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Pages 1 - 92. Readings in Luke, New York, 1910 (reprinted from Volumes 3, 4 and 5 "Mutual Comfort".)

READINGS IN LUKE

CHAPTER 1

This gospel gives the manner of the appearance of God's grace in the world. We have to note the kind of persons we meet in the opening chapter. We do not get here, as in Matthew, the opposition of man. Matthew and Luke present the birth of the Lord and the circumstances of His infancy, and a comparison of the two accounts will serve to emphasise the point of view given in Luke. In Matthew the birth of Christ elicits what is in the heart of man; Herod seeks to destroy the young Child. This is a dark picture. In Luke we get the bright side. Certain persons are brought forward who are already the subjects of divine grace; a prepared scene for the introduction of Christ. Zacharias is engaged in a most exalted service, offering incense to God. He and Elizabeth, his wife, walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. The priesthood and the temple are owned.

The opening chapters of this gospel may be connected with the end of Malachi. The remnant that feared the Lord, spoken of by that prophet, reappear here.

The truth is, that God had arranged a set of conditions which should enhance the entrance of His grace, in the birth of Christ, into this world. What we see here is not only the Lord's birth as a fact by itself, but God was intervening for the deliverance and blessing of man, and He would do this in a manner calculated to gain man's confidence. He comes in in connection with certain ones in whom beautiful traits of His grace appeared. Humanity

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is seen, not in its bad features, but as the subject of God's grace; and humanity is, as it were, accredited with what His grace has wrought. These bright traits are not to be found in man naturally, of course: in John's gospel we learn that he is utterly reprobate, and so has to be born again. If there is to be anything for God, it must be divinely produced, and this applies to those we are introduced to here in Luke. But here the power that produces what pleases God in man is not the point, but that these divinely formed traits were actually found here in men.

If you are to gain a man's confidence in approaching him in grace, you have to give him to understand that you fully recognise all that is commendable. This is an unvarying principle with God, and we see it in the epistles.

Ques. Would you say that in the law God approached man from the other side?

Ans. Then it was a question of discovering to man what he was by nature; "by law is the knowledge of sin". Sin by the commandment became exceeding sinful. But here God is approaching man in grace, and so commendable things in him are prominent.

In Matthew a different set of circumstances appears in connection with the Lord's appearance in manhood. Gentiles are in search of Him, and speak of Him to Herod. The king of the Jews was born, and this brought out a murderous spirit in Herod. The spirit of Athaliah 2 Kings 11 was present. She sought to destroy the seed royal. Matthew presents this side of things, and there can be no doubt that in Mark we may trace the spirit of Jezebel in opposition to Christ. She sought to destroy the prophets of the Lord. The Pharisees and Herodians took counsel how they might destroy Christ, Mark 3:6. Mark gives us the Prophet, but Luke presents the

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Man in whom God has intervened; hence in the genealogy given the human line is what appears, not the royal line, as in Matthew. It is traced back to God. God's work in man, or, rather, the fruits of it, is seen in connection with this line; and when the Lord should come into manhood there was a little circle of this line marked by the blessed fruits of grace in connection with whom He appeared. All was morally necessary, and so divinely prepared. In this respect the Lord came into a congenial atmosphere. Becoming man, the Lord was on man's side toward God. But there were liabilities on man, and Christ takes up all and removes them in His death. But coming into manhood. He was connected with all that God had produced in man previously; and then, being a divine Person, Christ is great enough to be a Mediator between God and man. In all the circumstances of His birth there was nothing calculated to antagonise man's heart; on the contrary, everything to establish confidence was there. God approached man in a Babe; wondrous grace and condescension! Elihu said to Job, "I also am formed out of the clay. Behold my terror shall not make thee afraid".

Ques. Why is John the baptist given such a large place?

Ans. The Spirit makes prominent the character of John's parents and the circumstances of his birth. We have to seek to get at the significance of this. The same is true of Mary; the Spirit would show the character of her through whom the Son of God came into the world. The Spirit of God guards the Person of Christ in every way; "that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God", chapter 1: 35. In the cherubim in the tabernacle we have the indication, that from the moment of the Lord's birth the Father was taking care of Him. The cherubim of glory shadowed the

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mercy-seat. Under the mercy-seat was the testimony, and the wings of the cherubim were stretched over all. "The cherubim of glory" have reference to the Father's affections; before any priestly hands were stretched forth to care for the ark the Father's infinite interest and vigilance were evident. The angel's word to Mary, quoted above, was a guard to the Lord's Person. The cherubim's wings point to divine power in protection. When Herod would slay the young Child, the Father protected Him.

While the truth of the Lord's Person shines in Luke, and is guarded, yet, as in the type in Exodus 25, what is immediately before the mind of the Spirit is that there should be a meeting place between God and man; "there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat". The meeting place is in Christ.

CHAPTER 2

The prophetic utterance of Zacharias in chapter 1, coupled with that of Simeon in the temple, convey to us very largely the mind of God in regard to the birth of Christ. Zacharias speaks of the deliverance that had come in for Israel; Simeon goes out to the Gentiles. What they said, however, was not exactly in the nature of a new revelation; the prophets had abundantly testified to the things they spoke of Zacharias says, "Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, because he has visited and wrought redemption for his people, and raised up a horn of deliverance for us in the house of David his servant; as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, who have been since the world began; deliverance from our enemies and out of the hand of all who hate us; to fulfil mercy with our fathers and remember his holy covenant, the oath which he swore to Abraham our father, to give us, that, saved from the hand of our enemies, we should serve him without fear in

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piety and righteousness before him all our days", Luke 1:68 - 75. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Zacharias was in the full light of the mind of God as indicated in the prophets. Simeon says, "mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples; a light for revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel", chapter 2: 30. This is a wider view -- wider even in regard to Israel. Zacharias speaks of the breaking of the enemy's power, whereas Simeon views Christ as the glory of Israel.

Luke's object is not to show the dark side of things in the world at the time of the Lord's birth. Caesar Augustus had decreed that all the world should be taxed; a census should be made. The motives that may have been behind this are not in question. Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem, and we may say that the whole habitable world was moved to this end. Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem in humble simplicity, taking their place with the rest of mankind in recognising the established order of things. The conditions in which His parents were found were in every way accepted, there was no miraculous evading of them.

But there was no room in the world's inn for Christ. We have to note the difference between the inn here and that spoken of in chapter 10. The inn spoken of in this chapter is in man's world; that in chapter 10 belongs to God's world. The Samaritan, we may say, had influence in the latter; he had sufficient confidence in the innkeeper to commit to his care the poor man he had befriended.

As we have been saying, the whole habitable earth was moved in connection with the birth of Christ. Augustus, doubtless, had personal motives in issuing his decree, but in heaven there was a sympathetic movement. It was a movement marked by intelligence and affection. He who is God had

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become Man; this was the most wonderful event that had ever taken place. God was seen of angels. What is remarkable about angels is, that they are always so in touch with God in what He is doing. At the creation "all the sons of God shouted for joy", Job 38:7. Here we have "a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men".

We must distinguish between the angel who spoke to the shepherds and the multitude of the heavenly host; the former acted the part of an evangelist, for he was a bearer of glad tidings; the latter are moved in sympathetic and intelligent interest in what was transpiring. You feel that the angel who carried the glad tidings was wonderfully supported. There is in this affecting scene an analogy to the relation of the assembly to an evangelist. The evangelist is supported by the ardent sympathy of the saints. Here the angels are engaged in the most exalted service they ever rendered to God; they were praising Him in connection with a greater event even than the laying of the foundation of the earth. When the foundations of the earth were laid they showed their interest and sympathy in the divine counsels, and they followed along step by step as God's ways and testimony were unfolded, and here there is a burst of rapturous praise that the Lord had taken the form of a Babe in this world. It must have been marvellous to them to see a divine movement like this. The scene affords great light as to angelic nature: they are entirely unselfish. If there ever was a moment to call forth jealousy from the angels it was this, for their Creator had become Man, instead of taking a place as one of themselves; but instead of this we find rapturous delight in what was transpiring. Later, some of their number watch the Lord's grave.

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Becoming Man, Christ took a place relatively lower than angels for the suffering of death, but He is crowned with glory and honour. Whatever the place, of inferiority in which the Lord was found here it did not affect His Person; being a divine Person, He ever remains unchanged. Taking man's place, He was entirely for God's will, and God made Him a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death. But He proved Himself worthy of exaltation, and now man in His Person is rightfully in the place of greatest glory and honour. In the future angels shall be seen ascending and descending on the Son of man.

The service of the angels here is in every way exalted, and it is marked by intelligence. They appreciated what was involved in what had occurred at Bethlehem. God's glory should now be secured in man. Angels had not been charged with God's testimony on earth, but men had been; and in this they had utterly broken down, all had failed. The angels had witnessed this; but now they saw One in manhood who would answer to every thought of God.

As to the shepherds, there was moral correspondence in them to what was going on around them. Their occupation is suggestive of this. They were qualified both by position and heart to receive such a visitation and message. "Let us make our way then now as far as Bethlehem, and let us see this thing which has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us". They came and saw, and then they became evangelists: "They made known about the country the thing which had been said to them about this Child". Finally, they were engaged in praising God, verse 20. They came under the influence of the heavenly multitude in every way.

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Chapter 2: 25 - 52

Simeon represents a priestly state in the temple. He was there to receive, as it were, the true Ark of the testimony. "It was divinely communicated to him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death before he should see the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple", verse 26. The scene was divinely arranged, for God would have a true priest to receive the Ark. Simeon received the Babe into his arms. Every divine thought was embodied in that Infant. The true Ark was there in the temple in the arms of one who valued Him, and who had light as to what was involved in His presence.

In Exodus the cherubim come before the priest. They represent the Father's care for Christ, and this appears in the gospels even before His birth; the priest, or priestly state, corresponds with this on man's side. In Exodus 25 we see the cherubim, and in chapter 28 the priest is introduced. In a sense, Simeon has the wave offering of Leviticus 8 in his hands. The priestly state is produced in us by the Spirit. In all that Simeon does here he is under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Simeon sees in Christ God's salvation, "a light for revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel". It was a more extended view than that of Zacharias. Then he says to Mary, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel". The fall must come in our history before the rising again. The Lord should be a sign spoken against, and a sword should go through Mary's soul. The accomplishment of God's thoughts of grace did not lie in connection with a path of outward glory and worldly favour, but of reproach, and death at the end. This would reveal the thoughts of many hearts.

Anna represents the enduring character of what

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God produces in His people. She was of a great age but "departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day", verse 37. In Simeon we see the intelligent side of the remnant, in Anna we see affection and enduring interest in that which was of God on earth. Seeing the Babe in the temple, she gives praise to the Lord, and speaks of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. Her foot is dipped in oil, engaged in active service at the age of eighty-four; she was a true daughter of Asher. As her days, so was her strength, Deuteronomy 33:24, 25.

We have now to consider the boyhood and manhood of our Lord. What the Spirit emphasises here in verses 40 - 52 is the genuineness of His humanity. First, we have, "the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him". Then in verse 52, "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man". Becoming incarnate, true humanity is seen in the Lord in every stage of it from infancy to mature manhood. Every phase was real and perfectly set forth. There was nothing, we may say, which was not normal. Whether infancy, boyhood or manhood, each was genuine. It is the vessel of grace that is before us in Luke, and He touched man at every point or stage of man's existence. Only the Spirit of God could present in such simplicity what is fraught with such infinite depths of meaning and results. It is the outward, every -- day history of the Lord that is presented, and all is infinitely perfect, but set forth in such ordinary circumstances that the most lowly and uncultured could easily understand and appreciate. In this way God would make Him, in whom He was approaching men in grace, interesting and attractive to all.

The age of twelve may point to the period when responsibility begins; at this age the Lord is engaged

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in His Father's business. But having asserted His divine sonship and mission, He at once resumes His place in subjection to His parents. "He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them", verse 51. It is boyhood in perfection. Even in this there is that which is calculated to attract men, for who among parents but would appreciate such becoming obedience in a child? The Spirit is here showing the character of the vessel of God's grace before He appeared publicly. Whatever the relation He was in, whether as a Child to His parents, or a Man among men, He was in every way attractive; He was "in favour with God and man". Here it is no question of His testimony, but of what the Man was, as in the ordinary circumstances of human life in this world. During these thirty years of private life the evenness and perfection of His character, as set forth in the meat offering, came under the eye of God. How the gospel is adorned by Him by whom it has been preached to men!.

The providential circumstances in which the Lord's parents were found were fully accepted; although His wonderful "understanding and answers" would secure Him a place among the doctors at Jerusalem, He returned with Joseph and Mary to Nazareth, and was in subjection to them. Nazareth was obscure and despised, but this mattered nothing to Him to whom God's will was everything. In Nazareth "he was brought up"; the quiet grace and gentleness, and every lovely feature that came out in Christ, were displayed in outwardly mean surroundings in an obscure spot. And all foreshadowed the marvellous testimony of grace that was to follow. The divine way of reaching the hearts of men with the gospel is thus seen; suspicion as to God's nature, which ever lurks in our natural hearts, is overthrown when we apprehend that God

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has approached us in such a Person as this.

It is God's thought that the gospel should be adorned by those who preach it. Of the Lord it was said, "they wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth". He said to Simon and Andrew, "I will make you to become fishers of men". To fish for men we must beware that we do not scare them away, but rather lure or attract them. We have to learn everything from Christ. In this gospel we see divine compassion laying itself out to reach men and gain their confidence so as to save them, carefully avoiding everything that might tend to prejudice or repel those whom it would befriend.

CHAPTER 3

At the end of chapter 2 it is said that "Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men". Here it is not the divine side that is presented, as in John's gospel; it is the Man Christ Jesus; He through whom the gospel of the grace of God has reached us. Before He is anointed for service the Spirit enlarges upon His personal character. As growing up into manhood He was in every way attractive to God and to men. The graces that shone in Him were inherent; there was no formative work needed. The vessel was perfect in every way before He was anointed by the Spirit. We are formed after we get the Spirit. The Lord, as Preacher, was in every way commensurate with the gospel which He preached to men. Now we cannot but be struck with the great disparity there is between the gospel and those who preach it.

Chapter 4 speaks of the gracious words which were coming out of His mouth. And, having read and sat down, the eyes of those in the synagogue were fixed upon Him. He adorned the gospel; it

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was not simply the meaning of the words, but the gracious way they were spoken. In our case a good deal of chiselling is needed in order that we should be fitted for God's service, but in Christ nothing of this was necessary. Here perfection is seen in Christ from infancy to manhood.

That so few were attracted by the ministry of such a Person leads to another consideration, but in Christ everything was divinely calculated to interest men, and to draw them to Him. And it has to be remembered that numbers were affected by the Lord's ministry that are not formally taken account of in Scripture. In truth the time for the full effect of the gospel had not come. Redemption had to take place. The Lord was straitened until His baptism was accomplished. Besides, the conditions under which Christ preached were different in other respects from those under which the gospel was presented after His death and the coming of the Spirit. Before His death God was still treating with man in the flesh, and the Lord's ministry was intended to be the great test for that order of man. "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin", John 15:22. But whatever the effect, the Lord's preaching produced, it contained the essence of all that the apostles presented after the coming of the Holy Spirit. John says here Luke 3:8, that "God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham". There was an indication that God would act sovereignly, for He was not dependent on Abraham's seed after the flesh, but still, a testimony was being rendered to the people owned as connected with the existing order of things. In Acts 2 we see the great gathering power there was connected with the testimony of the apostles. There is nothing like this now.

Ques. Why is it?

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Ans. The vessel in which the testimony was placed is so marred by what is of man that there is not the same power. Our day is analogous to the day in which the Lord ministered, in the sense that we are in the end of a dispensation when the great mass is marked by unbelief, and thus we are hampered. There is no light, of course, except what is in the assembly, but still, the responsible body is no longer owned as having the candlestick. It ceased in Thyatira.

John says, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight". There was a great opportunity for the people. The Lord was coming into the existing order of things, and they were to prepare for Him. It was "the fifteenth year of the government of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Ituraea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas". The Spirit sets the order that existed in the world before us. Now this wonderful Person was about to appear in the midst of this world, and there was a great opportunity for men; they were to prepare His way and make His paths straight.

Rem. John addresses different members of the community; the crowds, tax-gatherers and soldiers, telling them what to do, and exhorting many other things, he announced his glad tidings, verse 18. Such was John's testimony. It was a fitting introduction of Christ.

The great thing in John's glad tidings was that they were properly introductory of Christ. He announced that the Lord was coming in, not to die as yet, but in the way of testimony to the existing world; that He would come into that order of things, and every one had an opportunity to set himself right in regard to Him. Such, in measure,

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is grace. But still this is not the gospel that is announced now. Our gospel assumes that the world is judged, and that the man after the flesh is utterly corrupt; the rejection of Christ has proved all this. So that God has begun anew, announcing every blessing in a risen Man, glorified in heaven. It is no question of preparing for Him on earth, but of being conformed to His image, as justified through His death, and having a place in heaven. Such is the excess of God's grace to man.

Following upon John's introduction, the Lord appears; and how affecting the attitude He assumes! The people were being baptised, and He appears in their midst and is baptised too. He does not demand; He goes down into the water like others. There is nothing to deter people, but, on the contrary, in lowly grace, every movement is calculated to attract and establish confidence in the human heart.

Jesus "being baptised, and praying, the heaven was opened". How truly He took man's place! He had nothing to repent of, nothing to confess, but He was praying. And now heaven open, the Holy Spirit descends upon Him, and the Father's voice is heard. He is owned as Son. The Father's voice is directly addressed to Christ: "Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased", verse 22. This refers to the Lord as Man under God's eye during His thirty years of private life. He is singled out as a Man among men, the One in whom God had found His pleasure. John had introduced Him by His testimony on earth, but the Father introduces Him from heaven. This latter, however, is seen more in Matthew, where the Father says, "This is my beloved Son". He was publicly owned of the Father, and what is affecting is that He was thus greeted as coming up out of the water where He had humbly identified Himself with other men. The apprehension of Christ as come so near to us and greeted by the

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Father should, it seems to me, dispel every atom of fear and suspicion from our hearts.

Immediately after the Father's salutation from heaven you get the Lord's genealogy traced. The genealogy here shows His complete identification with the race; it is traced back to Adam, who is said to be "of God". Every member of humanity should be completely disarmed of any suspicion of fears be may have entertained as to God as in the light of the wonderful way He has approached men. The vessel of His grace is seen here as in every way one of themselves, sin apart. He is in the humblest of circumstances, both temporarily and morally; as to the latter, He is seen identified with those who were humbly owning that things were not right before God either with themselves or in the world around them. This was righteousness, and Jesus loved righteousness. In this position the Father expresses His delight in Him, owning Him as His Son.

The Spirit here is careful to note that the Lord did not spring from Joseph, saying, "Jesus ... . being, as was supposed, son of Joseph"; but still the line of Joseph is given, and it is traced back to God. The Man whom God owns as Son is seen as completely identified with the race viewed as originating in God. He is the Son of man. The Father's voice is connected with the Lord's baptism, and the genealogy follows. The Father's salutation guards the truth of the Person who takes such a lowly position. It is He "who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens", Hebrews 7:26. The cherubim of glory are ever near where the Lord's connection with man in the flesh is treated of in Scripture. "Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever", is an example of this, Romans 9:5. The point in Luke is not simply that Christ took flesh

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and blood; the gospel presents Him as completely identified with humanity, sin apart, and touching it at every point so as to establish confidence in every human heart. He, born as an infant, is circumcised, grows up as a boy, and is in favour with God and men; and then in manhood submitting to baptism as others were doing, is, as One of whom these things are true, owned of God as His Son. How infinitely favoured are men, that such an One may be claimed, as it were, as one of themselves! What hopes the light of it should inspire in every heart into which it enters! What hopes and joys it has inspired in myriads of hearts since that day!

Another testimony here to the truth of the Lord's Person is the form in which the Spirit came to Him -- "in a bodily shape like a dove". The dove had found at last a permanent resting place for the sole of her foot. See Genesis 8:8 - 12. At Pentecost the Spirit came in the character of cloven tongues as of fire; pointing to what He should have to accomplish in those to whom He came; but in Jesus all is perfect; the Holy Spirit could rest in undisturbed peace in that blessed Man! .

CHAPTER 4: 1 - 13

The previous chapters show what the Lord was before the descent upon Him of the Spirit; a Man out of heaven. Personally the Lord was "out of heaven", a divine Person; perfection was there, so that the Spirit had nothing to form in Him. We need to be formed, and this takes place after we get the Holy Spirit. The earlier chapters show that perfection was in Christ before the anointing; but He takes up the service of God in the power of the Spirit. He is in man's place, and He carries out the divine will in the same power that is given to believers. John presents the divine side, but in Luke the Man

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is before us; the Lord is not acting simply as a divine Person, but as Man in the power of the Holy. Spirit. "Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness". He is in the position of obedience, and He does not act in virtue of what He is in His own Person; He is governed by the Spirit, so the path that He marks out in this gospel is open to believers. It is the path of a man taking the ground of obedience, led by the Spirit. At the end of the gospel the disciples are told to tarry in Jerusalem "until ye be endued with power from on high". There was to be the continuation of the heavenly character in them, for they should have the same power that He had.

The temptations serve to bring out more fully the character of the Man that had now appeared, and was here under God's eye. Satan had resort to "every temptation", but all were unavailing to allure the Lord from the path of obedience. Believers are tempted now after the same manner. Adam was tempted and he succumbed. Satan counts on finding in man the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life, but none of these were present in Christ. The forty days in the wilderness no doubt alluded to the forty years of Israel's journeying there. There was a complete time of testing in each case, but how different the results! And it has to be noted that while Israel was with God in the wilderness, Christ was there to be tempted of Satan, and He was with the wild beasts, Mark 1:13.

The Lord fasted during the forty days, and the devil takes advantage of this to attack Him. "If thou be Son of God, command this stone that it may be made bread". To do this would take the Lord out of man's divinely appointed place, and moreover it would show that He was not living on divinely appointed food. The adversary's attack is

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met in divine perfection, but in man as simply maintaining man's place as governed entirely by God's word. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God". What man's true food is, is thus clearly indicated, and it affords a most important consideration. Elsewhere the Lord says, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work". This was an entirely new kind of meat for man! Satan's suggestion is met by a quotation from Deuteronomy which is connected with the manna.

In the wilderness the people were suffered to hunger, and God fed them with manna -- "which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live", Deuteronomy 8:3. The manna was an extraordinary food; it was wholly foreign to nature. In truth it was food from heaven; something altogether new for terrestrial beings. It will be found that God provides food for us calculated to build up our constitutions to meet the exigencies of the circumstances in which we may be, To be in the wilderness for God we need to live on what is heavenly. It was wonderful that God should open "the doors of heaven" and rain down manna. He gave them "the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels' food", Psalm 78:24. It was a food that heavenly beings only knew about. The Lord taught the disciples to pray. "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". It is the kind of food that is known there.

The Lord introduced an appetite for it on earth. Israel did not relish it, but it is the food of Christians, and it prepares us for heaven. If you feed on the food of angels you become like them. They are marked by obedience; they do the will of God. No matter what they are told to do, they do it;

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so the Lord says, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". The gospels present the food of angels, especially this gospel. In the second chapter they are seen in raptures of delight over the birth of Christ, the One in whom the will of God should be carried out in the highest way.

The manna has reference to the carrying out of God's will in a contrary scene, hence the gospels present it to us: there we see Christ maintaining God's will where all was opposed. The bread of life in John 6 presents another thought, and the old corn of the land of Canaan still another. Each refers to Christ. In the type the whole camp was dependent on the manna that came down from heaven; now Christians are fed by it. We are in this world for God's will, and we are sustained, not by anything the world can offer, but by heavenly food. We feed on Christ, finding Him in every circumstance in which we may be found as in obedience to God's word.

In meeting the enemy the Lord quotes from the book of Deuteronomy. Although a wilderness book, Deuteronomy had in view the preparation of the people for the land of Canaan. It recalls the law which had been given to them for the wilderness, but the law presented in the spirit of it, rather than the letter; the first commandment here is, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might". Deuteronomy was spoken on the plains of Moab; that is, it comes in after the brazen serpent and the springing well; hence the instruction is of a different character from what was given before. In this book the people are typically in that relationship with God which involves that the flesh is condemned and set aside in the death of Christ, and the Spirit possessed by the believer.

In Numbers we see how the wilderness experience had done its work: it had brought to light what the

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flesh really is. The people spake against God and against Moses. This was a terrible exposure of what the flesh is, and the wilderness journey brought it out. "The Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart", Deuteronomy 8. It was a painful lesson for them, but we all have to learn it. God walks with us so that we may have moral power to refuse the flesh as the wilderness conditions bring it into evidence. In the death of Christ God has dealt with the flesh, setting it aside judicially; as we accept this and recognise the Holy Spirit there is no more murmuring; for murmuring comes from the flesh. We are now prepared for the instruction afforded in Deuteronomy, which has Canaan in view.

Here the Lord refuses everything that is not according to God's will. Satan's suggestions would divert from this. The epistle to the Romans contemplates the Christian being governed by this principle. In chapter 12 he is to "prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God". In quoting from Deuteronomy 8, the Lord says nothing about the necessity for the wilderness journey. It was not really needed in His case; but if He was tested and suffered to hunger, this only brought perfection to light. As in the wilderness, He is on Deuteronomy ground, which it took Israel forty years to reach. The Lord was led of the Spirit in it; Israel did not come to recognise the Spirit till they were coming out of it. Christ came out of it as He went into it, in the power of the Spirit.

It is wonderful to see how human perfection shines in Christ in every temptation. He is tested in regard to food, as Adam was; and He is tested in regard to government, as Noah was; and, lastly, in regard to the house of God, as Israel was; but, in all these, infinite perfection is seen in Man. It is complete

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triumph. And Satan, completing every temptation, departs from Him for a season. The strong man is bound, and now the Stronger than he goes about to spoil his goods.

CHAPTER 4: 14 - 32

After the temptation in the wilderness the Lord returns to Galilee, where He begins His ministry. He had been led of the Spirit in the wilderness and now He returns to Galilee in the same power. Whether as meeting the enemy or entering the sphere of His public service, all is in the power of the Holy Spirit.

He begins His ministry in Nazareth where He was brought up. There is no doubt a principle in this; for a servant is tested nowhere more than among his own acquaintances and relatives: they are the least likely to appreciate his gift. The Lord began there, and divine power and grace so marked Him that interest was immediately enlisted.

Galilee was in close proximity to the Gentiles. It is more prominent in Matthew, where it is a sort of door into the Gentile world. It is there called "Galilee of the Gentiles", and from thence the fame of Christ spread throughout Syria. It was morally fitting that the Lord should begin His service of grace in such a despised place as Nazareth. It was a moral judgment on Jerusalem, the proud centre of the nation, that the Lord did not begin there. It indicates God's way of acting, that the introduction of the greatest thing ever brought in should appear in the most obscure place in man's world.

There was fitness in the Lord referring to Isaiah at the outset of His service. The key-note of Isaiah is the salvation of Jehovah, and this accords with Luke's gospel. The Lord turned to it as the basis

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of His position; "he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor", Luke 4:18. He to whom the prophet referred was there: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me ... . This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears". The passage had been read hundreds of times before, but now with the great emphasis of the One to whom it applied.

What the Spirit enlarges upon here is the character of the vessel, as attractive in His movements and in His address. It was a Man anointed by the Spirit of Jehovah. We have not only the announcement of grace, but the vessel was wholly characterised by it. His manner here was most remarkable: the way He closed the book, and gave it to the minister and sat down. Before He began to speak all eyes were upon Him; He had gained them, and thus they were ready to listen to Him. When He began to speak all wondered at the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth. We have thus the model vessel set before us.

The opposition begins when He speaks of God going out, even in Old Testament times, to the Gentiles; otherwise the Lord might have been accepted by His townsmen, for the moment at least. In the Lord's ministry there was not only grace, but truth as well. His remarks here involve that God was sovereign, that the Gentiles were men as well as the Jews; this was the truth, and hence the opposition. The people of Nazareth would say to Him, "whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country". His own country made a claim on Him, that He should signalise it. They would claim the Lord for their own greatness, but His mission had humanity in view, and there were intimations of this in God's dealings of old. The special place Israel had in God's ways is

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not in view in Luke as in Matthew; in the latter the place the Syrophenician had to take is characteristic. In order to get her blessing she had to take her place as a dog of the Gentiles. The Lord maintained there Israel's relative, place in God's ways on earth. But in Luke men as such, whether Jew or Gentile, are in view; "good pleasure in men". The poor, the broken-hearted, the captives, the blind, the bruised, were to be relieved.

In preaching to Cornelius and his company, Peter alluded to this, saying that Christ was "Lord of all", Acts 10:36.

That the Lord should refer to blessing going out to the Gentiles so early in His ministry is suggestive as to what we may expect in Luke's narrative. We can understand how such touches as this by the "beloved physician" who accompanied Paul would support the apostle's preaching. Matthew's gospel would be a support to Peter's testimony, for he shows the faithfulness of God in regard to the promises made to the fathers; but Luke delights to bring forward the true Physician, who was present in divine grace to relieve a diseased humanity.

But although grace was in such abundance as to affect all in the synagogue, truth was also there forming an admirable blend. As we have been saying, the allusions to the widow of Sarepta and Naaman involve the truth. This was what tested the people in the synagogue; the result was that they led Him to the brow of the hill whereon their city was built that they might cast Him down headlong. Had the Lord confined Himself to the performance of miracles, no doubt He would have been acceptable to His countrymen, for a man who could do such mighty works would be a great acquisition to any locality; but the Lord was not here to enhance man's world; hence He brings in the truth, and this stirs up a murderous opposition.

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Israel would have limited God to themselves, but God disallows any such effort: wherever it is asserted He makes known His sovereign right to bless whom He pleases. He had given Israel special privileges, and this was in perfect accord with His sovereignty, but the error lay in their thinking that divine things were confined to them. In the days of Elias God was not only free to bless Gentiles, but He passed by many widows in Israel and sent His servant to a Sidonian. The truth makes nothing of man, however he may have been honoured in the past, and this is what incites opposition.

The passage the Lord reads from Isaiah may be said to be the great text for this dispensation. The preaching of judgment does not mark a "well-accepted time" and a "day of salvation", 2 Corinthians 6. It is true that judgment is in view as a sort of background, but it is not, as in Jonah's day, the subject of preaching. The Lord closed the book when He came to the thought of vengeance, and we had better leave it closed. The judgment that should be especially emphasised is self-judgment. What we see here is the intervention of grace in the power of God's Spirit, and the vessel in whom it was active was in every way commensurate with it, He was characterised by it and so attractive to men.

CHAPTER 4: 33 - 14; 5: 1 - 16.

Toward the end of chapter 4 we have two notable cases of human suffering: the man who had the spirit of an unclean devil and Simon's wife's mother, who was sick with a great fever. They represent certain spiritual maladies which necessitate the power of the kingdom. The Lord was going about doing good; He was undoing the works of the devil. It is noticeable that Satan's power was apparent in the synagogue. This was a terrible testimony to

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where man was religiously. But the Lord came "healing all who were oppressed with the devil, for God was with him".

The case of fever was in the house -- not in the synagogue. It seems to point to the effect of sin in man in the sphere of his natural relationships. It is a state which is marked by excitement and irritability. Both maladies characterise man in the flesh, the first having reference to the sphere in which God should dominate, the second pointing to man in his natural relations.

Feverishness often shows itself in Christians. You see many people excited and irritable; in this state they are very trying, for they make every one about them uncomfortable. It is often epidemic! Martha in Luke 10:40, seems to have been affected by it. She complains against the Lord. There were signs of it very early in the assembly, in the murmuring in Acts 6. The Lord stood over this woman, Simon's wife's mother, and rebuked the fever and it left her. He deals directly with the evil; He rebuked the demon, and here He rebukes the fever. It is because men are affected by the evil that the Lord deals with it here; later on He will relegate it to its own place. To the demon's question, "Art thou come to destroy us?" Jesus answers, "Hold thy peace, and come out of him". Further, it says that He "rebuked the fever; and it left her". Being healed, the woman took her normal place; she served them.

"Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them", verse 40. That is most touching. At the close of the day the Lord is untiring in His service of grace, and there was power there for universal healing and deliverance. Such is the kingdom of God as presented in this gospel. The Lord is seen here as specially connected with it;

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He says, "I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also; for therefore am I sent". Such is Luke's point of view. Chapter 4 is the Lord's position here among men; He was there in connection with the kingdom, and the character of His ministry in this respect is indicated.

In chapter 5 we have outlined the effect of the light of grace that was shining in Christ on the soul of the believer. The Lord takes a position in Simon's ship. He would get close to Simon. The Lord would cause the light to shine into Simon's heart; his conscience had to be reached. It is a fishing scene. In the Lord's mind men were the fish, and the lake represented the sphere in which the fish were. The Lord had been in Simon's house and had healed his mother-in-law, but as yet he had not been reached and convicted of his true state. In Matthew 13 the bearing of Christ's position in the ship is wider; here His immediate object is Simon. The chapter sets forth how the believer is led on under the ministry and teaching of grace. First, he is convicted of his sinfulness, then he is cleansed, then he is relieved of the governmental effects of sin, getting power, and, finally, he follows the Lord and makes an entertainment for Him in his house.

What is immediately in view in the opening of the chapter is the conviction of Simon; the ships and nets allude to Judaism. There was abundance of fish, but the net brake and the ships were sinking. The old order of things was utterly unavailing as meeting the requirements of the ministry of grace; hence the necessity for the new bottles. In John 21 we have another fishing scene, and the fish are all brought to land; and, as if to point out the contrast, we are told that, "though there were so many, the net was not rent". John 21 depicts what is connected with Christ in resurrection, and hence all is perfect; there is no mishap. The fish are brought to land.

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But although the instruments in Luke 5 were imperfect, the circumstances served as an opportunity for the light of grace to shine. A divine Person was there as Man; it was none other than He who had command of the resources of the deep. God Himself was present, active in goodness, and the light of this shone into Simon's soul. Simon fell at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord". This was the expression of inward conviction; not as we often say, "Lord". The Lord used Simon's everyday circumstances as a means of reaching him. Simon was caught, as it were. The Lord was the true Fisherman. He says to Simon, "Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men". How evident Luke's point of view is here!

Conviction and repentance are brought about by the goodness of God. What happened in the presence of Simon here was a testimony to this. The earth is the Lord's and its fulness, and the fishes of the sea are here given in abundance; this was divine goodness, and it produced the desired effect in Simon. Although Simon felt his sinfulness, and asked the Lord to depart, he did not depart: he fell down at Jesus' knees. The light that exposed him was the light of divine goodness, and so it attracted him. It is ever thus with the sinner into whose heart shines the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

When a man is convicted and realises his sinfulness, he feels utterly unfit for the society of those that are holy as God's people. He is a leper, whose place is outside the camp. Hence the man full of leprosy is but Simon continued; only he is introduced to set forth another side of the truth, namely, cleansing. The man besought Jesus, saying, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand and touched him, saying, I will:

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be thou clean". Leviticus 14 develops, in type, the means and order of the cleansing of the leper; here the truth is briefly presented as fitting into the moral course of instruction which the chapter affords. As cleansed, the believer is qualified for the society of God's people on earth. As a leper he had to dwell alone; but now he can take his place among the saints. The only thing that should cause our isolation from the saints is sin; but as a fountain of cleansing is opened up for us, we should avail ourselves of it and not remain lepers. The Lord sent the cleansed man to the priest as a testimony. Of old the priest was in charge of the sanctuary. In Christianity, thank God, priests are not wanting who can discern that the leper is cleansed, and they rejoice in the work of grace.

CHAPTER 5: 16 - 39

What follows cleansing in the history of the believer's progress is power. As we have been seeing, the former is set forth in the leper, the latter appears in the man who had the palsy. The Lord was there in healing power and His wonderful service was available to all. "He withdrew himself into the wilderness and prayed". As the great Physician He was the dependent Man. "The power of the Lord" was present to heal all kinds of men, Pharisees, doctors, etc. Grace discriminates against none.

Faith takes advantage of the great opportunity offered. This appears in those who brought the palsied man before Jesus. The Lord valued faith and it secured the blessing: "when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee". The man was suffering from the effect of sin: the Lord was administering forgiveness; but He would show that He had authority to do so by giving the forgiven man power to carry his bed and go into

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his house. On the man's side this power was a public testimony that he was forgiven, he was manifestly released from the penalty of sin.

The man who had the palsy was sent to his house. The cleansed leper was sent to the priest. He was now fit for the camp, although there might be no camp fit for him; but as cleansed he was a testimony that God had visited man in cleansing and healing power. The point to see in the case of the leper is, that as cleansed he was qualified for the society of God's people. But the palsied man was sent to his house. As cleansed, we are suitable for the assembly, but we have to be right in our houses. Sin had entailed certain consequences, forgiveness involves release from these. How different was the man as going back to his house from what he was when he came out of it! He went to his house in power. The believer is tested in his house. Power is evidenced in nothing more than in patience. We require patience in our houses. There is protection in the assembly for the believer, and we might have thought the Lord would send a man like this there; but he is sent to his house: "Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God". The man had power, and so was fitted to be for God in his house. We shall see the proof of this in Levi, who is the subject in the next part of the instruction.

The believer's house obtains a notable place in connection with the spread of the gospel in the Acts, especially at Philippi; Acts 16. Lydia and her house were baptised, and she welcomed the Lord's servants to her house. The Lord opened her heart, and when her heart was opened her house was opened. To the jailor the word was, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and

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thy house". What is noticeable about him is, that he believed all the gospel that was preached to him. I fear Paul's testimony to the jailor is only believed in part now; but the jailor believed it in total. An accurate reading of Acts 16:34 would show that the faith of the man embraces his house or household. And he brought Paul and Silas into his house and set meat before them there.

In Levi we have this side of the truth exemplified. He made a "great entertainment" for Christ in his house. Levi is the man who was healed of the palsy, only viewed in another light: he had been sent to his house in power and now Christ is honoured there. And there is a company present such as the Lord would desire; "a great company of publicans and of others". Thus we gather that he understood what the Lord was about. The scribes and Pharisees murmur, but the occasion was according to God; it was in entire agreement with His present attitude. The Lord says, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance". He was fishing for men, and the fishes were there in Levi's house. There is peculiar liberty in the house of a spiritual man. Christ is considered in everything and the guests are such as He would wish. Our discriminations as to those we invite to our houses often indicate where we are spiritually.

As we proceed in the chapter we advance in the truth. The thought of the bridegroom in verse 34 suggests something beyond what has been before us. The disciples were "sons of the bridechamber"; this points to that which belongs to Christ, for the bridechamber would be, so to speak, in His house. The bride is not in view, but those who had a special place in connection with the bridechamber were there. The Bridegroom was everything to them, and they must have full liberty in His presence. Having to do with the Bridegroom is a new experience,

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and, as applied to believers now, leads on to the truth of the assembly. "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.

Now the old order of things has to be discarded; the new garment will not agree with the old. We get light as we are prepared for it. Christianity involves new and heavenly principles, and these are not to be tacked on to a system established in connection with man in the flesh on earth. "The new agreeth not with the old". . And the old bottles would not contain the new wine. There would be new and heavenly joy which would be altogether too great for man in the flesh. A man has to be born anew, and he is to be governed by a wholly new set of principles. Further, a taste for the new wine had to be cultivated. The instruction here prepares the believer for the new order of things.

CHAPTER 6

The end of chapter 5 shows that the old order of things and the new, which latter Christ was introducing, could not go on together. The allusion to David here is significant, as showing the culmination of the preceding course of events; the inauguration of a totally new system of things in which the Son of man should be supreme. Although the dispensational side is not so prominent as in the corresponding passage in Matthew, the new order of things, as the sphere of Christ's authority, is clearly indicated, Viewed from the side of the believer's progress, which commences in the beginning of chapter 5, the change of system is in its place in chapter 6.

From the moment of David's definite rejection Saul's kingdom had come to an end morally. Things

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that had been regarded as sacred were common if the true king was refused. So here, the sabbath was the sign of the covenant with Israel: the disciples pluck ears of corn on that day, and the Lord justifies them; hence the covenant is broken. Although all Israel did not acknowledge David, the kingdom under him began, in principle, from the period of his rejection. The same is seen here in Christ. David went to the cave of Adullam, and there became a centre; and he became a captain over those who came out to him. Here the Lord chooses twelve from among His disciples and names them apostles. There is a wholly new system set up and dominated by Christ. It is of all moment that Christians should fully apprehend this; and that, as calling Christ Lord, we should do the things which He says, verse 46.

The man whose hand was withered represents the condition of Israel: they had no power to work for God. The right hand is the member of power. The Lord was now working. The Father had been working, and now, as Man, Christ was working. Others should be brought into work, hence the apostles are named. Their ordination properly follows the restoration of the man's withered hand. The administration of the kingdom involves work. David had mighty men; here the Lord has mighty men. To be effective in the kingdom we must have our withered hands restored. In the types the blood was put on the right hand and on that the oil. Power for the kingdom lies in the Spirit. Paul was a characteristic man of power in the kingdom.

The treatment of the sabbath in this chapter is of special importance. It was, as we said, the sign of the first covenant with Israel. The Lord performs a good work on that day, calling special attention to it. The truth is, that the old covenant was utterly ineffective, and so God found fault with it. ".Finding

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fault, he says to them, Behold, days come, saith the Lord, and I will consummate a new covenant as regards the house of Israel, and as regards the house of Juda", Hebrews 8:8. But the covenant was not abandoned simply because of its faultiness, but also on account of Israel's unfaithfulness; "because they did not continue in my covenant, and I did not regard them, saith the Lord", Hebrews 8:9. This latter is what is evident in Luke 6. The Lord had spoken of the old and new in chapter 5; in Hebrews 8 the first covenant is said to have been rendered old by the introduction of the new; it was "old and aged", and hence disappearing.

What is contemplated here is the establishment of the kingdom in the midst of the Jews; the Gentiles come in later. It is the mediatorial kingdom, for the Lord is seen administering it as the dependent Man. Before choosing the apostles "he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God;" verse 12. Having named the apostles He descends "with them, and stood in the plain", verse 17. Thus the Lord stands forth as the new centre for men; and in Him divine power was active for universal relief and blessing. Here we have not isolated cases of healing simply but "power went out from him and healed all".

Then follow the principles which should govern the new order of things. "Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God", verse 20. We learn from, this the character of those in the kingdom; the poor. The kingdom is established in God's goodness, and those in it should be exercised so as to be in accord with its character. They were to be like God. "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind to the unthankful and to the evil", verse 35.

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The creation had been a testimony to God, but now He is to shine through His people. The physical creation witnessed to His eternal power and Godhead, Romans 1:20; but His nature, is seen in His sons. Peter opened his mouth and beginning to speak of Christ, he proceeded on the lines followed in this gospel: "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him", Acts 10. Since then multitudes of mouths have been opened to tell the same blessed news. We are to be sons of the Highest. Luke always has elevation for man in view.

After the kingdom is introduced we have the principles outlined by which it is to be governed, and its characteristics; what God is, as revealed in grace, shines out in those who are in it. "He is good to the unthankful and wicked. Be ye therefore merciful, even as your Father also is merciful", verse 35. Christ was there on the part of God, going about doing good, and now the saints are to be here on the same line.

In verse 39 the Lord speaks a parable which contemplates leadership; and then He shows that the disciple is not above his teacher. The chapter really covers the history of the kingdom; they would be leaders. If the blind led the blind both should fall into the ditch. But Christ is the great model for us in everything. Paul followed the great Master closely.

To help another to judge self we must be clear ourselves. One given to fault finding is almost sure to be hypocritical; he is allowing something in himself as bad, or worse, than what he objects to in others. A man with a beam in his eye cannot see at all, and yet he will undertake to perform an operation on his brother's eye! It is imperative

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that an oculist should have good eyesight. Finally, the Lord refers to building. We are all builders, but the question is: on what foundation are we building? The strength of the structure will be tested some day. The point is obedience: what survives the test is only that which is the result of obedience. He that "comes to me and hears my words and does them". Coming to Him, we value His words, and regard it to be wisdom to execute them. Thus our houses survive every storm. But how solemn for those who hear the Lord's words and do them not! Everything here turns on the Lord's authority and the value of His words.

In the next chapter a Gentile owns His authority. Psalm 119 comes in properly at the end of the Psalms, as showing how the godly man is entirely controlled by God's commandments and His word. The length and character of the psalm show how fully the writer appreciated his subject.

CHAPTER 7

The instruction in this gospel follows in measure the course of the testimony in the Acts. This chapter bears an analogy to Acts 10, where the Gentile is formally admitted into the sphere of blessing. Up to this chapter in Luke the testimony to Israel is more in view. Peter in chapter 5 is a typical case of blessing among them. In chapter 7 the Gentile comes into view. God's sovereign activity was not restricted; here was a Gentile who had faith, and greater faith than was found even in Israel.

The centurion recognises the Lord in authority. He was accustomed to authority which was clothed with pomp and outward glory; to see this, faith was not necessary, but here was a poor Man as to external appearance, and yet this Roman officer

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sees in Him one vested with authority; this was faith.

But although the Lord responds to the need of a Gentile, Israel's special place of favour is still in view. Especially is this so in the centurion's own mind. He loved the nation and had built a synagogue. Moreover, he sent "elders of the Jews" to the Lord, thus admitting that they had a nearer place than himself. All this the Lord accepts: "Jesus went with them".

In chapter 4 the Lord indicated that God would act on sovereign lines. He had done so in Old Testament times; and here the faith of the centurion was the result of God's sovereign work. The same is true of Cornelius, another centurion, Acts 10. In Acts 9 Paul preaches the Son of God. The truth of the Lord's sonship underlies the new heavenly system of things; and it involves what is universal. The introduction of the Gentile in chapter 10 has this in view. Christ is over God's house as Son; the house of God has necessarily a universal bearing. Christ is also Builder of the house. The One who builds it is greater than the house. The house is composed of Jews and Gentiles; but their previous characteristics had disappeared; the enmity was annulled. There was new wine, and hence new bottles were needed; and new bottles involve new principles. Chapter 6 gives us new principles. The order of things that God was introducing required a wholly new order of man. Men of this order should be drawn from the Gentiles as well as from the Jews.

What had marked the centurion was that, although a Gentile, he loved the nation of Israel. Doubtless he recognised their connection with God. Now that Christ appeared he perceives in a remarkable way the authority vested in Him. "Say by a word", he says, "and my servant shall be healed". As of old Ruth became attached to Naomi, the centurion

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had become attached to Israel. Through her connection with Naomi Ruth came into touch with Boaz, so here the centurion, as attached to Israel, meets with the Lord. And in what a lowly mind he addresses Him! "I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof. Wherefore neither did I count myself worthy to come to thee". How gratifying this must have been to the Lord! Not even in Israel had He found such faith. Such an attitude is sure to secure the desired result. The Lord had authority and the centurion's servant was healed.

The next incident recorded is not to show the working of faith in man, but the compassion of Christ for humanity. The widow illustrates the state of the race. The dead man was her only son. She was a fit subject for compassion, hence the Lord was moved. He thought of her. He says, "Weep not". Here it is not the Lord's special interest in His saints, as affected by death that is in view, as in John 11, but His compassion for all. The dead man is not called by name; He says, "Young man, I say unto thee, Arise". Then He delivered him to his mother. The Lord's authority extended over disease and death. Truly God has visited His people!

John the baptist is next introduced in the narrative. What is said as to him shows that the old order of things was about to be superseded by the new, and that the latter was the greater. A little one in the kingdom of God was greater than John. John was a great servant, and the Lord bears touching testimony to this; but the greatness and dignity of the new thing that He was establishing is fully maintained. John stood connected with the old system, but the kingdom of God was there, and the least in it was greater than he. Till John, God had recognised man as born of woman, but a place in the kingdom necessitates another birth. The least

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in the kingdom is born again. On this ground only could he be there.

God had raised up a wonderful testimony in the midst of Israel; first in John and then in the Son of man; but it was unavailing. There was no appreciation of it, and so the moral judgment of the nation had come. Still, wisdom had been justified of her children.

The woman in Simon's house is one of these. The faith of the centurion was extraordinary, but hers went much further; it enabled her to reach the Lord although the surroundings were adverse. And what she did showed that she had affection for Him; "she loved much", the Lord says. There was a sharp contrast between her and Simon. According to his own estimate, the Pharisee had little to be forgiven. His treatment of Christ showed that he was utterly ungrateful for the forgiveness which God was making known in Christ. This forgiveness was for Simon as much as for the woman, but of the two the latter only appreciated it. She was forgiven much and hence she loved much. Those at Simon's table are utterly senseless as to the grace that was expressed before them: "Who is this who forgives also sins?" The Lord thinks of the woman, and says, "Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace".

CHAPTER 8

The woman spoken of at the end of chapter 7 is a type. She loved much as forgiven much. This chapter opens with others such as she. The two chapters are in this way connected. Pursuing the gospel, you feel there is gradual development. It is not simply an account of the Lord's doings; the Spirit of God traces the normal effect of the testimony on the soul of man. The wonderful testimony of chapter 7 has affected souls so that they are drawn

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to Christ, and they are sympathetic with Him. They had been the subjects of His grace, and now they are with Him and ministering to Him of their substance. In chapter 4 He was alone in His testimony, but here the twelve are with Him, and a company of women. He was proclaiming the glad tidings of the kingdom of God, and surrounding Him were the fruits of His ministry. They were the evidence of what the grace of God could do for man, turning him from lawlessness to righteousness and delivering him from satanic power.

The chapter indicates the conditions under which the gospel was primarily announced. The apostles represent the official side, and then there was the spontaneous effect of grace. The subjective side shone in sympathy with the testimony. Both these things may be seen in the Acts. The apostles had been appointed, but the women represent the saints as having affection for Christ. The latter continues, while the official side will cease.

In Matthew and Mark the parable of the sower alludes more to the Lord's rejection by Israel; their state was shown to be such, that no fruit could be had there. Here the ministry of grace is more prominent. God works sovereignly in view of this, and without His work there could be no good ground. In Luke the good ground produces the full result -- a hundred-fold.

The seed is the "word of God", and it falls on four different kinds of soil. The first three set forth the natural heart of man as tested by the gospel. It is not man's opposition to the gospel, but his reception of it, as far as this is possible, and the result. There is nothing for God. This is a most important parable. As the Lord says in Mark 4:13, "Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?" To understand it involves that we have learnt the utter inability of the natural man to truly receive

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the gospel or be genuinely affected by it; and on the other hand our entire dependence on God, so that He might work in souls to the end that they might receive it in an honest and good heart and bring forth fruit with patience. The preacher can effect nothing in the soul; all he can do is to present the testimony. God produces the good ground.

Comparing the fruit of the good ground in Matthew, Mark and Luke, it will be seen that in Matthew there is decrease, one a hundred, one sixty, one thirty; in Mark there is increase, one thirty, one sixty, one a hundred; while in Luke the full result only is stated, a hundred. Matthew is dispensational, and we know that historically there has been decline in fruitfulness. Mark contemplates recovery, as in his own case, and there is increase at the end. Luke gives the full result of grace only.

"Bring forth fruit with patience". Patience is a wonderful element in the Christian. It is a true evidence of power. There never was a time since Pentecost when it was more needed than it is now. The word of God received is to control you. You are tested in every way, but you stand true to what you have received. This proves an honest and good heart.

The word of God is the expression of Himself, and the fruit borne will necessarily be according to this; hence the Christian is formed after God. "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever", 1 Peter 1:23.

The reference to light in verse 16 is in moral order. As the word of God is kept and fruit borne with patience, there is a candle of testimony burning. The Lord has lighted it and set it on a lamp-stand. And it is for the purpose that those who enter in should see. Everything should be manifested. God commanded light at the beginning, and He has

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kept it burning ever since. The Spirit of God sustains the light here. God ever maintained a light for David in Jerusalem. The light is in the Christian circle, and each should see to it that it is not obstructed. Light is really the character of God in the Christian. God appreciates fruit brought forth with patience. Patience has marked His dealings with man for six thousand years. Fruit is for God, and light is for men.

Light (verse 16) is consequent on the word sown. The saints are to shine as lights in the world. The danger is that the strenuous pressure of business on the one hand, and the ease and comfort which nature seeks on the other, would obscure the light. As formed by the word of God we are luminous. The saints were to take the place of Christ here, and this is a serious matter for us all. It is a question of the character of Christ continued in the body, but each Christian is to be a light. It would be a shame if in your individual surroundings there were no sense of what God is as expressed in Christ. We are to be "imitators of God as dear children". God's nature is to shine in His children.

Another important truth following is that as hearing the word of God and doing it we are recognised as related to Christ, verse 21. The word of God now determines everything; relationship after the flesh is ignored. In truth Israel, as on the ground of the flesh, is disowned.

This leads to a movement to "the other side". The lake had to be crossed, and this gave the enemy an opportunity of attack. The storm of wind represents the hostile power of Satan. In the storm the Lord was asleep, and this became a test to the faith of the disciples. But what a disclosure as to His Person followed!

The country of the Gadarenes present a terrible state of things. The true condition of Israel is

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depicted, and then all are carried away and lost in the sea of the Gentiles. But the man who had been possessed is saved, and he wants to be with Jesus. As wishing to be with Christ, we are qualified for testimony on earth. The Lord sends the man to his own house. That is where we are least likely to be accredited, but, nevertheless, our testimony should begin there.

The man who had been possessed with demons, the woman with the issue of blood, and Jairus' daughter, all refer to the remnant of Israel, and the activity of God's grace on their behalf. This results in their being raised up, as we see in the daughter of Jairus.

CHAPTER 9: 1 - 17

The ministry of the twelve now begins. The Lord does not go with them. He gives them power and authority and sends them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. The idea of apostleship is that the person sent had been with the one who sent him. Having been with Christ, the apostles became acquainted with Him and understood His mind. Thus they could rightly represent Him. Moses is, typically, the apostle. He had been with the Lord on the mount, and there he learnt God's mind; hence he established the divine system in Israel.

The apostles had a great deal to learn in companionship with the Lord, as seen in chapter 8. They would learn that the "flesh profits nothing", and then it was most important that they should become acquainted with the Lord's way of doing things. The instruction in chapter 8 affords all this. That chapter indicates the conditions under which they were to serve. It is of the greatest importance in service that the servant should understand the conditions under which he is to carry out his ministry.

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The presence of Christ in Israel brought into evidence a wonderful set of conditions. There was the presence of God in Christ acting in grace, and this must overleap the limits of Israel; and there was the nation of Israel with its ancient privileges, but it was now proved reprobate by the rejection of the Lord's testimony. To serve intelligently, the apostles should see the adjustment of all these things; the Lord's work and teaching, seen in chapter 8 furnishes this. The terrible state into which the Jews had fallen is depicted therein, verse 26 - 39, and hence the apostles could expect nothing but constant opposition; but the Lord had demonstrated the superiority of His power, and with this power they are endued as sent out. What every servant needs is power. "The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power". In the presence of the imposing religious systems of today, which are really hostile, how can we expect our testimony to be accredited apart from God's power?

It is well to remember that conditions are constantly changing. Christendom is not now what it was fifty years ago. The apostles were evidently successful in their mission. They return to the Lord, relating to Him what they had done, verse 10. They are taken aside by the Lord, which indicates His gracious care for them. But here they are confronted by the multitude, and this becomes a tremendous test for them. It is one thing to exercise power in preaching and the like, but quite another to care for people and feed them. As yet the Spirit of the Shepherd was lacking in the apostles. Their thought was to send the multitude away.

If you rely on gift, that is all very well, but if you have a crowd of five thousand people on your hands, what are you going to do? In a sense it is easy to stand up and preach, but after the preaching is over you have the crowd. Effective preaching

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must be in power, but feeding and shepherding people is another thing. This involves the sense of moral obligation. The saints are on Christ's heart, and the faithful servant gives a portion of meat to His household, Matthew 24:45, 46.

The Lord would not send hungry people away; He tells the disciples to give them to eat. The apostles were to be trained how to act when He was away; but the great thing is to learn to accept obligation to care for others. People are starved for want of care in those who really have food. In Christ there was care for all. If you have a heart at all you do not want to send needy people away. If they come, what are you going to do? You must be exercised before God and accept the obligation. Christ had received the crowds and the disciples would send them away hungry! -- this was very poor. It may be thought that preaching belongs to one and feeding to another. Paul did both; he preached and cared for the saints in every other way as well. See Acts 20. The twelve in Acts 6, unburdened themselves of the care of the saints as to temporal things, appointing deacons for this; but Paul accepted every obligation. The point is to accept the obligation to feed, and if you do, the Lord will come in and there will be food.

If you meet a stray sheep in your daily life you direct him to the meeting -- where the Spirit is recognised there will be something for the sheep. This kind of service is obscure and will not bring you into such prominence as the exercise of gift in preaching will, but the Lord takes note of it. When Saul came into evidence he was searching for his father's lost asses; but David is first noted as caring for his father's sheep; they were not lost. These facts afford an insight into the respective characters of the men. David took care of the sheep and saved them from the lion and the bear; and when called to other

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service he left the sheep in the hand of a keeper. In obscurity David displayed the spirit of a shepherd, and so was called to shepherd God's people. The Lord delights in the saints accepting moral obligation. Such an obligation is one that love would accept; legally we may avoid it.

As to food, we may have very little, but if we pass it through the Lord's hands it becomes an abundance. There is more left over than there was at the outset. After all were sufficed there was enough for full administrative goodness -- twelve baskets.

This was a wholly new kind of service for the disciples. They were to feed the multitude. The little they thought they had was taken up by the Lord and increased, we may say, infinitely, and then they are to be the administrators of it. This was great grace on the Lord's part, and it afforded a wonderful experience for the apostles. We may-note, also, the order which marked the occasion. The people were made to sit down in companies. They were one whole, all feeding on the same food, administered by the same Person, but marked off by fifties; each, we may say, representing a little circle of fellowship. This is the divine way. It does not appear that the Lord intended huge congregations. Of course, one is always thankful to see large numbers of saints together, but, as a rule, we thrive better in smaller companies. The Lord spoke of the "little flock". We should be humbled that so few are affected by the testimony, but thankful for the little circles of fellowship which God affords us.

CHAPTER 9: 18 - 36

The account which Luke gives of Peter's confession of Christ is characteristic of his gospel,."The Christ of God". In Matthew it is, "The Son of the living God;" in Mark, "The Christ". Luke makes the intervention of God prominent. The Lord "went

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about doing good ... for God was with him", Acts 10:38.

What follows shows that a path of suffering is to be the portion of those to whom Christ is thus made known. The Son of man was to suffer and be killed, hence the Lord says, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me", verse 23. The path of reproach and loss in this world is but one side of the believer's position; the other side is indicated in the scene on the holy mount. This is privilege and glory. The truth of Christ's Person being known in our souls, we accept His circumstances as to this world, and we are conformed to them. The Lord says, "If any man will come after me". Known to us. He draws, and in the kindness of His heart He shows what the path involves, but on the other hand, there is the glory on the mount to which we are called.

Matthew and Mark speak of six days, whereas Luke says, "about an eight days after these sayings". The "first" day is evidently the beginning of a period, or course of dealings, which ends in the seventh day; the eighth indicates a change, or new point of departure. In the eighth day there is a connection with the previous seven, for numerically there is a continuation, but there is a change in God's dealings; the first day is an entirely new beginning. "Eight" here would, no doubt, allude to Israel. Circumcision was on the eighth day of the child's life.

What is prominent in this wonderful view of the kingdom of God is the kind of man that is the centre of its glory. Although Son of God, Jesus was praying; He is dependent. In this gospel He was praying when the Holy Spirit came upon Him, and here "as he prayed the fashion of his countenance was altered". Such is the Man who gives character to the kingdom.

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Moses and Elias represent the great testimonies of the Old Testament, and the law and the prophets. They were great servants, but they represent the speakers of Old Testament times. Henceforth all speaking would be by the Son. God emphasises the greatness of the Son by bringing these great men into view and then withdrawing them. Other thoughts are, of course, involved in their presence, for the Spirit of God includes many ideas in one incident. No doubt Moses and Elias represent all the redeemed in Old Testament times.

It is remarkable that they spoke of His decease. They had spoken of it in testimony on earth. The law and the prophets witnessed to the death of Christ. Moses of old had a wonderful view of Christ; the forty days on mount Sinai were really occupied in hearing about Christ, for the instructions concerning the tabernacle had reference to Him. On the mount of transfiguration they are speaking of His death.

Ques. How did Elias learn about Christ?

Ans. The prophets testify to God's patience, and this was fully expressed in Christ. God rose up early and sent prophets. Elias had great evidence of God's patience with Israel. His own presence in the midst of the people was a testimony to it. Then see how God spake to him at Horeb; he, had abandoned the nation, but God had not; Elijah was to return and anoint a prophet in his stead, and also a king for Syria, and a king for Israel. God would continue in patient but faithful service to His people. Elijah himself was used of God to the people afterwards, and then he was greatly honoured in his translation to heaven.

Both Moses and Elijah were great men as maintaining God's rights where others, who were responsible, set them aside. Those who stand by the rights of God are sure to be honoured by Him. It is suitable that they should speak of the Lord's death

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on the mount. They could not be in the glory, except on the ground of it. Christ only could, be there on the ground of personal title; all others are in the glory on the ground of His death. It was suitable, therefore, that Moses and Elias should speak of "his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem".

The cloud that overshadowed them was an allusion, I think, to the tabernacle in the wilderness. The cloud was there before the tabernacle; it was guidance for the people out of Egypt; but when the tabernacle was set up it rested on it. The cloud appeared in answer to Peter's proposal to make three tabernacles. Peter spoke of making three, while God had indicated only one tabernacle. In truth Christ was the tabernacle; every thought and testimony of God was there in Him. No doubt the heavenly and earthly saints, viewed in relation to Christ, and they are seen here, are included in the tabernacle.

The Father was in the cloud, and His voice is now heard: "This is my beloved Son: hear him". At the Lord's baptism also, the Father had thus owned Him. Then the voice said, "Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased;" here it is, "This is my beloved Son: hear him". He is the Speaker. All speaking is now by the Son.

Peter had a poor appreciation of the glory, but afterwards, the Spirit having come, he had a great sense of it. He speaks of "the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ", of "his majesty", of the "honour and glory" which He received from the Father, the voice coming from the "excellent glory", 2 Peter 1. All this shows how the Holy Spirit enabled the apostle to rightly estimate this wonderful scene. It is by the Spirit that we see the glory. Stephen, "being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God". It is a

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great thing to look steadfastly; this requires the power of the Spirit. Being witnesses of this scene on the holy mount, the three apostles would be greatly strengthened in their testimony afterwards. In the same way Paul would be confirmed by being caught up into paradise and by what he saw there.

CHAPTER 10: 1 - 24

In sending out the seventy others the Lord showed that He would not be limited to the ministry of the twelve apostles in the testimony. In the Acts we see God acted independently of them. Unity, of course, was maintained. It is important to recognise that God is sovereign, and He cannot be limited to any order of things He may introduce in the course of His ways. Seven is a number which denotes God's own work; it is taken from Genesis 1, the time covered in the creation, seven days. Here we have divine sovereignty in testimony, but the number is seventy; ten times seven. Ten, no doubt, represents the responsibility of the servants. They were sent out two and two, which indicates adequate testimony. They were to salute no one on the way; they should have but one object before them.

The Lord thought of the greatness of the harvest, and the workmen were few; the Lord of the harvest was to be supplicated that even more workmen should be sent out. God's sovereignty in goodness must ever be counted upon; He cannot be restricted; He may ordain certain vessels of administration, but you cannot confine Him to them. These seventy workmen were to go to "every city and place, whither he himself would come"; they should heal the sick in each city and say, "The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you", verse 9. This was their testimony.

The kingdom of God should be well considered;

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it is God revealed in grace, acting in power on behalf of man. This was what had come nigh to the cities of Israel. This chapter speaks of a wonderful moment in the Lord's path; it comes in after the mount of transfiguration. The Lord was on His way to Jerusalem to die, and a wonderful spirit marked the moment; it was the spirit of One who was descending from the glory on high to the cross to die for men. It was in such an One the kingdom of God was revealed, and His spirit was to characterise all His ministers. Thus their ministry was a testimony to the kingdom, as His was. The Lord says, "He that heareth you heareth me", verse 16. The apostles saw the kingdom of God on the mount of transfiguration; the vision was calculated to impress them with the blessed character of the kingdom; there was nothing hostile to man in it, but everything in his favour. The power of the kingdom is seen when the Lord descends from the mountain; He "rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father", chapter 9: 42. The same beneficent power was also to mark the ministry of the seventy; they were to heal the sick and say, "The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you".

So that Israel had a full and complete testimony as to what had come in on their behalf; to hear the seventy meant to hear Him, and whether their testimony was received or not, all were to know this, that the kingdom of God had come nigh. There is no hope if men reject the kingdom of God, for the kingdom of God has reference to His power and its activity in grace on man's behalf. It is moral and cannot be seen or entered into by man as born after the flesh; one has to be born again in order to see and enter into the kingdom of God.

James and John were entirely out of keeping with the spirit of the moment when they asked for

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judgment on the Samaritans, chapter 9: 54. The vision on the mountain suggested nothing of this. Elias was there, and he spoke of the Lord's decease, and not of judgment on men. The kingdom accorded with God's character, and everything was, as it were, to be subordinated to it. The Lord was surrendering all to establish it by His death, and all who would serve in connection with it must take this line, and nature must be refused; Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And if one put his hand to the plough and looked back, he was unfit for it, chapter 9: 59 - 62.

God is one, and His mind was that all men should be saved; the Mediator between God and men is one, and He is in accord with God's mind, and He dies to make it effective. Thus we see the wonderful down-stooping of Christ so as to make the will of God effective. Personally He had title to the glory and was saluted there; but His conversation in it was about His decease. Moses and Elias, with whom He spoke, could be there only on the ground of His decease. And He descended to accomplish it so that the kingdom of God should be permanently established. Entering into this, we apprehend "what manner of spirit we are of".

The seventy disciples were overjoyed on account of the success of their ministry, that the demons were subject to them through the Lord's name. The Lord takes occasion to point out their own place and portion; their peculiar blessing did not consist in the exercise of power down here, but that their names were written in heaven. Luke shows the excess of God's grace; that is, that man is to have a place in heaven. No matter how great your gift, or how great the success in the exercise of your gift, your blessing lies outside of that; and it is common to all believers. The blessing that is common to all Christians is greater than the gift of an apostle.

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Luke sets forth the excess of grace. I think he brings in the Levites; not as servants merely, but as a privileged class, the assembly of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven. Privilege necessarily means something distinctive, something that others have not. The Levites were a tribe in Israel, but there were twelve tribes without them, they were a privileged class apart, and yet there was a complete Israel.

There is a time coming when God shall write up His people, Psalm 87. Their names shall be registered on earth; the point with us is that our names are registered in heaven. We are a heavenly family. The effect of accepting this is that we are, delivered, not only from the world in the bad sense, as we speak, but from earthly-mindedness. The book of Numbers presents the service of the Levites; the book of Joshua speaks of their privileges. They had the sacrifices of the Lord God of Israel made by fire; then they had the Lord Himself; and they had the priesthood; finally they had cities allotted to them. These things formed then- inheritance.

CHAPTER 10: 25 - 37

The lawyer's question leads to the inquiry as to what the Old Testament teaches as to eternal life; the lawyer's thought of it would, no doubt, be more or less formed according to what is presented there.

It is spoken of first as commanded on mount Zion. "There the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore", Psalm 133. Then we have it in Daniel as that to which some "awake". The former involves the will of God, which is for blessing; the latter speaks of His power in resurrection, by which the blessing is secured to men. The Lord took the lawyer up on the ground of doing, for the law had promised that he who kept it should live; but

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in result this was but the flaming sword of the cherubim which kept the way of the tree of life, for no one could keep the law, and hence the curse fell upon all. Entrance into life, therefore, must be on other grounds than that of doing; and the references to eternal life mentioned above, which were long after the law, should have led the lawyer to understand this. Commanding eternal life is very different from commanding men to work for it!

In the New Testament the Lord defines eternal life, saying, "this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent", John 17. We have to consider this carefully. It is not simply that divine Persons are to be known; they are to be known relatively; that is, in relation to what exists around us in the world, and what we are by nature.

"The only true God" stands in contrast to idolatry. The knowledge of the true God delivers from all false gods. Idolatry is prevalent in the world, and hence the primary importance of the soul of man being set in the light of the one true Object of worship. God has been fully revealed in Christ. The knowledge of the one true God is a fundamental feature of Christianity. Unity flows from it. "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord", Deuteronomy 6:4. That was the principle of the Old Testament. Israel had the true God in contrast to the nations. In Christianity we have the additional thought of Father -- "to us there is one God, the Father;" 1 Corinthians 8:6. Existing conditions around us in Christendom are a denial of this. Unity flows from the knowledge of God, for God is one, but Christendom is divided. The assembly primarily was the great testimony to God; the saints knew the only true God, and this worked out in practical unity.

The essence of Christianity is unity in affection,

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and this is the outcome of the knowledge of what God is. It may be true that the doctrine of the one God is held generally, but of what value is this if it be denied in practice? James says, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble". You would not charge people with idolatry in the gross sense, but the fact remains that the Lord Jesus has fully revealed the only true God, and the spirit of division now marks Christendom, and other objects than He command, in the main, the hearts of those who form it. The idea of the true God and eternal life go together. In John's epistle Christ is said to be the true God and eternal life; and following upon this we have: "Children, keep yourselves from idols".

Besides knowing the only true God, we are to know Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. This involves that the Son was here as Man in obedience. The knowledge of the true God is one point; then we are to know the Son as here in obedience. Christ was here in man's place to carry out God's will, and we have to learn what this means. The truth is that life was lost by disobedience in man, but it has been secured by obedience in man; in God's Son, the sent One. Christ's position as man here involved the conditions in connection with which life eternal is found. In Him the true God is made known, and man in infinite perfection, in obedience, is seen in all His ways. In Him man, according to what he should be before God, is fully set forth. Eternal life was thus there in Him, and He has opened up the way into it for us through death.

It was due to God morally that life should be introduced on the principle of obedience in man, because it was lost through disobedience. But eternal life is greater than the life Adam forfeited, and greater, too, than that proposed in the law. The Lord did not say,'This do, and thou shalt have eternal

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life', but "this do, and thou shalt live", Luke 10:28. Eternal life is found later than the law in Scripture, and it is spoken of as a sphere and order of blessing established here on earth; and, as unfolded in the New Testament, it comes to light that it was God's eternal purpose, as we read, "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;" Titus 1:2. But it has been introduced and established on the ground of obedience in Man. Romans 5 shows what the disobedient man brought in, and the contrast in the obedient Man.

Eternal life clearly involves a sphere of blessing. Both in the Old and New Testaments we have the thought of passing into it. Among the saints now normally there is the knowledge of the true God and Jesus Christ, whom He sent; thus eternal life is realised there. "Justification of life", Romans 5:18, contemplates life to which sin cannot be imputed or attached. In the assembly now we enjoy anticipatively the millennial blessing; but individually we must eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood for this. But the assembly's blessing and privileges go beyond this, for she is blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. This chapter, Luke 10, indicates this. The disciples were to rejoice, not because the devils were subject to them, but because their names were written in heaven.

The parable in Luke 10:25 - 37 is remarkable as showing who man's neighbour was. Literally the Lord was regarded as a Samaritan by the Jews; and in reading through the Acts we see how this was maintained in spite of the wonderful testimony of the gospel; but Christ accepts the term of reproach, but all the same He was man's true neighbour; only He had the heart and the means to relieve the man in need. The priest and the Levite here speak of the utter impotency of the old economy.

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It is remarkable that the Samaritan had what the man needed, the oil and wine, and he "set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him". We have to note that the parable does not deal with assembly privileges; it is a question of the compassion and care expended by Christ on men as such; those whom He befriends during the present gospel period. But, as usual with Luke, the parable is laid so as to draw the contrast between the Jewish system and what the gospel proposed.

The "two pence" represent adequate means of support until the Lord returns. An inn is not exactly a home, but it provides sufficient comfort during the interval, and the man is not there on sufferance or charity, but at the Lord's expense. The inn, no doubt, refers to the assembly, but we have to remember that what comfort or blessing we enjoy now in it are provisional. It is not thought to work out the details of a parable minutely; what we would seek to gather is its general bearing. The point here is the great care and forethought shown by the Samaritan in looking after the interests of the man who had fallen among thieves. He not only provides for his present needs, but for all future ones, pending His return; and then, if the innkeeper should have been at extra expense, this He would repay. Such is the picture presented here of the Lord's wonderful interest in man.

