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Priesthood, Australasia and Great Britain, 1935 - 36 (Volume 140).

PRIESTHOOD DEPENDENT ON SONSHIP

1 Chronicles 17:11 - 17; 1 Chronicles 29:10 - 20

J.T. It will be well to say that our subject is to be priesthood -- continuing in it as seen in David. He was marked by the exercise of priesthood when the ark was brought to Zion, and it is said that he was clad with a linen ephod, and danced before it, (2 Samuel 6). Linen suggests balance and sobriety in this connection -- it naturally absorbs heat. There are two words used in regard to the fabrics employed in the priestly garments and the tabernacle furnishings. One seems to convey whiteness and fineness, whatever the basic material; the word generally in Exodus is that. But then we have a word that conveys the idea of linen worn particularly by the high priest on the day of atonement; that is, typically, as Christ entered into death: there is a suggestion in it of holy sobriety and balance. The same thought would apply to David as wearing the linen ephod; he was very energetic in his service; he danced "with all his might;" and this might seem to be undue exuberance, but the linen would point to the opposite of that. There was sufficient to move him, and yet it was in holy solemnity and balance, so that there was no allowance of fleshly feeling which is always ready to show itself in our service before God. When it does show itself -- that is, natural exuberance or excitement -- it is just strange fire.

What is before us in these two passages in Chronicles is priesthood, based on sonship; so far we have not had this side, although priesthood is properly based on sonship, however we look at it, for it is Christ as Son who is the Priest, the Son, constituted a Priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec.

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We have not had this so far, and it appears first in chapter 17, the passage that corresponds with 2 Samuel 7. What it says here in Chronicles, as in 2 Samuel 7, is that David is forbidden to build the house, that is, he is not qualified. Viewed as a warrior, even although he had exercised priesthood, he is not qualified to build the house. It was to be built by the son and the message sent to him through Nathan, according to what we read, calls attention to the son, saying, "And it shall come to pass, when thy days are fulfilled that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. It is he who shall build me a house, and I will establish his throne for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son; and I will not take away my mercy from him". As this message is received, the passage says, "And king David went in and sat before Jehovah". He accepts the mind of God unqualifiedly, and understands that sonship is now henceforth to be the basis of God's relations with Israel; he moves himself as in that light. "And king David went in and sat before Jehovah, and said ..." He is acting still as a priest; he is taking the liberties that belong to a priest, but he is also taking the ground of sonship; he sat before Jehovah, or tarried, it may be rendered, meaning that he had full liberty to be there.

Rem. Abiathar does not come in here, it is sonship; a nearer place.

J.T. Yes, the idea of Abiathar does not enter into this part; he really stands in connection with the first book of Samuel. The office of high priest is more to encourage the young believer. In Hebrews 4:14, for instance, we read: "Having therefore a great high priest", and then in chapter 10 it is, "having a great priest", the word "high" is dropped in chapter 10, and I suppose sonship enters into

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that, it is what Christ is personally; a great Priest.

Ques. Are you leading up to what we are as sons?

J.T. Well, it is to bring out that side, that we may see how the priesthood developed in David to the full thought of it in sonship. We do not get the thought of son in this sense spoken of earlier, I think; as sonship is introduced David went in and sat before the Lord. He had full liberty; the usual posture for a priest in this respect is to stand before Jehovah.

Ques. Is the priesthood in connection with sonship how we stand in relation to God?

J.T. Yes, and the liberty in which we are. Eli sat by the door-post; but apart from sonship that attitude is simply fleshly-mindedness. It is only as in sonship that we have the spirit of sonship. We are sons before God; He has pleasure in us.

Ques. Is sonship going to supersede priesthood?

J.T. It continues when priesthood is no longer needed. Sonship is an abiding thought, it is a primary thought with God. All primary thoughts are abiding ones. Priesthood is a provisional thought, the necessity for it arises from the results of sin in the world, or ignorance -- all these things are dealt with, then the thought of priesthood necessarily drops; it is not needed when there is no evil and no ignorance. Sonship is a great eternal thought, but it comes into the provisional state of things, and as sons the priests have liberty before God.

Ques. Are these thoughts to mark us eternally as sons?

J.T. Yes; that is what I thought we might see. What a great thought, that God is served by sons, but in the capacity of priests because of present conditions.

Rem. It gives a greatness to what we have before us now.

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Ques. What is the thought in, "such a high priest became us"?

J.T. That means seeing how great the people are. It alludes to the saints. God is bringing many sons to glory. Glory is the ground taken in Hebrews. Solomon was not yet born, so here sonship is an abstract thought, but it enters into David's mind, and so he is in liberty; indeed he is called firstborn in Psalm 89:27. The allusion here in Chronicles is to Solomon, and he is said to be God's son; Jehovah says, "he shall be my son;" and "It is he who shall build me a house".

Rem. David sitting before Jehovah suggests the liberty of sonship. Although he had not the full light at that moment, he was in the liberty of it.

J.T. The mention of it set him free, it shows how receptive he was of divine thoughts. The more spiritual one is, the more receptive he is of divine thoughts.

Rem. He caught the mind of God, that the son must build the house.

J.T. Yes, and then it says, he sat, it may be said tarried, which would make it stronger, he had liberty to sit there, to stay there, he was not exactly serving, but you find what he said there exceeds in richness anything he had said before. The titles he gives Jehovah. He says Jehovah Elohim in verse 16, and again in verse 17. If you run down the passage, to the end of the chapter, you will see the variety of titles he employs. There is a peculiar richness in his speech, enhanced by the spirit he is in. The nearer we get to God, the more liberty we have, the richer our speakings, our worship.

Rem. The great intent of God in sending forth His Son was that we might receive sonship.

J.T. Well, that is the thought exactly. When the fulness of time was come. It had not yet come, because the Old Testament does not include the

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"fulness of time", but it does in a typical way. We are dealing here with types, all this awaited the incarnation.

Ques. What we have before us is very attractive. In regard to our Lord, are His greatest movements those seen in sonship?

J.T. I think that is how it seems in Scripture. He was not publicly owned as Son until He was thirty years of age. He was Son, of course, from the outset -- "Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten thee" (Hebrews 1:5). He was God's Son from the outset, but it awaited His full manhood for heaven to proclaim Him as Son, and then the heavens were opened to Him. That is a very important matter. John's gospel takes up this great thought. John the baptist is employed by the Spirit there to enlarge on Christ's Person. It was said to him, "Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and abiding on him, he it is who baptises with the Holy Spirit" (John 1:33). And then John says, "And I have seen and borne witness that this is the Son of God". That is the One upon whom the Spirit descended, and He abode upon Him. The next day John saw Him walking. His movements are enhanced in the eyes of John the baptist by the knowledge he had of His Person.

Rem. John the evangelist would in his gospel keep it in view, somewhat as distinct from Luke's way of putting things, although in Luke we have our Lord's sonship brought before us.

J.T. Yes, we have the thought of the Son announced to Mary: "the holy thing ... shall be called Son of God" (Luke 1:35). "Shall be called" -- it does not say He was or had been. He shall be called, that is, it is the general thought that should follow. John says, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we have contemplated his glory, a glory as of an only-begotten with a father),

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full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). We contemplated it! It came within their range and they contemplated it. "An only-begotten with a father" -- that is the first word that John gives us as to sonship. It is descriptive, it is as an only-begotten with a father, that is a descriptive thought, a figurative thought, but it is to bring out the delightful relations He had as Man with God, which they saw. Then it says, "No one has seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (verse 18). This is the formal way that John the evangelist introduces this great subject, and then he brings in John the baptist. "John bears witness of him, and he has cried, saying, This was he of whom I said, He that comes after me is preferred before me". He brings in John the baptist immediately. John is greatly affected by the Person of Christ now coming within the range of his understanding. John the evangelist gives us John's history without reference to the message of doubt he sent to the Lord; he does not record any failure in John. The baptist disappears in John's narrative saying, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30). He is full of the glorious Person who is Son of God. "And I have seen and borne witness that this is the Son of God" (John 1:34). This is the testimony of John, and you can see how it links on with christianity, so that it is very difficult to decide whether it is John the baptist or the evangelist who speaks in John 3:31 - 34. It seems as though God honours the baptist in bringing him into the spirit of christianity, but it is in unqualified appreciation of Christ. That is the great principle in dealing with our brethren who are not with us in the fellowship practically, what will attract any true christian is the Person of the Christ. You will always get them to agree on that point if they are true christians.

Rem. So that in John's gospel what follows the

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baptist's remarks is, "The Father loves the Son, and has given all things to be in his hand" (John 3:35).

J.T. John's gospel gives us a clue as to how to deal with our brethren in the last days. If you are dealing with a true christian, he will respond to the truth of Christ's Person. He will agree on that point, and thus there is opportunity of bringing forward other features of truth.

Ques. Does the mention of sandals by the father in Luke 15 assure the returning prodigal's heart of his place in sonship -- the sandals being given to him?

J.T. I think so. You can see that all the things mentioned denoted his dignity. He is called "my son". All that follows in Luke 15 -- the jubilance, the music, and the dancing inside -- is in the light of that relation. The most glorious presentation of christianity, the most glorious result of the gospel is in that chapter, but the elder brother would not come in. If you appeal to a true christian according to what is there, he will be affected.

Ques. David said, "O God; and thou hast spoken of thy servant's house for a great while to come" (1 Chronicles 17:17). Do you think he saw beyond the temple?

J.T. Well, the words go further than he could have explained to you. If you had asked David to give you an explanation of this verse, he could not do it as well as you could.

Ques. The Lord said, "Abraham exulted in that he should see my day" (John 8:56). Do you think David saw Christ here?

J.T. Yes, in the same sense in which Abraham saw Him. It is always well to remember that these men of faith are clothed with the Lord's own view of the matter. The New Testament takes up Old Testament scriptures and clothes them with New Testament thoughts. I was thinking, for instance, of the writer of the Hebrews, undoubtedly Paul, he

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alludes to the deluge, saying, Noah made an ark for the saving of his house. You can understand how Paul clothed Noah's act with the truth of the believer's household which he was bringing out. The Lord says, "Abraham exulted in that he should see my day, and he saw and rejoiced". You might think that Abraham could give an address on Christ's day, but you would be mistaken in that. The Lord clothes what the patriarch saw with His own point of view. We cannot say that Abraham could have named what was then seen by him as Christ names it.

Rem. So with Moses; he esteemed the reproach of Christ.

J.T. That is right. Moses could not have elaborated on that if you asked him. What is referred to there is that he called the Hebrews his brethren; it was "the reproach of the Christ" from the New Testament point of view.

I think it is beautiful here to see David's movement. Instead of being indignant (for indeed he knew how to be indignant even in regard of what God did, 1 Chronicles 13:11), he is enlarged as the truth comes out; he is receptive of it; a very fine example for us. That he should be prohibited from building the house reduced him personally, but he is entirely above resentfulness, he is in the light of sonship.

Rem. He had in spirit to pass over into sonship to understand it.

J.T. Well, that is the point. And the lesson here is that we should pass over into it. God has opened the door for us to do so, as it says, "when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son ... that we might receive sonship" (Galatians 4:4, 5). It is to be received, but it is something we have on the principle of faith. And then, "But because ye are sons, God has sent out the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father". We must take note of the Spirit of adoption crying. He is so urgent as to the

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matter that He cries in our hearts, "Abba, Father". It is urgent that the Father should be addressed.

Rem. One of the purposes in being baptised by the Spirit is that we should move in that direction. John the baptist saw that the One who baptises with the Holy Spirit is the Son of God.

J.T. Quite so, that is what he says, "And I have seen and borne witness that this is the Son of God". It is remarkable that John the baptist cried his testimony as to the greatness of Christ, John 1:15. It was urgent that it should be known.

Ques. May I divert to what is practical, in view of what might be hindering some of our souls? David knew the position the divine mind had placed him in; he could speak from there. What may be hindering some of us is that we seek to express something that we are not up to, whereas we should be what we are.

J.T. That is what we should see here, that the light of sonship is conveyed to him, and he moves in it, and enters in before Jehovah and sits down. Sitting down means, I think, that it is a permanent thought. Sonship is a fixed relationship into which we are brought. This should encourage young christians to take up that ground, and to note the word "crying" in Galatians 4 and in Romans 8. You get the Lord Jesus crying in His ministry on earth. He cried, "If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink" (John 7:37). It is that the matter is urgent, most important, and it seems to me that Galatians 4:6 implies that young christians should take up this great thought of sonship at once; it is urgent. The Spirit cries in the christian, "Abba, Father", according to Galatians 4. In Romans 8:15 the believer cries, "Abba, Father" by the Spirit; he takes the thing up and responds to God, according to this blessed relationship into which he is brought. Romans 8 is more advanced because we come down to the thought of

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sonship in the chapter through many phases in which the Spirit is presented. We come to the statement, "for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For ye have not received it spirit of bondage again for fear, but ye have received a spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father". Not that we should do it, but that we cry, "Abba, Father". It is characteristic of those who have the Spirit of adoption.

Ques. Would the psalmist, in Psalm 73:23, have a sense of sonship? He says, "I am continually with thee".

J.T. That is Asaph; he was a singing man, one who experienced going inside the sanctuary. That is the first psalm of the third book, the last of which speaks of sonship applied to David, to which we have already alluded. More than half the psalms in that book are Asaph's. Men of faith, like Asaph, accustomed to enter the sanctuary of God, would have some sense of the liberty of sonship.

Ques. Would you say that the Spirit crying in us would indicate that He would hasten us to the highest thoughts -- "Abba, Father"?

J.T. Well, that is right. We are sometimes a long time in getting to the highest thought in the service of God. Sometimes meetings run through, and the brethren never get to it. One has been in such meetings. Galatians 4 and Romans 8 intimate that we are to proceed to the full thought; that God is waiting for this, for He seeks worshippers. He would hear our voices and words expressed in the power of the Spirit of adoption.

Ques. What are we to understand by "Abba, Father"?

J.T. Well, "Abba" is the Aramaic for Father; the word Father in the passages mentioned is a translation from the Greek. "Abba" is the original word used. The Lord using both in Gethsemane

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indicates, I think, the intensity of His feelings as to His Father at that time. "Abba" is the identical word which the Lord used along with the Greek word translated "Father" in our tongue. "Abba" is not translated; it is left as it was. It is a precious jewel in the gospel of Mark; the very word the Lord Himself articulated. It was used by the Lord in the extremity of His pressure, and it is put into our mouths by the Spirit -- a most affecting thing. God would have us use this expression, not lightly, but reverentially, feelingly, and in a holy way.

Ques. Could we also speak to the Father as the Lord does in John 17?

J.T. I think so. That chapter brings out the Lord's position here more than any perhaps. In John 17 it is "Father". He looked up to heaven: you have His actual attitude. He looked up to heaven and said, "Father". We are entitled to do that, too. I think the idea of His speaking in their hearing would be to lead them into that.

Rem. The Spirit crying, "Abba, Father" would imply nearness and perfect liberty in addressing God.

J.T. Yes. The Spirit gives us that; it is not only that you have light as to it, but the Spirit gives you consciousness of the relationship expressed in the words.

Rem. It is very precious that it is possible for God to hear now, when we say "Abba", something that He heard from Christ's lips.

J.T. Well, it is very wonderful. I think that heaven is affected by our voices: it is the same Spirit, the Spirit of God's Son.

Ques. Did not God intend that it should be continued after our Lord had gone back to heaven? It should never cease.

J.T. That is one of the thoughts, so that the voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight". Often you hear

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that quoted "all my delight", but "all" is not there; the divine thought is to extend the occasion of delight, to bring the saints into it, into sonship. There are to be "many sons".

Now David, in 1 Chronicles 17:16 to the end, helps by example, giving us the sense of richness that should be in our worship -- richness of titles used in addressing God.

Ques. Is "Abba, Father" an expression to be used now? We do not use the word very much in practice. Is its import conveyed in our intelligent use of the word "Father"?

J.T. It is in the treasury; there are things that people have in their treasuries that they may not bring out often, but they are there. There are many things in Scripture that are not used, but we allude to them, and regard them as treasures. Indeed, the richness of David's speech inside is to be noted in this respect; and I think it is recorded to encourage young christians to get near to God, because the nearer we get to God the more liberty we have, and the richer would be our worship. Greater spirituality would, no doubt, lead to more usage of the words "Abba, Father".

As we go on to chapter 29 we get a fuller exhibition, a fuller testimony to David's worshipful condition; his priestly power. "And David blessed Jehovah in the sight of all the congregation; and David said, Blessed be thou, Jehovah, the God of our father Israel, for ever and ever. Thine, Jehovah, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the splendour, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is thine: thine, Jehovah, is the kingdom, and thou art exalted as Head above all; and riches and glory are of thee, and thou rulest over everything; and in thy hand is power and might; and in thy hand it is to make all great and strong. And now, our God, we thank thee,

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and praise thy glorious name". It seems to me that we have there perhaps the richest, the most priestly thoughts of David; he reaches the height of headship in God. He goes on, in verse 14, "But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer willingly after this manner? for all is of thee, and of that which is from thy hand have we given thee. For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is no hope of life. Jehovah our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee a house to thy holy name, is of thy hand, and is all thine own. And I know, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart have I willingly offered all these things; and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, offer willingly to thee. Jehovah, God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and direct their hearts to thee! And give to Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all, and to build the palace, for which I have made provision. And David said to all the congregation, Bless now Jehovah your God. And all the congregation blessed Jehovah the God of their fathers, ..." It seems to me that here we come to the highest point in the service, so that all worship; he moves all into worship. They all worship Jehovah and the king.

And what is seen further in relation to this is the place sonship has in chapter 23 of this book. Solomon is on the throne alongside of David, and David exercised his kingly authority in gathering all the princes of Israel with the priests and Levites; and in numbering the Levites, etc. There were thirty-eight thousand Levites. From that point on you have the best use made of the saints; that is, these

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chapters would bring out what is in sonship, not simply the abstract thought of it as in chapter 17, but the son is actually there, and he is alongside his father on the throne. From that point on, as I said, you have the best use made of the saints, they are all to be put into the service, the young and old, all brought in. That is one great point in the present time -- bring in all the young people into the service of God. The age for levitical service is here reduced to twenty years. I think at the present time God has put out His arms to the young people. Levitical service is not so onerous now as it was in the wilderness, David says. The point was that God had given rest to His people and that He would dwell in Jerusalem for ever. Today, this would be our position "in assembly" -- viewed as in the land. We are in the divine sphere. Normally opposition is absent: the holy current towards God is strong and there is thus peculiar power and liberty in service.

Rem. So all that David gave expression to in that way, and the height he reached, would be the level for the people.

J.T. I think the people had come on, typically, to sonship as in Solomon as presented in this book; it enhances the value of the saints to be taken up on that ground. As you regard yourself in sonship, you get liberty, and there is more room for the development of divine thoughts; that is why David is seen here so rich in what he says to God. Compare him as seen in 1 Kings 1 -- how different! Here is a man in full vigour speaking in priestly intelligence and power; it is the same man, and the same time practically, the difference being that he is here on the ground of sonship. Official christendom has become lifeless, whereas those who take up their divinely-given privileges have a measure of energy and feelings and spiritual richness in the service of God.

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These chapters are to bring all the saints into this.

Rem. God would gather up all that is living.

J.T. That is right. Hezekiah says, "The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I this day" (Isaiah 38:19).

Rem. The object is that the results for God might be greater and greater.

