Now we have to come to see that Satan is against us, and that he has been against God. The serpent bit the people, and we have to come to feel that, and the only escape from that was to look at the serpent lifted up. There, in type, God was dealing with the thing righteously. He that looked lived. In having learnt that, I live in the sense of the complete judgment of sin in its

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source. I see sin overcome, not only in man, but in Satan. I can joy in the light of that victory. So now the believer lives, and he moves on. And so the children of Israel journeyed, until they came to the well, when Jehovah said, "I will give them water" (Numbers 21:16). Now the people can move on. Hence we have the people not only moving on, but smiting their enemies, and living in their cities. The nobles who digged the well by the direction of the law-giver, were men of spiritual power -- to wit, the apostles. The law-giver would be Christ. The staves with which they digged the well would be symbols of experience. If they be symbols of power or rule, it would be that which belongs to a brother who has moral power. The apostles had moral authority; whatever authority they had was based on what they were morally. So now the saints drink as the result of the digging of those who have had experience.

When Israel sang, there was a definite recognition of the Spirit. When Amalek is discomfited and the altar built, signifying the Lord our banner, then we are conscious of a power in us greater than the power in the world. Now the people moved forward and overcame the Amorite (Numbers 21:24 - 25), typifying the believer moving forward and taking possession. We are dealing now with conquered territory, and we read Israel dwelt in the cities of the Amorites. "Dwelling" is an important word. There is reference, too, to the book of the wars of the Lord, and also to what the poets say (verse 27). These are spiritual references. We are now on military lines and at the same time we are not discouraged; we sing. There is nothing doleful; what the poets say is a triumph. Here we begin as it were, we start our hymnbook. These facts recorded are put in, in divine wisdom, they are not insignificant. The war is in progress; we are dwelling in the land of our enemies, but we sing. So it is, 'Onward, christian soldiers, marching as to

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war'. It is the military position, the war is on, but we are dwelling.

Now all that we have said connects itself with Romans 8. In Romans it is a question of victory. We have not yet come to Joshua. It is more the question of spiritual power that is in view, not yet the leader leading us onwards. We get Joshua formally selected in Numbers 27:18. Moses asked the Lord to set a man over the congregation to lead them out and bring them in, and God answers Moses through Joshua, a man who has the Spirit. That is the thought running right through, connected with Joshua -- a man with the Spirit. From Numbers 21 it is the people viewed spiritually: in Balaam's prophecies they are viewed as in power -- they have the strength of a unicorn, and the shout of a king is among them. Numbers deals with a people who have the Spirit, it is what Israel does. When we come to the book of Joshua, it is Christ as Captain of Jehovah's host.

The whole point in Romans 8 is what the Spirit is to the believer. The youngest believer awakes to the fact that he has this great power in himself, so that he has a living part in all that God is doing.

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THE SPIRIT LIFE ON ACCOUNT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

Romans 8:10; Hosea 12:3 - 5; Hosea 14:8; Psalm 53:8

I have it before me to speak about life from the standpoint of the passage in Romans 8 which contemplates it in the believer as having the Spirit. It says, "the Spirit life on account of righteousness" Romans 8:10. From that point of view I wish to present it as an energetic force in the believer, and to say that all energy in us that is acceptable to God must issue from the Spirit.

Life is, as most of us know, also presented in Scripture as an objective idea -- something set before us to be entered into. But the passage I have read contemplates it in its subjective potentiality, and I have in mind to refer for a moment to Jacob as illustrative of it from this point of view. He is indeed a type of most of us, even before we receive the Spirit; or, as having received Him, before we understand how to make room for Him as power -- divinely given power -- in our souls. As "born again" a man has certain instincts that are spiritual as it is said, "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). It may show itself negatively, but it is there. It marks the man off as distinct from the mere natural man. There is that in him which is designated by the Lord's own word as "spirit", and I take Jacob to illustrate the instincts peculiar to it; although perhaps uncontrolled and unintelligible in him, nevertheless, they are expressed: "He took his brother by the heel" (Hosea 12:3). There was a struggle indeed between them before their birth -- a remarkable thing; and I have no doubt that it has its counterpart in any young ones who have just received being by the power of God.

There is a distinct instinct in the soul that the natural man must be supplanted, and so Jacob received his name as the supplanter. For the natural comes first in historical

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order, as Esau did, and "afterward that which is spiritual" 1 Corinthians 15:46. Jacob represented the spiritual, as yet unintelligible in him, but nevertheless in such wise as to supplant, in principle, the natural. His subsequent relations with Esau, as most of us know, were not marked by spiritual rectitude; nevertheless he was true to his instincts.

I speak to the young ones here who may be troubled and I would say there is great encouragement in taking notice of your instincts. There may be much that you regret -- that causes you pain and others as well, still the entry of your way, to use a scriptural expression (Proverbs), is marked by spiritual instincts that have a distinct bearing Godward. Jacob kept steadily to these instincts, and so the prophet draws attention to the fact that first of all he took hold of his brother by the heel. His next great energy, which brought him on to the ground of the Spirit, was that he wrestled with God. It says, "in his strength he wrestled with God. Yea, he wrestled with the Angel, and prevailed" (Hosea 12:3, 4, New Translation).

Now I wish especially to address young believers here. I wish to encourage you by pointing out that whatever you may experience to distress you, you must take account of the spiritual instincts that mark one "born again". These are born, not of nature; they are of the Spirit. But what I would especially call attention to is that Jacob wrestled with God. We must not be content with a mixed condition in our souls, which is likely to lead to such deceit as marked Jacob in his displacement of his brother. The Spirit of God in Hosea passes over a long period of Jacob's life, and then says, "he wrestled with God" Hosea 12:3. Many of us, doubtless, have spent that long period, or even longer, in a state of spiritual uncertainty. Yet those who have observed us have been assured that we have been born again because of our spiritual inclinations. You love the society of the people of God; you love the Scriptures, you revere the name of Jesus; you resent any

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insult to Him. Nevertheless, your spiritual experience is a mixed one. It may be, like Jacob, that you turn aside into the world, but God never withdraws His eye from one born again. The work that He begins He finishes. And so the Spirit here passes over a long chequered experience, and notes the wrestling with God.

You know, dear brethren, the great difficulty with many of us is the want of energy. The gospel presents to us clearly what is available. Think of what has been brought within our range in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in His death The gospel brings to our attention what is thus available. Everything is presented to a believer as available to him in Christ. Every blessing that God has for man is available, and particularly life, for that is what is most urgent after forgiveness. Hence God promised it, and commanded it. He promised it in view of man's need, and desire to have it. He commanded it, because the exigencies of His nature required that man should live before Him.

Thus it is presented as available, and hence the next thing is energy. It says, Jacob "wrestled with God". He had heard that Esau was coming with four hundred men. He was distressed in soul. He divided his belongings into troops, and sent them on. But all the time the nightmare of an army of four hundred men, commanded by an outraged brother, was in his mind, and he was left alone, and the angel wrestled with him. God begins the transaction, but Jacob says "I will not let thee go except thou bless me" (Genesis 32:26).

I would urge upon you young people here, if you have not settled peace with God, and a sense of the love of God in your heart by the Spirit, to become in earnest about it. What is needed is energy -- energy of soul -- energy with God. He wrestled with God, and he prevailed. He got the blessing. It says further, "he wept, and made supplication unto him" Hosea 12:4. Many are indifferent to the marvellous things that are brought

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within our range in Christ. But Jacob wept, and made supplication unto Him.

May I press this home? What do we know of this kind of energy? Many of us, doubtless, have put much energy into our businesses, and we have been successful; but here is that which is abiding -- the true riches, that which is said to be "really life", Paul says to Timothy, "Lay hold of eternal life" (1 Timothy 6:12), and I refer to this for the principle I am speaking of. What about this energy? You may be assured that such energy as this will bring results. It is not that things are to be laboured for, but God virtually says 'This is worth your while, go in for it. I have brought it within your range, and it is urgent that you go in for it'.

Jacob went in for it. "He wept", it says, "and made supplication" Hosea 12:4. And then it goes on to say, "he found him in Bethel" Hosea 12:4. You see where this energy ends. God found him in Bethel. It is a synopsis of the spiritual history of Jacob, and, I believe, of the history of every believer who has reached the house of God. We must not settle down in our spiritual energy until God finds us in His house. You see in Matthew 22:11, it says, "The king came in to see the guests". How delightful to have such a survey by the blessed God. He came in to see the guests. One would have serious regrets if one were absent on such an occasion, but then it is not only that you are a guest. How are you there? He found one, we are told, who had not on a wedding garment. It says, God found Jacob in Bethel. How did he find him in Bethel? When Jacob reached Bethel he lay on a stone pillow, and a ladder extended from the heavens down to him.

A youth on the way to Syria, he lighted on a certain place, and lay down to sleep with a stone for his pillow. The ladder came down and Jehovah was at the top of the ladder. He finds Jacob in Bethel, but in what state of soul? Jacob belonged to Bethel as much in Genesis 28 as in Genesis 35. But how different the state of the soul

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in the latter! God found him there, and He said virtually to Jacob, I am delighted to see you here. I have the deepest interest in you here. I am going to do wonderful things for you. "The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it" (Genesis 28:13).

Oh, believer, think of the interest of God in your soul! He found him in Bethel, and poor Jacob awakes, and he says, "How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God" (Genesis 28:17). Jacob had divine instincts, but they were very mixed. They were connected with natural feelings, but they were truly divine for he was able to discern the house of God. But as yet he had not wrestled with God.

After twenty years of sojourn in Syria, he returns. He is on his way back, and God meets him, and He wrestles with him, and the wrestling proceeds. I have no doubt, dear brethren, that God shows us how to do everything, even if it be to wrestle. If it be to pray, it says of the Lord, He was praying in a certain place, and one of His disciples said, "Lord, teach us to pray" Luke 11:1, and He taught them. He taught Jacob to wrestle, and Jacob prevailed. When God finds him in Bethel the second time he has reached there in the power of the Spirit, typically. He had, in principle, received the Spirit. He is constituted a prince; meaning that he had power with God. And I say to you, young brother, young sister, it is within your range through energy of soul to reach that point. What we need is energy, so it says, "he found him in Bethel" Hosea 12:4.

If you look at Genesis 35 at your leisure you will observe that the record leads us to Jacob returning there, and rearing up the altar and naming it El-beth-el -- 'God of the house of God'. Then the Spirit of God takes up the history from the divine side. It says that God blessed Jacob and he returned from Syria, and that God came down and talked with him in Bethel. I wish you to think of the difference between Jehovah on the top of the ladder, on the first occasion of His

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finding Jacob in Bethel, and to think of Him as coming down and standing beside Jacob, and communing with him on the second visit. We need to understand how God found him the second time. "He found him in Bethel, and there he spoke with us -- even Jehovah, the God of hosts" (Hosea 12:4, 5).

God speaks to us in His house. Some of us know a little about this. We know something about coming together in the light of the house of God, and hearing God speak to us as thus together. The place seems to become hallowed as we hear the divine accents, It says of Jacob, "God went up from him in the place where he talked with him" (Genesis 35:13). The very ground was hallowed by the divine feet, and Jacob sets up an altar and pours a drink offering upon it. He is now conscious of what he is for God's pleasure.

These mixed feelings, although they contain pure gold, which God knows how to distinguish, nevertheless are not feelings that afford pleasure to Him. God looks for the unalloyed gold. "Take away the dross", it says, "and there cometh forth a vessel for the refiner" (Proverbs 25:4). The dross has to go, and it goes as we understand the Spirit received from God as life in us. The Spirit is life. The body is dead on account of sin. The body is here representative of all my natural energies; it is dead, and the Holy Spirit is the source of all my energies and affections; thus I am pleasurable to God.

Well, now, I want to show you how this life as in the house of God, is marked by greenness and so I refer to the last chapter of Hosea, which says, "I am like a green fir tree" Hosea 14:8. Now I take that to represent the energy of life in our coming into contact with what is adverse. Many of us seem to shine among the people of God where there is no opposition; but how is it when the cold north blast blows? The fir retains its greenness notwithstanding the bitter north wind. It is an evergreen. I ask myself, Am I always green; not only when

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I meet a brother in the street, or enter into his house, or attend the meetings, but when I come in contact with the wicked opposition of this world, do I retain the evidence of spiritual energy -- energy that lies in the Spirit of God?

The Spirit is life. My natural propensities are held in check by the power of the Spirit; thus the green is seen. I retain the evidence of the Spirit of Christ, and am enabled to "suffer evil along with the glad tidings" (2 Timothy 1:8). I stand out in the energy of spiritual life in all weathers. That is what the fir is. We all know how pleasing the green is to the eye, and so God looks for evergreens. He has given us the means whereby there should be perpetual greenness in our walk and ways in this world.

But in the house of God it is not the fir, but the olive. The Psalmist says, "I am like a green olive tree in the house of God" Psalm 52:8. The olive refers to the Spirit as upon the believer, not only the energy of life within, but the dignity that I acquire in the house of God as in the presence of God. Let us understand, dear brethren, that the house of God is a dignified place. It is a place of princes, as I said. When God found Jacob there the second time, He says in effect, 'Jacob, you are a prince'. He did not say that the first time, for he was far otherwise. The wrestling had come in between, and God greets him. He says, "thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name" (Genesis 35:10). That is written for our learning, that we should understand that if we are in the house of God we are to be there in dignity suitable to the place.

Who is over the house of God? The Son. It does not say Jesus; it is the Son. The Son of God is over the house, and it is composed of His companions. Think of what is opened up to us, that we should be in the house of God as companions of the Son! But how? As green olive trees. One who is rightly in the house of God will "honour God and man" (Judges 9:9). That

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is what the olive does. No one who is in the house of God as a green olive tree seeks to be prominent among his brethren. He has no natural ambition. He aspires not to be pre-eminent. He is not such as would cast others out of the assembly; one who loves the pre-eminence. No, beloved. One who is in the house of God as a green olive tree honours God and he honours man. When the proposal is made to the olive to become king over the trees, it says, "Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man"? Judges 9:9. It knew that its function was greater than ruling over the trees.

If I am in the house of God as a green olive tree, I consider for God. I think of what is suitable to God in His house. I think of God's honour, not my own. And besides that, I honour man; I have respect for all that are in the house. The Holy Spirit, as in us, enables us to disallow all natural ambition, and think for God, and think for the brethren. What a blessed place the house of God is, as full of olive trees; typical, as I said of men and women who think only for God, and who love God, and who love their brethren. I know that I have passed from death unto life because I love the brethren. I have the evidence of it, and I am not going to leave that.

It is a blessed function to be occupied with God -- loving the brethren. So, with the Psalmist "I am like a green olive tree in the house of God" Psalm 52:8. In the fir, there is evidence of life in all weathers but in the olive tree we have that which dignifies and beautifies the saints inside. Where we come under God's eye, and under the eye of our brethren, we appear in our dignity. We are not in the house of God, as poor miserable sinners. We are in the house of God like the olive, in the energy of life, or we are not in it aright, and in that life we honour God and we honour man.