CHAPTER 11

One of the most interesting things in this gospel is the formation of the new generation. It is by the word of God. The Lord says that those who hear the word of God and keep it are blessed rather than the mother who bore Him. The generation thus formed was to supersede the generation which then held the ground. The character of each generation is outlined in this chapter.

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As we saw last time, the end of chapter 10 shows the Lord's position as neighbour; and Mary's characteristic attitude also appears there; she sat at the feet of Jesus and was listening to His word. This presents another service which the Lord was rendering to men; that is, teaching. The Spirit teaches us now, but Christ is always the Teacher; it is through Him that all teaching for men has come. It says of Mary; "having sat down at the feet of Jesus [she] was listening to his word". She had become interested in Him, and was so free from herself and the cares of this world that she could sit down and listen, in contrast to Martha, who was troubled about many things. There was one thing needful, and that was to sit down and listen to Christ. Mary represents the new generation and how it is formed. The needful thing is to be so relieved of care that we can sit down and listen to the Lord; listen to what He is saying. Christ is the only Speaker; He is the One who has been appointed to speak on God's behalf.. All Christianity has come out through Christ. The Lord's ministry contained all the truth in principle. The gospels are like a great reservoir; the water flows out through the epistles. In the epistles generally the truth is ministered to meet the need of souls. With the Lord it was not simply meeting local need, but of unfolding the truth in the full divine height and scope. It does not say exactly that the Lord was speaking to Mary; He was speaking and she was listening. .

In chapter 11 the subject of teaching is continued.

The Lord was praying in a certain place, and one of His disciples said, "Lord, teach us to pray". They feel the need of being taught, and the Lord teaches them how to pray. They are put into touch with the Father, and then the dumb spirit is cast out; there is power of speech given. We have

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here, thus, the word of God and prayer, and the power of speech; these things mark Christianity. God has spoken to man, and man has access to God. The creatures of God are sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

The form of the prayer here no doubt contemplated the then existing circumstances, but we have to gather the spirit of it; and what is impressive in a special way is the bountifulness of the divine giving; "how much rather shall the Father who is of heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him" verse 13. Thus we are encouraged to pray. Following upon this the dumb demon is cast out, and "the man spake"; there is ability for testimony. And then the terrible wickedness of the Jews comes out. They alleged that the Lord cast out demons by Beelzebub the prince of the demons, whereupon the Lord shows that if Satan is divided against himself his kingdom cannot subsist. The Lord was casting out demons by the finger of God, and so the kingdom of God had come upon them. This was the great testimony on God's part, and they were attributing it to Beelzebub; this was the unpardonable sin, as we learn elsewhere.

He that was not with the Lord was against Him; verse 23. There was no neutral ground; the testimony was now too plain for that. In chapter 9: 50, it was: "he that is not against you is for you", but the Lord had now become more formally a test to the people, so that if one did not come to His side he was against Him. When the truth was revived some years ago there was a good deal of spiritual activity in the different denominations which could be regarded as of God, but now things have altered; the testimony has been established on the one hand, and apostasy is more pronounced on the other; so that if men refuse to identify themselves with the truth their spiritual whereabouts is a matter for grave suspicion.

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Verse 28 shows what marks the new generation, and then we have the "wicked generation". In the presence of the Lord's wonderful ministry they were looking for a sign. The power of the kingdom was in exercise in their midst, and they were unable to appreciate it. The testimony was, "know this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh", chapter 10: 11. No doubt that is what is referred to in more, Luke 11:31, 32. In Luke the thing that had come in in Christ on God's behalf is in view. In John it is the Person. In the Queen of Sheba and the men of Nineveh there shall arise a Gentile testimony in the judgment against that wicked generation. The sign of Jonas had reference to the Lord's death. Jonas was a sign to the Ninevites; it was as if one had come out of death to preach to them. The Ninevites had repented at the preaching of Jonas, but the Jews had not repented, although Christ had preached to them, and He was more than Jonas. There had been many signs, but now they should have but the sign of Jonas; the Son of man was going to die. All this refers to the state of the people, which their rejection of the Lord's ministry had exposed. And then more than Solomon was there. All divine wisdom was present in Christ. The kingdom, the "power of God", was there, and "the wisdom of God" was there.

"The lamp of the body is thine eye", verse 34. The eye receives light and illuminates the body. We have to take care of our lamp, or we shall be without light in the body. "When thine eye is simple, thy whole body also is light". The eye is a lamp for the body only; it does not emit light, but as the eye is simple the body emits light; it is luminous. "If therefore thy whole body is light, not having any part dark, it shall be all light as when the lamp lights thee with its brightness". When this is so "they who enter in" see the light. At the outset

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Israel had received light, but it had become a dark body. The light that was in them had become darkness. Verse 36 would involve Christianity at the beginning; what the disciples were. There was simplicity in the reception of the light that shone in Christ, so that there was a luminous body, and all who came in saw the light.

But the responsible church has long since ceased to be luminous; it is now a dark body viewed from without. Of course there is light here while the Spirit remains, but the candlestick has been removed. We look on now to the introduction of the heavenly city as the great light-giving body. But in the assembly the Lord set a great light here; He contemplated others coming in, and there should be light for them. On the day of Pentecost three thousand came in and saw the light.

CHAPTER 12: 1 - 34

In chapter 11 two generations are indicated: there is the "wicked generation", and the generation formed after Christ; those "who hear the word of God and keep it". Both were to continue, but outward authority should be on the side of the former, and hence the latter should suffer. Chapter 12 contemplates these conditions, and affords guidance for the disciples accordingly. The Lord in terrible severity had exposed the generation that had refused His wonderful testimony; its end had come morally, and the accumulated guilt of centuries would be required of it. The blood of all the prophets from Abel to Zacharias would be required of it. No wickedness committed against God's people can be forgotten; and the Lord here says; "the very hairs of your head are all numbered".

The Lord begins His instruction in chapter 12 by warning His disciples to beware of the leaven of the

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Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. One great point in Christianity is transparency; "there is nothing covered up which shall not be revealed, nor secret which shall not be known". In view of the great responsibility devolving on the disciples there was need for this exhortation, for if hypocrisy is at all allowed there is sure to be a breakdown. The disciples were to be entrusted with the testimony. The apostle was exercised that he might be manifest to the consciences of the saints, 2 Corinthians 5:11. It is a great thing to be simple; "when thine eye is simple, thy whole body also is light". It was a very important principle to instil into the disciples; that there should be absence of hypocrisy. The Lord contemplated the danger in which they stood; the fear of men leads to hypocrisy. The Pharisees loved "the praise of men". As to verse 2, if we recognised that nothing is covered which shall not be revealed, a good many things that are said in private would be left unsaid. Wisdom demands secrecy in regard of many things, but still we should never speak anything in the ear in closets that we would not be prepared to stand by if proclaimed upon the house-tops.

We cannot say when things may be proclaimed on the house-tops. In His government God may allow things to remain covered for a long time, but they surely come to light. The presence of Christ on earth laid bare the hidden springs that moved the world, and the presence of the Holy Spirit has the same effect now. The light of God is here, and that which makes manifest is light. There is really no means of hiding evil where the Spirit of God is allowed His place. Tracing things historically, it is remarkable how the hidden working of evil against the truth from time to time has been exposed.

Outward authority would be on the side of evil, and the righteous should suffer, but they were not

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to fear those who killed the body; they were to fear Him who after He has killed has power to cast into hell. But the disciples were not to fear any adverse circumstances in this world, for God would care for them; one sparrow was not forgotten before Him, and they were of more value than many sparrows. Their testimony would be before men; these, armed with outward authority, would be against them, but the Holy Spirit would be on their side. A word spoken against the Son of man should be forgiven, but a word spoken against the Spirit should not be forgiven. The testimony of the Holy Spirit was the limit of grace, and opposition to it is unpardonable. The position of the apostles was enhanced by this fact, for they were to be the instruments of His ministry. Opposition to them should be more serious than opposition to the Lord Himself!

In the next paragraph the Lord warns against covetousness. A man wished Him to speak to his brother so that he should divide the inheritance with him. The Lord's reply involves His rejection; to be set for earthly possessions now is covetousness, and this is idolatry. Not apprehending Christ's rejection, many believers go in for the earth, but they have it without Christ, and this is, in principle, idolatry. The bearing of the teaching here is elucidated by comparing Barnabas's course as recorded in the Acts. He sold his possessions and laid the money at the feet of the apostles. He had regard for the testimony and would support it. Barnabas had falsified his calling in having lands, for he was a Levite, and a Levite should not own such property; but a new and heavenly order of things was in view, and he embraced it. Henceforth he was a true Levite, having a heavenly inheritance.

As to the earth literally, it has to be remembered that it is "the Lord's, and the fulness thereof". We thank God for its products, as the means of our

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bodily sustenance. In this sense a Christian may own land as he owns a cow or a sheep, but his heart is not in it; his "life" is not in such possessions. The spirit of Christianity in this respect is to "Sell what ye possess and give alms", verse 33. The Lord goes on to inculcate this here; it is the mark of a heavenly people on earth. Luke ever leads on to the heavenly position. "A treasure which does not fail in the heavens". If the treasure is in heaven, the heart will be there also. The great danger is the desire for earthly property while Christ is rejected. The point is that God has been here in Christ, and He has been rejected, and now if you seek possessions here you seek them and have them without God, and this is idolatry. Christ is in glory now. He is rejected here, and we seek the things that are above. It is to be noted that covetousness is more likely to be found among the poor than among the rich. This man in verse 13, wanted the inheritance. But the poor man, because of his poverty, has no "treasure", whereas the rich man has a treasure on earth, and the danger is that his heart may be in it. Paul told the Colossians to set their minds on things above where Christ sitteth, and Luke supports this from the Lord's ministry.

Scripture recognises that a Christian may have means, and it affords special instruction for those who have, saying, "Charge them that are rich in this world ... that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate", 1 Timothy 6. The future is in view; "Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come". Here in Luke 12 it is a treasure in the heavens that faileth not. Wealth is of great value if used in a godly way. The New Testament makes a great deal of it as a means of expressing divine love. And even in working with Our hands, it is that we "may have to give to him

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that needeth", Ephesians 4:28. Then those who are specially engaged in the service of the testimony are to be cared for, and this is of great interest to the Lord. As working with our hands in "the thing which is good" God will prosper us as our souls prosper; but the danger is, that we then become selfish and attach importance to ourselves on account of the temporal prosperity, instead of simply regarding it as a means of promoting the Lord's interests. In giving to the Lord's servants we provide "wagons" for the Levites; see Numbers 7. But it must be remembered that money given in this way is not credited to us according to its face value, as in a bank! God values what we give according to the total of our means, as well as the motive in giving it. We read of the Lord beholding how people cast money into the treasury. Mark 12:41. The rich cast in much, but He said the poor widow, who cast in two mites, cast in more than all. The Lord reckoned according to what each had left, and the widow had nothing left; she cast in all her living.

CHAPTER 12: 35 - 59

In the course of His instruction the Lord presses upon the disciples the importance of being free from care. Concern as to what they shall "eat" and what they shall "put on" hinders many. The Lord says, "be not in anxiety ... your Father knows that ye have need of these things", verse 30. They are set in the light of the Father's perfect knowledge of their needs and His care for them. They are to seek His kingdom, and all these things should be added to them. But more; it was the Father's good pleasure to give them the kingdom. They were no longer of the fold; they were a "little flock", and the Father would give them the kingdom. What a place they had with the Father and the Son!

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The kingdom would be given to them. Israel was losing it in rejecting Him in whose Person the power of it was set forth among them, but it should be in the possession of the little flock, and that by the Father's gift.

The term "little flock" is a touching testimony to the diminutive character of things at the outset as regarded in the Lord's mind. A flock is moveable; it is not stationary like a fold. A fold has a fixed protection; a flock is exposed in a peculiar way, but it has the protection of the Shepherd. Judaism was a fold, but now there is "one flock, one Shepherd",

John 10.

Girded loins and burning lamps admit of no ease or comfort in this world. The figure here indicates that they were to be in constant vigilance; their loins were to be girded and their lamps burning, and they as men who wait for their own Lord. There is a distinct object before them. There is no telling when He may issue forth from the wedding, so that they must be constantly on the alert, in order that when He comes and knocks they may open to Him immediately; this is not the rapture, the Lord is contemplating the position of the disciples while He is away, and the responsibility attaching to that position. The whole point is, that they should be thinking of Him and His return. And ye like "men who wait for their Lord". The coming of the Lord is appreciated by those who love Him. The Lord is before you; this is the secret of understanding the full bearing of His coming. The Lord does not say anything here as to the results of His coming. It was simply a question of the place He was to have in their minds and hearts.

"Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them",

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Luke 12:37. That shows what will come in at the end, and the wonderful way in which those who are faithful now shall be treated in that day. Responsibility shall then be over; our service shall be ended. There is a sense in which we enter into rest now, but as "bondmen" we are not to take our ease while our Master requires our service. While in the position of bondmen we are not flattered; even as having done our work we are to regard ourselves as "unprofitable servants", for we have only done our duty! See chapter 17: 10.

The thought of the thief in verse 39 is to emphasise the uncertainty of the time of the Lord's return; and then Peter inquires as to whether the parable was spoken to the disciples or to all, and the Lord's reply indicates the other side of the servant's occupation; that is, care for the household. On the one hand, the servant is thinking of the Lord; he is in readiness to receive Him; on the other, he is occupied in looking after those of His household. The reward for the latter is that the Lord makes the servant "ruler over all that he hath".

But there would be departure in heart from Christ in the servants, and in view of this the Lord utters His warning. The servant who said "My Lord delayeth his coming" had lost interest in Christ. Losing interest in the Lord, he lost interest in His household and became a persecutor. It is a picture of Christendom as it stands, in which the Lord's coming is deferred, and not thought of, and the true servants are beaten. Where the Lord is displaced in the affections of the servant he will make an attack in some way or another on other servants. A man-servant or maid-servant has no conspicuous place in the establishment; normally they are orderly and quiet people. It is not any special servant that is attacked, but men-servants and maid-servants as a class. And then there is self-gratification -- the

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wicked servant eats and drinks and is drunken. What a picture of disorder is here given us, and the beginning of it is in losing heart for Christ. The wicked servant receives special retribution in that he is cut in two, and gets his portion with the unbelievers as well.

Following on this we have the principle that responsibility is according to what we may have received from the Lord. He had come to send fire on the earth, and it was already kindled. Since the flood fire is the token of God's judgment. It was there morally in the ministry of Christ, and it is here now by the Spirit, who maintains, among the saints, what answers to God's judgment. The fire works in us in the way of discipline, for we are baptised with the Holy Spirit and with fire, but when it is applied to the world it consumes it root and branch.

Notwithstanding the great activity for good and blessing which marked the Lord's life, He was straitened until His death was accomplished. Then He would be free to carry into effect all the counsels of love. At His birth the angels had announced peace on earth, but now He declares that He had not come to give peace on earth but division. The division, however, should be unequal. While Christ is rejected all effort to bring about peace is anti-christian. There is no peace to the wicked. It is when they say "Peace and safety" that sudden destruction comes upon them, 1 Thessalonians 5:3. At the Lord's birth it was "Peace on earth", but when He was entering Jerusalem to die it was "Peace in heaven"; peace is now in heaven. That peace is now brought to Christians, the "sons of peace", by the Holy Spirit.

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CHAPTER 13

The end of chapter 12 indicates that Israel shall not come out of God's judicial dealings with them until they have paid the last farthing. This shall be seen in the last days. The beginning of chapter 13 speaks of immediate judgment; "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish". Wickedness was not exceptional; it was general, and hence judgment of the most terrible and summary character was coming upon all. As Paul says later, "wrath is come upon them to the uttermost", 1 Thessalonians 2:16. But the wonderful thing was that a door of repentance was open to them; the presence of Christ involved that a door of repentance was open for them. The accumulated guilt of ages had come down to them, and they were responsible for this as well as their own sin, but a door of repentance was wide open. John the Baptist had preached the baptism of repentance, and many availed themselves of it and were baptised of him. They "justified God". Repentance means that we justify God and condemn ourselves. The issue was between God and Israel, and the presence of Christ carrying on a ministry of grace in the midst of the people was a wonderful overture on God's part. But they were wholly disregarding this, and now God was acting with a view to judgment. He was "in the way", Luke 12:58, with them, as it were, to the magistrate, but there was still a door of escape through repentance, and it was for them to take advantage of it.

Israel had been the fig tree of God's planting verse 6, and He gave it ample time to bear fruit, but it bore none. "Three years" signify that full time had been allowed, but there was no fruit. The additional year, no doubt, refers to Christ's sympathy for the nation. He prayed for their forgiveness on

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the cross, and there was an extension granted, as we learn from the Acts. "Repent ye therefore ... and he shall send Jesus Christ", Acts 3:19, 20. This clearly shows that there was an extension of time granted for repentance. But this was also rejected by the Jews, as witnessed in the murder of Stephen, so that they should "fill up their sins alway", as Paul says. They "killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us". Wrath has now come upon them, but there will be an awakening in the latter days; the "blowing of trumpets", Leviticus 23:24, coming a long period after Pentecost, precedes the day of atonement. The blowing of trumpets refers to the testimony by which Israel shall be awakened, and on the day of atonement they afflict their souls. They will acknowledge their guilt and God's righteous dealings with them; then they shall come into the benefit of the atoning work of Christ.

Luke 13 is transitional, showing the state of the people and the consequences of their guilt, immediate wrath coming on, and their house left desolate. Room is thus made for a house of another order, which is referred to in the two following chapters.

The woman who was "bowed together" for eighteen years represented the nation as having ceased to look heavenward. Satan had done this. Man is made to look up. God had formed him that way. God intended man to look up to Him, and He loves to look into man's countenance. How infinitely this was so when the Son became Man! Inasmuch as the Lord specially attributes the woman's state to Satan, we are enabled to judge of the enemy's inveterate opposition to God. He would rob God of the creature He specially designed for His pleasure. But the Son of God was there to undo the works of the devil, and so He said to the woman, "thou art loosed from thine infirmity", and immediately she

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was made straight and glorified God. Eighteen appears in two connections in the chapter, in verses 4 and 11 - 16. The first would be the judgment of God on the mass of the nation, covering the whole period of its guilt; the second is the power of grace acting for the remnant, but referring to the whole period during which they had been under Satan's power. The woman evidently had faith, for she was a daughter of Abraham. Israel shall be made Straight in the future, and they will look up to God and praise Him.

In verses 18 to 21 the Lord outlines the public history of Christianity. A great tree is a conspicuous thing. The grain of mustard seed became a great tree, and the fowls of the air lodged in its branches, The kingdom of God was not intended to become a conspicuous institution. The mustard seed was sown in the man's own garden; it was not, therefore, intended to become public property. Besides this, it would be corrupted. The woman hiding the leaven in the three measures of meal refers to the secret principles of corruption that have been at work, so that the whole is now leavened. Thus, that which was intended for God, as planted in His garden, and which was established here for man's blessing, has become a huge corrupt system.

The question, "Are there few that be saved?" leads to solemn words from the Lord as to personal responsibility, and the futility of outward privilege where, inward reality is wanting. It was a question of one getting saved oneself. The gate was strait; there was no room for the flesh. One has to be small to enter there. Many would seek to enter and would not be able. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets shall be seen in the kingdom, and those who took a place in it outwardly, but were unreal, thrust out. Moreover, there shall come those from

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the east, west, north and south and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

Finally, the Lord gives vent to His affection for the beloved city. How often would He have gathered her children as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but they "would not"!

CHAPTER 14

Chapter 13 closes with the solemn statement from the Lord that the Jewish temple was forsaken: "Behold, your house is left unto you". Chapters 14 and 15 speak of the house of God in its present character as taking the place of the house at Jerusalem. In chapter 13 we have, "your house is left unto you"; in chapter 14, "that my house may be filled". The contrast is striking. The Lord was guest in the Pharisee's house, but ultimately, we may say, He becomes Host; but this is in God's house.

The instruction which the Lord gives as to humility has reference to the house of God. Marking how those that were invited chose the chief rooms, He said, "When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room ... but when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher", verse 8 - 10 There we get instruction which should govern us as in the house of God. God is supreme in His house; He alone has title to promote there. "Go up higher" morally follows as we take the lowest room.

The actual surroundings in which the Lord was were really uncongenial to Him, but these uncongenial surroundings did not hinder Him in the activity of His grace, nor in His teaching; both went on. In the Pharisee's house we see the principles of the world; there were pretension and self-exaltation, but utter inability to relieve the need of

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man. The dropsical man was there, but no power to help him. The expression of the power of God in goodness in Christ and the house of God, as seen in the parable which follows, are in contrast to all this. The grace and teaching seen in the Pharisee's house would be greatly enhanced when transferred to the house of God. The grace which marked the Lord's ministry here, as seen in the gospels, now gives tone and character to the house of God. Christ went about "doing good". His ministry had men in view. The Pharisees would look after their animals on the Sabbath day, but disregarded human suffering; the Lord thought of men, and so healed the dropsical man on the Sabbath.

The initial feature of those who compose the house of God is humility, and this is what the Lord has in mind in the parable in verses 7 to 11. We all come in by invitation, and our wisdom is to take the low place. Humility imparts a wonderful character to the house of God as an institution actually in the presence of men down here; the opposite of what is in the world. Verses 12 to 14 speak of God's side, for He alone could act thus primarily. As the following parable shows, it is He who invites to His feast the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. But the example is set for all now, and the spirit of it should mark all Christians. Thus we have part with the "just", our recompense shall be "in the resurrection of the just".

The instruction as to humility is of the greatest importance. Taking the lowest room, we have promotion with God. To Him the house belongs, and He has title to promote. But we are not to take the servant's place; we are not invited to serve, but to have a place at table. In truth, a place in the house involves sonship. The world is not the sphere in which God exalts now; He has His house down here, and in it He bestows His honours.

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The Lord's remarks evidently suggested to one in the company the blessedness of eating bread in the kingdom of God, and this leads to the parable of the "great supper". The allusion is to what God finds now in Christ as having accomplished righteousness. God is infinitely above this world and the sin of man in it, in occupation with the Man who glorified Him in death. This is expressed in the figure of a great supper. It is God celebrating, as it were, and He invites all to the celebration. Nothing can exceed the greatness of the gospel picture presented here. It is not only a supper, but a great supper, and the invitations were many. A truly great occasion is contemplated. Think of God celebrating! It refers to His infinite satisfaction and delight in Christ as having accomplished redemption, and He invites all to participate in this. Those that had been bidden refused to come even to such a feast, each turning to his earthly interests; but God would have His house full, and so there would be not only invitations but compulsion. The gracious work of the Spirit is, doubtless, alluded to here. In Matthew 22 servants are spoken of; here it is servant. In Luke it is divine activity in grace; in Matthew human responsibility is more in view.

The scene depicted in this chapter embraces the present broad economy of grace. It is not simply Christ as He was here in flesh, but as He is now in heaven, having accomplished righteousness, and the Spirit active to bring souls into participation in what God finds in Christ. Chapter 13 speaks of the Lord casting out devils "today and to-morrow", and the third day being "perfected"; alluding to His death and resurrection. The teaching of chapter 14 assumes that His death has taken place; hence "all things" are said to be "ready". There was the power of the kingdom exercised in the Lord's ministry, but the celebration here contemplates Him

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in resurrection. Everything is ready, and God would have His house full in the enjoyment of the feast. The highways and hedges are to furnish guests; thus we Gentiles have come in. And the feast affords supreme happiness. If you were to go from this room to heaven tonight you would go into the happiest place! This happiness has been brought down here by the Spirit.

One would like to have the thought of God celebrating rightly in one's soul. The celebration in this chapter is greater than that in chapter 15. This chapter speaks of God's delight in Christ; chapter 15 refers to the returning prodigal. God has wonderful delight in the recovery of the Gentiles, but the parable we are dwelling on, and the record in the Acts, would show that He did not go to them until the Jews' rejection of the gospel forced Him to do so. This only emphasises His great love for Israel, and their guilt in rejecting His overtures.

The house of God as referred to in these chapters in Luke has a provisional character, and it stands related to the gospel. In John it is the family abode; we are there as in relationship with divine Persons, and so its eternal character is in view. Luke refers to the house as constituted in this world in the midst of human need and having this need in view.

The instruction in verses 25 to 35 is in moral order; it is a counterpart of the instruction furnished in the parable of the great supper. Multitudes would respond to the gospel invitation, and hence the Lord introduces the test of discipleship. The whole professing body would be vitiated unless this test was answered to. Christendom as it is now is a solemn testimony to this. The presence of the multitude (verse 25) gave rise to the Lord's remarks. If any man came to Him and hated not his father, mother, wife, children, brethren, sisters and even his own life he could not be Christ's disciple. Terrible

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word for the flesh, but how true practically! And then one has to bear one's cross and follow Christ. All this refers to the attitude of soul one takes up. The Christian position involves much more than most of us, especially young believers, are apt to calculate. We have here, further, the thought of building, and then also the thought of fighting. To undertake to build a tower and not be able to finish it brings us into reproach. Then to wage successful warfare we have to reckon whether we possess sufficient force to meet the enemy. Success in building and in conflict depends on our accepting the terms of discipleship. The Lord says: "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple". Salt was there, and it was "good", but if it lost its savour wherewith should it be salted? Christianity is the best thing that God could introduce, but it has lost its virtue in the public body, and so it is worse than useless. Christendom as it stands will be "cast out". The chapter is prophetic; the Lord says, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear".

CHAPTER 15

The great supper having been proclaimed, there comes up the question of moral suitability, what material will be used to fill the house. "This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them". What the heart of God is is opened out from this. None of those that were bidden should partake, but those who had no standing in this world the Lord would take up. The great thought running all through is the value of man as such to God and the divine activities to reach man. The whole is the parable of the love of God. He lost man: now He recovers him. The work of Christ connected with the activity of the Holy Spirit leads up to the sphere of relationship in

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the love of the Father. Hence there is joy emphasised with each finder. God has regained His seat in man's affections. Man is recovered, and so is opened up the light of reconciliation. The preciousness of man is emphasised by "if he lose one of them". With sovereign choice in the universe, divine wisdom chose man as the subject of purpose. What is wrought is not at random. Redemption is based on ownership. It is "my sheep which was lost".

The younger son is the figure of man as such; the elder son is a figure of the Jew in the place of privilege. "Israel is my son, my firstborn". The thought of man from the outset has been to go out from the presence of the Lord and to form his sphere of enjoyment away from and independent of God. He has received the portion of goods that falleth to him and has gone to the utmost distance of departure. The world is so built up.

The principle which comes in here is of individual recovery. Hence the principle of repentance is emphasised in each instance, yet with a change of illustration in each. First the effect of the work of Christ, then the persistent activities of the Holy Spirit discovering in the light every whit of what belongs to Christ as the gift of the Father, then the younger son as one who has intelligence and capacity to respond to love. Man was derived of God, hence he has heart and intelligence and now conscience Paul quotes to the Athenians, "We are also his offspring".

In recovery the great thought is not place; the house is only mentioned incidentally, it is moral suitability to God. The awakening comes when the power of Satan is broken and there is soul famine. There is a consciousness produced (new birth) of soul famine and of goodness with God. So it is the goodness of God which leads to repentance. There could be no idea of recovery apart from repentance,

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which is fundamental, and when wrought, heaven and the unjealous angels are affected with joy. The light in the house is doubtless connected with the saints, the house of God becomes the sphere of the Holy Spirit and they are His instruments. The light is in the house.

The return of the prodigal is the effect of need and consciousness of the plenty in the father's house. As yet moral suitability is not in evidence. The prodigal as such receives the embrace of the father; God commendeth His love towards us when we were yet sinners. The question of suitability follows with the best robe -- Christ.

The relationship of Father is the outflow of God in sovereignty. A man could have a house and fill it with friends, servants, paupers, whom he would. God in sovereignty chooses not angels or servants. He will fill His house with sons, and all take character from Christ. It is not only man, but man in relationship, hence the pleasure of God.

There was bread enough and to spare. There is plenty for Jew and Gentile. The fatted calf brings in the thought of the peace offering. "Let us eat, and be merry". In the peace offering there is the joy of all set out in sweet blessing. All meet on common ground, fruit of the death of Christ. There God meets with the offerer and the offering priest; the high priest with his family, all are found partaking in the common joy.

It is very affecting to see the father goes forth and preaches glad tidings even to the elder son; that is the Jew seen officially in the scribes and Pharisees. He is out in the field -- the world. "All that I have is thine". "Whose is the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the law-giving, and the service, and the promises; whose are the fathers; and of whom, as according to flesh, is the Christ, who is over all. God blessed for ever", Romans 9:4,5.

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Yet he has the effrontery to say, "thou never gavest me a kid"!

Historically the work of Christ accomplished, the ministry of reconciliation went to "the Jew first", and so continued even to the end of the Acts from Paul in prison at Rome. They drew near to the house as we see early in the Acts, where they heard great things going on, and they became greatly embittered at the evidence of divine grace. The spirit of the elder brother goes out ever in religious persecution, which ever opposes the sovereign mercy of God. Eventually in the day to come the Jew has to come in on the same ground, but not to the same measure of blessing.

The robe, ring, sandals, all speak the complacent pleasure of God. The things are true for every believer, but every believer, alas, is not in the good of them. Even as to sonship itself, "ye are all God's sons by faith in Christ Jesus" Galatians 3:26; but it is too true that many are unconscious of it. The elder brother in chapter 14 makes excuses to keep away from the house; in chapter 15 he is in the field, the world, and in chapter 16, he has become there rich and atheistic, seeing too late Abraham's bosom occupied by the despised and scorned.

The house of God is established down here and is connected with responsibility; the Father's house is connected with relationship and privilege and is now morally entered into.

What we get set out in this chapter is condition, now made possible by divine love; the significant thing being what is brought out. "Bring forth".

We are met in our lost condition by divine Persons and brought into the circle of divine love in moral suitability.

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CHAPTER 16

The bearing of these chapters is as adjusting the position of Jew and Gentile in relation to the testimony. The unjust steward indicates that the rejection of the Jews is contemplated. While the parable has a moral bearing now, yet the primary view-point is that the testimony had been committed to the Jews, which involved that God was to have a place with them, but it had come about that man had usurped the place.

The steward expresses the idea that the wise and prudent in Israel take the opportunity of providing for the future, while the mass of the nation act foolishly.

The presence of the Lord brought in the thought of eternal life; the nation would be cast out, but He opens up a place in the eternal order of things and the wise take advantage of it. They were wise for the future. Barnabas is an illustration of one who used what he had here with regard to heavenly things. Money cannot help you in eternity, but can be of value while saints are in the body. There would be no money or exchange but for the incoming of sin, but they are necessary things now while we are in the body in view of the present condition of things.

The end of chapter 13 shows the house left desolate, the Jews are not now privileged as a nation. The gospel is not specially presented to them. The Lord had opened to them the eternal system, and He points out their folly in not embracing such an opportunity. The sons of this world were Jews who had the position of being sons of fight, but were not true to it.

The point enforced is in verse 11: "If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?" There is a great privilege opened up to those who

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have means. God gives gracious opportunity to use them in connection with the testimony; the Lord takes account of what we are doing, and the effect will be seen in the day to come.

Two masters cannot be served, but Israel chose mammon instead of God. The Christian is called to the service of God, mammon cannot be preferred to it. It is significant that the connection between covetousness and idolatry is very intimate, they are really the same. The important thing both for Israel and the assembly is to discern the call to the service of God in its full meaning.

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus emphasizes the eternal end of the man who elects mammon instead of God. It is characteristic of Luke to give the view of what is eternal; Matthew and Mark present more the present aspect of the testimony. In the end of chapter 16 the Jew is shown as the despiser of the grace of God, no matter what the dispensation. The rich man is seen as providentially possessing everything here, but only uses it in the present, while the poor man lay at his gate desiring the crumbs; this refers to the place of the Jew and Gentile. The poor man in Abraham's bosom showed that the Gentile had secured a better place than the Jew, for whom there was no better place than earth, but Abraham was no longer on earth, so that a place in heaven is indicated.

Lazarus in a way shows a pressing into the kingdom (verse 16); it was a very unwelcome position to be laid at the rich man's gate. Pressing into the kingdom is a different thought from access to heaven; we are carried into heaven. There was that here which the Lord introduced which has to be forced into in the face of determined opposition; the thought of the kingdom of God is moral, and one has to see the position the Lord occupied here. "The kingdom of God is among you", but nature is

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against you and you have to do violence and force the way in. One even has to be born again to see it. The kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God, the kingdom of your Father, the kingdom of the Son, are all different aspects of the same thing, they cover the same period and refer to the same fact from varied standpoints. It is important to note Abraham's bosom is not the kingdom, but a place of privilege; for us it is the Lord's bosom. The parable is a Jewish figure, and the thought of angelic agency is brought in, but we are carried by the Lord, He comes for us; so Stephen says, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit".

We cannot define the sufferings that are here depicted, but we can have some idea of what it is to be under wrath with a guilty conscience constantly smiting. It is a very significant that the rich man does not question the justice of his place. As to verse 31, the Jew has rejected the testimony of the One who rose from the dead.

CHAPTER 17

The opening verses still indicate the Jews despising the Gentiles by throwing obstacles in their way. Then the word, "Take heed", comes to the disciples; the Lord, by His word, is adjusting the position consequent on our having taken the place of the Jews on earth. Now the spirit of Christianity was to be the spirit of constant forgiveness. In the light of this the apostles are constrained to say, "Lord, increase our faith". Actually they had to overcome the position of the nation with all its prestige; there had never been anything on earth like it, but before their faith it would disappear into the sea of nations. This is what has actually happened. The grain of mustard seed has reference to light in regard to what God is doing, and this light always has

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reference to Christ's position and what is being done at the moment. Stephen and the twelve did not really want the nation displaced. Peter's testimony in Acts 2 and Acts 3 shows his desire that the nation might be retained. In fact, any one who sympathised with God would not want the nation dispersed until God had given them up, which is not until their final rejection of the testimony. This manner of faith really came out in Paul's day, then the nation was definitely set aside.

In verses 7 to 10 we have very valuable instruction for all who serve the Lord; we cannot take credit for what we are ordered to do, the question is whether we even do so much. The Lord is not here telling them what He is actually thinking of their service, but He is thinking. We, however, cannot take account of our own service.

In the incident of the ten lepers the stranger came back and glorified God. The stranger represents the Gentile. The others had no sense of sovereign grace. The point is that the Lord says, "Go, show yourselves unto the priests", and the question is whether they are going to recognise the Jewish system to which He sent them, or the vessel through whom the blessing came. That vessel had really superseded the official system. It is true the Lord yet recognised it and sent them to it, but now it is no longer a question of what is official but of a Person, and God does not get His glory until that Person is recognised. God gets His title in this stranger. It is a very precious thought that God gets His glory in the recognition of the vessel through which the blessing has come. It is the voice of the Gentile in recognition of God in Christ, that is God's present portion.

Then following that the kingdom is introduced in its present aspect "the kingdom of God is in the midst of you". There are days coming when they

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will desire to see the days of the Son of man, but the assembly will be gone before then. The whole character and effect of the sudden appearing of the day of the Son of man is unfolded. The eagles of judgment will experience no difficulty in finding their prey.

CHAPTERS 18 AND 19

These chapters refer to the conditions that existed consequent upon God breaking with Israel. Chapter 15 contemplates the entrance of the Gentiles, the elder brother being the Jew, and the subject is pursued in these chapters, verse 7. The reference to prayer has a moral application, and to circumstances possibly such as arose at the time of the death of Peter. The saints were under great pressure, and such a passage will probably be of great help in the future. Nothing is more practical than prayer; you do not abandon your petitions, faith continues, though God may not apparently intervene. The faith of the remnant is tested, even though God seems to linger in answer. He is sure to answer. The question, "when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" is interesting, suggesting the line of faith beginning in Abel, which continues right through the remnant up to the world to come. It may be a very thin line, but we find it.

In the parable of the Pharisee and publican the Pharisee is the Jew and the publican represents the attitude of the Gentile, a man with no religious status. The Lord intervenes to obliterate what is here, and a new order of things comes in. The principles are of practical application for the present moment, which is true of the word of God universally. Historical epistles may be referred to, but they are for the help of the people of God generally.

The bringing of the little children to Jesus suggests

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that the disciples needed teaching: they had to be instructed as to the kind of material of which the kingdom will be built. We greatly need instruction as to the spirit of the kingdom and the system with which we are connected. The Lord teaches that His principles were to be brought out in a new generation, and the disciples had to learn it in connection with the little children. They are those who in the absence of will are in the spirit to be taught of God. The little child is unsophisticated and free from what is of the world. God brings in the new generation. The instruction which the world affords cannot help you in this. It is a precious thought that the Lord touches the little children. Every system had an opportunity to form a generation; now the Lord puts His own stamp upon the generation He has to do with.

In Matthew 11 everything outwardly had gone, then the Father hid things from the wise and prudent and revealed them unto babes, so that wisdom is justified in a new generation taking the impress of Christ, who is meek and lowly in heart. It encourages us to bring our children to the Lord, so that the Lord might put His stamp upon them. Your part is to bring them to Him, and in due time He will touch them. Every wise man brings his children to Christ. If you are not literally a little child, you must become as such. You must have the faith of the gospel, the gospel presents affection, and in growth you maintain the simplicity of the child. Thus the kingdom has to be received differently from the way in which men receive any other system. Children are the good seed of the kingdom. To receive as a little child is to receive it simply, not as a mere religious system. The kingdom of God is power available for you.

Through the question of the ruler the Lord brings out the difficulty besetting those who have riches.

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The blind man illustrates one who valued the kingdom; the Lord was there. He saw the Lord and the Lord helped him.

Zacchaeus was searching for righteousness: he was affected by grace in righteousness. His riches did not prevent him from entering the kingdom. The Lord goes voluntarily to the house of Zacchaeus. He knew what He was doing. It was not only that Zacchaeus would get blessing, but his house would get blessing. There is no one from Abraham down in the line of faith who is not a child of Abraham, so Zacchaeus is designated as son of Abraham; he had no religious status, but the Lord puts him in the line of Abraham. It was a sign of earnest desire to be where he could see the Lord, that he could humiliate himself to climb up into the tree. His climbing the tree was really humbling himself morally. He was where the Lord could see him, and so he comes under the Lord's protection. The Lord exercises no authority where there is no moral response to Him. The Lord says, Salvation has come to your house today, meaning that the kingdom was there.

Those waiting expected that the kingdom of God was about to be immediately manifested, but the Lord shows His going away and the ground to be occupied by His ten bondmen. It is a question of responsibility. The Lord's absence puts us to the test to be faithful. The millennium is the end of responsibility, which is then in the hands of the Lord; all previous periods were in the hands of man. The mention of ten bondmen indicates the whole period of responsibility, so that we are included. It is not simply a question of the apostles, but covers the whole Christian period. The point of view in Matthew is the present activity of Christendom. While a great deal is being done the Lord's character is not appreciated; He is referred to as an "austere man", which is not like Christ. If there is to be

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service, it must present Christ in some way. It means something to the Lord if one has the Lord before him in service. The idea in the parable is that you are holding something for Him and you are thinking of Him. There may be many with more gift and light than they are using, but they have the Lord before them, and He takes account of that. The Lord has peculiar pleasure in taking account of people who have Him before them, even though they cannot be active. The whole teaching of the parable is trading in the light of the grace of the kingdom.

The ground of judgment was that the man misrepresented the character of the Lord. It is beautiful to see how the Lord keeps His coming before His servants. It is not "trade while I am away", but "trade while I am coming", verse 14, New Translation.

CHAPTER 20

In considering the Lord's utterances we have to take account of the position or surroundings in which He may have spoken. What these two chapters, 20 and 21 record, took place in Jerusalem, chiefly in the temple. He is speaking in the metropolis, and what He says involves the exposure and removal of the whole Jewish system. Every question raised by the Lord's opposers only served to expose and confound them.

First, they raise the question of His authority; then the Lord charges them with the design to kill the true Heir so as to seize the inheritance; and further, He forces them to admit that they were in bondage to a Gentile master.

Here, in chapter 20, it is not a question of teaching the disciples; the Lord was in Jerusalem for the last time, and He was meeting the conditions there judicially. He does not explain His authority in answers to the leaders' question (verse 2); He answers

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them. They must decide as to John first; was his baptism of heaven or of men? They feared the people, and so could not deny openly that John's baptism was from heaven; however, they said they could not tell whence it was. And so the Lord says He would not tell them by what authority He was acting.

This was not arbitrary on the Lord's part; it was right that persons so devoid of all moral rectitude should be placed at this disadvantage. What is to be noted here is that in all these encounters with the Jewish leaders the Lord has the last word. His word was final in each case. In endeavouring to answer questions it is of great importance to be exercised so that what is said may be in spiritual power and intelligence; thus that our answers may be final. The Lord says, "I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist", Luke 21:15. Stephen was a great exemplification of this. All ministry that is of the Holy Spirit carries its own evidence with it: it is convincing where there is not prejudice. And even gainsayers were to be convicted, and have their mouths stopped; Titus 1:10.

The parable of the vineyard came home with terrible force to the chief priests and scribes. They were at issue with God. Him whom they were refusing. God would exalt to the highest place. In falling on this stone one should be broken, but on whomsoever it should fall it should grind him to powder.

The question as to the tribute brought further confusion on the Lord's adversaries. They had to own that they were under a foreign yoke. The Lord says, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's", verse 25. "They marvelled at his answer, and held their peace".

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The Sadducees raised the question of the resurrection. That was a great problem. What conditions are to prevail in God's world? The Sadducees denied that there was such a thing as a spiritual world. They erred, not knowing the Scripture, nor the power of God. Christianity is founded on the fact of the resurrection; that Christ is risen. Moreover, God is a Spirit, and the order of things which He has in view to remain before Him must be of a spiritual character. The material world is but an index to the spiritual. The Sadducees would limit us to the index! The Lord explains that "they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead ... are equal to angels; and are children of God, being the children of the resurrection". Though they remain men, they have spiritual bodies; they are in a wholly new condition. In the resurrection from the dead we receive bodies which are equal to our spirits. Stephen committed his spirit to the Lord, but we read that he was carried to his burial. That man was buried and he shall be raised from among the dead; but he shall be raised in a "spiritual body". In what the Lord says here in Luke 20, He is not referring to all the dead, but to those who have part in the "first resurrection" -- those raised from among the dead.

The Lord now becomes aggressive, and raises the question as to His own Person. "How say they that Christ is David's son? ... David ... calleth him Lord, how is he then his son?" What a testimony from their own Scriptures as to the Messiah's Person! But the poor Jewish leaders were in utter darkness, and there is no response. This great truth is introduced here no doubt as needed in the way of testimony in the exposure of what existed at Jerusalem. Everything, of course, depended on the Christ being what the psalm quoted implies; that He was

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David's Lord, and hence a divine Person. It is very noticeable how frequently the question as to the Lord's Person is raised among the saints. No doubt it is to keep us constantly in mind of who He is; that He is truly God, and truly Man. The assembly shall understand His announcement -- "I am the root and the offspring of David".

CHAPTER 23

The last four verses of chapter 22 bring in an important point regarding the Lord's declaration, "Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God". It comes out in the gospels as well as in Stephen that the charge of blasphemy for which He is condemned to death is that Man should be in the glory of God in the heavens. Psalm 8 sets forth Christ established as man in heaven, opening out a new order of things. Hebrews 1 takes up the Son, as Son of God, and chapter 2 as Son of man. As Son of God He comes in from God's side, and He becomes the Head and leader of a generation constituted according to God. As Son of man He comes in from man's side. It is the answer to Genesis 3 which evidences Satan's-intent to destroy what God has instituted in man, and the Son of man administering everything from the throne of God in the heavens is the answer to that. When it is a question of the Son of God, God is in view; and when it is a question of the Son of man, man is in view. In His eternal being He is viewed apart from time. The generation that is formed for God is a generation of sons, and it is taken up in connection with His name who is Son of God, that is, in incarnation; as man entering in to make a new place in a new condition. He goes in as Son of man. We go into heaven by virtue of

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the fact that our forerunner has gone in for vs. Government and judgment are vested in the Son of man.

The purport of these verses is to fix on Israel their guilt; the One of whom every revelation was made is now before them in the full light of His witness; their guilt is to be consummated by putting such an One to death.

In chapter 23 we have brought into view every circle, not merely Israel. The circumstances connected with the cross are detailed as nowhere else. All that had been associated with Christ here was brought under test, as seen in the disciples and Judas. Then comes the hour of the power of Satan; in Luke 4 he left Him for a season, but here he returns. Afterwards the nation represented in the chief priests and the elders and the multitude are brought into view. Next comes that governmental power which God had delivered to Nebuchadnezzar and which had descended, to the Roman empire. Thus that which is divine, human and satanic comes to light in connection with the cross of Christ.

We do not get here the character of the sin-offering as in Matthew. It is the One who is entering into death to accomplish reconciliation. He has before Him everything; He must needs endure to bring it about. What we get in Luke is grace. What is before the Lord here is the great work of reconciliation in view of everything being for the pleasure of God. It is characteristic of Luke that while the darkness is alluded to it is not dwelt on, and the forsaking is not there. The offering of Himself in Luke shows Him who agonises for the birth of a generation for the eternal pleasure of God. But for the death of Christ the whole scene where man is must have been wiped out from before God; everything was held back for the coming of Christ, the true burnt-offering. God still bears in patience, because it is the day. Of

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grace established in the Christ, who is the perpetual burnt-offering.

The scripture in Hebrews 5 shows that the Lord was heard on account of His piety, and now He can minister to and succour the race which has been begotten through His death, because He has been right down to the lowest depths Himself to reach them.

The significance of the veil of the temple rent in the midst shows the setting aside of that system. What was established here on earth in the way of separation and division is swept away. God does not constitute new Jews and new Gentiles, but one new man in Christ. Christ the Son of man has gone in so that we can go in by the new and living way, Hebrews 10. In the temple the veil was to exclude; for us the veil is the way in, "the veil; that is to say, his flesh.".

The place of Simon is interesting. "Him they compelled to bear the cross". It is in line with all the rest here; that is, it is another consequence of the death of Christ. There is the thought of compulsion, not what is voluntary. Simon did not seek it, they compel him to bear it. They put the cross on Simon and compelled him to bear it.

Israel is then brought into view in connection with the tree. "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me". "If this is done in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" The green tree in Scripture is testimony, which may or may not include fruit. For instance, in Hosea where Ephraim is addressed he is spoken of purely in the place of testimony as a fir tree, which does not bring forth fruit. The fruit comes from Christ. The answer to what they were now doing is seen in the condition of the Jew at the present day. They have no city, no temple, no nation. They are a dry tree. Up to this point the nation as such was in the position of testimony,

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the figure is used in the parable of the fig tree. Israel was put in the place of the tree, but was false to it as to every other relationship, therefore Christ had to take it up and become it. He became the tree for testimony and also the fruit bearer. But nationally it is now the dry tree. Israel will turn to the Lord again by and by, and no longer will fruit be looked for directly from them, but from Christ through them. The Gentiles are warned under the simile of a tree in Romans 11.

The place of the skull is the place where it is made manifest that death with all its degradation and shame and all its corrupt power has destroyed that which should have been the glory of man, his mind. The seat of his intellect is his skull, and the proof of his degradation was that the blessed Lord Himself was being put to death. Had the princes of this world known they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The centurion gives a testimony of the turning of the Gentile to the light of God.

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Pages 93 - 198. "Resurrection Levitical Privilege", Indianapolis, 1911 (Volume 13).

RESURRECTION

Joshua 3

J.T. My thought was to consider the resurrection in a general way, but more especially as the testimony to God's power. This chapter sets forth the power that was inherent in Christ personally. At the Red Sea the authority of God appeared. Moses was told to stretch out his rod over the sea. That involved God's power, as is seen in the way resurrection is viewed in Romans; but it also involved God's authority; Moses' rod represents this. The ark of the covenant, as we know, was not in existence at the passage of the Red Sea. The prominence given to the ark here in Joshua points to the power that was inherent in Christ personally in grappling with death. These are two points which are necessary for our souls to take in if we are to understand resurrection. The presence of death in the world necessarily affected the authority of God; and in the death of Christ, as typified in the Red Sea, what is more especially emphasised is God's power. It is that aspect of His death that is in view in the epistle to the Romans.

R.S.S. Why do you say that death, as it exists in the world, calls in question the authority of God?

J.T. Because it afforded the enemy a means of holding man in bondage, Hebrews 2:15.

R.S.S. But God brought it in.

J.T. Yes, but Satan took advantage of it and used it as a means of holding man in bondage; the Red Sea typifies death in a more extended form, as I might say, than that which is set forth in the Jordan. I think the Jordan is death concentrated and active. A river overflowing its banks suggests a concentrated

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power in activity. I think it is used in that way to symbolise death in all its power concentrated, as it appeared at the death of Christ. That is, we have death set forth in the Red Sea in its extended form, as covering the whole history of the race, and in Jordan as concentrated in all its power against Christ. It is in the latter form that we see the power that was inherent in Christ in dealing with it.

R.S.S. The one aspect of the resurrection would be set forth in the Red Sea, and the other in the Jordan?

J.T. Yes. The ark of the covenant was at Jordan, but not at the Red Sea. As to types representing death, I think Jordan is the power of death, the totality of it, concentrated in the hand of Satan, and brought to bear on Christ in Gethsemane; therefore, the power that was inherent in Him comes to light in meeting it.

A.F.M. In 2 Timothy we read, "Christ who has annulled death, and brought to light life and incorruptibility by the glad tidings".

J.T. I think that is an allusion to it. There it is what Christ did, whereas in Romans it is what God did.

Ques. What do you make of the fact that as soon as the priests' feet touched the water Jordan receded.

J.T. I think it refers to the inherent holiness of Christ in dealing with death. Death had to recede. As well as active power there was inherent holiness in Christ, which the priestly side represents. I think it is proper to connect the passage of Jordan and entrance into Canaan with the promises of God made to the fathers, because the truth of resurrection is especially connected with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In taking up Abraham God showed that everything should be on the basis of His power. "I am the Almighty God", He said. And in the

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New Testament the Spirit reverts to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Lord alluded to them in meeting the Sadducees. He says: "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God". Then He cited what God said to Moses: "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob", and added: "God is not the God of the dead but of the living". The great point in Romans is God's power. He can call things which be not as though they are.

A.F.M. It was in view of the light Abraham gained in regard to Isaac that he buried Sarah, was it not?

J.T. Sarah's is the first mention of a burial in Scripture, and undoubtedly it is in view of the light in which God made Himself known to Abraham; that is, he buried her in the light of resurrection.

R.S.S. And when we get burial mentioned in Scripture we also find resurrection. The first mention of a burial follows upon the great resurrection chapter, Genesis 22. There we have Isaac raised up figuratively.

J.T. Hence the great importance of connecting the entrance into Canaan with the light communicated to Abraham. That is, we have here, in Joshua 3, typically the nation coming up out of Jordan on the principle of life from among the dead.

Ques. What is Canaan?

J.T. Canaan is the sphere of purpose -- the promised land.

I should like to have it made clear how the abolition of death places the believer in the wilderness. We have to take account of the way in which we are placed in the wilderness.

Ques. Why does God present Himself in this chapter as the Lord of the whole earth? In connection with the ark He says: "the ark of the covenant of the Lord of the whole earth".

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J.T. Because it is a question of God's right to dispose of the earth. "The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof". Psalm 22 shows the death of Christ, Psalm 23 the wilderness, and Psalm 24 God is taking up His right to the earth. "The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof". At the Red Sea it is a question of God's right to the people. Satan held sway over them and that questioned God's authority. God had a right to the people. But what comes to light at the Jordan is that God has a right to the whole earth as well. At the Red Sea it is not a question of the inheritance, but of the people, and God's authority over them.

A.F.M. There is a way through the Red Sea into the wilderness and a way from the wilderness through the Jordan into the land. Will you make the two a little more clear?

J.T. At the Red Sea God asserts His authority, because Satan had held His people under his influence by means of death. The Red Sea was the barrier out of Egypt, the barrier that lay in their way. Saints need to be clear as to the fact that, through the death of Christ, God has disposed of the power of the enemy as holding them in bondage.

Ques. What is the wilderness?

J.T. It is what the world has become to those who believe in God who raised Christ from the dead.

A.R.S. Do you learn in the wilderness what you are in yourself?

J.T. That is another chapter of wilderness experience, and that leads to Jordan, but what intervenes between the Red Sea and Jordan is the formation of the tabernacle and all that pertained to it, especially the ark of the covenant; therefore, what we see is that the believer there is learning something of Christ personally. The ark of the covenant is what Christ is personally. So the passage of the Jordan is connected with the epistle to the Colossians.

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Ques. After you learn the Red Sea you are prepared to learn what Christ is personally, so that affection may take up what He has gone through; that is, the Jordan. It is a question of affection and privilege, is it not?

J.T. I think so. The ark of the covenant refers to Christ personally, and the fact of its coming into view in the wilderness corresponds typically to subjective growth in the believer.

W.J.N. Do you mean that in the wilderness you get light as to these things?

J.T. Yes.

W.J.H. It is a question of the testimony in the wilderness, is it not?

J.T. The wilderness is presented in several ways in Scripture; among these, and most specifically, it refers to the normal progress of the believer in his soul, and that involves the apprehension of Christ personally.

W.J.N. What is on my mind in regard to testimony is in connection with the ark being carried right through. Has not that some significance?

J.T. Yes; but that would be connected rather with the saints viewed collectively in the wilderness, which is another line of truth. There are different viewed of the wilderness. In the first place, it is what the world has become to those who believe in God who raised up Christ. Then, too, the wilderness is the place where we learn what God is, and what we are in ourselves, and also where we learn Christ personally, the ark of the covenant. All this leads to Jordan, and results as to the believer's experience in a state that corresponds with Canaan; so that, in a certain sense; that is, as to state, such are always over Jordan.

From another point of view, the wilderness may be looked upon as a scene in which the saints, viewed as having entered Canaan, have to pursue a

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path that is contrary to them. For faith they are risen and glorified, and so set forth the heavenly traits here in the wilderness. They are a heavenly people in the wilderness. Philippians contemplates such a people.

W.B. The Red Sea is what a soul is brought into individually. He is brought to God. Christ died, "the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God".

J.T. Yes, that sets you on your path in the wilderness. You are there with God.

W.B. You get what answers to this in Romans 5. We experience what God is to us in the pathway.

J.T. Yes; but Romans does not contemplate the believer as risen. It is important to distinguish between the teaching of Romans and Colossians and Ephesians in regard to resurrection. Romans does not regard us as risen with Christ. It regards us as believing in God, who raised up Christ for us. We are brought to God, and an experience begins which ends in Canaan.

R.S.S. Does not the beginning of Romans 8, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus", involve the power of resurrection?

J.T. Yes, but it is put abstractly. It is "those in Christ Jesus", not you who are in Christ Jesus. "In Christ" in Scripture always involves new creation. Romans 8 shows what the believer has in the Spirit, although still in the wilderness. It does not contemplate you as having reached God's purpose. It shows how the believer is rendered independent of the flesh because of the Spirit. It is not the Spirit introducing you into Canaan, but the Spirit sustaining you in the wilderness, rendering you independent of the flesh.

A.F.M. In Romans we come to the edge of the Jordan, where Joshua 3 begins. In Colossians we

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cross over and reach Gilgal. In Ephesians we are in possession of the land.

J.T. Colossians brings us as far as Gilgal.

W.J.N. Is not Colossians more on the line of light than experience?

J.T. Yes, it is light that corresponds with the subjective state in those to whom the light is given. In Romans and in Ephesians God addresses souls according to their state. The Colossians were not equal to the light given to the Ephesians, hence you do not get the fulness of light in Colossians that you get in Ephesians. In Colossians the Spirit regards the saints as raised on the principle of faith. They see more than the Roman saints could have seen. Romans contemplates the believer as seeing God's power in raising Christ, but it does not contemplate him as seeing God's power in raising the saints. In Colossians the light communicated contemplates that they were equal to seeing that God's power raised them while raising Christ.

What I should like to make clear is how God has disposed of death in its extended authority over man's spirit, so that we are wholly relieved of the pressure of Satan's power. But then you have to come to the other side, namely, that God has a sphere of His own into which He introduces us, and in that sphere everything is on the ground of resurrection, not only the resurrection of Christ, but our resurrection also.

Rem. That sphere is Canaan.

J.T. Yes, so that the saints get on to that ground. I think the entrance into Canaan corresponds with the light communicated to Abraham, that everything in God's world is put on the ground of resurrection.

Ques. How does the power of God act towards us in bringing us to that point?

J.T. Every nation relies on the power that is inherent in it, otherwise it exists only on sufferance.

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What we want to see is that the system inaugurated by God relies upon its own inherent power, the power of God demonstrated in the resurrection of Christ.

R.S.S. That power is in Christ?

J.T. Yes, but in Christ as among His people. The ark of the covenant, you may say, goes forward on our side.

A.F.M. Reference has been made to affection as that by which we are now drawn over to the other side. Is there not another view, in which actual dissolution of the body takes place; by actual death we pass the last barrier between the wilderness and the land?

J.T. Yes, quite so; but what is in view here is not that. It is God's people getting their feet practically on the ground of divine purpose. You not only want the light of resurrection, but also the power, and you cannot really enter into Christian privilege without it.

Ques. How do you get that?

J.T. By the Spirit.

A.F.M. We have deliverance from the enemy's power at the Red Sea; then the wilderness, where we learn not only ourselves, but we also learn Christ -- the ark of the covenant; and we are finally brought to the bank of Jordan, which lies between us and God's purpose for us, and in order to enter into God's purpose we must go through Jordan; that is, we must accept death and resurrection with Christ. This brings us over to His sphere; having affection we follow, we want to get our feet on that platform.

Ques. Is there any similarity between that and when Peter walked on the water to join the Lord?

J.T. What comes to light there is that the Lord sustains him. It is a question of sustainment that comes from the Lord. What I have in mind is,

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that before you can enter info what I call proper Christian privilege you must know resurrection; not only must you see God's power as active in raising Christ, but also in raising the saints -- that we are raised.

Rem. That is typified in taking the people right through.

J.T. So that you are now in full correspondence with the light communicated to the fathers; the people are now typically on the ground of the land of promise. There we are on ground that is unassailable. We are not there on sufferance. We are on ground that is unassailable on account of the power that was demonstrated in the resurrection of Christ.

W.B. I do not quite understand about the ground being unassailable, because "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against ... spiritual wickedness in high places". Does not that refer to the assembly?

J.T. But before that kind of warfare we have the testimony of Jordan, which signifies all hostile power in the hand of the enemy concentrated against Christ and against His people. That is overthrown. It is not simply that a way is made through it. It is entirely overthrown.

Ques. Is it overthrown by the priests' feet touching the water?

J.T. It is overthrown by Christ going into it.

The point is that every vestige of death is destroyed, the waters were cut off. There was no water to be seen. Now, what power is there greater than that? There is none. The power of death has been broken. Therefore the platform on which we stand is unassailable; There is no power capable of coping with it.

Rem. And the way is now free right in.

J.T. Now you are free. Just as a nation at war, the position of the nation is assailed. If it is victorious it is by inherent power, and the nation stands upon that power, otherwise it is simply living on

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sufferance. Our position is unassailable. The power that has been demonstrated to protect the position is infinitely greater than the power against it.

Rem. I see that the power is there; but, as a matter of fact, the people got out of the land afterwards because they did not do what the Lord told them.

J.T. God reaches a point in testimony that shows what He can do. What we may do in responsibility is another matter. The point is what He can do.

Ques. Does it contemplate what He will actually do by-and-by?

J.T. It does. The thousand years, the millennium, in Scripture refer to what God can do. One thousand is ten multiplied by one hundred. Ten represents man's responsibility, in which in every case he broke down. It is always so when it is a question of responsibility. Now, for the thousand years God multiplies ten by one hundred and maintains it intact; everything is maintained intact in the way of testimony. The book of Joshua sets forth the power of God in accomplishing His promises to the fathers. He was the Almighty God, and hence nothing failed, every promise was fulfilled. The whole land of Canaan was given to Abraham's seed.

A.F.M. As to how we are brought into the good of it, is it not a question of light? It says: "Ye are risen with him through faith of the operation of God".

J.T. That is the light of it; but there is an additional thought, namely, that we are quickened with Him. That refers to what is subjective. We are made to correspond to the light which has been presented to us.

Ques. In what way are we quickened with Him?

J.T. By the action of the Spirit. It refers to His formative work in our affections. Apart from

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that the light would be ineffective with us; we could not appreciate it.

Rem. As quickened you can take a step forward to follow the light.

J.T. Yes; you are prepared for it, and God gives it to you as you are prepared for it.

R.S.S. Why was it that the people were to remain at a distance of two thousand cubits from the ark?

J.T. To maintain the personal distinctness of the deity of Christ in dealing with death. He had to go into it alone.

A.F.M. Reference is made to the way. "Ye have not passed this way heretofore". It suggests that no one but Christ could lead that way.

J.T. I think so. And it is very important that whilst we are associated with Christ in the operation of God His distinctness as a divine Person is maintained in the soul.

J.N.H. Ordinarily the Levites properly carried the ark. We notice here that the priests do that.

J.T. Because it refers to the intrinsic holiness of Christ. It is well to connect Gethsemane with the passage of Jordan.

W.B. What is the difference between the term here, "The Lord of the whole earth", and the thought of the God of the earth in Revelation?

R.S.S. "The priests that bare the ark of Jehovah, the Lord of all the earth". It is Jehovah. Would that be connected with the promises to the fathers?

J.T. Yes. Jehovah as a name represents God's faithfulness, whereas the Lord here is Master or supreme Ruler. Both names are in this chapter of Joshua. In Revelation I think that God asserts His creatorial rights on earth and over men. Men would readily give glory to the God of heaven, but the truth involved in the book of Revelation is that He is God of the earth.

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R.S.S. "And Joshua said ... ye shall know that the living God is among you". This refers to God in another way.

J.T. That expresses my thought of the chapter. It shows that the power is inherent; the living God is amongst us.

W.H.C. It was in the mind of God that Israel should have gone immediately from Egypt into the land, without having to go through the wilderness. Is not that the thought in Ephesians?

J.T. But it was God's thought that they should go through death. They could have gone to Canaan by land; but God prevents them from doing that. That was, no doubt, the way the Philistines went up, and hence they were enemies of God's people. I think God permits things to test us, and works out His purposes by that means. It was eleven days journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea; that is, to the entrance of the land. They could have gone up in eleven days, but it took forty years. I think that while God tested them by the testimony of the spies He worked out His purpose through their want of appreciation.

R.S.S. And it brought out that everything of the flesh must go before they really could enter the land. The brazen serpent and the springing well follows.

Rem. It involves the idea of responsibility, too, on their side.

J.T. Yes, it does.

W.B. Is not the history of Israel given as a great lesson as to how one progresses from the bottom to the top? We have to begin at the bottom. We see things from the top, but we have to begin with the Red Sea and go up.

J.T. The important thing is the knowledge of God. One great element in the knowledge of God is to know His power; and I think you will find His power in Romans, Colossians and Ephesians. But

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Ephesians gives the greatest exhibition of His power.

R.S.S. Where is the power of God specially referred to in Colossians?

J.T. The operation of God when He raised Christ from the dead, chapter 2: 12.

R.S.S. And in Romans at the end of chapter 4, "Believe on him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead"?

J.T. Yes, He was able to perform what He had promised.

W.H.C. Paul preached that Jesus was the Son of God, and the resurrection was the declaration of it.

W.B. Is there any possibility of a soul getting on according to God apart from the knowledge of resurrection?

J.T. When he does not know resurrection he is exposed to the power of evil. Saints are sure to accommodate themselves to the world if they do not know the power of God as for them, if they are not in the truth of resurrection.

Ques. What is the significance of the water piling up far, by the city Adam?

J.T. To show how completely death was overthrown.

Ques. Why does it say "at the time of the harvest"?

J.T. That was the time when Jordan was at its highest.

A.E.M. I was thinking of all the power of the enemy being concentrated against Christ. They were all driven back, put out of sight, utterly routed and defeated.

J.T. I think it helps to think of the difference between a sea and a river. Whilst a river is not so great a body of water, yet it is more condensed and active than a sea.

R.S.S. It is very helpful to see the difference between the Red Sea and the Jordan. As I understand

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it, the Red Sea is more the thought of meeting death in a general way.

J.T. Yes, in the way in which death affected man. But it is another matter to see it as brought to bear, by the devil against Christ. That was what came to light at Gethsemane.

R.S.S. In connection with the question as to why the waters were out off to the city Adam, I think it indicates that the waters entirely disappeared. They were cut off far above the place, and they exhausted themselves in the Dead Sea, so that when the people passed over there was no water to be seen. When they passed through the Red Sea the waters were in sight, as a wall to them on either side. And when the Lord in John 8 was speaking to the Jews He said to them, possibly in view of what we are speaking of now, "If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death". He does not see the water. God's people crossing over do not see the water.

J.T. The resurrection of Christ did not involve the complete disappearance of death. We know it has continued ever since. As to the wilderness position, it remains; but for faith we see that God has raised Christ; Christ is out of it, and when we cross the Jordan we are out of it too. It is an immense thing for the saints to arrive at the point where they know that the living God is among them. That is what we want to know. When you reach that point you are invulnerable; there is no power that can cope with you. They crossed over against Jericho -- the place where Satan's political power was located.

Ques. How is it that when God promised the land to Abraham the promise extended as far as the Euphrates, and then afterwards as we see here, when the children of Israel entered the land the boundary seems to be the Jordan. Is it through Jordan they pass into the land?

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J.T. The confines of Canaan strictly refer to what is properly privilege, divine privilege for us. That is God's thought for us. It is all well to exercise influence over Moab, and Gilead, and all the territory beyond Syria, but our proper living sphere is Canaan. The two and a half tribes missed that. Canaan is the central point. It is well to influence other spheres, as David did. David and Solomon extended their dominions to the Euphrates, and exercised influence over all the territory promised by God, but the proper living sphere for God's people is Canaan; and that for us is the heavenly position. It is well to influence other spheres, but our living associations are in Canaan.

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GILGAL

Joshua 5

G.W.H. You were saying that Moses stood for the authority of God. What would you say about Joshua?

J.T. He represents Christ as the spiritual Leader. In the main Moses is Christ leading the people out of Egypt and through the wilderness, where authority is always needed, and Joshua is Christ leading them into Canaan. .

W.B. What is the thought of resurrection in this chapter?

J.T. My thought was to show how we are made to correspond with the truth of resurrection. There are certain exercises that follow upon the light of chapter 3, and I think circumcision and the passover are necessary to these exercises. Chapter 4 shows, in the stones in the bed of the river and those on the bank, our identification with the Lord in death, that we have been into death with Him, and also that we have come out of death with Him. Chapter 3 makes prominent the thought of the ark; the Lord in His own power going into death. It is important that He should be distinctly held before our souls in that light. Whilst it is on the experimental side, yet it is the Lord's personal distinctness as grappling with death, as seen in Gethsemane. The Lord was there face to face with the enemy, who brought to bear upon His spirit, death in all its significance.

R.S.S. What is the difference between the twelve stones placed in the bed of the river and the twelve on the bank?

J.T. The stones in the river are the testimony that Christ has been into death and we in Him; those at Gilgal set forth that He has come out of death and the saints with Him. I think both testimonies are in His Person.

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A.H.T. Is there any connection between the passover which is celebrated in the land and His death?

J.T. Circumcision and the passover have reference to certain exercises which the believer goes through consequent upon the light of chapter 3, but he is not really yet in the land properly. These chapters are preparatory to privilege. The passover is connected with three positions; the first in Egypt, the second in the wilderness, the third at Gilgal, as in this chapter. It refers to the saints accepting the judgment which the Lord has been subjected to on account of sin in the three positions which we occupy, our deliverance from Egypt, as related to the testimony in the wilderness, and as related to our privilege in Canaan. Circumcision has reference to our disallowance of the flesh as a means or instrument of activity. The flesh is not to be used; it is of no use at all in divine things.

W.J.N. Would you say that is the point of the warning in the epistle to the Colossians, the intrusion of the flesh in divine things?

J.T. Yes, certainly, the putting off of the body of the flesh, which means the totality of it, in the circumcision of Christ; the believer now seeing that it is worse than useless. That was the point in the institution of circumcision. "I am the Almighty God; walk before me and be thou perfect". Then He gave Abraham the covenant, and the covenant meant that Abraham and his seed, as born after the flesh, had to go in death. The promises did not refer at all to him as in the flesh.

Ques. Is the truth of baptism in any way introduced in this chapter?

J.T. I think baptism is the Red Sea. The Red Sea and Jordan are brought together in Colossians. Baptism has reference to what is outside of us, circumcision to whatis inside.

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A.R.S. Why is it that circumcision comes after Jordan?

J.T. Because when you see that you are risen with Christ you discover that the flesh and everything that is attached to it, the reproach of Egypt, must go, for the flesh and Egypt are found in the Christian. The light comes to you as you are prepared for it. Circumcision and flesh are introduced here because the people are prepared for it. The flesh is wholly unsuitable to the scene here. "We are the circumcision who worship God by the Spirit and have no confidence in the flesh". That is what this leads to, that the believer has no confidence in the flesh. He is entitled to put it off because God has set it aside in the death of Christ. The flesh was the only power we had before the death of Christ, but now we are entitled to put it off. In Abraham it was all objective because quickening was not there; and circumcision agrees with the truth of the Almighty God. The truth of the Almighty God means, in Christianity, that we have the Spirit, and that involves circumcision. The Spirit in us corresponds with the truth of the Almighty God; and if we have the Spirit we can afford to abandon the flesh.

W.B. You mean in the way of power?

J.T. Yes, we have power for it; there was no circumcision in the wilderness. It is not until you come into Canaan that it becomes evident how incongruous the flesh is. It is wholly unsuitable to the scene, and hence circumcision is brought in.

R.S.S. What are the three aspects of the passover to which you alluded?

J.T. The first is in Egypt. The people are in the presence of satanic power in the world, and what are they to do? They are no better than Pharaoh or the Egyptians, hence the passover lamb roast with fire was needed. God was shut out as a Judge by the blood of the lamb. But the lamb

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itself was subjected to the fire, meaning that God's holy judgment was seen there. That referred to the Israelites as much as to the Egyptians; but the Israelites accepted it by eating the roast lamb, so that in Egypt it is connected with their deliverance from Satan's power in the world; they judged themselves by appropriating Christ as the sacrifice roast with fire, subjected to God's holy judgment, as a sacrifice for sin.

R.S.S. What is the aspect of the passover in the wilderness?

J.T. The point there is that we are to be associated with God's testimony, and that must be as by judging sin; so the passover has to be accepted. In Corinthians we read: "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us", so that we "keep the feast ... with unleavened bread of sincerity and truth". Then in this chapter it is to be maintained in connection with privilege. How can we enter into divine privilege unless the judgment of sin is maintained in our souls?

W.B. We need that whatever position we occupy.

J.T. Yes, we are down here, and these types refer to us as down here; they refer mainly to the history of God's people during the absence of Christ; and while that remains we have to maintain the passover.

R.S.S. So that the passover is just as great an obligation for the Christian as it was for the Israelite?

J.T. Clearly. "Christ our passover", says Paul, "is sacrificed for us".

R.S.S. And if we do not keep the feast we shall not be able truly to observe the Lord's supper?

J.T. Just so. It really comes before the supper. There are other elements connected with the passover. There is the feast of unleavened bread, which continued seven days. The passover was killed on the fourteenth day, and the feast, continued for seven

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days. There is only one killing of the passover, but there has to be sufficient bread to sustain us during the whole seven days.

W.B. That answers to our whole course here?

J.T. I think so.

W.B. I should like to ask if there is any connection between circumcision and the passover, and why is it that the one should precede the other?

J.T. I think what is more immediately in the mind of the Spirit is the flesh in the Christian, as in Colossians. The flesh intrudes, and hence the Spirit says, we are to make sharp knives, as though the difficulty is very real. And it is a very real difficulty with Christians, because, after all, we like somehow to retain the flesh as if there was something good in it, as we see in the epistle to the Colossians.

W.B. And 2 Corinthians shows how severe the Corinthians were with themselves in what they judged.

J.T. I think they used the "sharp knives". Circumcision meant a clean cut. It was to be a total cutting off. That is the significance of the word sharp. But the passover refers to sin as such; circumcision has to do with the flesh.

W.B. Is that the same as in Colossians: "Put to death therefore your members which are upon the earth"?

J.T. Yes, it is the same in principle. What you might call objective truth in regard to circumcision is the circumcision of Christ. It is on that ground you circumcise. I believe that every subjective truth has a corresponding objective truth.