J.T. That is the idea exactly. These chapters are to be studied well if we are to understand sonship and its bearing on the service of God. It is a question of the richness that is involved in it, and is in our souls in worship to God.

Rem. The atmosphere and response here, and the richness of the contributions from David and others, are remarkable. I do not remember any other scripture in which God is addressed as "Head".

J.T. It is the supreme idea of headship. Headship as in Christ brings out the best there is in the saints. Headship implies authority, but it is much more: it is wisdom exercised, and exercised so as to affect others through the understanding and even through their affections. It is seen perfectly in Christ as Head of the assembly.

Ques. There is a contrast here to Genesis 6; every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart. There it is "only evil continually;" here David prays that these things may be kept "for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and direct their hearts to thee".

J.T. That is a very good contrast. God graciously keeps our hearts, and we are enjoined: "Keep thy heart more than anything that is guarded; for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23). The affections must be under control. The heart represents the more elevated affections, and so "the eyes of your heart" are spoken of in Ephesians 1:18. It is a question of our intelligent affections. All this underlies the rich flow of worship towards God so beautifully set out here in David. We may

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profitably compare with it our Lord's own words, "I praise thee, Father, Lord of the heaven and of the earth;" but this was not at a time of prosperity, as was the case with David, it was in the most distressing period of His ministry, as we learn in Matthew 11:25. We may also compare the spiritual exuberance of Paul flowing out towards God in worship and in affectionate regard for the saints in the Ephesian epistle -- and in circumstances of outward pressure, that is, in prison.

Ques. Do you think Paul reaches one of the highest thoughts in connection with sonship in us when he says, "according as he has chosen us in him" (Ephesians 1:4)?

J.T. Yes; "that we should be holy and blameless before him in love ... wherein he has taken us into favour in the Beloved".

Rem. Then we have access through Christ by the Spirit unto the Father.

Ques Do you think the increased number of meetings give scope and freedom for the sons to come into view and the volume of praise increased?

J.T. That is the way God is working. This section in 1 Chronicles, where the age of the Levites is reduced from twenty-five to twenty, is very significant and instructive, and I believe the point is to bring the young people into the service; so that the old and young are numbered together, the teacher and the scholar. Of course, in the actual service the teacher will have more intelligence and ability generally than the scholar, but the scholar will be there, the young ones will be learning from the old ones, and they are all in the service together.

Rem. One has noticed in going from place to place, that the Lord is leading on those that are younger in the appreciation of sonship, and the volume of praise has increased wonderfully.

J.T. Yes, and the import of the number twenty-four

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enters into these chapters from chapter 23 to the end. Among other things it implies that love is operative, and to this end it must be amongst us. We can thus be manipulated according to the divisibility of that number.

Ques. I was thinking of what Solomon said: "I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in" -- would that be an initial exercise relative to this end?

J.T. It would. God had effected that humility in the young king. God commented upon his prayer very approvingly, for as in felt need of them, he had asked for wisdom and knowledge that he might be fit to serve His people. It is a prayer of a "little child", a prayer that may well be taken up by every young christian, having service acceptable to God in view.

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MANHOOD IN EZEKIEL

Ezekiel 1:26 - 28; Ezekiel 9:1 - 4; Ezekiel 40:1 - 3: Ezekiel 43:1 - 6

J.T. Those of us who are at all conversant with the book of Ezekiel will know that the thought of man is stamped upon it; the scriptures read illustrate this. The term "son of man" runs through it, appearing even more often than in all the gospels. I thought it would be helpful to look at it from this point of view, not from a prophetic standpoint exactly, but as to the bearing of the thought morally on ourselves. Although the angels were the most exalted of His creatures hitherto, evidently God's primary thought was that they should be subservient to man. The Lord becoming Man, having man in His mind, takes a place "by so much better than the angels, as he inherits a name more excellent than they" (Hebrews 1:4). Man being in God's mind and counsels, Hebrews tells us that Jesus, although "made some little inferior to angels on account of the suffering of death", is now "crowned with glory and honour" (Hebrews 2:7 - 9), and "thou hast subjected all things under his feet", whereas the angels are "sent out for service on account of those who shall inherit salvation" (Hebrews 1:14).

What may be noticed in regard to Ezekiel, is that he is called "the priest". Not simply a priest, he was evidently a priest characteristically, as if the thought of manhood should shine out in the time of test in intelligent sympathy, both with God in what He is doing, and with men. Hence the loins of the man in the bright spot are alluded to "upward" and "downward", as if referring to his affections Godward and manward. That must be the divine thought in manhood as it appears in Christ, and as it should appear in all of us who have the Spirit -- its bearing Godward and manward.

These passages would help us to work that out a

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little; first, as regards the supremacy of Man in the bright spot above all the power that is symbolised in this way, by the figures in chapter 1; all the power of God being in Man. Then, secondly, in chapter 9 we have "one man clothed with linen", indicating a certain holy sobriety in his service amid the men with the slaughter weapons. He has this clothing of linen and a writer's ink-horn by his side, taking account of things accurately -- that is the second point. One's thought is that these things should be seen working out amongst us. Then, thirdly, in chapter 40 we have a man with a measuring line, a man measuring things. God being the "God of measure", we have His abode and all its approaches and the temple itself accurately measured. And then finally, in chapter 43, God is there in His abode, and the prophet says, "a man was standing by me", that is, he is sustained in the presence of the glory by a man standing by. That was what I had before me.

Ques. What you have said seems to show the reason why God put man on the earth. Is it in connection with the earth that there can be movements of the glory coming and going? Is it for moral education in the value of the heavens?

J.T. I suppose that is the thought. A Man being there we can look up with confidence. The loins, taken account of in chapter 1, point to sympathetic feelings both upward and downward; what He is downwards to us is in relation to what God is, that is, there is perfect consonance with what God is. With regard to the government of this world today (we thank God for it, and for those in authority), you cannot speak much of "loins downward" in this respect, for man's motives are so mixed.

Ques. Were you comparing the first passage a little with what we have in Ephesians 4:10 -- He "ascended up above all heavens, that he might fill all things" -- is that the thought?

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J.T. Yes. He has ascended above all heavens and has given gifts to men for the best purpose possible. That would be from "the loins downward". You cannot conceive of greater skill and compassion than is seen in the Lord ascending to the highest point, and sending down thence the gifts "for the perfecting of the saints; with a view to the work of the ministry, with a view to the edifying of the body of Christ; until we all arrive ... at the full-grown man;" that would be the thought. It all has the full-grown man in view. God did not make man primarily as a babe. He made him full-grown. So Christ Himself, as presented in testimony, is full-grown, as a Man of thirty years.

Ques. Are you linking that new thought now with the scripture in chapter 43, as to the full-grown man?

J.T. Well, that scripture shows that I am able to stand in the presence of the glory, because a Man is standing by me; it is Christ standing by us in the assembly, I think. Hebrews tells us we have "a great priest over the house of God;" that would refer, I suppose, not only to His official greatness, but His moral greatness, that He is sympathetic with us, knowing how poor we are down here. He stands by us and enables us to be in the presence of the glory, in the presence of God, knowing us altogether in our weakness, and how we need to be supported.

D.L.H. Would you bring in any thought of the covenant relationships into this line, as distinct from the family relationships?

J.T. I suppose the knowledge of God must be brought in in the formation of men according to His mind; for the end is that we should be morally after God. The new man is created "after God", and that must be by the knowledge of Him as in the covenant, I apprehend, in the Mediator: how do we know Him otherwise? Knowing Him in

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creation will not, in itself, form a man after God; but knowing what He is morally in righteousness and love -- "God is love". We are enabled to penetrate beyond His creatorial works, finding that behind all His actions is His love; and besides, we know redemption; so we see that love is in everything, and the Spirit makes that good in our hearts. I suppose in that way we become conformed to this thought of the "loins". Romans, I believe, brings the saints to that; we have the love of God, and the compassions of God mentioned -- the believer is to be brought into accord with that.

Ques. Where does the mind come in -- the understanding of man?

J.T. Well, that is a great part in the formation of man. It is in having a mind and spirit that man differs from the animal creation. We can see that from the very outset; he is the last to be formed in the creation and he receives life by the breath of God, so that God was there morally; not only in His love and compassion, but in His intelligence, what God is. Therefore man was to be His image. He could not be His image save as in intelligence, as superior to the animal. He has the element of supremacy, all his features denote superiority by intelligence; he is superior, he is able to rule, to have dominion -- which could only be through his superior intelligence. So that in Romans there is the renewing of the mind that we might "prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:2). Not only that, but the mind is said to have dominion in chapter 7. "So then I myself with the mind serve the God's law" -- the mind is allowed, as it were, through the analysis, to have a dominant place. Because its superiority is discerned, one allows his mind to rule. The renewing of it, of course, is by the Spirit.

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Rem. So the mind would be the faculty in man to entertain divine thoughts.

J.T. Quite so, enabling him to represent God here.

Rem. The circumstances of the people in this prophecy would bring out the sympathies indicated "from the loins downward".

J.T. I suppose so. You could help us a little on that.

Rem. I had in mind that the people are in captive conditions, and what you indicated at the beginning -- the loins downward -- would express divine sympathies in connection with those conditions; whereas the movements of the glory would maintain the height of divine thoughts. Is that so?

J.T. Quite so. The glory as seen here is remarkable -- viewed in Ezekiel as having to leave because of conditions, but still brought back again. The great fact is that there is a residence of the glory here; and I believe these passages, as bearing on ourselves now, would teach us how to maintain conditions suitable for its residence. First, there is the idea of rule, of those in whose hands authority is placed through moral qualifications. The first chapter would be that order is maintained by authority, in men who are not arbitrary -- in care meetings and the like -- but who are in sympathy with what God is, and then with the brethren, with men; making all due allowances for the weaknesses of the saints. It calls for spirituality in the brothers. They would thus have the confidence of the saints generally. "Ye who are spiritual restore such a one" (Galatians 6:1). The more spiritual a man is, the more compassionate he is, and the more ready to forgive, too, to help the saints.

Then the next thing, chapter 9, is taking account of things accurately. There is a man in linen clothing, a sober man in the midst of a terrible state of things, and six men with slaughter weapons in their

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hands. These men are executors of divine wrath coming from the north, but this man "clothed with linen, with a writer's ink-horn by his side", is evidently one who would deal with things in a most accurate way, and see to it that no one suffered wrongly. The Lord said, "if ye had known ... ye would not have condemned the guiltless" (Matthew 12:7) -- anyone that sighs or cries for God is to be noted.

Ques. Do the passages refer to the features of manhood as given in the four gospels. I was thinking of authority in Matthew; and then the second principle, taking account of things accurately and the groaning and the sighing, in Mark. Had you in mind that they might be the features of manhood as seen in Christ?

J.T. I think that is helpful. Authority is obviously Matthew; the Lord's countenance shone as the sun on the mount, according to Matthew. Then in Mark, He groaned, feeling things deeply. Luke has the same feelings, but he is more skilful in treating diseases; Luke has a way of presenting Him as treating diseases -- spiritual diseases, of course -- with skill, He was the good Physician. But this man with the ink-horn should be noticed, because we are apt to be very careless in dealing with cases, perhaps classifying people too readily, thinking, in a crisis, they are all of one colour, whereas they are not always that. They are graded, it may be, and we ought to take account of the gradation; if one is less opposed than another, you must take account of that.

Ques. Do you view these groanings, in verse 4, as relating to the state of affairs in christendom, or more particularly amongst the saints?

J.T. I was thinking more particularly amongst ourselves. We need these things applied -- right governmental services, and then the priestly compassionate side, and accuracy in determining just where people are.

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Ques. Is one of the first qualifications for service in the house of God that we groan, as feeling things?

J.T. Just so.

Ques. Is the thought that while those in the city, who carry responsibility, may come to the care meeting with a slaughter weapon, that is held back until the man with the ink-horn has gone into matters?

J.T. That is the principle. I suppose, however, that when you come to the administration of judgment the slaughter weapon properly belongs to the assembly. The care meeting itself ought to take the character of the man with the ink-horn, recording what is found, for he moves about as feeling things.

Rem. Jude would know how to discriminate -- "Of some ... making a difference".

J.T. That is an illustration of what we are saying -- "of some have compassion, making a difference, but others save with fear, snatching them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh" (Jude 23).

Rem. So that, if the man with the ink-horn does not make a mark on them, the slaughter weapon comes into view and begins with the elders, verse 6.

J.T. That is the way it stands, you have to look out for this mark. It brings out the great value of the saints who have a care, and who come together under the Lord to determine things.

Ques. Is the writing the outcome of deliberation?

J.T. I think so, and that you do not change your mind. Sometimes you hear of facts reached, determined in care, in consultation, and then, when the slaughter weapon is to be used, some have changed their mind -- and, of course, that is great weakness. To bring up these matters when the judgment is to be executed is great weakness.

Rem. You would expect more help from the

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Lord in the deliberations in the care meeting than in discussion when you get home.

J.T. The Lord helps us when we are together humbly and solemnly before the Lord in investigation. Things become clear, and it is well to hold to that. When we leave we come under other influences. I think the writing means that the thing is not to be altered. Sometimes you hear of meetings for judgment or discipline, and they become deliberative meetings, whereas they ought to be administrative meetings. In this respect an assembly meeting is not a deliberative meeting, it is an administrative meeting. You find in chapter 10 this same man has something more to do, he is seen among the elements of judgment, he is seen active there; he is not changing his mind in chapter 10.

Ques. Would the administrative meeting be the result of the distinctions made by the man with the ink-horn?

J.T. I think so -- the assembly meeting is a formal, authoritative, solemn judgment, uttered in as few words as possible, for the conscience of the assembly. It might be said. Well, every conscience ought to be made acquainted with the details; but then, confidence comes in: there is confidence in the man with the ink-horn, so to say, confidence in that record.

Ques. What is the position of an individual who stands apart or refuses the assembly judgment?

J.T. He is morally outside, I should say; do you not think so?

Rem. I was thinking of one who might still wish to go on with the brethren, and yet does not bow to some judgment that has been arrived at in a godly way.

J.T. Well, I think his position is very precarious. Patience would wait on him, of course, but he is morally outside, and it is for him to get right. There

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is a good deal of that, and the position becomes extremely weak where this record is not acted upon. The Lord is with the brethren in their deliberations, and He has great regard for the assembly, and looks for the saints coming together in assembly to administer the judgment. He will not allow it to be passed by, and anyone even silently disregarding the action of the assembly is in a very precarious position. If he does it openly he is disqualified for fellowship.

Ques. Does the fact that the man with the ink-horn is clothed in linen bear on that?

J.T. Yes. I think it implies sobriety. As we have often remarked, linen is a fabric, it is not merely flax or yarn, it is a woven thing; and it does not promote heat, but the effect is rather to absorb heat. I think it means that the brethren have taken a sober account of things without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

P.H.H. Would Paul in 1 Corinthians be like the man with the writer's ink-horn? He says, "ye and my spirit being gathered together". He was, in his spirit, with the saints there who felt things, like the man with the ink-horn, before the slaughter weapon was applied.

J.T. Yes, and the authority of the apostle would enter into it, but the spirit of a man refers to what he is. All the compassions of a man were with Paul; no one would be more ready to forgive, if forgiveness should be extended, as we learn from the second letter. There are two things, in 1 Corinthians 5:4: "the power of our Lord Jesus Christ", and "ye and my spirit being gathered together".

Ques. The men in Ezekiel 9 stand beside the brazen altar. What is the suggestion in that?

J.T. The brazen altar, of course, means judgment, where typically Christ died under the judgment of

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God. Judgment must he according to that, there is no lesser standard.

Ques. Does the fact that the man in chapter 10 had the fire in the palms of his hands, show how he felt what had happened at the brazen altar? He was to "fill the hollow" of his hand. The word "hollow" is "palm", is it not? -- the most sensitive part of the hand. And, although he was told to scatter the ashes over the city, there is no record that he does it. I was thinking of how he took it into his own soul typically.

J.T. Yes, that is very touching. There seems to be a modifying element in this man; he is with God, and he is compassionate.

Rem. That would have been in the heart of Stephen, "lay not this sin to their charge".

J.T. Exactly.

A.J.G. Being able to discern those who sigh and cry, would involve knowing one another.

J.T. That is how it works out. It is a first-hand matter, for the Holy Spirit would convey it to us. He "makes intercession with groanings which cannot be uttered" (Romans 8:26). These groans are really by the Spirit, but it requires keen sensibilities and discernment to note the groans and sighs, what they mean. It all implies the Spirit in the saints.

Rem. In a crisis, all the brethren really come into review, and we either bear the mark or we do not.

J.T. I think that is right. God brings in crises to bring to light where the brethren are. We may lose some -- and it is very humbling if we do -- but a crisis brings to light where we are. This man with the writer's ink-horn, therefore, alludes to accuracy of discernment amongst us as to what is of God, and what is not.

Ques. It says, in the margin, the ink-horn was on his loins; does that mean the marking is done feelingly?

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J.T. I thought that; the loins have a great place in this book.

C.K. It says in Ezekiel 9:8 "it came to pass, while they were smiting, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried". Does that show that, although he was in spirit with God in regard of the judgment, yet he felt things keenly?

J.T. That is another thing. Ezekiel felt things, he felt the sorrow of the brethren. We cannot but feel the loss of our brethren, however few. Even although the man with the ink-horn has had to pass them by, we cannot but feel the loss of them. I am sure God regards that.

Ques. Would there be something corresponding with this in our hearts in relation to an administrative meeting for discipline?

J.T. I think so. One feels it for oneself, if one becomes in any way the occasion of anyone turning aside, or if circumstances arise that turn souls aside, God is obliged to deal with them because of what He is. I am sure God regards it as right to feel with them; all this came out perfectly in Christ in regard of Israel, and in Stephen; and in Paul. See how Paul speaks about his brethren after the flesh. He could die for them, he had wished to be accursed from Christ for them, he said.

O.G. So that in Ezekiel 28:12, when the judgments were to be executed on the king of Tyre, God says, "take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyre". God would bring Ezekiel into sympathy with His feelings, although judgment had to be executed.

J.T. Quite so, it is remarkable how that thought runs through the prophets.

The next point to be noticed is measurement, in regard of the place in which God is to dwell; it comes out in the chapters beginning with chapter 40. It is a question of God's place, as He says, "the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of

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my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever" (Ezekiel 43:7). That is what He has in mind in these chapters. These passages show how a place is made for God; for His throne; for the soles of His feet, and for Him to dwell. The book contemplates the captivity, that God had to cast off Israel in judgment; for Ezekiel speaks in the last passage read, of what he saw being "according to the vision that I had seen when I came to destroy the city". The link is established between what had been seen when he came to destroy the city and what he now sees when it is restored.

Ques. Do you think that should be our care that there should be the desire for the return of the glory?

J.T. That is what we have in mind, if anything occurs to prevent God being with His people, as at Corinth -- not that He had left them at Corinth, but He would have to leave them did they not judge themselves. In circumstances like that, the thing is to deal in executive judgment or discipline according to what is determined by accurate examination into the facts. Then, in the recovery, we must look for the measurements again, because things are dislocated, we have to apply the measuring line again. Now it is a question of God's standard, not what He is forced to accept from us, but love would say, We must have it exactly as He wishes, hence the measurements come in.

Rem. It is interesting that the method of dating is changed. In verse 1 of chapter 1 it is "in the thirtieth year;" but in verse 1 of chapter 40 it says, "in the twenty-fifth year of our captivity".