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THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT

Ephesians 4:1 - 3; Numbers 7:10 - 17; Acts 4:36,37; Acts 11:19 - 30; Acts 13:1 - 3; Acts 15:1 - 4

I have been exercised in regard to this meeting to speak a little about the unity of the Spirit, and in thinking it over, it appears to me that in Scripture it is connected with the thought of princes. The unity of the Spirit is a universal thought. You may recall the word in Psalm 45:16 in regard to the saints: "whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth"; without a goodly distribution of princes universally, we can scarcely look for the unity of the Spirit, in fact we shall be little better than nonconformist communities, which means that we are non-catholic and in a great measure local independencies. Hence the importance, as I have said, of a goodly distribution of princes according to God abroad among the saints. The means of establishing princes is here on earth; and the psalm I refer to indicates that it is a divine thought that they should be in all the earth, which means a general or universal distribution. The Levites of old as a Levitical family were to be distributed throughout the land for the same reason, that there should be an equalisation and a generalisation of heavenly influence, so that the same traits, the same feelings, and the same sympathies should mark all the people of God.

The idea of princes is very old, and you will remember that it is first set out in Jacob. As he was on his way back from Padan-aram God met him, and said that his name henceforth would be Israel, which means 'prince of God'; and there can be no princely state or dignity apart from a transaction with God. The power of lifting up is with Him; it is He who makes princes, lifting up the beggar from the dunghill and setting him amongst princes; so that we have the idea set out in Jacob, and once an idea is presented in Scripture,

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it is never lost sight of, it is carried through. We find in Numbers that it shows itself in the way of unity: the twelve princes in Israel were all governed by the same estimate, typically, of Christ.

I hope to work out these thoughts in the passages in the Acts; but at the outset, I want to make it clear how the princely feature shows itself in the wilderness. I refer now to Numbers 7. These twelve men, it says, came forward and offered on the day that the tabernacle was set up and anointed. They had the altar particularly in view; but first, they came forward with their offering for the Levites, for the first evidence of princely means will appear in the way in which the Levites are provided for. But I am not concerned, for the moment, with the provision for the Levites, but with the unity that marked those who made the provision. There were the covered waggons, as you will remember, six of them, each one offered by two princes, two are always better than one, and certainly this is so in the expression of love. Two would convey the idea of unity in principle, so that however reduced the people of God may be, we have the means, if there are but two of the assembly, of exhibiting the idea. We can never hope to present now the complete thought of anything, but what we may do is, we may present the thing in the principle of it, and we may do that even if there are only two of us according to Matthew 18. The covered waggons (notice that they were covered), were to provide for the comfort of the Levites, they were in view of that; the Levites had to be considered, and we must not assume that anything will do for them.

Certainly if we think of them in regard to God and what they presented to Him, anything would not do; they were particular as to what they presented; they were not to present the fag end, but their very best. So we must ever remember that anything will not do; the comfort of the Levites has to be taken into account,

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and so the waggons were covered. I only just touch on that.

I want now to point out briefly how the princely feature shows itself in the dedication of the altar; it is one of the finest features in the book of Numbers, because the altar itself has to be taken account of as distinct from what is presented on it. The fire was to be kept burning continually there. It had been anointed seven times; it stood out therefore as the most distinct of the more public appurtenances of the tabernacle. It was a public thing, and referred to the fulness of suffering in Christ; and the princes came to light in this chapter as taking account of that; that is, that the position they occupied had involved suffering. The greatest 'prince' in our dispensation wished to fill up that which was behind of the tribulations of Christ in his flesh for His body's sake, which is the assembly (Colossians 1:24). He was not passing things on, although he called upon others to suffer as a matter of privilege, he himself led the way.

Now in Numbers 7 what we find is that these men offered three vessels, all of them filled; signifying that they themselves typically were filled with the things that the types represent. Two vessels were of silver, and the third was of gold; the weight of one silver vessel was one hundred and thirty shekels, and that of the other seventy shekels, but they were both full; and then the vessel of gold was filled with incense. The first two vessels full of fine flour point to a great apprehension by the believer of the humanity of Christ; the apprehension of what is set forth in the fine flour mingled with oil, would become material for unity; but the incense was for the delight of God. It was contained in the smaller vessel, the golden spoon; it is what is presented to God, and it is in a convenient vessel, for what is to be presented to God is not in great bulk; indeed, whilst Scripture makes much of bulk for the priests and the people, the general idea is quality

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and not quantity. So that we have the golden spoon, a small vessel filled with that which is most precious, for if you speak to God, the point is not amount but quality. You are to pray with the spirit, but you are to pray with the understanding also; your spirit may be full of things, but your understanding qualifies and limits what you say, so that you present something definite that God can accept and which is a delight to Him; the incense was in a golden vessel. We do not worship simply as redeemed; but as redeemed, we are to become worshippers, that is, vessels filled with Christ. We are not redeemed to live as men and women in the flesh; the vessels of silver are filled with fine flour mingled with oil. Therefore, if we are redeemed, we are to be full of Christ viewed in the perfection of His humanity here; it is "Jesus Christ", as mentioned in the first part of Romans. It is Jesus Christ, meaning that kind of man, that is, the Man who did God's will, the kind of man that was brought here in Him, The first two vessels are full of that, fine flour mingled with oil, the perfect, holy humanity of Christ, energised by the Spirit. The gold refers to the divine nature.

Besides these vessels the princes offered sacrifices. The offerings all taken together denote youthful maturity; some are spoken of as a year old, "one yearling lamb"; others denote maturity, "one ram", but taken together they indicate that while these princes were in youthful energy, they were not babes. The Corinthians were babes; they could not conform to order like this. This belongs to the epistle to the Ephesians, and denotes appreciation in man according to Christ; it is humanity altogether above petty feelings, resentment, and rivalries; it is maturity, but maturity in energy, as I may call it, youthful maturity. You will find in Scripture that those whom the Spirit of God employs are generally taken up as young men; the great need is always for young men, but young men developed and marked by maturity, those who are full-grown.

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Now having said so much about princes characteristically, I want to show how these thoughts worked out in the Acts, because the Acts may be regarded not as a code for us, but as a book of precedents. We see there how things were worked out in persons; and I wish to connect the thought of unity in Acts, first with the work of God; secondly with the universal need, or need anywhere amongst the people of God; then with the service of God; and finally with the maintenance of doctrine, or right principles universally.

Barnabas may be taken as a typical 'prince' of the New Testament. As I said, Scripture never loses sight of anything that has been introduced, and as the great princely idea is introduced in Jacob, so it is followed up in the Old Testament and in the New. Barnabas comes on the scene in a princely way; in no sense did he appear as a liability on the company; he was an immense asset to the company, as a prince would be, and always is. Hence, the apostles were quick to discern it, and gave him his title, for every prince should have a title.

They surnamed him "Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation)", Acts 4:36. They were glad to see him; he appeared at an opportune time; he had lands, it says, and sold them. He did not give them away, he did not leave them, but exercised right judgment in the matter, for the more spiritual a man is, the more practical he is, and the less likely he is to be extreme or abnormal.

So he did not leave his lands, and say they were of no value. They were of value, and he sold them, having in view that the price should be for the furtherance of the interests of God. He thus qualified as a prince; he brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet. In doing so he recognised authority, he recognised the representatives of Christ, he looked upon the apostles as trustworthy; and I can understand him saying to himself, 'These are men that can be trusted; Christ

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has entrusted them with things infinitely greater than this bit of money that I have got for my land'.

Trustworthiness is one feature of the apostles, they are marked off in that way; and Barnabas recognised that they were so, and he could therefore entrust them with the money. There can be no assembly, no representation of the assembly, unless there is confidence, unless I have a sense that these are men that I can trust; and I cannot trust any one save those whom Christ trusts; for He is a better judge than I am. It is thus that the Lord entrusts His things to certain ones, and these things are infinitely greater than anything we have. Barnabas recognised that; he recognised divinely delegated authority, so he laid the money at the feet of the apostles. It is an expression of humility, but of marked wisdom and discernment, as to what would be fitting at that time; and so he gets his title. We can therefore regard Barnabas as a representative prince, and he was such. Scripture does not need to bring them all forward, here is one, and he has "his day".

You will remember in Numbers 7, that when the princes proposed to dedicate the altar, Jehovah says to Moses, referring to the presentation of their offerings, "each prince on his day" (verse 11). Each of you may depend upon it, that God will give you your day; much may enter into that day, and much depends upon how you may behave yourself in it. That each prince should have his day was the divine proposition, not that of Moses; God would have all there is in each of us. Each prince's dedication offering is spread out; and although each one offered the same as the others, they are all mentioned severally.

God delights to spread out what we have to offer, and to make the most of it; it is for His pleasure.

In the case of the covered wagons, Jehovah says, "Take it of them", and He told Moses what to do with them; but when you come to the dedication of the

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altar, the position is, as I said, that each prince has his day. The offerer is in the presence of God, where everything is naked and exposed; the hidden motives behind your offerings are perfectly known. Barnabas led the way and had his day; Ananias and Sapphira -- would-be princes -- come next; they have their day, but how do they figure in it? A terrible picture they present! "Why has Satan filled thy heart that thou shouldest lie to the Holy Spirit?" Acts 5:3. They had sold their lands, and pretended that they had brought the money, but they had kept back part; they had not brought it all. A terrible breakdown in would-be princes! Alas! the coasts are strewn with persons who would be princes of the congregation, but who keep back part of their wealth and lie to the Holy Spirit. Is God mocked? Not at all; they have had their day, but they were exposed; God had no delight in their offering. Nor has He any pleasure in half-hearted people, nor any pleasure in those who lie; they will be put to the test. Ananias and Sapphira lied to try and cover themselves, but to no avail; they were exposed, and came under the judgment of God. I need not go into the terrible results in Acts 5, what I am occupied with is the prince that God brings forward early in the Acts, Barnabas. We hear nothing of him again until the time arrives for him to shine; he is qualified as a prince, he has been given his title, but in chapter 11 the time has come for him to show his princely qualities; he becomes a representative of Jerusalem at Antioch.

I want you to note that I am speaking of the unity of the Spirit; the work of God had taken effect outside of Jerusalem, for God is sovereign; He works where He will, and by whom He will, and it is for us to recognise the unity as to His operations. The danger was that Jerusalem would take offence, for they had no part in this movement. The apostles were in Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit had come down there, and yet here is a work of God apart from Jerusalem in which the apostles

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had no part. A few scattered christians going down to Antioch had preached the gospel there and got converts. What is Jerusalem going to do? What should we do? A work of God may take place near by us and we have no part in it; God is working without us. What are we going to do about it? Jerusalem is equal to the test; they select Barnabas to go as far as Antioch -- it is a fine expression of the endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit. They had already given Barnabas his title, and now they send him forth as representing them. Does he go down to Antioch as an ecclesiastical representative, as Saul had done earlier to Damascus with letters from the high priest? Barnabas had no such letters; he goes down to Antioch and seeing the grace of God he rejoiced. Jerusalem, under God, had selected the right man, and they in this way maintained the unity of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace. The work at Antioch was thus linked up livingly with Jerusalem, and there was no rivalry; Ephraim, on the one hand, does not envy Judah, nor does Judah vex Ephraim. Thus the work of God prospered, and there was a spiritual link between the two places; and then the Holy Spirit tells us what kind of man Barnabas was, confirming his title -- "he was a good man and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith" Acts 11:24, that is, he was a prince of God.

The next great feature that comes out in Barnabas is his personal freedom from rivalry; he sought to share the work with another. Had he been occupied with his own glory, he would have kept it himself, but he goes to Tarsus to seek out Saul. He had already become acquainted with him as he had previously introduced him at Jerusalem, and so he knew him (Acts 9:27). You see how free from jealousy he was; he sought out Saul and brought him down to Antioch, and he and Saul work together in the assembly there. These two spiritual princes, as they indeed were, work together for the promotion of the interests of God at Antioch; they work there for a year, and so distinguished was the

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work, that the disciples were first called christians there; they were given a universal name. It was a dignified name, meaning that they belonged to the Anointed of God, the Nazarene: "Jesus who was of Nazareth: how God anointed him" Acts 10:38. The Nazarene carries reproach, but we never give that up, we never deny our relation to the Nazarene, but alongside the reproach there is the dignity connected with the name christian, and that feature of the saints came to light where these two great men served for a whole year; God gave them their day and they shone in it.

I come now to the close of chapter 11: universal need existed, and Jerusalem is in view as in the mind of God. Certain prophets came down from Jerusalem, for it was no doubt the most spiritual assembly at the time. It had its Barnabas, its Peter, its James, and it also had its prophets, men who had the mind of God, and these came down to Antioch. The mind of God is thus brought to the assembly there, and one from among the prophets, named Agabus, announced that there should be universal famine. Now that announcement brought other princes to light, disciples who had ability to send relief.

This passage treats of men who have a liberal spirit, and who possessed material things. We must not be radical; a man may be great spiritually, and yet possess material things and use them for the benefit of the saints. We must not despise material things. Why should a universal famine come? Why should it be foretold? That the needs should be met, doubtless, but also to bring to light what there was at Antioch; God loving to bring out what was there. The assembly there had become enriched through the example of Barnabas and Saul. Others were there, men of means; we do not know how many. I could understand Barnabas saying, 'I was a rich man, and I laid all the money at the apostles' feet', but he could not ask them to do it. It was not for him to ask them to do it, but the men of

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princely spirit came forward, those who had means, and they gave the money, indeed they "determined" to give it (verse 29). It is a great thing to resolve in your heart to act in love and for the relief or blessing of others. What you are doing is material, but your motives are spiritual, and God accepts your offering. A man is accepted in this connection according to what he has, and so it says they determined to do it and they did it, and sent their offering by the hand of these two great men -- Barnabas and Saul -- to the saints at Jerusalem. There again, we see the unity of the Spirit is promoted and maintained in connection with need amongst the people of God. I have no doubt that the late war afforded an occasion for the expression of love in the people of God, in the distribution of means to meet the need of their brethren in other lands; it provided opportunity to maintain and promote the unity of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace.

Now the next great feature is in the selection of servants; I refer to chapter 13. Antioch had developed, it was ripe, as it were, for the Holy Spirit to operate sovereignly in connection with it. The city itself had an important place in relation to the grecian world. You see in the chapter the value of a company rightly composed; there were leading brothers and the Holy Spirit gives a list of them to us, for He now intends to use Antioch in connection with service in the gospel; He intends to make that assembly a sort of base for great operations, an immense thought to lay hold of. The Lord had a company so under His hand, that He could use them in the promotion of His work as a sort of base; and so it says, after giving their names, that they were ministering to the Lord and fasting. They were there, a credit to that assembly, and the Holy Spirit says, "Separate me now" Acts 13:2. The Spirit is operating, and again He would maintain the unity in what He was doing, for in sending out Barnabas and Saul He would have the assembly with Him. It is a poor thing if

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there is not unity as to the servants of the Lord, but one set over against another, as at Corinth.