J.N.H. The circumcision of Christ was accomplished in His death; here they were to encamp at Gilgal, and they were to return to Gilgal after going out to fight the Lord's battles and having had success. That is where the flesh would come in.

J.T. That emphasises what we have been saying.

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that we are to maintain the disallowance of the flesh.

W.J.N. What we have here would set forth the soul coming to it for the first time; that is, to the putting off of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; but the returning to Gilgal after each battle would answer more to the maintenance of it. It has to be maintained.

J.T. I think so. After a victory the flesh is always ready to assert itself, as if it had had something to do with it.

W.J.N. That is self-confidence.

J.T. Yes, just as we see in the Israelites. They said that a few of them could take Ai, that many need not go up. That was confidence in the flesh. But what the believer sees is the power of God, and God would have him to rely on that power and on no other power. Circumcision corresponds with the revelation of God as the Almighty. What marked the people was that God was among them. There was the shout of a king among them. In a general way what marked them was the presence of a divine Person. So that the psalmist raises the question: "What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest?" Again, "Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord". It was God known in the camp of Israel. When the host approached the sea, it fled. It was not God apart from the people. The sea fled at the presence of the people, because God was in the midst of the people. So this chapter begins with the terror that filled the inhabitants of Canaan, "because of the children of Israel".

W.B. We get the same thing in Acts 5. There was great fear upon every one. The power of God was there. Sin was judged; evil was kept out.

J.T. I think that answers in the New Testament to this. Circumcision was the sign in every male in Israel that the first order of man was discarded. Although they did not understand it, that was the

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testimony that God placed in Israel. That man was discarded in the presence of the revelation of God as the Almighty.

R.S.S. That which answers in another way to circumcision is the gift of the Spirit now. They were marked in the Old Testament in their flesh, in their bodies, as God's people. Now God gives the Spirit, and it is that which really set the flesh aside.

J.T. In whom is the flesh set aside but in the man who has the Spirit? You may be baptised, but you can only be in the truth of circumcision by the Spirit. So Paul says: "we are the circumcision who worship by the Spirit of God ... and do not trust in flesh", Philippians 3:3.

Ques. Is it self-judgment,?

J.T. It is self-judgment, and more; the man who is in the truth of circumcision has no confidence in the flesh at all. It includes all the exercises of the flesh, everything that marks Egypt goes with it.

Ques. Circumcised the eighth day. What is the significance of that?

J.T. It was a new departure. It indicated that the first man had seven days to prove what he was. Seven days being the perfect time of testing he had opportunity to prove what he was, and therefore he is set aside. I think it refers also to the Lord's death. The period of the Lord's sojourn here was brought to an end.

R.S.S. In Christianity it corresponds with the first day?

J.T. Yes. So that applying it in a spiritual way it refers to Christianity. We come into the eighth day. We are the really circumcised ones. In Christianity it marks a new departure, a new order of man. The number eight is very interesting. It is the first number after seven. Seven appears in Genesis 2, and indicates God's order of creation. The eighth day recognises that order and is connected

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with it, but it is a new departure in it, tantamount to the first day in another order of things. The next number in Scripture is twelve, which shows that in the new order there is administration. The number eight is seen in Noah. He was one of eight; 2 Peter 2:5. There was a new order of things introduced in Noah. The old creation was recognised, but a new order was introduced in it. Then, consequent upon that, in the family of Abraham you have twelve, which signifies that God's system is marked by administration. The next number after twelve, I think, is ten. That is seen in the commandments, putting man under responsibility.

A.F.M. What about seventy? The seventy leaders and the seventy sent forth by the Lord?

J.T. I think it is multiplication of blessing or power, but connected with human responsibility; the seventy palm trees, the seventy elders, and the seventy witnesses of Christ. It is ten times seven. It refers to multiplication of spiritual power as distinct from twelve, which is ordered administration. If we do not take account of the things that are mentioned in Scripture we shall never understand the "age to come". Every divine thought is taken up there. The things there all allude to previous testimonies.

A.R.S. I notice that Stephen, as dying, sees Jesus in heaven. You would connect that with the eighth day?

J.T. Yes; and then you have all the new order of things in Paul's ministry opened up consequent upon that.

W.B. The passover dealt with things negatively. The food and the conquests that follow are positive. You get the old corn of the land and the leader of the Lord's host.

J.T. Yes. But I think we ought not to omit, before going on to that, the effect of the testimony --

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the passage of Jordan -- upon the inhabitants of Canaan. The Canaanites in their terror connected it with the people of Israel. It says, "because of the children of Israel". And following on that you get the "sharp knives". God said to them, as it were, 'It is not you as in flesh that causes all this terror; it is not your power; it is my power'. God will not support the flesh. The truth of circumcision is introduced in the presence of God as the Almighty. God Almighty and circumcision go together. I think the wilderness experience discovers the flesh to us. Circumcision here involves that it has been already discovered. The new surroundings involve that the flesh can no longer be tolerated.

Rem. When the children of Israel maintained the truth of circumcision the power of God came out; it was manifested to be the power of God.

J.T. When they returned to Gilgal the power was there.

W.B. The serpent of brass was its condemnation, but does not circumcision here set forth a further part of the truth, as to the subtleties of the flesh?

J.T. What the serpent of brass represented was sin in the flesh -- sinful flesh. But the believer might reason that that does not refer to his mind, his intellect, nor to that flesh which establishes religious ceremonies. That was the state of things at Colosse. They were not troubled with sin in the flesh, but with the mind of the flesh; man's mind working out philosophy and the like. I believe that is what is alluded to here; that that cannot be tolerated in the Christian circle.

W.B. But was not the temple worship all arranged by God to produce religious feelings in man? There were men-singers, women-singers, and ritual.

R.S.S. Here we get God completely setting aside the flesh, but later, in the history of the children of

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Israel God institutes a service which seems to recognise it.

J.T. Yes. But that service must be regarded simply as a type. It refers to the service that is now established in Christ in a spiritual way. He is the great choir leader. The epistle to the Hebrews shows that there is a wholly new system established in Christ, but the flesh is not recognised in it at all.

R.S.S. In the service of the Israelites in Solomon's day there was a recognition of man after the flesh.

J.T. Certainly. That is what I have been saying. Circumcision was there as the testimony that man was set aside in God's mind, and yet God was still going on with him historically, because another Man had not yet appeared. The new man had not come in yet.

R.S.S. And God was giving the man after the flesh everything to help him -- music, etc.

J.T. Quite so. So that the period before circumcision, the wilderness, included in type the ministry of Christ; there was the complete testing of man. But Christianity is the eighth day. Christianity introduces circumcision in its true spiritual meaning.

W.B. The majority of Christians today are connected with what we might call temple-worship, the development of that particular religious flesh which can be wrought upon by music, singing and ritual.

J.T. Quite so. Therefore Christendom is apostate in principle. It has gone back; it has receded from the position in which God established Christianity -- a spiritual position. It has gone back to a religion of the flesh.

Ques. Would that answer to the "concision"? Philippians 3:2.

J.T. I think it does. Concision involves a partial sort of thing, not a complete cutting off.

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W.B. It is not complete. There are marks, but not a cutting off.

R.S.S. But God did not utterly ignore the flesh until after the death of Christ. Man did not prove his utter inability to please God until the death of Christ.

J.T. So that circumcision in its spiritual significance is in the death of Christ. We do not reach the truth of circumcision until we are in the eighth day.

R.S.S. So that what we get in this chapter, actual circumcision of the flesh, is really a testimony on God's part.

J.T. It was a testimony placed there for us, hundreds of years before the truth of it came out.

R.S.S. All these things happened unto them as types.

A.F.M. Whatever was taken up in the Old Testament has been carried into the New, and in a spiritual way maintained in the assembly, so we may find in the assembly what answers spiritually to the temple, the music, priesthood, and so on. Do you not think so?

J.T. Certainly. What God had before Him was a spiritual order of things. That is now inaugurated. So the Lord says, in resurrection, "In the midst of the assembly will I sing thy praises". There you have the true Priest, and the true worship of God established.

W.B. In the first two of Israel's kings we get the principle illustrated, Saul represented the flesh, and he was superseded by David, the man after the Spirit.

J.T. Saul was helped by God. If there ever was a man who had God's support it was Saul, yet he proved an utter failure. But David was no afterthought with God. It was not that God had to resort to David, because David is introduced in

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the Scriptures before Saul. We have the genealogy of David before ever Saul is heard of. Christ was no afterthought with God in any sense, even as Man, In forming Adam God knew perfectly what would happen. God began with Christ. One of the greatest thoughts in the book of Revelation, as to both God and Christ, is that They are the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. God began with Christ and He ends with Christ. I think that the Alpha and the Omega conveys the thought that God was the first Speaker, and He the last Speaker, because the figure is taken from language, and the first and the last would have reference to Christ. He was personally the first One before God as well as the last. The beginning and the end show that He was in view in all God's operations, and the great comfort of it is that the end must agree with the beginning. If God is the Alpha and the Omega the end must agree with the beginning. So that all the operations that go on between the beginning and the end are simply to reach the end.

A.F.M. God could not entrust anything to man. That is what was proved, and everything lay in the Son becoming Man.

J.T. God knew perfectly that it would be so. Nothing is perfect until the Son appears, and then you have everything in permanency.

R.S.S. Could we have something now about the old corn of the land and the ceasing of the manna?

A.F.M. Would you say that the old corn speaks on the one hand of privilege, and on the other of conflict?

J.T. Yes. The old corn of the land is Christ ascended. It is one thing to see Christ coming down, it is another thing to see Him going up. The old corn of the land is Christ as ascended. I think that Christ come down refers to our path here. The old

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corn of the land is more than Christ risen, it is Christ ascended, because it refers to what He is in His own sphere. John 6 is Christ coming down, Christ here on earth, humbled, in flesh, and He is food for the believer. He is food for the world in that light.

W.B. What do you regard the food in John 6 to be? Is it represented by any type in the Old Testament?

J.T. I do not know -of any type because it is universal. It is what Christ was. The food and drink that He would give them would be His flesh and His blood. It refers to Christ as in flesh here and dying, and it takes account of us as we are. The result of eating is eternal life, but the food itself is Christ in death, His flesh and His blood, and it is universal; it is for the world. The Jew was tested by the presentation of Christ in that way. If they did not appropriate a dead Christ they had no life in themselves. Eating and drinking are the strongest expression of appropriation so that in appropriating a dead Christ you accept your own death.

R.S.S. It is affection that appropriates, is it not?

J.T. We see in the disciples how it works: "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life". That is, they were attached to Christ, and hence they would not leave Him, whereas the mass did leave Him. I think that John 6 always contemplates the Lord as dying. Even if He is in resurrection He is the One who died. But the old corn of the land refers to Christ as entirely heavenly, not simply as the One who died. The old corn grew in the land.

W.H.O. Do we not feed on Him in a sphere where we never die? "He that eateth toe, even he shall live by me".

J.T. John 6 is life in a scene of death you do not die because you feed on Christ, though everybody

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else dies. When you come to the old corn you are outside the sphere of death.

A.F.M. That answers more to John 20.

J.T. I think it does; Christ going up.

Rem. The manna was food, so is the old corn of the land.

J.T. The manna sustains you in the wilderness, where you carry out God's will, but the old corn of the land sustains you in Canaan. You require that kind of food there, otherwise, your constitution would not be equal to the surroundings.

W.J.N. And the manna refers really to what Christ was as a Man here; not as dying, but as living, carrying out God's will down here.

J.L.J. So you do not get the manna in John 6 at all.

J.T. Only in the way of contrast. "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and died". But the old corn of the land is Christ as belonging to heaven personally, because the corn grew in Canaan; it was indigenous to Canaan. "Stored" corn is the word, the corn of the year before, showing the plentifulness in the land.

R.S.S. Old corn of the land would be in John 3"no man hath ascended up to heaven, but ... the Son of man which is in heaven", and John 6"What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?"

J.T. Yes, the Person belongs to heaven. And again in chapter 20, "I have not yet ascended to my Father". He was ascending to His Father.

A.P.M. What about Corinthians: "As is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly"?

J.T. That shows the order of man. It is a wonderful thought that we are called to fill a place in heaven. We must be built up for that. In other words, we must feed on the heavenly Man, we must

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appropriate the Man who is at home there, who belongs to that scene, otherwise we are not fit for it.

R.S.S. Now we are getting our education for what is coming, for what we shall be in the midst of actually, before long.

J.T. Quite so. How is the city formed? It comes down from God out of heaven. There is nothing incongruous about it. It is at home there. But how? By its acquaintance with Christ. The assembly is made to know Christ so intimately as the heavenly One that she is perfectly at home in the heavenlies.

W.H.C. Eating His flesh and drinking His blood, is that the appropriation of death, and the negative side; and "He that eateth me, even he shall live by me", is that the positive side?

J.T. That is present and continuous. "Unless ye shall have eaten (it is a different tense) ye have no life". We have definitely at a given period to appropriate the death of Christ, and there has to be continuance, so "he also who eats me"; that is continuous -- it is a further thing, for continuous sustenance of life.

W.H.C. Is that in the sphere of life? Is not the manna what we eat in the wilderness, in the sphere where we die, and "He that eateth me, even he shall live by me", that is in a sphere where we do not die?

J.T. But I think that the sphere of death is contemplated -- there you do not die, while others do. But this chapter in Joshua contemplates a sphere of life.

Ques. What bearing on this has the Lord's answer to Mary Magdalene in John 20?

J.T. That appropriation of Him is not to be as He was here in flesh. If she is to touch Him it must be in connection with new associations, and as ascended . "Touch me not; for I have not yet

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ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren". She finds Him in that circle.

Ques. Will you say a few words on the Captain of the Lord's host?

J.T. Well, I think the thought there is that now you are prepared for conflict. The old corn of the land is privilege. The book of Joshua is a type, I think, of apostolic labours, and in principle of the whole church-position here upon earth in conflict. These chapters that we have been considering are preparatory for the conflict, so that the saints should be set in the full light and understanding that the power is to be spiritual. It is to be God's power. And what we see in the Leader is that we are under the military direction of Christ. It is a military scene, so to speak. I think it is of importance that saints should get the idea of Christ as Leader. What comes to light here is that Christ is the military Leader. "As Captain of the host of Jehovah am I now come". Joshua was not that really.

Rem. In the incident in this chapter Joshua is not exactly representative of Christ. The Captain of the Lord's host is Christ.

J.T. Yes, Joshua had to take his place as one of the rest; "Loose thy shoe from off thy foot". The Lord here, I think, asserts His title as the military chief of God's host.

J.N.H. It reads, "captain of Jehovah's army" in the New Translation.

J.T. Yes, Joshua said, "Art thou for us?" But that was not the point at all. The Lord does not say I am for you -- but "as captain of the army of Jehovah am I now come". He is, as it were, saying to Joshua, 'It is a question as to whether you are with me, not whether I am with you'. It refers to the whole church-position, viewed as militant. We are still militant.

Rem. We are exhorted to warfare in 2 Timothy.

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J.T. Yes, warfare, you might say, is a characteristic feature of 2 Timothy. It is warfare right through to the end, and the comfort is that the Lord remains as Captain of Jehovah's host; hence all will result in complete victory. But, then, the ground is holy.

A.A.T. What is the point there?

J.T. Well, we are to be holy in warfare. In participating in divine warfare all natural and vindictive thoughts are to be abandoned. We are apt to be vindictive in warfare, but holiness excludes all that.

A.F.M. There is a reference in Ephesians to the armour. That would apply to us. There are the various parts of the armour, so that the Christian using them is proof against all the wiles of the devil. But it is an armour of a peculiar kind, and it is involved in the gospel. It speaks of righteousness, truth, faith, and so on.

J.T. Just so. The armour is subjective. In other words, it applies to the state of the Christian.

A.F.M. In the gospel, of course, it presents itself objectively, but it is wrought out subjectively in one's life.

J.T. When we come to the actual conflict in Joshua, the people are made to feel at the outset, in the greatest victory, that the power is of God. They do not strike a blow in the conquest of Jericho at all. It is a question of carrying the ark round the city and blowing with the trumpets.

J.N.H. But at Ai they were defeated; they struck a blow there.

J.T. Yes, they attempted to take that city in their own strength.

Rem. "The weapons of warfare are not carnal".

J.T. I think we ought to have great confidence in the power and beauty of Christ, in the strength of

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the testimony of Christ, in the sounding of the rams' horns.

Ques. What does the sounding of the rams' horns refer to?

J.T. The announcement of the testimony. The ram was the offering for consecration. The ram is a mature animal, a lamb is not. A lamb is diminutive, but a ram has come to maturity. It refers to Christ in the perfection of His manhood giving Himself in devotedness to God in sacrifice; and the rams' horns would be, as some one has said, the power and beauty of Christ.

W.B. We get the two beautifully brought out in Genesis 22. "God will provide himself a lamb", and then there was a ram caught in the thicket by the horns.

W.J.N. The ram was the animal used for consecration of the priests, Revelation 8:18.

J.T. Yes; every animal used in sacrifice had a significance; and a ram refers, I think, to maturity in manhood, which is necessary for priesthood.

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LEVITICAL PRIVILEGE

Joshua 21:1 - 8

J.T. The book of Joshua, it seems to me, is designed to foreshadow the assembly's position, as well as her heavenly testimony, and I think the way in which the Levites are viewed represents the assembly in that light. There are three things said of the Levites in this book in regard to their inheritance; that the sacrifices of the Lord were their inheritance; that the Lord was their inheritance; and that the priesthood was their inheritance; that they had no inheritance in the land. Then, they are given forty-eight cities and their suburbs in which to dwell.

W.B. Is there any significance in the number forty-eight?

J.T. Yes, I think it is an allusion to administration. I think the cities were to be centres of influence, which is a very important idea. The levitical influence was to be universal in the nation.

Ques. What is the levitical influence?

J.T. The influence of a people that have no inheritance upon earth, but have to do with God. They have approach to God; they have the place of the firstborn with God (for the Levites were taken instead of the firstborn), as representing God's portion in the whole nation. A people thus privileged would necessarily have a most beneficial influence, and in the antitype a heavenly influence, because the antitype is the saints viewed as the "firstborn ones registered in heaven", Hebrews 12, and having no inheritance upon earth.

A.F.M. Do you make any difference between the Levites as a tribe and the priestly family?

J.T. The priestly family was confined to Aaron. Here they are included in the levitical family.

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W.B. The priesthood was from the tribe of Levi.

J.T. Yes. In verse 4 it says, "The children of Aaron the priest, which were Levites"; they were included in the Levites. But the idea conveyed in the family of Levi is different from the idea conveyed in the priesthood, because the tribe of Levi was God's portion out of Israel. They were taken instead of the firstborn. It seems to me that that follows properly on the truth of resurrection, because resurrection in itself is not limited to the church, and therefore is not properly church-privilege, and should not be so regarded. It is an immense privilege to have part in resurrection, but resurrection is not limited to us. It is a universal thing. It began with Abraham, and the blessing of Abraham is universal.

A.F.M. Do you refer to the nations, where it says, "that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles"?

J.T. Yes. "In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" will have strict fulfilment in the millennial state of things.

J.N.H. What does the resurrection of the just include?

J.T. It includes all the just, all that have part in the first resurrection. But if you take account of those that have part in the first resurrection, you will find that there are some who are especially privileged. Revelation 20 speaks about the first resurrection, and there are those who reign with Christ. It says: "I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them".

P.H.F. What is the privilege that is peculiar to the church?

J.T. I think that the church is alluded to there. But he goes on to speak about certain ones who had been already under review in the earlier part of the Revelation, certain ones who had suffered; and he mentions them specifically, else it might be considered

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that they were omitted in the first resurrection. The first resurrection includes all the just, but the assembly clearly has the first place, because, as a matter of fact, we are raised before those that suffer during the period indicated in Revelation. But still the thought of resurrection is universal. It applies to all.

G.W.H. Why do the sons of Aaron appear here?

J.T. I think it is a special mention of the priestly family, but still they are included in the Levites. But the thought in the Levites in this book indicates privilege, which is not universal.

A.R.S. That privilege is connected with the Lord's things, the sacrifices.

J.T. Yes, and the Lord Himself, and the priesthood, and then, besides that, they had cities. They lived exclusively in cities. They did not live in the country, and there is a great difference between life in a city and rural life.

A.R.S. Is the city the idea of exclusion?

J.T. There is a certain education, a certain culture involved in the life in a city which is not in rural life. In the antitype it is our position that is in view; that is, our life is in the city.

G.A.T. Which city do you mean, the city of refuge, or the city of blessing? There are: six of refuge and forty-two of blessing.

J.T. I think all the forty-eight were alike, in this sense, that they were residential cities for the Levites.

J.N.H. I have been greatly interested in the thought about the city representing the capital. Do you make a distinction among the cities as to the culture and training required for the capital of the nation and administration of affairs?

J.T. Yes; life in a city is regarded both in the Scriptures and in the world as different from life in the country.

J.N.H. Abraham looked for a city, A city would

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in some way minister to the necessities of a man living in the country, would it not?

J.T. That is not what I see here. Abraham looked for a city. That is somewhat different -- a different line of thought. The cities that the Levites actually possessed were not built by them, neither were they built by Israelites.

W.J.N. We are told that Abraham "looked for a city". Is not that rather future, in the sense that it is to come out in manifestation by-and-by, but what is here refers to the present?

J.T. The book of Joshua deals with the present state of things. It deals with Christianity as it has been inaugurated in connection with Christ's resurrection and ascension, so that the cities are not as Jerusalem. The idea is not the way they were built, or the material used in their building. That is not before the Spirit. What is before the Spirit is that there is a class whose life is in the city.

Ques. What advantage attaches to that?

J.T. There is a certain culture and education involved in life in the city, in a building, and those that are viewed as in the cities have no inheritance upon earth. When you seek the antitype you can see at once that it refers to Christians. For the moment those who are specially privileged have no place on earth at all. They are associated with God and His things, and they live in a city. The Levites have the sacrifices and the priesthood, and their dwelling is in the city. But the whole country was to be influenced by them.

Ques. Do all Christians live in the city in the sense you speak of?

J.T. All Christians are typically in the levitical tribe; this tribe refers to Christians. The great advantage of the types, read in the light of the New Testament, is that they emphasise the truths of Christianity.

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Ques. Would you say that all Christians are not in the good of this?

J.T. That is another matter; but there is great importance in our getting hold of the divine thought for us, and that is, that we are to have no inheritance upon earth. The effect of that is that you do not seek one on earth. Barnabas is a representative Levite of the New Testament. It says of him: "having land, sold it".

Ques. Do you mean that you would not advise us to have land?

J.T. No. It is a question of what you look upon as your inheritance -- your treasure? There is no more harm intrinsically in buying a piece of land to farm with the object of making a living by it than in buying a suit of clothes. The point is the principle upon which you hold things. If a man owns a farm, that is not to be his inheritance or to give him position here. I used to think that Barnabas sold his property because he did not care for it any more, but that is not the way Scripture presents it. If that had been his thought he would not have sold it; he would have given it away. But he sold his property because he was going to use the price of it for the testimony.

W.H.C. And that he might be more free for the testimony.

J.T. Barnabas is first seen as coming to the apostles with the money. He saw that he could make good use of it, and so he brought it and placed it where it could best be used; not in the bank, but at the feet of the apostles.

B.S.S. I suppose it was hardly according to divine order that Barnabas, as a Levite, should have had any land?

J.T. Clearly not.

R.S.S. And now he was affected by what was presented to him.

J.T. His act shows that the antitype had more

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weight with him than the type. The Levite was the type, but the antitype had come in; the true levitical idea had been inaugurated, and that affected him greatly, and he acts in the spirit of it.

W.H.C. Would you say that every Christian by having the Spirit is a Levite?

J.T. I think so. I think every Christian in the divine thought is called to it.

W.H.C. He may not be in the good of it; that is the Spirit's work in him.

J.T. Yes; but do you not think that it is important that we should have the light of it brought to us, because that sets us in exercise. If I see that God has called me to the levitical position it sets me in motion, and I do not want to have an inheritance on the earth, I do not want to have my mind on earthly things. God has called me to heavenly things.

R.S.S. I am not quite clear as to what you said in connection with resurrection and the Levite. The levitical tribe was clearly taken in place of the firstborn. They had that position, but the life of the firstborn was forfeited. I suppose it was that you referred to?

J.T. No. That is Exodus. I was rather thinking of the way in which the Spirit introduces the Levites in Joshua. In being introduced in the book of Joshua they are introduced in connection with the teaching of Joshua, and Joshua does not present atonement, nor redemption. He deals with life. The Spirit of God shows us in Joshua, how Christ has overthrown death through His death and resurrection, and that in resurrection a new order has been introduced. That is the point in resurrection, that a new kind of man has appeared. Now the levitical idea in Joshua is in advance of that. The thought of a new order of man is not confined to the church, because every family will be on that principle. But the tribe of Levi having a special place refer typically to the

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church which has a special place -with God. That was the reason why I thought that the subject would indicate something of church-privilege, as being beyond resurrection. Joshua does not show us the Levites carrying the ark. The necessity for that had ceased. He does not speak of the service of the Levites. He speaks only of their inheritance and this is typical of the saints, not in the way in which the Lord uses us in His service, but according to the inheritance which He has given us.

A.R.S. And that is a heavenly inheritance.

J.T. Yes.

A.R.S. And you would connect resurrection with this in that way?

J.T. Quite so.

A.R.S. And our sphere is a heavenly one?

J.T. Yes. And that must be preceded by resurrection, because the people who have a heavenly portion are a risen people. They come into resurrection, but they have more than resurrection.

A.R.S. You have been speaking about the levitical position.

J.T. Yes, we are speaking of their position, not of their service.

W.B. So the Levites in the type represent the church. Who do the twelve tribes represent?

J.T. I think the twelve tribes, viewed as distinct from the Levites, have reference to Israel, as God's earthly people having an earthly portion, whereas the church has a heavenly portion.

W.B. They are all the people of God.

J.T. Yes, but the Levites had a higher portion. They had to do with the things of God only; and the point was that they were to influence all the tribes.

W.B. And does this answer to the thought of every family being named of the Father?

J.T. No doubt. It is indicated here that God,

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in the sovereignty of His ways, gives the Levites a special place. They represented the firstborn and were God's portion. Ephraim had the firstborn's place on earth, and Levi represented God's portion out of the people; Levi represents the firstborn in heaven.

J.N.H. What are the suburbs? The Levites did have the use of land reaching out a certain number of feet from their cities.

J.T. Two thousand feet was to be measured from the wall of the city outward. Over that territory they had a special influence. It was theirs, but it was to be used for their cattle.

P.H.F. What is the significance of that strip of land round their cities?

J.T. Well, as to the antitype, there is a difference between what is strictly the assembly and what you may call its immediate precincts. What is strictly the assembly is pervaded by the Spirit. That is, no one is in the assembly who has not the Spirit. But the suburbs are near to the city. They are not the city, and they are not the country. So that there is a zone, you might say, between what is strictly the assembly and what is not. Your children, and all that pertains to you, come under your direct influence, but your children and your property are not in the assembly. They may subserve the assembly, but they are not part of it. I have no doubt that is the idea in the suburbs. Do you not so take account of your family and your property? It is not the world, and yet it is not the assembly, but it may be made to subserve the assembly. The cattle even are taken into account.

W.B. In the case of a believing wife who has an unbelieving husband, it says that the children are holy.

J.T. Yes, and even an unbelieving husband is sanctified by a believing wife.

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W.B. What you say would mean that nothing with a Christian would drop down to the level of the world.

J.T. The Christian properly never regards anything on that level. His business is not carried on on that level. His servants and all that pertain to him are in close proximity to what is spiritual.

G.A.T. Then, are the suburbs in the sphere of privilege?

J.T. It is a privilege in a sense, but it is not the city.

G.A.T. Would you make a distinction between privilege and blessing? Are we not brought into privilege by baptism, while blessing is by the Spirit?

J.T. That is helpful. Perhaps such a distinction may be made.

W.H.C. It is a great privilege to be introduced by baptism into a sphere on earth where all the light is, and where the Spirit of God is, and the ministry of the Spirit, and the ordinances, everything by which we can reach the blessing where we can receive the Spirit, by whom we enter into the blessing.

J.N.H. The children, as brought in at the beginning, were brought within the circle of the operations of the Holy Spirit within the range of the influences you have spoken of.

W.H.C. The ordinance of circumcision illustrates that. It was a great privilege for a child of a Jew to be by circumcision introduced into the sphere of blessing.

J.N.H. In Hebrews 6 they are said to be "partakers of the Holy Ghost". They were inside the circle of the Holy Ghost, where He operated, and it speaks of the possibility of some going out of it. Is that the thought you have as to the suburbs?

J.T. In Hebrews 6 they had more. They were made "partakers" of the Spirit; they had "tasted

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of the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come". It referred to Jewish believers who had been brought into the Christian circle of things and were in danger of apostatising, of giving up Christianity. As our brother was saying, baptism, or being born of Christian parents, places us within the reach of privileges. It gives us an immense advantage. It is a privilege, and the question is whether we take advantage of the opportunities afforded us.

J.N.H. As I understand it, through baptism I bring my child into the sphere of privilege, but he may fall short of the sphere of blessing.

J.T. Yes; he may fall short of the Spirit and what lies in the Spirit.

A.F.M. What is the sphere of the church's administration, and what is it that the church ministers? It must be very good.

J.T. Well, that would raise the whole question involved in the course of the testimony in the Acts; that is, the apostles were accustomed to the tabernacle and the temple, both of which were erected in a rectangular form. They were oblong. Now in the sheet let down from heaven in Acts 10, was an allusion to the place and influence of the assembly, as seen when the truth of it was fully developed. The sheet was four-cornered. It was a square, but in the form of a vessel. I take it that it alluded to the four points of the compass; the whole earth; that the whole earth was now in the mind of God, so the vessel of administration was presented as four-cornered. That was a new education for Peter, but it was an education that was involved in his levitical position when he understood it.

W.H.C. That would answer to the Lord's commission: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature".

J.T. Quite so. But it would be from heaven. The sheet was let down from heaven, following upon

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the voice from heaven and the light from heaven in chapter 9?

W.J.N. You mean as to Saul?

J.T. Yes. The Lord shone upon Saul and spoke to Saul from heaven. Administration from a heavenly centre had begun, and now God would educate Peter to make room for this. So the four-cornered sheet was let down from heaven, and in it were all manner of beasts. And God said to Peter, "Rise, kill and eat". Peter said, "Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean". And God's answer was: "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common". God was intimating that administration from heaven involved the benefit of the whole earth; that there was now no section of the earth especially favoured; and I have no doubt that the forty-eight cities of the Levites pointed to that; that the whole nation was to be influenced by the tribe of Levi through their cities.

A.F.M. The twelve tribes, then, would symbolise the whole creation, the world at large?

J.T. I think so.

A.F.M. The world is in the position of reconciliation at the present time. The casting away of the Jew was the reconciling of the world.

R.S.S. It is carried out in the holy city in Revelation 21. It is four-square.

J.T. That is what I was going to say, and it shows what our brother has suggested in his question about the administration, that the administration through the assembly is universal; it is four-square. Then what it administers would be in keeping with its nature. It would administer according to its nature. The assembly is formed after Christ. The administration would be in accord with the gospel as preached by Peter to Cornelius and his company: God had "anointed Jesus of Nazareth ... who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed

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of the devil; for God was with him". So that the administration would be the administration of good, "He went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him".

Ques. In what way did the Levites administer good in Old Testament times?

J.T. I do not know whether they were up to the truth. What we have to deal with is the antitype, because we know, as a matter of fact, the types prove nothing in themselves. But you can understand that people who were exclusively occupied with the offerings, with the priesthood, and with God Himself, and who lived in cities, would be of a different kind from the ordinary Israelite who lived in the country, and had no direct access to God.

R.M.L. The different services depended upon the Levites doing their part in Israel.

J.T. The allusion to them in Deuteronomy 33, I think, helps: "Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah; who said unto his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children: for they have observed thy word, and kept thy covenant. They shall teach Jacob thy judgments, and Israel thy law: they shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon thine altar. Bless, Lord, his substance, and accept the work of his hands: smite through the loins of them that rise against him, and of them that hate him, that they rise not again". (verse 8 - 11). I think a people such as that indicates would have a very great and a very good influence over others.

W.J.N. The priesthood is included in that.

J.T. Clearly, the Urim and Thummim were there. And so in Joshua.

W.J.N. Malachi 2 says of Levi: "My covenant

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was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity".

A.R.S. Is the practical effect now of the influence of the Levites, that if we, as Christians, are true to our levitical position, the heavenly influence will spread? I was thinking of the vision of the waters in Ezekiel 47, the measurement showed first, water to the ankles, next to the knees, and finally a mighty river, waters to swim in, and finally running out into the desert. Is that the idea?

J.T. Yes, I have no doubt that the position of the heavenly city in the kingdom will be the full answer to the position of the Levites, because its influences are universal, it is four-square.

A.R.S. It seems to me that the great thing would be to see that the Lord's people are in the good of this position, because, if they are, the influence is sure to be felt.

J.T. And you want to make a point of your influence being a heavenly one.

A.R.S. What I have in mind is, for instance, a great many saints have the idea that as soon as a person is converted they should set him to work to get others in. They are pulled in, no matter whether they are up to their heavenly position or not.

J.T. But God will not have anything lower now in the way of testimony than that which came out in Christ, and that was a heavenly testimony.

G.A.T. Does that testimony come out through the church today?

J.T. It should; and hence the importance of recognising the levitical position, because it is designed in the book of Joshua to set forth our

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position now. We are to influence all below; the heavenly city will do this in the future.

Ques. Has it reference to both the present and the future?

J.T. Certainly. The thousand years has reference to all testimony that was placed in the hands of man previously; everything that was committed to man's responsibility is taken up and maintained in the heavenly city.

E.H.T. The position of the Levites is a specific one. Before God all Christians are Levites, but all Christians are not exercising their privilege. They have a position in the world to come in administration. Do Christians who take advantage of the privilege now have any greater position in the holy city then than those who do not?

J.T. That is a very good question. I think that the influence that we shall exert in the future will be co-relative with the influence that we exert now, because the formation is going on now.

G.A.T. We get that in connection with the pounds and the talents, do we not?

J.T. Yes, we do.

Rem. It is a great thing at the present moment if there is a heavenly people down here in the good of their citizenship.

J.T. It is a very great thing for God, because the testimony that God intended in Christianity was not fully rendered -until after Acts 9. What corresponded strictly with the heavenly city did not come out until after Paul's conversion; although the city is founded on the testimony of the twelve, yet its completion is the result of the ministry of Paul.

Rem. There will never be a day of privilege like the present one.

J.T. Never another day like this.

Rem. And what the blessed Lord would have us

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exercised about is to be in the good of the privilege at the present moment.

J.T. It is very remarkable that in Malachi the last of the prophets, the tribe of Levi should have such an honourable mention. It is very encouraging for our day, because we might think that the position or testimony of the church is no longer recognised.

G.A.T. It is a very common expression that things have gone to pieces.

J.T. Well, I believe God would revive and is reviving the light of the church. Every testimony, every bit of service, depend upon it, should have in view the church's place in God's counsels. That is what should give tone to all activity in service.

W.B. You said that the Levites had three things: the sacrifices, the priesthood, and the Lord Himself. How had they the Lord?

J.T. Jehovah was their inheritance. The Lord said to Abraham, "I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward". That was a wonderful thing to say to a man, that God Himself is to be his reward. In the presence of that, that God was his reward, Abraham thought of an heir. He said, I have no heir. It seems to me to be an immense thing to have God as our portion. "Jehovah is your inheritance", was said to Levi.

W.J.N. Genesis 15:1 was after Abraham had acted on the principle of surrender in the previous chapter.

J.T. Yes. The connection of a city, or cities, in Scripture is of intense interest, because, as far as I see, it is connected in the mind of God with the church exclusively.

A.F.M. This was a matter of grace, was it not? They did not build the cities; they were given to them. What is your thought about that?

J.T. I think the actual cities, what they are, is

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not so much in view, but rather the fact that they have cities, in contrast with an inheritance in the country. When we come to consider the cities, the truth comes out that it is not cities, but one city. But forty-eight cities would indicate that their influence was to be universal in the nation. The cities were scattered all over the country.

Ques. Is your thought as to the importance of the city in Scripture that God has only one city for a place of administration, and that is the church?

J.T. Yes. Hebrews says, "Ye have come to ... the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem". When the thought of God is developed there is one city. Then we have the "assembly of the firstborn [who are] registered in heaven". That is the antitype of the tribe of Levi.

G.A.T. What is the connection between the city of Revelation 21, the city that is four-square, and the forty-eight cities of the Levites, as to the present time and the way it will come out in the future?

J.T. There is clearly a numerical connection between the forty-eight cities and the city that is four-square. The city being four-square refers to its universal character. There are three gates on either side of the city, making twelve. In the city there are twelve gates, and on the gates are the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, and at each gate is an angel. Moreover, each gate is one pearl. Now all these things put together show that the gates are of immense importance. A pearl represents what is most valuable of all the things that are mentioned. The precious stones were in the foundation, but a pearl is that which in itself is used as a figure of the church. It was the "pearl of great price". The idea of a pearl is not that it reflects light. The idea in a precious stone is that it reflects light; but the idea in a pearl is intrinsic preciousness. It is "a whole" -- one pearl. It is not cut, so that it refers to what is

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intrinsically valuable in the eye of Christ, not simply what reflects Him. Peter was a precious stone. He was a cut stone. The Lord had formed Peter through discipline, so that he reflected Christ in the foundation, and so as to all the apostles. But I have no doubt Paul would convey something of the pearl. That is, he brings the church in according to what it is for Christ's affections, and the fact that the gates are of pearl shows of what importance they are. All that issues from the city necessarily goes through the gates, and all that enter the city go in through the gates; the names of the twelve tribes are there, and angels are there. In God's ways previously administration was either in angelic hands or in the hands of the twelve tribes of Israel, whereas now it is all taken up and placed in the city. In other words, administration now -- all government, issues from the city.

R.S.S. The gospel of Matthew shows that. It presents the church in that character.

J.T. I think so. I think the gospel of Matthew was to support the testimony of the twelve. If I understand it, the gospel of Mark was to support the ministry of the twelve; their ministry was accredited by the ministry of the Lord; and the gospel of Luke supports the testimony of Paul; and I think that Paul brings in the tribe of Levi. That is, the gospel of Luke shows that the saints, those who believe, have their names registered in heaven; that the saints of the present dispensation have a heavenly position. "Here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come", and the heavenly city is the one that is to come. What kind of administration will it be when you think of those gates being pearls! What an influence will issue, what a governmental influence will issue from those gates! That influence will be universal.

W.J.N. You speak of Paul's ministry giving

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what answers to the pearl. Does that refer to the formation of the church in divine affection?

J.T. That is what I thought. I think the gates are the result of his ministry.

A.F.M. If the gates set forth the unity and beauty and worth of the church as according to Paul's ministry, what about the interior of the city? That has not been mentioned.

J.T. It has been pointed out that a city is completed in its gates. It is said of Jericho that the builder completed the city in his youngest son. He laid the foundation in his eldest son and set up the gates in his youngest son. That to my mind is evidence that the idea in setting up gates is completion. Paul set up the gates, because the city was completed by his ministry. He did not found the city, but he completed it. I have no doubt that Ephesus was the completion of it.

A.F.M. The crowning ministry.

J.T. Yes. The gates were the public place of judgment in Old Testament times. So the husband of the wise woman was known in the gates.

Ques. Was not that where Lot was found?

J.T. Yes, he sat in the gate of the city. And it was in the gate of the city that Boaz purchased Ruth.

Ques. Would you say that power and authority were represented in the gates?

J.T. I think so.

W.B. Will you say a little more about the foundation?

J.T. You have the name of each stone in the foundation given to us, showing that each apostle was to reflect something distinctive. They were not all alike. There were not two of them alike; they were all different. But, taken together, they would be administratively a complete reflection of Christ, I think.

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W.B. What is the thought in the cutting of the stone?

J.T. I suppose that the light should be reflected. I do not know much about precious stones, but I understand that they reflect light.

W.B. It shows the special pains which God has taken with them?

J.T. Yes, the way He has discipled them. Peter is the model as to how the apostles were formed by Christ.

G.A.T. What about the interior-of the city?

J.T. The book of Revelation does not show us what is within.

G.A.T. It says, "The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it".

J.T. Yes, but the interior is not opened up to us.

W.B. Except that it is pure gold.

J.T. Yes. That is what it is. But you can understand that Paul placed the church in heaven. He brought to pass the interior. He placed the church in heaven by his ministry; but what the Spirit shows us is not the interior, but what is manifest to all. What the Spirit sets forth is the vessel of administration.

A.F.M. As it appears to the universe.

J.T. Yes, as it appears externally. The inside corresponds with the exterior. So you may understand something of the interior from the exterior; it is an expression of what is within.

G.A.T. There is a street in the city, at any rate, all of gold. Is the interior for the pleasure of God?

J.T. Quite so. It is what the city is God-ward. In a general way, John 20 shows us the interior, whereas the Acts shows us the exterior, what is manward. John 20 shows us the saints within with Christ. In Revelation it is a question of seeing what comes out of heaven administratively.

R.S.S. You mention that there were two other

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references to the Levites in the book of Joshua.

J.T. Look at chapter 13: 14: "Only unto the tribe of Levi he gave none inheritance; the sacrifices of the Lord God of Israel made by fire are their inheritance, as he said unto them". And the last verse: "But unto the tribe of Levi Moses gave not any inheritance: the Lord God of Israel was their inheritance, as he said unto them". Then chapter 18: 7: "But the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the Lord is their inheritance". That was what I alluded to.

W.B. If these three things were known and enjoyed by us, there would not occur difficulties in matters of judgment that have so often arisen in the church.

J.T. Their food would be the sacrifices of the Lord God of Israel made by fire, which refers to the sacrifice of Christ as bearing God's judgment. That is a food that in itself would build up a very remarkable constitution, a very good constitution. It would render them qualified to judge and to discern. Then they had the Lord God of Israel as an object for their affections. And as to their office, they had the priesthood. That was their employ. Aaron is included in the tribe of Levi. The Spirit of God includes Aaron here.

Rem. I thought it was only the family of Aaron that had the priesthood.

W.H.C. The Levites had the service of God manward, and Aaron had it Godward.

J.T. I think they are simply viewed here as the priestly tribe, and so in Deuteronomy they had the Urim and Thummim. First of all, they have for their food the sacrifices of the Lord God of Israel made by fire. That is their portion for food. Then they had Jehovah as the object of their hearts. And their employment was the priesthood; they had access to Jehovah.

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W.B. There are many of us here who are connected with gatherings. If we get hold of this it might be very helpful in details in the assembly, because it has to do with the inner life. As you said, the exterior would come out of that. If we were enjoying together these things what would come in the way of discipline and that sort of thing would be put right without much trouble.

J.T. And you can see that the priesthood would play a very great part later on. The death of the high priest determined the period when the man-slayer was released.

A.F.M. The death of the high priest refers to the coming of the Lord?

J.T. Yes; it is the termination of a period. The period of a high priest marked time, and his death marked time.

J.N.H. I think that on previous occasions you made quite a distinction between priestly and levitical service.

J.T. I hope we may come to that, but what we have in view now is the type of the church as having a heavenly portion.

J.N.H. And Levi is included there?

J.T. It is the priestly tribe.

J.N.H. In Deuteronomy 33 the tribes are really in question, are they not? There are the blessings of Israel, and then it describes the various tribes. That would confirm what you say. Moses is the man of God who blesses the tribes.

J.T. Yes, and Levi is marked off as the priestly tribe.

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LEVITICAL SERVICE

Philippians 2

J.T. Will you say what you had in your mind in proposing the epistle to the Philippians?

A.F.M. In the first instance, that there might be a practical response to all the light which has been accorded to us in these last days. I thought Philippians gives us an outline of how the light of God takes practical effect in us, because, as I suppose, it is proper Christian experience. I think you remarked that the epistle to the Philippians was the result of the truth of Ephesians; that is, it is the walk of the heavenly man.

J.T. What is observable in chapter 1 is that the Philippians are in sympathy with the glad tidings. They had fellowship in the gospel. The apostle says in verse 3, "I thank my God for my whole remembrance of you ... because of your fellowship with the gospel, from the first day until now". That is, there is full sympathy with God in that which sets forth His special energy for the moment.

A.F.M. Do you not think that that is the more remarkable because the testimony -- I suppose the gospel includes a very great deal in the thought of God -- was in reproach and the subject of special conflict? In 2 Timothy we have the afflictions of the gospel. "Be not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord ... but suffer evil along with the glad tidings". There were the afflictions of the gospel. Is not that of note?

J.T. I suppose it is a suitable epistle into which to introduce the idea of levitical service, because it shows the spirit or mind of Christ in the manner in which He carried out His service.

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R.S.S. I suppose we can look at Christ as the true Levite?

J.T. Levitical service was certainly set forth in Him.

R.S.S. How would you connect the gospel with levitical service?

J.T. Because the gospel embodied the testimony, and that is especially the burden of the Levite. The Lord in Mark speaks about the saints surrendering for His sake and the gospel's. It is a touch, that is peculiar to Mark, because Mark presents to us the Servant and the exercises of the Servant. The gospel is, therefore, prominent. Another touch in Mark is that the Lord did all things well.

R.S.S. That would all be connected with levitical service.

J.T. I think so.

Ques. Would you say that Epaphroditus was as type of a Levite here?

J.T. I think you have in Paul and Timothy and Epaphroditus the spirit that energises the Levites. Of Timothy Paul said that he had genuine feeling as to how saints got on.

A.F.M. Would not the characteristics of a true Levite be, that, as in chapter 1, he would have great affection for the saints, and that his energies would go out in regard to the testimony in a public way?

J.T. Paul rejoiced that the gospel was announced, even if in contention, which is in a way the strongest way of putting his interest in the gospel; that he was not interested only because he announced it, but because it was announced, by whomsoever, or from whatever motive.

J.N.H. Even if it added to his bonds.

J.T. Yes, even if it caused suffering to him, he rejoiced in that Christ was announced. Then in the presence of the supreme joy of being with Christ,

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departing to be with Christ, he is content to remain for the furtherance of the joy of the Philippians; he is content to forego the pleasure of being with Christ, for the sake of the saints. All that shows the spirit of a Levite.

G.A.T. Supporting the gospel is not always preaching it. It does not mean that, does it?

J.T. No, I think that the saints, as a heavenly people, viewed as in the book of Joshua, according to what they have as an inheritance and according to their living associations, are sure to be evangelical, because evangelism is the mind of heaven. The word is really taken from angel, as we know.

J.A.R. Would you not say that the great point in preaching the gospel is presenting Christ?

J.T. I think so. You announce One whom you have come to love. But I have no doubt at all that the mind of heaven is evangelical, and the house of God is in touch with heaven.

Rem. There is joy in heaven over sinners repenting.

J.T. Yes; quite so. There is great sympathy with man in heaven. I think that evangelism emanates from heaven. The gospel is announced "by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven".

W.B. I notice a word in 2 Timothy, addressed to him by the apostle Paul: "Do the work of an evangelist". Do you regard that in the same way as evangelism?

J.T. Yes. No doubt Timothy would understand the work of an evangelist well. He had laboured with Paul, and at Ephesus.

The tidings carried by an evangelist refer to what is in God's heart, God's attitude toward man. But there is also work attaching to that, not simply the bearing of the message, but the work attached to it. Acts 20 shows the kind of work carried on by an evangelist. The work may be carried on by one who has not the gift of an evangelist. To-day the

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message is already known. I think the work of the evangelist now would be, as in Timothy's case, to make it clear to souls in detail.

R.S.S. What passage in Acts 20 do you refer to?

J.T. Verse 18: "Ye know how I was with you all the time from the first day that I arrived in Asia, serving the Lord with all lowliness, and tears, and temptations, which happened to me through the plots of the Jews; how I held back nothing of what is profitable, so as not to announce it to you, and to teach you publicly and in every house, testifying to both Jews and Greeks repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ". And verse 24: "But I make no account of my life as dear to myself, so that I finish my course, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus to testify the glad tidings of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more". I think you have in those verses some idea of the work of an evangelist; it was not only public preaching and teaching, but house-to-house work.

R.S.S. That is exceedingly helpful and instructive, because people have thought that the work of an evangelist is simply preaching; but it is the most arduous kind of work.

J.N.H. It continued there for three years, and with tears, night and day.

J.T. As was said, it was most arduous work. That indicates what levitical service is. It is a question of bearing or carrying things.

W.B. Verse 22 is much in line with what you have said. It reads, speaking of Timothy: "Ye know the proof of him, that, as a child a father, he has served with me in the work of the glad tidings". That is the same thing, is it not?

J.T. Yes. "As a child a father". Timothy had

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laboured with Paul in this relation. He learned from the apostle what service in the gospel meant.

G.A.T. What you have said is true of a man free to do that. How would you apply that to a brother who has to make his daily living?

R.S.S. Paul made his daily living. Both at Corinth and Ephesus, at different times, he tells us that. In this chapter he also speaks of working with his hands.

J.T. His hands ministered to himself and to those that were with him.

Rem. That was really an expression of very great affection.

J.T. Yes.

R.S.S. I think affection comes out beautifully as the spring of it all in Philippians 1:8, where it says, "God is my witness how I long after you all in the bowels of Christ Jesus". That was really the secret of his devotion.

J.N.H. It reads in chapter 1:6: "Having confidence of this very thing, that he who has begun in you a good work will complete it unto Jesus Christ's day".

J.T. I think it is most interesting to see that the saints, viewed normally, as in the light of Paul's ministry, were very evangelical. They had sympathy in the gospel. As sympathetic with the gospel, I think, we are levitical; we accept the burden of it. If we follow what is involved, what is in the testimony, I think then we begin to surrender. This epistle, if it conveys anything, conveys the thought of surrender.

A.R.S. Does not the third verse show the spirit in which the service is to be carried out: "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves"?

J.T. I think so.

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A.R.S. Then Christ is brought forward later on in the chapter. He "made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant".

Rem. The testimony was with Paul at Rome. He preached the gospel, and was concerned about the saints. Epaphroditus was also concerned about the saints.

J.T. I think the levitical spirit is seen in Epaphroditus, in that he was troubled, not because he had been sick, but because the Philippians heard he had been sick. He was troubled on their account.

W.J.N. What are the "own things" spoken of in verse 4?: "Look not every man on his own things".

J.T. His own qualities.

W.J.N. Is that in connection with service in divine things?

J.T. Yes. He is hot to be engaged with his own abilities more than with others. It would appear that you are not to make much of anything that is especially of advantage to you, but that you rather enlarge upon what others have.

W.J.N. I think it is very important in regard to one's own things. I suppose that each one has his own line of things, and yet each should think of others?

W.B. You get that spirit in the apostle Peter. Speaking of Paul, at the end of his second epistle Peter says: "even as our beloved brother Paul ... hath written unto you". He seems to plat Paul on a higher plane than himself.

J.T. And that is in spite of the fact that Paul had severely rebuked him. It shows the working of the divine nature in the apostles. What this epistle contemplates is the working of the divine nature in the saints, and not exactly the carrying out of our service under the direction of Christ. What is in view is that we do it, as it were, naturally.

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But when we come to consider levitical service, each Levite is under the direction of the priest. That is really another side of the truth, which is not in Philippians, because Philippians treats rather of what marks the person because of Christian affection. What is done is the result of Christian affection rather than of official obligation.

W.B. Is that the reason why Epaphroditus is brought in? The things that are said about him are remarkable: "My brother", "fellow workman", "fellow soldier". Paul associates himself with Epaphroditus very closely; and then in the last verse of the chapter it seems that he is held in honour, because he journeyed from the Philippians to Paul with their contribution, seemingly a very small thing.

J.T. And Timothy cared for the saints, not because he had been deputed to do so by the Lord, although that was also true, because he had received a gift, but he cared for them, as we see here, with genuine feeling. That is, his heart was in it.

G.A.T. So then service is not rendered because, it is my duty, but because I delight to do it.

J.T. Yes, just so. But levitical service properly is carried out under the direction of the priest.

A.A.T. And in Christianity that is different from what it was under the Mosaic law.

J.T. Yes. But what I see of importance here is the spirit of the man that is suited for levitical service. He is a man that goes down.

R.S.S. That all comes out in Christ, does it not? Though in the form of God, He made Himself of no reputation, taking upon him the form of a servant -- a very striking expression. Really, I suppose, there is no stronger expression of the Lord's deity than that. No mere creature could take upon himself the form of a servant. We are all in that form already. The angels are, and so

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are men. It is connected with responsibility. But He voluntarily took the form of a servant.

J.T. Yes; and that mind was in Him. That was the point: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus". You can see how service will be rendered by us if this mind is present.

Ques. Is the apostle Paul at Ephesus an example of that? He says he served with humbleness and tears.

J.T. It shows that he was energised by the Spirit of Christ.

A.F.M. Is not that the first thought in the second chapter? We have no proper object or example, but as we look at Christ Himself. The apostle in Acts 20, to which you referred, served with all lowliness, and in the opening of this epistle he is a bondman with Timothy; Christ took a bondman's form. He was the lowly One. The apostle and Timothy were thoroughly imbued with the Spirit of Christ. Is not that where we get help in the same direction? It is really a question of affection. As to a bondman, it is for all time. He serves for ever. He cannot throw off the yoke of responsibility to his master.

J.T. So that if you put your hand to the plough and look back you are not fit for the kingdom of God.

G.A.T. This service here is to Jesus Christ?

J.T. Yes; but there is an element of authority or direction in the carrying out of levitical service. It is not simply carried out because we love to do it, though that is true. The thought in Numbers is that the Levites are placed under the direction of the priests, and all levitical work is carried on accordingly. They were to be presented to Aaron the priest.

W.B. Would the assembly at Philippi occupy the place of the priest? Epaphroditus had carried out

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their instructions. Would there be any analogy between that and the priest?

J.T. There is, if you regard the priesthood as connected with the sons of Aaron. But as brought to Aaron personally I think they represent the saints as presented to Christ for His disposal in service. But Aaron's sons were associated with him in the direction of the Levites. The service of the Levites, viewing them typically, depends on the spiritual state -- the priestly state, that exists in the assembly. The Spirit said, "Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them". You get there the idea of authority and the saints associated with it.

W.B. If a man receives a gift from Christ he is responsible to fulfil it. It is another thing as to how he does it. He may carry out the work that God gives him in a wrong way, not in a true spirit, and spoil his work in that way.

J.T. Yes. It is everything to have a right spirit; and I believe what we dwelt upon in Joshua shows how the Levites are formed. Typically their inheritance and where they dwell would have the effect of forming them in accord with heaven. But, as here upon earth, individually we are subject to Christ; that is, we are subject to authority. It is a great thing to see the mind that marked the early servants.

G.A.T. What other spirit have you in mind that we might serve in besides the spirit you have mentioned?

J.T. Well, the spirit of vainglory and strife. We see, alas! the spirit of strife and vainglory entering in among the Lord's servants.

G.A.T. It is possible that one might be very active apparently in the Lord's service, but with the object of getting a name for himself, to be well thought of by others.

J.T. Just so. But if I understand the place

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accorded, to the Levites in the book of Joshua, it is that we are to drink into the mind of heaven, which is, as I said, evangelical. And the mind of Christ involves going down, for we must remember that the mind of Christ to go down began with Him, as in the form of God. He was in the most exalted position and state, but He chose to descend.

A.F.M. That is the contrast to Adam. Adam's thought was to go up. But the mind of Christ was to come down. The visible sign of it was the bondman's form.

A.A.T. In connection with the motive that would actuate one in preaching the gospel, the need of man, or the joy it brings to God, should the latter be the motive more than the former?

J.T. I think the idea is that you see what is involved in the testimony, and you follow it and surrender on account of that. There is the gospel on the one hand and the saints on the other. You love to have the gospel made known, and you are prepared to surrender for that. On the other hand, you see that the saints are to be cared for, and it was the saints especially that were before Paul and Timothy and Epaphroditus.

A.A.T. And you include that in evangelistic work?

J.T. I would include that in the service of the Levite. Paul was on the eve of departure. He was in a strait, but he was true to his levitical instincts. Instead of accepting the open door into bliss, to be with Christ, he chose to remain in the levitical position, to remain down here for the furtherance of the joy of the Philippians.

A.A.T. Then the Levite, while labouring, is not necessarily spending all his time in visiting the saints; he labours in prayer.

J.T. I think prayer forms a very great part of the Levites' burden, although in prayer you are more

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a priest. But it belongs to the tribe. The altar of incense was a square. It was one cubit, and what is set forth in that is that there is unity and at the same time universality, that the saints have burdens, and their burdens are of a universal character, The spirit of the house of God is universal in its bearing. The house of God is evangelical, and hence there are prayers. Now, the second epistle to Timothy opens up the attitude of the saints as evangelical. Their exercises are manward, and every kind of man is included. But they have access to the altar of incense, and the altar of incense was also a square; but instead of being five cubits, like the brazen altar, it was one cubit. I take it that in our turning to God in prayer, the altar being one cubit suggests unity, because one is the numeral of unity; it refers, among other things, to unity. And so the apostle says, "For God is one". That is, the Godhead are united. But whilst they are united, it is, as in the connection set forth here in type, of a four-square character; that is, that the unity of the Godhead has reference to all men.

R.S.S. It is very remarkable that it is in 1 Timothy 2 that it is said that we are to pray for all men.

J.T. Yes, "Our Saviour God", "who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For God is one". I take that to be the idea of "four-square". The unity is seen in the one cubit. God is one, and the saints are in the light of that; their prayers and supplications are for all men. There you have the golden altar, and it is based upon what God is. "For God is one". And the unity of the Godhead has reference to the salvation of the whole race of man. Then he says, "And the mediator of God and men one". The attitude of the Mediator also is universal, because He gave Himself a ransom for all. Then Paul is brought

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into that: he says, "To which I have been appointed a herald ... a teacher of the nations in faith and truth". So that the saints have every ground on which to pray. Their prayers are in the full light of what God is. I think, as has been suggested, one great feature of the levitical position is, that as in the light of what God is, we have access in prayer. The sheet let down from heaven in Acts 10 gives the same idea. It was four-cornered. The Levites are in accord with heaven, because they really dwell there morally. Heaven is their dwelling-place, and their prayers are in accord with heaven.

R.S.S. It says, "God is one". Is the thought there that the Godhead is of one mind in regard to what you are speaking of? What does it mean when it says that the Mediator between God and men is one. Is that the same thought; that He is of the same mind?

J.T. It involves, I think, that there are not two. The Mediator is one, and His mind is in accord with the mind of God. God will have all men to be saved; that is God's mind; and then the Mediator carries that mind out, because He gives Himself a ransom for all. And then Paul is in it, in that he is appointed herald and teacher. He is in accord with the unity. His desire was that the saints should be fully up to this, so that they should pray; that they should be fully in accord with the golden altar.

A.A.T. I suppose God would encourage us. He would have us as Levites exercised in heart; and when we come together during the week to the prayer meeting we make these exercises known to Him in prayer.

J.T. I think that prayer is an appointed means of support to us, but evidently we are to be united. But the unity is not unity of agreement. It is unity based upon the revelation of God. His mind is manward, so that the prayers of Christians normally

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would be according to the type we have been considering, of a "four-square character"; that is, they would be for all men.

R.S.S. I think that is what we lack; we are too straightened and narrowed up in our prayers which are often confined to a very limited sphere, whereas this has a tendency to enlarge that sphere.

Rem. Peter and John, when liberated, went to their own company, where there was prayer.

J.T. Yes; and it is noticeable that the prayer was in accord with what we have been saying. They recognised that God had created everything. They having heard it, lifted up their voices with "one accord" (that is the one cubit, the size of the altar), and said, "Thou art the God who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them". Their minds are universal, they are thinking of God in His relation with His whole creation.

R.S.S. It is very remarkable, because they were in a very difficult place; there was danger among themselves and danger from without.

A.A.T. It is in accord with what the Lord said: "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations". In Timothy it is prayer for kings, not for any particular king.

J.T. Just so. It is not specifically for the king or president of your own country. The unity that is seen in Acts 2 is the result of the gospel known in the soul. The normal effect of the gospel is to bring people together in affection. But then there is another thing, there is unity in prayer in support of the testimony, and this we get in chapter 4: 24 - 30, showing that it was the outcome of interest in the testimony.

J.N.H. That would be the four comers of the earth?

J.T. Yes.

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Rem. I am sure it would add interest to our prayer meetings to remember that.

W.C. In the story of the good Samaritan, where the priest and the Levite pass by, unable to help the mail that fell among the thieves, is the lack there that of sacrifice? The Levite is impotent; he passed by on the other side.

J.T. There did not seem to be much heart for the needy one. The most they could do was to come and look at him, but that does not help the man. It sets forth contrast; the priest and the Levite stand for the old economy and the impotency of the old economy, and the service of the Samaritan discloses the divine compassion that was in Christ. The Mosaic system never could help man really.

G.A.T. Man could not help himself; he could not answer to it.

J.T. There was no vital power in that system, and there was no power in the man. But the Samaritan had the means of help with him. It is remarkable that he had the oil and the wine. He did not have to go anywhere to get them. He had them. He had the means of relief with him.

R.S.S. Would you say that the good Samaritan was the true Levite?

J.T. I think he was, and also the true priest.

R.S.S. And it is very beautiful what is said of him -- he "came where he was and had compassion on him".

A.F.M. In regard to the prayers in 1 Timothy 2, the house is seen in the attitude of intercession for all men. That would be in view of the glad tidings going forth. It has a universal character. But what about prayers for the saints? In Revelation we read of golden vials full of the prayers of the saints. Do you include the saints in the expression "all men"?

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J.T. No, I think Paul in Timothy is referring to those that were outside.

A.F.M. Is your thought in that connection to pray for those in authority that we may lead a quiet life, so that the gospel can go out?

J.T. You pray for all men that they may be saved, because God wills that they may be saved.

A.F.M. In Revelation 5 it speaks of the Lamb taking the book; and the twenty four elders fall before the Lamb with harps and golden vials full of incense, which are said to be "the prayers of the saints".

J.T. It has to be noted that what is said of the living creatures and the elders is that they have bowls, or vials, full of prayers. It does not say that they offer the prayers. The golden altar is not in evidence. Neither have they censers. That is, they are not official. But when you come to Revelation 8 there is an Angel at the golden altar and He has a censer in His hand, and in that censer there is incense, which, it is said, is to "give efficacy" to the prayers of saints ascending to God. I think that there it is the official side: it is Christ Himself. We have not that place. We cannot present the prayers of another. All we can do is to pray for another. Therefore I do not see that the elders, or the living creatures, present the prayers. That would be official. It would give them an intermediate place between God and the saints which only belongs to Christ. But in Revelation 8 the Angel is official. He presents the prayers with the incense, and they are effective.

G.A.T. Those prayers do not belong to the elders; they are those that have been offered up by the saints.

J.T. They are not their prayers; but the prayers of the saints.

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Rem. The bowls are where God preserves the prayers of the saints?

J.T. It would look as though He valued them and had them treasured up in His heart.

W.B. It speaks in chapter 5 of "vials full of odours"?

J.T. Yes, but there is no presentation there; they are not presented. The odours refer to what God thinks of our prayers. God attaches value to our prayers. But in order that they should be effective they have to be presented. That is, Christ has to be recognised in connection with them; they have to be in relation to Him; and chapter 8 shows that they become effective as presented by Christ with incense at the golden altar. Christ is there seen as the Priest. He only has title to take that place. The incense He has is to give efficacy to the prayers of the saints, so that there is fragrance going up with the prayers. Then we have the answer in what follows. The answer is judgment. In our case it is not that. The answer in our day is blessing. We pray for men that they may be saved.

W.J.N. Would you say that intelligent prayer at any time is in keeping with the mind of God for the moment?

J.T. Yes. So in Acts 4 they prayed: "Now, Lord, look upon their threatenings, and give to thy bondmen with all boldness to speak thy word, in that thou stretches! out thy hand to heal, and that signs and wonders take place through the name of thy holy servant Jesus". That was intelligent prayer. There was no demand for judgment on their enemies, but that the word should be attested by God in miracles.

W.J.N. In the Revelation there is a change. God really has turned to thoughts of judgment, and the prayers of the saints of that period are intelligent,

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as being in keeping with His mind at that time, and the answer is judgment.

J.N.H. Why does the apostle say in 1 Timothy 2"Lilting up pious hands, without wrath or reasoning"?

J.T. Well, the hands refer to the means by which we accomplish things, and in order to approach God we are required to have holy hands. To approach men we are required to have "beautiful feet".

W.H.C. "If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me".

J.T. No, He will not.

W.J.N. Speaking of the feet, do you mean by that the way in which a man carries himself before men?

J.T. Yes. "How beautiful ... are the feet of him that announceth glad tidings". Isaiah 52:7. Then in Romans it is "How beautiful the feet of them that announce glad tidings", Romans 10:15, showing that in Christianity the Lord "gave the word and great was the host of the publishers", Psalm 68:11.

R.S.S. It is noticeable that in Scripture effective prayer is connected with a suitable condition in the person who prays. For instance, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much".

J.T. Yes, indeed, "wrath and reasoning" are unsuited to the holy place and the altar of gold.

R.S.S. You do not pray with any fleshly feeling of anger, and it is in confidence -- "without wrath and reasoning". You do not reason. If you reason, you do not pray in confidence.

J.T. Yes; a reasoning state of mind would not be in accord with unity. Oneness would not be there. It would be that of a "double-minded man", and James says, "Let not that man think he shall receive anything of the Lord".

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G.A.T. Will you say a little more as to the hands and the feet?

J.T. Well, the hands have reference in Scripture to the means by which we accomplish anything, or carry out our responsibilities in labour. The feet refer to how we carry ourselves, how we walk. You get both in Christ. You get how He did things in Mark; in John you get how He walked; in Luke you get how He spoke. Now, the Lord had beautiful feet. He was the Evangelist. And we know that His hands were holy.

J.N.H. It is remarkable that only one of the saints is called an evangelist in Scripture -- Philip.

R.S.S. How would you distinguish the hands with which we labour from the hands that we hold up in prayer? Moses hands were uplifted when Israel was in conflict with the Amalekites.

J.T. I think the hands have reference to what we do.

A.A.T. Power is identified with the right hand.

J.T. Yes; but Paul says, "these hands have ministered unto my necessities"; and the hands represent the person; to lay the hand on the sacrifice identified the offerer with it. And so Paul said, "Lay hands suddenly on no man", because your hands and what you do with them, commit you to that thing.

W.B. In time of battle, when Aaron held up one of Moses' hands and Hur the other, Israel prevailed, but when Moses' hands were lowered the enemy prevailed.

J.T. But I think the hands would be the expression of the power of the person. The power of the person is manifested through the hands. Christ has no need of support. In the power of His Person He sustains us. Moses was unequal to that. Christ's sustainment is a great thing for us; our names are

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on His breast and on His shoulders. The shoulders and the hands are thus intimately connected.

G.A.T. Do you connect the power going through the hands in the laying on of the hands in the Acts?

J.T. Yes. The Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands.

W.B. There is an instance in Revelation 11 of the angel standing on the sea and on the earth. He lifted up his right hand to heaven. That is in connection with God taking possession, is it not?

J.T. Yes. God taking possession of the sea and the land. It is a great thing to see Christ in the power of His Person representing us before God. On the shoulders of the high priest there were two stones containing the names of the tribes. On the breastplate there were twelve stones. Each tribe had a precious stone; that is, the saints are individually known to Christ and treasured in His heart;they are also all supported by Him.

A.F.M. We have in the latter part of this chapter something of what we have to do, to work out our own salvation, and then collectively we have to hold forth the word of life.

J.T. I suppose they had, like ourselves, to work out their salvation without the apostle. They would have to work it out without his aid, and they would also hold forth the word of life, which is continuous, without the apostle's presence. They were to be children of God without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom they shone as lights. All these things were to continue in the absence of the apostle.

A.A.T. It has been said that one could not be a good Levite if he were not a good priest. Is that right?

J.T. I think so, because you do not know what to do if you are not a priest. The priest knows what to do. The priesthood refers to spirituality. The

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priest has the mind of the Lord and knows what to do.

Ques. Why was it that there were twelve stones on the breast and only two on the shoulders?

J.T. Two onyx stones. "Engrave the two stones with the names ... upon his two shoulders for a memorial". And "thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment ... four rows of stones". Then we get the names of the stones, and it says: "the stones shall be with the names ... according to the twelve tribes". What I see is that the total number of the saints are, as a whole, supported by Christ on His shoulders, but that when it comes to His affections each individual has a precious stone, showing that we are individually known to Christ and He is interested in each of us. He loves each of us personally. He not only loves us collectively, but He loves us individually, and the interests of each of us are looked after by the Lord in the presence of God.

W.B. In the address to Philadelphia we get this promise, "and I will write upon him my new name". Do you connect that with what you have been saying?

J.T. Christ's name written on us refers to what will mark us. But the precious stones on the breastplate refer to the fact that you are to be known up there, that you are to be known as one whom He loves and cares for; and each one of us is represented in that way.

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PRIESTLY SERVICE

1 Peter 2:1 - 10

J.T. The allusion, I suppose, in this chapter is to the old economy; the house, the priesthood and the sacrifices. So that Christianity involves that we have the substance of what was foreshadowed in the types.

W.B. These three things seem to be mentioned in the same order in Hebrews: the house in chapter 3, the priest in chapter 5, and the sacrifices in chapters 9 and 10.

J.T. Quite so; that is very good.

Ques. Would you say the holy priesthood sets forth the position Godward?

J.T. Yes; it refers to the priesthood as having to say to God. We have first the spiritual house and then the priesthood.

Ques. What about the royal priesthood?

J.T. That is what we are manward.

Ques. What about the calling in connection with the priesthood?

J.T. It shows that the thought originates with God, and that the priest is chosen by God, is called of God, as was Aaron. I think Aaron typically points to a new order of man, a man taken out from amongst men. "Every high priest taken from amongst men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God", Hebrews 5:1. So in Exodus we have: "Take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons. And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty", Exodus 28:1, 2. God was calling out one man and

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his sons to fulfil a certain function or service, and the clothing or garments for glory and beauty all point to Christ as heavenly in origin and character.

R.S.S. Are we priests by calling in that way?

J.T. Yes, as associated with Christ, hence the great dignity attached to the position: that in connection with God's testimony, all that He would unfold under the eyes of men, and under angelic eyes as well, should be maintained by the priests. That in itself indicates what the person was. What a great person he must be to sustain the weight of God's testimony, and subsequently to bear the whole congregation on his heart and on his shoulders!

R.S.S. I suppose his greatest privilege was that of approach to God?

J.T. Yes -- that he had title to approach God.

R.S.S. Would you say that the prominent thought in priesthood is the right of approaching God?

J.T. Yes. "That he may minister unto me". Then what followed on that, as the book of Leviticus shows, was all that with which he and his sons were charged. We have to make a distinction between the sons of Aaron and the family of Aaron. The sons are mentioned in the call, but they are not mentioned as his children; they are mentioned as his sons. His daughters are not mentioned in the call. The sons of Aaron have reference to the saints viewed as formed by the Spirit, intelligently joining Christ in the service.

W.J.N. In their priestly character?

J.T. Yes. But Aaron's family was taken account of in a special way; and, as we know, in Leviticus 16, he offered for his house.

R.S.S. Is the assembly of the antitype of the family or of the sons?

J.T. It is antitype of both, I think. Aaron's house was a type of the assembly. But the assembly is also viewed as formed by the Spirit and intelligently

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entering into God's mind and serving in relation to God. Aaron's sons typified this side.

Ques. Does the call involve intelligence?

J.T. Those called are qualified, so that in the antitype it is the Son who is called to priesthood.

A.R.S. All believers are priests, but should we not be exercised to see that we are up to our calling?

J.T. That is the great gain of having the light of our calling brought before us.

A.R.S. The Levites carried the things pertaining to the tabernacle, but priestly service was evidently very much greater, because the priests approached God and offered the sacrifices.

J.T. We are all called, and it is important that we should take up our calling. It seems as if the levitical service in the wilderness ended when the tabernacle was reared up.. The special work of the Levites was in taking the tabernacle down, carrying it and setting it up; but when it was all in order for divine service the levitical side drops out of view and the priestly service is apparent. Perhaps that is where we are defective: not seeing what has been set up by God for His service, and serving in relation to that. Peter says here: "yourselves also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood". That is, there is everything for divine service. And he adds: "to offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ". .

A.R.S. There are two altars, the brazen and the golden, and different sacrifices offered on those altars.

J.T. I think the court was properly the place of offering sacrifices. So far as the tabernacle in the wilderness was concerned, the sacrifices were all brought into the court. It does not appear to me that sacrifices go beyond the court now, whereas the golden altar is in the holy place. There the priest also officiated, but not by sacrifice. It was, the place of incense.