J.T. Yes. He says "our captivity", not 'the captivity' -- he had part in it himself, this would lead us to take to ourselves the present condition of things. If we are spiritual, in such circumstances we say 'our'. We sometimes refer back to history

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and speak of divisions in a general way -- a most terrible thought is expressed in the word division -- but it was our matter; a spiritual man will say, That is my matter.

Then chapter 40 opens with: "In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain; and upon it was as the building of a city, on the south". That is a remarkable group of circumstances. The city is supposed to be there, because you cannot have a dwelling for God without that, the principle of order and authority, and things regulated; but then you must have everything according to measure. The allusion would be to Exodus, where you have measure in regard to God's dwelling. Measure is one of the things predicated of Him; He is said to be "the God of measure", showing how important a thing it is.

D.L.H. He seems to have two measuring instruments -- one a flax-cord, which would measure the uneven surfaces, and a measuring-reed.

J.T. The measuring-reed is a definite, known thing. I suppose the flax-cord would be indefinite -- nothing is said as to the length of it. No doubt it would be used for the measurement of the more extended distances. Paul had a measure from God reaching to the Corinthians.

Ques. Would the flax-cord find an answer in the spiritual sensibilities of the brethren? We cannot always find words to express it, but sometimes there is a sense that things are not quite right yet.

J.T. I think so. There is also a definite rule: the reed sets forth what is definite, accurate. In 2 Corinthians 10:13 God is presented as "the God of measure;" well, that would go beyond us of course. I mean, He goes beyond anything we can grasp. Even in the physical creation we see that; but "the measure of a man" is compassable, it is what is

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brought within our range, so that the measurements here, I apprehend, would be intelligible to us, so that we may conform to them.

P.H.H. Is there anything in the thought of brass attaching to the man here? In chapter 1: 27, it is glowing brass in connection with the firmament; in chapter 9: 2, it is the brazen altar; and it says here of this man, that his appearance was like the appearance of brass, chapter 40:3.

J.T. I think that is very suggestive, carrying the thought through to the dwelling-place of God. It would imply that there must be some testimony there to judgment, if man uses his will in any matter -- "if any one corrupt the temple of God, him shall God destroy" (1 Corinthians 3:17).

P.H.H. It is said of the things that were made for Solomon's temple that they were of bright brass. Would that thought enter into this?

J.T. I think so. A man, corrupting the temple of God, is met with stern judgment; the Scriptures are full of this in relation to the house of God. Brass here would all bear on that.

Ques. A man would be able to measure as having this feature of brass in him -- ability to judge? The brass implies that evil can be withstood. Do you think we need that?

J.T. Evil can be withstood -- that is the idea.

Ques. Do we need that in measurement?

J.T. We do. Some quail before it; but it is a most important thing that evil can be withstood, and that God provides us with the means of withstanding it. I think that is a most salutary thought. The general impression in this passage is that whilst this man is acting for God in the measuring, he conveys to you, if you have any part in this, that if your will is active, it will be dealt with uncompromisingly. The brass implies this.

Ques. Is your thought that these principles must

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be maintained in every local meeting if the extent of divine thoughts in connection with the dwelling is to be known?

J.T. Well, that is the idea. The local meeting is a representation of the whole assembly. "If any one build", says the apostle in 1 Corinthians 3:12, 13, the foundation is laid, and if one build on it "gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw, the work of each shall be made manifest". Paul has the local company in view in these two epistles, and you can be sure that the test will come; the work of each will be tried, but the man himself saved.

Ques. So that, if there is a lack of breadth and length and depth and height in the local meeting, it may be due to the allowance of certain things that would limit our capacity to reach out to them. Is that in view in the dimensions of the various parts of the house?

J.T. Yes; it may be that we are measuring ourselves with ourselves; Paul treats of that in the second letter. You can never reach the divine dwelling on those lines; God has His own measure for things, and the builder has to keep that in mind -- as you said, the breadth and length, and the depth and height. These are moral thoughts. In Ephesians 3 these dimensions convey great spiritual thoughts.

Ques. Are the great receptive faculties brought into this exercise in verse 4? It speaks of eyes, ears, and heart.

J.T. Yes. What the prophet saw is to be shown, and this requires that it should be first fully received and understood by him. A great principle governing ministry is thus set before us here.

The thought of measure is most important. We might make some meeting that has reputation, a sort of standard. These chapters, beginning with chapter 40, are to impress us that God has His thoughts and we are not to have any less thoughts, or

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substitute our own; His measure is to be understood. Exodus gives us specific measure, but then it also says that the pattern was shown to Moses. No one but he therefore could pass on the work. Whatever a meeting may seem to have, it has to come under that inspection, and that is how we are to comport with the divine mind. We may measure ourselves with ourselves, or meetings may measure themselves with themselves; but God has His own measure. He is the God of measure, and He is extremely particular as to what marks His house. The more we see this the more concerned we shall be, because we are prone to deflect from it; but God regards us compassionately in accepting His mind and humbly owning what disparity there may be in us.

Ques. Is Paul measuring in 1 Corinthians 4:19 when he says, "I will know, not the word of those that are puffed up, but the power"?

J.T. Just so -- the power. Then he said of himself and those labouring with him, that God had given them "a measure to reach even unto you". That is a commendation for any workman, that his measure has reached to some good result. If it has reached me I shall be the last to say a word against him.

Ques. Is this chapter an advance on the ninth chapter where the discernment of good is in view?

J.T. I think so. This is more what is in God's mind as to His house, really what Christ is, because the dwelling must answer in all its features to Christ. That is the idea of the "pattern" I think.

Ques. Would 1 Corinthians 13 be the standard that Paul was able to show to them -- a more excellent way?

J.T. Yes, it is a sort of abstract standard. Love is presented in that way abstractly, but he could show that. No one could present an abstract thought unless he had the thing concretely, and Paul had it. If a man has ability to reach my soul from God,

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I shall be the last to say a word against him. "A measure to reach even unto you", Paul says. It is what the God of measure had apportioned, and it was proved.

Rem. How beautifully that came out in Peter when he said, "our beloved brother Paul".

J.T. Yes; he knew Paul's measure -- no doubt he had felt it.

Ques. When you referred to Exodus, had you in mind the exercise of getting thoughts directly from the Lord, but all being according to Scripture?

J.T. Yes, Scripture must be taken into account; whatever you may think you have from the Lord, it must be according to specification. The pattern involves spiritual understanding of what is presented. Of the man who saw the pattern Jehovah says, "the form of Jehovah doth he behold" -- there is a reference to the insight as to Himself which God gave Moses.

Ques. Would verse 12 of chapter 43 help us to be in accord with this?

J.T. Yes. "This is the law of the house: Upon the top of the mountain all its border round about is most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house".

The last scripture we read goes further than the others in that it sets us in the presence of the glory where the soles of God's feet are. It sets us in God's dwelling, and it shows that a Man, that is Christ, is there by us. It is a Man -- suggesting sympathy, so that we are sustained there. Poor and feeble as we are and forgetful in the assembly, our minds being treacherous; but the Lord makes us to stand up in the presence of the glory. That is really how we are in the assembly and able to serve in it.

Ques. Why are the references back to what has gone before?

J.T. That is, "the appearance of the vision that I saw was according to the vision that I had seen when

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I came to destroy the city; and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar: and I fell upon my face". I suppose it is to maintain the links in the instruction. God set out to this end, to reach the place of His glory. All these features that we have dwelt upon have this in view, that there should be a place for Jehovah, a place into which He comes, a residence for the glory; to maintain the link between the beginning and the end in view.

Rem. The thought in chapter 43 corresponds with John's line. I was thinking of, "we will come to him, and make our abode with him" (John 14:23).

J.T. Yes, that indicates that conditions for the divine dwelling are there -- in those keeping the commandments and the words. I think keeping the "word" implies that there are tabernacle conditions.

D.L.H. And does not the recovery cover the whole ground of the departure?

J.T. That is what I thought; linking with, "when I came to destroy the city", -- the whole ground is covered in the restoration that God effects, but in a wholly new way, as Isaiah 65 shows.

D.L.H. The glory that had to leave is now able to come back again.

J.T. And finally the name of the city is, "Jehovah is there".

Rem. The heart of a priest would look for that.

J.T. Quite so; if you love the Lord you will look for that. "I will not give sleep to mine eyes, slumber to mine eyelids, Until I find out a place for Jehovah, habitations for the Mighty One of Jacob" (Psalm 132:4, 5). That is the language of one who loved God, and David reached his end -- through Solomon.

Ques. Does this chapter mean that, although conditions of captivity might obtain outwardly, by the help of this Man, (verse 6), we may be found in conditions of glory? Do you not think the Lord is leading us into this?

J.T. A little bit. In spite of all that is going on

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outwardly, He is building inwardly, getting us in, and He is there to support us so that we are sustained in the presence of the glory.

Ques. Would there be the support of the Spirit? "The Spirit lifted me up;" and then the Lord's personal support.

J.T. That is right. We draw near by the Spirit, in whom we have liberty, and Christ is there in priestly grace and sympathy to sustain us. We feet how very weak and ignorant and forgetful we are, and we are much weaker than we admit, but nevertheless we are sustained before God. The great Priest, I believe, involves His moral greatness, He takes account of our weakness and sustains us there.

A.J.G. Does it answer to knowing "the love of the Christ which surpasses knowledge"?

J.T. Just so. He is the Man who stands by. All this lays the basis for Hebrews, where Christ is seen as the Minister of the sanctuary.

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PRIESTHOOD IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL (1)

1 Samuel 1:9 - 28; 1 Samuel 3:10 - 21

J.T. What is in view in this reading is priesthood, that we may see how it develops informally and unofficially, first in Hannah, that is, a sister, and then in Samuel, corresponding with the gospel of Luke. In the Lord's own case priesthood was there in Him while on earth, only not officially; so that in the epistle to the Romans as applied to christians it also develops unofficially. The intent at the moment is that the younger ones here may see that priesthood attaches to them as to each of us. The principle is there from the time we are born again, but specially so as we know redemption and have the Spirit. No one should assume that it belongs to the elder brethren only, it belongs to all, and it shows itself, as it showed itself here in Hannah. It arises as the need of it exists, and what is seen is that collaterally with the working out of priesthood in the genuine believer, there is the overthrow of it in those who pretend to be priests and who are not, but who have the official place of priests; the genuine thing appearing in however small a measure exposes what is unreal and merely official. That is how the work of God has proceeded during the past one hundred years or more. Of course, it was how it proceeded in the Lord's own case, as we remarked, and how it proceeded in early christians.

Ques. Is the unofficial line introduced as the official breaks down?

J.T. Well, that is what appears here. We first get the account of Elkanah, who he was; it says he was an Ephrathite. Although a Levite, he evidently took on a local character; although properly Levites are universal in their setting, not local. It is said he had two wives. Then we are told that the

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two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of Jehovah, were at Shiloh, that is, attention is called to these two profligate priests. Elkanah apparently had no exercise about this position. Nor had Peninnah, one of his wives, but Hannah had, and though she does not criticise what existed (which was a right and seemly attitude), yet she is concerned about a man-child, and that he should be for the house of the Lord. Often we have exercises which we are not intelligent about in regard to the whole bearing of them, but God is behind them. He had in mind here to displace Hophni and Phinehas, but He is not doing it arbitrarily, nor creating a void in doing it. He is bringing in another -- Samuel -- although not of the sons of Aaron, but merely a Levite, yet he was to exercise priesthood. That is what God had in mind, and as we pursue the book we shall see that it works out also in David, who took on the priesthood unofficially. It comes out first in this woman, and that is what is so helpful as showing how it now applies to brothers and sisters alike.

Ques. Is it not a principle that recurs frequently in Scripture that recovery comes through a woman?

J.T. Well, it is a principle; "by man came death", we are told, "by man came also the resurrection of the dead". The evil began with the woman, but then at the beginning she is covered in the word man, and it was in her that recovery was intimated, that is, she was the mother, her seed should bruise the serpent's head. Adam quickly discerns that, so he calls her the mother of all living; instead of the mother of all dying, Eve is the mother of all living; so you get it running through where God works. It is the underlying state that is in view where you get the feminine side introduced. The birth of a female child brought in more sense of uncleanness than the birth of a male, but that does not reflect on the sex; it is more the state of humanity that is in mind. We have to view

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humanity as in this state, the seething character of sin in it, but we have also to view it in the male, meaning the idea of supremacy in government or headship. Anything of that kind, instead of promoting sin, tends to limit it, hence the great importance of authorities now. Whatever their motives, they tend to check evil. So with the woman it is a question of state, and that is what is in mind here in Hannah.

The state was bad in Israel, but Hannah represents the opposite of that, and therefore the allusion is to the work of God. There can be nothing at all for God save as He begins to work again, and that is implied in the new birth. He begins again and affects us throughout, and the instinct attaching to that works, however unintelligently, in relation to what is needed in the world; what is needed for God.

Ques. Is it not important that this desire is accompanied by a vow as to what is required for the Lord?

J.T. That is so, the person means what he says; he has a purpose.

Rem. It was in connection with the interests of God that the vow was made.

J.T. It really implies that there is nothing in man to be relied upon save on that principle. "When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools" (Ecclesiastes 5:4). It is to bring out sincerity, and you can only get sincerity in relation to the work of God; that begins with new birth.

Ques. Would that impress our hearts with the great resources God has in Himself to effect His thoughts?

J.T. Yes, it is the work of God taking form in any one in this wicked world. The point in this chapter to begin with is the state of things in the house of God, and even in Eli himself. More is said later on, but the actual state of things is here in these two men, Hophni and Phinehas; then there is Elkanah's

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other wife, so persecuting in her spirit. If the work of God is taking form in a soul amid those conditions, that soul is sure to suffer. Yet the work of God is true to itself, for instead of Hannah being overwhelmed in the suffering and in all the circumstances, she has recourse to God. She acknowledges her own weakness. Indeed God Himself limited this woman, but only to bring out what was of Himself in her. Limitations may seem to be against us, but in truth they are to bring out what God has effected in us. So that the limitations causing the grief, the constant grief of soul in Hannah, led to this remarkable priestly movement in her heart. She prayed in her heart; she speaks in her heart, only her lips moved; she made no pretension. It was the outcome of what God had effected in her soul and she was true to that; however unintelligently. It worked out in relation to itself, for the work of God is the work of God and it gives an account of itself however bad the circumstances. We can see this principle illustrated more fully in the gospel of John where the man who was blind from his birth had his eyes opened. It was that the works of God should be manifested -- not man's works, but "the works of God".

Ques. Would you say that God answers the breakdown publicly by an inward work which is according to Himself, bringing it out in His time?

J.T. That is right. It is unseen to begin with, but He creates the circumstances around it that are calculated to enhance it; first what apparently are limitations, but which result only in bringing out what the work is.

Ques. Do you think that should encourage us in prayer and general exercise?

J.T. Well, young people are prone to put things on others, instead of taking on responsibility. But the work of God is begun in them, and it is true to

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itself and should be given scope. It is the same character as the work of God in Paul and in the most spiritual brother today. It is only a question of measure. So the Lord's word as to this man in John 9 is that neither did his parents sin nor he, but that the works of God should be manifested in him. You may say, Well, I can understand that in Paul, a man so much used of God; but it is not God's thought to limit it, for it applies to any christian, any believer, God having taken him up sovereignly. He has in mind that His works should be manifested in him, and the sequel in this instance showed how true the man was to the work of God in him. It led him outside; he was cast out; the procedure brought him side by side with Christ; he was owned of Christ and to him Christ revealed Himself as the Son of God. So Hannah is limited by God, but the limitation is to bring out what He had in mind for her -- this principle of priesthood. Hence we are told in the first paragraph we read, that she rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk; and then immediately it says, Eli the priest sat upon the seat by the doorpost of the temple of Jehovah.

Thus the position is made clear both as regards Hannah's husband and as regards her rival Peninnah, and as regards Hophni and Phinehas, and now Eli is brought into view and what is said is that he "sat upon the seat by the doorpost of the temple of Jehovah". You do not get anything about a seat in the temple earlier in this sense, and certainly not in the wilderness, there was nothing of it in the pattern given to Moses on the mount. It was an innovation, and an innovation to meet the laziness of the priest, for the priest was to stand in the house of the Lord, to stand even "by night". So that this is another feature brought into this picture in order that we might see the necessity of priesthood. The youngest christian here as looking round in christendom

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should see that the bearing of the work of God in him is not only to overcome what is in himself that is contrary to God, but as he proceeds (this is a salient point in the book), he is to see also how the positive thing, what is of God in itself, working out, overthrows what is merely spurious.

The Scripture goes on to say that Hannah "was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to Jehovah, and wept much. And she vowed a vow, and said, O Jehovah of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thy handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thy handmaid, but wilt give unto thy handmaid a man child, then I will give him to Jehovah all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head". Now that is a most intelligent prayer, the first one we get from her, it is uttered with the utmost seemliness, uttered in her heart. God searches the heart, and we have the Holy Spirit recording what she said in her heart, only her lips moved. I think that a consideration of this should afford light to every young person here, brother and sister alike, as to this great matter of priesthood showing itself in the expression of need which we surely have if we are subjects of the work of God.

Rem. What does this great thought of priesthood mean, when it is reached?

J.T. Well, it began here with prayer. When one prays, he is a priest: it works out further, of course, in the service of God, that is in worship. Even Eli is brought into the worship of God here, evidently through the influence of Hannah, showing what influence a real priest has. That is what I was thinking of, and in the next chapter it says she prayed, but there is not a word really of prayer in this wonderful production of chapter 2. It is a question of worship such as in the case of the apostle Paul and Silas in prison; in prayer they praised; it is a development, we progress in it.

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Rem. Although we are sons, we should approach God in a priestly manner.

J.T. Well, that is the ground upon which it is worked out doctrinally. In the New Testament we are all sons and priests. We are priests as subjects of the work of God; it is a question of spiritual instincts.

Rem. That is helpful, as a son I am born, as a priest I am made.

J.T. In Scripture, birth is never connected with us as sons, as far as I see. Birth applies to Christ as a Son (Psalm 2:7); but we are brought into sonship on the principle of adoption; as children we are born. At the same time the idea of new birth necessarily underlies the whole position.

Rem. So the principle of priesthood is there at the inception of the work of God in our souls.

J.T. Yes, that is the thought, the thing shows itself. God loves to see His own work show itself. The Lord in Matthew's gospel stresses the thought of prayer and points out the habits of the merely official priest who loves to stand up and make long prayers. He says, "when thou prayest, enter into thy chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret; and thy Father who sees in secret will render it to thee" (Matthew 6:6). That is an excellent word for all young christians -- to go in for secret prayer; pray in secret, and He will reward you openly; you come out dignified, your face will shine.

Rem. So it starts with the thought that everyone can take up -- prayer in secret.

J.T. Yes; you can see how this woman took it up.

Ques. Had she discovered what was lacking Godward?

J.T. I think so. She would not be critical; in the ordinary sense persons who are born of God characteristically are not given to mere criticism; the

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flesh is given to criticism. The work of God shows itself in a positive way, not first pulling down, but building up. It is of God, you cannot dispute it. In due course godly criticism or judgment will come in, and there can be no doubt Hannah had an instinctive sense that things were not right. You can read that between the lines, but it is not so stated; because seemliness is a great point, especially in sisters, but the first thing is that you have something positive. Hannah was genuinely affected, but Eli thought it was drunkenness; he was like the onlookers at Pentecost. They thought that the blessed fruit of the Spirit was just drunkenness, which Peter exposes, and ridicules; so here, Eli is misjudging Hannah, but she is a true priest.