These men were going out as missionaries amongst the Gentiles, and they must have the fellowship of the saints, otherwise their rear would be unprotected. The tines of communication are to be maintained; hence the Spirit says, "Separate me now Barnabas and Saul" Acts 13:2. The Holy Spirit asked the saints to do that, because He wanted to have them in the unity of the Spirit. The way of God is to keep us all moving on in what He is doing, and to be sympathetically in it. If the Holy Spirit has made a selection, they could not say that they had no hand in it, nor did the Holy Spirit intend them to say it. He intended them to do what they did, that is, they fasted, and what I understand by that is, that if I am going to be interested and have part in the work of God, I am not to have any natural feelings in regard to those who serve -- natural likings are to be denied. I am to have no favourite servants; and if I fast, I shall have none. If a brother can entertain well, I may like him naturally, but that has to be denied; I have to come to what the Holy Spirit is doing.

Why did the Holy Spirit select these two men? He knew why; it was not because of any natural qualities, but they had proved themselves, they had had their day, and you see them in Antioch for a whole year, proving themselves trustworthy men. He selected them for His own sovereign reason. I have no doubt the presence of the Spirit here has reference to divine, intimate knowledge; God sees everything, and knows everything, but the presence of the Spirit implies His own intimate knowledge of everything, and He is operating according to that. Yet He says, "Separate me now" Acts 13:2 -- He would not act in this way apart from the saints; the dispensation of God is in faith. God is operating house-wise in connection with His people, and He would have His people with Him in all that He is doing; so they fast, they deny what is natural, then

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they pray, and then they lay their hands on these two men, and they release them -- they "let them go" Acts 13:3. They were no encumbrance to them, they valued them, and it was a sacrifice to let them go; they did not send them away, they released them, they "let them go". Sending away is what the Holy Spirit does; He sends them forth. We love our brethren who serve, but we are ready to sacrifice them for God. Gift is never local, it is universal; the Lord had need of them. The Spirit says, "Separate me now Barnabas and Saul" Acts 13:2, and "having laid their hands on them, they let them go" Acts 13:3. The saints at Antioch are thus committed to Barnabas and Saul, in the service the Holy Spirit was entrusting to them.

Now a final word in regard of the unity of the Spirit in reference to doctrine or general principles -- principles of a general bearing; for in connection with these, the unity of the Spirit is maintained in a remarkable way. One of the most fruitful causes of divisions, breaking up the unity of the Spirit, is persons saying perverted things, desiring a following, and wanting disciples. In this instance (Acts 15) it was the corrupting power of Satan at Antioch, bringing in circumcision and the law of Moses. There was much discussion with the persons from Judaea who taught this, on the part of Paul and Barnabas, which was right; but a commotion having taken place, it was arranged that they should go up to Jerusalem. This is an antidote to undue localism. If a matter of discipline arises that is purely local and which requires priestly discernment, it belongs to the brethren locally, and should be left to them; the unity of the Spirit requires that it should be left to them. Certainly we can trust them, for the Lord has trusted them, and we can do so. But if it be a question of principles, or doctrine, then it is no longer local, it is general, and no one should then be trammelled with localism: you want all the light there is available, in these matters. The advice of the most capable, of the

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most godly, and of the most gifted is needed; in a word, we want all the help available.

Gifts are set in the assembly, but they are not local, they belong to the whole assembly; so the Lord has the right to use them wherever He pleases, and no one can interfere with His sovereign rights. In this case those who were spiritual, who were free from localism, say, we shall go and make enquiries of our brethren elsewhere. There are brethren who have been long on the way, men who have experience with God; there are apostles and elders at Jerusalem. That there are none such now, I need not say, but there are men who have experience with God, who have ability, who have gift, who have knowledge, and they belong to us all. Remember all are ours, "Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas ... all are yours" 1 Corinthians 3:22; use them; why should we not use them if they are ours? We need them; they are a divine provision.

Moreover, in using them we maintain the unity of the Spirit and we avoid the appearance of undue localism and independency. It is a question of what God has placed in the assembly, therefore why not use it? I am not dealing with other thoughts, I am just dealing with this one point, the unity of the Spirit in connection with doctrine and general principles; so that we should take advantage of all there is. Paul and Barnabas go up to Jerusalem, and they were set on their way by the assembly. Splendid augury for peace! They were set on their way by the assembly, and going up to Jerusalem they caused "great joy to all the brethren" Acts 15:3 on the way, establishing the hearts of the saints, and thus the unity of the Spirit was maintained in the uniting bond of peace. When they arrived at Jerusalem, the assembly received them; under such conditions there could not but be good results. The assembly, with the apostles and elders, received them with confidence, and the result is most satisfactory; instead of division, which the enemy was aiming at in Jerusalem

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and Antioch, there was peace -- the establishing and maintenance of peace, and thus the unity of the Spirit was kept in the uniting bond of peace.

May the Lord bless His word.

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THE ANOINTING OF THE SAINTS

2 Corinthians 1:21; 1 Corinthians 12:12,13; Exodus 30:22 - 33

I want to speak a word on the anointing of the saints. God began early with this means of asserting His sovereignty and of dignifying those who were to be employed in His service and testimony. You will recall how that it is said of Satan, as represented in the king of Tyre, in the book of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 28:14), that he was "the anointed cherub that covereth". Evidently, God had committed Himself to that exalted being by the anointing, and, in that way, we understand how early the principle had been adopted by God. And so right through, God has been pleased to employ it, and I wanted to speak of it, as the apostle does in writing to the Corinthians, in its application to ourselves; for it is well to be practical and simple in the ministry of the truth.

I want to bring home the truth that it is God who has anointed us. I desire that we should be reminded of that. Now, anointing is for the head, as we learn from Scripture, and in that way it is what is to be seen. It dignifies us, as representing God here. Our anointing by God is that we should be in suitable dignity as set here in this world. You will observe that the apostle says, "Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ" 2 Corinthians 1:21. It refers to what we are as before God, not as before men; and then he continues, "and hath anointed us, is God". In other words, the apostle would first remind the Corinthians that God had set them up and established them "in Christ". It involves that one has a status before God. What a thought that is!

In Ephesians we are not only in Christ, but we are raised up together, and made to sit down together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus. That is, Ephesians presents to us the full result of the great love of God.

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We are accustomed to the love of God, and who can exhaust such a theme, expressed as it is in the gift of Christ, the love of God "shed abroad", as it is said, "in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us" Romans 5:5. When we come to Ephesians it is not only that, precious as it is, not only the covenant -- the disposition of God towards us in Christ, but it is on account of His great love wherewith He loved us. I want you just to notice for a moment how the great love of God embraces all the brethren. He quickens us "with the Christ", and raises us up together; as we come under the influence of that love, we value its thoughtfulness in associating us thus together. So that from the very outset God has associated us with one another in the operations of His love; and also as quickened "with the Christ". How precious to think of the operations of the great love of God, embracing us all and associating us all with the Christ in His quickening! Then he says, "and has raised us up together" Ephesians 2:6. As we are under the influence of the great love of God we embrace all the brethren, for in His Jove He embraces all, and He raises us up together and makes us sit down together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus. That is what the great love of God does. The result of His quickening power in every one of us, sets us down in holy dignity in Christ Jesus in the heavenlies; so that there is no disparity between us and the position that the great love of God has accorded to us. That is Ephesians.

But Corinthians is to bring about establishment of soul. We should see that it is God who has done it; He has set us up in Christ. He has set us up, while down here, in relation to His testimony; for remember, 1 and 2 Corinthians have in view the assembly in the wilderness. It is not an Ephesian position, that is the land; the great love of God leads us into the land and sets us down there in holy dignity -- as it is said in the song in Exodus 15:17, "Thou shalt bring them in,

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and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established". But 1 and 2 Corinthians refer to us, not as in the land, but as down here, as God's assembly in the presence of the world, and we are to be here in holy dignity before the world. The secret of it lies in the fact that God has established us in Christ. As one moves about, whatever our status of life in this world, think of the holy dignity of soul that one has as one thinks of the place in which God has set us, even "in Christ"! All the distinctions of this world fade as in the power of the Spirit we lay hold of that precious thought, that God has established us "in Christ". We cannot be robbed of it, for God has done it; He of whom it is said, "he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast" Psalm 33:9. But that is a secret for your soul; men will not understand that; it is a secret that I carry about with me, that God has set me up -- has established me in Christ.

But what will tell before men is the anointing. And so I want now to say a word about the anointing oil, as it is described in Exodus. It is well, in dwelling on the anointing of the saints, to apprehend what it is that God employs in this honour conferred upon us; so I read these verses in the book of Exodus, because they give us, in type, what this holy ointment or oil is. In some anointings we get the word "fresh oil", and we get simply "oil", without being told what it is, but in the book of Exodus God prescribes things. Divine prescriptions must not be deviated from, and that is one of the leading features of the book of Exodus: if God is to have a tabernacle, it must be made according to pattern, it must be made according to specification, and it must be anointed; and, not only that, but it must be anointed by a certain holy compound. I would just call attention to it, dear brethren, for in a way nothing affects the heart more than the ingredients of

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this holy compound. It is undoubtedly a type of the life of Christ on this earth. Does not that appeal to your heart? It does to mine. What a holy compound was the life of Christ under God's eye in this world! No irregularity, no discrepancy, everything balanced, according to the divine specification, the suffering love of the Lord Jesus Christ shedding its holy fragrance throughout His entire pathway! Do you read the gospels? I have no doubt we come back to the gospels after we have learned the epistles, and they become the profoundest study of all Scripture. You have before you there the infinite perfection of Christ in manhood. This holy compound, as I said, marks every step of that way. And God would have it, as it were, extended! Hence in the first letter to the Corinthians the apostle says, "so also is the Christ". That is, the body of Christ is taken up as coming under the anointing. The saints are regarded as brought together in love, and they come under that covering. As the body, they are said to be "the Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:12). And then the apostle, in order to amplify, as I apprehend, what he has in mind in touching this great thought of the Christ, says, "For by one spirit are we all baptised into one body" 1 Corinthians 12:13. That is the secret of it. The anointing is not to be put on the flesh of man, and the baptism of the Spirit is that I am merged, as regards my individuality, in the company. Whatever I may have been, however distinguished in this life, all that is merged, or rather submerged, it is not to appear in the body. It is not to be anointed: that which distinguished me in this life is not to be anointed; that must go. Then I ask myself, Is it gone? Or, am I like Saul, head and shoulders above others according to the flesh, yet seeking to adorn myself with the holy anointing oil of God? Alas! many do that; but the Scriptures forbid it with the severest penalty. You must not take this and adorn yourself with it according to what you are in the flesh. It must not be put on the flesh of man. How, then, am I going

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to come into this anointing? The first thing is to be baptised. Water baptism means that I disappear out of this world; it is negative: as baptised to Christ I disappear under the water, I disappear out of this world. But then I am baptised to Christ, and now, what will He do with me? He will place me in the body; He baptises with the Holy Spirit. We need to be baptised by the Holy Spirit, and I believe this is where the defect lies with many of us -- that we are not truly baptised by the Holy Spirit. I am, of course, not calling into question what the Lord does, and how that, from the divine side, every one that has the Spirit is in principle baptised; but the question is, Am I merged in the company of the brethren? or am I, like Saul, according to my natural dignity, in my own reckoning head and shoulders above them? Remember that the one that was truly after God's heart was the man that was neglected, well-nigh forgotten in the family, even David. Eliab, the eldest, in his natural dignity, and all the others, one after the other, pass before the prophet. Samuel says to Jesse, "Are here all thy children?" 1 Samuel 16:11. Jesse says, No, there is another, the youngest, and he is keeping the sheep. Samuel says, "Send and fetch him". I mention that so that you may see the anointing is for those who are little in their own eyes, not for those who are dignified according to nature. The anointing is not for such. It is a serious thing to be passed by in this respect.

So David arrives; and as he appears he is ruddy, he is full of the energy of youth, as one may say, and withal of a beautiful countenance; and the Lord says to Samuel, "Arise, anoint him: for this is he" 1 Samuel 16:12. The least is the anointed one. Well, how is that brought about? -- It is by the work of God in us. The moral beauty indicated in David can only thus be produced in us. There must be the reduction in me of every element of the flesh; the Holy Spirit will not brook anything of the flesh; it must come down: so the baptism

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of the Holy Spirit must take place; I must be merged among the brethren, I must be one of them, without pretending to be more than they are. And now I come into this holy dignity; for how could God put upon me the Spirit of the meek Man, of the lowly in heart, unless I am lowly in heart? Morally He cannot do it, nor will He do it. He did it to Saul; it is wonderful to see the patience that God exhibited toward that man, but it was only to prove to us the incorrigible character of the flesh, for God anointed it, and He helped Saul, and in the spirit of David gave him every possible opportunity to right himself, but it was futile; he died on Mount Gilboa. Nothing, in a way, bespeaks the magnanimity of David's heart like his poetic reference to the shield of Saul, "the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil" 1 Samuel 1:21. He had respect to the oil. But God is not anointing any Sauls today; the day for that is past; He has found David, a man after His own heart. He has Christ, and He will have no other kind of man; He is going to fill the universe with men like Christ. The body of Christ is the first family thus brought into conformity to Christ. It is a wonderful thing to be dignified by the anointing in this way. The Spirit of Christ is put upon one. Will God do it to any save one who is in some sense like Christ? -- No. He said to Samuel, "man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart", 1 Samuel 16:7. Of course all is the work of the Spirit, but I speak of the moral order in which things stand. As I speak now God is not thinking of what I am saying simply, He is thinking of what is in my heart, of the motives I have; and He is thinking of what is in your heart. I think of God looking into our hearts at this moment, weighing up what is there; and so the meek and lowly in heart are those who come in for the anointing. Have you, my brother and my sister, come to the end of all flesh? God has. "The end of all flesh is come before me", Genesis 6:13,

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He says. The Lord says to Samuel, "How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him?" 1 Samuel 16:1. There is a limit, and we must not retain our Sauls, for God will not have them. But nevertheless He will have men, and so He brings about in us, through discipline, a belittlement, which qualifies us for the body. How are we to have the body without it? You cannot even be in the kingdom unless you become little: "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" Matthew 18:3. How much less then can I have part in that which is to express the mind of God in Christ, unless I am like Christ! It is impossible. So verse 13, as I said, enables us to understand verse 12: "For by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many" 1 Corinthians 12:13,14. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the secret of our coming in for the anointing. I am speaking now of the thing become practically expressed down here. It is no use my saying I have the Holy Spirit if I do not show it; the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an act of Christ, He does it, but it is practical. John the baptist says, "he it is who baptises with the Holy Spirit" John 1:33. Christ does it; and it means that I become merged in the company; my individuality according to the flesh, disappears, and now the Lord is pleased to put His own dignity upon me. And we may be assured that He will not be diverted from any one that He is pleased to dignify and qualify in this way for His work. Let us take it down into our souls, that the Lord baptises with the Holy Spirit; and in baptising us He intends to bring us into accord with His sovereign pleasure in His service and testimony down here. "So also is the Christ". There is that down here which is anointed of God, the Spirit of Christ is upon it, and it is thus dignified before men, and in it is expressed the mind and affections of Christ.