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R.S.S. What answers to the court now?

J.T. I think all the sphere in which surrender is made.

R.S.S. The sphere of responsibility?

J.T. Yes, it is connected with that.

A.R.S. Is it not the same as in Romans 12, where you offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your intelligent service?

J.T. There are many sacrifices alluded to in the New Testament. All of these are priestly, but they are not what you may call the highest function of priests.

G.W.H. Do we get the highest function of priests in this chapter?

J.T. No, I think not. This chapter does not contemplate the holy place, nor the holiest, as far as I understand it; only the priesthood and the house both being spoken of, you can add the rest.

R.S.S. There is the offering of spiritual sacrifices.

J.T. In contrast to the material sacrifices that were offered in the wilderness. The sacrifices that you make are spiritual in their import.

G.W.H. Would Hebrews 13:15 correspond with the golden altar: "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise continually to God; that is, the fruit of the lips confessing his name". Is that the golden altar?

J.T. I do not know that it is; I do not know that it takes you beyond the court.

G.W.H. Where do you find the function of priest-hood in its highest character?

J.T. In its highest character it is in the holiest.

R.S.S. Would it be, "in the midst of the assembly will I sing thy praises"?

J.T. Yes, and "both he that sanctifies and those sanctified are all of one", contains the thought.

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W.B. When you speak of sacrifice being surrender you refer to the court?

J.T. A sacrifice is a sacrifice; it costs you something.

A.R.S. When Mary poured the ointment on the Lord's feet and the odour filled the house, was not that more the golden altar aspect?

J.T. Yes.

A.F.M. But the golden altar was in the holy place. Is there any such thing as service in the holy place at the present time?

J.T. Not according to Hebrews, because Hebrews is contrast; but we must not lose the value of the type; we must not lose the teaching of the tabernacle in the wilderness, as showing the order of divine service, otherwise we should shut out all that is not in the holiest.

W.B. You refer to the table and the candlestick?

J.T. Yes, certainly these have some reference to us. Levitical service is not in the holiest, nor in the holy place; it is outside. We must not lose the typical teaching of the tabernacle; but at the same time, if there are those who would reinstate it in a literal way, the apostle shows that it is done away with, and that Christ is now in heaven; that our calling is heavenly, that the holy place and the court have disappeared.

G.A.T. Would you say that in place of the tabernacle we have now got a spiritual house?

J.T. The thought of the tabernacle is maintained, because it says in Hebrews that Christ has come by a greater and more perfect tabernacle. The tabernacle, as a type, has reference to our position as here in flesh. There was nothing in the way of elegance or stateliness in the external appearance of the tabernacle, whereas such things were in the temple; everything there was calculated to render it imposing; it had an imposing exterior. But the tabernacle was

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not an imposing thing at all; its appearance was simply a tent covered with skins, enclosed in a court. But there was that which was intrinsically valuable inside of it, and that had to be guarded. Another thing about it that corresponds to us is that it could be taken down and set up, referring to its transitory state, primarily referring to Christ as in flesh; it was not a permanent condition for Him. And our condition is not permanent. Nevertheless, both in Christ and in us, there is that which is infinitely precious, and that has to be guarded. So the tabernacle position in the wilderness has reference properly to the saints viewed here in flesh, but containing by the Spirit the things of God.

R.S.S. Whereas the temple has a more, permanent character and has to do with the "world to come".

J.T. So that the saints are said to be growing unto a holy temple in the Lord; that is for the world to come. But Corinthians contemplates us as the assembly of God and that the oracles of God are amongst us.

A.F.M. We have reference to the two thoughts in John's gospel. In chapter 1 we have "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory". They saw beyond the exterior "a glory as of an only-begotten with a father, full of grace and truth". In chapter 2 we have a millennial scene in regard to the marriage. And He says, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up". Is there not a reference to the two thoughts there?

J.T. Yes, I think so. It might be thought that the term temple in Scripture always refers to Solomon's building, but it does not. It does not in the Old Testament. The word appears in 1 Samuel. Samuel and Eli were in the temple. It refers to the place where the light of God is. It is noticeable that during all the days of Joshua and of the Judges God

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spoke nothing to them as regards the temple, that is, the building. He said that He had travelled and dwelt in a tent with them during all that time; and not until the days of David, until the establishment of the kingdom, do we get the thought of a permanent structure.

W.J.N. Not until then were the staves drawn out of the ark.

J.T. Quite so. So that in, all the period from Sinai to the reign of Solomon there was a moveable state of things.

G.A.T. Would you say that the precious things of God are among the saints today?

J.T. Well, I think the ark, for instance, is amongst us. That is the great central thought in the tabernacle. The coming of the Spirit at Pentecost involved that the ark was there. The coming of the Spirit was like the glory descending upon the tabernacle and filling it.

R.S.S. Will you define what the oracles are?

J.T. They are the divine speakings. God speaks. He spoke from off the mercy-seat, and He spoke at the brazen altar. Exodus 25:22, and Exodus 29:42.

R.S.S. Is it the Scriptures?

J.T. Not quite; the oracles of God are preserved by the Spirit among the saints.

G.A.T. I was wondering if the affections of the saints are not what have to be guarded.

J.T. Well, they have to be guarded. Christ has His place amongst God's people, and it is a very great matter that, so to speak, the ark is preserved intact.

Rem. Absalom would be an example of one taking away the affections of the saints.

J.T. Yes, Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

Ques. What was the sanctuary in David's day?

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He says that his soul was longing to see God as he had seen Him in the sanctuary.

J.T. The tabernacle was still there. In Eli's day the ark had been carried away by the Philistines. David's first care and thought after he was recognised king by all Israel was to bring the ark back. We know how he failed the first time, but he learned from God through his failure and recognised that the Levites only should carry the ark. He brought it in under curtains. That was the sanctuary to him.

A.R.S. After the ark was taken away in the days of Eli was the tabernacle still there?

J.T. It would appear that it was. The tabernacle was not carried away. The ark was taken. The tabernacle was there up to Solomon's time.

Rem. But the cloud of glory did not return in David's time.

J.T. No, the cloud of glory did not return until the temple was built. God could not sanction by His presence the order of things that had failed. And although the new order of things began with David, the system inaugurated by him was not complete until the temple was built.

R.S.S. So we can see the connection between the kingdom and the temple; it is all a testimony to what will be in the world to come.

J.T. Quite so. The kingdom must be fully established, and then the house must be built before the system is complete and God sanctions the whole system by His glory filling the temple, just as it had been in the tabernacle in an earlier day. What we see is that a new order of things was instituted in David. Moses' system, the tabernacle system, extended to David, and the new order of things was inaugurated under David. The tabernacle system refers to our day; but the permanent system is also established for faith.

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R.S.S. And it is the tabernacle that is so important for us, more so than the temple, is it not?

J.T. Yes. The temple system is yet to come properly.

W.J.N. Is that why it is the tabernacle in the epistle to the Hebrews generally?

J.T. Yes, it is spoken of much in the way of contrast.

Ques. Is there any connection between that and the thought in Revelation that God will tabernacle with men?

J.T. That shows that God has not given up His primary thought, which was that He should dwell with men. That is another testimony which the wilderness position affords. God is the Alpha and the Omega, He is the beginning and the end, and the end always agrees with the beginning, so that you have the tabernacle of God eternally with men. That is the end. But in the main the tabernacle refers to the present time, when the testimony of God is in the presence of contrariety.

J.N.H. Is it a greater thought than that of the temple?

J.T. It is of wider bearing. When you think of the tabernacle typifying the Lord Jesus here in flesh it is very touching, and then it is continued in our day.

Ques. The Holy Spirit indwelling the saints at the present time, I suppose, is a greater thing than what will be on the earth in the millennium, is it not?

J.T. The present state is greater in that sense.

A.R.S. Do you lay stress upon the tabernacle for us today, because we are in the wilderness, and then when the millennium comes in, the temple will come?

J.T. Yes; the kingdom first and then the temple. But then, as we said, the kingdom and temple exist now also.

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A.F.M. How do you reconcile the thought of the tabernacle with that of the living stones in this chapter?

J.T. Well, we are alluding to the tabernacle so that we should not lose the teaching of it. Peter is not dealing with the tabernacle at all. He is dealing with the house; he shows that the saints are a spiritual house in contrast to the material house at Jerusalem. In Ephesians 2 we are already a habitation for God, but the temple is connected with the future; we are growing to a holy temple.

A.R.S. What is the difference between this spiritual house and the temple? Is it not the same, but looked at in a different aspect?

J.T. Yes; Peter contemplates a building of living stones. In another sense the house, in the principle of it, existed even in the wilderness. It was the place where God dwelt.

A.F.M. Moses was faithful in all God's house as a ministering servant.

J.T. Yes. David spoke of the house frequently, and we know that the temple did not exist in his day.

W.J.N. Is not the thought of the house continuous even from the days of the tabernacle?

J.T. I think it is. But we have to distinguish in regard of what Solomon reared up; what marked it was magnificence and stability, and it refers to the millennial state of things.

W.B. Stephen in his address in Acts 7 says, Solomon built God a house, but that God does not dwell in a house made with hands. Is not the tabernacle in contrast with that?

J.T. No doubt. There was something in the house itself that Solomon built, in a material way. But we have to take, account of it typically. Solomon's temple refers to what Christ will establish in the millennial state, of things, the magnificence, stability and grandeur of the building. Peter alludes to what

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the saints are already, a spiritual house. That is, God has a dwelling-place, and in connection with that there is the priestly company, the priestly family, and the sacrifices.

W.J.N. Why does the Spirit bring out this particular line of truth to these saints through Peter?

J.T. I think it was to show that they had in a spiritual way the privileges that the people of old had.

W.J.N. Was there a danger in their case of being discouraged by the breaking down of everything connected with Israel after the flesh?

J.T. Exactly. And so he goes on to say that they were now God's people. God had said "Lo-ammi" to the people; He had given the people up; but now the believers in Christ from among the Jews had the place of God's people. Once they were not a people, but now they are the people of God. It was to encourage them. They had lost nothing in becoming Christians; they had all Israel's privileges.

Ques. Did you not say that the holy place does not appear here?

J.T. No doubt it is in the house, but that is not what the apostle is dwelling upon. I doubt that the Christians to whom Peter wrote were equal to that. What Peter shows in this epistle is that the Jewish Christians came into all that God had in His mind for the nation primarily. He says that He had begotten them again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from among the dead. They came into already all that God had in His mind for the nation when He took it out of Egypt. That was an immense thing for these persecuted Christians to know. He speaks of their coming to Christ, the rejected One, and that is important. He is the rejected One, because that marked their position. "To whom coming, a living stone, cast

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away indeed as worthless by men, but with God chosen, precious, yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ". They are viewed as being themselves that which Israel prided itself in; that is, the house of God. Then they have the priesthood.

Ques. How do we become living stones?

R.S.S. I suppose it is a reference to Matthew 16, where Peter confesses the Lord as the Son of God, and where in answer the Lord says to him: "Thou art Peter".

J.T. That is, he was a stone by his confession.

R.S.S. A living stone is one who knows the Son of God, who has received the revelation of the Son of God, because the Lord says when Peter confesses Him as the Son of God: "flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven".

E.J.E. What is to be understood by the sincere milk of the word?

J.T. It is the "pure mental milk". That is, it is that part of the word which feeds your mind. Our minds have to be fed, and our affections have to be fed.

E.J.E. In what part of the Scriptures would you suggest we get the sincere milk of the word?

J.T. I think that if young believers begin to see something for their minds in Scripture it delivers them from the reading upon which the unconverted feed. The Spirit of God is capable of meeting the mental requirements of God's people. We have mental requirements. Our minds require to be fed, and the word of God opens up wonderful things to engage our minds. It is a great thing for believers to be interested in the Scriptures. They open up wonderful things for the mind as well as for the heart.

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David spoke of his desire to behold wonderful things out of God's law.

We are apt to think that God has not provided for our minds, but He has, as well as for our affections. We have often alluded to David's desire to behold the beauty of the Lord. The Scriptures present that. They present the beauty of the Lord; that is for your heart. Then David says, "and to inquire in his temple". There, I think you get the mind provided for.

Ques. Is it that by which you grow?

J.T. You grow by the pure mental milk of the word.

A.F.M. Do you think the Scriptures are read amongst us so diligently as they used to be?

J.T. I do not think they are, and especially the Old Testament scriptures which are calculated to instruct you by the Spirit in the things of God, and it is wonderful how much enlightenment can be received from them by the Spirit.

E.J.E. One remarkable word in the epistle of Peter is "diligence".

A.A.T. But is one to be guided in taking these things up with the mind? We know that it is possible to overdo it and to be very intelligent; to be as clear in mind as an iceberg, but as cold.

J.T. You have to bring faith in always. The Lord instructed the two disciples, "Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself". I believe that faith would apprehend Christ in them and thus you receive an answer to your faith. It is wonderful how one gets help in the understanding of Scripture if one prays to the Lord.

G.W.H. What about the priests' food? They had a certain kind of food.

J.T. Yes, they had the shewbread. The thought, I think, is Christ as connected with God's testimony.

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That is the food of the priests. The Lord is seen in many lights in the Scriptures, and amongst them He is seen as related especially to God's testimony; and in that way He, is food for those who are charged with the testimony, namely, the priests.

G.W.H. It is limited to them, is it not?

J.T. Yes.

G.A.T. Can you give in a few words what testimony means?

J.T. Testimony on God's part is what He sets forth on His own behalf.

Ques. In verse 4 is the Lord presented as a "living stone"?

J.T. Yes, "to whom coming, a living stone", etc.

Rem. And as living stones we take character from Him.

J.T. Yes, "living stones" are akin to the Living Stone; they are in the light of the Son of the living God, and are in that way proved to be living stones.

Ques. In Matthew 16 Christ is presented as the Rock, is He not?

J.T. Yes, He is the rock. "On this rock I will build my assembly". But, He says, "thou art Peter". He does not say, thy name is Peter. That is important to notice. He says, "thou art Peter". It was what he was, not what his name was. What is in the apostle's mind is that they were moving. "To whom coming, a living stone". But then He is disallowed of men. The Living stone speaks of Christ as an immovable Person, One whom nothing can touch; there is stability in Christ. There is that in Christ upon which a structure can be reared.

J.N.H. Is there any element of responsibility in connection with moving toward Christ?

J.T. The thought is that of a structure. You see in Christ stability, and thus the foundation. It would have been a wonderful thing to David if in his day such a thing could have been said, because

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the great thought in David's mind was the structure.

A.R.S. The Lord says, "On this rock I will build my assembly, and hades' gates shall not prevail against it". It refers to the apprehension in the soul of who Christ was.

J.T. I am sure of it. It is not that it was his name. I believe it is of all-importance to make that distinction, because in John the Lord gives Peter a name. John's point being to show the Person of Christ as regulating things here, but in Matthew it is not that. Matthew's point was to show what Peter was; "thou art Peter", He says.

A.F.M. Then the Father's work is important. "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven". It must have been a great delight to Christ to get that confession from Peter. He says that the Father revealed it to him.

J.T. The Lord regarded it as a sign that the new structure was to be proceeded with. God had begun in Peter's soul, and the Lord, as it were, alters His course. The disciples were not to tell that He was the Christ, and "from that time forth", He began to speak about going to Jerusalem and being killed and raised up the third day.

A.R.S. Do you think it was the: apprehension of who Christ was in His own Person? That dawned upon the disciples very slowly. It was only by degrees that they apprehended the greatness of His Person. We see it coming out in Peter in connection with the draught of fishes. It was some time before they recognised that He was the Son of God.

J.T. Peter would not have known it at all had not the Father revealed it to him. In Matthew Peter says, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God"; in Mark, "The Christ"; and in Luke, "The Christ of God".

A.R.S. -Why are there these differences?

J.T. In Mark it is simply a question of the Vessel

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of testimony. In Luke it was the Vessel of grace. He is the Christ of God. But in Matthew it is the Son of the living God, so that He is in that way the foundation of things.

Ques. Do you think that Peter was in the good of resurrection until he got the Spirit?

J.T. No, he was not in the good of it until he got the Spirit, but the Lord identified Peter with the building, because of the confession that he made.

A.F.M. Do we find in this passage (1 Peter 2) the character of the administration connected with the Levites?

J.T. No, I do not understand it that way. Here we have the priesthood. The chapter shows, on the one hand, that we have access to God as a holy priesthood; and, on the other, that we have the privilege as a royal priesthood, of showing forth the virtues of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.

Ques. Where do you get the marvellous light?

J.T. It is the revelation of God; the full light of the revelation of God. The Jewish Christians were called out of a world of darkness. Judaism had become that. They had been called into the full light of the revelation of God in Christ, and now they were to show forth the virtues of Him who had called them into that, and in that capacity they would be royal priests.

W.B. Was the apostle Paul looked at as an offering priest, in Romans 15, offering up the nations to God by the Spirit? He takes the place, not simply as one coming from God, but one who presents something to God; that is, he presented the nations to God, in that way, as a sacrifice.

J.T. Quite so.

A.A.T. Speaking of the priesthood, was it God's original thought that all men should have access to

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Him? But distance having come in. He took up a nation; the nation broke down; then He took up a tribe; then a family in the tribe. It looks like a select thing, but was not that God's thought for all?

J.T. Priesthood contemplates the mediatorial state of things. It does not contemplate the final state that God has in His mind. Where it is a question of sonship, the privilege of relationship, these properly belong to heaven. They refer to the family circle. But priesthood has to do with, what you might call a mediatorial state. It refers to what is official and contemplates that others are at a greater distance, that some are privileged more than others.

Rem. When God shall tabernacle with men that will not be the case.

J.T. I do not think it will. It refers properly to the mediatorial kingdom. That is, God is acting through a Mediator, and some are at a greater distance than others, and those in the distance come into touch with God through the Mediator, or through the principle of mediation.

Ques. The place of the priest is in the sanctuary, is it not?

J.T. Their proper service is Godward in the sanctuary. We maintain the service of God now while Israel is abandoned and while the world is alienated from God. Christ and His brethren -- Aaron and his sons -- maintain the service. They remained in the tabernacle for the seven days to maintain the charge of Jehovah; so that, as far as I see, the priesthood are always under a charge, they are always under responsibility. It may be very blessed to have to say to God, to have access to God, but the very thought of priesthood is official and has to do with obligation. There is a charge resting upon the priesthood.

A.R.S. In the final state of things will that

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character not still remain, especially in the assembly, I mean worshipping priests?

J.T. But I do not think there will be any idea of charge there, nor any distance, nor some at a greater distance than others are. All that will have disappeared. At any rate, Scripture connects the priesthood with the mediatorial state of things.

W.B. Ought we not to turn to the New Testament scriptures to get the detail of the priesthood?

J.T. You cannot learn Christianity from the Old Testament. You cannot get Christianity in the Old Testament. You must have Christianity in order to understand the Old Testament. The Old Testament helps in the detail, but one must have the thing itself to begin with.

W.B. It gives the necessary light to understand what the charge of the priesthood is. Do we get that in the Old Testament?

J.T. I think it helps us greatly as to the detail of the service.

G.A.T. As to the work of the priest, how is it carried out in connection with our daily duties?

J.T. Viewed as a priest, you have to do with God's things by the Spirit. It is altogether a question of what you are spiritually. Viewed as a Levite, you are serving in relation to that which you understand as a priest; viewed as a common person, or as a member of the congregation, you are simply a man here in flesh, carrying out, according to God, your daily responsibility. You are, as it were, a man like others outwardly, carrying out your ordinary duties.

W.J.N. But all the while you are set in relation to God's testimony.

J.T. Always maintaining in your soul your relation to God's things, so that the exercises of the common duties of life add to you as a priest. The exercises that are proper to your daily duties increase

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your spirituality, so that, instead of being weaker through the daily exercises, you are stronger; you are a greater priest the next time you take up divine service than you were before; you have grown in strength through the exercises -- the common person ministers to the priest.

G.A.T. So we can thank God for the discipline we get through our business.

J.T. Yes, I think it tends to increase spiritual power, which is the only thing that counts in the assembly. You may be the very best workman and do your work perfectly as a common person, and you may have a good intellect, and all that, but the only thing that tells in priestly service is spiritual power and intelligence.

Ques. Does this chapter tell how to get into the good of priesthood?

J.T. It is what they were as having come to the Living Stone. It involves spiritual power, because they move toward the Living Stone. They see that Christ was rejected and they move toward Him. That requires power in itself.

J.N.H. There is, then, a measure of responsibility in connection with our taking up our priesthood?

J.T. It is a very serious consideration that we are charged in that way with the service of God.

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CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF GOD'S SON

Romans 8:29

My thought is to seek to show what God has in His mind in all His operations. It is a great advantage to have the end in view in regard to any given undertaking or operation, and God has been pleased to admit us into His counsels, so that we may understand what He has before Him. My desire is that the result of our meetings here may be that we may have a better appreciation of what God has in His mind. He has an ideal, and His ideal is not His afterthought. An ideal is necessarily a primary thought, so that Adam was not God's ideal. God's ideal is Christ, and His ideal necessarily preceded all His operations. I want you to take that in. God had that in His heart from the outset. He had Christ as the Son in mind, and in taking up each of us He has taken us up as having foreknown us. He did not foreknow us as sons of Adam. He foreknew us in connection with Christ, so that He predestinated us to be conformed to the image of His Son.

That is what I wish to dwell upon, but one has to inquire whether souls really believe on the Son. If you do not believe on the Son, if the light of the Son of God has not entered your heart, you have no right thought as to what God has taken you up for; hence the importance to Christians of believing on the Son. Now, the gospel of John was written for that end. We are accustomed to use John's gospel to announce the glad tidings to the unsaved, but we must bear in mind that it was written to believers and for believers. The apostle who wrote that gospel selected certain doings and sayings of Christ which were calculated to direct the soul to His Person. He does not call attention to Him as an

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official Person, as Luke does. Luke calls attention to Christ in an official light. He was writing to Theophilus, and he sets forth in order, or "with method", the things concerning the Word; the things that had been accredited among Christians. He set them forth in order, and the object was to show that God had intervened in Man, to make known the grace of God to the race. It was the Son of God, whom he presented, of course, but He is viewed in Luke as the Anointed, and this characterises Luke's narrative.

Now, John is not on that line. John is not concerned about the race exactly, although he is intensely evangelical. What he is concerned about is that those who had confessedly believed through the official gospel were drawing back; they were giving up things and this is a condition exactly corresponding with our own; wonderful light has been vouchsafed by God and received widely, but, alas! many are going back. Hence John states the effect of Christ's ministry, as recorded in chapter 6, where He is said to be the "bread of God". He tells us how Jesus spoke and what He said. He tells us that Jesus said, that His words were spirit and life, and he tells us that many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him. Now note! "Many of his disciples;" those who had professedly believed. There was "a hard saying", and they went back. I refer to that because of present conditions. It is a time, not exactly of gathering. God has gathered wonderfully; the testimony has had a wonderful presentation, thank God, and many have responded to it. But, alas! in many respects it is a time of "going away", turning back and "walking no more" with the truth. The Lord says, "Will ye also go away?" To my mind that is a most touching appeal; and the ready response of Peter is, "to whom [note the word whom not to what] shall we go?"

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They had been associated with a system, for Judaism was a system, but Peter does not say, To what shall we go? He says, "to whom shall we go?" A Person had crossed Peter's horizon; he had become acquainted with that Person. That Person had spoken of life; He had spoken of life eternal, and Peter says, "to whom shall we go; thou hast words of life eternal?"

Now, that, to my mind, illustrates the conditions since the official system gave way. What I call the official system is that which was established by the ministry of the apostles. That gave way, but this Person did not give way, and affection clings to the Person; and from that day to this, and until the coming of the Lord, everything hinges on the Person of the Son, and on affection for the Son, so that the word of Christ is still, "Will ye also go away?" What holds you? What held Peter? Christ held Peter. The Son of God held Peter, and hence John cites this instance, among others, to show how the saints of God are held and sustained until the coming of the Lord since the breakdown of the apostolic system.

Well, now, the question is, beloved friends, whether we believe on the Son. You will find that all through in John's gospel the result of the miracles is that somebody believed; and after recording all the signs John says Jesus did many more than these. "Many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples". Not in the presence of the world, but in the presence of His disciples, the point being the holding of those who professed to believe. He did the signs in the presence of His disciples. The first is in chapter 2, and the result of it was that His disciples believed. So John says: "These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name". Hence the importance

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of John's gospel is that our hearts should be in the light of the Son. It was written specifically that the disciples should be in the light of the Son.

You will observe that the descent of the Spirit on Christ in John's gospel is not to anoint Him. In Matthew and in Luke it is to anoint Him; but in John, where the Spirit descended and abode upon Him, it was simply to designate the Person; not to qualify Him for service, but to call attention to the Person. That Person was qualified inherently. In His own Person He is the Son, and He is supreme, hence John the baptist tells us: "I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptise with water, the same said unto me. Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptiseth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bear record that this is the Son of God". In other words, the coming of the Spirit on the Son, according to John's gospel, is to designate the Person, and that to one who ought to have known Him if He could have been known after the flesh. But the Son cannot be known after the flesh. If any one could have known Christ after the flesh it would have been the Baptist. He was his relative, contemporary with him, of the same age, and yet John did not know the Son. Unquestionably he knew Jesus, the reputed son of Joseph and Mary, but the Son of God he did not know; he became introduced to the Son -- to the Person, by the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him. So in John's gospel the Spirit of God brings forward the Son to meet conditions such as those in which we live.

Well, now, if you are in the light of that Person you are to know that God intends nothing less for you than that you should be conformed to the image of His Son. He has no other thought for you than that you should be conformed to the image of that Person, and, further, that He has foreknown you

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to that end. The apostle speaks of all things working together for good to those that love God. That is one point. Every genuine believer loves God. But then he adds, "to them that are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren".

When the Spirit of God uses a word He uses it according to its full meaning; and if He speaks of many brethren there will be many. Remember that the word many in a divine utterance means a great deal. It means a great deal with us, but how much more with God; and Christ is to be the Firstborn among many brethren. The idea of brethren is that there is mutual affection, and Christ is to be the Firstborn among the many just like Himself, and there will be mutual affection.

Now I want to show you, if I can, how God effects this in each of us. But I would again repeat, that it is of prime importance that your soul should be in the light of the Son of God to whose image you are to be conformed. That is to say, that you should believe on the Son. I would appeal to you as to whether you do believe on the Son. If you do not believe on the Son you are always exposed to the influences of this world and the systems of this world. It is the influence of the Son of God that will hold your soul! Since Paul's day the Son has been the great centre of attraction to hold the people of God.

Well, I want to show you how God works out the image of His Son in us collectively to begin with. When I say that He works it out collectively, I mean that He works it out by placing us in relation to one another and placing us under the same conditions, giving us the same food to eat and the same drink and the same Object. Now I shall have to be brief, but I want to enlarge a little on these things. The idea

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in Christianity is to get the people of God together. I have alluded before to a word in Proverbs 20:2: "The rich and the poor meet together". The rich and the poor; that is to say, the gospel goes out to every kind of person in the world, for God has only one mind about man. He thinks of everybody, and He sends the gospel to the rich and to the poor alike, and the effect of the reception of the gospel is that they all "meet together". There is a centralising influence in the gospel. Those who receive it are drawn together so that they meet together. Now the passage continues, "and the Lord is the maker of them all". That is. God has us together, and the first element, as it were, that is pressed home is that He is the Creator of us all. If you have anything that distinguishes you, anything that is of any value, it came from God; you did not get it in the world. Anything that you may have acquired in the world does not count in the gathering of God. It may count in the world, in business, and in society, but not in the gathering of God, where "the rich and the poor meet together". Anything that counts there is from God. So Scripture says, "The Lord is the maker of them all". In other words, we have all the same Maker.

Now, that is one element that produces similarity, if it is received. Have you received that light? it may be elementary light, but it is necessary light; that God is the Creator of us all? We all have the same Creator. "The Lord is the maker of them all". The effect of that is to produce similarity, a similarity that comes from God. God is beginning His work to produce sameness, similarity in us all, and He begins by impressing upon us that He is the Maker of us all; that He is our common Creator. I do not limit the idea to merely physical creation. Whatever there is in us that is of any account comes from God. God is the Creator of it. Anything that you have that is of any value came from God.

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Now I refer to the epistles to the Corinthians to show how in the assembly the Lord has placed that which has the effect of producing sameness or similarity, and I refer you to the Lord's supper. At Corinth the rich and the poor met together, but the rich maintained their dignity. They had their meal according to their wealth. They ate apart from the poor, and they put the poor to shame. That was not sameness. That did not produce similarity. The rich did not there glory in their humiliation and the poor in their elevation. The rich maintained his place and gave the poor his place. But the apostle says, "this is not to eat the Lord's supper". The Lord's supper is common to all Christians. The Lord in instituting it makes no difference. The bread was common to all and the drink was common to all.

That seems to be a simple thing; but does it not suggest affection? The Lord says, "This is my body, which is for you". Who are the "you"? Christians. All Christians are included in that, as distinct from those outside. And what do we eat in common? We eat the bread. And what is the bread? The bread is the symbol of the body of Christ. Now, what was the body of Christ for? I speak of the body of the Lord reverently. What was it for? It was for the carrying out of the divine will. "Lo, I come to do thy will"; "A body hast thou prepared me". It was for the carrying out of God's will; and in order to carry out that will Christ's body was surrendered in death. That is what is before us in the bread we partake of. Is not that wonderful food? Now, what is the effect of that food? The effect of that food rightly understood is that your will and my will are set aside. Thus there is similarity. It may be negative similarity, but negative similarity is necessary. If we have so many wills, it is well to get rid of them. The bread which we break is the

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communion of the Lord's body, and it betokens to our hearts that He has set aside those wills of ours, in His own holy body through death. Be has set them aside. There is no room for them in God's assembly. God's assembly is where God rules, and hence there is no place there for our wills. The food that we partake of involves that, and the drink too. He says, "Drink ye all of it;" the all refers to all true believers. I always feel sorry for the believer who does not partake of the Lord's supper. The Lord included him here. He says, "Drink ye all of it". That is the drink, the common drink of the assembly. We have all the same food and the same drink. Drinking is for satisfaction. The apostle alludes to it later, saying, "we have all been given to drink of one Spirit". So we have the same spirit. The wills are gone, and, with the wills, that naughty spirit that manifested itself in us all, and instead of that we have the Spirit of Christ; "we have all been made to drink of one Spirit". Now, if we have all the same spirit, clearly there must be great similarity. If you get a company of people all pervaded and animated by one spirit there is great similarity.

Well, now, that Spirit gives satisfaction. He gives us character, for in chapter 12 it is a question of the anointing. "So also", says the apostle, "is the Christ". That is, we are all anointed. Our faces shine, for oil makes a man's face to shine. There is satisfaction within in the drinking, and there is distinction, divine distinction, without, for we are really God's anointed. We come into the anointing of Christ. As the apostle says, "So, also, is the Christ".

Now I go on further, into the second epistle, and there we are brought into the presence of an Object in heaven. In chapter 1 the Son is introduced, the Son being invariably the point of recovery. Every

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promise of God is yea and Amen in the Son. Whatever failure the first epistle may have disclosed, the second epistle opens with the Son, and every promise of God is secured in the Son. No failure on the part of God's people can touch that. So the heart is reassured. Then in chapter 3 we have the glory. Paul says, "we all, looking on the glory of the Lord with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory". What I would point out is, that we have the same Object for our hearts. There is progress; there is development in the presentation of the truth to the Corinthians, and in chapter 3 of the second epistle the saints have the same Object for their affections in heaven. He says, "we all". Who are the "all"? The same that partake of the cup and the bread, the same that drink into the one Spirit. "We all, looking on the glory of the Lord with unveiled face"; every one looking up at the glory! Has not that a transforming effect upon each of us? It has a transforming effect upon each one, and the effect it has upon each it has upon all. So, the apostle continues, we "are transformed according to the same image", the same; that is to say, we are all alike, and that like is after Christ. We are transformed to the image of Christ. But we are all transformed; he says "we all", and "we all" embraces believers in the beholding of the glory. So that now we have not only a company with a common Maker, but we have a company with a common likeness, and that likeness is the effect of beholding the glory in the face of Christ. I say -- what a company! and all that is brought to pass by the ministry of the Spirit, so that we have a company formed after Christ in glory; and, as the apostle adds, "from glory to glory".

It is in that way that God leads us on until we see the place the Son has. The Son is God's ideal, as I have said. God never rested until the Son appeared.

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You may have noticed that in chapter 1 of John's gospel, the Spirit descended and remained on the Son. That is to say, God had reached His object; He rested there; there was nothing beyond that for God. He had reached His great end, for the Spirit rested upon the Son. But He would surround that Son with many sons, and so the result of the Son's death and the wonderful ministry of the Spirit is to bring in a company and place them in association with Christ in heavenly glory, in every way suitable to Him. I say in every way suitable. You must not think for a moment that God will ever transfer anything from earth to heaven that is not suitable for heaven. That would not be like God. The Spirit's testimony of Enoch is for the assembly, and the testimony was this, that he "pleased God". Now, who pleases God? When do we please God? When we are formed after Christ. The Corinthians did not please God in the first epistle, and the second epistle was to the end that they should please God; hence you have the glory, so that they should be affected by it and changed, and then we get reconciliation introduced. Reconciliation brings in what is for God's pleasure. We are reconciled as transformed. How can we be suitable, or to God's pleasure, except as we are changed? We cannot be to His pleasure without being changed into the image of Christ, for God will have nothing less; He will have nothing lower than that upon which His Spirit rested and abode, and that is the Son; hence we get reconciliation. Reconciliation is to bring in what is for God's pleasure, so that God has complacency in us. Then in chapter 5 we get "in Christ". "If any one be in Christ, there is a new creation ... all things are of God". And that is what God translates. God translates that which is of Himself, what pleases Him. We are told that at the beginning God said, "Let us make man in our

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image, after our likeness". There we see that God's idea was to have one here upon earth after His image and after His likeness, and hence He created Adam.

Now God is going to put something into heaven, and what will that be? It will be entirely of Himself. And what will it be after? After Christ. So, "if any man be in Christ, there is a new creation". We could not be there otherwise. It must be new creation, and new creation means the total setting aside of everything of the old. "The old things have passed away, and behold all things have become new, and all things are of God". Well, that is what goes up to heaven. What goes up to heaven is what is new-created, what is in every way after God. As I said before, God will not translate anything to heaven that is not suitable to Him, and we are rendered suitable in virtue of being created anew; hence Paul says, "I knew a man in Christ", a man in Christ, and he was "caught up into paradise". That man was suited to go into paradise, a "man in Christ". "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".

Beloved friends, God puts into heaven what has morally come out of heaven, and it goes into heaven in every way suited to Him; and we are to be translated to heaven as a company. Do not think that you are to go up alone. You are not distinguished enough for that. Paul was caught up into paradise to receive revelations. But we shall go up in a company. The apostle in writing to the Thessalonians tells them that the dead in Christ shall rise first, and then that we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them. That is to say, the company is first formed upon earth, and there is not a vestige of the old left. Every particle of the old has disappeared, and that company goes

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up and is entirely suited to the place. "We which are alive and remain", he says, "shall be caught up together with them". We are not to go before them, and we are not to go after them. We are to go with them. We are to go together. In other words, God reverts to His original thought of His assembly. It is formed upon earth intact. It is formed in the power of life, the power of resurrection, and then there is the ascent. The ascent follows that. That is privilege. What is peculiarly assembly privilege, always follows and goes beyond resurrection. Resurrection brings the sleeping ones back to earth, and the same power changes us physically; then we are placed together in assembly, as we might say, and all caught up together to meet the Lord in the air.

You could not think of God translating to heaven what would not be suitable to heaven. If He did so, things would be disturbed there. Anything incongruous would disturb what is there. But God puts into heaven not only what is suitable for angelic company, but, wondrous thought! suited for the Son, the One who is in honour there, the One who fills that scene -- the Son. As John says, "we have contemplated his glory, a glory as of an only-begotten with a father". That is the glory of the Son. We behold His glory, His distinctive, personal glory; and John says it is a glory as of an only-begotten with a father. Well, we are said to be the "companions" of that Man, and God is working it out now with each of us. Every bit of ministry, every bit of exercise, every bit of divine culture, is to form us after the pattern of Christ, so that God ultimately secures a company that is in every way formed after that Man; and then that company is translated. And what a company! As the apostle says, "Many brethren". That vast host ascends to join the Lord, and then to come out into public display with Him

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as His "brethren", so that He is the Firstborn among them.

May God grant that His ideal may be the ideal that we have before us, and that we may yield ourselves to God as in the light of the Son, so that He may form us after His Son, to be companions of His Son.

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Pages 199 - 276. "Wisdom; its Instruction and Final Result". New York, 1911 (Volume 12).

THE LORD'S SUPPER AND MOUNT OLIVET

Mark 14:12 - 26; Hebrews 2:11, 12.

J.T. It might be of help if we were to consider for a moment the surroundings in connection with which the Lord's supper was instituted as we get them in this chapter. It might be helpful as indicating how souls may be guided now as to where the Lord's supper can really be celebrated.

The Lord sent two of His disciples into the city, saying, "a man shall meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him". I think the man with the pitcher of water is very suggestive of spiritual guidance. He was to be followed. "Follow him. And wheresoever he enters, say to the master of the house, The Teacher says. Where is my guest-chamber where I may eat the passover with my disciples?"

R.S.S. What is it suggestive of?

J.T. I would say that it suggests means of refreshment.

Rem. Does the thought suggest the Spirit in any way?

J.T. I think it does. Many souls have perplexity as to where to partake of the Lord's supper, so that I think the setting given here is to afford guidance for us.

F.L. I think we are justified in connecting it with the Spirit. A ministry of the Spirit is a sure guide for souls in these difficult days.

J.T. Yes, and we ought to look for it.

J.B. As to the man with the pitcher of water, it was God's arrangement that he should be there.

J.T. Yes; and it is also God's arrangement now if the spiritual refreshment which I think the man represents exists. Everything that we get in the

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way of guidance and help is by divine appointment.

J.P. I think your opening remark is very important, because the moral conditions that obtain in connection with the institution and the first celebration of the Supper remain the same now, and I believe it is of the greatest importance. When Paul rehearses it to the saints he mentions that it was the same night in which the Lord was betrayed, 1 Corinthians 11:23. And here in Mark's account, the Lord alludes to His betrayal by Judas.

J.T. And another thing to be noticed is that the Lord says, "say to the master of the house, The Teacher says, Where is my guest-chamber where I may eat the passover with my disciples? and he will show you a large upper room furnished ready". The "master of the house" recognises the rights of Christ; he recognises what is due to Christ.

R.S.S. I notice Mr. Darby gives it, "Where is my guest-chamber". The Authorised Version says, "Where is the guest-chamber". I suppose the former is correct, and very significant.

J.T. It is very significant if we apply it to the present time. There is a spot where He is recognised and where His rights are recognised. It is not as though He were asking the loan of the chamber. And there is no question on the part of the man in supplying what the Lord demands; "he will show you a large upper room furnished ready". The place was evidently commodious.

F.L. It is large enough for all. We do not want to get narrow in connection with the Lord's supper.

J.T. There is plenty of room there, and all the requisite furniture; no additions were needed.

J.B. And would you say that when any one wants to find the guest-chamber there is always to be found, figuratively speaking, the man with the pitcher of water?

A.F.M. That is to say, a ministry in the power

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of the Spirit affords guidance into this blessed place of privilege.

J.T. The activities of the Spirit are, in a way, public, so that they can be taken account of, and one effect is to direct you to the spiritual sphere that belongs to Christ.

F.L. And really, we may almost say, that is the only guidance there is in this day of perplexity and confusion.

J.T. You might have a table spread with the elements, and all the outward forms of the worship of God, but there is no guidance in that. You will find, as a rule, that exercised souls follow the light; they are drawn to that which is enlightening and refreshing.

H.P. The truth held in terms is not a test, but the truth ministered in living power by the Spirit is.

J.T. It is a question of what is refreshing and what cleanses morally. We know they had water in the guest-chamber after supper, and the Lord used it, John 13.

R.S.S. And you can speak of it as living water.

Ques. What would you say as to the man who bears the pitcher of water? Is the thought that he has the water?

J.T. Simply that he is bearing that water for a purpose. He does not turn out of the way; he is going to where the Lord had appointed; the disciples are told to follow him. The pitcher of water is the main point. They are led to a place in which the rights of Christ are recognised. "The Goodman of the house" immediately shows the upper chamber, and the room is already furnished. You have no need to bring furniture with you.

A.F.M. The man who is carrying the pitcher of water would attract to Christ, would he not?

J.T. Undoubtedly. But the order here is that he leads into the house, and the "good man of

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the house" into which he goes recognises the rights of Christ. They say to him, "The Teacher says, Where is my guest-chamber, that I may eat the passover with my disciples", and he shows an upper room ready furnished, so that all is ready.

A.R.S. The "Goodman of the house" is in charge, and that would bring in the assembly and the government of it; in the assembly the rights of the Lord Jesus are fully owned.

J.T. Evidently He is well known there and His rights are respected. In the present broken state of things in Christendom there is a great deal of confusion, and souls have difficulty as to where to go, and I think the Lord gives refreshment where His rights are owned.

R.S.S. It is a great thing to be led to where the rights of Christ are owned and maintained. I think you would find a measure of refreshment where Christians are; but there are very few places where the rights of Christ are owned.

J.T. Then you have a very interesting thought in "furnished ready".

J.P. What is your thought about it?

J.T. In ordinary human religious places there is such a thing as furniture. You go into any so-called place of worship, and you will find it furnished with what is considered suitable furniture for such a place, but they are all humanly devised and arranged.

R.S.S. What do you mean?

J.T. The pulpit and the pews and the organ, and all that is regarded as necessary in an ordinary co-called place of worship; but in the assembly of God the furniture is all spiritual.

J.S. So it was, I suppose, in the tabernacle?

J.T. The tabernacle contained furniture which was emblematic of spiritual things.

Ques. What answers to that now?

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J.T. In the assembly you have what answers to the altar, but that does not take you very far. I would not deny that Christians have in some sense the brazen altar, because they recognise the death of Christ, but I do not think they go beyond that; but the worship of the assembly does go beyond it; it goes to the holiest.

Rem. Speaking of the furniture in the various systems, they cannot break bread unless a certain man is present.

J.T. Everything is humanly arranged in the systems of men; but in the assembly all is divinely arranged.

R.S.S. What is the significance of the golden altar?

J.T. This morning some of us were dwelling on the prayer of Solomon after the temple was built; his prayer was at the brazen altar. In the court he constructed a scaffold of brass, five cubits every way, and three cubits high, and there he offered his prayer. That did not take him to the place of Christian prayer; the place of Christian prayer is at the golden altar, which was only one cubit; it was one cubit square, signifying divine unity; upon it was offered incense. Our prayer as Christians is in connection with the intrinsic perfections of Christ before God, and it is based on divine unity.

F.L. The idea of acceptance is at the golden altar. In Revelation 8 we read of the prayers of the saints being offered at the golden altar. The Lord adds the incense, which renders the prayers effective.

R.S.S. Open up more as to how acceptance is connected with the golden altar.

J.T. We are accepted at the brazen altar on the ground of the death of Christ; at the golden altar we are of the priestly family, and acceptance there

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is on the ground of our relationship with Christ; but "accepted in the beloved" goes even further.

F.L. In the brazen altar it is a question of righteousness.

J.T. At the golden altar we are accepted in the perfection of Christ.

J.P. All this about the man with the pitcher, and the water, and following him into the guest-chamber, is connected with the passover. The Lord says, "where I may eat the passover with my disciples". But after the passover has been partaken of, He discloses to them what was in His heart for them, and He institutes His Supper. I think the scene shows the conditions under which the Supper was instituted, and those conditions abide in principle. It is very important, because, as we all know, that the Lord's supper, and indeed baptism also, have been taken up and perverted as a means of maintaining a worldly religious system of things in which many people, who are surely the Lord's, are entangled; and it is well that we should be able to take account of these things in a spiritual way, so as to understand the conditions relative to the Lord's supper.

J.T. You were speaking of the administration of Christ in the Supper, and the result of it being that we are led to the Father.

J.P. Yes, there are moral conditions in connection with the administration of Christ, and if these moral conditions are not met by us we shall never know the blessedness of the administration of Christ.

I do not think the Corinthian saints were in the good of the administration of Christ in connection with the Spirit, and they were not in the good of administration because they were utterly defective in moral conditions. It might sound a needless repetition, but the administration of Christ calls for a state, while on the other hand it is equally true that the administration of Christ produces a state.

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J.B. The ministry of the apostle in the first epistle to the Corinthians produces the state that is apparent in the second epistle.

F.L. The Corinthians were defective in connection with the passover; they were not keeping the feast of unleavened bread.

R.S.S. Will you state in a word or two, if you can, the difference between the passover and the feast of unleavened bread.

J.P. The Passover most simply is the death of Christ. "For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast", 1 Corinthians 5.

R.S.S. Which, of course, is the feast of unleavened bread.

J.P. The feast of unleavened bread is our side. It refers to our judging sin in ourselves, as God has judged it in the death of Christ. In the passover is God's judgment of sin. Now I think, when the Lord's death is before us in connection with the Supper, the judgment of God is not a prominent thought at all.

J.T. The feast of unleavened bread was for seven days, which sets forth the whole Christian period. Apart from the state involved in the feast of unleavened bread, we cannot really partake of the Lord's supper.

R.S.S. Did the feast of unleavened bread begin at the same moment, or did it follow?

J.T. They are intimately connected, and yet, according to Leviticus 23, quite distinct. The lamb was slain and eaten on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month, and the feast of unleavened bread began on the fifteenth day.

F.L. In Luke's gospel the passover and the supper are separated. The Lord Himself partook of the passover, but did not partake of the Supper. He simply instituted the Supper.

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A.F.M. You spoke of administration in connection with the Supper.

J.P. The spiritual character of Christianity has been departed from, and of course the attempt has been made to substitute it by things which are merely material, so I think of administration. One hears of Christians coming together for communion, and for some reason there is no clergyman and no consecrator and administrator, so that the poor people have to return home without communion. I think these thoughts arose from correct thoughts, but they are gross perversions of the truth. It is perverted things, not a perverse thing; a perverse thing is wrong from its base. But you may have the best kind of thing and it may be turned aside from the divine thought and intention, and becomes a perverted thing, and it is perverted things the Lord's people are suffering from. Do not let us say to ourselves that we are quite clear if we are not.

R.S.S. Does the Scripture ever speak of the Lord's supper as a feast, or is there that thought connected with it? I do not myself think it does, but that is only to bring out the difference between the feast of unleavened bread and the Lord's supper.

J.T. You cannot be too simple in regard to the Supper, because it is simply a remembrance. It is a symbol of the Lord's death, as baptism is the figure of death. The bread remains the bread and the wine remains the wine; there is no act in regard to the bread and wine which changes them. The blessedness lies in what they symbolise.

R.S.S. Does not the thought of the feast suggest that God would have His people with Him?

J.T. I think it refers to God meeting with His people. The feasts of old speak of the people coming together and their having to say to Him in the place where He chose to place His name.

R.S.S. God gathering them round Himself.

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F.L. The Lord's supper is the gathering, or rallying point, of the assembly, and it is in itself a sign that there is food in Christianity, and in that way administration may be connected with it, but in itself it is a remembrance. It is what the Lord has said about it which adds value to it. "This is my body ... this is the new covenant in my blood". "This do in remembrance of me". Luke really is the only evangelist who gives us the Supper proper, and he gives it as a remembrance.

Rem. It is only in Luke that the thought of continuation is embodied.

F.L. Luke corresponds with Paul in every respect. The Supper is not a material feast; we simply take it as a symbol.

J.T. As a remembrance. It seems to me that what the Supper leads to is our heavenly associations. As indicated here, "having sung a hymn, they went out to the mount of Olives". Connecting that with Hebrews 2, we may see the normal result of the Supper, especially as mount Olivet in the Scriptures is connected with heaven.

R.S.S. You say the mount Olivet is connected with heaven?

J.T. I think so, judging from the connection in which it is found in Scripture. The Lord's ascension is connected with the mount of Olives, and His return from heaven is connected with it. John tells us that each went to his own home, but Jesus went to the mount of Olives; chapter 8:1. It was the place of communication with heaven. Bethany was the place of communication on earth in connection with the remnant, but the mount of Olives, as it stands in Scripture, is connected with heaven.

R.S.S. The feast of Bethany at the opening of John 12 would not be what we get here. It is not the assembly. I think the distinction between Bethany and the mount of Olives is very important.

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J.T. Each mountain in the Scriptures has some significance attached to it, and from the fact that the Lord's ascension to heaven is connected with Olivet, and His descent in the future is connected with it, there can be no doubt that there is connection between it and heaven.

Ques. Are you connecting that with the Lord's supper?

J.T. The connection is in the hymn. If you turn to Psalm 22 you will see that the hymn really is in resurrection.

R.S.S. Was not the hymn connected with the upper room?

J.T. But mount Olivet follows on the hymn.

A.R.S. Is this hymn the same as in Hebrews 2?

J.T. It is in principle the same. Though they were not yet risen, the hymn contemplates resurrection.

A.F.M. What is it that occasions the hymn? There would be some reason for the hymn being sung.

J.T. I think it has reference to God. I think it is the result in our case of the place that God acquires in our souls under these peculiar circumstances.

Rem. Paul in Ephesians speaks of singing hymns and psalms and spiritual songs.

J.T. I think a song is invariably a celebration, but a hymn is more the outflow of the sense you have of what God is under those peculiar circumstances.

A.F.M. Would it suggest an intervention of God?

J.T. I think a song does, but it seems to me that the hymn here suggests the place that God had in that company.

R.S.S. They sang the hymn and then went out, Earlier in John's gospel Jesus went alone, but now He does not go alone even to the mount of Olives.

J.T. The disciples do not go to their homes here. No one goes to his own home in spirit immediately

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after the Supper, because the Lord is brought to your soul in such a way that He leads you to His home. In John 8 He went to the mount of Olives, and evidently He went alone, but He does not go alone after the Supper; they went with Him. He was alone upon earth; He only was in touch with heaven. He was "the Son of man who is in heaven", but consequent on His death He has a company, and that company belongs to heaven.

F.L. Judas has gone out?

J.T. Yes; Ephesians comes in properly where the saints are wholly absorbed with Christ. The mount of Olives is a sort of heavenly retreat.

R.S.S. It is very remarkable that He could sing at all under such circumstances.

J.T. I do not think He and the company could have sung together apart from what the Supper meant, so that in principle it was a resurrection scene, especially if you connect it with Psalm 22. I was saying Ephesians comes in properly when the saints give the Lord His place, because we are said to be accepted in the Beloved, and what answers to that is a suitable place, a place essential for such a company.

F.L. The mount of Olives suggests the Spirit and fruitfulness.

R.S.S. This is all connected, then, with the assembly privilege, and follows on the Supper.

J.P. I was noticing one little word -- "my". "My" guest-chamber, "My" disciples. What concerned Him was His own.

A.F.M. There is rather a lack amongst us in connection with praise going up to the Father.

J.T. And there is great inability to take the heavenly position; there is nothing more lacking than that.

J.S. So that this Scripture would indicate the order of the assembly as come together for the breaking

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of bread? The hymn would be sung on the other side of Jordan.

J.T. I think the praise is the answer to the making known of the Father's name, John 17:26. The Father acquires a place in your heart as His name is known, and the hymn is the response to that.

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WISDOM'S PREACHING

Proverbs 1 - 7

J.T. I had the thought of wisdom in mind, and the only question was as to the connection in which we might take it up. I had thought of Proverbs 8 as a basis.

It is important, first of all, to consider the person through whom the subject is introduced here, that is, Solomon. He is presented in a double way: as David's son, and as king; and what that sets forth in antitype is the power of God presented in Christ as Son; so before we have the unfolding of divine wisdom we must have the power of God in evidence. If sin has come in, and Satan has a footing in the world, we must have the overthrow of evil before there is the unfolding of divine wisdom. Evidently, too, power is required to carry out wisdom. Thus it is very significant that David is not the one to introduce the subject of wisdom, but Solomon. Solomon represents Christ as Son, and exercising the power of the kingdom as such. At the beginning of his reign he was especially marked by wisdom, so much so, that David entrusted various things to him on account of his wisdom. His kingdom was ordered in accordance with wisdom.

A.F.M. Was there not a testimony to that in the two pillars erected before the temple, that is, as conveying the two thoughts of power and wisdom?

J.T. Jachin probably refers to God's faithfulness -- "He will establish". Boaz is "strength".

A.F.M. We see peace established, and wisdom and power coming out in the kingdom.

F.L. I suppose wisdom is personified here.

J.T. After all the instructions in the book given for our extrication from evil, Wisdom gives an account of itself at the end. The instruction really

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begins in chapter 1, and has in view the conditions in which men are found consequent on the existence of evil. Finally, the full effect of wisdom will be manifested. We shall see that later in connection with the mystery. The wisdom of God is seen in the assembly now.

A.R.S. Why does Wisdom wait until the end to give an account of itself?

J.T. It was there from the outset, only it did not formally introduce itself; it introduces itself and gives its own history in chapter 8.

A.R.S. You mean that it was there, but there was not any eye to see it?

J.T. It was there from the outset, every divine operation has been in wisdom. It states that here, only it does not introduce itself formally till it has done its work; man would not have been capable of appreciating it.

F.L. I suppose the idea of wisdom here is divine skill and resource; it is always ready; it has its own designs and also the perfection of skill in carrying them out.

J.T. That is of great importance at the present moment, because the idea generally is that you are forced to adapt yourself to the conditions around you; but the wisdom of God is wholly independent of man, so that the saints are independent of man, because wisdom is always available to them. "If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God". The presence of the Holy Spirit involves that wisdom is here.

A.R.S. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom".

A.F.M. Will you distinguish between wisdom in its application to God, and Christ being made wisdom to us?

J.T. Christ being the wisdom of God is unlimited, but it could not be unlimited in its application to us.

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Christ is made wisdom to us, and this signifies that we are wholly independent of man's wisdom. One turns to the Lord in the sense of that.

A.R.S. The wisdom of this world is foolishness, so that if we begin to adapt ourselves to the circumstances about us we are all wrong.

J.T. We are wholly independent of the world; because divine wisdom is available to us, Christendom is the result of adaptation to circumstances; they say they must do so and so because conditions have altered. Conditions have altered because of sin, but God's principles have never altered, and He can carry out His principles without man. God is independent of man, as is shown in that Wisdom was there from the outset. He has allowed the power of evil to show itself first so that He might display His power to meet it in the unfolding of wisdom. I think it is of great importance to see that the man through whom wisdom has come is both king and David's son. The combined power of evil was overthrown by David, the antitype of whom is Christ in His death and resurrection. Then in Solomon, who typifies Christ in resurrection, we have the full unfolding of divine wisdom; the scene is cleared of all impediments, and now God can carry out His operations.

The book of Proverbs opens with the means of extrication from evil; then in chapter 9 Wisdom builds her house; she establishes her system; but first there must be the complete extrication from evil. She tells us that she was there from the beginning, but the great point is that man must be delivered. In chapter 1 we get described a commercial combination for gain; see verses 11 - 19. There is "one purse"; the object is to acquire gain; "greedy of gain, they take away the life of the owners of it"; they take away the means of a man's livelihood. That is just the principle of the great commercial

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corporations. Then in chapter 7 you have the religious power; there it is seduction; it is Babylonish in character; but here in chapter 1 it is the world in its commercial features. It is important to see that Wisdom foresaw the conditions which Christians would have to deal with. Here the speaker says, "My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path", verse 15.

L.T.F. Wisdom would keep a man outside of it all.

J.T. Wisdom is considering for you. It is not announcing itself here, but considering for you as having to do with these conditions. Then in verse 20 it preaches "Wisdom crieth without".

C.A. Does not the thought of relationship come in? She addresses "My son".

J.T. Yes, you cannot understand it unless you see that; Wisdom has to do with sons; you are exposed to these things, and Wisdom comes in for your help. These great trusts and their leaders would not commit murder in a literal sense, but they would think nothing of taking away a man's means of livelihood.

H.G. Is Wisdom more than light?

J.T. It is light for a labyrinth; it shows you the way out.

R.S.S. It is heavenly and divine light for your earthly path.

J.T. When Wisdom gives her own history we learn that she was there from the beginning.

A.R.S. Wisdom shows the way out, but does it give you power to go out?

J.T. In applying it to Christians the power we have is the Spirit, and He is the power consequent on the overthrow of the power of evil. Solomon is king here. The one who speaks is king, and so he has all power. I have connected it in my own mind with the gospel and the assembly; the gospel is

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the means of extrication, and the assembly is where Wisdom is established and unfolded. In chapter 1, verses 20 - 23, Wisdom preaches: "Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you". In the last verse she makes a wonderful proposal. She proposes to pour out her spirit. Each individual must understand the working of Wisdom in his own experience, because we have to do every day with this complicated system of things. It is of all moment to see that power precedes wisdom. Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

J.S. Do we see Wisdom before power at the outset?

J.T. You must have power to carry out Wisdom's plans. Wisdom was actually there before the power was manifested, but you must have the overthrow of evil, which requires power, before Wisdom can be unfolded; that is, power is known before Wisdom. But when Wisdom gives an account of herself, we find that she was there from the outset. Evil is overthrown for you practically to the extent to which you hearken to Wisdom and follow her advice; otherwise you are not practically free.

R.S.S. What would you give as a definition of Wisdom?

J.T. I think Wisdom is the form that divine love has taken, in our case, for our extrication from evil. Divine wisdom is never haphazard. A human father is prompted by love, but he is not always wise. But God never did anything at all without Wisdom, therefore Wisdom is the form which divine

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love has taken, in our Case, for our extrication from evil.

R.S.S. It is presented in Christ, so that He is said to be Wisdom.

J.T. The point is to see that God delighted in Wisdom and Wisdom delighted in men. I believe we fail to discriminate between expressions. God delighting in Wisdom is not exactly the same as God delighting in Christ, although Christ is Wisdom; and Wisdom delighting in man is not exactly Christ delighting in man; the thought is, that that order of being could not be improved upon, so that Wisdom's delights were in the sons of men, not in angels. Wisdom has taken up an order of being as its ideal, and since man is that order he is the greatest created being, greater than angels. We must discriminate. You might delight in your child though the child be far from perfect, but if Wisdom delights in a thing it cannot be improved upon.

J.P. If you put "Christ" instead of "Wisdom" you put in an interpolation and hinder yourself.

J.T. The order of man that Wisdom has in view here is only seen in Christ, of course, but the point is that it is man, and not any other order of being. It is really "the sons of men", man viewed in that relationship. The expression "sons of men" lends a peculiar lustre to the race that Wisdom is engaged with. They are in that relationship. There is nothing morally more beautiful than a son with a father.

J.S. In chapter 8 it is "my son", and both the father and the mother are mentioned.

J.T. In chapter 4:3 we have the key to the instruction: "For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother". One in that relationship is unfolding the subject, and it must apply to Christians, because they are the only ones in that relationship. I read this book as a son.

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J.S. In chapter 4: 7 we have "Wisdom is the principal thing".

A.F.M. I should like to understand a little more clearly why we cannot use the terms "Wisdom" and "Christ" interchangeably.

J.T. There are many things that you might predicate of Christ besides Wisdom, but Wisdom is specially brought forward to show that God is independent of man and you cannot improve on what Wisdom devises, so that if man is Wisdom's ideal you cannot improve upon him. True wisdom has found its expression in a person, but in itself it is abstract; it is introduced here in this striking way to show that God's operations cannot be improved upon. We may say that no attribute of God is personified but Wisdom, and that only emphasises that the operations of God cannot be improved by the innovations of man.

A.R.S. I suppose that Wisdom and Christ cannot be made synonymous because Christ is really more than Wisdom, and you cannot head up all that He is in that term.

J.T. You cannot make an attribute cover a person. But God shows here that no human innovations are admissible. The greatest combinations of evil are overcome by Wisdom. From the outset Wisdom had set its heart on man; when Wisdom gives a full account of itself, we learn that man had a place with it, he was Wisdom's ideal.

R.S.S. Christ is the personification of Wisdom.

J.T. Surely.

R.S.S. When the discussion was up regarding eternal life the question was asked whether eternal life was a Person or a thing, and the answer was that eternal life was a thing, only as personified. Scripture says, Be is it.

J.P. But not, It is He.

R.S.S. No; Wisdom is an attribute here.

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J.T. When Christ did anything Wisdom was doing it. Take a skilled mechanic at his machine: skill is working, but the operations are through his brain and hand. In Luke, for instance, I think you have the operations of Wisdom, but it is acting through Christ, and you could not improve on it. Wisdom was doing the things through Christ. Christ is God's wisdom. What divine wisdom devises and accomplishes cannot be improved upon or added to.

R.S.S. In this connection you defined Wisdom as the form divine love has taken for our extrication from evil. You speak of grace as the form divine love has taken in showing compassion on man, but I suppose that is a more limited thought?

J.T. One thought in Wisdom is exclusion: it cannot admit of innovation or addition. The thought of grace is moral greatness. You get an illustration of it at the end of Luke: "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached ... beginning at Jerusalem". That is grace; it is moral greatness; God can rise above the greatest expression of evil.

R.S.S. I suppose it is a more limited thought, but is there an analogy?

J.T. Both are found in Christ, but there is moral greatness in grace; no man is excluded. God is greater than the wickedness.

A.F.M. Then we have Wisdom's children.

J.T. There is nothing more interesting than the children begotten of Wisdom; we find one of them in Luke 7. Wisdom had taken form, and this woman was a product of it. Her conduct in Simon's house in every way justified Wisdom, Every. Christian is one of Wisdom's children.

J.P. It is a beautiful scene and accords with the passage: "in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence", Ephesians 1:7, 8.

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J.T. The earlier chapters of Proverbs have in view the world in a general way, where sinners are, and our deliverance from it. In chapter 7 we have the religious world, and again, as in chapter 1, the appeal comes in to the "simple" one.

Ques. Why is the religious world prefigured by a woman?

J.T. Because she has a husband, and the husband has gone on a journey and taken a bag of money with him. In chapter 1 the bag of money comes in as an important consideration; there is one common purse. But she is not concerned about the money; he has taken it with him; she is simply concerned to seduce and destroy. We have to meet that; there is moral destruction in her seduction. "Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death", chapter 7: 24 - 27.

R.S.S. Who is the woman?

J.T. I think we are justified in connecting her with that which has proved false to Christ. We have in her that which is destroying souls. We find her counterpart in Jezebel and in the harlot that rides the beast in Revelation; it is really Babylon.

R.S.S. Where is it today?

J.T. In the huge religious system that is false to Christ. It is destruction to souls; it is devilish; there is no hope if one is caught in her snares. "For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her", Proverbs 7:26. The whole point is to hearken to Wisdom; she is endeavouring to save you. You hear the voice of Wisdom in the gospel; the gospel announces all the elements of deliverance. It is Wisdom's voice.

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H.G-TH. What about the "hidden wisdom" that we read of in Corinthians and Colossians?

J.T. That leads on to the other side, to the establishment of Wisdom. We come to this in chapter 9. The first thing is to see how adaptable Wisdom is to everyday circumstances. Furthermore, Wisdom is turned to judgment: "Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles and some of them they shall slay and persecute, that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation", Luke 11:49. There Wisdom is seen in judgment. Light had been presented to the world, and knowing full well that the world would reject it, the Lord declares that all the righteous blood, from Abel onwards, would be required of it. The way of righteousness is obedience, the contrary is lawlessness.

H.G-TH. In connection with what you were saying as to divine judgment, is it because all has been fully expressed in Christ?

J.T. It is because the full light of the Son has come out and has been rejected. Christendom in taking a worldly position has taken upon itself all the previous crimes of the world, so that all the guilt of the race will be meted out upon it. It is very remarkable that Wisdom is connected with judgment.

R.S.S. What is the point of that?

J.T. That God would establish His own righteousness, and hence He acts judicially. He knew what man would do, but God acts wisely. It is Wisdom acting again. He sends the apostles and prophets so that His judgment might be fully justified. He acts wisely; Wisdom is seen in every act of His.

Another interesting thing is that discipline for Christians comes under the head of Wisdom, and I say that because the quotation in Hebrews 12:5, 6

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comes from this book. In these verses you look at a Christian under discipline. At times we almost wonder at the extremely severe discipline a man may be suffering, but it is the Wisdom of God dealing with a son.

R.S.S. We see another side of Wisdom, it is spoken of as resource.

J.T. I think we have included that thought in that God is wholly independent of man.

R.S.S. The wise man is the man with resource.

J.T. God cannot be baffled, nor can you baffle a spiritual man. It is very interesting to see how Wisdom began to show itself. David had called Solomon a wise man and had committed various things to him for that reason, but Solomon, in speaking of himself to God, says, "I am a child", and he asks God to give him wisdom. God gives it to him, but He puts it to the test. The two harlots come before Solomon. No human wisdom could say to which the child belonged, but Solomon was not baffled, he asks for a sword and commands to cut the child in two. Wisdom knows the heart of a mother; it shows the resource of wisdom. Solomon's wisdom took that form, he could tell the heart of a mother. It is seen perfectly in the Lord; He knew the heart of a mother, and at the city of Nain He had compassion when He saw the widow weeping, and He raised her son. Wisdom takes account of what is going on in the human heart.

R.S.S. I should like to read from Ecclesiastes 11:13 to end. "This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me: there was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. Then said I, Wisdom is better

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than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good". I think that is an excellent illustration of resource.

J.T. It is a most touching allusion to the Lord in this world: He delivered the city, not by direct power, but by wisdom. Man was surrounded by evil and the Lord brought in deliverance. "Yet no man remembered that poor wise man".

A.F.M. It is seen, too, in the cases of Joab and Adonijah, 1 Kings 2.

J.T. There it is seen in judgment; they were really apostate; the incident can be taken to represent the apostate spirit in the last days of Israel. Adonijah says, "I will be king", and Joab supports him; then Wisdom judges. It is very touching to see how it could also understand and relieve a mother's heart. The woman whose child it was not represents the hardness of the natural heart.

H.G-TH. Having the Spirit is not enough of itself, but it is the divine capacity to answer to Wisdom.

J.T. Wisdom proposes to pour out her spirit upon you in chapter 1.

Ques. Do you connect Wisdom with understanding?

J.T. Wisdom says, "I am understanding".

J.T. Wisdom has reference more to how things are done; understanding is more subjective; it is a quality that you acquire by the Spirit. Abigail was "beautiful and of good understanding". That is really the assembly; she is intelligent, by the Spirit, as to the mind of God.

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WISDOM'S HISTORY

Proverbs 8.

J.T. Proverbs 8 deserves great attention as showing the character of Wisdom's instructions and that which she proposes to her votaries; and then the wonderful history that she gives of herself.

We observed that she calls attention to that which she speaks, the character of which she cites. "I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge". I have thought that this chapter contemplates that the instruction of the earlier chapters has become effective, so that there is capacity to appreciate the greatness of the things.

F.L. Wisdom received and appropriated in the renewed mind becomes understanding.

J.T. The things are all plain to those who have understanding. As in Christianity, the "hidden wisdom" is spoken to those who are "perfect".

F.L. Well, to how many of us is that spoken?

J.T. That would be the exercise; but the apostle distinguishes between those who are carnally minded and those who are spiritually minded. We often find great difficulty with souls in the understanding of things, but Wisdom's things are all plain to those who have understanding.

J.B. The building of the house is only accomplished by those who have understanding.

J.T. I had thought of the establishment of Wisdom, that which it builds, though we have not as yet much touched on chapter 8. I think there is

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great importance to be attached to the character of Wisdom's sayings and that which she proposes to those who hearken to her. She says, "Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold ... ; and my revenue than choice silver", Verse 18, 19. And then in verse 21, "That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures".

F.L. And in verse 11, "For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it". Do not we get the principle set out in verse 9, "They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge"?

J.T. It seems to me that when souls are simple and free from selfish motives the truth is more easily set forth and there is capacity for the reception of it.

A.R.S. I think that is very important, for we sometimes find that people do not seem to see anything, and if you go down deep enough you find they are self-willed.

J.T. The greater part of difficulties that are raised and objections to the truth are from that very thing; hence the apostle was not prepared to present the hidden things of wisdom to the Corinthians . The capacity was not there.

A.R.S. Is not that something like becoming a child so as to enter the kingdom?

Rem. You might open up a little in connection with chapter 8.

J.T. I thought of the character of Wisdom's things and that which she proposes, namely, "durable riches" so that one's treasures are filled.

It seems to me to be of great importance that the saints should be enriched with that which Wisdom supplies. And it is as you are blessed by the hand of Wisdom that you appreciate the history of Wisdom.

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A.F.M. Will you enlarge a little upon the "durable riches" and so on?

J.T. Well, I think that in Christianity they take the form of the possession of divine things by the Spirit.

J.B. May we not say that leads on to verse 1 of chapter 9, "Wisdom hath builded her house"?

J.T. Chapter 9 is the building, and the other things lead to the building. I think chapter 8 is the climax for the individual.

J.S. Do you mean the way of individual instruction?

J.T. Yes, that which qualifies you for the structure.

J.P. I suppose the exercise of the apostle for the Colossians was that they might be spiritually wealthy. He was greatly exercised for the Colossians and as many as had not seen his face in the flesh, "to the end that their hearts may be encouraged, being united together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the full knowledge of the mystery of God; in which are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge". That answers to what you speak of here as the "durable riches" and "I will fill their treasures".

J.S. What we find around us is a great deal of spiritual poverty, but the divine idea is that we should be enriched, "for ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich".

J.T. One would like to see among saints a desire for the acquirement of these riches. The meagreness of our desire is painful; we are so easily satisfied.

J.P. I suppose the meagreness of desire for the "durable riches" is the result of eagerness for things which are not divine.

A.R.S. In connection with these riches we see from Revelation 3:17 that the professing church

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has made a great mistake. She says, "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing". But the Lord tells her she is poor.

J.T. That is really what prevails; the profession or assumption to possess, whereas the Lord says, "and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked". And then the wonderful grace shines out in verse 18, "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich". I do not know of a greater expression of grace than that; the Lord is so morally great that instead of appearing in the attitude of judgment He in grace counsels them to buy these things of Him. And so at the present time the Lord is appealing to souls, telling them that He has the things they need and proposing that they should come and buy of Him.

A.R.S. Does the idea of the word buy mean that it costs you something, so there must be sacrifice?

J.T. If you want the truth you have to buy it. "Buy the truth, and sell it not".

I think Proverbs 8 corresponds with the gospel of John, which reaches back to the beginning, and refers to Christ as from the outset. It is the climax in regard to the furnishing of the individual. He is furnished with everything by Wisdom; and then Wisdom gives an account of itself. In the gospel of John you get, in a sense, a history of the Lord, a divine history, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things received being through him, and without him not one thing received being which has received being. In him was life, and life was the light of men". The divine thought is that men should be illuminated, not angels. And so here as Wisdom opens up and sets forth its history, what you find is that men were in its thoughts from the beginning.

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J.P. In that way Proverbs 8 suggested in your mind the gospel of John.

J.T. That gospel is Wisdom in the highest sense, because it contemplates the breakdown of the official system, but God is not baffled. He reverts to His counsel and eternal life established in Christ. Everything is maintained in the Person of Christ.

What we see in the opening of John's gospel is that after we are told "All things were made by him", we read, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men". Meaning that men, that order of being, was to be illuminated by the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

J.P. I like that.

A.F.M. The gospel of John is regarded as the last of the inspired writings.

J.T. I take it to be the manner in which God met the breakdown in the church. Hence you find in it no allusion to the apostles viewed officially; and the Spirit in John emphasises the Lord's isolation. I could cite several instances of that, the object being to show that after all the breakdown and declension had taken place God would not be baffled, because, after all, things were not any worse than they were when Christ was here; yet God met that situation and came victoriously out of it.

We want to see that the gospel of John shows the Person of Christ as the great resource of God, and the Spirit emphasises His isolation. For instance, in chapter 4 the Spirit tells us that the disciples had gone into the city to buy meat. That really meant Christ was left alone. He was left solitary at the well. Why should they all have gone to buy meat?

J.S. One might have gone.

J.T. Yes. In spite of the fact that He was alone, the woman's need was met, and that is encouraging in our day. No matter how few there may be. God carries out His purpose. So when the

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disciples returned the Lord says, "I have meat to eat that ye know not of". Now they should have known. His meat was to do the will of God and finish His work.

Rem. I do not quite understand what you have in mind in connection with the Lord's isolation.