Ques. You referred to the Holy Spirit in reference to priesthood: would there necessarily be some appreciation of the work of the Spirit in a soul?

J.T. The epistle to the Romans helps, as I was remarking, as to how it develops in a christian, working out in chapter 12, where he is to present his body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is his intelligent service. That is, the full thought of priesthood is intelligent service. The thought begins in chapter 1: 4 in the Lord raising the dead. It speaks of His being marked out Son of God in power by the Spirit of holiness. The Spirit of holiness is one thread running through the epistle, and intelligence goes with it. All is the outcome of this; the Spirit is introduced in chapter 5 as shedding abroad in our hearts the love of God, so that one is a priest feelingly. I think Hannah must have shown deep emotion, that the priest should think she was drunk. He may have alluded to the movement of her lips, but there must have been deep feeling there. I think the Lord loves that, that you are in earnest.

Rem. "Be not drunk with wine, in which is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18). Wine seems to be constantly

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brought forward in contrast to the Spirit, does it not?

J.T. Yes, it is sometimes symbolical of the Spirit, but Hannah does not use the wine herself. She brought a bottle of wine into the house of God. That is a spiritual thought, it is that which stimulates spiritually, and of course that is the Holy Spirit, the new wine in the new bottles.

Rem. It is the work of God in souls, and is God's way to give an answer to Satan's imitation.

J.T. Yes, it works out in the overthrow of all that is spurious. It specially enters into the whole work of God during the last hundred years. Of course it was always present from Pentecost, but it has worked out remarkably in our own times, the unofficial priesthood manifesting itself and overthrowing, by showing its superiority, what is spurious, so that it is not merely a question of bringing things down doctrinally, but showing the real thing.

Ques. Does chapter 2: 35 help, "And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind; and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed continually"? Is that the full development?

J.T. That is the development of it. The third chapter is God coming in and drawing attention to the thing from His point of view. First in chapter 2:27 by an unnamed man of God, as you will observe, meaning that it is someone of that character. Then the man in whom the idea of priesthood is to be set out -- Samuel -- gets his first direct word from God; it is in relation to Eli's priesthood, and the overthrow of it. The true priesthood is thus becoming intelligent as to what is there; so that the way it works out, as I said, is that it exposes what is merely imitative. Then you get the doctrine covering that. As a result you have the wonderful teaching

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that we have had. We have the record now in writing and indeed it is going on. Here, chapter 3 brings that out, but before that you get the positive side seen in such a beautiful way in this woman, first in the expression of deep need, and then in the answer to it. The result of it is seen in worship to God, and it brings out worship even in the priest Eli; and then in the prayer here. The spirit of prayer develops into praise; for Hannah's prayer in chapter 2 is really a celebration. It says:"Hannah prayed, and said, My heart exulteth in Jehovah, my horn is lifted up in Jehovah; my mouth is opened wide over mine enemies; for I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as Jehovah, for there is none beside thee, neither is there any rock like our God".

Ques. Malachi 2:7 says, "the priest's lips should keep knowledge". Is that expressed in Hannah in the work of God in her soul?

J.T. Quite so. You see how much is said of that very thing here. She goes on to say in verse 3: "For Jehovah is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bow of the mighty is broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength". Then, in verse 8: "He raiseth up the poor out of the dust; from the dung-hill he lifteth up the needy, to set him among nobles; and he maketh them inherit a throne of glory; For the pillars of the earth are Jehovah's, and he hath set the world upon them. He keepeth the feet of his saints, but the wicked are silenced in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. They that strive with Jehovah shall be broken to pieces; in the heavens will he thunder upon them. Jehovah will judge the ends of the earth; and he will give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed".

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It is a wonderful expression at that time of spiritual intelligence, working out to the position of the universe; as we may say: "the pillars of the earth are Jehovah's, and he hath set the world upon them". Hebrews 11:3 says, "By faith we apprehend that the worlds were framed by the word of God". I think it is an immense encouragement that the young may begin in this way. How quickly you develop not only into priesthood, but into praise; not only in prayer, but in praise and in intelligence. Scripture speaks of our "intelligent service". You know what you are saying and doing.

Rem. This could not be reached by occupation with what is spurious, the intensity of the exercise is passed through in relation to what is positive.

J.T. That is what I was thinking, He brings in the positive, and then in the most effective way breaks down what is spurious. I think that is what is going on now. The whole of the hierarchy has been undermined; they do not admit it, of course, but it is true; the undermining is going on.

Rem. Did not the testimony of the blind man in John 9 leave it in that condition?

J.T. The whole position was morally exposed by what happened and hence the Lord is now free to bring Himself forward as the Son of God, to bring in another order of things. From that point in John you get a new system of things developed. In John 9 the Lord introduces Himself as the Son of God, to a man in whom the works of God are manifested, that is, the full thought of the work of God was there. It was when Jesus heard they had cast him out that He sought the man. He did not say a word to him when He opened his eyes, He waited till they had cast him out. This would bring out how the work of God is true to itself. The Lord watched the whole procedure, and when He heard that they had cast him out, He found him, as if to say, You are fit

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for another world. So He says to him, "dost thou believe on the Son of God?" And the man replies, "And who is he, Lord, that I may believe on him?" As much as to say, If only I knew I would believe. He is ready for the divine proposal. As you are ready for things, you get them. So the Lord says, "Thou hast both seen him, and he that speaks with thee is he. And he said, I believe, Lord; and he did him homage".

Rem. Hannah passed through exercises that would prepare her for a certain course, and it awakened in her heart yearnings in correspondence with the heart of God, enabling God to come in in that way.

J.T. Yes; the Spirit of God presents things as they were. Although Hannah might not have said to another, I would like to provide a priest for the house: yet instinctively that is what she had in mind, because she asked for a man-child, and she makes a vow that he was to be for the house of God. It is God causing things to fit through our exercises. One has often thought that if one did not know why one was asking for certain things, God knows. He knows and He is using what is happening in His own way.

Rem. The thought of a man-child has in view the development of a man.

J.T. You have the idea stressed, emphasised, almost doubled as you might say in Revelation 12:5; it says, a "male son" -- a remarkable expression. God wants us to understand that He has something particular in His mind, so He doubles the idea, like Deborah, who is called a "woman prophetess". He wishes to impress the idea upon us.

Ques. Is God bringing in Christ characteristically?

J.T. That is in mind. He is the Priest whose house is to be built and we are the priesthood, the sure priesthood that is to stand; and it has therefore

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a great bearing as regards christendom, in the way God has undermined it, so that it is exposed. It does not admit it, but it has been exposed.

Rem. So that this exercise is a necessary one, if God is to be served rightly.

J.T. Every young christian here ought to see that God has taken him up in this way, and that such circumstances as we have here indicate a divine procedure with him, they are part of his curriculum. One begins in this way with limitation, and his soul may cry out, Why is it so? Others have not these circumstances. Of course, one cannot be sure as to what others have, but this is the way God works. The evidence of the work of God is that there is a cry, and that is what is here.

Rem. In that way what is spurious will be cast off, will it not?

J.T. Well, it is exposed. The most effective way to set a thing aside is to expose it, and you can only expose it by bringing in the real thing.

Rem. The tendency is to bring the negative in first instead of the positive.

J.T. That is just what we ought to see; that there may be something of an official nature that is proved wanting and is to be set aside. But there is not to be a void; the idea is replacement, and that is what stands out so prominently in this dispensation, the superiority of christianity. Before judaism was formally set aside it was displaced morally.

Rem. Would God take us up, old and young, with the desire that the same yearnings that are in His own heart might be found in some measure in ours?

J.T. Well, just so, the outcome of the work of God in you or in me is to meet the exigencies of the testimony; we are left down here in relation to the testimony and the work of God shows itself in that way, it is true to itself.

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Rem. I think that is most encouraging. I take it that the presentation of the truth of the position pulls down in oneself the power of what is around, and as the work of God becomes effective in the soul, one is able to stand by the testimony.

J.T. That is what comes out, and you see how this saint of God progresses in her own soul. Her husband says to her (verse 23), "Do what is good in thy sight". She is set free from that side, being assured (verse 18) that her petitions have been heard. It says, "And the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more as before". That is, she has relief inwardly, she has assurance from God, and now her husband says to her, "Do what is good in thy sight: abide until thou hast weaned him; only, may Jehovah fulfil his word. And the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him. And she took him up with her when she had weaned him, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a flask of wine, and brought him to the house of Jehovah to Shiloh; and the boy was young. And they slaughtered the bullock, and brought the boy to Eli. And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here to pray to Jehovah. For this boy I prayed; and Jehovah has granted me my petition which I asked of him. And also I have lent him to Jehovah: all the days that he lives, he is lent to Jehovah. And he worshipped Jehovah there".

You can see what a powerful influence she had in this contribution in the house of God, there perhaps had not been a priest like her there; even Eli is affected. That is the way the work of God takes in us. We move on into priesthood in such a way that we influence the saints, we have power with them in the meetings; a young brother gets up and gives thanks or prays and the whole meeting is affected. One has often seen it, there is a freshness about it.

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It is the development of freshness like the growth of a tree or flower, it is a beautiful thing, the working of life in that way.

Ques. Why did she lend him and not give him?

J.T. At first (verse 11), she says, "I will give him". In using the word "lent" in verse 28, I suppose she had in mind that she would not lose him. I mean that we do not lose each other, we are all bound up together. She prescribes that he is to be there, "all the days of his life". He was to be lent to Jehovah, but the door is open for her to go up there. Lending a thing carries with it a claim on it, and God would know that; it was a link of love that God would delight in.

Rem. So that one stands identified always with the work of God in us.

J.T. Quite so, there is a special link between Hannah and Samuel in the house of God, and God would recognise it. You may be sure that she was welcomed every time she went to Shiloh with the coat. There is nothing said of her taking her son back with her at any time.

Rem. As you say, she does say in her prayer, "I will give him".

J.T. She had no other thought. The word lend is for a particular purpose, to imply that we have a claim, and surely we have a claim on each other, viewing it spiritually we never lose each other. Her prayer in chapter 2 is a remarkable triumph, showing that she had no sense of loss. She is really linked up with the house of God herself in the fact that someone there is lent by her; she is linked with him, and this composition is a great permanent contribution to the treasury of God. The bullocks and the wine were for immediate use, but this celebration is abiding as a contribution to the house, it is here for us today. There were Levites appointed

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to look after such, and this is one of the things in the treasury of the house of God.

Rem. As we pass through these exercises, we also come into the joy of the result that God has His portion.

J.T. Yes, I believe that is the idea of lending, you get a link there. Even Samuel himself did not contribute this. We have a list of contributors in the book of Chronicles; even Joab's contributions and Saul's contributions are mentioned. Hannah's is one of the choicest productions in the treasury of God.

Rem. Priesthood belongs to the house of God.

J.T. That is its place. The priest's residence spiritually is the house of God, because, as we learn in Leviticus 8:35, the priests were for seven days in the sanctuary to keep the charge of Jehovah, and that is typically our whole dispensation.

Rem. It is very noticeable that the Spirit delights to record what springs from the women that God used -- Deborah, Hannah, Mary, etc.

J.T. The Scriptures are full of it. "Holy women who have hoped in God heretofore". Such women shine in the New Testament also.

Rem. Indicative of the great value of our sisters in the assembly.

J.T. Well, it works out that way. But what is before us works out in a wider way; that is, to subjective conditions among the people of God; it certainly ought to be seen in the sisters, because they are, as it were, the static part of the assembly. They are to be silent, but then that does not mean that they are not reservoirs of spirituality, which is the idea in them.

Rem. Is the subjective side more valuable to the testimony than the responsible element?

J.T. Well, what one always thinks of in visiting localities is what may be already there of God, and

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this enhances what may be given. In service we are to link on with what is in the place.

Rem. I suppose in fact the two would be joined.

J.T. Yes, the male, in Scripture, is usually the responsible element, and it is supported by the volume of spirituality in the assembly, because the assembly is the residence of God -- a wonderful thought, the dwelling-place of God. The Spirit, being there in the saints, must have an outlet, and 1 Corinthians regulates that, and the brothers only take audible part.

Rem. I was thinking of Elkanah dwelling in a good place -- at Ramah.

J.T. Yes, but was he equal to it? He is called an Ephrathite, he is too local, I think. A levite is universal in his service. The Levites were placed round about the tabernacle in the wilderness.

Rem. Like Samuel being resident in the house, which is an important fact.

J.T. Quite so, that is what we get in chapters 2 and 3. First you get the boy in verse 11: "And the boy ministered to Jehovah in the presence of Eli the priest". Then in verse 18: "And Samuel ministered before Jehovah, a boy girded with a linen ephod". He is girded now with a linen ephod, which would mean that he has become sober; linen, tending to coolness, implies sobriety and balance. Although he did not yet know the Lord, these things are introduced as marks of development, and then it says in verse 26: "And the boy Samuel grew on". There is nothing interfering, he is moving on and is in favour both with Jehovah and also with men.

Now that being so, a man comes to Eli and exposes from the mouth of God the terrible condition of his house, and then we are told in the beginning of chapter 3, "the boy Samuel ministered to Jehovah before Eli. And the word of Jehovah was rare in those days; a vision was not frequent". That is

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to bring out the conditions, and then we are told in verse 10: "And Jehovah came, and stood, and called as at the other times, Samuel, Samuel!" Wonderful evidence of God's interest in this boy! And of course it is not a mere historical matter, it speaks to every young person here tonight, for Scripture always speaks to us as we read it. It is for the person who reads it, and therefore it is a question of boys, of youth developing and how in due course God comes in and gives them enlightenment and understanding in all things. So the first thing here is that Samuel gets understanding about the false priesthood. It is exposed.

Rem. Is there not a parallel in the account we have of the Lord when He was sitting before the doctors and answering questions? There was development of another order of man which would set aside what was there present, and then He grew in favour with God and man.

J.T. A very beautiful and exalted parallel. He was not yet criticising what was in the temple; he was sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing and asking questions, and they were astonished at His understanding and answers. That is the positive thing -- understanding and answers.

Rem. In the first chapter we get the weaning mentioned four times; that is a development also, I suppose.

J.T. Yes, we should not pass over that, it means that the natural is being surrendered. Hannah surrendered all natural claim. Weaning means that the natural influence is given up; weaning is a great matter in Scripture; it is stressed in this chapter.

Ques. Is there any thought in Samuel lying in the temple of Jehovah, where the ark of God was?

J.T. Well, the ark was there, but it was a peculiar posture for him to be in. Sleeping and sitting did not belong to the temple, but then they were there

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before he came into it. Like many of us; many christians are going on with the old system of things and its ways.

Rem. I suppose it was because of what he saw in Eli that he was lying there.

J.T. You can understand that. It shows how young people follow the example set to them.

Ques. Would not weaning time be when the spiritual becomes prominent with us?

J.T. When the natural is given up. Those that might have influenced you naturally have relinquished their rights, and set you on your own feet as a spiritual person. It is an important word for parents in view of their children. In due time you put them on their own feet in the assembly, giving them an understanding that the natural claim is gone. Sometimes brothers are hindered in the assembly, because their natural relatives are present. That shows that we have not been weaned; in the assembly we are just brothers and sisters spiritually. The spiritual thought supersedes the natural there.

Rem. A man that is going on with God encourages the young to stand up, not to lie down.

J.T. Yes, in relation to the ark. You are not to lie there, you will be supported standing, the ark is the power of God and the glory of God, that is what comes out in this book.

Ques. Would you suggest then that natural relationships should not be a hindrance to setting up the testimony in a locality?

J.T. No, they should not be. If weaning has had its place the natural would not hinder. It is because weaning has not had its place that the natural has been too much allowed.

Rem. Yes, if it becomes a hindrance the natural is governing the spiritual.

J.T. It should never be allowed as a hindrance in principle. The word principle is expressive in these

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matters. You take up a principle and stand by it even if your feelings contradict it.

Rem. God supports the principle.

J.T. Well, one of the great principles of God is weaning, it is a fixed one. If there are many persons in a place, whether naturally related or not, the thing is to go by the principle. The principle is that we are brothers and sisters in Christ, whatever we may be naturally, that is the principle and God will support it, and by prayer we move in relation to it, so that the natural does not hinder, and this is what is gained by weaning. The psalmist compares himself to a weaned child.

Ques. When the Lord said, "What have I to do with thee, woman?" (John 2:4), would that principle be there?

J.T. Yes, very much so. When His mother claimed the right to direct Him at the marriage feast, He called her "woman". You might say it is quite unsuitable to say that, but that is the point, it is the enforcement of a principle. He is now in the exercise of His service, and He asserts a great levitical thought (Deuteronomy 33:9). Nature was asserting itself, but the Lord rebuked it, even in His mother. And Mary was very adjustable. She immediately says to the servant, "Whatever he may say to you, do". Beautiful submission there!

Rem. That would come out in the house when they said, "thy mother and thy brethren seek thee without".

J.T. Quite so, they were outside calling for Him as if He had to go out to them. The Lord pours contempt on all that sort of thing. We are all members of the assembly. If I have ten brothers after the flesh alongside me, if all have the Spirit, why not take that ground?

Ques. Is that what formed a personal link with Samuel in the house? Hannah surrendered him naturally and retained him spiritually.

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J.T. That is the idea; she retained her link, but on spiritual lines, she never afterwards asserted the natural claim. Why should we not, in this sense, retain links with one another? We never give one another up as on spiritual lines. Philemon was to possess Onesimus "fully for ever".

Rem. We all ought to learn to identify ourselves with the work of God.

J.T. Whatever our relationships with one another, that does not alter the fact that we being many are one body in Christ.

Rem. If there is a hindrance in exercising the power and principle of weaning, would it be a matter for concern that flesh is to be refused? I was thinking of Isaac and Ishmael when it came to weaning.

J.T. Ishmael mocked; the flesh is always there to persecute. So that if we give place to the principle of natural relationship of this kind existing, the enemy will work through the flesh.

Rem. You mean the enemy would seek to make that a hindrance.

J.T. He would certainly, if he can hinder he will. Sarah is the true mother there, who refuses the one born after the flesh. That thought is amplified in the New Testament, and the assembly in the power of the Spirit would say, "Cast out the maid servant and her son" (Galatians 4:30). Ishmael could not be heir with Sarah's son. But the point now for us is that even if we are naturally related we can come in on spiritual lines.

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PRIESTHOOD IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL (2)

1 Samuel 6:10 - 16; 1 Samuel 7:5 - 11; 1 Samuel 23:6 - 12

J.T. We have got as far as chapter 3 with our subject, which is priesthood. It was pointed out that it arose in this book informally, first in Hannah and then in Samuel. Although Samuel was not of the sons of Aaron, he exercised priesthood with an ephod, and it came before us that in the introduction of the genuine priesthood, the spurious or merely official priesthood is exposed. When evil is exposed by the introduction of what is right in a positive way, it is morally at an end. It is only a matter of time for it to be set aside by the judgment of God, but there is no void, for the positive remains. So here the official priesthood in Eli is exposed not only to the man of God, but Jehovah tells Samuel about it. This comes out in chapter 3: 10 - 14. Then Samuel tells Eli, so that the judgment of God comes to Eli through the lips of this young man who is now officiating as priest, showing how young believers may come into the service at an early age, to be used of God in a priestly way.