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It is a very wonderful conception. I believe that presently the thought will become even more extended -- that God will stamp, by the Spirit of Christ, every family; so that there will be a presentation of Christ in all. They are all named of the Father, as the apostle says, but they are named according to the measure in which Christ is to be presented in each.

I want to say a word in closing about the drinking "into one Spirit". It is quite obvious that drinking is our act. My baptism is not my act; my anointing is not my act; but drinking is my act, and it is brought in here as enforcing the truth being developed, and I would ask, dear brethren, as to whether we know what it is to drink into one Spirit? Drinking is for satisfaction. God would have us dignified; He would have us united; but then He would have us satisfied. Obviously, the truth of the body is not developed in a complaining people, a complaining christian does not enhance the body; the body is composed of satisfied people. Baptism by the Spirit here, has no doubt reference to water baptism; and drinking into one Spirit has reference to the Lord's supper. The two 'sacraments' are brought together here -- the one is what Christ does, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the other what we do, even the drinking of the cup in the Lord's supper. I would say here that there is only one cup. The supper is a memorial of Christ but it is intended also to promote unity, and how blessed it is to have the unity of satisfaction! I do not know of anything, in a way, that is so abiding as the unity of satisfaction, if I may express the truth in that way. We have in Ephesians 4:3 "the unity of the Spirit" which we are to endeavour to keep; I apprehend that is the unity of affection one for another. And then we also have "the unity of the faith" in Ephesians 4:13; that I think is the unity we have of mind in the doctrine; we speak the same thing, we do not agree to differ -- away with such a thought as that, it is foreign to christianity! Unity is a great principle of christianity. So we have

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the unity of the Spirit; the unity of the faith; and then as I venture to call it, the unity of satisfaction. Hence there is only one cup, as there is only one loaf. Here, the reference is that we have all been made to drink into one Spirit. Referring to the cup, Mark says, "They all drank of it" Mark 14:23. They all drank out of the same vessel. This expresses mutual affection. The Spirit of God calls it, "the cup of blessing". Think of drinking into the cup of blessing! We eulogise it; for it presents to our hearts the love of God in Christ in all its fulness. Surely we should speak well of that! And in blessing it, we all drink out of the cup; we all participate in the same holy love of God. So that it is a unifying principle, as I said, it unifies in satisfaction. I believe many christians are not satisfied; they are held by a sort of conscientiousness in regard to what they are brought up in; but it is the unity of satisfaction we need. The love of God in our hearts by the Spirit satisfies. Think of the greatness of it! So as the Psalmist says, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" Psalm 133:1. But what kind of unity? He goes on to say what it is like. "It is like the precious ointment upon the head" Psalm 133:2 -- that holy compound that was prescribed in Exodus 30. It is like that; for Aaron was anointed with it, and it flowed down his beard even to the skirts of his garments. Further, it is like "the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion" Psalm 133:3, the place of God's purpose; for the unity of the saints links them on immediately with the purpose of God, on the sure foundation on which we rest. "There the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore" Psalm 133:3.

May God bring it about in us! It is wonderful that in these last days there should be those who are to be held together in holy bonds, merged in a common brotherhood, dignified by the holy anointing, and set up thus as a witness for God here, as of the body of Christ. May God bless the word!

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THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH

John 14:14 - 17, 25, 26; John 15:26, 27; John 16:7 - 14

J.T. These passages treat of the Spirit, a divine Person here, under the title of Comforter, as with the saints and in them, to render them independent of the world. "The Spirit of truth", as He is called in this section, is particularly important in view of the error we have to encounter at the present time. The scriptures are authoritative and like the banks to a river, within which the water flows. The Spirit is the truth, and, being in us, we not only have the truth in an objective sense, but also in a subjective way; He is the Spirit of truth. I thought that we might first dwell on the fact that He is here on the ground of the love of the saints seen in keeping the Lord's commandments. "If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will beg the Father and he will give you another Comforter". John 14:15,16. In dealing with error and darkness, not only have we the authority of Scripture but we have the Spirit of truth, so that we may be found free from the general breakdown in a positive way.

J.M'L. Would that be in view of what was to come out further after the Lord had gone?

J.T. Yes. The Lord was the truth Himself here. He is the way, the truth, and the life.

Ques. What is the object of our having the Spirit?

J.T. After His greatness as "another Comforter" and the Spirit of truth, the important thing here is His presence -- that He is with us and in us. He is a divine Person, and that is a great fact and an immense stay in view of the changing conditions -- godly men and women passing off the scene who have stood for God, and younger ones coming in.

R.G. He is the power in us and it says "ye shall be my witnesses".

J.T. We are coming to that, but these earlier verses

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relate to His presence. What He does is stated in verse 26 and in chapters 15 and 16. The great fact of His presence here is what I thought should be especially laid hold of, His presence here in the changing conditions that mark the whole dispensation -- one generation passing away and another coming in. You are made to feel the losses, the voids created by one and another passing away. They held things for God, and the Spirit of truth would maintain the truth through those who have come after. It is to those who love the Lord and keep His commandments that He came, and it says, He abideth with you, and shall be in you. The Lord would impress upon us the fact of the Spirit's presence with us.

Rem. That is, a divine Person here.

J.T. Another Comforter to those who, as having known the Lord, love Him and obey Him; and they are not to be deprived of Him. That is a fact to be borne in mind; they were deprived of the Lord's presence in this scene, but He enlarges in these chapters as to the Spirit's presence, on the ground of their love and their keeping His commandments. Another Comforter would come, at His solicitation, from the Father, who should abide with them and be in them.

D.G. You mean we should be dependent on Him, and make room for Him and all that He brings in.

J.T. That is what would result from the recognition of the fact that He is actually here. It is a great stay to the heart to begin with.

D.G. It is important that there was a company here that He could come to.

J.T. Yes. "If ye love me keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter". John 14:15,16. Then it adds "the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him: for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" John 14:17.

R.W. It is a sweet thought that the Lord speaks of

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another Comforter. He had been really a comfort to the disciples here, now they would have another Comforter.

J.T. The word "Comforter" means that He is One by our side who takes charge of things for us, as a solicitor takes charge of your affairs better than you can yourself.

R.W. Is it not to comfort your heart?

J.T. It is not quite that thought. The affairs of God and the affairs of the saints are in the hands of One who hooks after them unfailingly, and perfectly. Whoever may come and go, this Person remains. He is with us "for ever"; "he abides with you and shall be in you" John 14:17. He is here in a more intimate way than the Lord was. He is here in the saints; that is the manner of His presence.

Ques. Is it the same thought as "if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous"? 1 John 2:1.

J.T. Advocate is the same word in the original. As we have One on high looking after our affairs, so we have the Holy Spirit here. It is remarkable that the first thing is that He is here on account of the saints; those who as loving Christ keep His commandments. God thus shows His love for the saints, His care for them.

R.F. Does it suggest tabernacle conditions?

J.T. It does. Tabernacle conditions are in view in this chapter. The Father and the Son come in to abide with us under certain conditions, that is to say those who keep the word of Christ (verse 23). Keeping the word is being in accord with the expression of God's mind. What was said on the mount to Moses was an expression of God's mind translated into an abode. What Moses saw and heard on the mount was translated into a material abode or tabernacle for God. The antitype of that is what Christ was here. He "dwelt (tabernacled) among us" John 1:14; that is to be discerned spiritually. The

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specifications of the tabernacle correspond to the Lord's teaching. So He says "If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our abode with him" John 14:23. The tabernacle is seen there.

No one but Moses really could construct the tabernacle, for he alone saw the pattern of it. You see pictures of it, and even models of it, but you cannot construct it from the specification alone, that is not enough; there was also a pattern shown.

Rem. Love to Christ would be the evidence that the material was there.

J.T. That is the idea exactly; the material was furnished by the people but no one but Moses could construct the tabernacle. He alone saw the pattern. So that making the tabernacle according to the specification only, is like a man who has not the Spirit of God nor an apprehension of Christ by the Spirit, trying to carry out divine injunctions. He cannot do it.

Rem. Christendom is the result of that.

J.T. Yes. It is an attempt to have divine conditions according to specification, but they miss the spirit of it -- for that is from spiritual apprehension. Only one who has the Spirit of God can provide conditions for God.

Ques. Did David see what the temple was to be as well as have the specifications?

J.T. Yes. He had the pattern "by the Spirit", and gave it to Solomon. David, as seen in 1 Chronicles, is head.

Rem. Solomon built the house according to what David received by the Spirit. The pattern is one whole.

R.F. Is the thought here (verse 23) that it is His pleasure to dwell with us? I was thinking of Exodus where it says "Make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them" Exodus 25:8.

J.T. That is what He had in mind. "Will God indeed dwell with man?" It was in His heart to do so, but the question is, could man provide conditions?

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So having brought the people to Himself, He discloses His mind with regard to them -- what He intended them for, the love that He had for them. He proposes, therefore, conditions on which they were to be with Him, and then He directs Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and the elders to go up into the mount, where they saw Him; "and there was under his feet as it were work of transparent sapphire, and as it were the form of heaven for clearness" Exodus 24:10. They got an impression of God and His living conditions up there. Think of getting a view into heaven and seeing what conditions God lives in. That is the idea. They eat and drink; they are made perfectly free up there. Perfect love casts out fear. Then He takes Moses up and shows him the pattern of the tabernacle, and gives him the specification of it. The people were to supply the material, but Moses was to direct the building of it, because he only had seen the pattern. It is not said that Moses had the pattern, but that it was shown him on the Mount.

Rem. The Spirit came at Pentecost when they were all together in one place; dwelling conditions were there.

J.T. Exactly. They were all together in one place; all were essential to what God had in mind, No one is to be absent. If God has converted me, He has converted me for a purpose, and I am essential to that purpose.

J.J.G. Would you say that Pentecost was the first time that these conditions had appeared on earth?

J.T. Yes; all that preceded Pentecost was typical. They were all together in one place and they heard the sound from heaven, "and it filled all the house", Acts 2:1. They were all there and the house was filled with the sound from heaven, and there appeared unto them cloven tongues as of fire which sat on each of them. God reminds us that He takes account of every one. What occurred at Pentecost is worthy of the most careful study. Every believer is essential to what is in His mind.

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Ques. What is the difference between the Spirit as a dove, and as tongues of fire?

J.T. The first has reference to the personal excellence of Christ. There was nothing to disturb the Spirit either actively or potentially. It is like the perfect holy oblation in its evenness. The Spirit finds a resting place there. Noah's dove went out and found no resting place for the sole of her foot. That is typical of the Spirit till Jesus came to earth, then the Spirit comes "in a bodily form as a dove upon him" Luke 3:22. But at Pentecost you have potential disturbance in the fact that those on whom He came were in a mixed condition, that is to say, sin was in them as in us; they were men of like passions with ourselves. Though the Lord had wrought with them, and cleansed them, and prepared them for this, yet the parted tongues of fire point to conditions that have to be dealt with by fire. The christian is to be rendered practically free from the flesh, and the fire effects that.

Ques. Do I understand that what is first on your mind is the fact of the presence of the Holy Spirit, then the conditions necessary for the presence, and thirdly the functions of the Holy Spirit?

J.T. Yes, of course His presence would include what we were speaking of as seen at Pentecost, then verse 26 partly gives what He does. "He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you". John 14:26. We have His service: He teaches us all things and brings to remembrance all things the Lord said. Teaching all things necessarily makes us independent of man's teaching.

Ques. What is the difference between the Father sending and "whom I will send?"

J.T. First He is sent, as asked for from the Father, by Jesus; then the Father sends Him, as He says, "in my name", (John 14:26), showing that the Father in this great action thinks of the name and honour of the Son -- a striking illustration of the unity of divine Persons.

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From that point of view His office would have to do with what came out in Christ involving His name, so that He teaches us all things and brings to our "remembrance", as it says, "whatsoever I have said unto you" John 14:26. It may be assumed that the gospel is the record of all that the Lord said, but it is only what is necessary as an authoritative statement that is written. The gospels are by no means all that He said. In making a book God has never had volume in mind; it has never been His thought to enlarge beyond what is necessary in what is written. All that is necessary is there, not all that could be there. This very gospel reminds us that the world itself would not contain the books that could be written. As regards volume, there is that which lies in the Spirit, and it is beyond anything that man has any conception of. The Holy Spirit is here to bring it to our remembrance.

Rem. One thought in the giving of the Comforter is that a divine Person only is adequate to the pattern as seen in the Lord Himself.

J.T. What is written is authoritative, and we can appeal to that. The Lord appealed to it. But there was much in the Old Testament that was not written. Take, for instance, the ministries of Elijah and Elisha; neither of them wrote a book, but think of all they could have written!

Ques. You refer to the written word being like the banks to a river?

J.T. Yes. It keeps things within divinely appointed limits. The Holy Spirit operates within those banks, so to speak; so you can always refer to the Scriptures for authority. The ministry of the Spirit, however, is going on all the time. He is always operating in relation to what is written, and He brings out much more than is written.

Ques. Could you speak to the Father and the Son by the Spirit only?

J.T. Yes. By the Spirit we cry "Abba, Father",

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and no one can say Jesus is Lord save by the Spirit; and if you think of the ministry from Paul's time onward, what a volume there is that is not written at all. But it is built into the saints by the Spirit.

Rem. "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches" Revelation 2:7. Is that what is going on?

J.T. Yes. Notice it is in the present tense. What the Lord said is written down in these messages, but what the Spirit says is not written down: it is "what the Spirit saith".

Rem. So that we have something living constantly presented to the saints as a result of the Spirit being here.

Ques. What lies between those banks is not stagnant water, but flowing water?

J.T. That is a great thing to see.

Ques. Would you refuse anything outside the banks, these being the limits?

J.T. Yes. The Holy Spirit would enable us to give a right application to what is written. The enemy could say "it is written", but he did not give it a right application. The Lord gives a proper application of the Scriptures.

Ques. Thus all ministry can be tested by the Scriptures?

J.T. That is one great feature of them. The New Testament Scriptures were not available at first. They came in many years later than the beginning of the Spirit's ministry.

Rem. I was thinking that when the roll was read (Luke 4), the Lord gave the sense.