J.T. When John wrote the time was at hand when those who were faithful to the truth would be left alone by the many, and in John's gospel we find that the Lord Himself was treated in the same way; and Paul says, "All they which are in Asia be turned away from me", but he says further, "notwithstanding, the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me".

C.A. But God was not baffled in carrying out His purpose.

J.T. The Lord remained two days with the Samaritans. He remained there in testimony, and many of the Samaritans believed on Him. The point there is, I think, that the apostles were not the witnesses. The Lord was independent of the apostles, and the woman became the witness. She went back to the city and said, "Come, see a man". The chapter shows how God can carry on His work even if those who have an official place fail. The disciples had gone into the city for meat. The woman came out for water. She found living water, and in principle she carries that water back into the city; but she did not carry it back in the waterpot; she left the waterpot. She herself became the vessel; the Lord is wholly independent of what is official. He can at any time find vessels for what He has to give.

J.P. So that divine wisdom, such as John 4 brings before us, takes up that which symbolises weakness, a woman, and constitutes it a suited vessel.

J.T. To my mind it was wonderful that she

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should go back into the city carrying living water in principle. So the Samaritans were illuminated by a woman of their own city, not by the Jewish apostles.

A.F.M. Have you any other instance to refer to?

J.T. A most touching one in chapter 8 which we dwelt on yesterday: "And every man went unto his own house. Jesus went unto the mount of Olives". The mount of Olives was His house really, I mean His retreat. We are told elsewhere, "as he was wont".

The point for us today is that there is nothing to be disheartened about. Things are no worse today than they were in that day.

W.P. I do not catch that thought about things not being worse than when the Lord was here. We are accustomed to think that things are getting worse.

J.T. And so they are. But He was at the end of a dispensation and so are we. The conditions He found in Israel were similar to the conditions today.

C.A. I suppose the great thought is that no matter what the conditions God will carry out His purpose according to divine wisdom.

J.T. Proverbs 8 furnishes the individual with everything. He has "durable riches" and his "treasures are filled"; and then Wisdom unfolds her own history, and what comes to light is that man has a place in her mind.

F.L. There is order in the unfolding of the truth in the chapter, leading up to the thought of life in verse 25.

A.F.M. Will you enlarge upon the place that man has with Wisdom?

J.T. It is simply man as that order of being, not an angelic order.

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F.L. What I understand by It is. God is sovereign; therefore, when it became a question of counsel, to suit Himself and in view of the eternal day, He chose man; but as you said this morning it is man in the abstract.

J.S. That is why the question is raised, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him?"

J.T. Yes; the question is raised in Psalm 8 as to man. Why is it that man has this place? This chapter explains it; at the outset man had this place. Wisdom says, "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was". Then it goes on to say, "When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by him, as one brought up with him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men". That is, Wisdom took account of the earth as a place to be inhabited. What interests Wisdom especially is the human race.

F.L. That becomes obvious in Genesis 1, for all the divine operations there were to get ready a scene for men to dwell upon. So it comes out that in all created things the only one that could take the image and likeness of God was man.

J.T. So you have "the habitable part" and then "the sons of men".

Rem. You said somewhere that angels were greater than men.

J.T. The angels are not so now. Christ as Man has all power in the heavens and in the earth. "All

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power is given unto me in heaven and in earth", Matthew 28.

F.L. In that- connection one would bear in mind that man in his lost condition is lower than the angels. So in speaking of man being superior it is Man as in Christ.

J.T. After all, the formation of the earth had man in view. No doubt the angels, as beings, were regarded as superior. Referring to the manna, it says, "Man did eat angels' food". But at the same time man was the order of being that Wisdom delighted in.

J.P. Christ coming into manhood is what has made the change.

F.L. The divine record shows that Adam was the great centre of all the divine operations; but Adam was but a figure of Him who was to come. Hence the importance of taking account of man as referred to here in an abstract way. I think it is never said anywhere in Scripture that angels should be in the image and after the likeness of God; but of man it was said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness".

J.T. There can be no question, as comparing this chapter with the opening of Genesis, that man was the great central object with God in all His operations; but in result we know it is Man in Christ.

J.P. So in the close "The tabernacle of God is with men".

F.L. We cannot understand the counsels of God unless we overlook time.

J.T. That is a very good point. There you get the great end reached and it is simply God and men. The national idea was not the divine order. The millennium is a national state of things; but that is not the divine end.

J.P. You can see that in the beginning of nations.

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The history of the beginning of nations in Scripture shows it was not an original thought with God; it came in consequent upon the sin of men.

J.T. A city and a kingdom do not present the original divine thought. They both came in connection with men in this world.

J.P. Finally the national idea passes away. There are no nations in the new heaven and the new earth.

F.L. Everything may be summed up in two points. One is what we get in chapter 8, "my delights were with the sons of men". And the other is, "the tabernacle of God is with men". And what comes in between is a matter of detail.

J.T. Quite so.

F.L. In the past eternity "my delights were with the sons of men"; and finally "the tabernacle of God is with men".

J.T. The tower of Babel necessitated the division of the race. The race was split up into nations. That was judicial. God did that governmentally. Then the problem was; how is God going to reconcile that state of things? That brings out His grace, which really is His moral greatness. In Genesis 11 the judgment is put into execution by the division of the race. They are separated by their language. God is, as it were, morally bound in consistency with Himself to adjust that, and hence He calls out Abraham from that state of things and He purposes in Abraham to bless all the nations of the earth. "In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed". God in His grace preaches the gospel to Abraham, and the gospel is that all these families which have been separated from one another by the judgment of God are to be blessed through Abraham, and the millennium is the answer to that; but it is a provisional state of things. They all come into blessing through the seed of Abraham; but that is only a

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means to an end. God vindicates Himself in that He comes out victoriously in heaven. The day of Pentecost was partially the answer to it. All the nations heard them speak in their own tongues the wonderful works of God. The present moment is the answer to it morally; but the millennial state is the literal answer to it. But that is not the end; the millennium has a city and a kingdom, but the eternal state of things has neither. The idea of a city disappears and is replaced by the tabernacle, and it is no longer God dwelling mediatorially; it is God and men, "The tabernacle of God is with men".

R.S.S. What you have been saying clears up a difficulty I have had for a long time, and that is, the thought of a city arose from the descendants of Cain, and yet God takes it up, and therefore you might think it was a divine idea. The same is true of a nation. The first kingdom in Scripture was Nimrod's, who was not after the divine generation. So it is rather remarkable, and I have never been able to understand it exactly, why it was that God should take up a thought of which He was not the originator.

J.T. If it had been a primary thought with God He would never give it up; but the very things which were begotten of sin God rises above and introduces the same things, only of a holy and spiritual character, and they are for the deliverance of men from the world of sin.

J.S. Victory comes in in that way.

J.T. God's greatness rises above the sin of man.

A.F.M. What you were saying shows that the kingdom is a necessity with God. All the testimony of Scripture runs to that great end; that is, that God is to display Himself in a mediatorial kingdom. We have very little said about the eternal state.

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Is it not the point that the-kingdom is a necessity with God consequent upon sin taking that form?

J.T. Because testimony has to do with us under the conditions which sin introduced, for God is aiming at our complete deliverance from the world. If a man is brought up in a city, a city is very likely to be a great thought with him; so in delivering him from it God proposes a city for him, but it is not a primary thought with God. The idea of a king is not a primary thought with God. It arose on account of certain conditions; but the primary thought is this: that God would have man. Wisdom set her mind upon man.

F.L. While we are on this subject I might just mention that there is very often a difficulty with Christians as to why they should not be patriotic. It is very hard for a good many to understand why they should not be.

J.T. Abraham was not patriotic. He was called out from his country, his kindred and from his father's house, and he left all. But then God proposes a country for him and a city, and I think it is in that way that these things are found. What God proposes to a soul would deliver it from that from which it is called out.

F.L. 1 Corinthians 15 brings before us a wonderful point of time. Christ delivers up the kingdom to God, even the Father, and the Son becomes subject that God may be all in all. It shows that what is now intervening, the kingdom, is a means to an end. It is not a primary thought. I think the primary thoughts are indicated here in Proverbs 8. In Eden we see how man was God's object -- He comes down to walk in the garden where Adam was. Moreover, He said that it was not good that man should be alone. The assembly was a primary thought.

J.S. All primary thoughts are eternal.

J.T. Yes, they abide for ever.

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The great evidence of Wisdom is that God meets the ruin by bringing out of it His ideal; that is, He brings out Christ as He is now and the assembly. There can be nothing compared with that which God has brought out of the ruin in connection with Christ. "Now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God". That was a primary thought. The breakdown being permitted Christ had to come in and accomplish redemption and bring in the assembly.

A.F.M. Will you explain why the assembly in the eternal state comes down from God as the holy city? There is the thought of a city.

J.T. It is not so regarded after it has come; it is a tabernacle. It says, "the tabernacle of God is with men". The city being mentioned is for identification. It is the same city that illuminated the millennial world, but it changes its character; it becomes a tabernacle, not in the sense of the tabernacle in the wilderness, which was a movable thing, but a dwelling-place. Of the Lord it is said, "and the Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us".

J.P. Is the primary thought of the assembly brought out in God saying "It is not good that the man should be alone"? Genesis 2.

J.T. It is mentioned in Genesis 1, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion". Then, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them".

J.P. I notice it is not my delights were in the sons of men, but "my delights were with the sons of men". So in Revelation 21, "God himself shall be with them, and be their God".

F.L. The city in Revelation 21 coming down and the kingdom in 1 Corinthians 15 being somewhat

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on the same ground, they are both brought into view in order to show how both are ended. The kingdom culminates in God becoming all in all, and the city assumes the form of a tabernacle and God tabernacles with men.

J.T. It is very striking that in the beginning of each order of things God always introduces His primary thoughts. Eden indicated a primary thought. And the tabernacle in the wilderness indicated a primary thought, and so at the inauguration of the assembly, it was God dwelling here. All these things refer to God's primary thoughts.

Ques. Would you say that the two trees in the garden were connected with God's primary thought?

J.T. I think not; the tree of life is found in the midst of "the paradise of God" (Revelation 2:7), but the tree of knowledge of good and evil is not there. It is the test that God placed for man in the garden, and it was the beginning of the whole responsible history of the race. God knew perfectly what would be the result. But at the end the tree of life is said to be "in the midst of the paradise of God", and the tree of knowledge of good and evil is not mentioned.

Ques. What would you say has become of the tree of knowledge of good and evil?

J.T. The question of responsibility has been solved in the death of Christ.

J.S. A perfect solution of it is seen there.

F.L. There comes in the final removal of all evil; evil is confined in the lake of fire.

A.R.S. Is the wisdom of God seen in the raising of the question of good and evil?

J T. I think so. We read in Ecclesiastes 9 of the "poor wise man" delivering the city. Now the poor wise man was Christ, and the wisdom of the poor wise Man was displayed in the way He delivered the city; and that involved His death.

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F.L. But Wisdom goes further than that. I mean Wisdom comes out in connection with the counsel of God, and in creation apart from sin.

J.T. Divine wisdom is seen in the way in which it has grappled with the consequences of sin. God has brought the mystery out of the chaos brought about by sin; and in it "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge". The angels behold in the assembly "the all-various wisdom of God".

Rem. Would you say that what has been enacted in the history of the world, from man's fall to the new heavens and the new earth, sets forth how God in His wisdom has dealt with good and evil? Is that the great point from the beginning to the end?

J.T. I think so. Proverbs 8 refers to the formation of the physical universe. Wisdom was there at the beginning, and when everything was done; but we have to do with a moral system, and it is in connection with that that you get the full display of Wisdom. So the resolving of the question of good and evil necessitated the coming to light of God's resource, and hence Wisdom shines all along the way.

R.S.S. As a matter of fact, good and evil existed even before man existed; but it is in connection with man that the question has been settled to God's glory.

F.L. Evil unquestionably existed before man existed. Satan had risen in pride against God; and since God had set His heart on men, the point of attack with Satan was to inject pride into man's heart. So it was man that was the great subject of interest both with God and Satan; but Wisdom adjusts all, and there is victory.

L.F.F. Was Wisdom only actively connected with men?

J.T. What I see is this, that love is the spring of everything, because that is what God is; but Wisdom is the skill by which He accomplishes things.

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It is most important to see that Wisdom is the handmaid of love, because love is the suggestive power, and in all the operations Wisdom is present, so that in the activities of love you have everything suitably done. Love does not overstep itself, but accomplishes its designs in Wisdom. And the force of that is that all innovations are excluded.

F.L. Wisdom takes account of more than what has come in by the failure of man. It says in Proverbs 3, "The Lord by wisdom founded the earth". So in Psalm 19, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handy-work. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge". I think we can connect Wisdom with that.

Ques. Would you say that Wisdom does not come to light before God is vindicated?

J.T. You do not see the full working Out of Wisdom; the mystery is the consequence of the death of Christ, and then you see the "manifold wisdom".

F.L. "Many-sided wisdom" -- manifold.

Ques. It was said that good and evil existed from the beginning?

J.T. The Spirit of God does not disclose to us the history of the evil except as it affects men. Beyond that we know very little, but we know it existed.

R.S.S. Do we not know that it existed with Satan prior to man's existence? We have inklings of it in Ezekiel; but the Spirit of God does not disclose to us the details, neither have we much light about angels; but we have light as to God's primary thoughts, and that is, that He had an order of being before Him, and that being was man, and we know that the family that God delights in is formed after Christ, and God dwells with that family eternally.

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J.T. He has not deviated from His original thought. Jacob had two wives; that was not a primary thought. But Isaac had but one, which answers to a primary thought. Jacob indicates a provisional state of things, referring to Christ's relation with Israel, which passes away, whereas what answers to Isaac and Rebekah remains.

J.P. In what we have had before us it is very beautiful to see when Wisdom gives an account of herself in verses 22 to 31, that there is nothing to suggest evil; there is no evil and there is nothing to suggest evil; and apart from every question of evil you have Wisdom rejoicing in the habitable part of God's earth, and her delights were with the sons of men. So when we come to Revelation 21 there is no evil there; the tabernacle of God is with men. He is with them and He is their God. Of course, practically for us as Christians, we have to face the question of good and evil. For instance, take that word in Romans 12, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good". Or take a word like that in Hebrews, "have their senses exercised for distinguishing both good and evil".

I think it is so delightful that even for a few moments we can exclude every thought of evil from our minds and look at a picture like this, and then look at Revelation 21 and see how God comes back to His original thought. There God is tabernacling with men and there is nothing about evil.

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WISDOM'S HOUSE

Proverbs 9.

J.T. We read in Hebrews that every house is builded by some one. The house takes character from the one who builds it; thus, if a son builds a house, as was the case with Solomon, you would look for traits which mark his relationship. If a father builds a house he thinks of his children. If a husband builds a house he thinks of his wife; and so on. But if Wisdom builds a house there can be no addition to it or improvement. There can be no improvement on Wisdom's work.

J.P. Does not the house display the wisdom of the builder?

J.T. We have to bear in mind that the Proverbs were spoken by Solomon, and therefore if he includes the thought of building he alludes to what he was well acquainted with, for he was a builder, we may say, par excellence; as a type he is the builder in Scripture.

Rem. And is not building one of the greatest thoughts in Scripture?

J.T. Yes; and it is connected with Solomon. Stephen says, "Solomon built him a house", Acts 7.

R.S.S. When Wisdom built her house did she have in view her children?

J.T. I think so. If you have the scriptural thought of the builder clearly in your soul then you can take account of the house in an intelligent way. The builder is greater than what he builds, as we see in Hebrews 3. He who builds a house is greater than the house. Chapter 8 shows us the greatness of Wisdom. If you understand chapter 8 I think you can understand chapter 9.

J.P. In the light of chapter 8 one would expect great things in Wisdom's house.

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J.T. Wisdom would select the material and hence it would be in every way suitable.

R.S.S. The only part of the construction which is mentioned is the pillars: "Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars".

Ques. What do the seven pillars suggest?

J.T. They denote the completeness and perfection of the structure.

F.L. And the stability of it. Nothing prevails against it. Everything of man is broken to pieces, but the pillars suggest the contrast to this; they suggest divine stability. Wisdom's house endures. He who laid the foundations of the earth would not be likely to build a house which would come down quickly.

J.T. Revelation 3:12 indicates something of what a "pillar" is. An overcomer is made a pillar.

F.L. Whatever the state of things, there are found overcomers.

J.B. Then the pillars are for stability, and in the end they will be what the people God can depend on.

J.T. "She hath hewn out her seven pillars" indicates that they would be required and looked for. The construction shows that she is not behind in any way, but has provided everything that will be required. The number seven indicates divine completeness.

Rem. You cannot add anything to Wisdom's house.

J.T. She has omitted nothing that might be required in the house.

Rem. Perhaps you would enlarge a little on what you have in your mind as to that?

J.T. In devising the structure Wisdom has considered all that might be required.

Ques. Why were there only two pillars in Solomon's temple?

R.S.S. "He reared up the pillars before the

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temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin (the margin says 'he shall establish' ), and the name of that on the left Boaz".

J.T. I think the two pillars are simply there as testimony; they had reference to an order of things established by the power of God; but seven denotes divine completeness.

F.L. In Timothy the assembly is said to be the pillar and base of the truth.

J.T. I think the point here is that there is nothing lacking. Wisdom has thought of everything.

J.S. Do you mean in connection with the foundation?

J.T. In the whole structure there is nothing lacking which might be expected in it.

H.G. There is nothing further said about the house.

J.T. Then Wisdom proceeds to speak of having slain her beasts.

Ques. What is indicated in the thought of a house?

J.T. The earlier chapters have introduced Wisdom. She has been a preacher and a teacher, and finally she introduces herself according to her entire history, and then we are told that she has been building a house. Without giving us a full account of the house it simply tells us that she has hewn out her seven pillars, which I take to signify that she has omitted nothing. Then we are told about that which is supplied in the way of food and drink.

R.S.S. Is the house an original thought of God?

J.T. I think so; God would dwell with men.

H.P. What is the object of Wisdom in building?

J.T. She would have an establishment here into which to invite men. The house is set up in the midst of a world full of need.

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J.P. The house was built in the city, and the city is the habitable part of the earth. Then there is the invitation, "Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither". Then we get what is available inside the house (verse 2). In the killing of the beasts and mingling of the wine, guests are-in view. What is the use of crying in the desert where there is no one to hear? She cries in "the highest places of the city".

J.T. The earlier chapters do not contemplate the establishment. The epistle to the Romans does not contemplate the establishment. So by way of analogy Romans is I think, in a way, the unfolding of the gospel by Wisdom; but in the later epistles we get the establishment of it. In Proverbs 9:3, Wisdom preaches where people are; in "the highest places of the city"; where the concourse is. Wisdom has her house where men are, so that she invites them in there.

F.L. The beginning of chapter 8 is like the epistle to the Romans. What we get in chapter 9 is analogous to Ephesians.

J.P. Chapter 8 is the entry of the city; chapter 9 is the high places of the city.

Rem. They are not invited into anything in chapter 8, but only to get wisdom.

J.H.C. What significance has the fact that Wisdom has builded her house?

J.T. One thought in Wisdom's building is that it admits of no innovation. But it is Christ who builds the house. He is the true David, and has provided all the material for it. He has risen from the dead, and is glorified, and He sets the house up. The coming of the Holy Spirit put the material together, so that there was the establishment. Acts 2 gives us the establishment, but in another sense the building is going on in view of the kingdom, the millennial state of things.

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J.P. Do you think that the passage at the end of Ephesians 2 endorses both sides? There is the "establishment" actually existing now, "builded together for an habitation of God in the Spirit".

J.T. You get the double aspect of it there. The habitation of God by the Spirit is a real thing now; but there is also the "growing unto a holy temple in the Lord".

Rem. Christ was really the builder.

J.T. You have the idea of God dwelling with men already, and also looking on to the final state of things, where "the tabernacle of God is with men". But we have to keep to the point that it is Wisdom's house, typifying that in Christianity you have an establishment that cannot be improved upon.

A.F.M. Is there any parallel between this scripture and Luke 14? In Luke 7, "Wisdom is justified of all her children"; and in chapter 14 we see the activity of the one servant pressing those in the city and highways and hedges to come into the house.

J.T. I think that raises a very important point. Luke 7 views Wisdom, but not as possessing a house; the Lord was in Simon's house and the child of Wisdom was there; but in chapters 14 and 15 we get the house; and that answers to the present position; that is, the gospel goes out in connection with the house.

J.P. The great supper is in the house.

F.L. Our brother was pointing out that in Luke 14 there is one servant.

J.T. When the structure is reared up the maidens are sent out. Wisdom's maidens are her attendants; it is not said her daughters, though doubtless they are her daughters, but they are not presented in that way in service; they are her maidens.

Ques. Would you say there is a contrast between the Pharisee's house and the house of Lydia?

J.T. The house of the Pharisee was a wholly

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uncongenial house to the Lord. He was there in grace. It was emblematic of the state of Israel. They were wholly unsympathetic with Christ, but Lydia was wholly sympathetic; it was a question with her as to whether she was worthy to receive the servants of Christ, not whether they were worthy to be received. Simon's house really pictured the state of the nation; there was no sympathy with Christ, and the attitude of Simon was the attitude of the nation towards sinners; but the Lord did not mean things to continue that way. Wisdom was there and must have an establishment, and that is what Christianity involves. In the end of Luke 13 the Jewish house is left desolate, and in chapter 14 we get the house where the supper is. Luke presents the house of God to us not exactly as a dwelling-place, a place of privilege, but as that which meets and relieves need; and I think that is the point of view here. Wisdom has an establishment on the earth; it is not a final state, but a provisional state of things.

J.S. So that Wisdom provides bread and wine.

F.L. In Luke 15 they come to the house and the fatted calf is killed; here in verse 2 we get the "beasts" are killed and then the invitation goes out.

J.T. Luke 15 is in advance of chapter 14. The latter is the celebration of righteousness to which all are invited; the former is a celebration on account of the returning prodigal.

H.P. Was Wisdom's house builded at Pentecost?

J.T. I think so, if you apply it to Christianity. All that Christ said and all that He did was in "Wisdom", and that same Wisdom is subsequently active in building.

F.L. The Lord got the material ready and then the building work was at the day of Pentecost. In the case of David we get first the revelation of the house and then in Solomon the building of it.

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J.T. We may connect David with the Lord's ministry here; all the light as regards the house came out in Him, and David said he had it by the Spirit. He really received the pattern of the house just as Moses had received the pattern of the tabernacle. But with David there was more; he not only received the pattern, but he provided the material, and then Solomon built the house. We read that David received all this by the Spirit. 1 Chronicles 28:12, 19.

Bearing that in mind as a type we see that all the light of the house was in Christ when He was on earth and was in view in His ministry; so when redemption was accomplished He goes on high, and in that position He is the true Solomon. Then the coming of the Spirit places all the material together, and hence you have the house.

J.H. I was going to ask the question, why has Wisdom builded her house?

J.T. We have to bear in mind that Solomon was speaking prophetically. The Old Testament writers did not understand what they wrote. The Spirit of Christ in them spoke prophetically, so that the things they wrote were for us; and you cannot understand the book of Proverbs if you do not understand Christianity, because it contemplates Christianity and the relation of saints to God as sons. Hence we are warranted in taking the building here to refer to the assembly. We have now a provisional state of things. I think it is of all-importance that we should distinguish in that way. The present state of things is not final.

Ques. The house of God, then, is provisional at the present time?

J.T. Yes. Wisdom has taken account of all that is needed at the present time. If Wisdom builds you cannot add to nor detract from the building.

J.P. We are for ever supposing that things are

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not complete, and then we fancy we can furnish the things to make them complete, and we are exceedingly foolish.

R.S.S. In the house that Wisdom has built we have come to perfection, and it cannot be improved upon. We find perfection in what Wisdom builds.

J.T. We were saying, that the present state of things is provisional, which I think we ought to understand a little. It is not a final state of things; the house, here has outside need in view; it is not a house for God.

J.P. Verse 4 makes that perfectly clear.

J.T. Then at the end of the chapter there is a rival house, so that we are perfectly justified in contemplating this chapter as in relation to the present state of things. If it is Wisdom's house you can be sure that there will be nothing lacking there; every comfort will be found there.

Ques. How would you arrive at it; you must discover it?

J.T. I think it is arrived at by those who know the gospel. It is arrived at by understanding Wisdom's preaching and teaching and acquaintance with herself.

Rem. You were saying that the house now is provisional. Explain that a little.

J.T. It is provisional in the sense that there you find what God has provided pending the establishment of things publicly, where the blessing of Abraham shall be fully enjoyed. Wisdom in its activities was seen in Christ in His ministry and work, and there were those who were drawn to Him, and they learned from Him. They became the ministers of Wisdom in that way, having learnt her ways. Peter in standing up to preach was well acquainted with the Lord's ministry, and was competent to call attention to what was established. He was like one of Wisdom's maidens.

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J.P. I think the form of expression in verse 3 is worthy of our attention, "She hath sent forth her maidens: and she crieth", so that it is really the Lord's voice. There is always a danger of regarding the preacher apart from the One who has sent him.

J.B. Is Wisdom's house applied only to the assembly, or is it wider?

J.T. I think we are perfectly justified in connecting this chapter with Christianity. It is a provisional house in view of the present state of things; the intent is that souls may be relieved and live. In the rival establishment we are told that "the dead are there, and her guests are in the depths of hell". Whereas Wisdom says, "Whoso findeth me findeth life".

R.S.S. What is the character of that life? You said it is here and now.

J.T. I think everything now is provisional. Even as to life we have it in a provisional way; our actual state does not present it in its final aspect; and I believe everything in Christianity is provisional, even as to the Spirit, which is the earnest of the inheritance.

R.S.S. What would you say constitutes a Christian's life now in Wisdom's house?

J.T. He is found in relation with the circle of Wisdom's children. It is a wonderful thing that there is such a circle here. Take, for instance, a company of people like the woman in Luke 7. The Lord said of the centurion that He had not found such faith as his in Israel, but she went beyond the centurion; he rightly enough did not feel himself worthy that the Lord should go to his house, he recognised the Lord as a Man of authority, but he had no such appreciation of Him as she had. She asks no leave, and the secret of it was that she knew Christ; the more you know of the Lord the freer you are with Him. Wisdom involved that

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Christ had come near to men; man was His object. She, a child of Wisdom, sees Him in that light and appreciates Him. If you get a company of people like that what a circle it is! There is not a system today that justifies Christ. You do not justify Christ if you are in false relations. Wisdom's children justify Christ by abandoning everything that is contrary to Christ; they make everything of Christ. The woman in Luke 7 appreciated the import of Christ's presence here; it meant her forgiveness, and as forgiven much she loved much.

J.P. The whole point of Wisdom in this chapter is to get people into the house; it is her house and she wishes to get them near to herself.

J.T. When the full idea of Wisdom comes out her house is composed of her children, who are really the saints.

F.L. Will you explain what you mean by provisional?

J.T. The Lord has established a state of things which is suited to the present conditions; that is, it affords us comfort and all that we need by the way, but no one would say that we have now the fulness of the blessing of God.

A.F.M. We cannot have the fulness of God's blessing as long as there is need.

J.T. While need exists there is a certain element of distraction, and it is in every one of us, and God knows that; but in spite of that there is enough to show what the fulness will be. The Spirit is the earnest of the inheritance.

F.L. In the provision which God has set up, and Wisdom has established, everything is taken care of till the coming of the Lord.

J.T. So that we suffer no loss, and the Lord gives us special seasons.

F.L. The "bread and the wine" is that which is expressive of the sphere of joy which is established.

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J.T. You can suffer no loss in Wisdom's house; she has killed her beasts and furnished her table and mingled her wine; you are sure to have enough. As a provisional state of things it is perfect.

J.P. But you are not taken beyond moral conditions here. "If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it", verse 12. I thoroughly go with all that has been set forth as to the provisional character of things here, and I quote that verse as showing that you are not taken beyond the sphere of moral conditions.

Rem. From verse 13 we have the foolish woman and her house described.

A.F.M. What is provided at the present moment is in view of testimony as to what God will bring in by-and-by.

J.T. You are in every way taken care of. Your soul is fully taken care of, but in connection with it there is living testimony. Wisdom proves love, and love is connected with her establishment. Chapter 7 describes the foolish woman's house as the way of death and hell; the dead are there, and her guests are in the depths of hell.

J.B. What about the assembly?

J.T. Wisdom's house undoubtedly alludes to it in its present form, which has in view the conditions that exist in the world, hence provision is made for that condition. The assembly is also viewed in connection with the coming world. Elders and deacons will not be needed in the future, but they are wanted now. The testimony of God takes form in connection with need. Gifts, too, have in view the present state of things. The foolish woman's house represents some rival to the house of God. I think she represents something religious. The great aim with her is not money, not earthly gain, as was the case in chapter 1, but the destruction of souls.

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It is diabolical. There is no motive in it as far as you can judge, but that, so that the result is that in her house "the dead are there, and her guests are in the depths of hell"; she has nothing to offer except what she has stolen.

R.S.S. What is Satan's motive in regard to the destruction of souls?

J.T. I think it is just that his nature is such; he is essentially wicked, and on that account he is systematically opposed to God; it is his nature. This wicked woman is entirely formed of him. The effect of all that she does is death.

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THE MYSTERY

Proverbs 31:10 - 31; Romans 16:25, 26; Ephesians 3:1 - 11.

J.T. The book of Proverbs is divided into several sections, as most of us will have noticed. Each of the last two chapters stands by itself. The first nine chapters are spoken by "the son of David". Then you have a series of chapters which are simply ; designated "The Proverbs of Solomon"; and then you have the proverbs of Solomon which were copied out "by the men of Hezekiah;" chapter 25. In chapter 30 you have the words of Agur; and then in chapter 31 the words of king Lemuel; this chapter introduces the "virtuous woman".

F.L. "The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him".

J.T. There can be no doubt that chapter 30 gives us the experience of an inspired, as we might say, observer as to the state of things in the creation.

There are six sets of fours, things or persons. Taken as a whole, I think it indicates the conditions that exist actually in the creation. I think four, as a numeral, might be taken to represent what is universal.

R.S.S. Where do you get the six sets of fours?

J.T. In chapter 30, the writer of that chapter, Agur, calls attention to these things. In verse 11 we get, "There is a generation that curseth their father"; in verse 12, "There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness"; in verse 13, "There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up"; in verse 14, "There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords". Four kinds of generations are spoken of there, the four evil things; and then there are four insatiable things, things which are never satisfied, verses 15, 16;

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and four inscrutable things, things that cannot be understood, verses 18, 19, four unbearable things, verses 21 - 23; four weak things, which express wisdom, verses 24, 25; and four stately things, verses 29 - 31.

R.S.S. Is this a review of what there is in creation?

J.T. I think it is. I think the writer, by divinely given experience, knows these things as actually existing here, showing what a mixture there is in creation.

R.S.S. What do you think is in view in introducing them?

J.T. The writer has not the explanation of things, but he suggests that they are there.

F.L. I take it that this chapter is very much in line with the book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes is from the point of view of the man who had the best opportunity to observe and to prove things "under the sun".

Rem. It is fallen creation.

J.T. Yes, it is creation as it is.

F.L. I rather thought that in chapter 30, while it refers to creation, yet in the four weak things there is a testimony to God.

Rem. You refer to the ants, conies, locusts, and spiders?

J.T. They may be taken, I think, to represent what is of God, weak, but possessed of wisdom and forethought.

F.L. What is said of them is that they are "exceeding wise".

J.T. Then I think in chapter 31 the king and the virtuous woman being introduced together, and the latter especially enlarged upon, that we have indicated the assembly as formed of Christ. This morning the woman in chapter 14 was referred to, she builds her house. In this chapter she is seen in

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her proper relation to the man, the king, who is unquestionably an allusion to Christ. The woman comes in in her place as having taken character from Him; so that I thought it would form the connection between the line of thought in this book and the mystery spoken of in the New Testament.

R.S.S. What do you think is the signification of chapter 31: 1, "the prophecy that his mother taught him".

J.T. Undoubtedly king Lemuel refers to Solomon. One great feature of Solomon was that he was, as prophetically announced, a special child in the family: he was regarded in a special light by David and Bath-sheba, and hence the influence of the parents is especially mentioned.

R.S.S. His other name was Jedidiah, meaning, "Beloved of the Lord".

J.T. He must have had a peculiar place with Bath-sheba on account of the prophetic announcement in regard to him. She would take account of him in the light of the divine announcement, and her training and influence would be in that connection. We may say that the virtuous woman is the result of the gospel, the gospel provides her.

R.S.S. Provides her for Christ, as Eve for Adam, and Rebekah for Isaac.

A.F.M. Does the type of the "virtuous woman" contemplate the absence of Christ?

J.T. I think it does, because as her characteristics are outlined, she is the dominating influence in the house.

F.L. I think that is also indicated by the word, "her candle goeth not out by night"; it is the light, and the light is maintained.

J.T. And the fact of the husband being away, or absent, only brings her virtue more into evidence. The contrast as to that is in chapter 7, where the husband is also absent, and the woman there is

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wanting in virtue; she has none. I think the gospel is that which produces the virtuous woman, and so I am thankful that the passage in the end of Romans was suggested, because the unfolding of the gospel is to the individual; then the unfolding of the mystery is properly introduced. I take it that the epistle to the Romans lays the basis for Ephesians.

J.S. They are really connected, are they not?

F.L. The last three verses of Romans are the link with Ephesians.

J.T. I think so. The question then arises, Where does Colossians come in? I think the answer is, that Colossians is properly, a corrective epistle, and it contains the instruction as to how we get into the realisation of the mystery; that is, Colossians has our side, in view. Romans and Ephesians are the normal setting forth of the gospel and the assembly from the divine side.

R.S.S. And they are constructive epistles. Colossians, as you were saying, is corrective. You were mentioning last evening that we do not get the conflict in Colossians; why is that?

J.T. Because the conflict has reference to the heavenly position of the assembly.

R.S.S. In Colossians you are seen as risen with Christ. But of course that does not put you into heaven.

F.L. I should think at the present time when all the elements of the world have crept in among Christians that we must appreciate Colossians before we really enter into Ephesians.

J.T. The light given in Romans really prepares the believer for Ephesians.

H.G. Would you say that the thought given in Romans is suggestive of something further?

J.T. The apostle introduces the mystery as

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something to be inquired into, and you can understand the Christians in Rome inquiring, What does Paul mean in this?

F.L. And similarly in regard to the purpose of God in chapter 8, a person might inquire as to the fulness of it; and then in chapter 12 the one body; it might be said, what is the one body for?

J.T. The epistle to the Romans up to chapter 8 meets the individual believer, leading up to the divine purpose that he should be glorified; "whom he justified, them he also glorified" (the Colossian point of view is passed over); so that his soul is set in the full light of God's purpose in regard to him. He takes care of you right up to the glory.

R.S.S. What is the Colossian position?

J.T. That epistle was necessitated by declension among the saints. Christ had not His full place with them, and hence you find throughout the epistle the thought of Christ is enlarged upon, because what the saints there needed was that Christ should have the whole place in their affections. The mystery is said to be "Christ in you"; that is, that God's wonderful thought in regard to the Gentiles was that His Son should actually be amongst them. That was a wonderful thing for the Gentiles, something that should arouse their affections for Christ; that was God's hidden thought, that His Son should have a place in the midst of the Gentiles.

F.L. The "virtuous woman" corresponds somewhat with Rebekah, do you not think? She came to be a comfort to Isaac.

J.T. I think so. I think Paul's ministry properly brings in the "virtuous woman". His ministry in the gospel brings in a company formed of Jew and Gentile, a company that loves Christ. He says, "I have espoused you to one man"; that is to say, he had in the gospel presented one object before them.

A.F.M. The "virtuous woman" is very active.

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J.T. Because of the urgency of the moment; there is great need, and hence the activity. Her spirit should pervade every servant and indeed, every Christian.

A.F.M. Do you mean in view of testimony to Christ?

J.T. Yes, and in view of the need of the household. It all hinges on her affection for her husband, because his honour is linked up with the house. The house is his. I think Paul in his ministry brought one Man before the saints; the point of that is, that he did not present two. He says, "I have espoused you to one man to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ"; and I believe if the "one man" obtains a place in the hearts of the saints, then all activity would take character from that. What is said of the virtuous woman describes the activity of the saints because of their love for Christ.

F.L. The lack of wisdom is seen in the foolish virgins. They went to meet the Bridegroom without oil in their vessels.

J.B. Would you not say that in Colossians Christ takes His place as the Head of the church; then we take our place in Ephesians?

J.T. It is because of what He is personally that He is Head in Colossians; whereas in Ephesians He is made Head; God has made Him to be. Head over all things to the church.

H.P. How is the "virtuous woman" produced by the gospel?

J.T. By the presentation of Christ a company is formed that love Him. The gospel carried with it the idea of virtue. Virtue means, I think, the ability to refuse what is evil and to adhere to what is good.

A.F.M. If it is not anticipating, you have shown us what is the mystery in Colossians, will you tell us what it is in Ephesians 3?

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J.T. In Ephesians 3 the full divine thought is in view; it is that which God has had in view in His operations in the creation. God had "created all things", it is said. His wisdom is seen in the creation, but His all-various wisdom is seen in the assembly.

A.F.M. There are three points suggested in it: a joint body, and joint-partakers of His promise in the glad tidings, and joint-heirs.

J.P. It is "by the glad tidings", and that answers the question asked by our brother how the gospel produces the "virtuous woman".

Ques. What is the difference between joint heirs and joint partakers?

J.T. The thought lies in the word "joint", that the Jew and Gentile are brought in together in a body wholly outside of God's dealings upon earth.

J.P. And Israel had part in this with the nations by the gospel.

L.T.P. That there should be a joint body had been hidden?

J.T. Yes; that the nations should be brought into it was wholly new. Now you have Wisdom; not only Wisdom's house, but the whole scheme of divine wisdom, and that seen by the highest order of beings outside of men, Ephesians 3:10.

J.P. It has taken form and finds its expression in the assembly, so that there is the testimony of it even now in regard to the heavenlies.

Ques. Does the "virtuous woman" figure as the church in mystery?

J.T. She is, I think, the figure of the assembly in the absence of her husband; that is, of Christ, so that you have her character fully portrayed in the chapter we have read; and then, as you connect it with Ephesians, I think you see in it as regards testimony for God the whole scheme of His wisdom. The "manifold wisdom" is found in that company.

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F.L. At the present time the assembly is under the eye of the principalities and the powers in the heavenlies.

J.T. The angelic beings were witnesses from the very outset; they were witnesses of every divine operation. We are told that the sons of God shouted for joy at the time that the foundations of the earth were laid; they did not see the end from the beginning. They did not see the whole scheme of divine wisdom, but they were intensely interested in what God was doing. We can understand how they followed all the divine operations and with what interest they contemplated Eden, and Adam placed there, and afterwards what came out in Israel. Then when Christ became Man there can be nothing more interesting than the pleasure manifested by the angelic host.

C.A. So it says in Timothy, "justified in the Spirit, seen of angels".

J.T. As God proceeded in His operations there was the unfolding of His wisdom; and when Christ became Man the angels were in raptures of joy. There is nothing which sets forth their character so much as that passage in Luke: "A multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good pleasure in men". They are wholly without envy.

J.P. And they seem to have intelligence and to be completely in sympathy with God. We have this wonderful place; that is, we are of those in whom God has good pleasure.

H.G-TH. You can say that is made known to the obedience of faith amongst all nations?

J.T. Yes; all the nations were to know. As the apostle says, "to enlighten all with the knowledge of what is the administration of the mystery". It was God's thought that all should understand it. Now redemption is accomplished the angelic hosts

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look down and see it. They see it in a company of sons. Redemption accomplished, the truth of son-ship becomes actual, and when you get a company of sons, there is sympathy, just as at the outset, when the sons of God shouted with joy; "all the sons of God"; they were all interested in what God was doing. The truth of sonship. Becomes effective consequent upon redemption, and I believe that the ministry of Paul is that which brings sonship fully to light.

In his gospel he announced the Son. I do not think you can understand the mystery apart from the truth of sonship.

J.P. Paul began by preaching that Jesus was the Son of God; sonship was the end.

F.L. He started his testimony by preaching that Jesus is the Son of God.

J.T. That basis being laid you have an unfolding of the divine wisdom, and it is not in connection with Jerusalem. The message of the twelve was in connection with Jerusalem; but when the Son of God is introduced a universal Head is introduced, and I believe it is of great importance to see that the truth of sonship of necessity underlies the unfolding of the manifold wisdom of God. In this chapter the apostle emphasises the fact that the Gentiles are joint partakers in it; but we must remember that the epistle to the Romans necessarily precedes this epistle as light. The epistle to the Romans shows us that we are God's sons and Christ's brethren; and it takes us on to heaven, because it says, "whom he justified, them he also glorified".

J.P. And I think it so perfectly agrees with what was stated yesterday that Wisdom is the form which divine love has taken to accomplish its blessed purpose, and if that is a correct definition of Wisdom, then the wisdom of God can only be seen in a company that are not only in that love, but responsive to it, and that is the assembly.

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A.F.M. Enlarge a little upon God's "all various wisdom".

J.T. I think God can unfold it now in having a company who are wholly sympathetic with Him; they are wholly sympathetic as sons. I am not ignoring the fact that He is pointing out that the Gentiles are brought in, but Paul's gospel underlies it; and his gospel really introduces the "virtuous woman". The Gentiles having been enlightened by Paul's gospel are suited to be joint partakers, a joint body and joint heirs. The body depends on sonship, and heirship depends on sonship; if you are a son you are an heir.

J.P. "If sons, then heirs". "Because ye are sons God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts"; it is as sons that we have part in the divine system of things.

J.T. If in any company of Christians there is no spring of sympathy the conditions for the display of divine wisdom are wanting. The spring of sympathy depends on the saints being in the light of sonship. If there is a spring of sympathy among the saints God can work out His thoughts there.

C.A. It is a subjective state in souls, then?

J.T. Yes.

A.F.M. When God was about to dwell with His people Israel He began His instructions with the ark, and He said, as it were, If I do not have My ark I shall not have My habitation, it all depended on the ark. And now in Christ and the assembly God has the means and way by which He will be glorified, and the means by which: all His counsels and purposes will be realised.

J.T. I think that is right. What He proposed to Pharaoh was, "Let my son go, that he may serve me". Having Israel in the wilderness, God had . His son, but then where was the spring of sympathy? The history proved that sonship was not really there

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at all. But it was assumed in principle, for the material for the tabernacle was to come from the people. And the tabernacle was typically the unfolding of the divine scheme, and its construction was made to depend on the people. We see thus how essential the sympathy of the saints is to the unfolding of divine wisdom. I think it is in that connection the mystery stands. If you have not sonship as an underlying basis you have not working material, but God has this because He has brought in sonship.

J.B. So in speaking to Israel He had sonship in view.

F.L. The tabernacle was a primary thought and it depended on sonship; but neither Adam nor Israel answered to the truth of sonship. In Christ sonship is seen and now also in the assembly.

J.T. There is nothing more important than that the saints should see that the underlying basis is sonship. In John 8 the Lord introduces two thoughts: the first, that the truth sets free; we are set free by the truth; that is, the truth enables you to extricate yourself from what is external, from the complications without. The Jews said they were never in bondage to any one; the Lord says, "he that commits sin is the bondman of sin". The second thought I allude to is that the Son abides in the house for ever. If the Son therefore sets free we are really free.

J.P. "The servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abides for ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed", John 8:35.

J.T. The truth sets free in extricating your soul from what is without, and the Son gives you the consciousness of liberty in the house. The Son sets us "free in freedom". I would like to enlarge a little on the thought of sonship, because it is impossible to

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get the mystery without sonship, especially at the present time, because people are mixed up so much in what is bondage. Christendom is in bondage. They have gone back to mount Sinai; they are in bondage in the desert. Christians as a rule prefer the idea of servant and master to that of a son. God's thought is that the Son should control the house, whereas you find in every sect in Christendom the idea of sonship is dropped, and that of master and servant takes its place. How can you have the mystery in those connections? A clergyman or any person in official position over God's people is a denial of sonship, because a clergyman is either in command of the flock or he is the servant of the flock, and both thoughts exclude sonship. It is a remarkable thing that people are so given to the idea of having one whom they can dismiss. You can dismiss a servant. If you pay him a salary surely he is your servant; a person who can be dismissed is not a son, and the influence of such a person cannot produce liberty; be he ever such a nice person, he is a servant at best, and his influence cannot be other than that which tends to bondage. Now God's thought is that the Son is to be over the house. There is a very great difference between the influence of a son and of a servant who can be dismissed at any time.

J.P. I distinctly feel we are not touching now what is merely provisional.

J.T. Sonship is not provisional.

J.P. At the end of the chapter the assembly is the vessel of God's glory.

J.T. The assembly viewed in connection with divine counsel is not provisional. Ephesians has eternity in view.

F.L. The best possible service does not secure a place in the house for ever. The Son abides ever. Solomon is a contrast to Moses in that way. Moses

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is never said to have been a son. He was "a ministering servant"; he was the lawgiver. Solomon is typically the son and he built the house.

Rem. You spoke of the influence of a servant.

J.T. The influence of a servant tends to bondage, A servant abides not in the house; no matter how estimable he may be, he is liable to go at any moment.

Ques. What is it to abide in the house?

J.T. You have to be a son before you know anything about it; the son's place is there in contrast to the servant. And the son is wholly sympathetic with the father. Abraham could not in righteousness turn Sarah and Isaac out of the house, but he could turn Hagar and Ishmael out, because Hagar was a bond-servant. As Christendom has taken up the position of a bond-servant, God can righteously remove it and He will, but those in the place of sonship will never have to go out.

F.L. Viewed in connection with the kingdom we are the Lord's servants, but that is provisional.

J.T. Certainly. I am glad you mentioned that, because one would not cast a slight on service, but true Christian service is based on sonship.

H.P. How is the spring of sympathy produced in our hearts?

J.T. It is by the knowledge that we are God's sons.

C.A. You do not get the working out of God's mind in the church without sonship.

J.B. Faith works by love.

J.T. There is a peculiar lustre in the movements of one who knows himself to be in the relationship of son; he acts not only because he is under obligation to God, but in sympathy with God.

P.L. Now a word about the mystery.

J.T. The apostle states here that it had been hidden. It had not been disclosed in the ages previously. God had it in His own mind at the

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outset, but now He has made it known. "By revelation the mystery has been made known to me ... which in other generations has not been made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the power of the Spirit, that they who are of the nations should be joint heirs, and a joint body, and joint partakers of his promise in Christ Jesus by the glad tidings", Ephesians 3:3 - 11. The mystery is according to God's eternal purpose, but it has been made known to those whom God has taken into His confidence, whom the apostle here styles, "his holy apostles and prophets". The thought was that a company should be formed out of Israel and the nations which should stand in such intimate relationship with Christ as its Head, that it should be His body here on earth. It is the product of Paul's gospel, really, and so is formed in the light of sonship. The assembly is formed of those who are in the relationship of sons, otherwise it could not be the vessel of God's glory, and that in which His all-various wisdom is set forth.

F.L. So that it is not a thing we regard as mysterious and unknowable, but on the contrary it is put before us that we may enter into it, having the full light of it in the sphere where the Holy Spirit operates; that is in the assembly.

H.G-TH. Does it suggest anything that when the present creation was brought in the sons of God should shout?

J.T. It suggests that sons are always in sympathy with God.

A.R.S. Would you say that sonship is not a new testimony, but that the mystery is?

J.T. Yes.

C.A. It is only sons who can enter into the mystery.

J.T. It is remarkable that God's creatorial work should be introduced here. It shows that the

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Spirit would connect the whole thread of divine wisdom with the assembly. The angels witnessed the creation, but wisdom was only seen partially there; now it is seen in its entirety in the assembly. It is marvellous that we should be brought into that in which the all-variousness of divine wisdom is displayed. The chapter closes with the assembly viewed as the vessel of God's glory throughout the eternal ages.

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SYMPATHY WITH THE TESTIMONY

2 Timothy 4:16 - 18.

My thought on this occasion is to seek to point out the importance of the preaching, so as to enlist your sympathy in it, and when I speak of the preaching I include in my thought not only that which meets the need of man, but also that which unfolds the "unsearchable riches of the Christ". The thought of preaching is very prominent in the Scriptures, so prominent, indeed, that we cannot but see that it is of great importance with God; of such importance that in a certain sense the power of the kingdom is subordinated to it. I would cite as a proof of that the book of Ecclesiastes. In that book, as many of you will recall, the speaker opens by introducing himself as "the preacher", and he tells us that he was David's son, and he was king in Jerusalem; and then further, by way of confirmation of the ground upon which he stood, he says, "I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem". That is to say, the preacher was king. In the minds of most the idea of a king is much greater than that of a preacher, but according to the book which formally introduces to us "the preacher" we are told, not that the king is a preacher, but that the preacher was king. In other words, that as preacher he had all the advantages of his position as king. His official capacity as king and the power involved in it afforded him an open door everywhere. Now that is a very great conception, and it only shows what the preaching is in God's account, and how desirous He is that the preaching should reach all.

As I was saying, the idea of the preacher is very prominent in the Scriptures. The first preacher was Noah; he was not a king. One would not judge that he had much power in the world to which he

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preached. My impression is, that he was under great reproach, and in that way greatly limited. The preaching also continued, as we know, to Abraham's time, and we find in Jonah a preacher, a man who was hardly equal to his message. I need not dwell upon Jonah; he was not a king. He was a man between whom and his preaching there was a great disparity; he was not fully sympathetic with what he preached. Instead of going to Nineveh he would go to Tarshish; but God had the preaching in view, and He wished that the preaching should go to Nineveh, and the preacher whom He designed to carry the preaching there must go, hence Jonah has to be qualified for his mission by death and resurrection, so that he carries his message to the Ninevites as one who had, in principle, passed through death on to the ground of resurrection. But Jonah was not a king. The man who is formally called "the preacher" in the scripture I have referred to is Solomon, and, as I said, as preacher he was king.

Now I would desire in a very special way that each one here should get into his soul the conditions under which the gospel has been announced, and is being announced. In referring to Old Testament personages one is apt to eulogise them because of what they were personally, but that is not according to the Spirit. In order to get the benefit of an Old Testament type, whether it be a thing or a person, we have to transfer our minds to Christ. Hence, if I refer to Solomon I refer to him as a type of Christ, and what I see is that in the preaching of today the preacher is Christ, and that whilst the kingdom is of great importance in other respects, for the moment it is subordinated to the preaching; so that instead of its being preached now that Solomon was king at Jerusalem, it is preached that Christ is Lord at the right hand of God; that is the position. I am not for the moment dwelling upon what is preached.

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What I would wish to make clear to you, with the hope that you will become sympathetic with the preaching, is that all the power of God vested in the Lord Jesus Christ is for the support of the preaching. You may thus think it well worth your while to become sympathetic with it. There is nothing in it, dear friends, to be ashamed of. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Preacher, and He is the King. Now if the King is Preacher, He has right of way. The king has an open door everywhere in his dominions. Take any kingdom in the world, Great Britain for example; suppose that the king were an evangelist, and had a message; suppose he wished to make an address, he has an open door everywhere, he could preach anywhere. He can come over to Canada and preach; he can go to Australia or to India; he can go to Africa; he can go to the West Indies; he can go anywhere in his dominions to preach. Well, now, apply that to Christ. The lordship of Christ is in heaven. "God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ"; and He is Lord of "all" as Acts 10 states; so that He has right of way everywhere.

I would cite another passage before passing on to another thought which is before me. The gospel of Mark presents to us the preacher, and the closing verses of the gospel state that the Lord, having instructed His apostles, ascended up to heaven and sat on the right hand of God. What is He occupied with now? In Luke He went up with His hands outstretched in blessing; He left behind Him in this world a rejoicing people. He had come out of heaven to bless man, and He went back as having blessed man. In Mark He sits at the right hand of God, and what then? He charges Himself with the superintendence of the gospel. That is really the position in which Mark presents Christ at the close of his gospel. He presents Him as the "preacher"

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in the place of supreme power at the right hand of God. And what is the result? We are told that "they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them". The emissaries of Christ had an open door everywhere. Now that is the position, beloved friends, in regard to the gospel, and that position remains unaltered. I need not say that occurrences here on earth in no way change the mind of heaven. The psalmist of old contemplated the ruin below, but he looked up to heaven, and all was in order there. There is no deviation there. The Lord Jesus Christ has taken His seat on high in regard to the testimony, and He retains it, and hence the door is open, and will remain open, at His pleasure, until He returns.

Well, now, the appeal that I would make to you, especially in regard to that which has opened up to us during these meetings, is that there might be sympathy in the testimony of Christ; that is really what characterises the "virtuous woman" of Proverbs 31. She is hard to find, for we are told "her price is far above rubies", and what she represents is faithfulness to Christ during His absence, really those who care for and maintain His interests while He is away.

Now before I pass on to Timothy, I want to give you a hint or two as to the character of what is preached. I cannot now dwell upon the terms of the gospel, nor upon the mystery which is contained in the gospel; that would be altogether beyond my present limit. What I wish to indicate is what I conceive to be that which renders special lustre to the preaching. The first example of it is in Acts 9. In that chapter we see how the authority of Christ is wielded on behalf of the gospel. The conditions that had arisen at Jerusalem threatened the overthrow of the gospel, and the obliteration of the assembly; outwardly these things seemed to be on

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the verge of destruction; the disciples were scattered from Jerusalem by persecution, and the apostles alone remained; Satan had made a tremendous onslaught on the testimony; there was a champion of evil in Jerusalem. The kingly power of Christ was no longer there; it was elsewhere; hence evil was maintained in Jerusalem. It was, at that moment, the centre of satanic agency in opposition to Christ and to the testimony of Christ. It looked as though everything were threatened; but the Lord was in the heavens. "He that sitteth in the heavens", we are told, "shall laugh"; the Lord shall have them in derision Psalm 2. The Lord Jesus was at the right hand of God, and all the emissaries of the enemy at Jerusalem could not touch Him.

Saul of Tarsus was the avowed antagonist of Christ; we are told that he left Jerusalem with a letter from the high priest. The chief priests were the professed representatives of God in Jerusalem, but in reality they were but agents of diabolical energy against Christ. That is what they were, and they had found a man after their own heart. They had in Saul a man who in his very inner being was antagonistic to Christ and the testimony of Christ. We are told he was breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord.

Now I wish to show you the wonderful triumph of the great Preacher, and the great Defender of the church, for Christ is both. He meets Saul by the way, and He meets him, beloved friends, with heavenly light. What a marvellous way to meet an antagonist! "A light from heaven" shines down on Saul; and words fall from the lips of Jesus: "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" And what is the answer from Saul? "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" What a complete triumph! so that Saul, instead of entering Damascus as the emissary of the high priest at Jerusalem, as the

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enemy to Christians, enters it as one who is subdued to Christ, as one into whose soul had shone the light of heaven. That is the result of the Preacher being King. In His kingly authority Christ brings that man to the ground; and as the Preacher He takes him by the hand, and sets him up as His preacher; so that instead of being an emissary of the high priest to Damascus, he becomes Christ's great preacher to the Gentiles; he becomes the vessel of heavenly light from a glorified Christ to a Gentile world. What is it that gives lustre to Paul's preaching? It is the light from heaven. Into his soul came light, the light of a Man who is God's Son in heavenly glory; and Paul was so impressed with the revelation that immediately he announced in the synagogue that Jesus is the Son of God.

Now I want you to ponder especially the result of the intervention of the authority of Christ. It was not only that the gospel preached by the twelve was secured, but additional light was vouchsafed. You will find that every divine victory involves an increase of light. Not only was the gospel which the twelve preached secured, but the precious truth of God's Son in heaven, as unfolded in Paul's gospel, was added. Well, now, the other feature of the testimony upon which I would dwell for a moment is that which is contained in the following chapter; and here we get further light from heaven. Now that the Lord has His own preacher we are led into the understanding of the extent of the congregation. The congregation is the whole race of men. Peter is on the house-top at Joppa, and the sheet with four corners descends from heaven. Already we have had the thought before us today that four is a numeral that suggests what is universal; now nothing can prove that more forcibly than the four-cornered sheet. What was signified was, that the mind of God, the mind of heaven, for it came from heaven,

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is universal in its bearing. The mind of heaven comes into view in the four-cornered sheet. I do not enlarge upon it; I only want to show that now that the Lord has His preacher He indicates that all men are in His mind for blessing.

Well, there is just one other thought, and that is, that the preaching is the means, as we have already seen today, by which Christ secures the treasure of His heart. Are you not sympathetic with Him? If there was one thing that marked the apostle Paul it was his desire to present to Christ the assembly as a chaste virgin. John the baptist heard "the voice of the bridegroom", but Paul got nearer to Christ than that. I liken Paul to the mighty men of David who discerned the longings of his soul when he said "oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!" they broke through the host of the Philistines and presented the water to David. Paul was the great "mighty man" in Christianity; it was he who got so near to the heart of Christ that he discerned the beatings of His heart, and his energy took character from it. He ever had in view to present the assembly to Christ as a chaste virgin.

In these three things I have noted you may gather up something as to what is involved in the preaching, and if you see the importance of it, and if your heart is touched by the love of Christ, what will mark you will be sympathetic activity. I am very far from wishing to put you under bondage, or from heaping responsibility upon you; but I do see this, that the appeal for the "virtuous woman" is in order that there should be absolute devotedness to the interests of Christ during His absence.

Now, when we come to 2 Timothy, one thread running right, through the epistle is Paul's faithfulness to the testimony. He stood unflinchingly by the testimony, even when he appeared before the

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emperor, before him who represented the combined power of the world. He says, "At first my answer no man stood with me"; all forsook him. But he adds, "The Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known". That is, Paul stood unflinchingly for the preaching, and as he stood by it the Lord stood by him. There is nothing to fear, beloved friends, the Lord will unfailingly stand by what is of God. Christ is King, and He uses His power to support the preacher, so that the preaching might be fully known and that the Gentiles should hear. Now notice, it was not only that the preaching should be fully known, and that all the Gentiles should hear, but that they should hear by the appointed preacher. The Lord would not allow Satan one iota of advantage. It is as if He said, 'Paul is the preacher, and the preaching is to be heard through him'. The apostle says, "that by me the preaching might be fully known".

Now another thing that I would call attention to in Timothy, and which ought to appeal specially to us, for Timothy represents the kind of ministry that would replace the apostle's, is that the instruction comes to Timothy from Paul in terms of the most intimate affection; he is addressed by Paul as "son". Christian obligation thus involves peculiar pleasure. I do not enlarge upon it. You may all recall how Paul addressed Timothy as "My dearly beloved son". Do you think that is only for Timothy? No; it is in such language that the Spirit of God would stir up the hearts of God's people now. All obligations are pressed upon us in terms of endearing affection. So that in appealing to you tonight it is in no wise to put you under bondage; but I do say this, that it is sorrowful to consider the people of God gathered together and enjoying the things of God, and yet to turn away and enter upon pursuits

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and paths of selfishness and ambition in this world. It is sorrowful, and may God preserve us from it! The Spirit of God would appeal to us as to what stand we are going to take in these evil days; and He presents to us Paul as the great model servant. He sets him before us as the servant who stood unflinchingly by the testimony in the presence of all the power of evil; and shows us that there was complete deliverance. He says, "And the Lord shall deliver me".

Before I close I will point out one other thing, and that is, that the Lord will not throw you aside when the testimony is over. We all know how vessels may be taken up and used and when they no longer interest us are thrown aside. In His government God may use wicked men, or even Satan himself, and they come under His judgment at the end; but in the service of the gospel He uses clean vessels, and these are preserved. Paul says, "he shall deliver me, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom". The Lord will not throw the vessel aside. No, beloved friends, the fact is, that before He deigns to use you here He shows you that you are already a vessel prepared for glory. He has prepared us for that. He uses us down here for the moment. He uses us, as we have been saying, during the provisional period, and when this is ended we enter into eternal rest and glory. He has formed us for glory; the very Spirit which we have received from Christ is the Spirit of glory, for "whom he has justified, these also he has glorified". We are used down here for the moment in connection with the testimony, and we are preserved in connection with the testimony, but not only that, we are preserved for a heavenly position. As Jude puts it, He is "able to present us faultless in the presence of his glory with exultation". Such is the great end which the Spirit of God holds out before us, the

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great end of the path we are on as connected with the testimony of God.

That is all I have to say, and, as I said at the beginning, my aim is to induce among us sympathy in the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ. As Paul said to Timothy, "Be not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord".

May God grant that not only what I have said tonight, but what we have dwelt upon during these meetings, may have a lasting effect upon us and that nothing may divert our hearts from the sympathy with the testimony of our Lord until He comes.

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THE KING AND THE VIRTUOUS WOMAN (GOSPEL PREACHING)

Proverbs 31:4 - 31.

I desire to say a few words in regard to the King and the virtuous woman. I think I may be able to show that they go together; that is, God's King, who is Christ, and the virtuous woman, who is the assembly, are bound up together. The book of Proverbs, as we know, is the book of wisdom, and it is a very fitting conclusion that we should find in the last chapter an expression of wisdom in the virtuous woman. The chapter to my mind agrees in a sense with the teaching of 1 Corinthians and Ephesians. In 1 Corinthians you get Christ as wisdom. He is said to be the wisdom of God and the power of God. Whereas in the epistle to the Ephesians we are told that the all-various wisdom of God is now witnessed in the assembly by the angels. So in the ending of God's ways, all of which set forth wisdom, you get wisdom expressed livingly. First of all in Christ, and, secondly, in the assembly.

Now to my mind it is a most interesting chapter in that way; for king Lemuel undoubtedly alludes to Solomon. Solomon is, in a sense, the ideal king in Scripture, and it is imperative that every one should become acquainted with the king. So I feel it proper to call attention to Lemuel, taking him as alluding to Solomon, who is a figure of Christ. You will never understand Christianity until you know the King, and I think what is said in regard to this personage would convey to us who the King is. We cannot fail to see Christ in what marked this king. It says in the eighth verse, "Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction". Now I think that this passage answers to Christ exactly. And another

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thing I would say in regard to the King is that salvation stands connected with Him.

I refer for a moment to the gospel of Luke: a gospel which, as we all know, presents Christ in relation to man. There can be no question that man in his natural state is deprived of speech, and, moreover, he is appointed to destruction. The gospel of Luke presents to us Christ as intervening on the part of man. You get that in Zacharias in the first chapter of Luke. He, by the way, was dumb; he had been stricken dumb, as you will remember, because of his unbelief; but directly his mouth is opened he speaks of Christ. As able to speak again he calls attention to this, that God had raised up a horn of deliverance in the house of His servant David; that is to say, salvation for man is connected with the King. He did not say that God had raised up a horn of salvation in the house of Abraham, nor in the house of Jacob, but in the house of David. Now that gives you a clue as to the mode by which God has effected salvation. The horn in Scripture is symbolical of power, and in this instance it refers to Christ. Christ was God's Horn of salvation, and He was raised up in the house of the king. David was the king and God intervened in the house of David and raised up a Horn of salvation. I refer to that to show that in order to know salvation you have to become acquainted with the King. Zacharias in Luke 1 goes on to say, "that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him ... all the days of our life". As obtaining salvation from our enemies at the hand of Christ, we should serve God without fear, all the days of our life.

I want, therefore, to call your attention to the King, and I am greatly encouraged in what is stated here of Lemuel. He was to open his mouth for the dumb in the cause of those who were appointed for destruction. Now here we get a class of persons

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that the Lord Jesus Christ intervenes for. He intervenes for those who are dumb. Can He not speak? I know of nothing that is more intensely interesting for man than the gospel of Luke, which is Christ here upon earth in manhood in relation to man before God, and I want you to place yourself, as it were, in the midst of humanity and regard yourself in that light as related to Christ. You have One that can speak. He has taken up a place in relation to man Godward and He can speak. Man is dumb. He cannot articulate naturally a single syllable Godward. He is utterly incapable of pleading his cause in the presence of God. The Lord Jesus Christ became Man, and He is perfectly capable to take up the cause of man here upon earth and plead it in the presence of God.

Now you will never understand the gospel until you see Christ in relation to man before God. Directly you do see it your heart is relieved and unbounded confidence fills it. You have a Man as Head who is qualified to speak to God in regard to you. That was what marked Christ. He can speak to man, but He also can speak to God. Everybody else is dumb. It is not that people do not endeavour to speak, but if you do, God shuts your mouth, and if you really know yourself in the presence of God, you put your hand upon your mouth. You have nothing to say; you are perfectly unqualified to speak to God. You have no footing before Him; and even if you had you could not speak. Christ can speak. The Lord Jesus Christ has taken up the cause of humanity, and in the presence of God He speaks on behalf of humanity. He speaks to God. He opens His mouth for the dumb. Have you arrived at the stage where you feel you are utterly without a word? You have nothing to say to God? The Lord takes your place. He opens His mouth for the dumb. He takes up man's cause in the presence of God and

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pleads it; so that man is perfectly represented before God and man's cause is taken up by One perfectly qualified to deal with it. I repeat that you will never understand the gospel, neither will you understand your place before God, if you do not see that Christ as Man has taken up man's cause and glorified God in every respect in regard to it. So in that sense God is indebted to man for glory; that is, to Christ.

Then it says, "in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction". I need not say that that refers to man. It may be that you are not aware of the fact, but it is true that you are appointed to destruction; this is what Lemuel was to do. And, moreover, it says, "Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy". I cannot enlarge upon these things, but I commend them to you that you might understand how these things are seen perfectly in Christ. He takes up the cause of those who are appointed to destruction. Has He not taken up our cause? The Lord Jesus Christ took man's place as appointed to destruction. He took up your cause and mine before God. He went to Calvary. He went to the cross, and there He exhausted the judgment. The judgment that was duly ours He took upon Himself vicariously as man. The judgment that lay upon us who were appointed to destruction, the Lord Jesus Christ has borne. And now our place, the place of the believer, is assured by His place in the presence of God. I do wish I might be able to convey to every heart here the position that Christ occupies at the present moment before God in relation to humanity. Directly it enters into your heart you have light, you have confidence. Peter tells us that God "has raised him from the dead and given him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God". Directly you see that the One who took your place on the cross has been taken up by God, and placed in heaven in

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glory, your heart is filled with confidence in God. Your faith is in God. You say, 'If He has taken that One and put Him in highest glory, what doubt can I have henceforth, what difficulty can I have henceforth? The place He has given Christ is my place, the favour towards Christ is the favour of God toward me'. It is so magnificent, so transcendent, that our hearts are slow to take it in; but the place that Christ has in heaven now is the measure of the believer's place in the presence of God. You all remember what David said as to Mephibosheth, "that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake". Jonathan was related to Mephibosheth. Now I repeat that you will never rightly understand the gospel until you see there is a link between Christ and man. There was a link between Jonathan and Mephibosheth, a link of relationship; so the position of Mephibosheth in the house of David depended upon David's thoughts of Jonathan. And what is your position before God? What does it depend upon? It depends upon God's thought of Christ. There is a link between Christ and you. There is no link between Christ and us on the ground of the flesh, but there is a link between Christ and us in this respect, that Christ is a Man. He is not an angel, He is a Man. The Lord Jesus Christ is a Man, and you have a claim upon Christ because you are a man. You are entitled to Him. He is available for you; not for angels, but for man. He is a Man, and hence there is a link between Him and you, for He is Head of every man. Directly it enters into your soul it gives you confidence because you think of that Man who heads humanity in the presence of God and every one has title to Him. So your footing in the presence of God is based upon Christ as Man in His presence, as having died and risen.

So David said, "that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake". The point was, there was a

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link between Jonathan and Mephibosheth, and so God would impress upon men everywhere that He takes account of them in relation to Christ. You may depend upon it, the condition of the world today would be very different were it not that God has raised up a Head for man. God is patient and forbearing; He is waiting upon man because of Christ. Now He is available for you. Be you who you may, be your history what it may, you are related to Christ in that sense. You belong to humanity and Christ partook of the same; He is a Man. But this involves that, as having partaken of flesh and blood He has given Himself for all. He gave Himself a ransom for all, not for believers alone, but for all. He gave Himself for all; so every one has a claim on Christ.

The vicarious sacrifice of Christ is great enough to include humanity. He has borne all that lay upon man; death, the curse, by dying; and now, as risen, He is available to all. But remember, it is only through faith that you come into the good of what is presented in Him. Apart from His death the headship of Christ could not be practical; for blessing could not be administered to man on the ground of the flesh. Blessing for man is in Christ as having died and risen, hence it is to those who have faith. He pleads the cause of the poor, and judges righteously. Can you not commit yourself unreservedly to that Man who judges righteously? How perfectly all these things shine in Christ the King! A most wonderful thing about Christ is, that, though He has all power in heaven and upon earth, He has the heart of a man; He has a perfectly sympathetic heart; He has a heart which knows what it is to be ill-treated, to be misjudged, to be misrepresented; therefore, He is qualified to enter into all that you may be going through. He is qualified to enter into all the exercises and sorrows

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to which we are subject. I take it that Christ in that sense is the expression of wisdom. You could not think of divine wisdom finding an expression for itself except in Christ. How could you find it expressed otherwise? In all the intricacies of humanity, sin having been introduced into it, how could you find wisdom expressed except in a divine Person coming into manhood and taking up the cause of humanity, removing to God's glory, all that lay upon man, and entering into all the sorrows a man's heart passes through? All that was seen in Christ upon earth, and it is embodied in Him in heaven.

We may now turn to the other feature of the chapter -- the virtuous woman. The virtuous woman is one of the most interesting subjects in Scripture. There is only one in the whole universe, according to this passage. Others have done virtuously, but she excels them all. Her price is far above rubies. Now what I see in this virtuous woman is this: that she is a perfect transcript of the King. He expressed divine wisdom perfectly upon earth, and she is a reflex of Him; so you have divine wisdom perpetuated on earth in the virtuous woman. I do not intend to preach the virtuous woman, for she cannot be your Saviour, she cannot take up the cause of humanity, she cannot remove the liabilities which lie upon man; with Christ alone these things can be connected. But she can be the reflex of Christ. It says, "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies". The Lord when here was in search of something precious. He found the pearl of great price, alluding undoubtedly to the exceeding value of the assembly in His estimation. Here is a virtuous woman, her price is above rubies. What I understand by virtue in a woman is that she is able to keep herself in the absence of her husband. Virtue really means you have power to say "Yes" to what is

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good and "No" to what is evil. And this woman in the absence of her husband is wholly taken up with Him. She is so absorbed in Him that she is a perfect reflex of Him, and none but the assembly can answer to this picture. Others may have done virtuously, but she excels them all. Our day excels all other days. We have not only the King, we have also the virtuous woman today. When the Lord Jesus Christ was here they had the King, but they did not have the virtuous woman. Virtue is the result of the presence of the Holy Spirit here upon earth. Jude, writing to the Christians, said, "Praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God". That is what I understand to be virtue. When the Holy Spirit came down to earth He took possession of believers in the character of cloven tongues as of fire. The fire, as I understand it, involved the complete refusal of all fleshly propensities. The hearts of the believers were taken up by the Spirit and controlled by the Spirit for Christ, and hence you get the virtuous woman. The virtuous woman could only be found here in the presence of the Holy Spirit; but, thank God, she is here today.

It says, moreover, "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil". I call your attention to her only in that way, briefly, to show how there is a complete reflex of the King in the virtuous woman. There is the exclusion of all evil propensities. She holds herself absolutely for Christ, and the heart of her Husband doth safely trust in her. Christ trusts in the assembly. If there is one thing that is morally beautiful in the whole universe it is the virtuous woman. Christ being removed, the virtuous woman takes His place, and she is here and the heart of her Husband doth safely trust in her. You get great activity: "She will do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life". While the Holy Spirit remains

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here upon earth the virtuous woman will do her Husband good, and not evil, all the days of her life. There is continued activity by the Holy Spirit here in this world in the absence of Christ.