We are told in verse 19 that Samuel grew and Jehovah was with him, and let none of his words fall to the ground; that is, He is seeing to it that the words of this young believer stand. There is divine support in what he is saying, and then we are told that Jehovah appeared again at Shiloh, and revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of Jehovah. He gets a fresh appearance from God, Jehovah showing Himself; His mind is made known by His word, and "what Samuel had said happened to all Israel". God is making His word, through His young servant, to stand. So that it is not only a question of one's own power in ministry, but God making it effective. That is always to be counted on,

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God makes the ministry that He ordains effective, He gives it a peculiar character so that it remains in the hearts of the saints.

Then we get a sorrowful period, the ark of God taken, and no priest to care for it, it is in the hands of the enemy. It says, He "gave his strength into captivity, and his glory into the hand of the oppressor" (Psalm 78:61). It is a sorrowful period, and Samuel is out of sight for the moment. What we are to learn is that God takes care of His own testimony even without a priest, and that is what develops in chapters 5 and 6. In chapter 7 Samuel appears as leader and in a priestly way; and throughout his ministry until he dies he is marked by this, effective priestly service Godward and manward, and then we find it in the king, that is in David, in chapter 23.

What is in mind for this meeting, and what one would specially desire to dwell upon is instinct. We have already spoken of it in Hannah, but here we find it in the milch kine, and we see how in the absence of intelligent priesthood, as indeed is the case in the major part of christendom today, God is taking care of His interests, and it is through spiritual instinct in His people. Although unintelligent in a large measure, still it is there. The milch kine, of course, belong to the lower creation, but they are brought in here to show that divine instinct was symbolised in them. They are moving, not according to their natural feelings, but supernatural; which are divinely produced for the moment; they acted contrary to nature, and that is a sure evidence of the work of God. They moved according to His will because they "went by the one high way".

Ques. Is there this instinct in every believer that would move us in the right direction?

J.T. Yes, that is what comes out typically in chapter 6. The milch kine are introduced in a peculiar way. They have calves; that is, what would

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demand natural feeling and care; they leave them evidently as governed by another principle than that of nature. The Philistines made the test that they were to "go up by the way of its own border". That would be the proof that it was not by chance. There are no accidents in the ways of God, He always shows that such things are after His own ordering; even the ark with the Philistines was not an accident. It was a disaster, of course, but it was divine ordering, the result of the government of God. He delivered His strength into captivity, He did it because of the state of the people.

Ques. Would you say that the natural man, although he has the proof, is not affected by it? The five lords return to their own country, whereas the milch kine moved contrary to nature.

J.T. Yes, the five lords were governed by nature; the kine were governed by what was above nature. God created testing natural conditions in their calves being shut up at home, and yet the kine are not held back. They are moved by another principle; and there is no hope at all for the testimony or for the salvation of God's people apart from this principle of divine instinct, and everyone who is truly born of God has it.

Ques. Whilst that would come into evidence where there is a lack of understanding of the truth, would you expect another element and more intelligence to be present with those who are brought up in the truth?

J.T. Well, that is the great advantage children of godly parents have, for they are brought up with right thoughts and terms. So that when the instinct begins to operate, they have an advantage over those who are brought up in Philistine circumstances, because after all, the Philistine is merely the big man in christendom, the big leader. The five lords represent

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what has been built up in this way. They represent an authority of mutual arrangement.

Rem. Referring again to instinct, it would be a "good deposit". Timothy had a good deposit.

J.T. Yes, God had seen to that beforehand, that from a child he knew the Scriptures, and when the time came for instinct to operate, he had a great advantage.

Rem. It is a great thing, as governed by this instinct and principle, not to turn to the right hand nor to the left.

J.T. Well, that is the lesson in it, that in the case of a young person, or any person who is not well instructed, who has been brought up in Philistine surroundings, that is, worldly religious surroundings, if he is governed by his instincts and promptings, he will move in the right direction and the point is to get on that "one high way", and that is what I think is found in these verses. "They went by the one high way, lowing as they went". They felt the wrench of nature, but they were not turned aside by their feelings, they went straight on, and that is the sure way into the mind of God -- to go straight on according to right instinct. Paul says, "if not of my own will, I am entrusted with an administration" (1 Corinthians 9:17). His path was like the path of these kine, a path that he would not choose naturally.

Ques. Will not those who move under the promptings of instinct find that there is much in the natural sphere that will oppose them?

J.T. Yes; a lesson for all young people, in relation to the promptings of the divine nature, as we may call it, at least the new birth, for it is said "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" -- "that which". It is to be taken up abstractly in the mind, it is a thing that is called "spirit". It is instinct peculiar to itself and it is true to itself, and if other elements do not interfere, it will move in one direction, it will

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move in relation to the will of God. The gospel comes in of course to enlighten us, but in itself it moves according to the will of God.

Ques. So that is to be cultivated and followed -- cherished, would you say?

J.T. Well, that is the point for us all, that is the lesson to be learned; there is this instinct, and as we move in accord with it we get intelligence. The truth of God comes in to regulate us; that is what teaching is for, to regulate this thing. So that it gives character to the person, it is not only the thing, but the person takes up the character, and that is what is implied in the words "born anew" in John 3:3. They are radical, the whole person is affected by the work of God; all his moral being, all his faculties come under the effect of it.

Ques. Would the family thought be brought in with the two milch kine? It was Hannah previously.

J.T. Well, Hannah presents a higher thought. She recognises nature and moves according to God in relation to it at first, but gradually she emerges out of nature by weaning her son. Weaning is the emerging from nature, it shows the state of her soul; then she comes on to priestly ground intelligently with her bullocks and her bottle of wine, so that even Eli worships. She is a power in the house of God, and her own contribution in the next chapter is of the most exalted kind. It is not instinct as in the milch kine, she is a real priest now. "For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and at his mouth they seek the law" (Malachi 2:7). Here we are on the same principle as we saw with Hannah, but it is on lower ground, it is right instinct in Philistine connections. The milch kine are in Philistine territory, but they are set in relation to the ark, what is of Christ in that territory. There is a certain amount of intelligence there, as you will notice in these two chapters; if you read them carefully, you will see that while

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it is Philistine territory, there is remarkable intelligence there. The priests, the diviners, know about the passage of the Red Sea; they know about what God did for Israel, corresponding with what we get in the systems around us, but they do not carry the ark. They propose something, and this something was the milch kine and the new cart, and God comes in in relation to these milch kine so that they have supernatural instincts. It is the female side because in the female the natural is strongest.

Rem. The ark is really carried by those who are truly affected by the work of God.

J.T. Yes. What should we have today, were it not that God worked this way one hundred years ago? He took up persons in Philistine territory, but there was intelligence there. Even the Philistines here have intelligence, and what they propose is more or less right and God comes in and uses it, but He uses it in relation to such instinct as He effects by His power.

Rem. So that in christendom there is a certain knowledge objectively of the truth of God.

J.T. That is what we are to learn here. They knew certain features of the truth; they knew about God acting for Israel, they knew something of the history of Israel, and we get that in the religious organisations about us. God uses it or there would be no light at all there. The light that came in in the recovery alluded to, was God coming in afresh as He did in John the baptist. It was God taking up men in these Philistine surroundings and giving them other instincts and enabling them to move in relation to these instincts, and hence, place being made for the Spirit of God and the Scriptures, the truth was ministered.

Rem. So they moved out of the sphere of the Philistines.

J.T. That is what happened exactly, corresponding

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with these milch kine. The end of the journey here is this "great stone" (verse 14). It says, "the cart came into the field of Joshua the Beth-shemeshite, and stood there; and a great stone was there". It seems to me that the stone is a point reached of solidity and permanency, and in connection with the stone you have actual levites, that is, real servants of God; persons who are classified in that way. I believe what is seen here typically could be traced in the history of the assembly. In the recovery already mentioned the stone -- sure ground spiritually -- was reached, also the levites, the true servants of God; not milch kine any more. The idea of the milch kine merges in the levites; it is instinct merging in intelligence, for the levites represent intelligent ministry, and that is what we have, thank God. The sacrifice follows at once; the kine are offered: "And they clave the wood of the cart, and offered up the kine a burnt-offering to Jehovah". It is the Spirit of Christ in suffering entering into the position in mind.

Ques. Why is it spoken of as the ark of Jehovah, rather than the ark of the covenant?

J.T. It is here "the ark of God", "the ark of Jehovah", and "the ark of the God of Israel". As in foreign hands God's rights are involved, and hence He acts in power to recover the ark. His faithfulness, too, would enter into this position; implied, I suppose, in the ark of Jehovah being so often mentioned. "If we are unfaithful, he abides faithful, for he cannot deny himself" (2 Timothy 2:13).

Ques. Would this divine instinct eventually lead the soul under the sound of the gospel?

J.T. Yes. This is the position today and it is to exercise us all in regard to whatever ministry is presented to us. This instinct can be reckoned on in one born anew; what he further needs is the gospel, and the teaching. Paul taught the word of God at Corinth for eighteen months. (Acts 18:11).

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Rem. So that God would address Himself to those in whom He has wrought.

J.T. Quite so; to all, of course, in the gospel, but there will be no result for Him unless there is new birth.

Rem. If they were piped to, they will dance.

J.T. That is right. They will answer to the testimony, answer to the ministry of the truth. That is what came out in the Lord's own history on earth, and what came out in the Acts.

Ques. Is it that we have an unction from the Holy One and know all things?

J.T. Well, it is something like it, only the unction involves that one has the Spirit; it contemplates the believer on the full ground of the gospel, having received the Spirit.

What happened at Beth-shemesh brings out the intelligent side. The Levites (verse 15), "took down the ark of Jehovah, and the coffer that was with it, in which were the golden jewels, and put them on the great stone; and the men of Beth-shemesh offered up burnt-offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day to Jehovah". That is to say, you have the service of God set up here. Will the Philistines join in? No. The five lords of the Philistines saw what had happened and went home. They saw what happened and so are under responsibility, but they are not having any part in the service of God as set up at Beth-shemesh, they "returned to Ekron the same day".

Ques. Is it like the disciples returning to their own homes as the Lord went to the mount of Olives?

J.T. Just so, but as He went up to heaven they did not go to their own homes, they returned from the mount of Olives and went to the upper room -- corresponding with the stone here. That is where the service of God began; the stone is a foundational thought. God, through right instinct in those who

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served, has brought the ark back, and it is now on firm ground. The Philistines go home, they will not have anything to do with that. To apply it -- they know well enough; they may have the books of the ministry in their libraries, but they do not move, they use these books in relation to their own Philistine settings. They are just the natural man outwardly on divine territory, having knowledge, but unmoved spiritually. Whereas christians characteristically want to move with the light that God gives.

Rem. The truth as reached becomes a standard and we are not to go back from it.

J.T. That is the principle; the foundation of God stands, and that is the ground you are on. I believe that is what the stone here signifies.

Ques. What is the thought in "they clave the wood of the cart"?

J.T. Well, the whole movement as reaching this point seems taken on by God. The Levites appearing would indicate that now the service can be resumed. The action of the Levites here is more than historical; it has spiritual significance. They so far represent the mind of God as taking charge of the ark. The care of the "golden jewels" sent with the ark as a trespass-offering is to be noted as fitting. The cart that David employed is not used in this way. God makes allowance for ignorance in a movement of this kind; whereas David's use of a cart was inexcusable, hence the divine resentment expressed. Here, divine property is emerging from Philistine influence under mixed conditions, and God, represented in the Levites, takes it on.

Ques. Are these instincts seen in Jacob from the beginning?

J.T. Yes. He took his brother by the heel. That is, he is a supplanter, meaning that he set aside the man after the flesh.

Ques. Are not the kine and the subjective element

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one and the same thing? Do they not go with the spiritual instinct?

J.T. I think wherever you get the female in this way it means the subjective side, not necessarily the intelligent side, but the instinct that is true. There is something in Israel now; God began to work in Israel after the terrible disaster in chapter 4, and there is, so far, recovery. Hence chapter 7 is based on this. Samuel says, "Gather all Israel" -- gather, that is what he proposes. There is no gathering at Beth-shemesh; it is just the culmination of a movement characterised by right instinct. It culminates in the Levites; they were ordained to take care of what was of God, and especially the ark, which they alone, as under the ordering of the priests, were to handle. The next thing is, the intelligent priest says in chapter 7: 5, "Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray Jehovah for you. And they gathered together to Mizpah, and drew water, and poured it out before Jehovah, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against Jehovah. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpah". Now you have a gathering, there is a completely new start under an intelligent priest. So that the next thing, after a believer moves out of Philistine circumstances, is that God claims him. He says, You belong to Me, you are Mine. Then the "great stone" and the sacrifice offered up in chapter 6, form the basis for gathering. The foundation of God is there and thus, as on sure ground, we may proceed. In 2 Timothy 2:19 the firm foundation of God is said to stand, and then "Let every one who names the name of the Lord withdraw from iniquity". The principle of gathering follows on this.

You can see that we have the basis of gathering here, and priestly movement comes to light; it issues from Samuel, the man whom God had taken up and whose words were not falling to the ground.

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He was recognised as a prophet from Dan to Beer-sheba; it is a universal matter.

Ques. Would you say in that gathering together there is self-judgment?

J.T. Well, that is what comes out here. The movement begins with Samuel as the ark is restored, but it is irreverently handled at Beth-shemesh; and even at Kirjath-jearim it is with an individual, although cared for with some regard for its holy dignity. "And the men of Kirjath-jearim came, and fetched up the ark of Jehovah, and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and hallowed Eleazar his son to keep the ark of Jehovah". Well, these are not suitable circumstances for the ark; it is not properly cared for, and how could it be till the people are brought round in self-judgment? It is said that "the time was long; for it was twenty years", as if the writer had sorrow of heart that it was there.

"And Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, If ye return to Jehovah with all your heart, put away the strange gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and apply your hearts unto Jehovah and serve him only; and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. And the children of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths and served Jehovah only". A word of prophetic ministry that the Lord might give to any brother and which may be spread abroad amongst the saints corresponds. It is the voice of God, it may be spoken or printed, it is carried forward in the power of the Spirit and there is a general movement. And now Samuel says, "Gather all Israel to Mizpah".

Rem. It is noteworthy, it is to "all Israel".

J.T. Yes, it is the full thought, which always marks faith, as seen in Moses as setting up twelve pillars, and in Elijah building an altar with twelve stones.

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Rem. Although things are broken, we keep all in mind.

J.T. Yes. It is the abstract idea; you get later, "all Israel that were present". They did not all come, but this fact did not deprive those that did come of the advantage. What you get in Josiah's day is "all ... Israel that were present" (2 Chronicles 35:18). They were few, but they got the gain of what was there. They are answering to the divine call.

Rem. If an assembly meeting is called, but all the members of the assembly in a locality are not present, those that are there are expressive of the whole.

J.T. That is right; so that the Lord brings it down in Matthew to "two or three". First "two of you", and then "two or three gathered together unto my name". John mentions one, he makes provision for one person who is doing the will of God; that the Father and the Son come to him (John 14:21 - 23).

Rem. So that as spiritual instincts are developed and the principles of God are known, you begin to move in a way that is proper to all. Is that the idea?

J.T. Yes. There is only one order of things. The apostle said, "thus I ordain in all the assemblies".

Now the people respond to the word of Samuel, who says, "Gather all Israel to Mizpah". The next thing is to make confession, to acknowledge the state of things. They poured out water on the ground before Jehovah; it will not be lost water; it is not such as the wise woman spoke of; she took this up with less intelligence. She said, "which cannot be gathered up again" (2 Samuel 14:14); but here it is poured out before Jehovah so that it can be gathered up, it can be taken up on new ground. The power of God can take it up.

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Rem. Whilst they did not have a definite word for that, is it the outcome of Samuel's ministry?

J.T. Quite so. It belongs to this book. The woman of Tekoa took it up, but the words are put into her mouth, and you cannot get spiritual thoughts that way.

Ques. I suppose the question of righteousness would be raised, would it not?

J.T. That is the thought, follow righteousness, faith, love, and peace, that is what Samuel has in mind here. He had already spoken to them about their state and enjoined them to put away their idolatry and apply their hearts to Jehovah and serve Him only. Then verse 6 says, "And they gathered together to Mizpah, and drew water, and poured it out before Jehovah, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against Jehovah". Then it says, "Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpah". You have authority there, you have judgment; the house of God, you might say, is re-set up.

Ques. Is this a word of Samuel's prophecy in that way?

J.T. Well, it is that sort of thing; it brings in conviction.

Ques. Do the facts here suggest this path must be taken up in the face of all that may oppose, and God waited upon for the issue?

J.T. Quite so. The Philistines were not far away, they would attack at a moment like this. The Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered, and the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel; it is the leading persons who can act with authority. Samuel accepts Israel's smallness and offers a sucking lamb, a beautiful tribute to the priestly intelligence that was suitable at a time like this. It was as if to say, I have no power to meet these learned men, no power to deal with them

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on their own ground. We have to learn another ground, the sucking lamb does not denote any military power, it denotes weakness and dependence on God; weakness that honours God. It is offered up "a whole burnt-offering to Jehovah", and He accepts that. It is a type of Christ, but in a small way and in a dependent way, a sucking lamb.

Ques. Does it speak of the beginning of things with us?

J.T. I think so, it is the smallness of things, but the apprehension of Christ expressed thus is of intrinsic value; as the sucking lamb is small but precious, it is according to the way Christ is presented in the book of Revelation. The Lamb there is a diminutive thought but precious. It represents the instrumentality through which, in the circumstances, God is operating.

Rem. Here it was a whole burnt-offering, as you said.

J.T. That is important to notice, it is a whole idea. We are not congregationalists, there is only one assembly; "one body and one Spirit ... one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all" (Ephesians 4:4 - 6). As delivered from Philistine influence we come back to that thought.

Rem. Here it is "the things which are not, to bring to nought the things that are".

J.T. Quite so, that is what is meant here. Samuel rightly gauges what was in keeping with the moment, and the sucking-lamb represents that. It is typical in a peculiar and touching way, so that God came in most signally. He thundered with a great thunder, we are told. It is refreshing to see that the people's state was in accord with what Samuel did. Verse 8 says, "the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry to Jehovah our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines. And Samuel took a sucking-lamb, and offered it as a

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whole burnt-offering to Jehovah; and Samuel cried to Jehovah for Israel, and Jehovah answered him. And as Samuel was offering up the burnt-offering, the Philistines advanced to battle against Israel. And Jehovah thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were routed before Israel". So that it is a complete victory.

It is the quality that is in view, and as you pursue the history here, you find that what marks Samuel throughout is prayer, and God answering prayer. This chapter is a sort of an epitome of Samuel's whole life, and all that follows is the opening up of what was in that life. It all culminates in David; we see these features, the priesthood and prophecy, in David himself, and in the new system of things which he furnished.

Ques. Was it Samuel's offering? God honoured it.

J.T. Samuel was leading; it was his intelligence gauging what was suitable. Israel did not ask him to do this; he knew what was there; the character of the work of God, the extent and the quality of it, and his offering was in keeping with this.

Rem. The quality of the offering is seen in that he gave God His place first, and God honoured that. It is the service of God, and if we give God His place He will answer.