J.T. But remember that you are not ministering Scripture, but ministering Christ. You get the basis of your ministry in the Scriptures, and you are kept within the bounds, but your ministry is Christ. Of course, besides being authoritative and corrective, the Scriptures are wonderfully full of material for ministry.

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Rem. Would you say, speaking of one generation passing and another coming in, that the features of Christ would be in each one?

J.T. Yes; and this shows the fulness and variety there is. No two christians are alike.

Rem. The traditions of the Jews had displaced what was according to the truth.

J.T. Yes, largely; and the same thing is true in christendom.

Ques. In what sense did the disciples know the Spirit? (verse 17).

J.T. The Spirit was there in Christ with them. He came down there. John the baptist saw Him come. The Lord credits them with this knowledge.

Rem. The Spirit that displayed Christ for the Old Testament saints is the same Spirit that is come now.

J.T. Quite so. What the Holy Spirit says in the Old Testament is given a present application by Him.

Ques. Would you link with the Spirit the thought of testimony?

J.T. Yes. The Lord says later, "when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes forth from with the Father, he shall bear witness concerning me" John 15:26. There you have the Holy Spirit as having been with the Father. He comes "forth from with the Father", showing that He is competent to make known all the Father's feelings and affections with regard to Christ (John 15:26).

Ques. Does "whatsoever he shall hear that shall he speak" John 16:13, mean that what is between the Father and the Son about the saints, and what the Father thinks about Christ, the Holy Spirit communicates?

J.T. That is right. It is what He hears as communications given to Him. And that scripture shows the lowly place the Spirit has taken.

Ques. Is it by the Spirit that we get the Father's feelings and thoughts of Christ?

J.T. Surely. It is a great thing to be free; free from

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natural thoughts, free to sit down and let the Holy Spirit make suggestions to us. We thus get impressions from Him. Although He knows everything as a divine Person it is what He hears that He speaks, and His thought is to bring us into intimacy with the Father and the Son. How wonderful this is!

Ques. Would you say that a great point is that affection for Christ is preserved here in the church?

J.T. Quite so. That is a great feature. Sometimes you hear people say there is nothing new since those whom God used in the last century to recover the truth fell asleep; but that is only to slight the presence of the Holy Spirit, because He is here in the saints, and you get things coming out constantly. It may come through a sister, She may only make a remark, but it is spiritual, and some brother takes it up and enlarges upon it.

Rem. There should be no difficulty in recognising what is of the Spirit.

J.T. He is the Spirit of truth, and you feel you are in relation to what is true in listening to what He ministers. As "in the Spirit" you have a right estimate of everything.

Rem, The church is always passing through phases, therefore there must be a fresh ministry to meet them.

J.T. Yes, and there is nothing speculative about it; it is by the Spirit of truth. It carries conviction. What you get in chapter 26 is that the Spirit brings into the world a demonstration of certain things that are of the utmost importance to the saints -- a demonstration of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. This being brought in is of immense advantage to us. It is not only something written but it is something shown.

Ques. Is the demonstration of sin in the lives of the saints?

J.T. Well, it is what the Holy Spirit brought about at Pentecost. The issue had been between the Jews and Christ. The presence of Christ here made the issue,

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and God decided it. How did He decide it? By the gift of the Spirit. He brought in a demonstration of sin; the Jesus that was put on the cross was God's Son, and the Jews did not believe on Him; the presence of the Holy Spirit here was a demonstration of that. And so of righteousness; the man they considered a malefactor was received up into heaven. He was with the Father. And of judgment, because the prince of this world was judged. The issue today is between the saints and the world, as it was then between Christ and the world, and the Spirit shows where God is. The presence of the Spirit here in the saints is the undeniable witness to the fact that God approves them and condemns the world.

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THE DIRECT ACTION OF THE SPIRIT

Acts 2:1 - 4; Acts 8:14 - 17; Acts 10:44; Acts 19:1 - 6

J.T. I thought of these scriptures in Acts relative to the Spirit. I was thinking that this subject would fit in with present exercises, wishing at the same time to point out the dispensational features of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Firstly, as connected with the twelve and their service in Jerusalem, and then as coming upon the gentiles -- it is presented as the direct action of the Spirit Himself in chapter 10; then coming through Paul's administration in view of the assembly, in its universal bearing.

Ques. What about chapter 8 in connection with Peter and John?

J.T. I was connecting that in my mind with the position of the apostles at Jerusalem, the provisional service of the twelve. You will observe it is not simply the apostles, but the apostles which were in Jerusalem.

R.D.H. So Peter and John are seen representatively there?

J.T. Yes. It would emphasise the grace of God that came in in their ministry. God, in tender consideration for the Jewish feelings, recognised the priority of Jerusalem to Samaria. Acting still on the line of the promise, in patience God made allowance for Jewish feelings. I think we may be reminded by that fact of the importance of patience, how we have to exercise patience in our service and testimony. The continuance of the testimony at Jerusalem was the extension of the patience of God. But the coming of the Spirit on the gentiles, as such, in chapter 10 was aside from Peter. Peter is there, but the Spirit acted directly, whilst Peter was doing something else. While he was preaching, "the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were hearing the word" Acts 10:44.

E.L.M. Is there the thought that it was an extension

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of what was already given, that this comes in, or was there something in addition? The giving of the Spirit in chapter 2 had the gentiles in view, and individuals came into what was there, but is this something additional?

J.T. I think that up to chapter 10 it is what was there. The Samaritans received what was at Jerusalem, but it is not so presented in chapter 10. The Holy Spirit is acting directly -- sovereignly. The coming of the Spirit at Pentecost is clearly an administrative action. The explanation was that Christ being by the right hand of God exalted, and as receiving of the Father the promise of the Spirit, He had "shed forth this, which ye now see and hear" Acts 2:33. The Spirit had been promised to the disciples; the Lord commanded them "to await the promise of the Father", Acts 1:4. It came to them and flowed through them.

Ques. Does not the Lord emphasise the priority of the Jew in the word which He expressed to the woman of Samaria, "salvation is of the Jews" John 4:22?

J.T. Quite so. Chapter 8 is in keeping with that. He had said to the disciples as gathered in Luke 24, "And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you" Luke 24:49. It was to them, and what was there flowed out through them. But there is the upper line -- not exactly the line of administration from heaven to earth -- but the action of a divine Person here, so that we have in chapter 9 the light from heaven and the voice from heaven, and in chapter 10 the sheet from heaven. It is not now a question of something administrative, but of heaven superseding what is at Jerusalem; heaven first recognising Jerusalem and then superseding it. The first is the patience of God to the Jews, but the second is heaven superseding Jerusalem so that the light is from heaven, and the sheet is from heaven, and the Holy Spirit, whilst He maintains the link in Peter's ministry, comes on the gentiles directly, apart from Peter's administration. They are credited with hearing

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the word -- not simply what Peter was saying (Acts 10:44).

E.L.M. The movements of a divine Person as having come from heaven are seen in chapter 10?

J.T. Yes. He is now moving Himself: "it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us" (Acts 15:28). The distinction has now come out. Peter received the keys. Peter is recognised according to the commission he received from the Lord, but that did not imply the gift of the Spirit. The Spirit is now acting by Himself, so that whilst Peter spake the word, He fell on those who heard it. It is now a question of what the Spirit is doing. From this point the inner and the outer become more pronounced. The outer is after the inner, whereas the inner was after the outer in the second chapter. That is a remarkable thing. From this point the inner takes precedence. God is dealing with hearts now; what is inner must come before what is outer. He gave the Spirit on the ground of what was inside in chapter 10. Paul said later that God revealed His Son in him.

Ques. Would you say that was the reason why in Acts 2 they had to repent and be baptised and receive the remission of sins before they received the gift of the Holy Spirit? In chapter 10 the Spirit fell on them.

J.T. Yes, Acts 2 is the outer first, "What shall we do?" "Repent and be baptised each one of you ... and ye will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" Acts 2:38. But here it is "the heart-knowing God" -- God acting from His own knowledge. God is dealing with things Himself, not through others. The Lord had distinguished between the witness of the Spirit and that of the twelve (John 15:26, 27).

Ques. Was it because they were gentiles?

J.T. Yes, because they were what the prodigal typified, that is to say, the gentile receiving the best robe. While God is patient with Jerusalem the ministry there was not on the same level. It was mediate; it was

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God acting through others, but now He is acting directly.

Ques. Might I ask how you view the two wave loaves in Leviticus 23? Was the church in view?

J.T. I think they only fit in with the Jewish side. In Leviticus 23 the feasts go on from the Jewish side to the end, to the feast of tabernacles, embracing God's thoughts for the Jew, but in connection with the church. The two wave loaves would be a witness; they were baked with leaven. They do not represent the church in its heavenly calling, but rather in its position here provisionally in the way of testimony. Leaven is there, but it had ceased to operate; they were baked; showing that the truth had been laid hold of by the saints and worked out privately. They were brought out of their homes. The result was according to Christ as seen in the wave sheaf. The truth was worked out; the leaven was there, only it was not operative. The church seen in Paul's ministry is not exactly typified there. The two wave loaves are brought out at the end of fifty days. It would show how thoroughly the thing had been wrought out in their private exercises. The Holy Spirit had come in as cloven tongues as of fire and sat upon each of them.

Rem. That gives point to chapter 10, being very distinct.

J.T. I think it is well to see that. In chapter 8 you have "the heart-knowing God". Philip preached to the Samaritans and they believed. One of them believed, but his heart was not right. It remained for Peter to come down and expose it. The Holy Spirit is not given here directly; it is given through apostolic means. Peter discovered the state of Simon; he acted as a doorkeeper; he was able to discern Simon's state by what he said. A man who wanted to buy the power exposed himself The apostles could go by what they saw and heard; God acts as knowing men's hearts.

E.L.M. Are things today on the principle of the

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heart-knowing God? Do believers get the Spirit on that line?

J.T. They do. You are having to do with God directly; that is the feature of the dispensation. The apostle Paul, of course, had his place, but he commends us to God and the word of His grace, so the gift of the Spirit stands in relation to that. It is a question of the heart-knowing God. It is not now a question of what we do, but of what God knows. Of course, God uses His people, and in this we must be guided by what we see and hear; and we must do things as governed by Scripture.

Ques. Is that why, when the apostle writes to Timothy, he says the Spirit speaks expressly?

J.T. There you see the Holy Spirit is contemplated as having liberty in the house. God could speak expressly; the conditions enabled Him to do so. Perhaps we might see how this inquiry leads to the free action of the Spirit in the house among the saints. In Acts 13 the Spirit asks for Barnabas and Saul, but the means He employed in speaking is not stated.

Ques. Is the Spirit engaged in what is heavenly? You were contrasting the administration side with what the Spirit is doing.

J.T. I think that is right. The light from heaven, the voice and the sheet imply that we have now arrived on the upper line of the Spirit, in chapter 10 the Spirit is acting of Himself; not exactly as from heaven to earth, but a divine Person as here acting Himself, and necessarily acting in relation to the light from heaven of chapter 9. You are now in the light of heaven as replacing Jerusalem; all the Holy Spirit is doing now is in that relation; He is taking the people of God out of earthly relationships into heavenly relationships.

Ques. Is that the line on which the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts?

J.T. Yes, it is in that connection. Romans lays the basis for Ephesians.

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Ques. Is that what you get in chapter 13, the Holy Spirit separating Barnabas and Saul for the work at Antioch?

J.T. There you come to an example of what this is leading up to. You have the light from heaven and the sheet from heaven. Now the Holy Spirit is operating in that connection. Hence the parable of the prodigal teaches us that the best robe is brought out and put on him. The best robe is Christ where He is now, as He is in heaven. The best robe is that which is entirely outside what is on earth. It is greater than anything that ever was at Jerusalem, or ever will be. It is brought forth; that is the action of the Spirit now, in that you have light from heaven and the sheet from heaven. You have the divine mind brought down in the sheet, and the best robe necessarily stands there. It is the effect of the present ministry of the Spirit.

Ques. In that way we are living in a dispensation where things come from heaven?

J.T. Yes, and the prodigal is himself the house in principle -- not that any one person could be the house. The mention of the house in Luke 15 is to show that the music and dancing were there. It is what the Holy Spirit has formed here, something entirely heavenly.

Ques. What part has the prodigal in the composition of the house?

J.T. He represents the idea of the house, the gentile, as having the best; he is clothed with the best robe. "Bring forth the best robe ... and let us eat" Luke 15:22,23. He represents what God has now. It is not something that began at Jerusalem; it is entirely a heavenly thing. So that the word to Saul is, "why persecutest thou me?" "I am Jesus" Acts 9:4,5. That is, He intimates that what Paul persecuted was Himself.

Rem. The Lord had this moment in view in Luke 15.

Ques. I was wondering what part the Jew had. You have spoken of the prodigal -- the gentile; but where does the Jew come in to form part of the house?

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J.T. I think the house of God as it is contemplated in Luke 15 is the house set up under Paul. It necessarily includes the Jew. The epistle to the Ephesians includes both, but the gentile has the first place.

J.H.T. When Peter refers to the heart-knowing God, does he not immediately give priority to the gentiles -- "we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they"? Acts 15:11. He places the Jew second.

J.T. That is good. Then you see Luke in chapter 2 speaks of the gentiles. When Simeon took the Child in his arms he said, "A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel" Luke 2:32. So that the gentiles come in first. Certainly in a moral sense they do.

As regards the order of the truth here, first you get the Holy Spirit in the Lord's words to Saul, and directly God conveys His mind on any matter, His operations all bear on that. So that the sheet coming down is to remind us that there is something coming out of heaven and going back into heaven. That is in keeping with the best robe. It is something brought forth, and all that we get in the chapter is to show the practical working out of that, so that the operations of the Spirit as in chapter 10 are in relation to the body. You have generally a thing in Scripture before it is named. I think we see from chapter 9 onward the thing itself working out, so that after Paul is converted, it is no longer the assembly in Jerusalem, but the churches in Judaea and Samaria; they had rest and were edified "and were increased through the comfort of the Holy Spirit" Acts 9:31. There is the working out of the thing that is already intimated to be there. The doctrine of the one body would come out in due time.

J.H.T. Has John 14, 15, 16, relation to these things?

J.T. I think so. The Holy Spirit in John 14 - 16 is the Holy Spirit as a divine Person in the saints collectively, rather than in the individual believer. As we arrive at Acts 13 we see what has come about; a state

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of things in which the Holy Spirit is free to act by Himself. It is what He is doing.

Ques. Are we to suppose that until the apostle Paul's day, there were no gentiles received into communion with the apostles -- until chapter 10?

J.T. So far as we know, none were received. Proselytes among the Jews and Samaritans were received.

Rem. The thought of Luke 15 would hardly be set forth until Paul's time.