In verse 23 it says, "Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land". Now all that refers to what is going on down here. What goes on up there is what you see in Lemuel, and I do wish that every believer might understand that Christ has taken up the cause of those appointed to destruction and that He judges righteously, He pleads for the poor and the needy. But there is more than that for you, there is the continued great activity of the virtuous woman. Will you suffer need? You belong to God's household. As I said, I have no intention of replacing Christ in your heart by the assembly, but I do wish to impress this upon you, that the virtuous woman is interested in you: what I mean is, the activities of the Holy Spirit here upon the earth in the absence of Christ are in your favour. See what she does. "She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands", verse 13. You have no idea how much is being done for you. It is a poor gospel that does not bring forward the present activity of the Holy Spirit here upon earth in favour of man. There is activity here. It says, "She is like the merchants' ships, she bringeth her food from afar". Is that not something of interest for you? You know there is famine everywhere. Here is activity: "She is like the merchants' ships, she bringeth her food from afar". It does not say from what place, but the suggestion is that it is from heaven. The virtuous woman brings it. "She is like the merchants' ships, she bringeth her food from afar"; but brings it, and it is there for you. Then it goes on to say, "She riseth also while it is yet night". Look at the interest! And what does she do? "Giveth meat to her household, and a

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portion to her maidens". Is it not a matter of interest to believers that all this activity is going on, and that it is in their favour? The household really is God's; but she is, as it were, responsible, and she is caring for it. It is really the activity of service. You will remember how the Lord spoke of the servant who ministered the portion of meat to his household in due season. And the wife is the responsible person in the absence of the husband, and as a virtuous woman she is caring for the household. You may depend upon it, if you are a believer in Christ you will get something of the food. It has been brought from afar. She not only brings it to you, she rises up early while it is night and gives it to you. That is the present activity that is going on in the behalf of believers. One might speak of other things, but you can look them up at your leisure. It says in verse 23, "Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land". Her husband is known through the virtuous woman. The excellent qualities of Christ shine through the assembly and in this way He is known.

It says in verse 25, "Strength and honour are her clothing"; nothing poor about these things. These are found in the assembly by the power of the Spirit. And now note: "She shall rejoice in time to come". She has no fear. She is virtuous now in the absence of Christ, she has no fear in the day of His glory. Are you in the spirit of the virtuous woman? It really should mark every Christian. It says, "She shall rejoice in time to come". That is real Christian state. Who rejoices in time to come? It is the virtuous person now. You have nothing to fear if you are virtuous now. It will be all glory then. But I go on. "She openeth her mouth with wisdom"; she is like Christ: that is just what He did. "And in her tongue is the law of kindness". It is wonderful that there is such a thing as "the law of

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kindness", Kindness is regulated by a law, and what marks the assembly is that she has the law in her tongue.

"She looketh well to the ways of her household". She keeps order. It is a mercy that there is such a thing as that amongst us. There is nothing slipshod about her house. She looks well to it. There is no disorder there. Many of us here have had very serious exercise about these things. There must be divine order maintained, and if you go in among God's people remember that, while everything is provided for you, she looks well to the ways of her household. She maintains order.

Then it says, "Her children arise up and call her blessed"; that is to say, you appreciate the gracious activity of the Holy Spirit among God's people as the evidence of what Christ is. "Her children arise up and call her blessed". And now what about her husband? "Her husband also, and he praiseth her". He has a word to say about her. You may be sure that the Lord in the future will not forget to pay attention to all your virtue -- "He praiseth her". Then it says, "Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all". Finally it says, "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates". These things will all be manifested in the future. I take the gates to be the public place. In the future, as indeed at present, her own works praise her in the gates.

May God grant we may not only see what is in Christ, but what marks the assembly in His absence. And, moreover, as believers we may see to it that these things mark us for His name's sake.

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Pages 288 to 342 "The Spirit of the. New Covenant", 1911 (Volume 14).

THE SPIRIT OF THE NEW COVENANT

Exodus 21:1 - 6; 2 Corinthians 3:5, 6, 17, 18.

I Feel, Dear brethren, that for the moment I cannot serve you better than to seek to point out the manner and spirit which it was the Lord's thought should mark us during His absence and pending His return. The Lord exhibited that spirit while here, and now, He being absent, His Spirit is to continue in Christians. That was the divine intent, and I desire to show you how it is brought to pass in us, how the spirit of Christ is produced in us.

Many of you will remember how in the Canticles the bride in chapter 2 refers to the bridegroom under the figure of an apple tree. She uses the figure of an apple tree to describe her Beloved, as compared with the other sons. "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my Beloved among the sons". In her estimate, her Beloved was marked off from all others by certain distinctive features, and when we come to the Antitype these features are delineated, I think, in the gospels, especially in the synoptic gospels. The distinctive marks of Christ, as compared with all others, are set forth in these gospels; so that, blended together, as they are by the Spirit, you can have the spirit of Christ as is seen in the holy anointing of old, Exodus 30. The bride takes account of the Bridegroom in that way, and compares Him with "the sons". Then in chapter 8 it says, "I raised thee up (or awoke thee) under the apple tree". She is brought to life and maturity under the influence of the Person whom she distinguished and marked off in chapter 2. In chapter 8, the speaker continues, "there thy

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mother brought thee forth;" the mother is the covenant, or system, by which she is brought forth; compare Galatians 4:26 - 28. Think of the wonderful spirit that marked Christ, and led Him into death; it was in death that He brought to light the terms of the new covenant, in the light of this we are brought up. It is important to bear in mind that if children are brought up under a certain influence, that influence gives character to them. Hence the importance of saints coming under the power and influence of the spirit of Christ.

At the outset of Israel's history as a nation, God's thought was to bring them up under His own influence. They were taken account of under terms of parental affection. "When Israel was a child", God says, "then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt". There were the affections of a father in God. In the mind of God, Israel was to have the place of son to Him, and was to be called out of the sphere which in every sense tended to degradation. That is what the world is; the influence of the world produces degradation. Every right-minded Christian father wishes to have his children saved from the influences of the world; they are influences of moral degradation. God desired to bring His son out of Egypt. He says, "When Israel was a child then I loved him". There were in the early beating of Israel's breast, affections towards God. It is always so in youth. "I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals". As a rule, God works most with young people; very few old people are converted, but I refer to spiritual youth, and there it was in that stage in Israel, and God says, "I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth". They might have forgotten it, but God remembered their love. There were the childhood conditions, and God would nurture His people in these conditions.

I refer to that to make room for another statement.

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The covenant made with Israel was intended to be the nurturing influence for Israel. But the first covenant was not the "apple tree". It was not a Person; the new covenant is. God says to Christ in the prophet Isaiah, "I will give thee for a covenant of the people". The first covenant was simply an abstract code, representing divine authority, hence it was not a formative principle, except in type. The mediator of it was not its spirit. Moses was called up to the mount to receive from God the terms of the covenant: that which was in type the formative influence under which God intended the people to be nurtured. Supposing Moses had been Christ, what would have been seen? A Man coming down with the law in His heart, instead of in His hands! A Man coming down from God with His affections filled with God, and their outgoings to men! Instead of simply representing divine authority, as Moses did, let us suppose Christ were present with the law in His heart, when Israel had turned aside as they did. What would He do? -- yea, what did He do when He came into similar conditions? Instead of bringing judgment on the nation, He died for the nation. Moses said: "Peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin", but before that "peradventure" he had set every man's sword against his brother, Exodus 32. All this, of course, was right in another connection. It was righteous zeal for God. But look at Christ! Instead of setting every man's sword against his brother, the sword was against Himself. He was made a curse. "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree", Galatians 3. In that way you will see that the first covenant utterly failed as a formative principle, and as a life-giving power; it did not bring the people into the land; whereas in Canticles, in chapter 8, the bride is seen coming up out of the wilderness, leaning on her Beloved. She is not going into the wilderness, but coming up out of it.

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Of old, the children of Israel followed the Lord into the wilderness, and at Sinai He brought in typically the covenant by which they were to be formed and to enter the land, but it lacked the power. "If there had been a law given", the apostle says, "which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law;" Galatians 3:21. Then there would have been no requirement for the Lord's death; but the law could not give life. In Canticles, which contemplates the new covenant, the bride is seen coming up out of the wilderness, leaning on her Beloved. Look at that picture! See how the Lord takes up Israel. See how He nurtures them under the influence of the covenant He makes for them. The bride is formed under His influence, and then she is seen leaning on His arm. That is the support of Christ. He is greater than Moses, in regard of the house, and greater than Moses as leaders of the people, for Moses did not lead them into the land, and Christ does. The bride leans on the arm of her Beloved, and He leads her into the land of purpose. That is what the Lord Jesus does. I connect it in my mind with the Lord's supper.

It was at Horeb that Moses received His commission. "He came", we are told, "to the mountain of God, even to Horeb". He was to lead the people there, to the full height of his commission, to serve Jehovah. They were to be taken out of Egypt to serve Jehovah at that mountain. The first covenant was given in order that the service might begin: that was the end God had in view. "Let my son go that he may serve me". He was to be nurtured under the influence of divine love, and there the service was to begin. The first covenant could not effect it, but the new covenant does effect it. If God does anything twice, the second doing is final, and the giving of the new covenant effects the divine thought. The covenant is at Horeb, and at Horeb

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the service of God begins, and the service of God is carried on by those who are under the influence of the covenant. The Lord's supper speaks to our hearts of the terms on which God is pleased to be with us, and the principles under which our souls are nurtured. We are to be formed in our affections, and the covenant presents to our hearts the terms on which God is pleased to be with us. These terms become light in our souls, and so form us according to God. The terms are presented objectively in Christ; that is what the Supper is; it is the presentation objectively of what Christ is, as presented in His death.

In 2 Corinthians we have the spirit of the covenant; the first epistle is more objective, and presents what answers to the terms of the covenant. The second epistle shows how the thing has become effectual in at least one -- Paul! "The letter killeth but the Spirit giveth life". In Song of Songs 8 we find the bride brought up under the apple tree, and as brought up she is leaning on the arm of Christ and coming up from the wilderness. The wilderness is not the divine end, it falls in line with the ways of God, and there you are formed and become attached to Christ, and you know Christ as your Husband. Then, directly you know Him in this way, you lean on His arm. And where would He lead you? He will lead you up out of the wilderness. He will lead you to the sphere of purpose. You are to be "to another, even to him that is raised from the dead".

Now, I want to show you how you get a picture of that in the types. Exodus 20 sets before us the terms of the first covenant; chapter 19 shows what God had done for His people. "Ye have seen ... how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself". Following on that, He says, "ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all

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people, ... a kingdom of priests and an holy nation". All depended on their receiving the terms of the covenant that God made with them. Chapter 20 gives the terms of the covenant, and God encourages them by saying at the close, "in all places where I record my name, I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee". What an incentive for the response of the people!

The divine case was thus stated, but what about the people? What a blank! There was no answer to it! Not an atom of movement in answer, and hence God sets out in chapter 21 a picture of Christ. It was as if He said: 'Now I know what the people will do'. God is never disappointed with your heart or with mine -- never! I have said sometimes that it is well to gauge a person and to know how much you may expect from him, and then you will not be disappointed. God knew all about man. He did not need to test him by the first covenant. He gives a picture of Christ, as much as to say; There, is the only Man who will keep it. God places alongside the covenant, which He knew Israel would never respond to, a beautiful picture of the Lord Jesus in the Hebrew servant. He who would keep it in every particular, and not only so, but He would magnify the law and make it honourable. This latter is a very remarkable statement, a statement that brings the perfection of Christ into great prominence. He would enhance the law and make it honourable in the world. That is exactly what the Hebrew servant pictures to us. The Lord went beyond the actual requirements of the law. He says: "I restored that which I took not away". He goes beyond the requirements; so does the Hebrew servant. He serves for six years and in the seventh he is entitled to go free. That was the Lord's due; He was entitled to go out free. He fulfilled His due. But the excess is the point of Christianity. It goes beyond

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the legal claim. The Hebrew servant says plainly, "I will not go out free".

If we can think of the manner in which the Lord Jesus served, if we think of His love to the Father, and His love to the saints, we must admit that He spake plainly. He fulfilled every divine requirement in every detail, and on that ground He was entitled to go out free; but instead of that, He brought in the excess. "I love my master, my wife and my children, I will not go out free". Beloved friends, the Lord Jesus did not go out free, and in not going out free He expresses the spirit that is to mark us. There is excess, a going beyond requirement. I do appeal to you as to whether you read the gospels. You will never get a right appreciation of Christ until you read the gospels and apprehend the divinely inspired narrative, and how it presents to us perfection in a Man. He answered to every possible divine requirement, and was entitled to go out free; but instead of this, He deliberately resolves to remain in the place of servitude. He says plainly, "I love my master". God accepts that. God accepts the resolve of Christ, and allows Him to have His ears bored, so to speak, and to remain a Servant for ever. He has left the world in that way, and remains a Servant. He returns to His place with the Father, but returns to it, not alone, but with His associates, with His wife and children, so to speak.

As to the wife and children of the Hebrew servant, their character would become greatly altered, one would think by the wonderful object lesson set by the head of the house. So with the disciples. No doubt they enjoyed the Lord's love, no doubt they enjoyed Christ's affection before the institution of the Supper, but here you have a new thing. Picture the wife and children of the Hebrew servant observing the head of the house go to the doorpost. What an effect that would have on their hearts! Of what

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would it speak to them? Of devoted love to his master and to them. He would not be apart from them. He loved them, and hence he had said, "I will not go out free", and he had his ear bored, which, as we all know, had reference to the Lord's death. There we find the great principle of the covenant. And God's thought is to produce in this world an order of man like His Son; that is the great moral force of the object lesson in John 13. What is recorded there took place at the Supper. The formal institution of the Supper is not there recorded, but we get the spirit that underlies the Supper in that chapter. John gives the spirit that is to mark those who have the place of "wife and children". We get the same thing in 2 Corinthians. Paul is the only specific servant who is formally set before us as an example to follow. "Be ye followers of me".

I take it that 2 Corinthians is a justification of Paul, for his character had been questioned at Corinth, but his justification lies in the fact that he was formed after Christ. All his ways were after Christ. You want no other justification. If any question is raised as to your character, you are called to be judged by the perfect law of liberty. The rule of judgment is the perfect law of liberty; nothing is lacking there, we need no further legislation. There is no legislation in the world to come; the legislation has taken place at the cross. There is set forth in the death of Christ the legislation or principle that is to govern the house of God, and indeed the whole moral universe. "So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty;" James 2:12. John 13 is really that; it presents to us what James alludes to.

In his letter to the Galatians the apostle says, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault"; not overtaken by a fault, but in it, that is, brethren find it out. Of old, Moses had to go to the Lord

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about such a thing; but the Lord has already formulated the principles to govern us. Suppose one is overtaken in a fault; the apostle says, "ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted". Those that "are spiritual" are those that are formed by the spirit that was seen in Christ, and indeed in Paul. Paul says: "not of the letter but of the spirit;" he laid hold of the spirit of the covenant. "Restore such an one", he says. What a solution of things! All is to be learnt in Him who is typified by the Hebrew servant! The Hebrew servant presents to us the spirit of the covenant, and the thought is that that spirit is to take its place in the saints. The second epistle to the Corinthians shows how it had place in Paul, and his vindication is that he was formed by it. The chapter I read is part of his vindication. "God hath made us competent as ministers of the new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit;" he says.

Following that is a long parenthesis, then he says, "Now the Lord is that Spirit;" the Lord is that in toto, and that is to give character to each one of us. Saints are not brought into bondage by any circumstance. The most appalling things may happen, but the saints are supported in spirit. Look at Paul! how buoyant he was as sustained by the Spirit of Christ. The greater the pressure the more buoyant, we may say, he became. Then he shows how bountiful is the supply; "we all, looking on the glory of the Lord, with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord, the Spirit". The sun affords a bountiful supply of light. One is often struck by the bountifulness of things in the creation. Take the sun as illustration. What a bountiful supply of light there is in it. The "glory of the Lord" is for us the Sun of glory in the heavens; we are to look on that, and

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as we do we are affected by the transforming power of it, and we are changed into the same image. There is the reproduction of Christ in every one of us, and all of one kind. All are formed by the same principle and all are constituted alike, and in that way all are unitedly a reflection of Christ, so that the spirit that shone in Him comes out down here.

May God grant that, however brokenly these things may have been presented, what is of the Spirit may lay hold of us. Christ is the presentation of God to us, and that is to affect our hearts, that we are changed, and all formed after Him.

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THE ORDER OF MAN THAT CONTINUES BEFORE GOD

Isaiah 38:9 - 22.

My thought is to indicate the order of man that is to continue before God. It is evident from the Scriptures, that from the very outset God's operations are designed so that the order of being that would be before Him should be man; and in the subsequent development of His ways on earth, the kind of man that should remain before Him is indicated. In one word, that order is after Christ. It is in Him personally we see it set forth; and it is before me at this time to seek to show how God has indicated in the course of His ways the necessity for such an order of man, and how He has also operated so that we may have part in that order.

I have selected this scripture because it affords us the expression of the exercises of the kind of man that I have alluded to. The passage is not simply the utterance of the man; it is his writing. Writing is more distinct and permanent than utterance, and conveys more accurately the thoughts of a person than an oral communication. Now, this passage is introduced to us as the writing of Hezekiah, king of Judah; written, as we are told, when he had been sick and was recovered of his sickness. It is therefore the pronouncement of a man in regard to his experience under God's discipline, but who is now happily through all the bitterness and the exercises consequent upon the circumstances he depicts. On this account I venture to take up the passage as affording help as to the kind of man that is to continue in the presence of God. It is a subject worthy of our deepest inquiry; and I trust, that by the Lord's help we may be enabled to look at it a little, for we, no doubt, all desire to have part in that order of man.

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Now, you will find that at the outset of God's special dealings on the earth after the flood, that in the souls of those who had faith He created need; He created the sense of the need of a man to live before God. He withheld children from those who were the early depositaries of the light of the testimony, as we see in Abraham and in Isaac; hence you find that Abraham had longings; he desired to have an heir. He says to Jehovah "Behold, to me thou hast given no seed; and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir", Genesis 15. That was a bitter contemplation for the patriarch; and then, subsequently, at the instigation of Sarah, he undertook to bring in an heir after the flesh. I refer to this to show you how God, as it were, caused to be produced in the heart of Abraham the sense of the need of a man to continue. Abraham knew that he was not to continue: he accepted that death lay upon man; it is a cardinal principle of faith to accept the divine sentence. In fact, faith is always accumulative of light that preceded it. So that the light that had been revealed was embraced by Abraham. He bowed to the fact that death was upon him; he was not to continue; he was to pass away in death. Hence the great desire for one to continue. So he brought in Ishmael. Ishmael is a remarkable product. Although he had a place with God on account of Abraham, he was not to continue: there was no covenant made with Ishmael. Abraham brought him in.

I have no doubt that great hopes arose in the breast of the patriarch as Ishmael was born; there was an heir. But God comes in after all that is over, and He communicates to Abraham a new thought. He says, "I am the Almighty God;" and in the communication of that light He laid in the soul of Abraham a foundation for an after super-structure. Abraham was to learn that the man that should inherit and continue before God should be brought in

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by the quickening power of God. That was the light that God intended should shine in the heart of the patriarch, and in connection with that light He gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision; implying that flesh, whether in Ishmael or others, was utterly profitless. The man born after the flesh profits nothing, that is the meaning of circumcision. And Abraham said in the presence of that, "Oh, that Ishmael might live before thee;" he was not equal to the light communicated to him; he would have the product of nature to live before God. I desire that our hearts might be searched in the light of that. We cling tenaciously to the man after the flesh, the religiously cultivated man, the product of a legal system. Well, Abraham had to learn, and doubtless it was a lesson for which he could thank God afterwards, that the man that was to live before God was Isaac, not Ishmael.

I cannot enlarge upon Isaac; all I would point out is, that Isaac was the fruit of the quickening power of God. The light of the power of God in connection with His righteousness is the great foundation that has to be laid in our souls so as to prepare us for the divine super-structure. You will remember what the Lord said to the Sadducees when they sought to entangle Him as to the resurrection. "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God". We do well to inquire as to whether our thoughts are governed by the Scriptures, on the one hand, and as to whether we are resting in the power of God on the other. Well, it was Isaac who was to live before God. Isaac, in a way, is one of the most striking types of Christ in the Scriptures. What marked his introduction into the world, and then subsequently his recovery in figure from the dead, was the power of God. He is in type the great testimony to the power of God.

Now, another thought which we have to receive

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into our souls if we are to understand the order of man that is to live before God, is that he is not as Adam, a product simply of God's creatorial power. God formed the man out of dust and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. That does not convey to us the idea of the man that is to remain before God: the man that is to continue before God is a man out of death; and in order to come out of it, he has to go into it. Now, that is what I want specially to dwell upon. You will find in the Scriptures that those who had faith laid hold upon divine principles. Take, for instance, the prophet Hosea; you will find in his prophecy the acceptance of the conditions in which man (Israel) was found as the result of sin, and a record of the exercises of those who had faith. Now, what were these exercises? "Come and let us return unto the Lord, for he hath torn and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up; after two days will he revive us; in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight;" Hosea 6:1, 2. "Come, let us return to the Lord;" that is one exercise. There had been departure from God, and God's hand in discipline was upon them. "He has torn us and he will heal us, and then after two days will he revive us".

Now, I want you to ponder the two days. They say, "after two days he will revive us, and on the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight". That is the kind of exercise that the souls of those who are to live before God go through; they accept the conditions that are here, and they bow to them; they accept that death as a divine sentence is passed upon men. It is a penalty; it is often said that death is a debt of nature, but it is a divine penalty resting upon men. Besides, there is not one pulsation naturally, not one movement Godward, in man; but when God begins His work in

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man the effect is this, that pressure is there; darkness is there, distance is there, and all that is felt in the soul. And hence, as the light grew clearer in the Old Testament (and in the prophets it became clearer), there was corresponding exercise.

We must bear in mind that the prophets are an addition to the Law. There was the Law; it was a testimony from God, asserting His authority over the souls of men; but the prophets bring in His wondrous patience in waiting for men; and then, moreover, they announce the principle, as wrought out in the soul, of life from among the dead. You will find in Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, and others of the prophets, that they bring in a measure of light for the encouragement of the remnant bringing out that God would intervene and accomplish His purpose on the principle of life from among the dead. Hence, Hosea is enabled to bring forward the expression of the exercises of those who had faith. He says, "Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight", Hosea 6:1,2.

I was speaking of the wonderful revival there was in the ministry of the Lord Jesus; He came in as light, and in life and power into the midst of death. What a joy there was in this for those who had faith. He did not remove their exercises; He intensified them; the presence of the Lord Jesus in the midst of the remnant only intensified their exercises; it was said to His mother, "A sword shall pierce through thine own soul also". The pressure would remain till He had passed through death; but there was light and hope in Simeon's words. The pressure of death lay upon them, not only because of Adam's transgression, but as the penalty of a broken law. The Lord came in as light into the midst of these

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conditions. "In him was life, and the life was the light of men". They could not partake of it as yet, but it was light, and so had reviving power. "After two days will he revive us, in the third day he will raise us up". There was the revival of the spirits of those who had faith by the presence of Christ in their midst; and then on the third day they were raised up; they were raised up in principle in His resurrection. He died for them, and was raised for them; compare John 12:1, 2. All their hopes and aspirations were centred in that blessed Man, and He went down into death and was raised again on the third day. "He shall raise us up", they say, "and we shall live in his sight". That is what they have before them. You will remember what the Lord said to His hearers: "Go ye and tell that fox (Herod), Behold, I cast out demons and do cures today and to-morrow;" those were the two days of His testimony. He was here in the power of God's Spirit overthrowing the powers of wickedness, and life was inherent in Him. He inspired hope in the hearts of those who had faith, and on the third day their hopes were realised in a risen Christ.

We do well to ponder the exercises that they went through. I have ventured to select Hezekiah as giving expression to these exercises in a remarkable way. He had been down into death in principle; all his hopes were shattered; but he turned to God. It is a great thing to learn to turn to God in everything. I know of no outlet from pressure but in turning to God: you may try other remedies, but you will find that there is really no outlet from pressure in this world but to turn to God; and He will never fail you. Take Jonah, for instance; ho went down to the bottom of the mountains; he says, "All thy billows and thy waves passed over me;" but he cried from the whale's belly; he cried from the lowest point, and his voice was heard, and

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he was brought up. I refer to Hezekiah and Jonah to show the principle of the exercises of those in whom God works in regard to the pressure of death. Do you turn to God? Well, Hezekiah turned to God here, and God delivered him.

Now, I want to allude to the principle of it. He prayed to God on the ground of what he was, on the ground of what he had been for God; he said, "Remember, O Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight". Now, God did not spurn this; there is not the least indication that there was any resentment on the part of God; the ground that Hezekiah took was just; it was, in other words, Christ, in the principle of it. Who could turn to God on the ground of his personal merits but the Lord Jesus? No one, beloved friends. What I wish to call attention to is this, that the principle on which life is brought in for man is founded on human merit in Christ, only made good to man, of course, through Christ's death. The Lord Jesus Christ was here as man in the midst of death, and He established a claim with God, on the ground of personal merit, on the ground of the delight that He afforded to God. He established a claim upon God. As Son of man He has come in and inherited all the obligations that rested upon man; and as Son of man He has made all good. In this way He has set forth the order of man that answers to the mind of God. But in order that others should have part in this He must die, so as to remove sacrificially the order of man that had sinned. Thus He has practically established for us a title to life. But we do not get into the good of it apart from the exercises that we have recorded here.

I wish to touch briefly on Hezekiah's exercises. I think you will find that they were very practical,

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and may find an expression in each one of us. I may sum them up briefly under two heads; the first having reference to the pressure and the divine penalty, the just unerring government of God in what might be deemed adverse circumstances; then on the other hand, there are the exercises and affections cultivated in the unclouded light of what God is as revealed to us in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hezekiah summed all up in the light of the great result he had reached. He said, "by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit". What a conclusion to arrive at! Look back on your history from the time you were brought into the world; for, remember, God's governmental dealings began then. Look back, as now delivered and in the full light of the presence of God revealed, and see what is the sum total of it all; the adverse things, the bitter things, the humiliating things that you have been in? Hezekiah says, "By these things men live". He spoke for others as well as for himself; once he had light in his soul he knew that others lived; he was only one among many; he says, by these things men live; in other words, all these things are simply messengers of God for the help of souls. So with each of us, God's great thought is not only that we should be in the light of life, but that our souls should enter into it; and He sends all these special messengers to us to aid us to this end.

But Hezekiah goes on further and says, "thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption;" and then, "The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day". He is getting on now to what I might call the up-line. There are, as it were, in our experiences horizontal lines in which we move here under the government of God, where we are called to taste the bitterness of death in our spirits; all these things afford us help, so that we may live. Then he goes on to the up-line, as I may

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call it, which ends in the house of God. Now, you may wonder why I use that expression the up-line. Well, I recall for the moment the fact that one had to ascend to the house of God; it is reached on the line of ascension. You remember the queen of Sheba was affected when she saw the ascent by which Solomon went up into the house of Jehovah. It made a great impression on her, so that there was no more spirit in her. It does not speak of the ascent to his throne, but the ascent to the house of Jehovah. So Hezekiah here touches the love of God; "thou hast in love to my soul", he says, "thou hast ... delivered it". Then he says in effect, 'It is just that I might praise Thee'.

Now, beloved friends, that is the end I had in view. I wished to show you that the order of man that is to continue in the presence of God is a man formed after Christ; and that thus he has to go through the exercises occasioned by conditions in this world under the government of God; and on the other hand he is formed by the love of God. If I were to be asked for a definition of a Christian, I would say he is a man formed in the light of the love of God; he knows God revealed in love and answers to God; hence Hezekiah here says, "The living, the living, shall praise thee, as I do this day". Here was a man healed, delivered and free, and what for? To praise God in His house. If you are to be made to live, you are to live for God; every movement of your heart henceforth is to be Godward. Christianity involves a company of persons on earth relieved from the pressure of death, quickened in their affections and answering in every way to God; they are free for God; so there is the outgoing of quickened affections Godward. Hezekiah says further, "The Lord was ready to save me; therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord".

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I think it is very beautiful to see how Hezekiah here brings in the plural -- he says, "therefore we will sing my songs". He had composed songs, and he brings in others to join in singing them. "We will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord". Well, there is the great end that God had in His mind in regard to life. We dwell upon the terms eternal life, and life, scriptural expressions which have to be understood, but we need to understand the order of man to which they apply. The first man by his discrepancy only enhances the greatness of the second. The second Man is out of heaven. He comes into our circumstances, goes through all the exercises that the pressure of death occasions, and brings in life, establishing a title through His death for others to have part in it. Then He sings, for indeed Hezekiah in this may be taken as a type of Christ. He sings the song he composes, but he associates others with him in it. "We will sing my songs in the house of Jehovah all the days of our life;" and we may say that is for ever. It would be a great thing if the saints were brought into the understanding of life, and as understanding it to render to God that which He seeks, and that is praise. "The living, the living, he shall praise thee".

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THE IMMUTABILITY OF THE NEW SYSTEM

Genesis 8:20 - 22; Genesis 9:1.

The desire I have is to show the immutable system of things with which we are connected. It is a very important thing to have our feet on firm ground, and I wish to show, by the Lord's help, the firmness of the foundation upon which the structure of the new system rests. On the one hand, it is established by the Son: it is not my thought to dwell on that side; but I bring that forward so as to maintain a right balance of things. The system is established by the Son, and I think it may be accepted as a principle that what the Son establishes is established for ever; it is permanent.

The Son coming in, beloved friends, has taken in hand to carry out everything in accordance with His infinite knowledge of the will of the Father. He came, not only to make God known, though that is true, of course. God had not been known, for we are told that no man had seen God at any time. That is a very sweeping statement in view of what came out in the Old Testament; no man had seen God at any time, the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him. There is a complete declaration of God in the Son. There is no limitation to that; that declaration is absolute and complete; and it is in the light of that declaration that we stand as Christians. It is a wonderful thing to be in the light as God is in the light; to be in the full, absolute, complete declaration of God in the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father. We stand in that light. That is one side. On the other side, every divine thought known by One who was in the intimacy of sonship, is unfolded; there is nothing to be added. God had spoken in divers ways by the prophets, and "hath

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in these last days spoken unto us by the Son;" that is to say, every divine thought has been expressed in the Son; there was in Him a complete unfolding of the divine thoughts.

Now, it is in the light of all that, that we stand; and in connection with that the Lord has brought in a system of things into which every divine thought fits. I do not enlarge upon that; but I think it is of great interest to us to see that there was a place in the divine system for every divine thought. The unfolding of the divine mind in the Son necessitated a system of things in connection with which every thought should be set forth. Well, now, the Son has done all that, and I believe it may be accepted as a principle that what He does is unalterable; it is permanent.

Having said this much, I wish to show the other side, and that is that everything is made to stand on what Christ is as Man. I want to interest your hearts afresh, beloved friends, in that Man. I have endeavoured to guard what I have to say by what I have said, that the saints should be fully established in the light of the Lord's Person. I believe the Spirit of God would ever keep that before us; that we should be, in the full sense, believers in the Son. One often questions one's own soul as to what one really does believe, and it is a very wholesome thing to do so. I think that John's great point in his gospel is to establish the saints in the light of the Son. At the close of his gospel he adds, "many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples which are not written in this book", but "these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that believing, ye might have life through his name". I need not point out to you, that John's gospel was not written to unbelievers; it was clearly written for the saints.

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Now, as believing in the Son you have come to that which is permanent and immutable; but then it is also needful for us to see, and to be very clear about the fact that the Son became Man. We want to confess Jesus Christ come in the flesh: and I think, in the main, that is the object of John's epistle that we should confess Jesus Christ come in flesh. You will remember how Philip preached Jesus to the eunuch; he had brought the Christ to the Samaritans, but he preached Jesus to the eunuch. Nothing can exceed the grace, and I may say, nothing can exceed the food for the soul of man, that is embodied in "Jesus Christ come in flesh". Think of the embodiment of every divine grace in a Man! and think of that as seen in the wilderness, in the midst of what was in every way contrary!

You can never be in circumstances as a believer in connection with the testimony of God that Jesus has not been in. Think of that, beloved friends! But then, think of what that was to God; to look down here where lawlessness and corruption marked everything, and to see One whose every motive had reference to Him. There was the. Infant; there was the Youth; there was the Man; and He is found in all kinds of circumstances. Now, think of what that was to God. The youth of Jesus as well as His manhood was infinite delight to God. Leaving out for the moment the eternal relationship that ever existed between divine Persons, think of what it was for God to see here in a Man, in the midst of men, where evil was continually, nothing but what was suitable to God. What pleasure there was for Him in it all!

Now, to return to the book of Genesis we find in the second chapter the divine thought. We are told in chapter 1, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form and void". There is nothing disclosed as to

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what brought about the chaos; but one thing is clear -- that man was the great central thought in the mind of God in bringing in the order of things depicted in chapter 1. In chapter 2 we learn the details of man's creation, and of the sphere in which he was set. But his acceptance with God would depend on his recognising what was due to God. We know the result, he failed to answer to the mind of God, but the divine thought was clearly indicated; man was to be for God's pleasure in an environment suited to him in every way.

Now, after sin came in Abel was agreeable to God, but he disappeared in death. I allude to that for a moment. Abel was agreeable to God in the measure in which he recognised what was due to God. Do you understand that? There could be no possibility of ministering to God's pleasure apart from recognising what is due to Him. Now, Cain had no idea of what was due to God. Abel recognised what was due to God, but he died on account of this. Now, what I wish to show you is this, that Abel was to be replaced. God would not be without some point of contact with the earth. He would ever have some link here. Seth was Abel's successor. I touch on that to lead up to what I specially wish to point out. Seth is an appointed one; his name signifies that Cain slew Abel, but God appoints another man. I do not say that God formally named Seth, but the point is that he is regarded as one appointed. I have no doubt it is an allusion in type to Christ. He was rejected here, but God has appointed Him a place. It is a great thought for the soul that whilst the Man who recognised what was due to God on earth has been put to death, God has given Him a place; that there is a Man appointed by God who has taken the place of the man who has been put to death here. In this way Seth, who takes the place of Abel in testimony, is a type of Christ.

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That leads on to Genesis 5. The fourth chapter, as most of us here recognise, is the history of the Jew, but chapter 5 is the history of Christianity, as seen in Enoch. It may be but dimly set forth, but there it is. On the one hand, there is the testimony of the sentence of death on man; that remains; that marks the present moment. No matter how old a man lived, he died; but now what I want to show you is, that in the midst of that, there is something for God's pleasure. A man appears of whom it is said that he lived sixty and five years and he begat Methuselah, and after he begat Methuselah he lived three hundred years, and "he walked with God". It does not say of Abel that he walked with God. Abel recognised what was due to God; but here is a man who walks with God. If there ever was a man privileged it was Methuselah; for one-third of his life he lived with a man, his father, who walked with God. What a life was that of Enoch! He walked with God, and he was a prophet. The man who walks with God is in the mind of God. Enoch was a prophet, and he prophesied, saying, "Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him". What a testimony! In the midst of corruption and lawlessness there is one man walking with God; we are told that he walked with God three hundred years, and he prophesied. Although a solitary man in the midst of a world alienated from God, he testified of the Lord and His "holy myriads" coming to execute judgment on the ungodly and against their hard speeches which they spoke against Him. Enoch walked with God, and spoke with God.

Enoch was Christ in type as establishing in principle

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an order of man that would Live; he did not die; morally a man that walks three hundred years with God is entitled to live; "he was not", we are told, "for God took him". There was the testimony of life in the midst of lawlessness, corruption, and death. Enoch was not, for God took him. "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death". "Before his translation he had this testimony that he pleased God". In this way he is a type of Christ. The Lord Jesus, as here among men, was to God's pleasure. He had a title to go up in the light of what He was as Man on earth, and He did ascend, in principle, on the mount of transfiguration, and when He ascended there, He was transfigured before them. That was the testimony. He was entitled to transfiguration on account of what He was as Man.

But Enoch did not terminate the world that was so lawless; that remained for Noah to do; that was Noah's work; hence, the anti-type to Noah is, I think, Christ, as it were, come down from the mount. Noah also walked with God. Was there ever a walk with God equal to that walk from the mount of transfiguration to Golgotha? Did not that walk glorify God perfectly? It did. The Lord walked with God up to the mount of transfiguration. He was to the pleasure of God going up, but He was also to the pleasure of God going down. He went down from the mount of glory to Calvary. The apostle said of himself and others with him that they were "always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus". Think of how that Man died. He descended from the mount of glory; He descended to the cross. So, when we come to Noah, we find that his name signifies, "Rest". Every attribute of God rested in Christ. In Him we see a Man going down into death deliberately for God's will; and Godrests in Him. And further, God was free in the

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light of what He found in that Man to obliterate the world that then was; that world which was so alienated from God in lawlessness.

We are told in Genesis 6 that "it repented God that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart". We see thus how great a place men had in God's heart. I think parents are in the best position to judge as to the parental affection of God, because I think God has placed in the heart of every father, of every parent, a testimony to what is in His own heart. Man had a unique place with God, but he had become so utterly corrupt that it grieved God at His heart that He had made him. But there was one man there, and he found favour with God. It may be said of Noah that he was a type of the Lord Jesus as here in this world, in the midst of men, a testimony for God, and in a sense, God rested in him. In other words, God had found a head. But Christ was to be the One Head, and He has been tested. The gospels show how perfectly He answered to the test. In pondering the gospels you see how suitable it is that He should be Head, as Man, for He glorified God in every way. And then, think of the wisdom of Christ, and the love of Christ; look, too, at the interest He took in men. Well, God has found in Him a Head of another world: all the qualifications for headship came into evidence in Christ; and now God is free to set aside an order that does not please Him.

Christ, in the perfection of His own Person as Man, goes down into death. Noah did that in type. The world has in judgment to be purified, but a man that is agreeable to God goes down into the gulf; all is covered in judgment; the whole scene is engulfed in the judgment of God. But under the cover of the ark there was, in principle, every element of the world that God was going to establish. That was the type, but in Christ there was nothing wanting

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when He went into death: every element of the world that God was to set up was in Him, all covered, but there; it only awaited the moment for all to burst forth into life; and it did burst forth on the first day of the week after the Lord's death. What a scene that was! The bands of death were broken, and the Lord comes forth, even as Noah came out of the ark. He is there, and His own are there. Every single element, everything that belonged to God was treasured up in Christ; nothing was let go. The fact is this, the world that we, as of Him, are connected with is a world out of death; every part of it is out of death.

Now, that is the connection in which baptism stands in the New Testament. Peter referring to the deluge says, "the like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is gone into heaven", 1 Peter 2:21, 22. Do you move about in this world as a baptised person? There can be no part in the new order of things apart from baptism. I do not now refer, I need not say, to the figure, but to the answer of a good conscience towards God, what is due to God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It says further, "who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him". Can you have any shame as to your baptism in the light of that? I have not in mine, in the light of that wondrous system set forth in Jesus Christ raised from the dead, gone into heaven, angels and authorities and powers being made subject to Him.

It is a wonderful thing to walk through this world as a baptised person, as one truly in the light of the resurrection of Christ, the conscience fully awake in the light of the resurrection of Christ

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and His present position at the right hand of God. A "like figure whereunto baptism doth now save us". It is a very practical thing to accept that. There will be no need of baptism in the world to come. Baptism is for the present moment; it saves us now from this present evil world. You will remember how Peter commanded them to be baptised at Caesarea. In this way the Gentiles were brought under the wing of the Lord. That is a great thought for us. We are under the protection of the Lord. As baptised in the name of the Lord you are under the protection of the Lord, and what can touch you?

Now, I wish to dwell for a moment on the thought I had before me specially, and that is to show you that on the ground of all I have been saying as to Christ as Man, there is the immutable foundation on which the new system rests. Noah instantly recognised that which was due to God; so he built an altar, and offered up a burnt offering to God. It is one thing to see the Lord going down into death, and in His death terminating, in principle, the world that was in rebellion, and another thing to see Him as the burnt offering. Would that one could unfold the full force of the burnt offering. You cannot understand the burnt offering unless you see what Christ was here on earth. It refers to the Lord getting a body and saying, "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God"; "a body hast thou prepared me". So that we have to ponder the Lord's life here upon earth in order to see the full import of the burnt offering. He goes into death; He goes into it voluntarily. Noah's name signified "Rest".

Now, in the burnt offering the Lord smelled a sweet savour, or a savour of rest. I wish I could convey to you in any measure what that was to God; the infinite delight that God had in Christ as in death. He offered Himself, we are told, by the eternal Spirit without spot to God. It is not here

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a question of the Lord dismissing His spirit in virtue of what He was in His own Person. He offered Himself by the eternal Spirit for a sacrifice without spot to God. And now, God says something in His heart; it does not say that He said it to anybody else; He said it "in his heart:" you may depend upon it, it was a theme of infinite importance when God said, "in his heart, I will not again curse the ground for man's sake". The imagination of man's heart as it remains is only evil continually; that is, man's heart in the flesh. Ah, but God has found Another, and the foundation rests on Another; it rests on what God has found in that One, for He says, in His heart, that He will not curse the ground again for man's sake. But then there is more than that; it is not only, that there is to be no more curse, there is to be no more change while the earth remaineth. He says, "While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease". You may say that refers to the present order of things, literally; well, it does; but we have to take it typically; and what I understand by it is this, that God has founded an order of things on Christ as the burnt offering which is not to be changed. If God has rested there, the system He establishes upon it remains. It rests on the foundation of what Christ as Man is to God, tested fully by the cross.

Now, there is just one other thought, and that is, that God blesses, not only Noah, but Noah's sons. The scriptures previous to this speak of no merit in the sons; everything depends on Noah; he prepared the ark for the saving of his house. There was no merit attributed to Noah's wife or family; all hinged on Noah; and it is obvious that in this Christ is in view also. But on the ground of the burnt offering, Noah's sons are blessed with him. The Lord established a title, as it were, for Himself

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on the ground of what He was as Man, but He could hot bring men into favour on the ground of what He was on earth; He had to die; and in His death He terminated the old order of man morally; and in doing that He glorified God. He glorified God in His death, and now, beloved friends, He has established a title for men; He has the right to bring in men; this is, in virtue of His death. If He had gone up from the mount of transfiguration He would have been alone; the grain of wheat would have had to abide alone; but on the ground of His sacrifice. He has established a title for men. So on the ground of the burnt offering God blesses Noah and his sons. Now, in principle, that is Christianity.

Is it not a joy to your soul that you are linked up with Christ? Have you believed on Christ? What does that involve? That you believe in another order of Man. If I believe in God's Son, I believe in a Man that is capable of bringing in a new system of things, a new set of relationships; but if my faith is in Christ, it is in another Man; that signifies that I have cut my connection with the old man; and now I am linked up with Christ before God. Notice, Noah had gathered up his family and put them into the ark; his affection was seen in taking care of them, but it was another thing to bring them in, as it were, before God. We are before God on the ground of the burnt offering. And now Noah and his sons are blessed; God blesses Noah and his sons, we are told, and says to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth;" that is, the earth is to be replenished, so to speak, by that kind of people. One might wonder that God would venture to replenish the earth when it grieved Him in His heart that He had made man; now, here He blesses man and man's sons; what is the secret of it? The secret of it is that that Man has glorified God on earth and the earth is to be replenished by Him.

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Now, Abraham is said to be the father of a multitude; they would be numerous as the stars of the heavens and as the sand on the seashore. On what ground? What kind of a seed would that be v Abraham's seed are of faith. We get into connection with Christ on the principle of faith. We belong to the multitude of Abraham's children. To my mind, we should treasure in our souls above everything the thought that we are linked up with Christ. God blessed Noah and his sons, and He says, "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth". The Lord Jesus is going to bring in a race of men that will be in every respect to God's pleasure. He has brought in the idea in His own Person first. He has set forth the idea, and now there is redemption through His blood. He brings in a new order of men really by writing the law upon their hearts.

How is Israel to live? There is the blood of the covenant and the writing of the covenant. The blood of the covenant is the death of the Lord; but there is also the writing. God says, "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts", Hebrews 8:10. Such are the people who live before God.

The beginning of the Acts indicates the same thing. A company was there in which God had pleasure; they were the fruit of Christ's work. If you do not see that, you will never understand the church. The church is formed of men patterned after Christ. The Lord set forth the pattern in His life here, and then He brings in a race patterned after that. Well, I say, that race lives. Abraham said, "Oh that Ishmael might live before thee". Think of God permitting a bondslave's son to live before Him! That was Israel after the flesh: Israel was shown to be in bondage at Jerusalem. Is that an order of men to live? God says, "No", the man that is to live is the Man that goes down into death and rises

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again; for Isaac was raised from death in figure; so we brethren, says the apostle, as Isaac, are free. Ishmael is not to live before God, but a company, a race of men set at liberty, formed after Christ.

I do not proceed further. I hope I have made clear what I desired to say. I desire specially that our hearts may be assured of the ground on which we stand. It is the ground of what man is as seen in Christ; what God has found in man as in Christ, May the Lord help us to rest in it.

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ROOM MADE FOR THE CHURCH

2 Corinthians 6:11 - 13.

The thought in my mind in reading this scripture was, that there might be exercise as to enlargement, that room might be made for the development of church principles, that there might be scope for the working out of the divine principles. The divine principles may be identified with church principles; and my exercise, dear brethren, is that we might be enlarged, so that there may be room for the development and the working out of these. God has been pleased to set His testimony in connection with what is spoken of in Scripture as the assembly, and room should be made for it.

In the Old Testament God was pleased to set His testimony in connection with the nation of Israel. He opened up His mind and deposited His thoughts with Abraham as to what He would do for Abraham's seed; and in due time He fulfilled His promise and took Abraham's seed out of Egypt. Egypt was not the scene for the development of God's testimony; there was no room for it there. So in taking the nation out of Egypt He intended that it should be the vessel of His testimony here in the world, and for that He must make room. It is true that the testimony had its place in the wilderness, but the wilderness did not involve the conditions which existed in Egypt. The conditions existing in Egypt did not exist in the wilderness: the wilderness was in that respect a very great advance on Egypt; but the thought of God in regard to the nation necessitated that they should be in the land; that is to say, the land of Canaan, in the mind of God, was essential to the full setting forth of His testimony in the nation; so that, room had to be made for the nation; and hence God did make room for it; He cast out

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and destroyed the Canaanite nations so as to make room for His people; the nation of Israel in the land of Canaan. In this we have an indication that the mind of God was that there should be a place suited for the vessel in which He was pleased to set His testimony.

Well, now, when we come to the New Testament we find the same principles at work directly the Lord announced the assembly. You will remember in Matthew 16, that the Lord asked the disciples the question, "Whom do men say that I, the Son of man, am?" and Peter's confession of Him that He was "the Christ the Son of the living God". That was Peter's confession. We have often dwelt on that, beloved brethren, and we need to dwell upon it, because, apart from the understanding of that confession, it is evident that we do not understand the assembly, for there you get the foundation of the assembly. The Lord goes on to say, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath pot revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church". The idea of the church, the assembly, is a spiritual idea; it proceeds from the Father. The very suggestion of that, beloved brethren, conveys great thoughts to us; it is a spiritual conception. The Lord says, "flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father". It is a spiritual conception, which proceeds directly from the Father; and then the Lord says, "Thou art Peter". Oh, what a name, what a designation to receive from the Lord, "Thou art Peter".

Peter says, "Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God", and the Lord says, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona:" of very few in Scripture is that said, "Blessed art thou". There was the thought; and the Lord conveyed it. That revelation and

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confession was not obtainable from flesh and blood; it proceeded from the Father. Then the Lord says unto Peter, "I say also unto thee". The Father had revealed to Peter who was there present before him. He had intimated to Peter who was there; and now the Lord speaks to Peter from His own point of view as here upon earth, and He puts, as it were, a name on that spiritual formation. You may say to me, But Peter had not then received the Spirit and was not formed spiritually; but the principle was there and the Lord designates that; He gives it a name. He says, "Thou art Peter". In principle that was saying, 'Thou art of the same kind as the foundation'. He says, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my assembly". It was to be a spiritual formation, not formed of spirits; but of men formed spiritually. We grow up in flesh and blood, but the assembly is a spiritual formation formed of men, who are formed spiritually by the Spirit of God, and "on this rock", the Lord says, "I will build my assembly, and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it". It is a formation established upon the ground of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and there is no power which can touch it. It is a great thought; it was in the divine mind before any material thing was formed, and light as to it entered Peter's soul directly from the Father.

Well, now, if there was room made for Israel, there must be room for the assembly. The Lord understood what the world was, and that as the world had rejected Him it would endeavour to set aside the assembly. Well, I wish to show how the Lord made provision for that. He says to Peter, "I give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven". We might have expected, naturally, that the man that had such a name as Peter would be the builder; but no, every servant of Christ is divinely and

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sovereignly appointed. The Lord apportions the work according to His sovereign wisdom. We cannot exactly say why such and such a thing is so, but we do know that everything is appointed according to the sovereign wisdom of God. Thus, the Lord gave Peter, not the commission to build the church, but the keys to administer the kingdom; and what I understand by it is, that in giving Peter that commission, the Lord's thought was that he should use it to make room for the church. The Lord's thought was to have an official clearance so that there might be room for the church. Peter was distinctly official. The Lord said, "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven". Now, that was a very great commission. No other man ever received such a commission from the Lord. He was given the keys of the kingdom, a very much greater kingdom than was David's, I need not say, or than any other kingdom; it was the kingdom of the heavens, and Peter was commissioned to administer it, and for this he had the keys; and more, the Lord says, "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven".

Now, that was Peter's commission; and I believe the Lord's thought was to clear the ground, as it were, for the church; there was to be an official clearance so that there might be room for the new structure, which the Lord was about to build. What I mean by an official clearance is that there had been an official system on earth, and God had ended it. Judaism had been divinely appointed; and to that moment God had observed it. Israel had special privileges, and the Gentile was necessarily restricted. As a matter of fact, the Gentile was "far off, without

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God in the world, strangers to the covenants of promise", and so on. Well, these special privileges which Israel had on earth necessarily interfered with the inauguration of the assembly as it was in the mind of God. That which was established at Jerusalem under the ministry of the twelve did not suggest the full divine thought of the assembly. So that what Peter was commissioned to do was to set that aside officially. I think it had been morally set aside by the coming of the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit among men necessarily lilted their souls outside all governmental distinctions, but the system of governmental distinctions remained, and those distinctions were not yet formally set aside. The governmental restrictions which God placed upon the Gentiles remained until God officially removed them; and what I want you to see, beloved friends, is that they have been removed officially. Now, Peter was not equal to the commission; I wish to speak of it in the way that Scripture presents it; he was still clinging to the governmental restrictions that God had imposed on the Gentile; he regarded them as unclean. Now, I would say, in passing, that where there is any account taken of national distinctions of any kind that govern men in the world, there is no room for the church. The church is not intended to govern the world. God introduced new principles into the church as a testimony, but those principles were not intended to affect the world as it was; but where distinctions that govern men in the world are admitted there is not room for the church. If the church could not fit into Israel, beloved friends, it cannot fit into any nation, that is evident, be it ever so large and extensive; the idea of the church is too great; because the idea presented is universal. When God comes out and reveals Himself fully, and the church is

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formed in the light of the full revelation of God, it is due to God and should be recognised, that if He comes out into the light, as He has come, the light must be universal. The candlestick must be free from national distinctions, it must be free from distinctions of every kind that control men here. God had Himself imposed restrictions, and until these were lifted off there could not be the full development of the assembly.

Now, the light of the assembly had been disclosed; and when the time arrived the Lord commands Peter, and gives him power formally and officially to set aside these distinctions. You all remember how difficult it was for Peter to come to it; how God had to let down the sheet filled with all kinds of animals so as to render Peter sympathetic with his commission. It is a wonderful thing to get a command from the Lord, and it is still greater to be equal to it. God graciously dealt with Peter, until He brought him to the point of complete sympathy with the commission which the Lord had given to him as recorded in Matthew 16. Peter goes to Caesarea to the house of one of the Gentiles, and God gave the Spirit to the Gentiles; they were actually brought into the assembly before the governmental restrictions were removed; and Peter acts in accordance with God's action. He says, as it were, Why should I be behind God; the Gentiles have received the Holy Spirit as well as we. Seeing this, Peter commanded them to be baptised. I understand that action to signify that the governmental restrictions that lay upon the Gentiles were formally and officially removed by Peter; but more, they were not only removed, but room was made for the assembly; protection was given to the assembly; the wing of the Lord was extended over the Gentiles who believed. Peter commanded them to be baptised in the name of the Lord.

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Now, that is the position of the Gentile in regard to the assembly. God has given to us the Spirit; He has brought us into the assembly in that way, and the act of baptism has removed the governmental restrictions that lay upon us; and in connection with that we have the Lord's protection. In that way we are under the protection of the kingdom, and as under the protection of the kingdom we are free to enter into the assembly; the object of it is that the Gentiles might be free for the assembly. It is extremely happy when you see the place that the assembly has in the mind of God, and the Lord graciously relieves your spirit of every pressure to the end that you might be free for the assembly.

Now, I think the church at Corinth was taken up in a special way, the conditions there necessitating it, so that in writing, the principles, or law, that should govern the church as a whole might be unfolded. You must not think for a moment that the church is without a law; the church is governed by divinely appointed laws. In the Old Testament there was a law; in Exodus 20 you get what was called "the law", but there was also the law of the house which was distinct from Exodus 20. I think that the saints at Corinth were singled out by the Lord as a Gentile company of believers that He might set forth in connection with them the law of the house. I cannot dwell on it at all in detail, but only call your attention to it.

In the first epistle you will find a good deal said about commandments; naturally we do not like commandments. When a soul receives the gospel, there is settled peace, and consequent happiness; but then God would set you up here in connection with the testimony; and if you are in connection with the testimony you must be regulated by divine principles; and I think that many of us find that

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these principles are irksome; and it will be so unless there is affection for Christ and the saints.

Now, in the first epistle to the Corinthians commandments are prominent; for that epistle shows that there was departure; and the apostle wrote to correct the departure; whereas, the point in the second epistle was to set them at rest. The apostle's thought was that the Corinthians were restored, and that there might now be expansion in their affections; he says, "Be ye also enlarged". The thought I wish to leave with you is that the great need among God's people is enlargement in our affections. You can see how God has acted in regard to the church and the world, and if the principles of God in the church are to be operative, there must be deliverance from all that restricts us; These restrictions from which we suffer are not divinely imposed; they are self-imposed; and our wisdom is to dismiss them; they have no title to be there.

The third chapter of the second epistle shows how we are set at liberty in the presence of God; and now the apostle says, as it were, If you are straitened it is not on my side. "Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your affections". The light of the ministry was perfect; the difficulty lay with the Corinthians; they were straitened in they own affections. Where there are restrictions now, they are self-imposed; and where there are such restrictions there is no room for the development of the affection and principles which should mark the church. Where the love of God is flowing; where it affects our hearts, then we are free for church principles.

I felt encouraged to bring this to your attention, and I trust the Lord will exercise our hearts that there may be full scope for the operation of divine principles.

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EVANGELISATION

Acts 8:26 - 36, 38 - 40.

I wish to make clear the peculiar import of this chapter; my thought being to show how irrepressible the spirit of evangelisation is during the present dispensation. I desire to emphasise that, so that our hearts may be encouraged as those interested in the gospel. It is a great thing to see that the spirit of evangelisation continues. If there is anything that the wicked one is set against, it is the gospel; it is an immense encouragement to see that at what we may call the darkest period of the church's history; that is, the darkest period of its history as threatened from without, not from within, the evangelical spirit there was irrepressible. It should be an immense cheer to us to see it.

I do not think it is the Lord's mind that there should be apathy in regard to the gospel, I believe on the contrary that His thought would be to promote interest in, and sympathy with, it; and so I think this chapter is set here to show how irrepressible it is; and even in the period, darkest from divisions arising within the church, you will find that when the Lord through the apostle makes provision for evangelical work, he enjoins Timothy, while not specifically naming him as an evangelist, to do the work of one.

I need not say, beloved friends, that the injunctions to Timothy are intended to regulate, and to stimulate, all those who would be engaged in the testimony, in view of the apostle's removal from the scene of it; hence it applies to our own day. While one would deprecate the thought of persons assuming to be evangelists, it is plain that the Lord would encourage the spirit of evangelisation.

Now, as I was saying, the church was threatened

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from without; its very existence was threatened. It was the aim of the enemy to obliterate it completely; he had no less a thought than that. You may be assured that Satan's activities have a very wide bearing. I do not think he always accomplishes his ends; but his aims are unmistakeable. He works with a definite purpose; he works systematically; and so here, his aim was to blot out every trace of the church. That is what you get in the beginning of Acts 8. The stoning of Stephen was the beginning of a tremendous campaign against the church; and there was not wanting a Vessel in every way suited to the moment. Satan had his vessel; a man was there who, although young, could stand up deliberately and hold the clothes of those who stoned Stephen who, we may say, was the greatest reproduction of Christ here. Satan's vessel to accomplish his purpose was Saul. Stephen was a wonderful reproduction of Christ. He was the reflection of the Man who glorified God here; that was what Stephen was. It is well worth pondering Stephen, a man "of like passions with ourselves", but who had become a reflection of that Man who had glorified God here perfectly. They saw Stephen's face, and it shone like that of an angel; there was the reflection of the heavenly Man in Stephen. Wonderful testimony! And then his address, his speech, was in every way equal to his countenance. His countenance reflected the face of Jesus; and his address was in every way in accord with his countenance, he was a reproduction of his Master.

Saul stood there deliberately, not actuated by zeal to take up a stone, others did that; but he stood and held their clothes; there was deliberate intent in that man; he was unmoved: he stood there and he held the clothes of those who put the martyr to death, for he was consenting to it. Saul was no ordinary man, he was a man of tremendous self-will;

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a man of tremendous self-confidence; and a man of tremendous natural force. He was taken up by the wicked one, and was the instrument by which that wicked one intended to obliterate every trace of the church. You will have noticed at the beginning of the chapter that Saul made havoc of the church. See how he went into detail; he was not simply a sort of general enemy of the church; he went into houses; "entering into every house, and hailing men and women committed them to prison". Thank God, after he became the servant of Christ he did not give up going from house to house; he went from house to house and ministered the gospel; but here, as the agent of the wicked one, he was determined to obliterate the church, entering into every house and haling men and women committed them to prison. Now, those were the conditions under which the incidents related in this chapter came into evidence.

So, beloved friends, I dwell now on the spirit of evangelisation. I believe the chapter, as I said, is specially designed to show how irrepressible that spirit is; it is provided for in the admonitions to Timothy; and in the close of the church's history on earth, the spirit of evangelisation is apparent; "whosoever will, let him come, and take of the water of life freely;" Revelation 22. The evangelical spirit continues on to the coming of the Lord. I have spoken of all this to the Lord's people who are present; for it is easier to speak to the saints, than to sinners, for the simple reason that there is more sympathy; and so I have ventured to dwell on these things so as to arouse or increase your interest in the gospel. Now, Philip is, I think, the only person in the Scriptures formally spoken of as an evangelist. There were many evangelists, doubtless the apostles were all evangelists, and there were others; but, I

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believe, Philip is brought in here as the representative of the evangelical spirit; he is spoken of as "Philip the evangelist", and the whole chapter, we may say, is devoted to his ministry; he is specially marked by zeal in the gospel. These things may be very simple for most of you, but I think it is worthy of note that here, between the death of Stephen, and the calling out of Paul, the evangelical spirit is seen in activity; and, before going on to the passage I have read, I would call attention to Philip's work in Samaria.

We are told that Philip went down to Samaria, and preached Christ. Now that is worthy of note. Samaria was rival to Jerusalem. The Lord had been there in His ministry, and He had a remarkable experience there. I think the incident relating to the Lord's visit to Samaria is one of the most remarkable in Scripture. He met there a woman of Samaria, who was a sinner, and a remarkable conversation, a remarkable interchange of thought, took place between the Lord and that woman. I do not enlarge upon it; but she came to the conclusion that He was the Christ. She says, "Is not this the Christ?" The Messiah of Israel was there, and she was looking for Him. She said, "when he comes, he will tell us all things;" and the Lord says, "I that speak unto thee am he". I do not remember that He ever presented Himself in that way to any other. Think of His grace! Think of how He deals with souls. One wonders why He should have touched on such wondrous things in speaking to that woman; the very highest truths, beloved friends, in relation to Christianity were treated of between the Lord and the woman of Samaria. She says, "I perceive thou art a prophet;" but when she went to the people of the city, she says, "Come, see a man who told me all things that ever I did, is not this the Christ?"

When the Lord has dealings with a soul, He brings

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His own credentials with Him. You who have had intercourse with the Lord know that. Has the Lord ever approached your soul? When He approaches a soul, He carries His own credentials with Him; and they are convincing. The credentials that Christ gives is that He is God's Anointed. God's anointing necessitates God's will having been carried out, and maintained. Before a man could be anointed, he must have maintained God's will. God will not seal what is not to His approval. Now, Christ was in every way to God's approval; as Peter says of Him, "a man approved of God among you by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it". God anointed that Man; God says, as it were, 'This is the Man of My choice'. He was approved of God; He pleased God, and God anointed Him. He takes Him up as a vessel; that is the idea of the Christ. He is the anointed One, and thus He goes about doing good, that is to say, He approaches your soul as the anointed One. God has taken Him up, and He approaches your soul with credentials such as that.

Now, what is your conclusion as to the Christ? I do not ask you what the Scriptures have presented; for really in Scripture things are largely worked out as conclusions. Scripture presents moral conclusions. What are your conclusions about Christ? People do not think much about Him. This is an extremely superficial age; and yet, it is an age of great vaunting. But what do you think of the Christ? He approaches your soul; He intends to make an impression on your soul. What impression did He make on this

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Samaritan? She says, I have met a man that told me everything; He told me all I ever did. That is a wonderful disclosure; to have your whole history presented to you as in a mirror. The Lord can do that for you. He will do that at the judgment seat. He will gather up your whole history and present it to you there. But He presents it to you now, that you may judge it and condemn it. Oh, beloved friends, that woman condemned it; she left her water pot; she forgot all about it; she left it, and went back to the city; and she went back with an intention to present Christ; she said, 'Is not He the Christ?'

Well, now, Philip goes down to Samaria and he confirms that testimony. He went down, and presented "the Christ" to them; he confirmed the Lord's testimony. Philip had a wonderful Forerunner in his mission. The Lord of glory had been there before Philip; he had sown the seed in Samaria; then Philip went down and preached Christ, and they believed, and the result was that there was great joy. Then Peter and John went down and prayed that they might receive the Holy Spirit; and they received it. I do not believe that joy would have continued without the reception of the Spirit. It was the joy produced by light. Light is a pleasant thing if you have been in the dark. But the joy would have been ended quickly if Peter and John had not followed down. The Holy Spirit has a wonderful divine office to perform in the Christian. The great object of the Holy Spirit is to maintain the joy produced by the light. When your soul is illuminated there is joy produced; there is joy in the knowledge of the Saviour, of the Christ, of the Man whom God has anointed. But how long does the joy last? There is a good deal of evangelisation going on now, and I verily believe that souls do get light; but, beloved friends, you want the joy produced

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by that light to be maintained in your souls. Now, if the Spirit of God is received He maintains you in the good of the light.

But I only say that in passing. What I want to show you is the rapidity of the Spirit's activities here. He takes away Philip from that remarkable work. The whole city was moved by it, even the greatest man, Simon Magus, was moved by it. One might have thought that the spirits of the saints would have been completely crushed after the awful onslaught at the death of Stephen; but they went everywhere preaching the Word, and the apostles, Peter and John, are sent down into Samaria, and the Samaritans for the first time are connected with God. They were intruders; they had been transported to Samaria; they had no right there; they were all Gentiles. Think of the Gentiles being taken up and connected with God by His Spirit. The Lord, in speaking to the woman, carefully maintains the place of Jerusalem. Samaria had no title at all in respect of God's ways in connection with the earth, but now, for the first time, Samaria is linked up with God. Think of the wondrous grace of God! He imparts His Spirit to the Gentiles; He connects us livingly with Christ. These Samaritans were connected with Christ by His Spirit. Do you understand that you are linked up with the Christ?

Well, now, Philip is caught away, he is directed to go down to the wilderness, to a desert place; he, is called from a lively, thronged city, where his preaching had set the whole city in motion, and produced great joy. Philip, an evangelist entirely subject to the Spirit, goes where he is told, without any question; he moves here under God's will, as Christ did. That is the idea of an evangelist. I should like to enlarge upon it, if only I had time; and you will bear with me; I want to show you the kind of testimony that Philip presented to the

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eunuch. The eunuch had been up at Jerusalem; he had gone there to worship. I do not enlarge upon what he found in Jerusalem. What did he find there? He had gone up to worship, and he found an empty temple. The house was still standing, but there was no glory there. The glory had departed. Had he been there a little while before, the glory was there. The Lord of glory, beloved friends, was there. I do not say He was shining in the temple; but in the glory of His person He had been in Jerusalem; but He had departed from it, and He was now in heaven. Stephen saw the glory. The Shekinah had been in the temple, but now it was up there; and Stephen saw "the glory of God and Jesus standing"; there it was. What I want to show you is, that what was presented to the eunuch was not the Messiah, not the Christ, but the MAN.

It is a remarkable thing in how many ways Christ is presented to the soul. If it be a question of the world and the officialism that exists in the world -- the political system around us, the Christ is presented. God has no pleasure in the world system, and He would deliver men from it. This He does by the testimony of the Christ. What has God pleasure in? "Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion". The heathen raged and the people imagined a vain thing; they raged against the Lord and against His Anointed. God says, "I have set my King" (that is Jesus, the anointed One), "upon my holy hill of Zion". Now, the Christ is presented to your soul as delivering you from all that which is around you, which is what I understand by the political world; you need deliverance from that. A man who is mixed up with the world, is not delivered; he is not saved; do not make any mistake about it, beloved friends. You must be on the side of God's Anointed. God has an official system of His own, and Christ is the Head of it. Christ is rejected on

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earth, but He is nevertheless God's Anointed. And Philip preached Christ. Souls need to be delivered from the official system, the political world, and from the man that is in it. What delivers you from the man that is in it? The presentation of God's Man; that is Jesus. What do you think of Him?

But now we come to the eunuch. He was reading from Isaiah 53. What Isaiah presents is not the Christ exactly, it is the MAN. John cites this passage and he adds this, "These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him;" John 12:41. What was the glory? Isaiah says, "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground". That was Jesus; a tender plant; as a root out of a dry ground; that was what Christ was under God's eye. He was a root; there was fidelity in Him. What do you think of that Man? "He hath no form or comeliness; and when we shall see him there is no beauty (lordliness) that we should desire him ...". There is nothing of earthly glory about Him; nothing lordly that we should desire Him. That was their judgment, beloved friends, and what is your judgment? I know many young people are ashamed of Christ, because they do not see lordliness in Him. Had He come as a great hero, as a great conqueror, it would have been different; they would rather read about Napoleon than about Christ. Jesus grew up under Jehovah's eye as a tender plant. Think of that. That expressed the energetic fidelity that was in Him. The whole chapter is a delineation of what Christ was as Man.

Now, the eunuch read that chapter, and what did he think of this Man? His heart was drawn out to Him. The chapter presented a wonderful Man to him, and he says, "Of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?" Is your

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heart touched as Jesus is presented to you? Now, what did Philip do? He began at that same scripture, and preached unto him JESUS. What a text for a preacher! The eunuch was, I suppose, a proselyte; he was an Ethiopian. I think the Lord created the opportunity. If you are a servant of the Lord, you may depend upon it, He creates opportunities for you. He created the opportunity for Philip. Now, Philip did not say, You ought to have begun earlier, and read in the beginning of Isaiah. He began "at the same scripture", and he evangelises to him the Man, Jesus. Young people require to have Jesus. They are extremely exposed to the influences of men. The great point in Colossians, to refer to it for a moment, is that you should not be influenced by man but by Christ. So Philip evangelises Jesus to this eunuch. What effect had it upon him? He says, 'Why should I not be baptised?' What did he mean by that? I will tell you. His heart was illuminated, the evangelist had illuminated his heart, by preaching to him Jesus; the prophet set him thinking. That is what a prophet does.

There is a prophetic side to the gospel. It sets the conscience in activity. That is why the woman of Samaria said to the Lord, "I perceive that thou art a prophet". Ho set her conscience working; and that is what the prophet did to the eunuch, and then Philip preached unto him Jesus; and what about Him? That He was taken from prison and from judgment; who shall declare His generation? His life was taken from the earth. His life! "What! the life of that Man?" I could understand the eunuch saying, That is the only Man who ought to live. And rightly for the Man depicted in Isaiah 53 is the only Man entitled to live; but His life had been taken from the earth; He was cut off from the land of the living.

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What are you going to do about that, beloved friends? That Man who is presented there to your heart has been cut off! The Lord cherished everything that was of God here. Do you think the Lord did not feel it that He was cut off? He asked life of God, and God gave it to Him in resurrection, but He cherished everything in which He was set here, His relations after the flesh, everything was real to Christ, but He was cut off from the land of the living. Here is a Man who is the embodiment of every moral trait of beauty; and that Man dies.

What are you going to do? Has He won your heart? Well, He won the eunuch's heart; and he says, 'I want to be baptised'. He understood baptism. Philip did not propose baptism to him. Philip had not been given the keys of the kingdom. Peter had the keys of the kingdom, and he commands baptism. That is to say, Peter lifts from the Gentiles the limitations that God had placed upon them. The Gentiles were bound, God had bound them by certain governmental limitations, but Peter removed these for the Lord commanded him to do so. It is very interesting to see that directly the Lord introduced the church in Matthew 16, He commits the administration of the kingdom to Peter. He says, "I give to thee the keys (not of the church, but) of the kingdom". And, "whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven". That was Peter's commission in a few words; he removes the restrictions off the Gentiles by the command that they should be baptised. I dwell upon that just to show you the connection here. It took Peter a good while to come to it. God had given His Spirit to the Gentiles before Peter really used the keys -- God had wrought before the apostle acted, but nevertheless Peter had the keys, and so he commands Cornelius and his company in Acts 10

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to be baptised in the name of the Lord. The door is thrown wide open to the Gentiles; the restrictions and limitations, that God had placed upon them, had been removed by Peter.

But what you see here in Acts 8 is not that, for Philip had no mission in regard to the kingdom; he had no keys. The wish of the eunuch to be baptised was the result of the light which Philip had given him about that Man. He says, 'I want to be in identification with that Man'. Now do you understand that? Ruth says to Naomi, "Where thou diest I will die, and there will I be buried". The eunuch came to that! What about you? What kind of a place has Jesus in your heart? Do you want identification with Jesus? That is your present privilege. The eunuch says, "See, here is water". You have not to go far for water: there is plenty of it all around, and He goes down into it. Well, look! Philip goes down into it with him. The light is light, no matter by whom it is communicated or presented; but it is a great thing to see that the vessel is in keeping with the light. Every baptism is accepted that is done in the name of the Lord; baptism is baptism, but how many baptisers today go down into the water? Now, "sprinkling" is the use of water, but very little water. Philip went down with the eunuch into the water. I have no doubt that Philip was in complete accord with the light he had presented; he went down into the water, and now his mission is completed. An evangelist that goes down into the water can be used again: he will not be elated by a conversion. You can scarcely conceive a more remarkably successful evangelist than Philip; he is the embodiment of the spirit of evangelisation. This is a remarkable chapter; it is, in a sense, the most evangelical chapter you can find. Philip is eminently successful; he was successful in Samaria, and he is successful here. He was like the Lord.

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The Lord went down into the Jordan. He said, "it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness", and the Lord of glory went down into the waters of baptism with the repentant remnant.

Now, Philip will be used again, so he is taken away by the Spirit, and is found at Azotus, and passing through he preached in all the cities. The Lord led him on; and he preached in city after city. And what about the eunuch? He is in God's hands. Baptism puts you in the Lord's hands. It does not put you into the church. You may be in it before you are baptised. Cornelius and his company were. They had the Holy Spirit before they were baptised; baptism puts you in the Lord's hands. What do you think baptism virtually means? It means that you identify yourself with the Man whom you love, but, then, that Man is gone from the earth. Baptism is in the name of the Lord. Now, if you are baptised in the name of the Lord you are in His hands. What will He do for you? That eunuch was going down to Abyssinia, and you may depend upon it there was no help for him there.

When you are converted you go back to your family or your business, there is no help for you there; but now you have taken sides with Christ, you call upon the name of the Lord, and what have you? what can the Lord do for you? Well, beloved friends, He has all power in heaven and on earth. "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered". You now love Him and you have committed yourself to Him, you are identified with Him. What will He do for you? He will undertake for you. There is not anything that you require that you will not get from Christ. By baptism I understand you unfurl your standard. One sees badges in the city today; a good many people are showing their colours; it is a great thing to do that

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for Christ, to unfurl the standard. He has committed Himself to protect you, and so the eunuch went on his way rejoicing. He did not have Philip any longer, but he was baptised. I would advise you not to go into the world unless as a baptised person. If you are in the world it is impossible to get out of it until you die, or the Lord takes you. What is it to go into the world as a baptised person? It is a person who has taken sides with the. Lord.

The eunuch went down to Abyssinia as a baptised person. He did not go back as he came out of it. I do not say that he gave up his office. I believe he carried out his services better than before he was committed to the death of Jesus, and had come under the protection of Jesus; and I am sure he found that protection continuous. Well, that was what I had to say; and one would earnestly seek that we might judge ourselves, committing ourselves to the Lord, recognising Him fully, remembering that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered.