J.T. That is the idea, the thought I think is discernment as to what was actually in the place, in this city for instance. What is there in the place? We ought to be able to estimate that, otherwise we shall be deceived. Priestliness involves discernment, ability to weigh things, to gauge conditions.

Ques. Is it according to the understanding of that, the answer from God comes?

J.T. Yes, God expects us to know just what there is. In the Corinthian epistles we have constantly something to support what we may be saying; and

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corresponding to what is before us now, the apostle gauges what is there from the very start; he measures things -- indeed he brings in the idea of the God of measure. We are not to be occupied with numbers only, but with the quality of the persons, weighing as well as measuring and counting.

Rem. The movement of the enemy here shows how he would spoil what is most precious. I notice it was while Samuel was offering the sucking-lamb, while the burnt-offering was going up, that the Philistines moved.

J.T. He would rob God of what is most pleasing to Him. Leviticus gives us the thought of the burnt-offering. It is a whole idea, Christ devoting Himself entirely to God. It was offered up entirely to God; all that belonged to the priest out of it was the skin; that is, the thought of it would be reproduced in the priest. Here the offering is small, but it was, typically, Christ presented to God in a sense peculiarly precious to Him, hence the attack.

Rem. Having reached God's thought, the "men of Israel" (verse 11), come into view now.

J.T. Well, just so; quality, no doubt, is there. Paul says, "quit yourselves like men; be strong".

Ques. Would the sucking-lamb give the thought of entire dependence?

J.T. Yes. Now to come to David: of course there is a great deal that we are all conversant with in his history, but the point before us in this reading is priesthood, that we may see in David how this thought develops. In chapter 21 he goes to the house of God. The Lord, referring to this section in the New Testament, says it is the section of Abiathar the high priest, a section into which priesthood enters; the supreme thought of priesthood is there. He is not called high priest anywhere else, as far as I know. But then the priesthood is also shown in David here. I have no doubt that the Lord had in

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mind that what was current at the time was in keeping with the priesthood. There is ascension in the book in this sense until we reach the thought of high priesthood in Abiathar, and of course that is opened up to us in the epistle to the Hebrews. It is noted in our chapter that the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the time of Samuel. God's hand is always with the true priesthood. I hope we may pursue this subject later, and see how it culminates and develops in David. This will run into the next book, and in this connection we do well to keep in mind the Lord's remark as to this section. His comments on any section of the Old Testament throw light on it. I think the Lord's remarks in Mark 2:25 - 28 throw light on this chapter. He says, "Have ye never read what David did when he had need and hungered, he and those with him, how he entered into the house of God, in the section of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the shew-bread?" David was coming in here unofficially, but he was the real priest, for the system under Saul had broken down. David's movements here are on a very high level.

David knew more about the shew-bread really than Ahimelech. Ahimelech questions whether he should have it; it was in measure common, but it was food all the same, just what David needed. Then Saul slays the priests by the medium of Doeg the Edomite, the false brother. He slays eighty-five priests of Jehovah wearing "the linen ephod". Think of the temerity of a man called a brother slaying the priests! It may have been judicial, (1 Samuel 2:27 - 36), but the malice of Satan is seen in it -- in view of the place true priesthood was acquiring at this time. Priestly service in this section is really David's service, not so much Abiathar's. That is Christ typically coming in unofficially in the exercise of priesthood -- as seen in the gospel of Luke.

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Rem. David said, "with me thou art in safe keeping".

J.T. Quite so, Abiathar was under his protection, but the fact is stated that David was praying already, when Abiathar came to him to Keilah having an ephod with him. He had the full symbol of priesthood, which David used. Although the priests are slain, the priesthood remains in Abiathar, but it is really exercised in David. The Lord says, "what David did". We should get our eye on what David did in this section.

Ques. What did David mean when he said the bread was common?

J.T. I think the allusion would be to the system, the system that was being overthrown. I think that is what he meant, but for the moment there was what he needed, the bread and the sword. Really the whole system is wrong and left like a shell; the government of God overtakes it, but there is a remnant out of it. Paul says, referring to this same thought, "God has not cast away his people:" there was a remnant, of whom he was one, (Romans 11:1 - 6).

Ques. Would you say that exercising priesthood was a point of victory that David reached over the false system?

J.T. That is right, it is moral victory, and that is what the Lord means. He says, "Have ye never read what David did?" The Lord was showing Himself at that time as the true David. He had entered into the cornfields, and the disciples rubbed the corn and ate of it. He defends them in this. He is inaugurating the spirit of liberty, that belongs to christianity, in true priestly power; that is what He meant. It was moral victory, and we are to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. That is what I think it means, what David did involves priestly liberty. He knew better than the official priest what to do. If we bear in mind

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what God said early in the book of Samuel, that He is going to establish a priestly house. We shall see that it all points to Christ, and He refers in this point to what David did. The Lord is defending His disciples, and the new order of things, which morally was already there in Him and His disciples.

Ques. Would that be instinct or intelligence on the part of the disciples?

J.T. Well, I think it followed an example; God operates on the principle of leadership. The Lord went into the cornfields, it does not say that He ate the corn. The disciples went further than He did; the acted in the liberty which He afforded, and He defended them.

Rem. David was very much like the Lord in that; he did not belong to the official priesthood, but he acted as priest.

J.T. Well, exactly. Paul refers to certain brethren brought in unawares "to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ". We do not want to surrender our liberty, to come again into the bondage of what is merely official.

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PRIESTHOOD IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL (3)

1 Samuel 30:7, 8; 2 Samuel 2:1; 2 Samuel 6:14, 15

J.T. It will be known that our subject is priesthood as seen in 1 and 2 Samuel. We have traced it from the beginning, in what is seen in Hannah, and then in Samuel, and finally in David. We noted how the Lord Jesus, in His service here, refers to this subject as in these books; calling attention to what David did in the section of Abiathar the high priest. How he entered into the house of God and partook of the shewbread, properly belonging to priests, but David partakes of it, as if to bring out what we are engaged with, how priesthood is taken up in an informal way. The Lord accredits it by alluding to it approvingly, throwing light on the whole of this section of Scripture. He accredits what is taken up informally, but taken up rightly; taken up according to God.

Christ is the Leader in christianity, indeed He is the Leader in everything for us, and we have the idea of leadership attached to Him in four different settings in the New Testament. He is the Leader, or Originator of life, (Acts 3:15). He is Leader and Saviour to give repentance and remission of sins, (Acts 5:31). He is Leader of our salvation, (Hebrews 2:10), and He is the Leader and Completer of faith, (Hebrews 12:2). So that in regard to the subject before us, He initiated the idea of liberty, in entering the cornfields. His disciples went further than He did in plucking the corn, and He brings in the section of Scripture before us to defend them in what they did. The Lord was leading in this way, He was taking up priesthood unofficially, but He is now established officially, as a High Priest in heaven, and we as believers, as disciples, having the Spirit, are constituted priests

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accordingly, and it is for us to stand in this liberty, the liberty in which He has set us free.

Rem. In the first scripture read David does not move except under Jehovah's direction.

J.T. That is a mark of priesthood, it is most important for us that we have access to God to get His mind. We are enjoined to draw near to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace for seasonable help, (Hebrews 4:16). We are also said to have access to the holiest by the blood of Jesus, and on this ground urged to "draw near". So that it is a feature of our subject that we have liberty to draw near to God, and ask Him for guidance. David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, "Bring near to me, I pray thee, the ephod. And Abiathar brought the ephod near to David. And David inquired of Jehovah, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he said to him, Pursue; for thou shalt assuredly overtake them and shalt certainly recover". The explicitness with which the answer comes is striking, and is set down for us for our learning, that we might have liberty to draw near to God in all matters of difficulty, personally or collectively; He will never fail us.

Ques. The Lord says, "If therefore the Son shall set you free, ye shall be really free" (John 8:36). Is that further on, or is it connected with this?

J.T. It is related to what is before us. The passage in Mark 2 is illustrative of that -- how the Son sets us free. The disciples are following, and governed by His example, for the idea of leadership is that one goes before. The Lord went before into the cornfields, and it was on the sabbath, so that He was violating current religious feeling and custom. True priesthood is sure to do that, sure to run across current religious feeling, and bring on persecution, but then the Lord has done it, and that is enough. They went further than He did, showing

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that the atmosphere promoted liberty for them, and He defends what they do. We can reckon on that, that in following His example, although it brings us into persecution, the Lord will defend us.

Ques. Is priestly approach individual or collective?

J.T. Both. This prayer is individual, Abiathar is brought into it. Abiathar in a way would stand for high-priesthood here, so that "having a great priest over the house of God, let us approach". It is open to us, because we have Him. Therefore any individual can take it up in that way, according to the Lord's word, "when thou prayest, enter into thy chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret" (Matthew 6:6). If it be in the meeting for prayer together, it is all on the same ground, the ground of drawing near to God, by faith, through Christ. We have (a great point in Hebrews) a great High Priest.

Ques. Would verse 6 strengthen that thought: "but David strengthened himself in Jehovah his God"?

J.T. Well, it showed his knowledge of God. He would have in mind earlier instances of God's answers in the way of help in time of need. It is a very remarkable word as stressing the immense importance of maintaining a knowledge of God. The expression indicates an innate power; he strengthened himself, in Jehovah his God. It would be in the knowledge he had of God; a feature that marked David is that he always had recourse to God; he always had confidence in God, however bad things were. Even if it be guilt in one's conduct, you can always have recourse to God, He will never turn you aside.

Rem. You have spoken of liberty: it would help some of us if you would say a little of what is in your mind in connection with the word.

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J.T. Well, allusion has been made to John 8:35, 36. The Son is said to be over the house. The Lord said to the Jews, "Now the bondman abides not in the house for ever: the son abides for ever. If therefore the Son shall set you free, ye shall be really free". And in Galatians 5:1 the apostle says, "Christ has set us free in freedom; stand fast therefore, and be not held again in a yoke of bondage". The liberty is there, He is the Leader in it. He moves in a certain way with a view to the inauguration of something, and others have liberty to follow in that way. The Lord says in the same section in John, "and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free". It is known truth that sets us free. The great general thought is that the Son sets us free as in the house, but "the truth" adjusts us in detail. So that all the meetings we have such as this, year in and year out, week in and week out, are to that end. The needs of the saints are met, and at the same time they are adjusted as to things that might hold them in bondage, interfere with their spiritual liberty; the Holy Spirit is here for that purpose.

Rem. Would you say that the truth would set us free from evil things, and the Son would set us free to enter into the things of God?

J.T. Yes. The Son's liberation is more positive. The truth helps in detail, so that you take up the epistle to the Romans and the epistle to the Galatians for individual liberty, and then you take up the Corinthian epistles for collective correction, and the epistle to the Colossians liberates us in life. Ephesians leads us on into the heavenly side, and sets us free in relation to what is up there. So that the truth is in parts; we know in part, and it comes to us as we are ready for it.

What comes out in 1 Samuel 30 is a great disaster and yet, although the position seems to be irretrievable, it is remarkable that the Amalekites

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did not slay anyone, the persons were all preserved. There is hope so long as the persons are preserved, and the next thing is to get at them, and that is the point in David's soul. What is he to do? He is in terrible stress, the people were about to slay him, and his conscience would be active because he had been with the Philistines instead of looking after his people and his property, but he knew God, and that is the great point; that we always maintain liberty of approach to Him.

Ques. David slew the lion and the bear by his God. Would that experience enter into this?

J.T. It would, as regards his knowledge of God. You may be sure he would have recourse to God in prayer before he did that great exploit. He overcame them by God's power, "Jehovah who delivered me ..." he says. We have instances of his prayers. The books of Psalms open up what a man he was in this respect. We see him in them both in prayer and in praise. In truth, that is where you get David the priest.

Ques. Will you help us as to the ephod?

J.T. Well, the ephod was the principal priestly garment, as we learn in Exodus 28. Abiathar brought an ephod when he fled to David. Scripture does not say he wore it. I do not think Abiathar characteristically represented the thought as he came to David. At first it was priesthood in the abstract; soon to take form, according to God, in David. That is why the subject is of such significance in this section, because so much is made of the ephod as brought by Abiathar to David. It is the time of his rejection, especially here in Ziklag, where he is in great distress. So that this first book of Samuel as regards David's priesthood should be a great lesson to us, especially because we are in a world of stress; our position in the truth involves constant stress of circumstances. The enemy is all round and ever

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ready to attack, and this section teaches us how to go on to find deliverance, that is, there is priestly liberty of access to God.

Ques. What would answer to the ephod in the New Testament language?

J.T. Well it is the possession of the Spirit, I think. Romans furnishes it. Romans is an ephod book. That is where the christian comes into the truth in the order in which God would have it entered into. Priesthood necessitates the understanding of holiness, and liberty to speak to God, all, of course, based on redemption. Holiness, chapter 6, is worked out through practical righteousness. In chapter 7 we are enjoined to "serve in newness of spirit, and not in oldness of letter". Then you get in chapter 7 again, "I myself with the mind serve God's law ..." That is a priestly touch, serving the law of God. It is not the legal system, but the law of God which must always be observed. In chapter 8 we have liberty by the Spirit: "for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God". Then in chapter 12 we present our bodies a living sacrifice, a reference to priesthood. So that the youngest christian, brother or sister, takes the thought up as thus seen; it works out from obedience to the truth from the heart. You now have the ephod, the characteristic priestly garment. This involves not only service Godward, but also manward. The ephod contemplates love for all saints, and hence a readiness to serve them. One is thus constituted a priest according to God's mind, and the exercise of that priesthood sets aside effectively all spurious claims to priesthood. In our chapter we have priesthood marked by the knowledge of God, enabling the believer as in distress to draw near to Him for needed help. That is an immense thing, whether it be in the house with the children, or in

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the office, where you have to contend with difficulties, or in the street, you can turn to God.

Ques. Continue therein with God. Is that the thought?

J.T. Yes; as with God in our circumstances, we can count on Him.

Rem. The requests of one having an ephod would be sure to have an answer.

J.T. That is what you get here. Of course, there are things that we may not get answers about immediately, because we may be burdened by things that, if we only knew God better, would not be a burden to us. So Peter tells us to cast all our care upon God. Whatever you think is a care, cast it upon Him, because He cares for you, and what you get is "the peace of God, which surpasses every understanding".

Rem. The Lord's word in Mark 2 puts this on the elevation of the High Priest, referring to David in that way.

J.T. I think so, that is what is meant. Whether I am in the office, and perhaps taxed, unusually taxed by something that happens, by my employer or my fellow employees, whatever it be, I am always linked up with high-priesthood in Christ. Hebrews teaches that we are linked up with a great system in connection with Christ in heaven. A key word in Hebrews is "having". Christians are spoken of as "having a great priest over the house of God". You may say He has us, but what a wonderful thing that we have Him! And we have Him in that capacity, as before God a High Priest in heaven; One who ever lives to make intercession for us, as though He never does anything else, so that we draw near.

Ques. John was in the Spirit, would that be the ephod?

J.T. Well, that is more; of course it is included, but he is outside of his natural reckonings, outside

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of his ordinary mixed condition here; it thus goes beyond what we are speaking of.

There is a difference between the asking for things and the Urim; the Urim is a thought beyond that. In Saul's time there was no answer even by Urim, that is, the state was not right -- the state of soul -- but John was certainly in the right state of soul. Urim means Lights, and the Thummim, Perfections, according to the best authorities. Thummim alludes to the state of a person, and light comes in relation to it. These features are seen perfectly in Christ, indeed they refer to Him as High Priest in heaven. But, as we see in Saul, the state of those obtaining the benefit of them is also involved. Alluding to Levi in Deuteronomy, the Thummim is put before the Urim, because he had proved in his path in the wilderness, at least typically, that he answered to the mind of God.

Ques. Does what you have said about the ephod link on with overcoming?

J.T. It attaches to the christian as having the Spirit, that he can ever have recourse to God, even if he sins. Of course, if I have iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me, but as having failed in any way and judged myself on account of this, I have recourse to God directly.

Rem. The sword of Goliath was wrapped in a cloth.

J.T. I think that was the state of things in the house of God at that time. The ephod itself is not referred to as worn, and the sword was not being used. It was in keeping with what we have already spoken of as to the condition under that priesthood. There was no energy. It was in keeping with the position in the other part of the book, where Eli is sitting on a seat, and he and others sleeping in the temple. The word of God is likened to a sword, and it is living and operative; it is not to be inactive.

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Ahimelech says, "it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod". Neither the ephod nor the sword was in use. You will not have much testimony if these things are not in use.

Rem. They are not to be used when we are ministering to our brethren, we then have to leave the sword behind.

J.T. Why should we? We are, I trust, using it here now! The flesh in us, if at all active, has to be met by the sword of the Spirit. This must be ever present with us. The point is, it should be used, and the priesthood should be active, and this is seen in prayer. Every creature of God is good, for it is sanctified by the word of God, that is the active word of God, and prayer. They ought to mark our households and the assembly.

Ques. Does the wearing of the ephod involve the use of the sword?

J.T. I think it does. The two things stand together in Hebrews 4:12 - 16. First you have the description of the word of God: "the word of God is living and operative, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and penetrating to the division of soul and spirit, both of joints and marrow, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is not a creature unapparent before him; but all things are naked and laid bare to his eyes". That is the position from God's side. God in His faithfulness keeps on operating through His Spirit so that everything is exposed to myself: if not to the brethren, to myself, because of inward divine operations. Then the Spirit of God goes on to tell us about the priesthood. "Having therefore a great high priest who has passed through the heavens ... Let us approach therefore with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and find grace for seasonable help". The two things stand together, and they are the means furnished for us to get through, and it seems

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to me that under Ahimelech and under Eli, they were not used. David coming in exposes the whole position, and that is what the Lord has in mind in alluding to that incident: "what David did".

Ques. Was this attack of the Amalekites on the company?

J.T. It was against the whole position which faith would take account of at the time. It was indeed a very terrible thing, and David was at fault in measure, but even so he knew God, and God will never fail us if we really turn to Him in contrition of heart. David acts intelligently here, he asks for the ephod.

Ques. Is this side of the matter purely individual?

J.T. I think it is so far.

Ques. What condition of soul then would one be brought into as set forth in David in type here occasioned by the loss of his two wives and Ziklag burnt with fire? What point in our soul's history does this answer to?

J.T. Well, he rises to a type of Christ here, that is another thing. In fact, we come on to the ground of the epistle to the Romans where Christ has recovered everything. We are only dealing with one point, that is priesthood, but the chapter is the recovery of everything, that is, the epistle to the Romans. This chapter and the first chapter of the next book bring out that David was in the spirit of that epistle, he was overcoming evil with good.

Rem. So this exercise of priestly privilege would bring one into all the gain of what had been recovered in Romans.

J.T. That is right. David rises to a type of Christ, he "recovered all". You will notice that none of the people were killed. Romans contemplates not dead people, but people alive in responsibility, and the Lord has recovered everyone on those lines. The spirit of chapter 1 of the next book is one of great magnanimity, great grace; overcoming the evil with

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good; a great moral victory. He was pained by the tidings of Saul's death. So deep were his feelings that he composed a song, the song of the bow, written in the book of Jasher. David was not feigning sorrow; it was the anointed of the Lord that fell at the hands of the Philistines, and he felt this.

Rem. It is very beautiful indeed: it shows how morally and spiritually he could wear the ephod.