J.T. That is how it stands. What came out after Peter preached to Cornelius was, the Holy Spirit fell upon them that heard the word. Then certain of those scattered entered into Antioch and preached to the Greeks, and a great many believed and they turned to the Lord. There was no special vessel present; it was simply those who were scattered. Then it is said that the church which was at Jerusalem heard of this, and they sent out Barnabas. In chapter 8 there is nothing said about the church; it is a question of the apostles which were in Jerusalem -- that is to say, it was the administrative side, centring at Jerusalem. In chapter 11 they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch; it says "he was a good man and full of the Holy Spirit" Acts 11:24. The work of God in Jerusalem is linked on vitally with the work at Antioch. It is the working out of the principle of the one body, and Barnabas having come, he urged the believers "to abide with the Lord" Acts 11:23. They had believed and turned to Him, and now he urges them to abide with the Lord; it would be a question of their becoming acquainted with Him, not only of submitting to Him; and so it is stated that much people "were added to the Lord" Acts 11:24. That was so far a linking of what was at Jerusalem with Antioch. Then Barnabas and Paul remained, teaching in the assembly for a whole year.

Ques. That would be the first recognition of the company publicly? There is a development through these two great vessels.

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J.T. Yes, that is how it stands, so as to promote general unity. You see how the need in Judaea called forth their love. Agabus prophesied that there should be a famine. A famine occurs, so they sent up gifts by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. There were vital links being promoted and fostered, linking the work among the Jews with that among the gentiles.

Rem. There was a self-contained assembly at Antioch.

Ques. Do you think that making room for the Spirit would enable assemblies to move together?

J.T. Yes. I thought we might see how the unity of the Spirit, a universal thought, was arrived at in the beginning; the beautiful touches indicating how these links were maintained between Jerusalem and Antioch.

J.McM. Is that in view of the day to come -- universal administration?

J.T. No doubt the church is being fitted for that. You see how practical it was. The coming in of Barnabas "a good man", and then his unjealous seeking out of Saul as a fit man for the work. Then money was sent to Jerusalem by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. There were thus links established in the power of the Spirit.

Ques. Were they working out the truth of the one body practically? I was wondering whether the truth of the one body came from the Lord Himself.

J.T. The body was there, but now you see the thing working out. Then we get what it was locally. "There were in Antioch ..." Acts 13:1. It has a local setting now, not a general bearing only, hence it is what is "in Antioch, in the assembly which was there" (New Trans.); it is the local thing. They ministered to the Lord and fasted there.

Ques. Is it difficult to arrive at in a day of confusion like the present?

J.T. That is what we are at now, to see how the thing works. The truth of the one body is entirely

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practical. The way is to begin with yourself. How do I stand with the brethren? How did Barnabas stand? Barnabas was in favour in Jerusalem and in Antioch. Wherever he went he was in favour.

Ques. Would his counsel be contributory to the working out of the truth of the one body?

J.T. I am sure it would. As thus in favour you are now fit for the assembly in a practical sense.

E.L.M. Would he be one in the good of the best robe?

J.T. That is the idea exactly. The prodigal was clothed, but it is worked out here. We see the heavenly robe at Antioch.

Rem. If you move with the Spirit, you will be acceptable to your brethren. Does the practical side come out in that way?

J.T. That is how it works. I begin with myself. At Antioch there were men that were well off; the prophet says, There is going to be a famine. Now how do I stand in relation to that? Those that were well off determined to send, which also they did. That is how I am standing with the brethren. If I am well off in this world's goods, I show that I belong to the body in that practical way. I am serving people whom I never saw, who are racially opposed to me. I am practically in the body.

Ques. Would the case of Lydia help? "If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and abide there" Acts 16:15.

J.T. Yes, you have a fine example of it there. She is particularly interesting as she appears at Philippi, the gateway to Europe. Lydia opened her house to the apostle; that is how she stood with him. How do I stand with the brethren? What do they state about me? It was for the apostle to say how she stood. After his release from the prison he entered again into her house.

E.L.M. I was thinking about those who had means. The question was, "why persecutest thou me?" Acts 9:4. Here

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they are sending to those they have never seen; instead of persecuting, they are giving.

J.T. Quite so. What one is exercised about is that we should get beyond the mere doctrine. You see how practical everything is. You begin with yourself. How do I stand with the brethren? It is not, How do they stand with me, but how do I stand with them? It is for them to say. "We, being many, are one body in Christ". 1 Corinthians 10:17. The body is a question of my relations with the brethren. The truth of headship does not come in until you have the body. We being many are one body in Christ. It is a question, therefore, of the brethren in relation to one another.

Ques. Would it be a right thought that the body was there from the second chapter and is worked out subsequently?

J.T. Yes, but it is not formally alluded to until Saul's conversion. The Lord said to him, "why persecutest thou me?" Acts 9:4. I apprehend it as that in which Christ is expressed. It must be spiritual. It is a heavenly Christ that is seen in it, not simply a Christ provisionally related to Jerusalem. So the importance of seeing that the Lord's supper in Matthew and Mark has in view a vessel, a body. The body of the Lord is spoken of there as food, so that there should be a vessel here for Christ. Where we are enjoined to keep the unity of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace, the body is mentioned first: "there is one body" Ephesians 4:4. What about the one body? For me practically it is a question of the relation in which I stand to the brethren. How do they regard me? At first Paul had a very bad standing with the brethren. Ananias thought very little of him. The Lord had to put Ananias right about him, telling him that a great change had come about. Saul soon acquired a great place with the brethren. The Lord might have told him all, but He did not; He said, "Enter into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do" Acts 9:6; it was a question of his getting a status with the brethren.

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It is very interesting to see how Paul acquired a place with the brethren. I am not in the body according to God until I do. If a great man like Paul had to commend himself to the brethren, I have to do it, because they were there before me. How can I be an expression of Christ in relation to the brethren if I am not in accord with them?

Ques. Would you say we start with a sense of self-judgment?

J.T. Yes. While believers are thus set in vital relation with each other as in the body, they are in direct relation with divine Persons. God is a living God, and if I have the Holy Spirit I have to do with God, so there is constant relationship with the living God. Think of being in relation with God every moment of the day! That is christianity.

E.L.M. There would be no difficulty about any of us if our hearts were right.

J.T. What we have been saying shows how real and practical the presence and operations of the Holy Spirit were at the beginning.

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THE SPIRIT IN RELATION TO THE APOSTASY

Jude 19 - 21; 2 Peter 1:21; Genesis 8:8 -12

I have in view to speak about the Holy Spirit, in regard to the great apostasy. Most of us are aware there is such a thing, and that it has long existed. It wag spoken of by Paul -- "a falling away" he calls it, but Jude and Peter write expressly in view of it, and as meeting it. Whilst both epistles contain much instruction relative to the apostasy, and which every believer should have, my thought is to confine myself to what is said of the Spirit and His relation to it.

I speak of the Spirit as a divine Person here on earth; one indeed, who is said to be the "Comforter", whom the Lord Jesus, as having entered into heaven as Man, asked for from the Father. In John 14:16, 17 the Lord says, "I will beg the Father, and he will give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever, the Spirit of truth ... he abides with you, and shall be in you" -- what a transcending fact for us! His presence here is not interfered with by any adverse circumstances arising in the history of God's people on earth, He abides with us. And so at the end, as remaining with us, He is here in relation to the apostasy, or in relation to us as surrounded by it. He is here as the Comforter in relation to the church, and He takes account of us in view of the apostasy which necessarily affects us.

So I selected these two letters as dealing expressly with the apostasy. Jude had in mind to write of the "common salvation" Jude 3, but he had to turn aside from that because of the influx of evil. He writes of evil men having crept in unawares, and he describes their features, and in verse 19 sums them up as "natural men, not having the Spirit" Jude 19. It was quite obvious from what he had said before, that they had not the Spirit, but as saying that, it raises the question in our minds as to persons who have not the Spirit. It says in Acts 19,

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that certain who were true believers had not received the Spirit, some indeed, who were far different from these evil men of whom Jude speaks. Paul found at Ephesus certain believers and when challenged they say to him, "We did not even hear if the Holy Spirit was come" Acts 19:2. And there are many in christendom today, who if challenged, would have to admit that they did not know that there is a divine Person here called the Comforter. Paul says to the men of Ephesus, "To what then were ye baptised?" Acts 19:3. And we would do well to ask ourselves that question. Today, baptism has become a mere religious rite, and men know little of its import. I speak thus because of the importance of looking into matters; of being readers and learners, reading the Scripture in holy dependence on the Lord, who gives understanding in all things. These men answer Paul, "to the baptism of John" Acts 19:3 -- they were intelligent so far. The Lord Himself draws attention to John; he says to the crowds in Luke 7:24, "What went ye out into the wilderness for to see?" and then adds this tribute "A prophet? Yea I say unto you, and much more than a prophet" Luke 7:26. And what was his baptism? It was a baptism to repentance. He might call you a viper, if you went out to him! If you deserved it, he would certainly call you that. Pharisees, Sadducees, tax-gatherers, soldiers -- he had a word for each class. He was a minister dealing with evil in its roots; as he said, "The axe is laid unto the root of the trees", Matthew 3:10.

The Lord Jesus on one of those days arrived at the Jordan. How heaven watched that occasion! John seeing Him coming says, "Comest thou to me?" Matthew 3:14. Jesus answered, "Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness" Matthew 3:15. The baptist says, "I beheld the Spirit descending as a dove from heaven and it abode upon him ... he it is who baptises with the Holy Spirit" John 1:32,33. So Paul says to the believers at Ephesus, "John indeed baptised with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on him

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that was coming after him, that is, on Jesus" Acts 19:4. How many there are who are baptised and the idea of repentance has never come into their hearts. And even repentance is not all, for John told the people that they should believe on Him that was coming after him: "In the midst of you stands, whom ye do not know, he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to unloose" John 1:26,27. I dwell on the baptism of John, because it enters into what I have in mind to speak of at this time. He says of Jesus, He is "preferred before me, for he was before me" John 1:30. He points to the eternal personality of Jesus; he says, He was before me. Paul brings John's testimony in to enlighten the twelve men at Ephesus; and so it says, "when they heard that, they were baptised to the name of the Lord Jesus" Acts 19:5. And Paul laid his hands upon those believers, and they received the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:1 - 6). These men of Ephesus were very different from the wicked persons in Jude 19 who had not the Spirit. But we have to accept it that there are some who will not be saved; there are lost people in the world; there are apostates. If our gospel is hid, says the apostle, "it is hid to them that are lost" 2 Corinthians 4:3. But the challenge to us all is, "Did ye receive the Holy Spirit?" Acts 19:2.

The Holy Spirit appears in Genesis 1, as brooding over the face of the waters; He is there ready to act. Then in chapter 6, He is again spoken of as "striving" with men -- "My spirit shall not always strive with man" Genesis 6:3. So we should not look on Genesis as merely historical, but as prophetic and typical. The verses read in chapter 8 have a remarkable reference to the Spirit. He is seen as a dove as He descends and remains upon Jesus; the reference here, therefore, is intelligible to christians; Matthew says He came down as a dove, and so, too, do Mark and Luke, Luke saying further "in a bodily shape like a dove" Luke 3:22. John the baptist saw the Spirit coming thus, as we have seen. I speak of these details because I want you to become

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conversant with the Spirit, and with His relation to the divine economy into which we are baptised: "The name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" Matthew 28:19. These verses in Genesis are most beautiful to me in view of this instruction. In verse 6, we read that Noah sent forth a raven which did not come back to him; Noah opened the window of the ark "which he had made" Genesis 8:6 -- Noah made it; he represents the economy. Then in Genesis 8:8, we read "he sent forth a dove from him" suggesting the intimate relations of the Spirit with the other divine Persons in the divine economy. But He is here a divine Person, in this humble, subservient way; He has come forth "from with the Father". He has come down perfectly conversant with all that is in the mind and heart of the Father; He has come down to testify of Jesus; all that is brought down and made the property of the assembly. So the dove here went abroad, and finding no resting place for the sole of her foot, came back to Noah, and he took her in unto him. He not only opened the window, but it says "he put forth his hand, and took her, and brought her to him into the ark" Genesis 8:9. These are beautiful touches as to the holy divine Persons to whom we are baptised. How the Holy Spirit links with the Father, and becomes conversant with the whole position in the ark, as well as with the whole position down here. Noah after seven days sends forth the dove again, and she returns again in the evening, speaking of the daily employment of divine Persons. God is introduced in Genesis as working by the day in order to prepare a place for man; and in Acts 2, we have seen the Lord adding "daily" to the assembly. So here in figure, the Holy Spirit is seen coming back in the evening -- the day was finished, so to speak, He had been about all the day, and He comes back now with the result of His activities. How important are the days of the divine activities! What results there are in the evening! May we not ask ourselves, What result will there be from our days? No

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servant should serve without having results for God in view. The dove here typically had a good piece of work that day as she returned with the olive leaf plucked off in her mouth. I think the first sending forth here might refer to the Old Testament day; it says by the law is the knowledge of sin, the results are negative, and the judgment remains. But the second day brings positive results; the olive leaf was not negative; it was not merely repentance; it was something plucked off -- it was drawing from the tree, from the root. In Judges 9:9 the olive tree says, "Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man ... ?" The present period and the results for God from His work and testimony are in view in the olive leaf; whether in regard to an individual, or a meeting, or the whole church -- there is evidence of something which honours God. The third sending out and non-return of the dove points to the millennium.

Now I pass on to Jude 20 and 21; he says, "But ye, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life". The apostle exhorts the saints to keep themselves in the love of God, by praying in the Holy Spirit. Jude has in mind, while exposing the apostates, to show how the Holy Spirit can be employed as we are in prayer. Ephesians urges the same thing: "praying at all seasons, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:18). How the heart is touched as thus in prayer! What new thoughts come before one, what new necessities, as the heart is enlarged by the Spirit in prayer! That is the sure way to be kept, in the midst of the apostasy. The Lord says to the assembly in Philadelphia, "I ... will keep thee out of the hour of trial" Revelation 3:10 -- but this is keeping us in the midst of it; we keep ourselves in the positive enjoyment of the love of God, as we are found praying in the Holy Spirit. That is the position contemplated in Jude.