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Pages 343 - 435. "The Heavenly System and the Glory of the Son of God", Indianapolis, 1912 (Volume 15).

THE HEAVENLY SYSTEM (1)

Acts 6:9 - 15; Acts 7:54 - 60.

W.B-t. Is your thought that the church as set up at Jerusalem was insufficient to set forth the church in the purpose of God?

J.T. Exactly. I do not think you get the full idea of the church till the link with Israel is formally broken.

R.S.S. Of course it is still the same church.

J.T. Yes; but the truth of the church did not actually come out till the link with Israel was broken. The church existed, of course, from Pentecost.

W.B-t. At the beginning there was a distinct link with Israel?

J.T. Yes. What I had in mind was that we might see how that link was formally severed; while it remained, the full light of the church was clouded; the cloud period continued.

L.W.B. If Israel had received Stephen and his testimony, the Lord would have returned to them, would He not?

J.T. Yes, if they had received the testimony of the twelve, according to chapter 3; but while the link with Israel remained unbroken there was partial obscurity.

W.C.R. Things were more or less earthly.

J.T. The cloud period remained. A cloud received Him out of their sight, as we see in chapter 1. That shows that the cloud period had not wholly disappeared, but Stephen sees Him without a cloud. "He looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God". That lays the basis for Christianity as it came to us.

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A.F.M. What did the cloud period indicate?

J.T. Concealment; that God was concealed, He was there, but concealed. It was the same divine presence, but beclouded, and that period continued whilst Israel remained. In other words, the recognition of the nation as specially favoured necessarily beclouded the full revelation of God. The full revelation of God necessitates that all men have the same footing before Him. For that you must have the unfolding of a heavenly system. It is now the Son of man in heaven, not Messiah in Israel.

R.S.S. Consequently you get Peter in chapter 10 saying, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him".

J.T. Exactly. That is what Peter had to be led to. He had perceived that by the sheet let down from heaven, but he did not receive it before.

J.L.J. It all comes out through the apostle Paul's ministry.

J.T. It was developed in his ministry, but Stephen's testimony lays the basis of Christianity as Paul unfolded it. He sees the Son of man in heaven, without a cloud, and the glory is there. The Son of man is there not in regard of Israel specially, but in regard of man. Peter did not bear that testimony. He says, "God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ". But Stephen sees the Son of man.

E.P.L. I suppose the twelve apostles were expecting the Lord to come back, as Peter said, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you". They were looking for Him as Messiah,

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J.T. Quite so, and in chapter 3 the apostle gives them the credit for being the sons of the covenant and of the prophets, showing that God is still taking account of the nation in grace according to its original calling. But Stephen says, "which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted?" The contrast between chapters 3 and 7 shows the distinction. Peter adds that God had sent His servant Jesus to bless them. That is the point of chapter 3. Then in chapter 4, the antipathy of the Jewish leaders towards Christ is brought to light, and that developed and grew till it showed itself fully in Stephen's rejection and death. Stephen's address takes account of the people not as the sons of the prophets, but as the persecutors of the prophets, and the rejecters of every testimony rendered in grace.

R.S.S. Stephen's address was largely to their conscience? .

J.T. Yes. He began with the fact that the God of glory had appeared to Abraham; that is the thesis. That is what God began with, and then he pursues the history of God's ways, and shows that every intervention of God only elicited hostility from the people till Messiah Himself arrived, of whom they became the murderers. So that there was no longer any hope for the people as such; and then he says, "I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God". This shows that if they had rejected the testimony of the glory, God had secured it, but it was in heaven it was secured. They were not the custodians of it, and the Son of man was in heaven. So that now God is free to act in the light of Christ as the Son of man. We may say that God did not give up Israel until they forced Him to do so.

W.L.P. Do you not think it was possible that Saul's conscience was touched and that moved him

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to greater energy against Christ for the time being?

J.T. I think the kicking against the goads (Acts 26:14) shows that Saul had had an impression made on him, but his will was more powerful than the impression.

R.S.S. Stephen had seen in heaven that which God had manifested to the children of Israel.

J.T. The glory was really the thesis which God lays down to begin with, and He proposed to work it out in relation to the family of Abraham. No family could be more privileged, but Stephen shows that at every point where the privilege came specially to light they were hostile.

W.B-t. Why does Stephen's address stop at the house of God? He goes on with the history of Israel to that point and then stops and upbraids the people.

J.T. I think they were making a great deal of the house literally, and hence he quotes: "Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me?" I think they were limiting God to the literal house, not seeing the spiritual import of it, and hence Stephen, citing another passage, brings out what God's house really is, that it is the whole universe, not a limited portion of it like Jerusalem. You cannot limit heaven to any restricted part of the earth.

R.S.S. And a climax was reached when Solomon built the house?

J.T. That is what is intimated in Exodus 15, that God would bring them in and plant them in the mountains of His inheritance, and that they should build a house for Him.

A.F.M. There is also a connection in the quotation in a passage not quoted by Stephen. He says, "but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word;" Isaiah 66. They were just the opposite from that.

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A.A.T. I can understand Stephen looking up and seeing the Lord as Son of man, but I cannot understand how he could see the glory.

J.T. I think the point is that the glory is connected with the Son of man in heaven.

A.McB. God's glory in the past was connected with the temple of God, and now it is connected with the Son of man in heaven?

J.T. That is the point. Ezekiel saw it depart; this really took place when Christ left the temple. The house was "left desolate". But then Ezekiel saw the glory linger over the city: and so in the early chapters of the Acts we see that the glory lingers over the city and the temple, for even the apostles were connected at first with the temple and recognised it; this showed the longsuffering of God.

A.McB. It was an immense moment in God's ways when the glory came into Solomon's temple; now all is changed.

J.T. And the blame attached to them. But God had the glory in view, therefore what Israel spurned on earth is secured in heaven.

L.T.F. Was the Lord referring to these things in John 1:50: "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"?

J.T. Yes. The title Son of man conveys a wider thought than the Messiah. Take Matthew 16:13. What occurred there was at Caesarea Philippi, which was in the north-east of Palestine, comparatively near to the place where the Lord met Saul. It was near the Gentile region. There it was the Lord raised the question as to His Person, and Peter confessed that He was not only the Messiah, but also the Son of the living God. Then the Lord

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tells them to say no more that He was the Christ, but that the Son of man must suffer, Luke 9:22. That signifies that the testimony as to "the Christ" is given up for the moment, and He enters on the wider sphere of Son of man, and dies as such, so that He goes on to speak about the Son of man coming in His kingdom. That is what they were allowed to see in Matthew, a wider sphere in the Son of man. In John's gospel it was when Judas went out that the Lord says, "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him. God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him". Judas' departure from the circle gave the enemy the handle that he required, to take the Lord a prisoner and to have Him crucified. The moral glory of the Son of man is that He carries out the will of God unswervingly; that is man's true glory. Gethsemane was before the Lord's mind, and His soul entered into it; it was there He was to show that man's true glory is to carry out God's will. He says, "not my will, but thine, be done". God would give the Lord a glory in connection with His own nature. He would "glorify him in himself, and glorify him immediately". Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father. All the Father's glory was involved in connection with that One -- the true Man. He raises Him from the dead and glorifies Him in Himself, and that is done straightway. I think that is the present moment, the universal testimony in relation to all men, and the church comes in consequent upon it. In John 12 we have, "The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified". The inherited glory is mentioned before the acquired glory. The Lord acquired glory in Gethsemane and on the cross, and God glorified Him consequent on that, and now in gathering out the church and giving it to Him, but all this is

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pending the time when He enters on His inherited glory which is spoken of in Psalm 8.

L.T.F. What does glorifying Him "in himself" mean? In His own nature?

J.T. God does not delay to glorify Him. Glorifying Him in Himself had reference to what was between the Father and Himself. I think it is an answer to the cross. The greatest moral glory that a man can have is that he does God's will. God glorified Christ in Himself in answer to this.

A.A.T. What was it that Stephen saw which he speaks of as the glory?

J.T. Glory is a moral thought. What Stephen saw was that every attribute of God had found its answer in that Man in heaven. Being filled with the Holy Spirit he looked up steadfastly into heaven, and he apprehended that every attribute of God met in Jesus.

R.S.S. I suppose the glory of God is the expression of His nature.

E.P.L. Why do you say the glory of God in man was established in Gethsemane rather than at Calvary?

J.T. I include Gethsemane with Calvary. It was on the cross the Lord actually drank the cup of wrath. But it was anticipated in Gethsemane, and then He took the cup from the Father's hand. There the pressure was on the Lord's spirit. But of course nothing can be compared with the cross; it was there that He was forsaken of God.

R.S.S. But the Lord went through it all in anticipation in Gethsemane.

J.T. I think so. The cup was full, and He fully estimated all it contained, and prayed that it might pass from Him; but He added, "nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done".

A.A.T. He is glorified now in the saints?

W.B-t. That is a conferred glory.

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J.T. Yes. God glorifies Him immediately, before Psalm 8 is fulfilled; and I think it is brought to pass by the gospel, so that it may be rightly connected with these chapters.

R.S.S. You have spoken of three glories of the Son of man; His inherited glory, and His acquired glory, and the glory that has been given to Him.

J.T. Evidently the inherited glory is first in order, but last in reception. That is Psalm 8. As born into this world, He is the Son of man. Luke traces Him back to Adam. He inherits all the glory that fell to man in God's counsels. The heir necessarily inherits all that belonged to the progenitor. All the glory that fell to man in God's counsels fell to Christ as Son of man; but He says in John 12, "The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified". That is the Son of man viewed as heir to all that fell to man; but instead of that He has to die so as to produce fruit. That is the inherited glory.

R.S.S. So that John 12 refers to Psalm 8.

J.T. Yes; but when Judas goes out in chapter 13, the Lord says, "Now is the Son of man glorified". That is, it has taken place now, meaning that He was to be glorified morally in carrying out God's will. And then, "If God be glorified in him [in Man carrying out God's will], God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him". That is the present time; before Psalm 8 is fulfilled we have the present glory of the Son of man which is acquired and conferred. God glorifies Him in Himself, and then glorifies Him immediately. The latter, doubtless, refers to the assembly.

A.P.M. Where do you find the thought of universal dominion in connection with the Son of man?

J.T. That is Psalm 8, but already He is entitled to universal influence, viewed as Son of man, as Stephen saw Him.

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A.F.M. Do you connect that with affection?

J.T. I think that as Son of man He is entitled to have to say to the whole race.

A.F.M. I was wondering, because we have often used that title in a cold and distant way as designating "universal dominion", but as Son of man He is man's Son, and does not that involve affection?

J.T. I think so; and the whole family may claim Him.

R.S.S. I am anxious that the brethren here might get help on this subject of the glory of the Son of man.

J.T. The moral glory of the Son of man is to carry out God's will, and that is the privilege accorded to us all. As to our privilege with God, Christ is the pattern of that as God's Son, but as Son of man He is the pattern of our position here, in carrying out God's will. I think the term Son of man is not an eternal term. It refers to the position of man here under God's eye, therefore He is the pattern of our position, as Son of man carrying out God's will. He is the pattern of the children of God on earth, but as Son of God He is the pattern of our position with God.

E.H.T. Do you mean He is the Man who is under the eye of God suitable to God; that He expresses just what is suitable to God?

J.T. That is the idea. I do not know whether we have thought of it much, but the Lord's definition of eternal life is "to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent". That is, the thought of it is in the true God and the true Man brought together. The apprehension of the true God and the true Man involves eternal life, and therefore it is of immense importance that we apprehend how in Christ God has been brought into the world.

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B.T.F. How is the Son of man glorified in the church at the present time?

J.T. I think it is in the way the church is brought in and given to Christ. Christ has received the church as Adam received Eve. Adam was glorified in Eve because he found in her all that which his affections sought. The church is formed from both Jew and Gentile; it is not limited to either, and so answers to the Lord's position as Son of man.

B.T.F. Do you mean that the church, looking at it from the divine standpoint, reflects the glory of the Son of man here?

J.T. I think it answers to His affections. He has in her what His affections sought, and in that way it is His glory, just as the woman is man's glory.

R.S.S. In what sense is the woman man's glory?

J.T. She answers in every way to his affections.

R.S.S. And does she display them?

J.T. But she must answer to his affections first. She expresses what he is because she dwells in his affections. What came out in the gospels was that Man was there alone, and God said, as it were, "It is not good that man should be alone", so the woman appears on the resurrection morning; the Man appeared before that. It is very interesting in the gospels that what is in evidence is the Man. The epistles develop the feminine idea. You must have both together to get God's thought.

R.S.S. Will you give us an illustration?

J.T. Christ personally is the theme of the gospels, but the epistles, in the main, are engaged with bringing in the church. The gospels engage you with the Man; at the end of each gospel the woman appears.

W.C.R. On the resurrection morning.

A.F.M. The result of that is that the will of God is done on earth?

J.T. The Lord's prayer indicated what man

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should be; what angels had been doing should now be done in men; the will of God done on earth as in heaven. The Lord showed what that was in His own Person.

E.H.T. "I am glorified in them". What does that mean?

J.T. The Father had given the disciples to Christ, and He loved them, and they loved Him. They were His portion instead of the nation.

W.C.R. In John 17:5 He asks the Father to glorify Him "with the glory which I had with thee before the world was". Is that what you have been dwelling on?

J.T. I do not think that we can say much about that glory beyond that it is there. It was a glory He had with the Father before He became Man.

E.H.T. It says, "We see Jesus ... crowned with glory and honour". What is that?

J.T. It is more general there. We do not as yet see the full display of the glory of the Son of man, but there is abundant glory already. He is "crowned with glory and honour".

R.S.S. That is true of Him now.

A.F.M. Your illustration in regard to Adam and Eve should help us, how that the woman being brought to the man on the resurrection morning, answers to how God would immediately glorify Christ.

J.T. In Genesis 2 you have first of all Adam placed in the garden, and then God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone". Then the animals are brought to Adam, and after it is recorded that he gave names to all, it is said, "But for Adam there was not found an help meet for him". Then a deep sleep comes over Adam, and God brings the woman to him, and Adam says, "This time it is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: this shall be called Woman, because this was taken out of

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man". There you have the thought that the Lord, has the church for Himself.

W.B. I would like to inquire where the term Son of man comes in. Stephen sees the glory of God connected with the Son of man.. It has been said that the Messiah having been rejected by the Jew this title opened up the way for the church to be brought in.

J.T. That is my thought. In Stephen you have the dawn of a new day. His face shone like that of an angel. That was the testimony to the council. They could not resist the wisdom by which he spake. All they could do was to bring in lying charges against him. What I understand by the shining of his face is that God is bringing in a heavenly witness. An angel's face suggests what is heavenly. It wag the reflection of what was coming in, namely, a heavenly order of things.

W.B. I associated the title Son of man with the coming age; you have been speaking of it as applicable to the present time, that the whole race is in the mind of God for blessing.

J.T. It corresponds to John 13, the immediate glory that God confers upon Him. Stephen is reflecting it on earth, hence Acts 8 is in a way the most evangelical chapter in the Scriptures. It records the activity of Philip, the only man called an evangelist in the Scriptures. He is a sort of counterpart of Stephen. They were joint deacons, and we are told that devout men carried Stephen to his burial and made great lamentation over him; but although Stephen is buried the testimony that he stood for is not buried. It was the most critical moment in the history of the church up to that time, because the persecution was so intense that they were all scattered abroad except the apostles. But, instead of the Spirit being engaged with outward defeat, He was occupied in evangelical activity.

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A.F.M. Outside of the city of Jerusalem.

J.T. In accord with what Stephen had seen.

A.F.M. I do not want to deviate from the subject in hand, but I have in my mind to ask why the title Son of man is given to such men as Ezekiel and Daniel?

J.T. I think in the same connection. Their testimonies have reference to the position of God's testimony outside of the nation. Ezekiel's testimony was in connection with the captivity and also Daniel's. Ezekiel is remarkable in that way. It is a question of the testimony of the Son of man, but at the same time of the power of God. The point in Ezekiel is the power of God.

A.F.M. Those men partook of Christ's spirit.

E.P.L. Would you say our Lord's official title terminates with the kingdom state when He subdues all and hands the power back to the Father?

J.T. I think that is it. The point in the Son of man is to carry out God's will. In Eden Adam broke down, but Christ appears, and He carries it out fully.

A.F.M. Why did Stephen not describe what he saw? He saw the glory of God and Jesus, but when he speaks of it he says: "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God". He does not say anything about "the glory of God and Jesus".

J.T. What he said was testimony suited to the moment. It was in a way judicial, signifying that the new departure was at hand. If the Lord is at the right hand of God as Man He will act in relation to the whole race instead of the nation.

A.F.M. We may see, very wonderful things, but it would not always be wise to describe them.

J.T. It all depends on the persons you are speaking to. It must have been an immense stay to Stephen's soul at that moment to feel that the glory of God was secured in heaven.

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THE HEAVENLY SYSTEM (2)

Acts 9:1 - 21; Acts 10:1 - 16, 34 - 48.

J.T. The thought before us is to see the character of that into which the Gentiles were introduced, and that it is not exactly what was established at Jerusalem, but what was established consequent on the connection between God and Israel being definitely broken.

R.S.S. That is the great change consequent on the death of Stephen in the development of Christianity?

J.T. Yes; and what that change involved was that authority was formally transferred to heaven as a centre, and that henceforth all operations on the part of God would proceed from heaven, not from Jerusalem.

R.S.S. And that was indicated by what Stephen saw?

J.T. Quite so. Jesus and the glory ought to have been accepted at Jerusalem, because that was God's city on earth.

R.S.S. Whereas they crucified Christ outside the city, and they also stoned Stephen there.

J.T. So that now instead of Jerusalem being recognised and the glory being installed there, the glory is seen in heaven without a cloud. The fact that the Son of man was seen in heaven in the glory of God laid the basis for the universal character of the testimony, because the Son of man is necessarily related to man as such, not to any family of man.

R.S.S. I should like that we might get the glory of the Son of man plainly before us. Stephen looked up into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus, and said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God".

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J.T. That lays the basis for the universal service and testimony which are about to ensue.

R.S.S. So the second Man is a wider title than that of Christ or Messiah.

J.T. Then what follows upon that is that the full character of the earthly city as opposed to Christ is exemplified in Saul; so that there could be no doubt at all as to what the city was morally at that time, or of the justice of God in breaking the link with the city. Saul issues from it, not only as expressing its hatred of Christ within its own sphere, but that it would exert its influence beyond its own sphere to the Gentile world. That was indeed "sin abounding". The hatred against Christ exceeded all bounds in Saul.

R.S.S. So that these earlier chapters may be viewed as a vindication of God's character and ways, just as Romans 9, Romans 10 and Romans 11 are at present a vindication of what God is now doing in grace in view of His previous promises to Israel.

J.T. There could be no question as to His righteousness and faithfulness. He had done all in His power to gain Israel.

W.C.R. "Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway.".

J.T. That passage shows in a remarkable way the bearing of their conduct. Saul was the personification of the spirit of Jerusalem. He had the credentials of the high priest in his pocket, and the spirit of the thing in his heart, and he was breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord.

A.F.M. The first mention we get of Saul is in connection with keeping the clothes of the murderers of Stephen. He possessed their murderous spirit.

J.T. The combined power of the world was personified in Saul, and it was at that juncture that the kingdom of the heavens came into evidence.

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A.F.M. You mean by the kingdom of the heavens what is established in Christ now?

J.T. It is what came to light on the way to Damascus. It is important to know the details that surrounded Jerusalem. It was in that city that the Gentiles, Pilate, Herod, and the people of Israel "took counsel together, against Jehovah, and against his anointed", Psalm 2. The whole world, religious and political was there. When its hostility to Christ had risen to its height, when the waves had risen to their fullest limit, it is then that the kingdom of the heavens comes into evidence. "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision". The power of the world was vested in Saul, and the power of the kingdom was vested in Jesus in heaven. The character of the latter is seen in the Lord's treatment of Saul. Instead of breaking him to pieces like a potter's vessel, which He might have done, He exercises the power of the kingdom in grace.

R.S.S. So that as you were saying a moment ago, sin abounded in Saul going to Damascus, but grace did much more abound in his conversion?

W.B-t. You have Psalm 2 in mind?

J.T. Yes; but Psalm 2 treats of judgment, whereas the Lord met Saul in grace; in a sense the result is the same thing, the power of the world is brought low.

W.B-t. Would the last verse bring in the thought of grace? "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little".

J.T. It was an opportunity for the Gentiles to make peace whilst He was in the way with them. We are entitled to introduce the gospel of Matthew here; it begins here. Matthew deals with the kingdom of the heavens, intimating that the power was transferred from Jerusalem to heaven, and that is

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the bulwark of the church. You have both thoughts here. The Lord comes in in the power of the kingdom when the church is threatened with complete overthrow; He breaks down and subdues the instrument of opposition and the church is preserved.

A.F.M. How do you view Christ in relation to the kingdom? A little later Saul preaches Him as Son of God, and in Psalm 2 we have the same title. In Matthew also He is spoken of as Son of God.

J.T. The Son of God preached by Saul lays the ground for the church in its universal character into which the Gentiles had been introduced.

E.P.L. I suppose what the Lord said to Peter when he confessed Him as the Christ the Son of the living God bears out what you say?

J.T. That truth comes into this chapter historically.

R.S.S. Connecting the gospel of Matthew with this portion that we are looking at now is very helpful. Many of us remember some very helpful readings held in this room on the gospel of Matthew in connection with the way in which the church is brought in there are superseding Israel. God had committed the administration of things to Israel, but Israel broke down, and now the church is brought in in connection with administration; and, as you say, the bulwark of the church is the kingdom of heaven.

J.T. I think it is very important that we should understand what the kingdom of heaven is. It is protection. There was no protection for the church in Jerusalem; instead of that there was a destructive spirit. The necessity for the kingdom of the heavens was apparent before it was introduced. It was as if God was forced to establish the power in heaven; they would not have it at Jerusalem. They said, "We will not have this man to reign over us".

B.T.F. When you were speaking of the kingdom

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of the heavens I was thinking that it is rule exerted when the King is in heaven. What is the distinction between that and the kingdom of God?

J.T. The kingdom of heaven is in contrast to what had been at Jerusalem. God bore long with Israel, but finally He had to withdraw the authority He had vested in Jerusalem and place it in heaven. Acts 3 shows that God would send Christ back to Israel if they repented. The death of Stephen and Saul's commission to Damascus was the abounding of sin. There could not be a greater evidence of lawlessness than that Jerusalem should go out of its sphere to persecute the people of God.

B.T.F. Why do you emphasise so much the kingdom of the heavens? Was it because it is in contrast to Jerusalem?

J.T. Exactly. It is not the kingdom in Jerusalem. You will always find in scriptures which refer to Jews especially that heaven in emphasised; for instance, Matthew, Hebrews and Peter's epistles. That is to show what Christianity is in contrast to what the nation of Israel had lost through the rejection of Messiah. Their rejection of the gospel has opened up a much wider field of blessing, but the patience of God is specially evidenced in the history. Even if it be said that Paul missed the mark in going back to Jerusalem, it was the spirit of Christ that led him back; it was his affection for the people. And when he went to Rome, it was the Jews he sent for. This shows how God followed the Jew even to the capital of the Gentile world. There they rejected the gospel definitely, and the salvation of God was sent to the Gentiles.

B.T.F. I thought we said this morning that the definite link was broken before that?

J.T. It was broken with Jerusalem as a system. You cannot conceive of God recognising two systems at the same time. It is not till Jerusalem is given

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up on earth that the heavenly Jerusalem comes into view, but when Saul issued from the city it was all over with it, and then we get the heavenly kingdom and the heavenly city.

W.B-t. Is that why Saul speaks of himself as being chief of sinners in connection with the hatred and malignity of the city being personified in him?

J.T. I think so, on account of his persecution of the church.

R.S.S. Will you say a word in regard to the kingdom of God as in contrast to the kingdom of heaven?

J.T. The kingdom of God is in contrast to any kingdom of man. God is often presented in contrast with man. The kingdom of God refers to the Holy Spirit here acting in power for the good of men.

R.S.S. So that the kingdom of heaven refers rather to Christ as in heaven; the kingdom of God to the Spirit here on the earth?

J.T. That is it. As the Lord Himself said, "if I by the finger of God cast out devils". It is the exercise of God's power on earth. Paul preached the kingdom of God. I do not think he ever preached formally the kingdom of heaven.

A.F.M. The truth of the kingdom of heaven may have been known in his soul; it is the same kingdom.

J.T. When you think of the kingdom of God it is in contrast to the kingdom of man; it is not a human kingdom; but if you think of the kingdom of heaven it is not an earthly kingdom, but a heavenly. It is a question of contrast in that way.

A.McB. "Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost".

J.T. The kingdom of heaven is largely a question of administration.

W.C.R. We were speaking this morning about the knowledge of God being greatly limited till the

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end of Stephen's testimony; what was brought in after that?

J.T. First of all this testimony of the power of God in the hands of Christ in heaven is brought in. The voice of the Man that Stephen saw in heaven is heard by Saul, and He brings Saul down and then Saul recognises that He is the Lord. The kingdom of heaven is recognised on earth. Then the next point is that the man who is thus brought down by the kingdom preaches the Son of God; in the light of other scriptures we learn that it means that a new system is to be established. The Son of God will not take up Jerusalem that is. He must bring in an entirely new city.

W.C.R. Would the bringing in the Jew and Gentile together, formed into one new man, give further knowledge as to God -- unity?

J.T. Quite so. And there would be a city established in liberty. There never was such a city before, because Jerusalem never was in liberty; so that it was a great step in advance in the development of God's ways that there should be a heavenly city. As explained in Galatians, "Jerusalem above is free". It is of all moment that we should see that God intended that the Gentiles should have liberty, the liberty which the Son affords.

W.C.R. I was thinking that Peter was not free in this respect until he understood the meaning of the sheet let down from heaven.

J.T. Quite so; the point is that the kingdom is established in the Lord in heaven, and then Paul perceives that He is God's Son and he preached Him as such. If that Man is God's Son He must have everything new and according to Himself. Paul states that God revealed His Son in him.

R.S.S. What is the meaning of that? It is to me a difficult expression.

J.T. I think that God caused light to shine

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into Saul's soul as to the relation in which Christ stood to Him. Stephen did not see that. Stephen saw the Son of man, but Saul got light as to the Son of God, which is additional light.

A.F.M. That was on the road to Damascus?

J.T. Yes; but I suppose it was after he received the Spirit that he apprehended Him in that light.

A.McB. Would 2 Corinthians 4 connect with that: "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ"?

J.T. I think so.

R.S.S. It was a very special revelation to Saul and apart from human instrumentality?

J.T. Quite so. He did not receive it from man. God's thought was to bring in a free system. He intended that the Gentiles should be introduced into liberty. Paul had said he was free born, but he was never free till he got the light of the Son of God. He was set free by the Son.

A.F.M. Would you go on to Ephesians in connection with sonship? We are predestinated to sonship by Jesus Christ to Himself.

J.T. That is of course the eternal result, but I think the thought here primarily in the revelation of the Son of God was that there might be a system established in liberty, uncontrolled by earthly influences as Jerusalem had been.

W.C.R. In Hebrews it says we have come to Mount Zion.

J.T. That is the mercy of God; and the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem.

W.C.R. Is not Mount Zion there in contrast to Mount Sinai, which was in bondage?

J.T. Yes; but in Galatians Jerusalem that now is is identified with Mount Sinai, but Jerusalem above, which is our mother, is free. The gospel that came

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to the Gentiles was a liberating gospel. What was established in Jerusalem was not great enough for the Gentiles nor for the full revelation of God. The prodigal was not admitted into that; the prodigal was admitted into the house viewed in the light of Paul's ministry.

A.F.M. Would an illustration help us in regard to sonship? I was thinking about Isaac, for instance. I think you were saying that as to sonship there are two thoughts in the Old Testament: one was seen in Isaac and the other in Solomon. In Isaac you have affection; "thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest". Solomon was named of the Lord, and was to build the house. Would not these thoughts help us in this scripture?

J.T. I think it is an immense thing to see the place the Son must have. If you apprehend the Son in your soul, certain consequences follow.

A.McB. What are the consequences?

J.T. He must have His own city, and, moreover, if He sets you free, you are really free, because the Son has all the liberty of the house. If you connect yourself with Jerusalem, you have bondage, but if you stand related to the Son in heaven, you have liberty.

R.S.S. You can approach God in perfect liberty.

S.T. In being set free, does it mean you are set free from the first man and his order of things?

J.T. Especially the religious order; a religion that might lay claim to being of God, such as Judaism was.

E.P.L. The kingdom of heaven embraces universal dominion and is political in its character, but the kingdom of God is altogether moral. We find in Mark almost invariably the kingdom of God; in the parables for instance, and the kingdom of heaven in Matthew.

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J.T. In Acts 9 we have the establishment of the authority of heaven in the Lord, and the establishment of the city by the Son of God; then the next point is the mind of heaven; what kind of a mind pervades heaven.

R.S.S. Where does that come out?

J.T. That comes out in the sheet. It was let down from heaven, and it shows what the mind of heaven was. The mind of heaven was in accord with what the chapters immediately preceding this present. The mind of heaven was evangelical. It embraces all the race. It was a four-cornered sheet.

R.S.S. It was utterly in contrast to the spirit of a Jew.

E.P.L. It comes out when Paul was telling his experience. The Jews heard him until he speaks of being sent to the Gentiles; they would not listen to him after that, Acts 22:21, 22.

J.T. And God would have the key-holder, Peter, brought into sympathy with what is going on. A large part of Acts 10 is to bring Peter into accord with the spirit of the moment, so that the door should be opened to the Gentiles in suited dignity.

R.S.S. It is very remarkable that Peter was used in this way, even in Samaria. To him the keys were committed, and when Cornelius and his company are brought in you have Peter using the keys.

J.T. Acts 10 sets forth the operations of God. Chapter 9 is the operation of the Lord. God would bring Peter into accord with what He was doing. He might have told him arbitrarily to go to Caesarea, and Peter would have gone as a matter of obedience, but God does not act in that way. He would have Peter go to Caesarea in full sympathy with Him.

R.S.S. There was dissatisfaction at Jerusalem, but when Peter related the vision of the sheet, it brought them into sympathy. They at once say, "then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance

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unto life". Chapter 11 is interesting in that connection.

J.T. It brings out the spirit of the "elder brother" as in Luke 15, on the one hand, and the spirit of Christ on the other. Barnabas represents the spirit of Christ, and the spirit of the elder brother is seen in "the circumcision". The point in the elder brother is that he is not in sympathy with his father. The father says, "This thy brother is come", and he says, "This thy son"; he would not admit that he is his brother. It was as if he had said: 'He may be good enough to be your son, but not to be my brother'. God would bring the returned son in, and what we see is that the prodigal is introduced into a heavenly system. You must bear in mind that the testimony of chapters 9 and 10 lead up to this.

B.T.F. Is it when you reach this stage that the full truth of the church comes out?

J.T. Yes; by supplying other scriptures we can see how it is so. Luke 15 is the parable, and this in Acts is the historical event. The fact is, the very words "fell on them", used in regard to the activity of the Spirit's action, are used in regard to the Father's action in Luke 15. God had brought in the light of the new system and now He receives the Gentiles into it.

Peter learned one thing here. He says, "I perceive that God is no respecter of persons"; and when he saw that God gave the Spirit to the Gentiles he commanded that they should be baptised, but he did not act until he saw God act first.

J.L.J. What is the meaning of the word, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat?"

J.T. I think that was a very forcible way of reminding him that God was cleansing the Gentiles. Peter was hungry. God is the Creator and has rights over His creature; He had rights over Peter

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and He caused him to be hungry, and taught him through his hunger.

A.F.M. Is there anything analogous to man in these animals? Was not man cleansed and brought near through the death of Christ?

J.T. I suppose they would represent the whole race of man. All kinds were there, four-footed beasts, reptiles and birds. God was cleansing all. You see in Peter's remark to Cornelius and his company how he understood what God meant: "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him". Peter learned that by the vision of the sheet; not that everybody in the race is clean, but he perceived God's thought, that if He cleansed the Gentile, Peter was to recognise it.

R.S.S. Do you think that Romans 11 has application here? "If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world". Do we not get reconciliation there?

J.T. God would never give His Spirit to the. Gentiles unless they were agreeable to Him. It is suggested in the kiss. He would never have kissed the prodigal had he not been agreeable to Him. In Acts 10 "the Spirit fell upon them", indicating God's delight in showing mercy to the Gentile; but then the verses already cited necessarily precede that. "In every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him". The fear of God and the work of righteousness must have been there.

R.S.S. So there was a previous work of God in connection with the Gentile.

J.T. Surely. "When he was a great way off his father saw him". The prodigal had turned, and that was the effect of the work of God.

W.B-t. Your thought in the parable of the

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prodigal son is that the prodigal is the Gentile and the "elder brother" the Jew.

J.T. I think the Spirit of God emphasises here the character of that into which the Gentiles have been admitted. The father embraced him and said, "Bring forth the best robe and put it on him", and he is brought into the house. What a house! You must remember what precedes in Acts 9 and Acts 10.

A.McB. The liberty of sonship.

J.T. Exactly. And then Peter says, "Who can forbid water?" and he commanded them to be baptised in the name of the Lord, indicating that they are now under the protection of the Lord. The Gentile there comes into the kingdom. We get in principle the same thing in chapter 9, where there is the disclosure that the body is here; then the sheet coming down indicates the mind of heaven; everything that constitutes the present house of God was there in principle. The house of God was really constituted by Paul's ministry.

A.A.T. You were saying that baptism introduced this company into the kingdom. I thought the confession of the Lord did that.

J.T. Baptism is really confession. In baptism you virtually say that you are on the Lord's side. The world has put Him to death and you identify yourself with Him.

A.A.T. How about a child; is it in the light of the kingdom?

J.T. You (the parent) are in the light of it. The parents of Moses were not afraid of the king's commandment. Why am I not afraid of the king's commandment? Because I am in the light of the power of Christ in heaven. God vindicated their faith. We need not be afraid for our children because power is in the hands of the Lord.

A.F.M. It is a question of the parents' faith, is it not?

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J.T. Faith always precedes baptism. If it is in the adult, it must be there before baptism, and if it is a question of the household, faith must precede baptism. Paul says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house". You are set up in the light of the kingdom, and hence you accept baptism. You are not afraid of the king's commandment.

W.B-t. The king's commandment is death. Pharaoh's commandment was that they should not suffer the male children to live, and Moses' parents were not afraid of it. They committed their child to death, we may say.

J.T. Yes. In baptism you accept that blessing is not on the ground of nature, but through death.

B.T.F. Do you think the steps you have been developing are foreshadowed in the parable of the great supper? There we have first the Jew, who refused; then the invitation goes out to the streets and lanes of the city; and then going further to the highways and the hedges and compelling them to come in so that God's house may be filled.

J.T. Quite so, only Luke 15 is a development of chapter 14. Chapter 15 contemplates the rejection of the testimony by the Jews, and the "house" into which the prodigal was brought involves the heavenly system. The "great supper", Luke 14, refers more to what was set up at Jerusalem in connection with the ministry of the twelve.

B.T.F. What about the highways and hedges?

J.T. They are included in "the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off"; but in Acts 10 the link with Jerusalem is contemplated as broken.

B.T.F. I thought the historical order was that the Jews refused, and then the testimony went out as far as the Samaritans, and then further to the highways and hedges, and the Gentiles were brought in.

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J.T. That is quite right as to Luke 14, but chapter 15 emphasises the peculiar character of God's reception of the Gentile and what the Gentile is introduced into. There is nothing said about the best robe in Luke 14, but in chapter 15 it is put upon the prodigal.

W.B-t. You have given us new thoughts about the prodigal, and they are very precious.

J.T. There can be nothing greater than what we are brought into.

E.P.L. The idea of the church was not brought out then, because in the church the Jew and Gentile were to be united in one body.

J.T. Luke is not an ecclesiastical evangelist; Matthew is. Luke sets forth the magnitude of God's grace. In Acts 10 Cornelius and his company are baptised in the name of the Lord. It is not here baptising all nations to the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; it is rather a question of the authority of the Lord. They were already in relation with the Father and the Son by the reception of the Spirit. The protection of the kingdom is extended to the Gentiles.

A.F.M. How would you baptise today?

J.T. I would baptise in the name of the Lord, to the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Spirit. Baptising in the name of the Lord ensures the protection of the Lord. But then they are baptised to the whole system of Christianity; the Gentile is admitted to the full revelation of God. It is wonderful to see what you are baptised to -- God fully revealed. Being baptised to the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Spirit refers to the relationship in which divine Persons are. It is wonderful that we are baptised to that.

A.F.M. It is to the Father and the Son and the Spirit. How would it apply in the case of a child?

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I suppose it is in view of their being brought into the gain of that.

J.T. You are not to have any lower thought than the full revelation of God. You intend your children to be in the full blessing of Christianity. You may have to wait long to see the result, but from your side that is your object.

J.L.J. Are there two ways of baptising now?

J.T. No; the one is privilege, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit; that is Christianity proper; but the Lord is in the place of authority.

G.F.W. Do you make any point of being baptised to the name of the Lord first?

J.T. No.

J.L.J. Would you go through the form of words? Is it necessary?

J.T. I would. We should be perfectly clear that baptism introduces into that system of things that is pervaded by the Father and the Son and the Spirit; but you also need protection here, and this is connected with the Lord.

W.C.R. And having your children baptised signifies you want them protected from the world.

J.T. It is a great comfort to know the Lord has power and can protect them.

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THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD

Ephesians 4:13.

J.T. I suppose, that what you had in mind in proposing this scripture is the expression, "until we all arrive at the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God"?

R.S.S. I thought of it as suggesting perhaps the line we might take. This scripture speaks of our coming to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, as in contrast to the end of Matthew 11, where it says, "No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him". We need to know Christ better as the Son of God.

J.T. Ephesians 4 presents our side. It is our apprehension, but that must depend on the revelation.

R.S.S. The revelation comes first, and perhaps we might begin by considering it on that side.

J.T. I think that in the Son of man we have the persons in whom God's will is carried out here where it had been contravened. That is, we have set forth in the Son of man what man should have been for God. Obedience was to characterise man, hence when Adam was created we at once hear of commandment; the Lord commanded Adam, Genesis 2:16. That indicated that man was to be under responsibility to do God's will. The giving of the law later was to emphasise this. We are told in the prophets that Israel, like Adam, had transgressed the covenant; Hosea 6:7 Christ answered to it infinitely; He magnified the law and made it honourable.

R.S.S. The first covenant, of course, was a question of the will of God.

J.T. That was the point in it.

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R.S.S. I have been thinking a good deal in connection with our meetings, how that Christ had come in to take up the will of God and to fulfil it, and that not only when man had broken down, but after Satan had rebelled and brought his own will into the universe, Christ comes in as the lowly Man down here and takes up everything, and fulfils God's will and glorifies Him in the removal of lawlessness out of God's universe.

J.T. Yes, so that the thought of man as taken up in Christ becomes a wonderful subject of consideration for Christians, as set here for God's will; for if our position on earth means anything, it means that we are here for God's will.

J.L.J. Do you say we have come to the knowledge of the Son of God before we can carry that out now?

J.T. I think the thought of Son of God is connected with the family of God rather than with man as such.

J.L.J. My thought was that we had to come to the knowledge of Him as the Son of God before we could carry out His mind.

J.T. I think that is true. We have to know the liberty of sonship before we can carry out God's will here, but these are two distinct lines of thought. The Son of God is connected with the family of God. The Lord said in regard to Lazarus' sickness, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby". It was the sickness of a member of the family of God; it was not simply a member of the human race that was sick, or dead, such as we find in Luke 7, but a member of a circle that set forth in type the divine family. I think the family of Bethany was representative of the family of God.

R.S.S. And we are distinctly told that the Lord loved them.

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J.T. That is what I was thinking. The Spirit tells us before the Lord came to Bethany that He loved Mary and Martha and Lazarus. Lazarus was known in this connection; "he whom thou lovest is sick". It appears to me that the glory of the Son of God is bound up with the family of God.

R.S.S. Is association with Him in sonship more connected with Him as Son of God than as Son of man?

J.T. The idea of Son of God is primary and continuous, but I doubt whether the idea of Son of man is continuous. I think it comes in to show that all that which fell to man in the way of responsibility and privilege is taken up by Christ.

A.McB. As Son of man?

J.T. Yes; but the primary and prominent thought is Son of God; that continues into the eternal state.

R.S.S. And that which is connected with the Son of man continues to the end of the kingdom.

J.T. I think so. It is in connection with God's will.

W.B. In @Romans 12 the soul is led up to the point of doing God's will according to what he has learned of God in the previous part of the epistle. He carries out his responsibility as to this by the Spirit.

J.T. Quite so. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God". So that God is vindicated in those who have really received the gospel. His will is carried out in them. In that way we are brought on to the hue of Christ as He was here. In Romans 8 we are to be conformed

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to the image of God's Son; that is another thought; that is the heavenly and eternal side, but in chapter 12 we see, that the thought of God for us, as in the testimony down here, is that His will should be carried out.

W.B-t. When Mary Magdalene meets the Lord in resurrection, He says to her, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God". When He says, "I am not yet ascended to my Father", is the thought there that she must not touch Him as Son of God, although she had known Him as Son of man?

J.T. I think the thought there is that she was not to renew the old associations with Him, that the relations were to be of a new order; they were to be established from heaven; He had not yet ascended; the connection in Christianity is really established from heaven; the associations are heavenly.

A.A.T. Would you distinguish between "the Son" and the "Son of God"?

J.T. I think the term "the Son" refers to the Lord personally, not to His relationship with us. "No man knoweth the Son but the Father". The Son is unknowable save to the Father; but as the Son of God He is connected with revelation and the purpose of God. In Him the relation in which God intended man to be with Himself is set forth.

R.S.S. That is a very important statement: that the "Son of God" refers to what God intended man in privilege to be; that whether we consider the Lord as the Son of man, or as Son of God, it is Christ in manhood. It is well to bear in mind that even where He is referred to as the Son in Matthew 11, it is still as in manhood, but it is what He is in manhood, Godward.

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A.F.M. If you would continue a few remarks in relation to John 11 and John 12 it would help us in this connection?

J.T. I thought of that; I think the term Son of God is connected with the family; that is, God's thought is to take up man in family relationship. God intimated that He was to have a family. We read, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him". That is, the revelation is declared in One who is in the relationship of Son in the bosom of the Father; you have the family idea intimated there. It is a question of relationship, and I think that God set in the human family a testimony to that from the beginning. In creating man as he is, as a parent of children, as a father of sons, God set in every man's heart a testimony to what was in His own heart; He was to have sons. My reason for saying that is, that in appealing to Pharaoh to let Israel go, He says, "Israel is my son, even my firstborn". Then He says to Pharaoh, "If thou refuse to let my son go ... I will slay thy son". He had set such a testimony in the way of natural relationship in Pharaoh's heart that He could appeal to Pharaoh; in other words, He appealed to Pharaoh as a father.

R.S.S. And the sacrifice in connection with Abraham and Isaac was really on that very principle; "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest".

J.T. Yes; God at that early date showed what was in His heart. We know now by the Spirit that behind that statement there is the love of God for the Son.

A.F.M. To return to John 11; that family was defective in one respect; you remarked that it had not a head.

J.T. Yes; there is nothing said in Scripture

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about the parents of that family; the Spirit only mentions the two sisters and the brother.

W.B-t. In what way do you speak of them as the family of God?

J.T. I think they are that in a representative way. One great line in John's gospel is the family. In the preface to his gospel he says: "He came to his own (Israel in natural relation), and his own received him not; but as many as received him, to them gave he the right to be children of God, to those that believe on his name; who have been born, not of blood, nor of flesh's will, nor of man's will, but of God". Well, in chapter 2 His mother says to Him, "They have no wine". She said that to the Lord because she was His mother. He says, "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" He disclaimed the connection. He did not call her mother; He disowned her claim on Him, because He was there in regard to a spiritual order of things, and she appealed to Him in the natural order; so He disowns her claim and He proceeds to bring in the spiritual. He knew better than she did that the wine of nature was out, and He brings in the spiritual in type, "the good wine". We shall find later in the gospel that He recognised another family, the family at Bethany, and He loves that family. The Spirit enlarges on the fact that He loved that circle at Bethany.

W.C.R. How is the family formed?

J.T. I think the family is formed in the light of the revelation of God. The family at Bethany represented what was spiritual in Israel, but they were parentless; without a head. What they needed was that God should reveal Himself to them. How the spiritual element in Israel would appreciate the revelation of God! and that is what John brings out in his gospel. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom

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of the Father, he hath declared him". The One in the bosom of the Father has declared Him. The family has to be formed in the light of that revelation.

R.S.S. The revelation of God as Father, and in connection with that, the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, comes to light.

W.C.B. You get the quickening power of Christ in chapter 5, bringing in life for that family.

J.T. Yes; and in chapter 6 you have the food that sustains them. The family would be really formed by the revelation made by the Son in the bosom of the Father. What depths there are in that to ponder over, "the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father". There we get back to the thought indicated in God's word to Abraham: "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest".

W.B-t. Then the revelation of God as Father is in connection with the Son of God?

J.T. Clearly. The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him. That is the great point with John.

A.McB. The revelation brings to light the family?

J.T. Yes. The family would appreciate the revelation. If you get a headless family, God comes in and takes the place of the parents. Mary in chapter 20 represents the spiritual family, and they are brought into new and heavenly relationships. They are associated with the heavenly One in His own relationship with the Father.

A.McB. That is something greater than knowing Christ after the flesh. "Henceforth know we him no more".

S.T. Is that why death is allowed to come into that family?

J.T. Death in a member of the family brings to light the great interest of the Father and the Son

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in the family, so the Lord says, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby".

A.F.M. I was going to raise that question in regard to the glory of God and the Son of God, that the glory of the Son of God comes out in placing the family on the resurrection platform; and does not chapter 12 bring that out?

J.T. Chapters 11 and 12 bring it out.

A.F.M. In the latter they are in association. They have arrived, in principle, at the knowledge of the Son of God.

J.T. The knowledge of the Son of God necessitated His death. The sonship of Christ must be attested, otherwise we could not apprehend it. It is true that the Father called attention to it saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight"; but there must be a testimony to the sonship of Christ in power so that faith may take hold of it.

R.S.S. His power was manifested in raising Lazarus from the dead.

J.T. He is declared Son of God with power by resurrection from the dead, Romans 1. It is an abstract statement, it does not specify who the dead may be. He raises the dead; it is a fundamental element of faith. It is in the very foundation of Christian knowledge.

R.S.S. Not only does God declare Him as His beloved Son, but considering us He gives us absolute proof of it in the fact that He raises the dead.

J.T. So at the tomb of Lazarus He turns to the Father and says, "I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may behove that thou hast sent me". When He came to Bethany, Mary and Martha said, "If thou hadst been here my brother had not died". But they did not apprehend the glory of the Son of God. The glory of the Son of God is

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not in retaining man in flesh and blood here. He could have done that, but then that would be merely to retain the man as he was here. The Lord says, "Thy brother shall rise again". Still she says, "I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day". She was dark in regard to the Lord's Person, and yet she had love for Him, and He loved her. There are multitudes of believers who love the Lord and yet are dark as to the glory of His Person. They are orthodox as she was, but they are dark as to His Person.

W.B-t. I am not quite clear about that. The Lord said to Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" And Martha answered, "Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world".

J.T. That was following on what I was referring to. I was referring to what occurred earlier, but the great light which the Lord wanted to introduce is contained in the statement, "I am the resurrection and the life". That was light for her.

A.B. It is following on that that she says, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of God".

R.S.S. In connection with the question that has been raised, in what sense did she say, "I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God"? Do you think that she apprehended what was revealed to Peter, the revelation of the Father?

J.T. Whatever she may have believed hitherto, the Lord brought in light by His reply to her, saying, "I am the resurrection and the life". There was light in that.

R.S.S. I thought it was very much like what Nathanael said: "thou art the Son of God; thou art the king of Israel". I did not think that Nathanael

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apprehended the truth of His Person, but being an "Israelite indeed", and instructed in the Old Testament scriptures, he looked for the Messiah as Son of God, according to Psalm 2.

J.T. She made the confession, however, that He was the Christ, the Son of God; but she does not say that He was the resurrection and the life.

J.L.J. She only speaks of Him as the One "who should come into the world".

J.T. Mary also said, "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died", and the Lord says nothing to her, but goes on to the tomb. He does not repeat the discourse He had with Martha; the record is not merely historical, but to show how the Lord's people are to be led on into the knowledge of the Son of God.

R.S.S. That is why John's gospel was written.

J.T. Then He comes to the tomb and says, "Where have ye laid him?" and He groans in His Spirit. The Lord accepted in His own spirit the pressure of death that lay on the family of God, the full pressure of death, and we are told that He groaned, showing how perfectly He entered into it; but entering into it in that way, He abolishes death.

A.F.M. Going back to Mary for a moment, would you say she had learned more of the Person of Christ than Martha, although she says the same thing to the Lord that Martha does?

J.T. But I think that even in regard to her, and indeed all up to that time, there was darkness as regards His Person. What was before Him was to bring in the light of His Person, that they might believe, and the teaching in it for us is that we should become believers in the Son of God.

W.B-t. That is very good, and the effect of it in Mary is seen later on.

J.L.J. What did Mary get in Luke 10 when sitting at His feet?

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J.T. The thought is different there. She was learning His mind.

E.H.T. Is your thought that the glory connected with the Lord as Son of God is that He brings in life?

J.T. I think so, but the point here is not simply that He is the life, but that He should be believed upon by the testimony of life. Martha says, "By this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days". The Lord says, "Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" That is what He had before Him. The Lord intended to establish that family in the light of His Person. This is where we are defective. You can never understand Christianity till you are on the platform of the Son of God. All this that happened at Bethany was to the end that this family should be set up in the light of the Person of Christ as Son of God.

R.S.S. Do you think the Jews understood why the Lord wept? Why did He weep?

J.T. He did not weep at the gate of Nain in Luke 7, though death was there too.

L.M. If the Lord had power to raise one from the dead, He has power to raise every one?

J.T. Yes: if He could raise Lazarus, He could raise any one. Lazarus was as much dead as if he had been dead a hundred years. Christ is demonstrated to be the Son of God by resurrection from the dead.

E.P.L. You quoted the scripture, "the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him", in connection with family relationships, but we have been accustomed to think of the Lord Jesus Christ coming to reveal God in all His attributes.

J.T. That is true, of course, but I was referring to the primary idea of God that He should have a

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family. You must lay hold of the truth of the father and Son if you are to understand Christianity. The Son has revealed God, but He has revealed the Father. It is not said that He is in the bosom of God, but in the bosom of the Father.

E.H.T. So your thought is that the family idea is set forth in the relationship between the Father and the Son.

R.S.S. In the Old Testament God revealed Himself in many ways, but the name Father involves the greatest and most blessed privileges.

J.T. God's thought is to have permanently a family order of things, not a national.

R.M.L. I suppose that in revealing Himself as Father all His attributes come out.

J.T. You must apprehend God in all His attributes first. What is involved in that is the question of righteousness; that has to be settled before we can arrive at the family. But I think it is an immense thing to see that the full revelation of God involves that His primary and perhaps most blessed thought is to have a family.

E.H.T. What is the reason for that?

J.T. God's purpose is the outcome of what He is, which is love.

J.L.J. His affections called for it.

J.T. The only begotten Son in the bosom of the Father revealing Him conveys the secret as to what was the divine thought.

W.B. How is this line of truth connected with the testimony of the gospel? Is it embraced in it?

J.T. I think it is. God revealed His Son in Paul; I think that involved the family idea.

W.B. Is there a privilege side connected with the gospel?

J.T. What is in view in the gospel is that we should be conformed to the image of God's Son.

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Ephesians 4 contemplates that we are to arrive at the full knowledge of the Son of God; the great end from our side is to know the Son of God. In the early part of Acts Christ is presented as Lord, but Paul's preaching brought in the Son of God, and in connection with that you have the unfolding of the divine system. Family relationships, a house, and a city were brought into view.

B.T.F. Regarding the family, what would you say about the Father seeking worshippers? Why was that brought out in John 4?

J.T. I think the prominent thought there is, that God is a Spirit. The Samaritans connected God with Gerizim and the Jews with Jerusalem, but both ideas really beclouded the idea of God, because God is a Spirit, and you cannot connect God in that way with any locality. The Lord said, "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth". The declaration spoken of in John 1:18 is of God, and the Father; the declaration referred to both thoughts. The presence of sin in the world necessitated the death of Christ, so that God should be vindicated in every way. God must be revealed. "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent". I do not connect eternal life exactly with the Father and the Son, but with God and Man. I think this is what the Lord's definition of eternal life in John 17:3 implies.

R.S.S. But in that scripture you quoted Jesus was speaking to the Father, and He goes on to say, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee (addressing the Father) the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent".

J.T. I think it is a question of God and Man

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brought together. "The only true God" has to be apprehended. God is to be apprehended.

E. They could only be brought together in the Person of the Son.

J.T. Surely the Father and the Son are there. The Lord was speaking to His Father, but He is "the only true God" of whom He speaks; and Jesus Christ (not Thy Son, but Thy sent One); that is, Christ as Man here carrying out God's will. So that we get there the true God and the true Man brought together. It is in the apprehension of these two thoughts that life eternal consists.

B.T.F. God is revealed to us in the character of Father, is He not?

J.T. Yes; but the true God is in the light in which I apprehend God in my position down here where there are false gods. The idea of the Father carries me into the house where there is privilege, but on the other hand I am in this world where there is idolatry. It was in Eden that God was first displaced in man's heart.

B.T.F. Does not the thought of Father bring us more into intimacy, so there is a system of relationships, and in the enjoyment of them we find eternal life?

J.T. I doubt that. It is where death has been that eternal life is brought in. In Eden, God lost His place in man's heart, and in consequence death came in. There was not the true man there. The true God was there, but He lost His place with man; but in Christ here on earth the true God is fully recognised. He is the true Man. Where idolatry was we have the true God. In the bringing to light of the true God you have the true Man, because we could not have the true God brought in fully except in the true Man; that is, in one in whom God has His true place; and that is in Christ the "sent One". And it is in the knowledge of Christ brought

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in in that way that eternal life consists. "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life".

W.B-t. What is your thought as to that verse?

J.T. The point there is that He is true. Then he says, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols".

W.B-t. It is connected with the Son of God.

J.T. His Person lies behind it all, but here it is a question of what He was as Man; "Him that is true". But then He was not only the true Man, He was the true God, and He presented the true God to man. "He is the true God, and eternal life".

W.B-t. The thought in my mind is that in this chapter several times He is referred to as Son of God. It is in that aspect that we know Him and are in Him.

J.T. "We know that the Son of God is come and hath given us an understanding", but then it says, "we are in him that is true". If you think of the One that is "true" it refers to what Christ was as Man here. I fully admit that the truth of His Person lies behind it all, but you must get the idea of the true Man.

G.H. I never could see the difference between sonship and eternal life. Sonship is a greater thought than eternal life, is it not?

J.T. We must refer to Eden if it is a question of eternal life. You must bring God and man together.

B.T.F. What about Psalm 133"there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore"?

J.T. That refers to the sphere of eternal life.

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That is another matter. I am speaking now of what we are to know.

B.T.F. I think it is needful to get the two distinct so that we may distinguish between the knowledge and the sphere. Is the sphere where the believer is placed in a certain relationship?

J.T. I think so.

G.F.W. I think I understand what you mean: that life was lost in the garden of Eden when man departed from the presence of God, but when man is seen in his true place in regard of God eternal life has taken form.

W.B-t. Have you any thought of the tree of life?

J.T. It has reference to Christ in His own sphere. Blessed are they that have washed their robes that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city, Revelation 22.

A.A.T. What about that scripture that speaks of eternal life which was with the Father? 1 John 1:2.

J.T. That is Christ as He was here on earth before the eyes of the apostles. The apostle is referring to Christ as He was in His pathway here on earth.

A.A.T. It seems to be emphasised that He was with the Father.

J.T. Yes, I think so.

G.F.W. You were speaking in regard to knowledge.

J.T. Yes, the elements of knowledge that comprise eternal life. The point is to see that it is brought in here, where idolatry and lawlessness are. The true God and the true Man are together. If you apprehend them together you have the idea of eternal life.

G.F.W. If a man knows the true God, there is no room for idolatry.

J.T. And if he knows the true Man, there is no room for lawlessness.

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L.D.T. What is the true man?

J.T. He is not lawless; he practises righteousness. The Lord, the sent One, is the One who fully carried out God's will.

W.B-t. You are referring to 1 John 5:20. It connects the word "true" with "God", and also with "his Son Jesus Christ", so it is a scriptural expression. There is one thing I should like you to tell us about. It has been commonly said amongst us, that eternal life consists in the knowledge of divine Persons.

J.T. I would prefer to take it up as it stands. The Lord does not say, "To know thee the Father, and Jesus Christ thy Son", but "thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent".

E.H.T. Why do you not say it is divine Persons as such?

J.T. Because it is a question of the re-establishment of the true thought of God and the true thought of man.

E.P.L. Is sonship a greater thought than eternal life. I suppose eternal life ends with the kingdom, and sonship will remain in eternity?

J.T. You would have to guard that, because the knowledge we possess will never disappear, but the necessity for the idea of the true God is not there; there will be no false gods there, and no lawlessness, so the idea of the true man is; not prominent.

A.F.M. Referring to the subject before us in hand, is there any other glory besides that of resurrection in connection with the Son of God?

J.T. I think we should have to take that up in another reading. That involves John 12 and John 20. The latter chapter shows how the Father is brought in; the declaration of the Father's name is made.

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THE GLORY OF THE SON OF GOD (1)

John 12:1, 2; John 20:11 - 18.

J.T. I think we have to distinguish between the announcement made by the Father as to the Lord's Person, in the earlier chapters of the first three gospels, and the attestation that He is the Son of God by the fact of His resurrection.

R.S.S. That was alluded to yesterday and was very interesting.

J.T. The announcement was made at the outset by the Father, and attention was called to Him by the gift of the Spirit, so that the Baptist and Nathanael recognised Him to be the Son of God; but it is another thing to have the declaration of it by the fact of resurrection.

R.S.S. That is what Romans begins with.

J.T. Yes. He is presented in the gospel as "declared to be the Son of God with power", and it is as such that faith rests upon Him.

R.S.S. It is very interesting that the gospel narrative begins by the announcement on the part of God, and the gospel as it is preached begins by the declaration of Him as the Son of God by resurrection.

J.T. As an object of faith presented in the gospel He has been declared to be the Son of God with power by resurrection of the dead. John says, "this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith". And then he says, "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" Then he proceeds to say, "This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth", 1 John 5. So that the faith of Christians is in Christ, known to be the Son

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of God, having come in by death, not simply as having become incarnate, but as having come in by death.

R.S.S. And that is the signification of coming by water and blood, It suggests the thought of His death.

J.T. Surely, because He was dead when the blood and water flowed from His side. Then John says, "this is the witness, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son". It is in the Person who is declared to be God's Son. It is not in Adam, but in the Person who has come by water and blood.

R.S.S. It is in Christ, but in Christ as the Son.

J.T. As an Object of faith His Person as Son of God is presented to us, He having brought eternal life into form for us. In order that eternal life should be available, His death and resurrection were necessary, but that does not in any way militate against the thought that we were dwelling on yesterday, that He is the true man. It was needful that a man should answer in every way to God if men were to be entitled to live, and there must be the abolition of idolatry and lawlessness.

A.F.M. Where do you get the expression the true man?

J.T. In 1 John 5:20. "In him that is true". It is involved in the expression, "whom thou hast sent;" John 17:3. As the sent One the Lord answered infinitely to God's will.

W.C.R. In John 17 you get the true God presented, and then in 1 John 5:20 you get the "sent one" spoken of as the "true God".

J.T. "He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me [He does not say he who believes on God or the Father, but" on him that sent me "], has eternal life".

W.B-t. In 1 John 5:20 it says, "And we

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know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, in, his Son Jesus Christ". Would that answer to it?

J.T. Yes. The Person is God's Son, but He is Jesus Christ, the sent One. That gives the thought of man, I think. It expresses His humanity.

W.B-t. And then immediately afterwards it is said, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols".

J.T. What one sees is, that in that Person is presented the true God and the true Man.

B.T.F. Are you speaking of eternal life as something here on earth? We had looked at it before as an out-of-the-world, heavenly condition. Now you speak of the true Man, and as walking down here in responsibility.

J.T. I think it is true that eternal life is in an out-of-the-world order of things, for it cannot be realised where lawlessness and idolatry are. But in what Christ was here you see how title to it has been established, in the sense that He carried out God's will fully. How does Israel come into eternal life in the future, for instance? God had laid claim to their affections; that is, that He was to be recognised as the only true God. He says, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord thy God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might". There God asserts His title to their affection. The question is whether they answered to it. Instead of answering to it they made the golden calf, and other gods; that is what Israel was after the flesh. They were not true to God's demand. They were like a deceitful bow. Now the covenant He made with them was altogether from His own side. They were not equal to it, but the mediator, Moses, was there, but he was only mediator in figure. There is one God and one Mediator. Moses was the

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mediator in figure, but not in reality. He could not bring the tables of the law into the camp, and he broke them. If Christ had been there, what would He have done? He would not have broken them; He had them in His heart. Moses had to break the tables of the covenant; they had become null and void. If Christ had been there, the law would have been in His heart; and more than that, He would have effected the covenant by dying. Moses says, "Peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin". He goes up, but it was with a "peradventure"; but Christ makes the atonement; hence in His death you have the true "blood of the covenant". He effectuates the covenant by dying, and then God says, "I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel ... I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people". Now it is in that way that eternal life is Secured with Israel; God brings in a law-abiding people, a people who recognise His claims as the "true God", the God who alone has title to man's affections. He puts His law in their hearts and minds and their sins are remitted, and therefore they are to be a "true" people, recognising fully the "true God".

B.T.F. The revelation of God to Israel was that of Jehovah; and in Christianity we have the revelation of God as Father. I thought that in Christianity we come into eternal life by getting the revelation of God as Father in our souls, and ourselves as companions with the Son of God beyond the power of death.

J.T. I do not think that is the thought in eternal life; that goes beyond it. I think the idea of eternal life is to bring in life where death had been, and it is brought in by God making Himself known in the covenant. There is one Man, the Mediator between

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God and men, and that Man is Christ. He effectuates the covenant by dying; and then God writes His laws in men's hearts and in their minds. So that instead of their going after other gods, God has secured His place as the "true God" in their affections, and hence Israel lives. They do not die as in the wilderness, because His law is in their hearts.

R.S.S. I think, that what you have been saying is borne out by what we find in the gospels; in such scriptures, for instance, as Luke 10, and again in chapter 18. We find there, two persons coming to the Lord with the inquiry as to how eternal life was to be obtained, and in both cases the Lord refers to the first covenant.

J.T. "What is written in the law? how readest thou?" There it was put on its true basis in regard of Israel; but in John 6 the Lord says, "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you; for him hath God the Father sealed". And then they raise the question as to how they can work the works of God, and He says, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent". That was the point to get hold of. There was the sent One, the One who would carry out God's will, and what they were to do was to believe on Him.

R.S.S. In that connection, as the One sent of God in order to accomplish His will?

J.T. Yes; "him has the Father sealed, even God". Then the Jews refer to the manna, and the Lord opens up His great position as Man, so that He should be food for men; that men should not die, but live.

A.F.M. Do you think, that the way Israel is brought into eternal life in the future illustrates the way we are brought into it?

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J.T. Yes, the covenant is the great thought. The new covenant lays the ground for eternal life.

W.B. The testimony in Israel was connected with the "one God", and the testimony in Christianity is connected with God as one, the true God.

J.T. That is a very important consideration. I think, that unity was implied in the Old Testament as well as in the New.

W.B. I thought that in the Old Testament it was one God in contrast to the many gods.

J.T. I think that is true, but then the fact of the one God is the basis of unity. Unity flows from it. There are not two or many gods, but one;and in Christianity, in the gospel, the truth presented is, that God is one, and the Mediator between God and man is one, the Man Christ Jesus. There is one God and one Mediator. This is the basis of unity.

R.S.S. How would you indicate that?

J.T. If you take Christendom as it stands, with its sects and bodies, it is a denial that God is one, because if God is one, why are His people divided? There is no division in eternal life. The sphere of eternal life depends on unity.

A.McB. That is Psalm 133.

J.T. Yes; but before you can have that you must have the true idea of the one true God in your soul. That lays the ground for unity.

B.T.F. Is what you have been saying on the same line as what is presented in John 3; first, the kingdom is spoken of as an earthly thing, and then the Lord says, "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" Eternal life is developed as a heavenly thing.

J.T. Eternal life is morally out of heaven, as the second Man is out of heaven. It has come in by the second Man. It comes in by Man.

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J.L.J. Eternal life is practically connected with the earth, and ends at the end of the kingdom.

J.T. That is, as to the term. The thing itself remains, but the term is relative; it has reference to idolatry and lawlessness. Life was lost by idolatry and lawlessness, and before you can have eternal life their opposite must be reinstated; in your soul you must know the true God and the true Man.

G.F.W. I was thinking as to how Israel comes into eternal life under the covenant; it says further on, that it depended on having His statutes and keeping them.

W.B-t. Yesterday you were referring to the garden of Eden and the condition that was there. Death came in, and in contrast to death you have eternal life. I would not speak of a free black man, because now there are no slaves in this country. It is in contrast that such would be said.

J.T. Whilst slavery existed, the idea of a free man was in evidence. The term now has scarcely any force. But in the thought of eternal life we have very much more than Adam could have had; we have the full revelation of God. The God who is the "true God" is to us the Father, and may be known to us as such, but the point is that you have no other God but He, and you do not admit of another.

W.C.R. Does not the end of Romans 5 develop it?

J.T. I think it does. "By the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life". And then he goes on to develop it on the ground of obedience, "the obedience of one". So that grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

W.B. The principle is the same both as to Israel

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and in Christianity, but the revelation is somewhat different.

J.T. The principle is exactly the same, but we have in Christianity more. The true God is reinstated in man's heart and man abides in righteousness; idolatry and lawlessness are terminated in that man. John's epistle is based on these things.

G.F.W. That is the reason why John's statements are so pungent.

W.L.P. What is the force of eternal life?

J.T. It is not momentary as our life here is.

W.L.P. The life we have is in the Son.

J.T. Quite so, and then also eternal life.

W.L.P. Then eternal life must go on.

J.T. I think the term eternal is used in the way of contrast. It is also used in regard of Christ's priesthood and in other connections. But it is a relative term, showing that there is nothing to follow after it.

R.S.S. We read of the "everlasting kingdom", and yet the kingdom will be delivered up.

R. If there was not death, the word eternal life would not be used at all. It would not be necessary.

J.T. That is it. Life here is so brief that it is easy to understand the contrast in the term eternal life. No one felt it more than the Jew; for instance, Hezekiah. He clung to life; he had an addition of fifteen years added to his life; but when you come to the thought of eternal life how grand that is! The Jews sought it, and looked for it, and the Lord says, "ye will not come to me, that ye might have life".

E.H.T. Is your thought that the term eternal life is only used as things are now?

J.T. As long as death exists. When death has disappeared, the force of the term ceases, though the thing itself may remain, and will remain.

A.F.M. Will you give us in a simple way how

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We are brought into eternal life and where the sphere of eternal life is?

J.T. The first great thought is the presentation of the true God; that is, God is presented to you in the gospel. Then the next thing is that your heart and conscience are affected by the light of God revealed in the death of Christ. The full revelation of God rightly received leads to the production of a true man. Now you are formed in righteousness and you come to apprehend what Jesus was. If we abide in Him we walk even as He walked. He is the true Man, so that you have brought together in that way in your soul the two realities. God has His place in your soul as the true God, and man is before Him in you as formed after Christ. Thus in you there is practically the abolition of idolatry and lawlessness.

A.F.M. Then is there a sphere? With Israel there will be a sphere of enjoyment which will be the land. Is there a sphere in which we enjoy eternal life?

J.T. I think so. Psalm 133 is very helpful. God has brought to pass a sphere for man. I think it was brought to pass before men were invited to it. God had brought in the testimony to His Son in the presence of life manifestly here in the circle of the saints. That circle existed before the proclamation of the gospel went out. The Lord says in John 12 that the Father's commandment is life eternal. Israel rejected Him as to all that He did and said, but the Father's commandment held good. If they did not account themselves worthy of everlasting life the Gentiles are regarded as worthy of it.

W.L.P. How did the circle exist before the proclamation of the gospel?

J.T. In the one hundred and twenty in Acts 1. They were all constituted true men by the ministry of Christ. The Spirit came down to these men, so

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that in Acts 1 you have the true God in evidence. God had His rightful place there. They spoke of the wonderful works of God. He had His full place in their hearts and they were all righteous, and the effect of that was that they loved one another.

A.A.T. Would you distinguish between eternal life and sonship?

J.T. Sonship, as has often been said, goes beyond eternal life; the fulness of the privilege of sonship leads us into heavenly places. They should not be confused. They are on parallel lines, to a certain extent; but sonship goes further. God is leading many sons to glory.

B.T.F. Where do we see a company in the present dispensation in the good of eternal life?

J.T. In Acts 2.

B.T.F. In what is described in 1 Corinthians 15 we are completely beyond death?

J.T. Death is swallowed up in victory. Resurrection takes place necessarily on earth. Translation is stated afterwards.

B.T.F. In the early part of 1 Corinthians 15 we have: "Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept". Then at the end of the chapter we get the rest of the company and God's vindication. Does that fit in with the thought you have been bringing before us?

J.T. I think so. Only there it is a question of the power of God over death. There is a day coming when He will destroy the veil that covers the nations and swallow up death in victory.

G.H. Do you connect eternal life with the kingdom, and sonship with the house?

J.T. I am certain that sonship is connected with the house. The son abides in the house for ever, Eternal life is definitely called "the blessing", and is greater than the kingdom, but the enjoyment of it is dependent on the kingdom. The kingdom is

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essential to it, but it is something more definite as "blessing" than the kingdom.

R.S.S. It was in view before the kingdom.

J.T. The kingdom came in as a necessity, so as to secure it.

W.B-t. The thought of eternal life searches us tremendously. For instance, there is Adam in the garden of Eden. He had the true God, but the true God and His arrangements were not sufficient for Adam. He was not of the true man. If we take the place of being true men the next question that comes up is that of idolatry. We must refuse it. The true God must have His place with us.

J.T. The effect of the gospel when rightly received is to give God His place in your heart; and that leads to unity, because God is one; and the gift of the Spirit in you is the same as in me, and we have received the Spirit from the God who is revealed to us in the gospel as the one God, so that the Holy Spirit in us leads to unity, and thus there is the circle in which righteousness is maintained. It is an immense thing in the presence of sin to have a circle where the rights of God are fully maintained.

E.H.T. Is that the sphere?

J.T. Yes.

W.B-t. And all that stands in contrast with idolatry?

J.T. Yes, in contrast to the idolatrous world without.

G.F.W. I think we have sometimes thought that what is commonly called salvation and eternal life are the same, but now I think that eternal life in a certain sense is subjective, a sphere that we are brought into the enjoyment of by the Spirit; that is not the same thing as salvation.

J.T. Salvation is from the enemy: "that we might be saved from our enemies". The kingdom secures that for you. I think baptism comes in in

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connection with that. You recognise the Lord, and as recognising Him you come into the benefit of the power that He wields which secures salvation to you. But then there is the pressure of death on man; eternal life is brought in in contrast to that.

G.F.W. Does not the way you have been speaking of it make it rather subjective?

J.T. It is a question of knowledge. "This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent".

G.F.W. It is not quickening?

J.T. Quickening is essential. You need the actual work of the Spirit in you. But the Lord speaks of eternal life as knowledge. "To know thee". He says to the Father, "As thou hast given him authority over all flesh, that as to all that thou hast given to him, he should give them life eternal". That is how He administers the authority that the Father has given to Him. Then He says, "And this is the eternal life, that they should know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent". Now as far as I see the statement corresponds in a sense with what Israel will have when the covenant is fully effectuated in them.

R.S.S. I think what is contained in 1 John 3 is very striking in this connection, because the epistle of John shows how we come into eternal life. "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil". That refers to the garden of Eden and what you have been speaking of as lawlessness, and then Cain is introduced, who hates his brother, so that it would indicate, I should think, that what is characteristic of eternal life is the reverse, obedience and affection.