J.T. Well, quite so, all in accord with the epistle to the Romans -- a great victory; overcoming evil with good. "If therefore thine enemy should hunger, feed him; if he should thirst, give him drink" (Romans 12:20). That is the principle in this chapter, showing how we are to act in such circumstances. We become morally superior, and give up hard feelings about others, although they may be our enemies; we are to heap coals of fire upon their heads.

Ques. Is that bringing in a priestly condition?

J.T. Yes. It shows what Romans does for the believer.

Rem. That would explain Peter's speaking of a royal priesthood.

J.T. Just so. First, a holy priesthood for approach to God, and then a royal priesthood: "that ye might set forth the excellencies of him who has called you out of darkness to his wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9). The royal priesthood is more public.

Rem. So that there is recovery come in by way of priesthood.

J.T. It is through getting to God here, you thus get power in your soul. David strengthened himself in Jehovah his God. Faith was there as latent power in his soul. In this chapter and in the beginning of the next book he stands out beautifully, showing how suitable he was to take on the kingship. The next thing is ascent, but before we start going up we must have everything right below, so that whatever difficulties arise among us, we never have victory

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until we overcome evil with good, it is not simply getting a brother out of the way, but overcoming evil with good.

Ques. Concerning the Urim and Thummim, do you connect that with the Lord's words, "if ... thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light".

J.T. That is right, the single eye corresponds with the Thummim. It is the state of your soul, it is a perfect state in that sense and your whole body is luminous.

The next prayer that we get is in the next book, chapter 2: 1. It is the next move; after a victory what will be the next move? What is the next move now that the Lord has given a victory to you over your enemies? In truth Romans is victory over oneself, that is Og, the big man of Numbers 21. Now what is the next move? This verse corresponds. "It came to pass after this that David inquired of Jehovah, saying, Shall I go up into one of the cities of Judah? And Jehovah said to him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron". The first answer gave him leave to go up to any part of Judah; he is not content with that, he wants it to be more definite. It is now a question of entering into the purpose of God, because Judah represents sovereign selection, and David belongs to Judah. You are now coming into your rights. Having gained a victory on the moral side, you come to the sovereign side, and what great things there are for us on the line of sovereignty! David enquires further, "Whither shall I go up?" That is the next thing. God answers, "Unto Hebron" -- which is in type the epistle to the Colossians. It is at this stage the safest place for the christian: the safest stopping place is Colossians.

Ques. What is in your mind in speaking of the safest stopping place?

J.T. Well, it is a question now of the danger of

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identifying yourself with the world in its cultured feature, with philosophy, and the like. The christian is more enlightened than other people, but there are refined things in the world such as learning, and it may be thought that these may be conveniently and profitably taken on; that is the danger now. As seen in Colossians, Hebron is to dissipate that from our minds. Hebron was built before Zoan in Egypt. Zoan represents the wisdom of this world; it was where the wise ones of Egypt dwelt (Isaiah 19:11). The natural mind would say to the christian, Do you not think that more learning, social refinement, better music in the meeting; better understanding of things from the human point of view, would improve the position? But God would say to you, What I have in My mind is before all that, before Egypt, before Greece, indeed, before the world. Paul says, "we speak God's wisdom in a mystery ... which God had predetermined before the ages for our glory" (1 Corinthians 2:7). Colossians and Ephesians open it up. It is very important to see that what we are brought into does not admit at all of the very best things of the world, the result of education. Christianity does not admit of it at all, we have something which existed before that, before the world; the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world for our glory. Greece and Rome afford much for man's glory, but not for our glory. God ordained wisdom before the world for our glory. It elevates us out of this world altogether. Colossians is a stopping place, as we go on to the full position ordained for us in the counsels of God. In the types you get it at the Jordan, they moved from Shittim and came to the Jordan and lodged there; that is, before they passed over they lodged. A lodging place is something temporary for a certain purpose.

Rem. A lodging place is not finality.

J.T. It is a spiritual thought; it is where certain

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things are resolved. You go through certain things there, you see that the ark is to be two thousand cubits ahead, you learn the greatness of Christ as you never did in the wilderness. There was no requirement in the wilderness journey that the ark should be two thousand cubits ahead; that is typically Colossians, which epistle is to bring out among other things the greatness of the Person of Christ; in all things He has pre-eminence. You are to learn to learn that in the lodging place; to learn how to contemplate this great Person, and to judge yourself in relation to that; how small you are.

Rem. Hebron was where David first reigned.

J.T. That is what you get here, he reigned there seven years and six months. The six months, I suppose, was a bit of a test, and perhaps show that he had the full advantage of the education there. He reigned in Jerusalem thirty-three years. Hebron was an enlightening and wholesome stopping place. So that coming from Ziklag, Hebron was some three thousand feet up. I am alluding to that illustratively; it involved exercise to get there. Notice the recurrence of the words "go up" in 2 Samuel 2:1 - 3. Hebron is really on higher ground than Jerusalem. What an outlook you get in that elevation! -- spiritually the eternal thoughts of God. There is a great lesson in this, great instruction for the young people to see the great realm of spirituality they are brought into. In Hebron it is no question of the universities and their researches. Hebron is a question of God's eternal thoughts; that is, what has antedated the world. The characteristic men and women of faith and recipients of divine promises lie there -- in the cave of Machpelah -- awaiting "that world and the resurrection from among the dead".

Rem. What Hebron represents is set forth in Christ.

J.T. Yes; it is a question of the divine mind,

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the wisdom prepared before the world for our glory -- we have it now by the Spirit.

Rem. It is in One in whom dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

J.T. That is what Colossians brings out. First you have the kingdom of the Son of the Father's love. It is very attractive -- God has "translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love". One of the most beautiful expressions you can get, and in Him we have redemption, and so on. He created everything, He holds everything, He is the Head of the body, the assembly, and in Him all the Fulness was pleased to dwell, all the Fulness.

Rem. Very impressive and very blessed! For a believer to stop in some conditions is dangerous, but to stop at Hebron, how very excellent: to contemplate Christ, meditate upon Him, and then to have the wisdom you speak of in our souls!

Ques. Would the effect of that be that He would be expressed in His people?

J.T. Well, that is the next thing. He is Head of the body in Colossians, not because He has gone to the right hand of God, but because of who He is. It is a question of His Person. In chapter 3 He is said to be sitting at the right hand of God.

Ques. Is that why there comes a call for a transfer of affections in Colossians?

J.T. Yes; have your mind on things above. It is your mind there. That is, you have the greatest mental range possible -- things above, and not the things of the earth.

Rem. We come into the sphere where intelligence is to be developed. Having right instincts, we enter into divine things intelligently. Would "love in the Spirit" be the subjective state enabling us to understand the things above?

J.T. Yes. It is the only mention of the Spirit

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in Colossians. That is the kind of love to have. 1 Corinthians begins with wisdom, connecting it with love: "Things which eye has not seen, and ear not heard, and which have not come into man's heart, which God has prepared for them that love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9). You learn all these things in Hebron, that is in Colossians; and so in chapter 2 we are enjoined in regard to "philosophy and vain deceit". We do not need these things, the apostle says. It is not so much a question of exposing them, but that we do not need them, for we have everything in Christ -- "in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9).

Rem. "And ye are complete in him".

J.T. Just so, there is no room for anything else.

Ques. I was wondering whether love as you have spoken of it would fit in with the Lord's supper?

J.T. Well, what has been before us generally comes in properly after the Supper is partaken of. Three kinds of love come before us as in assembly. Firstly, the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. Secondly, the covenant-love of God, which comes in as the cup is partaken of; it is the perfect love that casts out fear in our souls. Thirdly there is the love that the Father has for the Son, that is the most exalted kind of love. As the Lord Jesus prayed, "that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them and I in them" (John 17:26). You can see that that comes into the assembly in its proper heavenly setting, it is a question of the Father's love for the Son and our having the same kind of love -- that we can love the Son as the Father loves the Son.

Rem. Does what you are now saying lead on from what you indicated at the beginning of these readings, in Hannah and Samuel -- the question of priesthood, Romans-wise, then in David the praise line?

J.T. Yes; for the latter we go on to chapter 6; here you have priesthood with a linen ephod as has

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already been called attention to. We are on a very high level now, because we are at Jerusalem in chapter 6. Zion is taken in chapter 5, and David would have the ark in its own place; that is chapter 6. Typically, it is Ephesians. The ark did not reach its own position until Zion was taken, because Hebron would not do for it; it is Jerusalem that is required, the city of the great king, and therefore the passage read is applicable now. The scripture says that "David danced before Jehovah with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. And David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of Jehovah with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet". I think we have priesthood here in a remarkable way; the linen has its place.

Ques. Would Psalm 132 come in here -- the ark in its right place?

J.T. That is what I was thinking; the Psalms greatly augment what we are speaking of. Of course the subject is immense, you could not compass it in a few readings, but that psalm fits in exactly here. We get there an insight into David's private feelings -- "I will not give sleep to mine eyes, slumber to mine eyelids, Until I find out a place for Jehovah, habitations for the Mighty One of Jacob" (Psalm 132:4, 5). What a proposal that is! And then he goes on to say, "Behold, we heard of it at Ephratah, we found it in the fields of the wood". That is no doubt the ark in the house of Abinadab on the hill. That was not a suitable place for it, and so we get in that psalm David's exercise; perhaps as quite a young man. That was really the thought that governed his whole life, the idea of the house, which began with Jacob: "habitations for the Mighty One of Jacob" -- not Abraham, but Jacob, because the house of God is in connection with Jacob. Then David goes on to ask that God's priests should be clothed in righteousness. He had the great thought

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that priesthood was necessary, and not only an official priesthood, but priests marked by moral qualities, garments of righteousness. Then, "and let thy saints shout for joy" -- a great consummation of all his exercises. God answers him saying, "Jehovah hath chosen Zion". David recognises the divine need and selection, and God takes the matter up. He says, I will see to all that, that they will be clothed in righteousness, clothed in salvation. That is, they will be entirely free from this world. So that the Psalms fit in here. The fifth book has a great place in relation to the divine dwelling-place and service. The whole book of Psalms was made in five parts and the last book is the great culmination.

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PRIESTHOOD IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL (4)

2 Samuel 2:1; 2 Samuel 5:17 - 25; 2 Samuel 6:14, 15; 2 Samuel 7:12 - 18

J.T. The subject of priesthood is in mind in reading these scriptures. We may look at it elsewhere where it is presented formally, but the instruction is often more effective as presented informally, and so in these incidents; for God teaches us in relation to the necessities of our souls. The teaching goes on, and we take it up as in our ordinary circumstances; the light of God reaching us there. His work in us occasions needs, so that instinctively we turn to Him. In addition we find that whilst He meets us according to our way of approach, for we are told in Romans, we know not how to pray as we ought; whilst He meets us thus, He gives us to understand that He has requirements. The exigencies of His house and surroundings, He being who He is, require that He should be approached intelligently and according to His requirements.

In the history of David as rejected we get him visiting the house of God in his need. The Lord Himself refers to David as entering the house of God in the early days of his rejection "in the section of Abiathar the high priest" (Mark 2:26), and we find David praying to God as to certain needs. Then the high priest appears, that is, he whom the Lord calls high priest, Abiathar; he arrives as having the ephod. David refers to this. You find the ephod with David more than with any other after its introduction in Exodus. I believe he appears in this respect as an example to young believers, as well as to old ones, showing how we come to the thought of priesthood by way of our needs. David knows where to stop, it is said his prayers are ended; he is intelligent enough to know that under certain circumstances prayers do end.

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What has been said refers mainly to the first book of Samuel, but I think we might look at the subject in the second book as leading up to the assembly. David is seen in the house of God in the last scripture in a sitting attitude. It would mean that he has advanced beyond priesthood, though in a typical sense understanding it. There is what lies beyond it, for a sitting attitude is not properly a priestly attitude, it is rather the idea of coming into full liberty in sonship. So the first inquiry in chapter 2 is, "Shall I go up?" He inquired of Jehovah, "Shall I go up into one of the cities of Judah?" The previous inquiry was in relation to the disaster at Ziklag; introducing what Ziklag represents -- the recovery of things, whether for God, or in the believer's history, as in his own case. We have an order of things at Ziklag corresponding with the epistle to Romans; and then Hebron corresponding with Colossians; and Jerusalem with Ephesians. These are the stages, and in each of these epistles -- Romans, Colossians, and Ephesians -- we have prayer introduced in a most significant way. We have instruction in Romans; we are told that we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit joins Himself to our weakness. Thus in our exercises in that way the Spirit comes in and helps us in our souls. Besides that, there is the example of the Lord in teaching us to pray.

Ques. How do you fit in the first scripture, 2 Samuel, 2:1?

J.T. The believer is taught in Romans, and the idea of ascension arises in his mind. "Shall I go up?" -- not to any elevation, but to the one that the counsels of God point to, that is Judah.

E.E.B. There is a peculiar variety of inquiry, he seeks direction and gets it a number of times. Then in chapter 5 he is to sit still until he hears the sound of the marching in the tops of the mulberry-trees

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Is all this in view of the time of prayer being over?

J.T. The ending of his prayers is alluded to at the close of the second book of Psalms; that is when he prays for Solomon. Solomon on the throne is the end; faith is assured now of everything. The application to us would be that we are to have intelligence as to when prayer may give place to something else, when the sense of need ceases. It is a question of spiritual understanding here. In the first set of prayers in chapter 2 there are two inquiries, and then in chapter 5 there are also two. He has in mind first of all, "Shall I go up into one of the cities of Judah?" Now, that is I think where the purpose of God comes in; whether in our prayers we are thinking of God's thoughts as well as our own needs. Judah has a great place in God's thoughts. From the outset Judah had a great place among the tribes, and indeed represents the sovereign selection of God. "The sceptre will not depart from Judah, Nor the lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh come, And to him will be the obedience of peoples" (Genesis 49:10). David would understand that, he was himself, at least in type, Shiloh; and so with every believer; you begin to find that you have a place in the counsels of God and your prayers move on that line. So we find earlier in David's history, when in the cave, the prophet Gad says, "go into the land of Judah" (1 Samuel 22:5). Judah would signify the sovereign selection of God, and that affords instruction for the believer. He finds that he has part in the counsels of God, and his prayers must move in that direction. The next thing here is, Which city? The answer is, Hebron, which would be further a question of counsel, because Hebron was before the world in principle. That is a very great thought: one is guided in regard of one's need in that direction.

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A.M. Is your thought that this would suggest our going up to where there is no need?

J.T. That is what is in mind. David I think represents that side, leading on to the realm of sonship. He alludes, I believe, as a type for us in that respect, to priesthood as it comes into our souls through our necessities. The Spirit joins Himself to our weakness -- that is one thing, but then He makes intercession for us -- that is another thing. Moreover He cries, "Abba, Father" in our hearts, and we say "Lord Jesus" by Him. It is the subjective teaching that we get, and the Lord teaches us in the gospels how to go to God, but the Spirit is in us.

Ques. Is the force of that in Psalm 72:20 -- "The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended"?

J.T. That is, the David of history, so to speak, is merging in his son, in Solomon. It is a principle; let us get the principle in our souls, that there is such a thing as that. It is not easy to fit it in, but it is a landmark to him who reaches it.

J.F.P. Would the sweet psalmist of Israel link with the other side?

J.T. There is no ending of that; the praises go on eternally. In praying, it says, Paul and Silas "were praising God with singing" (Acts 16:25) -- they were hymning to God. That is, prayer ended, giving place to a greater thought.

W.H.L. When Solomon ended praying, the glory of the Lord filled the house, (2 Chronicles 7:1).

J.T. That helps, the priests were not able to enter; it is the same thought extended, that there is a point where priestly service ends. So with the glory filling the tabernacle, Moses could not enter; not that he was formally prohibited, but he could not.

G.C.S. Would David taking his two wives to Hebron be suggestive of Christ as the Head of the assembly?

J.T. "So David went up thither, and his two wives

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also, Ahinoam the Jizreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite". Perhaps that is right. It is in Jerusalem that you get typically the full thought of headship. Hebron would be the experience of another world; Galatians teaches us as to that. We read there: "our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, so that he should deliver us out of the present evil world, according to the will of our God and Father; to whom be glory to the ages of ages" (Galatians 1:3 - 5). This prepares us for Hebron, which is typically Colossians, where we learn the ways of another world.

Ques. Would the epistle to the Philippians help us in showing how Paul had before him the arriving at this other world you speak of, and how small his needs were?

J.T. Yes, I think it is a great point to get into the mind as a principle that there is another world. If I get principles in my soul, then I will reach them in due course. Another world means the reversal of this world; the principles of that world are different.

A.M. Does Hebron suggest that?

J.T. Yes, that is how Scripture presents it. It was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.

A.M. Does that correspond with spiritual increase in Colossians?

J.T. I think so. Ziklag, Hebron, and Jerusalem are the three points. Ziklag is, so to say, the ground level and the adjustment of everything here; that is Romans: the beginning of everything here. Then Hebron, then Jerusalem. You can see how priesthood is needed for these things, so the first two inquiries settle these points as to movement, and the next inquiry is as to conflict. I shall have conflict if I move in this direction and priesthood attaches to the military side of the position, because prayer is priestly.

Ques. Would this teach us to be specific in our

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prayers and have a definite object in view and then wait for the thing to be realised? Do you think we fail to wait for the positive movement?

J.T. One goes over the prayers of David and they are formally mentioned as having come to an end. How brief they are! How specific they are!

Rem. It is recorded of the Lord in Luke that He rose up from His prayer. He came to the end of that particular exercise and finished.

J.T. You like to hear a brother finish; that he has something in his mind, it is not a formal prayer. In the prayer meeting it would be a collective matter relative to the testimony; he has something and he speaks of it to the Lord and finishes. Then you get the amens, because you finish at the right time. Sometimes I am afraid the amens mean, I am glad he has finished! When the brother reaches a definite end, he presents it to the Lord, and he has finished. That makes way for a goodly number to take part.

Rem. It would help us as to seeing the answer come in. We pray sometimes for years about a thing such as hiving off, whereas there comes a time when we should be up and doing.

J.T. Paul said he besought the Lord thrice: he knew when to stop. He obtained the Lord's mind and then proceeded gladly in his path of service.

G.J.E. Ziklag was the territory David got from Achish, but it had to be burnt to the ground.

J.T. A disaster in such circumstances is an important thing in our education. Many, I believe, make poor priests because they have never experienced serious reverses. This is one of the most crucial periods in David's life. I do not think that it is said anywhere else that he was threatened with stoning. He was a most lovable man, but here he is regarded as responsible for a disaster that affected others as well as himself, and hence it was a most

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crucial hour, but he encouraged himself in the Lord his God. He knew God. Then he has recourse to Abiathar and the ephod. It is a most urgent matter; this disaster has come from the hand of God; but he knew God. The first book as to David ends with that terrible disaster and the recovery from it, and prayer is peculiarly seen. The ephod is there, that is, it is prayer as you would learn it from Christ. The ephod belongs to the high priest. I have to understand that God has His own requirements. If the matter is urgent, as it was at Ziklag, the more the need for me to comply with the divine requirements. When we come to 2 Samuel the state at Ziklag is carried forward; and what a thoroughly unselfish man David was! We are enjoined to love our enemies, to do good to them that hate us, and pray for them that persecute us, and that is what David did. That is the kind of man that can go up. Psalm 15 and other scriptures indicate what kind of man goes up. God is concerned as to that.