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Then Peter, speaking of the transfiguration, he being an eye-witness of the glory of Christ on the holy mount, says, "we have the prophetic word made surer, to which ye do well taking heed (as to a lamp shining in an obscure place) until the day dawn and the morning star arise in your hearts; knowing this first, that the scope of no prophecy of scripture is had from its own particular interpretation, for prophecy was not ever uttered by the will of man, but holy men of God spake under the power of the Holy Spirit". 2 Peter 1:19 - 21. So that the word of prophecy is all of one piece, it is of no private interpretation; it is the product of the Spirit; the holy men of old spoke and wrote in the power of the Spirit: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and all the minor prophets, and David too, spoke as in the power of the Spirit. The testimony of prophecy forms a living reality proceeding from one mind. Are they not worth reading? Yes, indeed, as from the Holy Spirit, showing what a wide field He covered even before He came here, as sent forth from a glorified Christ. God had Christ in view from the outset, the activities of the Holy Spirit had that in view from the very beginning, and so He spoke through the prophets, one and all. If we are to understand the apostasy and how we are to be kept in the presence of it, we must read the prophets. All are included in the testimony of the Holy Spirit to us, so that we may be conversant through the Spirit, with all that is coming in. If we are found here in the midst of the many antichrists, it is of all importance that we should be kept in rest; as understanding the prophetic testimony in the Old and New Testaments we shall know what is coming, it will not disturb us. The spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is discerned of no one. And again, "we have the mind of Christ" 1 Corinthians 2:16. Jude speaks of those who have not the Spirit, but he also recognises those who have the Spirit, and he directs them. Let each challenge himself as to whether he has the Spirit, and if we are in doubt let us get to the Lord who will not

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leave us in uncertainty. God is a giver, He delights to give. Let us not deny Him this blessedness, for "It is more blessed to give than to receive" Acts 20:35. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable free giving!

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THE ABILITY TO TAKE ON CHANGE (EXTRACT)

Revelation 1:9 - 20; Revelation 22:16,17

G.A. Could we have the full substance of your thought as to verses 16 and 17 of chapter 22?

J.T. Well, we have the Lord introducing Himself, just Himself As we were saying, it is Himself now; having passed through all the symbolical meanings of the book the Lord comes back to Himself. We are to be reverential about it; He says, "I Jesus" Revelation 22:16, speaking personally, and the "I" is emphatic, "have sent mine angel to testify these things to you in the assemblies. I am the root and offspring of David, the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come" Revelation 22:16,17. Now the Lord Jesus is speaking first, in the sixteenth verse, and it is as divine that He is speaking thus, and so He says, "I am the root", that is in itself an assertion of Deity. He is the root and offspring of David, but He is the root of David, which means that He must be God. And then "the bright and morning star", which is a title that He takes in view of the coming glories of His appearing. And then "the Spirit and the bride say, Come". The Spirit is a divine Person, speaking as a divine Person, but the bride, although so glorious, is a creature. But she is the bride, and what is said in these verses indicates a family that has the nearest place to the Deity. That is what I would say as to verses 16 and 17.

J.P. Does the root and offspring of David come out in Colossians 1, the Lord as the Son of the Father's love, His glories in Deity and in manhood being brought before us there?

J.T. Yes, the Son of the Father's love. Both divine Persons are implied.

G.A. Could you aid us in indicating how these two verses will help us in the service of God?

J.T. Well, to distinguish, as Abigail was able to

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distinguish certain features, as the word was, "Blessed be thy discernment" 1 Samuel 25:33; so that in dealing with the service of God and having part in it, we are to have discernment, to have intelligence in it, so that we know how to speak to God, to speak to Christ, to speak of the Spirit, and even to speak to the Spirit, although it is very rare in the Scriptures; it is right, because Numbers 21:17 says, "Sing unto it". "Rise up, well! sing unto it". The "it" is an allusion typically to the Spirit. Therefore, as knowing these things, we know how to speak to the Father, know when to speak to Him, and we know when to speak to the Son and how to speak to Him, and so we may speak to the Spirit as a divine Person, equal with the Father and the Son.

G.A. You have touched every heart present, I believe, in that remark as to our great desire to know in what way we may speak to the Spirit. Every true heart longs to understand that, in the spirit of reverence, and anything further that you might be free to say as to that, I believe every heart here awaits.

J.T. Well, He certainly is a divine Person, and He speaks independently as a divine Person, especially in regard to the service of God. He says, "Separate me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them" (Acts 13:2). Who could say that but a divine Person, and a divine Person in authority? And so there are other scriptures. But then, what I am speaking of is the type in Numbers 21; the word is, "Rise up, well! sing unto it". The "it" is the Spirit typically, that is to say, the singing to the Spirit is warranted. We have a hymn that refers to praises for the Spirit:

'Praises for the Holy Ghost
Sent from heav'n at Pentecost;
'Tis through Him that now we live,
And the precious truth receive.'('191:3)

That hymn was changed as used in our meetings. But, anyway, it is right as warranted by Scripture as I said. It

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is only a question of the Spirit Himself hiding His own glories, because He has taken a lowly place.

P.H.H. I think we have all found a desire in our own hearts at times to speak to the Spirit, but would you make room for such a thing in assembly service?

J.T. Well, I was just saying that the Spirit is wonderfully lowly in the place He takes in the economy of God; the Father is supreme, but then there are three Persons. The Lord says, "Baptising them to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). That phrase asserts the Deity of all Three, only that Two of Them are taking a lower place than the First, but that is only for economical purposes; it is not at all to weaken in any way the fact that the Three are One and the Three are equal. And when we are in the service of God we know, we are instructed, according to this verse, as to when to speak and how to speak to each Person, if necessary; we know what terms to use, and the Spirit is wonderfully lowly, as we have said. He is said to be sent from heaven. The Lord Jesus is never said to be sent from heaven, as far as I know. The Spirit is said to be sent from heaven, meaning that the Spirit is taking an inferior place publicly, or outwardly, in regard to the divine economy.

E.B. Would you say that the reference in Ezekiel 37:9: "Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind" (the alternative word is "spirit"), would have any bearing upon what you are saying?

J.T. Certainly. The Spirit is there; but He has taken a lowly place, and that is a wonderful thing for us to keep in mind. He has taken a lowly place, and has been here on earth for over 1,900 years in that lowliness. He maintains what is due to God according to what God is in heaven; there is a perfect answer to that in the presence of the Spirit down here, and the Spirit is here in the assembly; and that brings out the greatness

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of the assembly's place too, but nevertheless the assembly is never part of the Deity.

J.P-sn. Do we see this matter coming out in Rebecca? She says to the servant, "Who is the man that is walking in the fields to meet us?" Genesis 24:65. Would speaking to the Spirit be in that way about Christ Himself? The Spirit as unfolding Christ to us?

J.T. Well, indeed. In fact the man wonders when he sees the features of Rebecca coming out in what she does, the service she renders. The man, that is, Abraham's servant, the chief servant of his house, is undoubtedly typical of the Spirit of God, and he wonders at what Rebecca does, showing how the Spirit can take such an attitude, and yet He never changes as regards His Person. God is here by the Spirit according to Ephesians. God is here by the Spirit, for the Spirit is God. In Ephesians 2:22 it reads, "A habitation of God in [the] Spirit", not in the Spirit, but in Spirit. It is God; the Spirit there is God.

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THE INTRODUCTION OF THE GOSPEL AMONG THE GENTILES (2)

Acts 10:21 - 48

J.T. The context in this passage would indicate that Peter had spoken to the Spirit, and then the Spirit spoke to him. The voice to him, according to verse 14, said, "Rise, Peter, slay and eat", but then it says in verse 19, "But as Peter continued pondering over the vision, the Spirit said to him ..." and so forth. That would indicate that the voice that spoke to Peter at first, telling him to rise and eat, would be the voice of the Spirit.

Ques Would it be thus the voice of the Spirit drawing attention to what had come to pass before God through the death of Christ? That is, Jew and gentile reconciled to God in one body by the cross, as being the basis of this approach to the nations? (Ephesians 2:16).

J.T. Well, just so.

Ques. Would the second voice which rebuked Peter be the Lord's? In Acts 10:15 it says, "there was a voice again the second time", and in Acts 11:9, when Peter is rehearsing the matter, he says, "a voice answered the second time out of heaven". I am enquiring if that might be regarded as the Lord's voice, rebuking Peter for not listening to what the Spirit said.

J.T. But then it was God that was really showing Peter; as it says, "to me God has shewn to call no man common or unclean" (Acts 10:28).

Ques. You mean that it is really the voice of God?

J.T. Yes; that is what I thought. The Spirit is God.

E.A.L. I believe you have said elsewhere that we could not say that it was not the Spirit's voice because it came from heaven, otherwise it would imply that

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characteristically the Spirit is an earth-dweller, which would not be right.

J.T. No. The Spirit is God, and He belongs to heaven as God does, in that sense, only that He has come down to earth. He has been sent down, it says, which is remarkable. He was sent down, according to an earlier passage, by the Lord Jesus, and then the Lord asked the Father to give another Comforter; so that the two voices here can hardly be said to be other than the Spirit's. The fact that He speaks, as it were, here instead of from heaven does not imply that He is not God. It is God's voice and it is the voice of authority, the same as the voice of the Lord Jesus would be; in fact, any of the divine Persons has authority with Him, in anything that He says.

Eu.R. Peter recognises that in saying to the Spirit, "In no wise, Lord" Acts 10:14.

P.H.H. Do I understand that you are saying that it is the Spirit's voice each time, and in verse 15, the voice saying, "What God has cleansed", is the Spirit's voice, and is really indicating that He is God, that it is God's voice?

J.T. Quite so. The Spirit's voice is God's voice. Of course, if the Lord Jesus said it, it would be the same, it would have authority too; but I think it is only a question now for us to decide as to whether the voice to him is the Spirit's voice.

A.J.G. The Spirit says to Peter, "1 have sent them" Acts 10:20, and the angel employed for that purpose is stated to be an angel of God, in verse 3; whereas in chapter 12 we have an angel of the Lord.

J.T. Well, that would be in keeping with what we have said.

S.McC. Do you have a similar thought in Revelation 14:13, where it says, "And I heard a voice out of the heaven saying, Write, Blessed the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they

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may rest from their labours; for their works follow with them"?

J.T. That would mean that whosoever's voice it was, it was a voice speaking to the Spirit, confirming what has been said over and over again, that the Spirit may be spoken to. "Yea, saith the Spirit". The Spirit answers "Yea" as if He is answering what someone says.

F.J.F. So they are holding conversation with the Spirit?

J.T. That is just the point, as Mr. Darby says Rebecca, as a type of the assembly, held conversation with the eldest servant of Abraham's house, who is a type of the Spirit. Mr. Darby has not come forward very much to say anything to us at any time about the Spirit being spoken to as we have had it recently, but he said, 'Eliezer, type of the Holy Spirit, talks to Rebekah, during the journey, of that which there is in the house of her bridegroom's father; precious conversation for the soul ... she has left all; and, conversing with Eliezer, she occupies herself with what interests her heart'.

S.McC. All these directions are linked with Peter and his service. In the first instance he went down of himself to Lydda; in the second instance, Lydda being near, he was asked to come; but in this chapter he is governed in his service by the Spirit's direction. Is there something in that for us?

J.T. It is just in keeping with what we have said already. The Spirit is speaking to Peter, and Peter is speaking to the Spirit, and that may go on now in our own times. It is in order to bring out the liberty in which we have come to see that the Spirit is acting, and that we too may act in that same liberty, that we may speak to Him. There is no need that we should make much of it beyond what the Scripture says, but it is right that we should make something of it and have the truth as to it. We must have the truth before us,

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and the Spirit of truth. We read of the love of the Spirit too. That is another thing to keep before us, the love of the Spirit and the fellowship of the Spirit.

P.H.H. It was evident that Peter could detect that it was the Spirit speaking. Does that raise the question as to our learning to detect the voices of divine Persons?

J.T. I think it is very important that we should be able to identify divine Persons as They speak. They are intended to be identified, and what we have been saying would show this. We should be able to discern which divine Person it may be who is speaking at any given time.

W.C. Will you say a word about verses 3 and 4, the angel speaking to Cornelius by name, and then his reply, "What is it, Lord?"

J.T. Cornelius would think that he was entitled to respect. He was evidently a divine messenger, to say the least. He was an angel, and he was entitled to respect. At the same time angels are said to be "ministering spirits, sent out for service on account of those who shall inherit salvation" Hebrews 1:14. They are therefore, in that sense, subordinate even to the Lord's people, to ourselves. But if an angel is acting in authority, as representing a divine Person, of course he is entitled to the respect that belongs to that.

J.A.P. What would be the means of detecting the voice of each?

J.T. Spirituality, I would think. It would require the power that spirituality has in any of us. We are not to be as ordinary or common people.

Ques. Would the pondering enter into that? It says, "as Peter continued pondering over the vision" Acts 10:19.

J.T. Quite so. It shows he was not self-willed. He wanted to be right, which is a very important matter. Pondering would mean that he discerned that there was something that he had to know and should know, and he was evidently acquiring the knowledge that was suited at the moment, spiritual knowledge. At a time

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like this we are actually in the realm of spirituality, and we should expect to be able to discern any voices that speak or are expressed.

R.W.S. Would the Lord's speaking be more frequent than the speaking of the Father or the Spirit?

J.T. I do not know, except that the Lord Jesus is made Lord and Christ. That is another point; He is made Lord. The Spirit is not made Lord. Then the Lord Jesus uses the term Lord to the Father. "I praise thee, Father, Lord of the heaven and of the earth" (Matthew 11:25). The Father is called Lord, and the Spirit is called Lord, and the Lord Jesus is called Lord, but the Lord Jesus is said to be made that. God has made Him that, which is something to be thought of. He has a peculiar place of authority here on earth, and in heaven too. He is now in heaven, of course, but then another thing comes in in that connection, and that is, the Lord has a right to come out of heaven, as it were. I do not say that He comes out literally, but He has a right to take the ground of coming out anyway. In coming to us, on the first day of the week, He comes to us from the sphere of testimony. It is not simply out of heaven but from where the testimony is.

J.T.Jr. Would that be confirmed at the end of Matthew, "Behold, I am with you" (Matthew 28:20)? The Lord is viewed there as in support of the testimony?

J.T. Quite so. "I am with you all the days", He says, "until the completion of the age" Matthew 28:20, showing that He is in testimony here all the time.

L.E.S. Do you feel in all this the need for the awakening of our spiritual sensibilities?

J.T. That is just the point. It is a time of spirituality. It is not simply a time when so many persons, five hundred, or seventeen hundred, or more, are together in any given place; it is a question of the spiritual power that is there.

Ques. Do we see from Matthew 16 that Peter had already known what it was to hear the Father's voice

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and also the Lord's voice? "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed it to thee, but my Father" (Matthew 16:17).

J.T. Peter does not say that; the Lord Jesus says that. Why do you say that Peter knew it?

Rem. Well, he had received the revelation from the Father.

J.T. I know, but you cannot say that he knew the voice. The Lord told him that it was the Father.

Rem. And then the Lord says, "and I also, I say unto thee".

J.T. Well, quite so. It is a question of what the Lord says, but He determines what voice it is. Peter had not the Spirit then at all.

J.E.B. In his second epistle, Peter says, "For he received from God the Father honour and glory, such a voice being uttered to him by the excellent glory" (2 Peter 1:17). What does that mean?

J.T. Peter's epistle is written in the power of the Spirit; it was an inspired epistle. You would expect that what he would say would be right.