J.T. That is very good. I think the opening of John's first epistle is calculated to bring to the attention of the saints what Christ was as Man with the Father here on earth. "That which was from

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the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us)". And then he closes by saying, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ", and he adds, "And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full". I believe, that what the apostle had in his mind was to bring to the attention of the saints the true Man as set forth in Christ, so that there should be the reproduction of that Man in them, and as that was reproduced you have eternal life practically.

R.S.S. In what does it consist practically? In righteousness and in affection and in joy?

J.T. Yes. I think joy is there to the full, if God has His place in the heart. See what the Lord says in Psalm 16, "I have set the Lord always before me". "Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god". He had God always before Him, and I think the apostle laboured to bring to pass, that that order of Man should reappear in the saints.

R.S.S. Quite so. But we have been accustomed to speak and think of eternal life as a life of relationship.

J.T. I do not like to appear to deny what may be true, but if anything is asserted, I would ask what scripture is it based upon? I am not denying that relationship is involved in it, but what I would like is, that we should get hold of it as it is in the setting of Scripture, so that there might be practical deliverance from the spirit of idolatry and lawlessness. I am not denying that there is relationship in it, because "we know that we have passed from death

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unto life, because we love the brethren". That is the proof of it, but then that in principle was also demanded in the law; "thou shalt love .. thy neighbour as thyself".

B.T.F. Is your thought that before there could be the enjoyment of the relationship there must be the knowledge in your heart of the true God and the true Man?

J.T. Quite so!

A.F.M. I think what has been brought before us in this connection is not only helpful but it has a very practical turn, because it will make us search ourselves as to how far we are in relation to the true God and the true Man in our daily lives; and such an exercise is beneficial to us all.

J.T. That the Christian's place is heaven is very clear in Scripture; it is the pleasure of God's love that we should have this place. But it was due to God morally that His thought as to the earth and men on it should be established first. The question of righteousness and life have reference to the earth. Christ established the title for man to live on earth and in heaven.

B.T.F. I thought we never would be entitled to live on earth, but that our justification would be in the day of display.

J.T. But the testimony of title to live is already in the saints here. Who is entitled to live? He who recognises the true God and who works righteousness. Of course, title to live as to us could only be established by Christ's death, but I refer to what corresponds to this in us.

J.F. In regard to the people of God, their life had been dependent on what was conditional.

J.T. The practical enjoyment of it did, but God brings in the testimony. What was it? It was this, that there was a circle of people that recognised Him

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as the true God, and who followed righteousness. It was a practical testimony under the eyes of men, and we want to see to it that we are in that. We must not confound it with sonship and the heavenly position.

W.B-t. The Lord Himself calls attention to the fact that all the law and the prophets hung on the first two commandments; "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind", and "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself". The Lord did that; He was the true Man.

J.T. Do you think for a moment God is going to let the testimony of the law and the prophets fall to the ground? It must be maintained. The Lord effected this by His death. He made it possible for God to introduce His testimony; that is, to bring in a company that recognised Him as the true God, and at the same time were true themselves; their sins were remitted and they accomplished righteousness. Instead of the law being written in their hearts, they had the Holy Spirit. Israel will not have that, but we have the Spirit, and we are the epistle of Christ. If we are the epistle of Christ, there must be the reproduction of the true Man in the saints.

A.F.M. Is that somewhat parallel with the end of John 5, where you are brought to the "witness"?

J.T. I think so. "This is the witness, that God has given to us eternal life". I suppose it refers to what has been effected in the saints in this world.

J.L.J. What is the true application of 1 John 3"We know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him"?

J.T. The lawless man has not got it. Cain was the lawless man typically; he represents the lawless family, whereas Abel represents the law-abiding family, and we come into that in Christ.

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R. Does not 1 John 5:13 answer the question: "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God?"

J.T. That was the object of the writing of the epistle, to call attention to the subjective evidence of the presence of eternal life; so that the Christian might know by this evidence that he has eternal life. In the gospel of John the object of these things being written is said to be that "ye may believe". You cannot have anything without believing; that is the primary necessity, and hence John in his gospel makes a great deal of believing in the Son -- in the Person. "These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name".

R.S.S. The epistle was written that we might "know" that we have it.

J.T. "Who believe on the name of the Son of God". The gospel presents life in His name to faith, but the epistle shows that as believing on that name you have it. The epistle dwells on the subjective proofs of the possession of eternal life.

A.F.M. When you speak of believing that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God would you speak of it as elementary faith or advanced faith, if we may so speak?

J.T. I think it is advanced faith. It is what the saints needed when John wrote; when the official order of things had given way. His thought was to establish the saints in the light of the Son of God as the immutable foundation on which eternal life rests.

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THE GLORY OF THE SON OF GOD (2)

John 12:1, 2; John 20:11 - 18.

J.T. Nothing can be more interesting to us than to see how the Lord introduced into heavenly associations the family that He found here in earthly associations. The glory of the Son of God is seen perhaps more in that connection than in any other. These two scriptures that we have read serve to set forth how this has taken place; the pressure of death has to be removed before there could be any question as to entering upon heavenly relationships. The Lord found this family under the pressure of death; chapters 11 and 12 show how He removed that pressure off their spirits, and in doing that He secured their faith in His Person, because what is developed in chapter 20 assumes that they were believers in Him as the Son of God. I refer to the fact that Mary herself believed and John believed. We are told that, "he saw and believed".

R.S.S. Do you say that in chapter 11 it comes out that they believed in Him as Son of God?

J.T. I think that what is developed in chapter 20 assumes that the disciples believed in Christ as the Son of God; they believed in the resurrection. It is said of John, the "other disciple" who accompanied Peter, that "he saw and believed". I think, that we have there the intimation that the disciples apprehending the fact of the resurrection believed in His Person.

J.L.J. Would you say they were led to that through His priestly grace in chapter 11?

J.T. No doubt that sustained them in it, and resurrection is what declares Him to be the Son of God.

G.F.W. What do you say they believed in John 20:8? It says in verse 9, "For as yet they

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knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead".

J.T. But they "saw and believed".

G.F.W. But is not that in resurrection? I thought you said in His Person.

J.T. It does not say exactly what the "other disciple" believed, but I think the idea conveyed is that he believed in the Person.

W.B. Are not the signs in John's gospel the manifestation of His glory? And is not the sign in chapter 11 the greatest sign? Resurrection is the great testimony as to His Person.

J.T. I think so. In chapter 12 He says, "Father, glorify thy name". The reply is, "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again".

W.B. Does that refer to the resurrection?

J.T. I think so. What we ought to see is that the heavenly superstructure is reared up on the faith of the Son of God, so that the testimony of the resurrection is of all moment for us if we are to have part in that.

A.F.M. Will you repeat your statement regarding the glory of the Son of God?

J.T. I think it is connected with the family of God.

A.F.M. Is that family seen in type in chapter 12?

J.T. I think so. In chapter 11 they are seen under the pressure of death and in chapter 12 as relieved of the pressure of death,, and the change is very remarkable. In chapter 12 Christ is now the centre and object, whereas in chapter 11 their thoughts are engaged with Lazarus as having died, but now they think of Christ; "they made him a supper", showing that He now was their supreme object.

R. Would you say that one serving Him, another enjoying His company, and another anointing Him

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represents what the Lord ought to have from His people?

J.T. I think that shows the change in the circle that the resurrection had brought in.

A.F.M. I was wondering why you did not read verse 3, which brings in the anointing of Mary, and whether it would be right to regard that as a sample of what would take place at the breaking of bread, as realising these three things.

J.T. But this is strictly a Jewish picture. It shows what Israel will be brought into at the close. The feast is at Bethany, which place I think was the centre of the fellowship established with the Lord's Person whilst here in the flesh, in contrast to chapter 20, where the centre is heaven; but the leading thought in chapter 12 is that He came to Bethany, "where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom he raised from the dead". The Spirit gives us there in type a picture of the raised ones and how the Lord regards them, as if that were an order of man out of death. Do you see what I mean?

A.F.M. And then in Christ being there, coming to Bethany, does He represent a new Head and Centre?

J.T. I think so. We have to note that He was specially in connection with Lazarus, "whom he raised".

A.F.M. They were a headless family and they now find their Head in Him.

J.T. And He takes His place there typically in regard to an order of man that is out of death. We have been dwelling on an order of man in whom righteousness is seen, but another side of the position is that the order of man which is to prevail is a man out of death.

W.B-t. Is that why Lazarus is seen sitting at the table?

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J.T. Exactly. Lazarus is prominent, he is the one who sat at the table with the Lord. I take it that he is representative of the order of man which God had purposed for His world.

A.A.T. And the point is that the Lord's glory shines out in raising Lazarus, and thus representing the order of man which He would bring in.

J.T. That is it. He introduces the family of God into that position by the power inherent in Himself. That is one mark of the Son of God. It is an immense thing to see that He has brought in that order. Chapter 11 shows how He relieves them of the pressure of death; that is what will mark millennial times. The pressure of death will be removed, and Israel will be established on that principle, as an order of man out of death.

B.T.F. Is that the order of Christ as the firstfruits?

J.T. I think so, and "afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming".

A.A.T. Chapter 12 does not go beyond resurrection, but it shows the order of man.

G.H. Are these the conditions of eternal life here?

J.T. Yes. The Lord will reappear to Israel in this way, so that we have depicted here a millennial picture. The first thought to get hold of is that it is an order of man out of death. We read, "Where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom he raised from the dead". That is what will mark Israel. "Can these dry bones live?" and they do live. It will be as life from the dead. That is what will be seen in Israel in the future.

J.L.J. Would you say that the eternal purpose of God goes beyond this? Did you not this morning connect the purpose of God with eternal life?

J.T. Eternal life is in His purpose, but it is not all of it. The epistle to the Ephesians opens up the purpose of God in regard to the heavens; but the

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point here that we have to get hold of is the resolving the question of life; how life is brought in, and in what order does man live? Now we have been dwelling on the side of righteousness, the true man, but then the man that is to exist before God is a man out of death. Israel were brought into Canaan. The wilderness was the place where righteousness was brought into evidence, where the question was raised as to what kind of people they were, whether they were to be a law-abiding people or otherwise; that is what the wilderness is for; for testing. Israel broke down in it, and Christ takes the responsibility up. Hence He was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, and He maintains in the wilderness what man should be before God. But when the people are brought into Canaan they are represented by twelve stones taken out of the bed of Jordan; and twelve stones were left in the bed of Jordan, signifying that the first order of man is left there, and the new order is brought up out of death; the new order is an order out of death.

B.T.F. What moral correspondence do you attach to that? You speak of an order of man out of death, but is there not a moral thought connected with that?

J.T. Well, 1 Corinthians 15 develops that it is an order of man marked by power, and it is a spiritual order of man and a glorious order of man. "It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body". All that indicates what the body is to be. You first have to consider the question of righteousness. The question had to be solved as to what God proposed in the wilderness. His law, and that tested the order of man that was there. Now Christ comes in to

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meet that because the law cannot fall to the ground; and He takes up the will of God and maintains it, so that He established man's title, as the righteous One to live. He is the righteous One, and the righteous One is entitled to live in regard of God; but then there is the power of evil and the power of death to be dealt with, and that brings in the necessity for the power of the Son of God. The Son of God grapples with death; the Son of God annuls death; and so we see that in the outset of His ministry He entered into death's domain.

A.F.M. That is the Jordan.

J.T. Yes; then in His death He abolishes death, and He brings out of death an order of man that is to abide; man out of death, not simply a righteous man, but one out of death.

E.H.T. Was Lazarus as raised up a new kind of man?

J.T. We may say that he was so in principle. The order of man that we are acquainted with here is the man born into the world, not the Man who had died and has been raised.

W.B-t. A remark was made this morning in regard to Joseph's brethren. They said, "We are true men"; that could only be in the way you are now bringing it out, because the twelve stones must come out of the bed of the river before you get "true men".

J.T. And then as coming out of death there is a new order. That is a very important thing to apprehend in regard to the development of God's ways. He brought out a new order of man. We get the idea of that in the words, He "came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead".

A.F.M. Does that stand good for Israel as well as for the church?

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J.T. I think so. All has to be established on the footing of resurrection.

A.F.M. But when we come to chapter 12 there are relationships; it is a different idea, is it not?

J.T. That is the line I would like to pursue. Relationships are all formed on that platform.

A.A.T. God is able to raise even the dead in their sins, but this is not simply raising the dead, but producing a new order of man.

J.T. Yes.

W.L.P. When you speak of Israel in the future, do you allude to the millennium? Is the new order of man there?

J.T. It is in principle, because Ezekiel shows that the whole race of Israel are regarded as dead, and they are brought up out of their graves and made to stand on the earth as a great army. That is a question of resurrection power.

E.H.T. Is your thought that the Lord introducing a new order of man produces a family?

J.T. I think the family relationships are all formed on that basis.

E.P.L. I suppose that what we get in Hebrews as to the new covenant being written on the hearts of Israel shows that Israel in the millennium, as of the new order of man out of death, comes under the new covenant.

J.T. But that does not go beyond the maintenance of righteousness or carrying out God's will, because it is a question of His law put in their hearts and minds.

W.B-t. You say that this sets forth Israel in a day to come. I think that makes it a little difficult to apply it to ourselves.

J.T. Chapter 12 is not a church picture. Chapter 20 is a church picture, but this passage serves the purpose of showing how the family are transferred from under the pressure of death into the resurrection

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sphere. It is easy to see the great difference there was at Bethany after Lazarus was raised from the dead from what existed when he was in the tomb, because it was not only that Lazarus was in the tomb, but the whole family were under the pressure of death.

W.B-t. So the illustration of the twelve stones taken out of the river naturally connects itself with this scene.

J.T. It does. It shows it is not the Israel that came out of Egypt that is brought into Canaan, but a race that in type was in death and was taken out of death.

B.T.F. For us that is the man that we know as "in Christ".

J.T. The question of resurrection is, for the moment, objective, not of a work in you. It is the light of what has been effected in Christ.

W.B-t. There is an important verse in Judges 2 in connection with the generation that went through the Jordan. It says, "They served the Lord in the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua". Would you connect that in any way with the passage of the Jordan?

J.T. No. The type of death and resurrection does not go beyond Gilgal. Mr. F. raises the question as to new creation. That is another thing. Before that can take place, before the divine superstructure can be built up in our souls, there must be the faith of the work of God; resurrection has no allusions to the work in our souls; it is presented as a matter of faith. It refers to what God has effected in Christ outside of us; but as light, it is the foundation that is laid in our souls on which the whole superstructure is reared, and if there is not that foundation, then the superstructure is not solid.

W.B. Before the rapture is stated in 1 Thessalonians 4, it is said, "If we believe that Jesus died

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and rose again". Is that the thought you have now in mind?

J.T. Exactly. "If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him". That shows that if you have faith in regard to the death and resurrection of Christ you have no difficulty in regard to those fallen asleep, because it is a question of what God can do.

R.S.S. The new covenant, on the other hand, is connected with the work of God in our souls. So there are two thoughts in resurrection, the one, that it is a question of power, and the other, that it introduces a new order of man. It is a great thing to have clearly in view that the man after the flesh does not answer to God's mind.

W.B. Does that embrace the physical as well as the moral?

J.T. It does ultimately, as 1 Corinthians 15 shows, but Christianity is reared up in connection with us as we are now, and hence the importance of faith; we are raised "through faith of the operation of God that raised him from the dead".

A.P.M. How about the Spirit in that connection?

J.T. The Spirit comes in to effect in your soul what corresponds with that. He works in accordance with that.

A.F.M. Scripture views the Spirit in different lights. There are different expressions in regard to the Spirit; for instance, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Spirit of God's Son; they all have different meanings and refer to different operations in the soul.

W.B. Is that the order of man that we see in the Lord when He was here forty days after His resurrection?

J.T. He was always out of heaven, but He set forth the order of man in resurrection before He went

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on high. That is the thing for us to get hold of, because it is on that that the superstructure is reared up.

W.B-t. You would not limit it to the forty days, would you?

J.T. As to order the Lord was of the same order before as after resurrection. But the condition in which we are to live before God is only seen in resurrection. There is no change of order in Him. He was always the second Man out of heaven, but He was not in the condition that God intended man to live in before Him. He took up flesh and blood for the purpose that He might terminate that, and establish a new order in resurrection. We are told that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

G.F.W. It is a question of condition, not of order.

W.B. In Colossians 2, where it speaks of resurrection, is not that quickening?

J.T. We are raised by the faith of the operation of God, but we are also quickened; that is not said to be by faith; it is a question of God's work in us.

W.B-t. May we go on to chapter 20 now?

J.T. It is clear that the order of man with whom the relationships are formed is a man out of death.

R.S.S. So in principle it is just as applicable to us as to Israel, though this passage (John 12) is a millennial scene.

J.T. Quite so. Now God is free to bring in any order of relationships that may be according to His counsels; that is, He can establish the heavenly order, as with ourselves, and the earthly order in the future, with Israel; but underlying all that is the great fact of the resurrection, and both heavenly and earthly are established on that platform.

R.S.S. That is very interesting. On the one hand, the condition in which Israel will be found,

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and, on the other hand, that in which we shall be found.

W.C.R. And will it not be so with all the families that are brought into relationship with God?

J.T. I think God is now free to establish any order of relationship that may be in His counsels. What He makes clear is that He can do nothing with man in the flesh, but He can bring out the whole scheme of His counsels on the platform of resurrection; power is there, and God has now the order of man that He can use.

W.B. So you have the celestial and the terrestrial.

E. You would not say that the Lord could not go back to the Father without death?

J.T. Certainly not. There was no obligation for Him to die.

A.A.T. Do you distinguish between the new order and new creation?

J.T. Yes. The new order was seen in Christ personally, but you could not apply new creation to Christ; He is the beginning of the creation of God.

A.F.M. Is the company in John 20 a sample of one of the families named of the Father? Ephesians 3:15.

J.T. Yes.

A.F.M. The first family -- the chief family?

J.T. I think you can see that God begins with this family, and what He begins with must have the first place. It is not as it was with Israel, a typical thing; it is now a question of the evolving of the divine scheme, a spiritual order of things; the new order is a spiritual order and heavenly. Those that the Lord takes up first have the first place.

A.F.M. And what is the end in view in taking up this family? Is it for the glory of the Son?

J.T. It may be spoken of in many connections, but here in John 20, there is evidently the formation

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of heavenly relationships, the most intimate relationships with divine Persons. There could be nothing higher or more blessed than what is contemplated here.

J.L.J. They are to answer to divine affections. Now He comes into the midst in chapter 20. Could He not come into the midst in chapter 12?

J.T. He did come.

J.L.J. I mean in the same light as in chapter 20.

J.T. There is nothing intimated as to association in relationship in chapter 12, but there is in chapter 20.

J.L.J. But it is the same company in picture.

J.T. In chapter 20 Mary Magdalene is the representative of the family. We have seen that the family at Bethany were relieved of the pressure of death, and the Lord gives them to understand His appreciation of them as in the light of resurrection. Chapter 20 shows that they are to be on a higher platform than that.

L.D.T. Is the family in chapter 12 a heavenly family?

J.T. They are not viewed in that light. The point there is the order of man that comes out of death. But then chapter 20 shows that for the heavenly ones the links are to be heavenly. The earthly links are to be resumed later on as we see in Thomas, but the Lord begins with that which is to have the first and the greatest place, so that it is the church that is here in view. Hence He says to Mary, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God". He meant by that that the links that had been formed with Him as on earth were not to be resumed.

A.F.M. He invited Thomas to handle Him in the scene which follows in that chapter.

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J.T. That was anticipative of what would be later on.

W.B. Is there not a significance in the kind of messenger to whom this communication was made -- Mary Magdalene? She was one out of whom the Lord had cast seven devils. She had been greatly relieved and her affections had been won. It was a great communication she had to deliver.

J.T. And we may be sure she was suited to be a messenger for such a message. The Lord would not have selected her were it not that she was morally qualified for the message.

W.L.P. Her affection for Him fitted her for it. The whole story shows how she had the Person of the Lord before her, and that would fit her morally for it.

J.T. I think so. Our brother was pointing out that seven devils had been cast out of her by the Lord. She represents a remarkable company. The fact is that she is in the light of resurrection. She is a believer in Christ risen.

B.T.F. This company goes beyond what we would call a resurrection company. The message which the Lord sent them through Mary constituted them what might be called a heavenly company.

J.T. I think so. It prepared them for the new relationships. Their moral characteristics are dealt with by three of the evangelists. Matthew speaks of the brethren of Christ as those who do the will of His Father. In Matthew 12 the Lord Jesus disowns His mother and His brethren after the flesh, and looking around on His disciples He says, "Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother". That indicates that those whom He owns in relationship with Himself are those who do God's will. In Luke He recognises them as those who "hear the word of

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God and do if". But John gives the heavenly relationship, and his thought is that the brethren of Christ are believers in the resurrection. Hence they are morally of a new order. That which you believe gives character to you morally. As believers in the resurrection they are of a new order. If you are a believer in the resurrection you are not a believer in the man that is to die, but in an order of man that is out of death.

A.F.M. What about Mark?

J.T. There, as in Matthew, the relationship is based on doing the will of God.

R.S.S. Your point is that in John they believed in One who arose from the dead?

A.F.M. These are the features of Christ's brethren.

J.T. And we have no title to lay claim to be brethren apart from these features. I am speaking now of our position here as assuming to be His brethren. Of course, every true believer has part in the relationship. It is our portion according to God's purpose, but there are many who lay claim to be brethren without any regard or exercise as to the characteristic features which the scripture gives.

G.F.W. Will you repeat what the characteristics are?

J.T. That you do God's will, hear His word and do it, and that you are a believer in Christ risen. These are the kind of people whom God recognises. I think it is very searching and should exercise us. There are several companies of people known as brethren, but there is no virtue in the mere term, because in connection with some there is the greatest lawlessness. Their very position is founded on lawlessness. The Lord only recognises those who are doing His will and keeping His word and who accept the new order, the order of resurrection; those who have abandoned the first order of man.

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E.H.T. You can only tell what a family is by what they do?

J.T. Yes; and the brethren of Christ must be like Him or He will not recognise them.

A.F.M. How do you use the word recognise? Do you mean that people are not converted?

J.T. I mean that He does not recognise them as His brethren. He may recognise them in another way, because He knows those that are His, but He is not ashamed to call us brethren if we are in the truth of the relationship. We learn from the Lord's own words what the term signifies in His mind. It is true that He did not call His disciples His brethren until He rose from the dead, but in the days of His flesh, as we have seen in the first three gospels, He gave the characteristic features of those whom He would own in close relationship with Himself, and we should see to it that we are marked by the traits that He indicates.

W.B. The Philadelphia character is that they keep His word and do not deny His name.

J.T. That is just the idea.

L.T.F. Are there any of His own, believers, that He recognises in any other way at this time?

J.T. I think that He cannot fail to take account of everything that is of God on earth. I see Him taking account of them and going after them and saving them, but for Him to recognise them formally as His brethren they must have the traits He indicates.

R.S.S. I suppose Abraham and Lot might illustrate what you are speaking of now?

J.T. Lot was as much one of God's people as Abraham, but Abraham was the friend of God.

G.F.W. Do you make a distinction between that and Hebrews 2? It says because they are of His order He is not ashamed to call them brethren; it is not a matter of state there.

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J.T. No; but it must involve state. "He that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified". They are "all of one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren". The church is the sanctified company in principle; she is of the same origin as Christ, though you could not say that every member is practically sanctified.

G.H. Do you think that there must be a corresponding state to take in the message, "I ascend"?

J.T. No one will take in the heavenly order unless he has these traits. You have not a bit of appreciation of the heavenly order if these are lacking, but if you believe in that Man out of death, God's Son, then you are prepared to be with Him in any association, and certainly in the heavenly.

R.S.S. That is clear, for otherwise your interests would all be centred down here.

J.T. Mary wanted the Lord, and how great was the message He gave her, that she and they would be in association with Him before the Father! When she went and told the others, we can understand that they would say, 'What does this mean?' for they had Messianic hopes, and the Lord did not say anything about those hopes, but about the Father, and going to the Father, and He addresses them as His brethren. We can imagine the apostles conversing with one another as to these wonderful things, and that they would say, 'He means to have us in association with Himself in heaven!' But, I fear, they took it in but poorly. The change in that company, if they had any appreciation of the message, would be very wonderful; the change at Bethany was very great; there it was a question, of relief from the pressure of death, and having a new order of man there, but now the message which the Lord sent to them involved that they were fit to be His brethren as the ascended One. If they had any appreciation of it, the change would be immense

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with them. How it would lift them out of the narrow circle of Judaism, and how it would direct their affections and minds heavenward.

G.H. In John 12 it is what they do, but in John 20 it is what He does.

W.L.P. Is there not a difference between the Lord recognising brethren in the way we have been speaking of, and we recognising others as brethren in the Lord?

J.T. Yes. But you should never regard the brethren on any lower platform than that we are brethren of Christ risen and glorified.

A.F.M. Why did the Lord come into the company in John 20 when the doors were shut, and in Revelation 3:20 we see the church, and the Lord outside; the door is closed and He is outside, but here the door is shut and the Lord comes into their midst. Why is this?

J.T. I think that His coming into the midst when the doors were shut shows that whilst things are of a heavenly order they are also of a spiritual order; what is material has nothing to do with it. The closed doors did not prevent His coming in; He comes to them in spite of the doors being shut, showing, I think, that all was now after a spiritual order.

W.B-t. I fear that many here are not quite clear as to the characteristics of the brethren of Christ. Would you go over them again? We would all like to have the moral features of His brethren.

J.T. I was endeavouring to show that the characteristics of the Lord's brethren are, first, that they do God's will here on earth; secondly, they hear His word and keep it and do it. In Matthew 12 and Mark 3, we get the first, and in Luke 8 the second. In John they were believers in His resurrection.

W.B-t. I was thinking of John 17"They have

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kept my word", and "I have given them thy word".

J.T. Yes. And in John 20 you have the fact that they are believers in Christ risen, so they are in the light of a new order of man, and that Man is God's Son; therefore there is the disallowance of the moral structure of the man that is, the man after the flesh.

R.S.S. Then this is what is normal, because that is the way Scripture contemplates things, and what is normal should be true of all.

J.T. Yes. That is very simple.

W.L.P. The defect is that our standard is lower than the scriptural standard.

J.T. I think so, but the Lord never lowers His standard, and it is a very serious consideration if we do so.

R.S.S. He says, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father". He speaks of Himself as the ascending One, and He directs their minds heavenward; for He was One who was now no longer connected with earth, but with heaven.

J.T. Without the message they might have said, 'Now that He is gone we must await His return'; but the message gives them to understand, that pending His return to Israel, they are to have Him and to know Him as the heavenly One; and they are to be His companions. So that it is distinctly the church position that is in view here.

W.B-t. And we ought to be very much exercised in regard to that.

J.T. That is why I press the point, as to whether we are marked by the traits of the Lord's brethren.

W.B-t. You said that what a man believes affects him.

R.S.S. And I suppose the great thing really to bear in mind is that we are the brethren of the Son of God. He is here in John 20 as the Son of God, and we have a pattern of the assembly; so that, as

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of the assembly, we are in relation to Him, not exactly as Son of man, but as the Son of God.

J.L.J. Would you say that He comes into the midst as the Son of God? In what light do we gather to Him to take the Supper in the wilderness As Lord?

J.T. Yes. It is the Lord's supper, but what is contemplated here is the spiritual order of things; the material does not affect it; the closed doors did not affect it, so that it represents the spiritual order, and then the Lord confers on them what is most intimate. He breathes on them, thus conveying to them His own Spirit, so that they are qualified inwardly for the great position which His message gave them.

J.L.J. Would you say that we must know what it is to take the Supper before we can know Him in the midst?

J.T. The Supper is introductory to it. What we are down here in flesh and blood is provisional. The assembly of God viewed in Corinthians is provisional; it contemplates a company of people literally, in this world, but drawn out of the world morally, and having God before them. But what this chapter, John 20, contemplates, is an order of things that is to abide; that is what the church is really.

R.S.S. And that is very important, and it is in that connection that we see Him as Son of God. It is really the great point that we have before us.

J.T. So that the display of the glory of the Son of God is in His having brought in a family, and established a relationship between them and the Father. "My Father and your Father, my God and your God". That is the consummation of the Lord's great work, and that sets forth the glory of the Son of God.

R.S.S. Which will abide eternally.

J.T. Yes.

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A.A.T. Is that the highest glory of His work?

J.T. I think so. It is His glory in having brought in a family which is to continue, patterned after Himself as God's Son.

R.S.S. I had a little difficulty in connecting what you said that they saw and believed, but I think the end of the chapter makes it clear. There John says, "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples [and the greatest of them was His own resurrection] ... but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God". It says here, "they saw and believed;"

J.T. It was true in principle. They believed.

R.S.S. Have we not in John 20 that which is highest as to what God has for us as His people?

J.T. I think so.

R.S.S. We have Christ, and His brethren in association with Him before the Father, which is really the ultimate end of all. I was thinking, in connection with what we had this morning on the subject of eternal life, that there is a certain order of teaching which it would help us to take note of, and here we have reached the end of it. Taking such a simple scripture as Romans 5, we there get, as Mr. Raven pointed out years ago, four things, the kingdom, the new covenant, reconciliation, and eternal life. Now these four things that come in order are given there, and there is an advance in each; and then I think we get in other scriptures how the way is opened up for what is beyond these, and that is our union with Christ and association with the Son of God. There are steps, and each an advance on the other, and that which brings us to the truth of association with Christ is the termination, and the greatest of all.

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THE MINISTRY OF THE GLORY

2 Corinthians 4:1 - 7; Galatians 4:21 - 26; Revelation 21:10, 11.

My thought is to seek to show the character of the ministry through which the light of God has come to the Gentiles, and correspondingly to show the product of it; that is, it began with glory, and the product of it becomes the vessel of the glory, so that what I may have to say will fit in between these two points.

Nothing can be more exhilarating to us than that we belong to a glory system, and nothing is more important than that we should rightly understand that we belong to such a system. Now as I have called your attention on a previous occasion to Psalm 19, I would again refer to it for a moment as intimating to us what God had in His mind in the formation of the present physical universe. He had set there a testimony to what was in His mind to effect; namely, a system of infinite variety of glory. "The heavens", the psalmist tells us, "declare the glory of God". The apostle tells us in writing to the Corinthians that there are celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies, and the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

Now what came to pass was that the true glory of the terrestrial disappeared when lawlessness obtained a footing upon earth. Adam was really for the glory of God and he was placed upon earth. There was a glory there, but it was an earthly glory, a glory that God will return to, for He never surrenders any thought of His. He will return to it, but for the moment it disappeared with the entrance of lawlessness into the scene. So that all earthly glory, passing by for a moment what was typical in Israel,

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is now the product of lawlessness. It is the outgrowth of man's ambition as away from God. So that, in the types, for the cleansing of God's people it was necessary for the,"scarlet" to be cast into the burning. That is, all that order of glory has to go in judgment; but then there is the terrestrial glory, and the law was the demand for it. It was as if God, as it were, missed it, and He makes His demands upon man which, if answered to, would result in the re-establishment of the terrestrial glory. In other words, if the law was answered to in man when it was promulgated there would be a vessel here answering in every way to God. Man would be moving about on earth under the direction of the divine will just as the heavenly bodies move in their orbits. That is what we should have had, if the law of God had been complied with.

Now when the psalmist places both together, the heavenly and the earthly glory, he speaks of the perfection of the heavenly glory. There the glory of God was declared, but when he turns to the earth all he could say was to eulogise the law, not the man who kept it. As yet that man had not appeared. He eulogised the law and its qualities. But it awaited the presence of the Lord, of the true Man upon earth, to have it exemplified. Now what I understand by the presence of the Lord upon earth is, that the heavenly glory took form upon earth. The heavens hitherto had declared the glory of God. His will had never been contravened there. That testimony remains for every man to see. The declaration of the heavens abides. The psalmist tells us, "Their line is gone out through all the earth". There is the universal testimony of the heavens. They have remained under the influence of the divine will, and I may add that the heavenly bodies which are visible to us are but an index to what is beyond them. They are but an index to the moral system that lies

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behind them, and it is to that that the Lord alludes when He teaches the disciples to pray; when He instructs them as regards what is in heaven it is that they should pray to the Father, -- "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". It is not to the heavenly bodies the Lord alluded; the heavenly bodies are a testimony to that to the eye of man on earth, but the Lord alluded to what was behind that testimony, and that is to the intelligent beings that are in heaven who have ever remained subject to the divine will.

Now, when Christ became Man the heavenly glory came to earth, for the second Man is out of heaven, and He brought to earth the essence of obedience to God. That is what He brought to earth, so that for once we have the will of God done upon earth as it is in heaven. After He is publicly proclaimed to be the Son by the Father out of heaven, He is driven by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. That was the crucial point, and there, beloved friends, was brought to light infinite perfection in Man here below. He maintained in every possible way what man's place was, and that is, that man was not to live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God. That was what came to light in the wilderness. He expressed in man's place here on earth infinite perfection.

But there was more than that required. He was the only One fully in that position. He was alone in His perfection; there was the testimony under God's eye of infinite perfection as to what man's place here on earth should be. But, further, what He proposed to do was to bring in an order of man, a race of men, like Himself, and not until He has that fully accomplished will the connection between heaven and earth be fully and eternally established. Heaven and earth must be correlative, but in order to bring that about He has to set aside judicially the

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man that is lawless. That is a task, beloved friends, even greater, if they may be compared, than to set forth what man should be before God. Hence Gethsemane involved greater exercises to the Lord than the wilderness did. In the wilderness He was with Satan: in the perfection of His manhood in dependence on God, and as such He is the manna, the food for the saints in the same position. But to effectuate God's will in regard to man, to retain upon earth man to God's pleasure, and at the same time to set aside the lawless man, was a work which far exceeded the Lord's wonderful exploit in the wilderness; so that Gethsemane involved far deeper exercises for the Lord than the exercises of the wilderness, I cannot dwell upon it in detail, but there it was that Satan brought death to bear upon Christ's spirit. Satan having departed from Christ in the wilderness when the Lord overcame him, returned to Him in Gethsemane with death. Death as the penalty of a broken law lay upon man, upon the nation of Israel and upon man, for death, as we are told, passed upon all men, and the Lord was taking up man's place vicariously. It was infinite obedience when He said to the Father, "not my will, but thine be done". The Lord deliberately took the cup from the Father's hand knowing what was in it. It was no question now of the power of the enemy; that was there; Satan was there with the power of death, but, beloved friends, it was a question, in anticipation, of the forsaking of God, and hence it was there that perfection, the perfection of obedience, shone in the Lord. Beyond all telling, beyond all comprehension on our part, there was perfection in Man in the utterance, "not my will, but thine be done". He recoiled from it, and that was perfection. It was perfection in the Lord to recoil from that cup, because it meant the forsaking of God.

Now contrast Christ there with Moses. Moses, in.

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Exodus 32, said, "peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin"; and truly he went up to Jehovah in a wonderful spirit; a wonderful forecast of Christ was in that man. He said, "blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written". He places his eternal welfare in the balances for his people. That was the spirit of Christ. But Moses could make no atonement for Israel. It waited the coming of the Son of God, for none but He who was the Son of God could effect atonement, and so the Lord takes the place of His people on the cross, and there He set aside the lawless man. I think that if there is anything that gave peculiar satisfaction to Christ on the cross, it was that He was setting aside vicariously the lawless man. If there was anything that gave Him peculiar satisfaction, it was that. But then, while He terminated the lawless man, on the morning of His resurrection there appeared a law-abiding race. Two things marked them. The pressure of death was removed from them; the Son of God had removed from their spirits the pressure of death which lay on all men, and in their hearts was the desire to please God. He had taught them how to do that. He had, in principle, put the law of God in their hearts and written it upon their minds. The prayer that He had taught His disciples involved that. Now that was what Christ effectuated. He answered to the ascent of Moses the second time to the mount. When Moses first descended with the tables of the covenant in his hands, he was the type of the Lord Jesus coming down, but instead of the Lord having the tables in His hands He had the law in His heart, and He set forth what man should be before God. He maintained the law, and He effectuated God's will by removing the lawless man. He, in principle, clears the scene of the lawless man, and brings in a law-abiding race. He had formed that race Himself, and He removes the pressure of death

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from their spirits and sets them up here in righteousness; and then He ascends, and as He ascends the glory system is established. It was when Moses had ascended the mount the second time, not the first time, that the glory was seen in his face. Christ in heaven, having accomplished redemption and set aside the lawless man, inaugurates the glory system. That is, as Man He receives from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, and sheds Him forth on the law-abiding people below.

God would never give the Spirit to others than those who were in principle brought under His sway. The disciples were formed by Christ. Acts 1 shows that the stamp of Christ was upon them, and the Lord is on high as Man, glorified by God, and He gives them the Spirit. As the apostle Paul tells us in writing to the Hebrews, "Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us". He witnesses to what Christ accomplished in carrying out the will of God. He is the witness in our hearts of that, so that in the presence of the Spirit there is the testimony here upon earth to the heavenly glory. Is not that wonderful? In principle, therefore, the heavens and the earth are brought into moral correspondence in the presence of the Holy Spirit being in a law-abiding company on earth, so that you have now not only a description of the law in its abstract perfection, as in Psalm 19, but what has come to pass now. What does Paul say triumphantly? "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. Therefore there is now upon earth the testimony to the heavenly glory. It is now upon earth as well as in heaven. It is in heaven in Christ, for really the first part of Psalm 19 is Christ in the heavens. There God has set a tabernacle for the sun; that is Christ. And upon earth He has a people who love His law; in

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whom the will of God is carried out, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Paul was the vessel to carry all that wonderful light into the Gentile world, and I wish for a moment to call attention to him as a minister. He says, "having this ministry, ... we faint not". And he describes himself thus: "But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God", 2 Corinthians 4. Now that is the minister. In chapter 3 he dwells on the ministry, and he tells us that it is a ministry of the Spirit, a ministry of righteousness, and hence he says if the first was inaugurated with glory, much more does the second abound in glory. The fact is, that the glory of the first is completely eclipsed by reason of the surpassing glory of the ministry of the second. The apostle's heart bounds with delight in the presence of the marvellous ministry which he had received.

Now that was the ministry, and chapter 4 shows us how Paul corresponded with his ministry; he was in every way in keeping with the ministry of glory that he had received, so he says if our gospel be veiled, referring to the veil on Moses' face, we are not veiling it. One has to confess that at the present time we do often veil the ministry. Those who are in the place of ministers, alas! often veil the ministry; there is not a clear shining, but it was not so with Paul. He says, if our gospel is veiled, we are not veiling it. Moses had to put a veil on his face. The people did not put it on. That marked the character of the dispensation, but he says, if ours is veiled, we are not veiling it. If there is a veil, it is on the heart of the lost. Solemn word! It shines resplendent in the vessel without a veil. There was no veil there. If there was a veil, it was on the heart of the lost. The god of this world put

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it there. Paul did not put it there. The god of this world did it; it is his occupation to put a veil on the hearts of men, so that this marvellous ministry of glory should not shine there.

Paul was the vessel through which the ministry of all that wonderful system of glory came into the Gentile world. The apostle further shows why Satan casts a veil over the hearts of men; "that the radiancy of the glad tidings of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine forth for them". Satan does not want the light of that to shine into hearts; it is the light of Him who is the image of God. If the light of the glory of Christ shines into your heart, it forms you after Christ. The image is reproduced by the Spirit in you, and Satan hates that image. He would obliterate the image of God in the world. He did it in Adam, but he could not do it in Christ. It remained radiant in Christ in spite of the enemy's temptation. And now it is the radiancy of the glory in the face of Christ who is the image of God, which is to shine into the souls of men, and the effect is that there is an order of man here patterned after Him who is the image of God. Now what is Satan doing at the present time? He is endeavouring to prevent the light of Christ from shining into the souls of men. It shone brilliantly in Paul, and without a veil. He tells us that he did not preach himself. He preached Christ as Lord. We announce, he says, "Christ Jesus, Lord", and as to ourselves, we are your servants for that Man's sake. And then he says, "it is the God who spoke that out of darkness light should shine who has shone in our hearts for the shining forth of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassingness of the power may be of God, and not from us", 2 Corinthians 4:6, 7. Such was Paul.

Now having endeavoured to make clear to you the

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character of the vessel through which the light has come into the Gentile world, I want to show you just for a moment that the heavenly city was the great product of that. I think it has been said that the city is the result of the covenant, and I believe that is so. Galatians 4 shows that the allegory of Hagar and Sarah, and Ishmael and Isaac, refers to the two covenants, the first one beginning at mount Sinai, which, he says, gendereth to bondage; it produced bondage. That is the working out of it, and the apostle says it answers to mount Sinai in Arabia; "for Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which is now, for she is in bondage with her children". That is also seen in the present religious world, which is the product of the legal system. Referring to the second covenant, the apostle says, "Jerusalem above is free". What does she gender to? She gendereth to liberty. She produces liberty. Her children are children of liberty, children of promise; they are born of a free woman. In other words, the wonderful ministry, the ministry of the glory, has brought into effect that order of city, and Jerusalem above is free. One could dwell at length on that if one had time, for it not only depends on the covenant but also on relationship.

As to the latter, I would like to make clear to you the relation that exists between a system involving sonship and the idea of righteousness as seen in the true Man here upon earth. Both are seen in the church. The will of God is carried out in the church here, and at the same time the church knows the relationship of sonship with God, and that is the secret, as I understand it, of the liberty in which the church is in heaven. Jerusalem which is above is free, and she is our mother. I take it that the apostle Paul's ministry, whilst not excluding the ministry of the twelve, really introduced the idea

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Of the heavenly Jerusalem. The idea came into evidence when the bond between God and the earthly city was severed; then the necessity for the heavenly city came to light, and this was by the apostle Paul's ministry; he preached the Son of God.

Now I want to go one point further, to Revelation 21, where the city that the apostle alludes to in Galatians is seen coming down from God out of heaven and she has the glory of God. You will find that there are wonderful thoughts bound up in that when you reflect upon it, for the Spirit of God is presenting ourselves to us in the vision. Put yourself in that city. Nothing can be more encouraging to us than that the Spirit should bring into evidence in the vision what we are to be. Hence our position at the present time. There is a sort of double light thrown in upon us; the light of what the city was at the beginning, and then the light coming from the heavenly city as seen in the future. Both these lights, as one may say, are focused upon us. Her light is like a stone most precious. Is it not precious to you, the thought of the wonderful position of the church in God's counsels? Then will be seen, I believe, fully, what Psalm 19 indicates; that is, how the heavens declare the glory of God. What a declaration there will then be publicly! But then in whom? In those who have been the product of Paul's ministry. It is formed of persons who are the reflection of the image of Christ, and Christ is the image of God. That is what the church will be God's thought in the gospel is that each one of us shall be the reflection of Christ, who is the image of God. That is the idea of the glory of God; God is reflected in those who are formed after Christ, who is His image. The heavens will declare in that day God's glory. Out of heaven shall come, not a multitude of angels that do His will, but a multitude

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of men, formed in the will of God; in that way there is in the heavens a full declaration of the glory of God. What a shining in that day! And then upon earth; what is there below? Not, as I said, the Lord Himself alone, but a race of men into whose hearts God has put His laws and in whose minds He has written them; so that the heavens and the earth shall be in perfect accord; but I need not remind you that the heavenly far exceeds the earthly in glory. There is one glory that is celestial, that is ours; we may lay distinctive claim to the celestial. The idea of a race of men, heavenly beings, but yet men, coming out from God and for God, presented in the form of a city, having the glory of God and the "light most precious". And then down below there is Israel. As to them, the pressure of death is removed from off their spirits; and as to the nations, the veil that is upon them shall be removed and death swallowed up in victory by the power of God. All that having taken place on earth; death gone, lawlessness and idolatry gone, what is the result? Eternal life. The nations go into that order of things; and then there is the celestial glory illuminating all below. The heavens hear the earth. There is a connection between the heavens and the earth, and God is supreme in all.

Well, we might say much more about that, but I think that what I have said indicates to us the great result of the obedience of Christ who effectuated God's will. May the Lord encourage us. I feel that He has been reminding us of the importance of obedience as marking that in which Christ is reflected. As formed in obedience we become practically vessels of glory.

May God grant that the thought of it may be before our souls.

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Pages 436 - 503; "Headings on Isaiah", New York, 1912 (Volume 16).

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

Isaiah 25

J.T. The thought is especially to dwell on the second half of the book of Isaiah, beginning with chapter 40. It would be very helpful if we could get more clear on the sovereignty of God. I think it might be found that all God effects, He effects on the ground of His sovereignty, and that what He effects sovereignly is for the accomplishment of His counsels. The prophet begins, "thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth", and then what is enlarged upon in the chapter is, that all that God does He does in connection with a certain centre, and that centre is mount Zion. Mount Zion stands for God's sovereignty. He selects that spot.

The previous chapters, from 13 to 23, are engaged with God's judgment with regard to the different nations; then in chapter 24 we have a summary of it all. The world is turned upside down, and God punishes "the host of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth on the earth". He does all that, and then the Spirit of Christ in the remnant, in those who have faith, celebrates what He does, and they recognise that what He does is in connection with His counsels of old, which are faithfulness and truth.

B.T.F. Does this chapter look forward to what we get established in Zion?

J.T. Yes, God effects everything on earth in connection with Zion, but what He effects is His counsels of old.

B.T.F. How would you draw a lesson from this for the present moment?

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J.T. We stand in that connection, we stand on the ground of God's sovereignty.

C.B. "We have come to mount Zion".

J.T. I think it would be well to know and to have very clearly before us what God's sovereignty involves. He allowed much to occur in the history of the world in connection with man's responsibility, but that is only to bring into full light that man after the flesh is worthless, and hence the necessity for a new beginning.

B.T.F. Saints as taught by the Spirit can enter into God's sovereignty, can they not? You would not present that side to the world.

J.T. No, it is for the elect, but still it is an element of the testimony of God that has to be understood, that everything that is effected by God is effected on the ground of His sovereignty. God acts from Himself, and for Himself; and I think that the point in introducing mount Zion is simply that God selected that spot, and nothing can divert Him from it.

W.L.P. What would correspond with that now?

J.T. I think mount Zion represents a principle.

J.S. And the Gentiles are brought in under that principle.

J.T. It will be seen that the Jewish position in the future depends upon that principle, but what man objects to continually is the sovereignty of God. Even if men admit that God is to act, they would like to have some part in it.

A.F.M. Is there a division in that verse 21 of chapter 24; would the "high ones" refer to heavenly places?

J.T. Yes, satanic agency has been centred on high and on earth. This chapter has reference to what God will do for Himself. We have to distinguish between what God will do for Himself in carrying out His own counsels, and what He will do for us.

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It is a very precious thought that He acts for His people. He acts primarily for the carrying out of His own counsels so that He punishes the satanic hosts on high, and the kings of the earth He punishes also. There is a complete overthrow, and then it says, "the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously"; chapter 24: 23. That is what God has in His mind, Christ is to reign in mount Zion gloriously, and all natural light shall be confounded. So that the divine end is reached there; and then in chapter 25 there is a song, so that that chapter takes the form of the celebration of God's intervention.

I think chapter 24 shows what God effects from Himself with a view to Christ sitting on mount Zion, and then it shows that all this is in accordance with His counsels of old, and that He effects His counsels on principles of sovereignty; and then at the end of chapter 35 we find that there is complete deliverance for the people. There, I think, we get the people brought into the good of what is stated in chapter 24. God has His own thoughts of Christ.

The second half of the book, beginning with chapter 40, takes up another line of thought. It is largely occupied with God's servant, which is an intensely interesting subject for us; that is, what Christ was here in the midst of an idolatrous world.

A.F.M. We are slow to accept the sovereignty of God. Will you indicate what is the point reached when we accept it?

J.T. We accept it when we come to an end of our own resources, when we are made to feel our complete powerlessness to effect anything.

A.F.M. Is there not an illustration of what you are saying in Israel's history? They were not prepared to move into the land until the flesh was

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exposed and set aside typically in the brazen serpent.

J.T. I think that where the flesh is felt to be utterly wanting, then the sovereignty of God is accepted.

A.N.W. Is that also seen in Romans 3?

J.T. I think it is. I think the mercy seat involves the sovereignty of God: all the world is guilty before God, and He acts in sovereign mercy.

W.S. "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy".

Rem. The mercy seat in Romans 3 is placed there more on God's behalf than on man's.

J.T. Certainly, the mercy seat is the means by which God carries out His designs.

W.L.P. I do not understand how God acts for Himself apart from His people.

J.T. I think you must distinguish between God acting for Himself in carrying out His designs, and His acting for us. He acts for us in love. I think the former is the greater of the two, and therefore the chapters previous to this one show how God effects clearance of the world, so as to establish His own thoughts. That is celebrated in what takes place in chapters 25 and 26; and then, I think, you have how God acts on us, leading up to Hezekiah, who is a type of Christ in death and resurrection. In chapters 36 and 37 Hezekiah's identification with the nation is made clear, and then we have, "Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die and not live", chapter 38: 1. I think Hezekiah's relation to Israel is involved. God grants him life. In this way we see how God effects everything for us. All for us is secured through death and resurrection, and we celebrate it. "The living, the living", says Hezekiah, "shall praise thee". God secures His portion in the saints on the ground of death and resurrection,

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B.T.F. The primary thoughts in these chapters are in regard to Israel.

J.T. There is nothing that the natural heart quarrels with more than the sovereignty of God, and that is the point in mount Zion. God selected that mountain, He does not tell us why, but He wants to emphasise the fact that He can act where and how He pleases. He says. He has desired Zion.

We have in the first part of Isaiah the idea of the Son, "unto us a child born, unto us a son is given", but in the second part it is Christ fulfilling God's will here. There is nothing more interesting than to see how Christ was here carrying out God's will.

A.R.S. Men quarrel, with God's sovereignty. It seems to me it is very helpful to see that God's counsels are faithfulness and truth. Israel and the church have been unfaithful, but God is faithful.

J.T. In the end it will be seen that His faithfulness and truth are made good in Israel. His counsels of old are carried into effect on the ground of His sovereignty. He has given man every possible opportunity of showing whether he is qualified to be used of God in the working out of His counsels. The trial brought out man's utter failure, and hence God had recourse to His sovereign rights, and effects His counsels on this principle, without explaining why He chose mount Zion, and Judah, and David.

W.Br. Everything had failed which God had previously established in Israel.

J.T. If possible God would have used Israel. We read in Exodus 19 that He proposed to make them a "kingdom of priests, and a holy nation" on the ground of their obedience; then chapter 20 relates how He gave the law, which represented His rights over them. If they had answered to it they would have been a nation of priests. God would work out His designs in connection with the people

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if this were possible, but the material was not there. Moses was called up to the mount, and God begins at once to speak about the ark of the covenant. If Israel could keep the law there would be no need for the ark.

A.R.S. Shiloh had been set aside, and now God has chosen mount Zion, which abides for ever, and is never given up.

J.T. Mount Zion is a principle which we have come to. God acts according to His sovereign rights, and for this another order of man was needed.

J.S. It is brought in in connection with the king.

J.T. It stands connected with David and the ark. Saul's attention had been called to the hill of God, but he had no appreciation of it, and this fact intimates clearly what his character was. David understood the mind of God; that is, that God would act in connection with a certain centre on earth; hence directly he is anointed king he goes to Jerusalem and takes it, and following on that the ark is brought in. Faith says "on this mountain"; faith recognises that God acts in connection with that spot. Man quarrels with that idea, but God will not be diverted from it.

J.S. So we must have the king established before there is a place for Christ in our hearts.

J.T. Peter says that the stone (the Man) which the builders rejected is made the head of the corner. Christ proves Himself to be in every way suitable to God. He was God's elect. The Jews regarded Him as an imposter, but God made Him "head of the corner". In Acts 4 when the saints were assembled in prayer they cited Psalm 2, for God had accomplished His purpose in spite of man's rage.

P.H.P. When did God begin to work for Himself?

J.T. Really when Christ rose from the dead, or more directly when He went into heaven. God's sovereignty is a great principle to get hold of; it

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makes nothing of man. When you recognise that there is nothing in man, and that everything is of God, there is no more occasion of quarrel.

B.T.F. What do you mean by quarrel?. Is it that man disputes God's right to do so and so?

J.T. Yes, and God insists that He has right to do what He pleases, when He pleases, and where He pleases. Every soul that comes into blessing has to bow to this. The Man whom God anoints is the Man whom He selects. "Yet have I set my king on my holy hill of Zion".

Rem. Man's will rejects God's centre. The Samaritans had a place of worship in opposition to Jerusalem.

J.T. Yes, the Lord said "salvation is of the Jews". All the precious things spoken of in Isaiah 25 are involved in the gospel, but the point here is that they are all brought to pass on that mountain. If you want these things you must recognise God's sovereignty in them. The Spirit of Christ spoke through the prophet. The prophets did not understand what they wrote half so well as we do now. They had not the Spirit of God indwelling, so that they could not understand fully what they uttered by the Spirit.

B.T.F. Did not Isaiah look forward in this passage to the restoration of God's people?

J.T. Yes, but he had not the Spirit as we have, and so could not fully understand. Peter says that they "searched what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify". It was revealed to them that the things they ministered were for us, not for themselves.

B.T.F. In coming to mount Zion you come to things which cannot be shaken.

W.Br. Would you say that a believer who has reached mount Zion in his soul is delivered from the world system?

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J.T. Certainly, for he is not governed by the principles of this world. There can be no doubt that what God does is done in perfect wisdom, but you must begin with the thought that God has a perfect right to do what He pleases.

J.S. In the next chapter there is also a celebration.

J.T. When you come to chapter 26 you have the city. That is another celebration: "We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks". That is an additional thought; and then you find in the following chapters that certain woes are announced. "Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim"; "Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt"; "Woe to the rebellious children ... that walk to go down into Egypt". Ariel means 'Lion of God'. The allusion no doubt is to those who prided themselves in their strength; on the other hand there were those who leaned on Egypt, the arm of flesh.

Ques. Is the Christian's mount Zion heavenly?

J.T. No, I think the heavenly thing is the city, but mount Zion represents the principle on which everything rests.

W.Br. Do you make a distinction between mount Zion and the city?

J.T. The mount is the principle, the city refers to the people that are connected with it. The city of the living God is the heavenly Jerusalem. I think the occasion of the woes shows the conditions with which the remnant will have to contend. The crown of pride, Ephraim, has reference to the pride of the first-born. To arrogate to ourselves divine privileges apart from the state suitable to them is abominable to God, We cannot presume when our state is bad to have privileges which belonged to the church when her state was good.

Rem. "I will spue thee out of my mouth".

J.T. Ariel is the Lion of God. That is an assumption

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to have strength when, as in Samson's case, God has really departed. The power of God was in Jerusalem in David's day, but it had departed. They were going down to Egypt for help. All this has come to pass in the history of the church.

J.S. What is the meaning of chapter 30, verse 1; "Woe to the rebellious children who take counsel but not of me"?

J.T. It is turning to men for help instead of turning to God. It is what we all do when we lose the sense of the support of God. If you endeavour to go on with God and the things of God you have the support of God. If you make an alliance with any, even a brother, that is the principle of going down to Egypt for help.

Ques. What do you mean by entering into an alliance with a brother?

J.T. I have seen many times an understanding between brothers in reference to things. If you are leaning on the Lord you will refuse to make any alliance with anyone in order to support anything.

Ques. Can you not work in harmony with your brother?

J.T. Surely, but you recognise his support as from the Lord, "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills; ... my help cometh from the Lord". In seeking support from a brother your thought may be right, but you are depending on man to support you. The people who are addressed here needed counsel, and needed help, but why did they not go to God for it? All these political parties are on this principle. Egypt is the world of the flesh; man's power in the flesh. "The Egyptians are men and not God, and their horses flesh and not spirit". Babylon is the world system, governed by wicked influences in heaven. It is the religious world.

P.H.P. Chapter 32 opens very beautifully with the king.

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J.T. In such passages in the book we see what will be the stay of the remnant in the future.. "A king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment". Then it is stated, that "a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, a covert from the tempest". The remnant will find all this in Christ.

A.F.M. Why are these woes introduced?

J.T. To express God's judgment against the prevailing wickedness, and in this there is light for the remnant; those who are on the line of God's sovereignty, as seen in chapter 25. How important that they should be on their guard against all these things!

Rem. They can thus pass their judgment on what is around them.

J.T. "Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation; he that believeth on him shall not make haste", chapter 28. In chapter 25 we have the principle of sovereignty, but here we have a structure, and in chapter 28 we have the corner stone laid in Zion. It is Christ as presented in the gospels. He inspires confidence where there is faith. "He that believeth on him shall not make haste". There is no natural activity, all is accomplished by the power of God. I think chapter 32 is very beautiful as a resource of faith. We have to do with kings who do not rule in righteousness; here is the announcement that a king shall reign in righteousness. Such announcements sustain the faith of the remnant. They say in chapter 33: 2, "O Lord be gracious to us, we have waited for thee". Then to the end of chapter 35 there is every possible encouragement for them. I think, that in the chapters preceding chapter 25 God was more acting for Himself, for the accomplishment of His own designs, but in these later chapters He is rather acting for the people.

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Zion occasioned the controversy, and now the day of reckoning had come; see chapter 34: 8. The host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll. The same things are alluded to in chapter 24, but here it is God acting for His people. Chapter 35 is the end of the series; the remnant of the Lord shall return.

J.S. Is it God acting for the people to bring them in in accord with Himself?

J.T. Yes, you see the great result of it here. God acts for Himself so as to bring in Christ. When this takes place the moon shall be confounded and the sun ashamed; chapter 24. Then the people are brought in, chapter 35. They come with everlasting joy to mount Zion.

A.F.M. Everything is contributory to the glory and pleasure of God.

B.T.F. Primarily, of course, this has reference to Israel, but in the church we have what is analogous.

J.T. That is very important, otherwise these scriptures would be of no value to us.

A.F.M. It shows how we can anticipate things spiritually before we reach them actually.

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LIFE OUT OF DEATH

Isaiah 40.

J.T. The chapters from 13 to 24, treat of God's judgment on the nations, ending with His judgment of the high ones on high and kings here on the earth. God clears the whole scene to make room for Christ to reign. Then we saw how in succeeding chapters God intervenes for the people, so that they are brought to Zion in everlasting joy and gladness in accord with what He is Himself: "The ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away;" chapter 35: 10. I think, that from chapter 40 God is taking up the controversy as to idolatry, and from this chapter to the end the leading thought is Jehovah's servant. Jerusalem is to be comforted, and a way is to be made for the Lord. What is emphasised is that all flesh is grass, even flesh that may be in outward relationship to God. It is all grass. But before we get to that I think a very great deal lies in the chapters that precede, beginning with chapter 36.

I was saying that the section which treats of the Assyrian invasion and Hezekiah introduces a line of thought that is most important, namely, that if man is to be before God, it is on the principle of life from the dead. I think we have to look at the truth in this way, that God acts for Himself in the accomplishment of His counsels, and, that then He acts in love on our behalf, so that the saints are brought into line with His counsels; and then we have the principle on which man is to live with God. It introduces a subject of immense importance and of very wide bearing; that is, the order of man that is to live before God. I think that in Hezekiah's

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sickness and recovery there is an allusion to the death and resurrection of Christ; and in connection with this the ground on which life is secured. Hezekiah's life is given to him in answer to prayer.

R.S.S. The last fifteen years of his life?

J.T. Yes. In the Lord's case it was life for ever and ever, Psalm 21:4, but it was on the principle of asking.

A.F.M. Would you divide the book of Isaiah into two parts?

J.T. It is divided into several parts, but in the main it is divided into two parts, the first running on to chapter 39 and the second beginning with chapter 40; but then it is also sub-divided.

A.F.M. I was wondering if the two thoughts, the Son and the Servant, would cover it.

J.T. I think the first is, "unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given", whereas the second is, "Behold my servant whom I uphold"; that is, the second brings out what Christ was as a servant here. He really supersedes Israel, Israel having failed in God's service. The end of chapter 40 is this; "I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counsellor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word. Behold, they are all vanity: their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion". I think it shows the necessity for Christ.

A.F.M. As superseding Israel?

J.T. Yes. I think this suggests what is of immense importance to us to understand, that is, on what principle man is to live before God. The kind of man to live before God was first demonstrated in Christ here. It was first set forth in Christ. It is a matter of the utmost importance that we should understand what Christ was for God here. All things are necessarily founded on that; what came out personally in the Lord.

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W.B. Do you connect the prayer of Hezekiah with that?

J.T. Yes, it indicates, in a way, the kind of man that is to live; and when you apply it to Christ you see the wide bearing of it.

B.T.F. Do you refer to what Christ was as man?

J.T. Yes. He was heard because of His piety; Hebrews 5:7. As a divine Person He had of course life in Himself; He had power to quicken. But all that God had sought in man was found in Christ, and in that way He established a title to live here.

R.S.S. You said, referring to Hezekiah's prayer, life according to God was on the principle of asking. Will you open that up a little? I do not quite understand your thought. I know that in Psalm 21 it is said of Christ, "he asked life of thee, thou givest it him, length of days for ever and ever".

J.T. Life is held from God on that principle, but then Christ proved His title to it. I think that the Lord established here, in virtue of what He was as Man, a title to live, and on that ground He asked for life.

R.S.S. You mean that so far as we are concerned our life is forfeited?

J.T. Yes, the testimony of the prophet Isaiah is that those who attacked Hezekiah all died under the judgment of God; see chapter 37: 36 - 38, but then, Hezekiah had to die also.

Ques. And is it because of what Christ was as Man as wholly pleasing to God that He had title to live?

J.T. He took man's place and established a title as Man here to live.

P.H.P. As to Hezekiah, do you refer to verse 3 of chapter 38?

J.T. We get the idea there, Hezekiah asked God for life because he had walked before God "in

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truth and with a perfect heart", and he received it. In Christ's case it is not the sun dial being put back, it is a totally new beginning, but Hezekiah was allowed to live for fifteen years more on that principle.

Ques. What is the significance of the sun going back?

J.T. I think it signifies that there was no new departure or development; it was the continuance of the old thing; but with regard to Christ it is the opening up of an entirely new order of things in resurrection.

A.F.M. Here it is "ten degrees backwards". The Lord rose on the eighth day; it was a new beginning.

J.T. Yes, but the eighth day is really the first day.

J.S. So with Hezekiah, it was really his responsibility lengthened.

J.T. Yes, but with Christ it was an entirely new beginning on the first day of the week.

P.H.P. Would you say Hezekiah was dead in principle?

J.T. His life was forfeited, but of course you cannot refer that to Christ; all you can say as to the type is, that there was a man asking for life on account of his righteous walk, and he received it. There was no liability for Christ to die. He had title to live here as man in flesh and blood.

B.T.F. What is your point in bringing before us the Lord's title to live?

J.T. To show the kind of man that He was.

Rem. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God".

J.T. Christ is our life, but you must have a title to live; Christ established it for Himself by living here absolutely for God, and established it for you by dying.

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B.T.F. Open out about the title to live; the point before me is that scripture -- "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit", John 12.

J.T. The point there is to bring in others of His own order. It is not a question of living there. The corn of wheat abides alone if it does not die. You get in the end of Isaiah 41, "there was no man", but in chapter 42 you get, "my servant whom I uphold, mine elect in whom my soul delighteth".

J.S. So that He established a title to live in the years of His private life here?

J.T. And when He appears in public life He is praying and God puts His Spirit on Him; Luke 3:21,22.

A.F.M. I suppose what we learn in the writing of Hezekiah is that everything is to be on the principle of life out of death. It is "the living" who praise God.

J.T. I think the writing indicates how man is to be with God as made to live, He praises God. "The living, he shall praise thee as I do this day", and then he goes on to speak of singing to stringed instruments. All that indicates how man is to be before God.

W.L.P. Christ having established His title to live, is it on that ground that His death becomes available for us?

J.T. He took up our responsibility on the cross, and by dying He has established a title for us to live.

J.S. There was a moral necessity for Him to establish a title to live. All that God had sought in man must be answered to in Christ.

B.T.F. Did you say that must be true before He could establish things for others?

J.T. In His life He shows Himself qualified to take up the vicarious work.

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C.M. The title to live on account of piety could only be applied to Christ personally, and we come into the good of it by what Christ did vicariously.

J.T. Exactly; I think the epistle to the Romans is the adjustment of all that pertains to the earth, and it is due to God that it should be adjusted before relationship and heavenly position are taken up, so that the two great fundamental Christian epistles are Romans and Ephesians. In the epistle to the Romans the questions of righteousness and life are solved before relationship is touched on in regard to us; righteousness is solved in chapters 3 and 4, and life is solved in chapters 5 and 6; chapter 8 develops sonship. Sonship being introduced, the basis is laid for the heavenly side, for Ephesians.

R.S.S. Has the latter part of Romans any special reference to what you were saying just now?

J.T. Chapters 9, 10 and 11 show how the testimony as to Israel is adjusted. The promises made to the fathers and God's purpose as to the nation are adjusted.

R.S.S. Adjusted in regard to God's dealings in the first part of the epistle. So that the epistle to the Romans is God vindicating Himself and then justifying men; that He may be "just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus"; and even in chapters 9, 10 and 11 the same is true.

J.T. Chapters 9, 10 and 11 show how God is faithful; so that if you understand Romans your soul is perfectly clear as to everything that exists on the earth; and you have, therefore, deliverance in regard to things here; but then the heavenly side is to be entered on: the spirit of sonship is a link between the earthly and the heavenly. Romans 8 shows how the saints are brought into accord with the ark of the covenant. The ark of the covenant was that in which the law was kept and cherished. The righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in

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those who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

A.R.S. Do I understand aright, that what we are setting out is this, that all flesh is as grass, but that here is God's Man who proved His title to live, and if we want to get life we must get it in connection with Him?

J.T. What we have been saying is rather connected with Hezekiah. I think, that Hezekiah's case is brought in typically to show how man is to live before God, and the kind of man that is to live. With Hezekiah the thought is not the servant, but "the living ... . he shall praise thee"; a man living to God.

A.R.S. Hezekiah passed through death in his soul, and then the Lord gave him life.

J.T. He got life because he asked for it in regard to what he had been. Hezekiah had no title to live, but it is the figure we have here. It was in love to his soul that God came in and then Hezekiah says, "The living, the living, he shall praise thee". Hezekiah has the right thought. As made to live, man is for God. When you come to the next section beginning with chapter 40, it is a question of the Servant.

A.S. What is necessary in order to praise God?

J.T. A person must live to be able to worship God. Death is removed from the spirit. Your spirit is free. The pressure of death is gone, and more than that, you are quickened in your affections. Hezekiah recognises the love of God, and then he speaks of praising God.

R.S.S. It would seem that he desired not to die because in death he could not praise God.

J.T. He says that God in love to his soul delivered him, and he answers to that. He responds to it because he praises God.

A.R.S. When he is delivered from death and all its fear

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J.T. In 2 Corinthians 5 the apostle is so in the apprehension of God that were he free from all care he would be entirely for God. He says further, that they which live should not live to themselves, but unto Him who died for them and rose again, and he also says that he did not know anyone after the flesh. Living to God is outside of all ordinary natural relationships. Hence the apostle says he did not know even Christ after the flesh. He was so in the life of Christ that he desired to know only the relationships formed outside of death. Then, further, "if any man be in Christ ... old things are passed away; behold all things are become new". I think that is what you get in Christianity.

R.S.S. Paul said, "whether we be beside ourselves it is to God, or whether we be sober it is for your cause". What do you say in that connection?

J.T. That was how Paul lived. If he were free from ordinary responsibility in this world it would be for God; if he had to return to responsibility it was for the saints; and then I think he shows how that was reached.

R.S.S. That was all that Paul really had before him. God and the saints.

J.T. What a point to reach, where old things are passed away!

W.Br. What about the thought of life being communicated to you?

J.T. Life is only communicated in the sense that the Spirit is given to you.

A.R.S. How do we get title to live?

J.T. It is by faith. A believer has title, but it is an entirely different thing to take up your title and enjoy the life. I think eternal life has reference to what you are with God. Your spirit is relieved of death and you are quickened in your affections and in your mind, so that God is before you. The

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question of how a man is to be with God comes in before his place in the testimony.

Ques. On what ground will Israel be in the future?

J.T. I think they will be on the same ground as we as regards life. The Lord will have removed the pressure of death off their spirits. He will swallow up death in victory and the law will be written in their minds and in their hearts.

R.S.S. Hezekiah said, "What is the sign that. I shall go up to the house of the Lord?"

J.T. Going up to the house of the Lord is the result of being made to live; but the house involves relationship formed.

W.L.P. You could not know life without understanding the house of the Lord could you?

J.T. The two are very intimately connected. As to God's house the greatest thought is, what is to be for God there?

B. "They that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee".

J.T. You may depend upon it that what is set forth here in Hezekiah is of great importance to us as testimony as indicating in type the kind of man who is to live before God. You see how he appreciates the love of God and how he answers to it. It is remarkable how much is said in the Old Testament about singing.

A.N.W. It is largely connected with redemption or salvation.

J.T. I think a song is generally a celebration of a divine intervention. God intervenes for you in some way, and you celebrate that. A psalm is rather the expression of experiences.

R.S.S. Where does a spiritual song come in?

J.T. A spiritual song is the only kind of song that will be acceptable to God. It is free from sentimentality and materialism. A hymn, I think,

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has God more especially as the object before us. I think that is borne out by the fact that the Lord joined in one.

In this section beginning with chapter 40, the question of idolatry is very largely in view. The prophet begins by speaking of comfort. "Comfort ye my people". I suppose, that that, in a way, is the end to be reached, but we have to see how it is reached. It is the announcement of glad tidings to Jerusalem, but it is as yet only anticipatory; it is what is in God's heart for them. This chapter is the beginning of a new section, and these two verses indicate what it is in the mind of God to bring about. Jerusalem is to be comforted and that can only be brought about by room being made for Christ.

W.Br. Is it a question here of removing the idolatry?

J.T. That is the question that had to be raised with the people; God was coming in and a way was to be made for Him. Then a new formative power was there, namely, "the word of the Lord"; verse 8. It is referred to in the New Testament, and is spoken of as that by which we are begotten again ; @ 1 Peter 1: 21, 22. The word of God involves the introduction of a new generation. The word Servant is not introduced here; it is what God does. Of course, it is done through Christ, but it is Jehovah acting. A new principle is brought in here, the word of God. You have the means by which God brings in a new generation. All flesh is as grass, "but the word of our God abides for ever".

C.M. In what way is the word expressed?

J.T. "This is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you".

C.M. Would it be right to say that God expressed Himself in that way.

J.T. Yes, the revelation of God brings in a new

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generation. John the baptist did not produce anything. The gospel is that which produces the new generation. The negative testimony is to be accepted. It might be assumed that some flesh is better, but the emphasis is on all flesh. But a new generation is brought in by the word.

A.F.M. I suppose John was practically bringing that out when he spoke to the Pharisees in his preaching; he called them a generation of vipers.

W.Br. What has the Spirit of God in view in this chapter?

J.T. I think the Spirit now has the new generation in view, and Christ is the pattern of that. It is very interesting to see how comfort is brought in. The testimony to Jerusalem is "Comfort ye". The first epistle to the Corinthians teaches that all flesh is as grass; the second brings in comfort. Comfort supposes that there has been the judgment of the flesh in us; then God comforts us.

B.T.P. Is idolatry referred to?

J.T. That is a question that God has to raise with each of us. There are many questions that God has to raise with us, but He has to settle the matter of idolatry with us before comfort can be introduced. It is a question of what your motives are, what you have before you. So you will find that in this chapter God emphasises what He is -- His greatness.

R.S.S. What answers to idolatry at the present time, and especially for Christians?

J.T. Idolatry is anything that would govern the affections. Idolatry is anything in us here that disputes God's title to us; and God is sure to enter into controversy with us if there is anything of this kind. The point here is not what Christ was exactly, but what God is.

B.T.F. If you come under the power of something, does that become an idol?

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J.T. Yes, anything that disputes God's title to your affections is an idol, and hence it is the knowledge of God in the heart that overthrows idolatry.

R.S.S. We are to be influenced by God only.

Rem. Christ is said to be the true God, and then comes the exhortation, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols". To be kept from idols must be a continual exercise with believers.

J.T. It is remarkable how much you find about idolatry in this section of Isaiah.

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"MY SERVANT"

Isaiah 42

A.F.M. I suppose we are definitely introduced to the Servant in verse one of this chapter?

J.T. I think the idea of service necessitates what Christ was in private life under God's eye as Man here. It is very much like the ark; you must have the wood before you have the gold. The wood refers to Christ as under God's eye.

Ques. Would that be the first thirty years of His life?

J.T. Yes, the last part, His public ministry, was the gold. That is, the wood was for God's eye; the gold was for testimony manward.

R.S.S. The wood was not seen.

A.F.M. Th