P.L. Does the allusion to the thought of "many kinds of voices in the world, and none of undistinguishable sound" (1 Corinthians 14:10) show the need for the circumcised ear that would discern the sound?

J.T. I would think the apostle would be speaking of general principles. We know how voices are to be discerned even now, but that does not mean that in each case we have true spiritual discernment. I would think the apostle's allusion to voices would be general, and that every voice is a distinguishable sound. Who distinguishes, is not stated; it is just that the sound is distinguishable.

P.L. I thought it was just an incentive, so to speak, to have an ear that will discern. I am not applying the scripture to divine Persons speaking. It is a great matter, as you say, to catch the strain, the sound and tone of each of the divine Persons?

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J.T. It is a great matter, and, of course, that is the point that we are endeavouring to make. At a meeting like this, and all such meetings, it is not simply that there are so many persons present, but that they have spiritual ability and are being taught. Being taught implies that they are spiritual; they have power to take in the idea of a spiritual voice, and discern it.

Ques. Would you mind saying why you think there is a comparative absence of references to speaking to the Spirit, in view of the many references to the Spirit speaking to us? I was thinking of what was brought before us last week, the Spirit speaking to the assemblies.

J.T. The Lord is saying the Spirit looks after things, and what the Lord says to the assemblies is said in just a few words comparatively, but the Spirit is speaking all the time, as it were. The whole matter is made known throughout the whole dispensation, by what the Spirit is saying. He is saying something all the time to us, as in contrast to the small amount recorded that the Lord says. What the Lord says is authoritative, but the Spirit keeps on speaking, and therefore we can count on the Spirit being here today and in all such meetings. He is here to speak to us, according to the word: "He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies". Revelation 2:7. We can count on the Spirit saying things to us at a time like this.

A.J.G. Would the speaking of the Spirit to the assemblies be through a servant, but does this chapter show that the Spirit may speak directly to one of the saints?

J.T. I would say that. Why should He not? According to Acts 13:2, the Holy Spirit said: "Separate me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them". That is what the Spirit said.

Ques. Do we need the Spirit in us to detect His own speaking?

J.T. I would think that.

Rem. I was thinking of the need of making this a

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wholly spiritual matter rather than bringing our natural senses forward.

J.T. It is a time of spiritual influence, as well as speaking, at a meeting like this. Therefore it ought to tax us that we should be spiritual, and not merely natural, as people are often at meetings like this. What a change a meeting like this may be, and is, to the things that are generally carried on in public halls. That shows the importance of the change to spirituality, in what christians have, as over against what the world has.

L.E.S. The conscious sense of the presence of the Spirit would warrant reciprocity in relation to the matter, would it not? We would be free, in liberty.

J.T. I should not like to use the word reciprocity between us and the Spirit, in relation to ourselves sitting here, and the Spirit with us. At the same time, there is the idea of each taxing himself to be spiritual, because it is a time of spirituality; it is a time for spiritual instruction and influence.

F.J.F. Would the reference "the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land" refer to the Spirit (Song of Songs 2:12)?

J.T. Just so. The turtle-dove is a figure there, of course. Whoever the speaker may be in the Song of Solomon, the voice of the turtle-dove would be a figure of what is spiritual. It says it "is heard in our land", no doubt referring to the millennium, the time for the influence and power of what is spiritual. The turtle-dove would be a figure of spiritual influence and intelligence, so we have the same principle when it is said that "they shall be all taught of God" (John 6:45); that would come into the millennium too. Of course, it is true now also, and these meetings should be on that principle, that we are "taught of God".

Ques. Does "nothing doubting" suggest that the spiritual influence was to operate in Peter's heart?

J.T. I would say that fully. The Spirit was appealing to him, that he should not be doubting, and that he

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should go with these men "nothing doubting", for He had sent them.

A.P.B. Might I ask whether we might expect the Holy Spirit to speak to us as to where we are to go in service, as He did to Peter, and might that affect our booking up for a long time?

J.T. I would, I think, check booking up for a long time. I do not think the Spirit would tell us to go to a certain place a year from now. I do not think the Spirit would say that to us, but there is the thought of acquiring spiritual understanding, and if the brethren in any place send an invitation to come and serve them, then I would say that normally the Lord is guiding in the matter. I think we are entitled to take that ground in a proper way, that the Lord's voice is in it. But I certainly think we should be concerned about taking invitations a year hence, in the things of God, or even six months hence.

A.P.H. Do you think we might directly refer to the Holy Spirit to help us as to all this?

J.T. I think I should. Why not? He is a divine Person and here to attend to us. He looks after all we have to do, spiritually. I should not ask Him anything about my business, or things like that, but I should certainly ask Him about spiritual things and what refers to the things of God.

Ques. Would you say what is in your mind as to arranging meetings six months or twelve months ahead?

J.T. That is another matter, because of the difficulty of finding halls and the like, and we may have to do it. It is only a question of wisdom, and of what God would approve. I know well enough that it is difficult to get halls. I suppose it is difficult here as it is elsewhere, but we just have to do, as it were, the best we can, but God is helping us in a general way. We are not making any point of it, for no brother would make much point of the fact that the Lord told him, or guided the brethren, to hire this hall for six months ahead or the like. I think

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we just simply act in a general sense of intelligence, and do what is suitable, and comely.

J.A.P. What about the Lord in regard to directing our service? Does the Spirit act on behalf of the Lord, would you say?

J.T. Well, at times; but in general the Lord is over things, as I was remarking. God has made Him Lord and Christ, He is given that peculiar place, and I would refer to the Lord for all these things, or, of course, to God Himself, but Christ is made Lord and Christ, by God.

A.J.G. Would you say a word as to the distinction between chapters 9 and 10, because chapter 9 is very much a matter of the Lord's administration and chapter 10 seems to be very much a matter of the Spirit's administration or direction.

J.T. It is, very largely, only that Peter says, "to me God has shown to call no man common or unclean" Acts 10:28. Therefore I would put God, as it were, in the same position as the Lord, and the Spirit has graciously taken a more subordinate position and we therefore have to regard Him in that light, but we must not say that we cannot speak to Him, because the Scriptures prove that we can speak to Him. The word in Numbers 21:17, "Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it" is a word to the Spirit, directly to the Spirit. So also in Revelation 14:13, "Yea, saith the Spirit" in answer to some voice, the Spirit is answering it.

R.W.S. Is "the communion of the Holy Spirit" (2 Corinthians 13:14) an individual matter, or is it to be enjoyed collectively?

J.T. I would say individually or collectively. Fellowship is having things in common. It is both.

W.B.H. Would the word in Luke 15 confirm that? The woman says, "Rejoice with me" and calls together her friends and neighbours.

J.T. I have no doubt she is a type of the Spirit, and therefore what you say is right.

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P.H.H. It says "the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all" (2 Corinthians 13:14). Does that mean it is an active matter, involving speaking and communications from the Spirit to us and from us to Him? That is, it is not just a title of fellowship, but it is the communion of the Holy Spirit with the saints. I am wondering whether the communion of the Holy Spirit with us is to be regarded as something active.

J.T. I would say that. It is, of course, a general way of bringing in the three Persons by the speaker: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all". 2 Corinthians 13:14. It is a general way of bringing in the three Persons in order to impress us with spiritual understanding and activity. It is Paul's gracious way of dealing with things, to make them general, and the whole influence pervading the saints. It is a collective thought there, I would say.

P.H.H. And would therefore be characteristic of the Corinthian saints?

J.T. They would be capable of taking that in. We have to regard the Corinthians as a sort of representation of the local assembly generally, because the local assembly is in mind in the letters to Corinth.

W.L.C. Would you help in regard to the early part of chapter 16; When Paul was going to Asia he speaks about "having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia" (Acts 16:6), and the next verse says, "they attempted to go to Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them". Then, after the vision of the man of Macedonia, it says, "concluding that the Lord had called us to announce to them the glad tidings" (Acts 16:10).

J.T. That shows that divine Persons are acting together, in infinite unity. The Father says something, or the Lord says something, or the Spirit says something. It is a question of the divine Persons acting in unity,

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and I might add, infinite unity. What One says, they all say, or would say.

R.H. Why does the address to the well in Numbers 21:17, "Rise up, well! sing unto it", come in in a military setting?

J.T. It is a call to believers, I would say. "Sing unto it". Sing to the Spirit, in other words. It is quite true that there is generally a military tone throughout the book of Numbers, but not always so.

Ques. Would the verse in Numbers, "Rise up, well! sing unto it", be a warrant for a hymn specially to the Spirit?

J.T. Just so. Dear Mr. Revell wrote a hymn on it. We used to have it in our houses, and some of us have it yet.

Ques. There is some doubt in the minds of brethren as to whether it would be appropriate to address the Spirit in a hymn that does not contain a reference to the other divine Persons, or to one of the other divine Persons.

J.T. Well, I would allude to Numbers 21. That is a hymn, whatever we may call it. I do not see why it should be said that we must address the other Persons if we address One. Why should we? If it is right to address One of Them, why should we not do it? There is nothing amiss about that.

J.A.P. You do not think then that every prayer should include addressing the three Persons of the Godhead?

J.T. There is guidance in the epistles as to that -- "Whatever ye may do in word or in deed, do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by him" (Colossians 3:17). The Spirit is not mentioned there, and if He is left out there is nothing wrong at all. It is quite all right. The Spirit of God is saying that.

Ques. Would you always bring in the name of the Lord Jesus?

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J.T. That is what it says, I think. "Do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus". Colossians 3:17. "If ye shall ask anything", the Lord says, "in my name, I will do it" (John 14:14).

Ques. Even in speaking to the Spirit, I mean.

J.T. You mean we should bring in the name of the Lord Jesus then too? I would think that is right too.

A.J.G. Is not the Spirit sent in Christ's name?

J.T. Just so.

P.J.B. Why is it stated in Numbers 21 that it was by the direction of the lawgiver? When we come to John 1:17 we get the statement "the law was given by Moses: grace and truth subsists through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).

J.T. The Scripture says, "Thy commandment is exceeding broad" (Psalm 119:96). If the Scripture says something that refers to a type in the Old Testament that is applicable now, well, it is quite all right to follow it, and the lawgiver now would be the Christ. If we use the word lawgiver in any of our hymns now it would be Christ. He is the Lawgiver. He is made Lord and Christ. In general, He is the One. "If any one thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him recognise the things that I write to you, that it is the Lord's commandment" (1 Corinthians 14:37). That is how Paul spoke of it. So that if we bring in the thought of lawgiver now it would be Christ. Similarly we read of "the law of the house" (Ezekiel 43:12). That is the Old Testament, but it has an application now to the law of the house of God.

P.J.B. So it is in your mind that when John says, "grace and truth subsists through Jesus Christ", it does not shut out what came by Moses?

J.T. Not at all, and besides there was the time of the law when we were under tutors and governors, but now it is a different thing. The epistle to the Galatians shows that we are in liberty; it is the time of liberty in the Spirit.

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J.T.Jr. Peter thought that it was unlawful to rise and eat the things he saw, did he not?

J.T. That was just an allusion to what he thought the law was; that is what he meant.

W.S.S. Is not this chapter which we are considering a liberating chapter itself in relation to the Spirit, a completely new situation having now come in in consequence of the Spirit falling upon the gentiles?

J.T. I would say so fully.

Ques. Is not "God's dispensation, which is in faith" (1 Timothy 1:4) brought in by John when he says: "Grace and truth subsists through Jesus Christ"? John 1:17.

J.T. Faith is a feature of the dispensation. This is the time of faith. The millennium will be the time of seeing, but this is the time of faith, in contrast to that. It says, "Whatever is not of faith is sin" (Romans 14:23). That would show, therefore, how serious it is if we are not in the exercise of faith in what we are saying and doing.

P.H.H. In view of Peter being sensitive to the voice of the Spirit, can we the more easily understand how the Holy Spirit fell at the end of the chapter, "while Peter was yet speaking?" Acts 10:44. Was the way, so to speak, prepared easily for Him?

J.T. Just so. In order to come to that, we might just proceed now from the passage that we read down to what is said in the beginning of verse 24: "And on the morrow they came to Caesarea. But Cornelius was looking for them, having called together his kinsmen and his intimate friends. And when Peter was now coming in, Cornelius met him". Acts 10:24. We have, in this section, the liberty that servants should have with the persons they serve. "When Peter was now coming in", it says, "Cornelius met him". There was a spirit of liberty between them, and it goes on to say, "and falling down did him homage" Acts 10:25. Well, he was mistaken there; he should not have done that. "But Peter made him rise, saying, Rise up: I myself also am a man". Acts 10:26. There was

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great humility there, taking his place just as a man. "And he went in, talking with him" Acts 10:27, another beautiful touch as to the liberty the servants should have with those they serve. He was "talking with him, and found many gathered together". Wonderful features! What a good opportunity for a meeting it was! "And he said to them, Ye know how it is unlawful for a Jew to be joined or come to one of a strange race, and to me God has shown to call no man common or unclean. Wherefore also, having been sent for, I came without saying anything against it. I inquire therefore for what reason ye have sent for me". Acts 10:28,29. Now we can hear what Peter had to say, and I think we do well to look at what Peter said to this company of persons gathered in a house, perhaps in a drawing-room, as we might call it, to hear what the servant of God has to say.

Ques. Is the attitude of Peter, in verse 29, essential to the understanding of all truth -- "having been sent for, I came without saying anything against it"?

J.T. Just so. Anyway, it fits in nicely, for he was ready to come, and therefore he says, "I inquire therefore for what reason ye have sent for me" Acts 10:29. Then Cornelius speaks; so we might as well listen to what Cornelius said, and then what Peter says in answer to it: "And Cornelius said, Four days ago I had been fasting unto this hour, and the ninth I was praying in my house, and lo, a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said, Cornelius, thy prayer has been heard, and thy alms have come in remembrance before God. Send therefore to Joppa and fetch Simon, who is surnamed Peter; he lodges in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea who when he is come will speak to thee. Immediately therefore I sent to thee, and thou hast well done in coming. Now therefore we are all present before God to hear all things that are commanded thee of God" (Acts 10:30 - 33). We have first of all what Cornelius said to Peter, and he refers to the man in bright clothing, which would be an angel,

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of course, and the whole passage is very beautiful as showing how things were, as the service of God went on in those days. "And Peter opening his mouth, said ..." Peter's mouth is referred to several times, which is another matter in those who serve, pointing to the kind of mouths we may have. And so "Peter opening his mouth said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that fears Him and works righteousness is acceptable to Him. The word which he sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all things), ye know; the testimony which has spread through the whole of Judaea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached -- Jesus who was of Nazareth: how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power; who went through all quarters [Peter had done this too, himself], doing good, and healing all that were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. We also are witnesses of all things which he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem; whom they also slew, having hanged him on a cross. This man God raised up the third day and gave him to be openly seen, not of all th