E.H.F. Was he not more thoroughly in the kingdom at this time and nearer the throne than he anticipated? As you have said, he showed it in his unselfish attitude to his enemies.

J.T. Think of the statute that he makes for those that remain behind with the stuff; they are to share equally with the others. It is the equity of the king and the beautiful spirit that he manifested to all. He is not revengeful, and he expresses his feelings poetically in utter unselfishness. That is the kind of man that God would have with Him in His holy hill; we must have clean hands. If I have anything against my brother, God does not welcome me up there.

Rem. Chapter 2 of the second book starts with "after this;" after what you have been referring to you could not put this before that.

J.T. It is in beautiful order here. You are putting

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your matter into God's hands and you have to be careful, for God may say you cannot go up.

F.C.D. Does the thought of priesthood in what you are saying help us in regard to spiritual sensitiveness? I was thinking of David in relation to Saul and Jonathan.

J.T. That is right. He did not need to go that far; he seems to be extravagant in the way he speaks in chapter 1. But it is the unselfish sentiment that we get in Romans 12, and God immediately says, "Go up".

Rem. The same spirit as was displayed by the Lord on the cross.

J.T. There you see it in its fulness, and in Stephen too: "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge" (Acts 7:60). That is the man to go up. It is well to cultivate these things. If we have to come to dissolution, as we may, it helps us all to be ready to go up.

Ques. How would 1 Timothy 2:8 fit in -- "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands"?

J.T. "Without wrath or reasoning". If wrath marks you, you are exposing yourself in your prayers; your hands are not clean. Our hands may not be pious hands as we lift them up. "Had I regarded iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not hear me" (Psalm 66:18). Then if I ask to go up, I am throwing myself on God. Am I suitable up there? God says here immediately, "Go up", and David says, "Whither shall I go up?" God is thinking of His own world, His own thoughts, while He is answering our prayers.

Rem. These exercises connected with Ziklag, Hebron, and Jerusalem would go on with us.

J.T. Ziklag is what I am here in my town or village, that is the idea. The same person that the people used to know in earlier days, but now I am a different man. Instead of taking my neighbour by

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the throat, I am forgiving. Where I used to be unlovely, I am now like God, like Christ.

W.K.S. Would the thought of leadership come into this? In the third verse we read, "and his men that were with him did David bring up".

J.T. I think they were fit to go. These men that were with David were to go up; every man with his household. I suppose they are all like himself; they had been in the cave with him, and Ziklag is the end of that education. There were men of Belial in the camp with him, but David says that those who remain behind with the stuff must share with those who go up to the battle. That remains as a monument to what David was at Ziklag, and the men were in keeping with that. You get "men" referred to in the Lord's prayer in John 17.

To come to chapter 5, in nothing do we need to pray more urgently than in conflict, which is the next thing. The first answer Jehovah gives David here is "Go up; for I will certainly give the Philistines into thy hand". It says they spread themselves -- a Philistine feature -- to make a show; it is an extended matter. The conflict is now more and more of that character. It spreads abroad, big men are affected; it is thus all the more essential that we should bring God into it. Then the next feature is the sign of the sound of marching; that is, it is to be military according to God, for "the Lord is a man of war" (Exodus 15:3), and the battle is to be begun in military order.

Ques. Does that raise the question of spiritual discernment?

J.T. It requires great skill, especially if it is an extended matter.

Ques. The ordinary man would not hear this, would he?

J.T. No, I think it is discernment. Joshua thought he heard the noise of war, but it was not that, it

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was the voice of mirth; his ear was not trained. It is important to realise that if there is a conflict, it is not a matter of personal feelings, but the Lord is leading in it. "Thou shalt not go up; turn round behind them and come upon them opposite the mulberry-trees. And it shall be, when thou hearest a sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry-trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself". God has joined the battle Himself.

H.J.N. Would it be a movement amongst the saints?

J.T. There are those who shirk war; we deplore it in a human way rightly, but there is a time when it is incumbent on us. God is moving in this military way, and I am to go behind the enemy. God is moving in military order: it does not say 'going', but "marching;" it is a military word. We are to come into that in spiritual skill, to know how to fall into line; not to want to be in the van; let God be in the van.

E.E.B. How does prayer come in in relation to this?

J.T. How urgent it is that we should be in power in relation to this; let God take the lead. It is for the brethren to see that you are not raising an issue on your own account. The flesh is very subtle, and one may seek prominence, and a badly-picked place of conflict may mean loss for the saints, as in the battle against Absalom. It was in a wood, a most unlikely battlefield; but here it is marching in the tops of the mulberry-trees. The answer implies that David had to listen for that: "when thou hearest a sound of marching". You can understand the alertness with which David would listen; then he is to join in -- "thou shalt bestir thyself".

Ques. What is this conflict the outcome of?

J.T. It was when "the Philistines heard that they had anointed David;" it is Christ in principle

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amongst the saints; something God is putting forward in the saints, of the anointing. There is dignity attached to the anointing; God is committing Himself to it. The Philistines will always attack a movement of God in the anointing; that is the occasion of it. David is humble in the matter; he is a great warrior, having no equal in his day; but then God is a greater warrior: "the Lord is a man of war". In Joshua 5 the captain of Jehovah's host appears and we have to pay attention to that. So the war-horse (Proverbs 30:31, see note d) represents, I think, the christian who is not afraid of war if it is necessary. "He smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting" (Job 39:25).

Rem. This is after David had gone up to Jerusalem.

J.T. Yes, he has got to the capital now, that is where the conflict really is, Ephesians in principle.

Ques. Would this be in line with Deborah's song -- "From heaven was the fight" (Judges 5:20)?

J.T. A very good scripture; it would fit in with this.

Ques. Would Epaphras be one who appears in this spirit in Colossians -- "always combating earnestly for you in prayers" (Colossians 4:12)?

J.T. That is the same kind of thing. Epaphras probably knew the state at Colosse; Paul had not been there, but Epaphras had. It was conflict. So the verses in 2 Samuel 6 show the progress that David was making; he was a real priest. "David danced before Jehovah with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod". A linen ephod is the priestly garb; it is priesthood as needed here; he knows what is needed in these circumstances. He is the king with everything under his hand, and as such, he might go to excess. The linen means that one is sober in what one is doing. Dancing with all his might is not going to excess,

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it was before the ark; David is sober. The moment required such an action, it is a very fine tribute to the king's worshipful feelings as before Jehovah.

Rem. He would be balanced.

J.T. That is it. His wife thought he was going to excess, but that only exposed her. Jerusalem is the final thought; you get the head of the giant there. The Lord Jesus ascended far above all heavens leading captivity captive. Jerusalem represents all that; the light and power of God.

Rem. The linen ephod seems to be important.

J.T. It is exceptional; you do not get it with Aaron or any of the priests before Samuel. It is a tribute to David's exercises that he wore one here; an example to believers, how we get on. It is the priestly garment par excellence, but David has a linen one. He is a man who has everything under his hand, and if I have that, then I need balance so that I do not go to excess. That is the point here, the circumstances require this.

Rem. Samuel was clothed with one. We need it whether we are old or young.

J.T. As far as I know, after Leviticus, the ephod is found almost exclusively in 1 and 2 Samuel, and I think it is to bring out how priesthood develops informally in the christian. The priests Saul slew "wore the linen ephod". This is evidently said to amplify Saul's guilt.

Now our final scripture is a sort of climax to the subject. David is a priest, but now he goes beyond that. The king went in and sat before Jehovah. That means that the word in the preceding verses as to sonship had come home to him, and he is moving in the light of it.

Ques. Are we coming more to the family side?

J.T. It is the eternal side, prayer being ended and priesthood, too. This is another principle that brethren should specially note. Although I may not

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reach it while down here, there is such a thing as this, that I go in and sit. A priest stands; the idea in priesthood is service, whereas a son is set in the presence of God without any sense of bondage. Perfect love casts out fear; the relationship I am brought into is great enough for this.

Ques. Do you connect this with assembly privilege?

J.T. It is the end in view in the service. Priesthood is because of conditions in me and outside, which will not exist eternally, but service will go on in the liberty of sonship. If you apply it now, it takes form in the assembly where there is power for it.

Ques. Do we get the objective and subjective in this verse? "And king David went in and sat before Jehovah, and said, Who am I, Lord Jehovah, and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto"?

J.T. He goes on further and speaks of "thy servant's house for a great while to come". That is what he has in mind, and that is what we come to in the assembly, "a great while to come". There is a time coming when there will be nothing in this respect but sonship; it is a great thing to have that in mind. God has spoken about that and what we have in the assembly reaches on to it.

J.McM. When he says, "is this the manner of man?" does that mean that David has fully come to it himself?

J.T. I think so; Nathan had given him the light according to the earlier verses and now he moves in it. He might have sat at home and said, I will wait for Solomon, but he gets light and moves in it. That is what we should do.

Rem. Sit together in the heavenly places?

J.T. Quite so, that is the thing. Ephesians contemplates what alludes to us; raised up together and made to sit together. It is in the liberty of sonship.

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PRIESTHOOD IN 1 PETER AND EXODUS

1 Peter. 2:5; Exodus 4:22, 23; Exodus 28:1 - 4, 40 - 43

J.T. It will be observed in Exodus that the primary and consequently the final thought of God in service is in sonship -- "Let my son go, that he may serve me". So that priesthood is a provision only, not an abiding or eternal thought -- a provision in view of conditions here in the world, extending on to the millennium, as we see in Ezekiel. Sonship is the primary and abiding thought of God, and so when He reaches Sinai with the wilderness journey in view, this thought of serving as priests comes into mind with many other things. It says, "serve me as priests" -- that is, in the office of priesthood. The phrase expressed is found six times or more in Exodus 28 and 29, which treat of this subject -- "they may serve me as priests", not sons. It does not say "sons", but "as priests", meaning that the exigencies of the wilderness were in view, as also evil in the people of God themselves, brought out in the contrariety of the wilderness. So the idea of priests instead of sonship is stressed. That would preclude any having part in a fleshly way, taking licence, assuming sonship without priestly state; hence God stresses throughout these chapters "that they may serve me as priests".

The time would come, in Solomon's day, when the priests were unable to serve because of the glory, meaning that there is no need of this provisional requirement; but that in the eternal state of things, they may serve as sons. Another thing to be remarked is that the idea of priesthood was recognised in Israel before the formal appointment of Aaron and his sons, without any reference to what qualities they had or ability to serve. That is alluded to in chapter 19, and they are enjoined to certain

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action, and not only so, but in that chapter God proposed that the whole nation should be priests; that the thought should spread to the saints universally, and mark them. Then another thing that comes out is that the office of priest is occupied, in chapter 24, by youths who offered up burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, when the covenant was inaugurated. So we have a group of facts in Exodus that are intended to help us greatly as christians. For the meaning of all we find there has its application to ourselves, the anti-type. These things were written for us, and they apply to us. When Peter says, as he does, "a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ", he alludes to us in all these phases, particularly of course in chapters 28 and 29 of Exodus. Another thing is that Romans develops priesthood informally, but as a great feature of the truth of the gospel, and in doing so brings in the idea of bondmanship -- bondmanship to God -- which also is essential to priesthood, corresponding with what we get in Exodus 21, the idea of bondmanship introduced as underlying all service. That is, the bondmanship which love accepts and prefers, as it were, serving in love the master and wife and children.

E.B.McC. Is your thought that priesthood will not go on in the eternal state, that it is sons there entirely?

J.T. The primary thought is sonship. Sonship manifestly is introduced in Exodus -- "Let my son go, that he may serve me". So that the priestly thought is provisional, to meet conditions in which the service should be carried on in the wilderness, and in the land, too, that is, the land as entered now and also in millennial conditions. I suppose it is a question first of obedience, bondmanship, and having our fruit unto holiness; that is what is meant, the Spirit being the power according to Romans 8

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to maintain us in these qualities in intelligence; for the priesthood was to be marked by intelligence -- "the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and at his mouth they seek the law" (Malachi 2:7).

J.C.S. Is sonship the basis of priesthood?

J.T. That is the way Scripture presents it. Hebrews works it out in that way. The Son is Priest.

J.C.S. It has taken the form of priesthood because of the existence of unholy conditions here?

J.T. Yes, having in view holy conditions for God's service, in spite of unholiness around; in spite of will in us, and all that we are conscious of in the flesh. When out of the flesh and out of fleshly conditions, there will be no need for that; there will be nothing to restrain at all.

A.W. Service will continue through eternity.

J.T. Quite so, but the primary thought is sonship -- "Let my son go", so that in Ephesians we are said to be predestinated unto sonship by Jesus Christ to God Himself.

A.W. Then the priestly idea will cease?

J.T. It is just an added thought to enable the service to go on in spite of adverse conditions; the priest is the guarantee for that, that is, the priestly state. Even if it be a question of recovery in an erring saint, that is the sort of thing that is needed, "ye who are spiritual restore such a one" (Galatians 6:1). Paul treats of it under a different name, but it is the same thing; it is a question of spirituality.

A.W. It is a relative idea as over against unspirituality. What do you set over against priesthood, it being a relative thought?

J.T. Spiritual is a relative thought over against what is unspiritual; spirituality will remain, but it has a relative bearing here. Priesthood is over against unrighteousness, unholiness, and ignorance. The priest is to be clothed with righteousness, and

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have compassion on the ignorant and erring. Intelligence also goes with priesthood.

S.H.B. What is spontaneous will abide and go on.

J.T. Love springing out of known relationship with God, the relationship into which we are brought, answering to His counsel; sonship is in His mind. One of the divine Persons took on sonship, so that the thought should be presented, and that we should be brought into it.

S.H.B. With priesthood is there a measure of responsibility?

J.T. Clearly. They were to abide in the sanctuary, (Leviticus 8), seven days; meaning the whole period of testimony here, to "keep the charge of the Lord". Peter confines the thought to the offering of "spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ", but John in Revelation 1:6 says that Christ has "made us a kingdom, priests to his God". We shall be priests in the millennium, according to Revelation 20:6, but priests "of God", not 'to God'.

C.A.I. Does priesthood apply as long as recovery from the evil that has come in is in view -- the resolution of the moral question?

J.T. That is how it stands in Scripture. As I was remarking, God uses the formula "that they may serve me as priests", some six times in these chapters. It is not as sons, although that is God's thought underlying priesthood, but He says, "as priests". It is because of the conditions we have to contend with, lest we may forget in our service the fleshly elements we have to encounter.

J.C. Would priesthood emphasise the fact that God is light, whereas sonship emphasises the holy nature of God?

J.T. Yes; what He is as against evil is seen in

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priesthood. Sonship involves the relationship of Father into which He has come. We are to be sons of God, as well as sons of the Father, but the relationship and affections are expressed in the term "Father;" a term intelligible to every parent and well known from Adam onward. God is pleased to come into that relationship so as to effect His counsels. Man, in Christ, is now before Him capable of yielding fully the affections which He sought. He found His delight in Christ, and we, as sons, come into this.

E.W.C. Does it involve that the sphere of relationship is separated from the sphere of service?

J.T. Well, the Son serves. It is a family thought. The Lord says, "my Father and your Father" -- that is a family thought, and the service enters into that, but then there is added to that, "my God and your God", and service enters into that, too. The family side is more intelligible to us; it is easier to enter into, but the great end that God has in mind is God Himself. He is to be served by sons.

Ques. Does priesthood imply distance, but sonship the nearer circle?

J.T. Priesthood is an office. It is like a garment which a son wears in a certain setting; it is the token of his position in office. The word 'office' will be hardly in force at all in eternal relations, but it is in force now. Hence the great variety seen in the habiliments of the high priest and the sons of the high priest. These all refer to characteristics put on in the power of the Spirit, bearing on adverse conditions. All these habiliments allude to that; expressive of love, in care and vigilance. Every item of the habiliments has some meaning; it is put on, it is a feature put on in view of conditions, as certain animals have furs or growths to meet certain conditions which would not exist if the conditions did not exist.

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J.C.S. If I understand you aright, the idea of priestly service runs along with the covenant and the family idea.

J.T. The idea of service runs along, but priesthood is more properly connected with the covenant, I think. While we are in the flesh we need the priestly thought, and even in the millennium, although Satan is bound, and death annulled in the main, yet the priesthood runs on -- the need for it is there.

J.C.S. The covenant and the family idea run on concurrently now.

J.T. Yes. If our service is to come up to the thought of God it must include both the covenant thought and the family thought, but the covenant is on lower ground.

C.F.I. For us to approach the thought of priesthood we must be conscious of sonship?

J.T. That is the idea. There can be no service acceptable to God save in sonship, its spring is there. You will find in the most spiritual of our hymns, that is how it stands; the relation in which we are set with God is the basic thought of all.

C.H.H. Would sonship imply the dignity in which priesthood is taken up?

J.T. Sonship gives it the dignity, but priesthood protects us. As I was saying, if you take the land animals or the fowls as they were created, I suppose just what they were physically was indicated by their growth, their forms and characteristics. Then as they spread abroad on the earth they had to do with the elements; if they went north, then in view of cold, the growth would be to meet it. I am speaking only illustratively. What we get in priesthood is not of course what develops in us naturally, but only in the sense of spiritual development, but God orders it -- it is imperative, it must be so.

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P.L. His priests are clothed with salvation, is that the idea?

J.T. Just so, that is one most important feature. It means that I am saved characteristically from the influences of the world. And the priests are to be clothed with righteousness, too. That was David's desire in view of the divine dwelling -- that the priests of God should be clothed with righteousness. God acknowledges that and says, "clothed with salvation" too. Righteousness is one thought, and salvation another. Both are represented in the priests' clothes. You could hardly conceive of anything more important, if we are to take part the service of God, than that we are not only accounted righteous by the death of Christ, but we are to be practically righteous also, otherwise we can have no part in the service. For we must serve as priests, reminding us that we are not only sons through believing the gospel, but the priestly state must be there.

P.L. So that when the writer of Hebrews is clothing our Aaron, so to speak, in the light of the scripture in Exodus, he adds, He also loved righteousness and hated lawlessness.

J.C.S. Is the necessity for holiness borne out by the fact that the sphere of service was the sanctuary or the holy place?

J.T. The word "sanctuary" meant that it was a holy enclosure. It is the enclosure in which the service is carried on, and the priesthood corresponds to it as having these clothes. I think if the brethren would notice the formula, "serve me as priests" over against serving as sons, we would see what is meant. There is not a word about sonship in the two chapters that speak of priesthood in Exodus, whereas the introductory thought of service is in the son.

E.B.McC. The thought in Hebrews, too, is that

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priesthood is for the ignorant and those out of the way, and beset with infirmities.

J.T. That is one thing, the ignorant and erring; and the law of divine requirements governing the service and governing the whole economy is to be kept by the priests. They are custodians of the law. So that in Leviticus, where we have the subject taken up in actual application, we have seven chapters devoted to the law, the law governing the offerings, as Peter says, "spiritual sacrifices", before we have the installation of the priests. That is, they are seen as exercising their office as each man brought his offering, and then they are installed in chapter 8 -- "Aaron and his sons".

Ques. "For such a high priest became us" (Hebrews 7:26). Would that have any bearing?

J.T. Well, it has, only it is not in evidence in our chapters. The basis of that remark is "us", that is, the greatness of the persons to be represented in the priest. It is not 'became God' there. In Hebrews 2:10 it is that it became God. "It became him ... in bringing many sons to glory, to make perfect the leader of their salvation through sufferings". That became God. In chapter 7 it is "such a high priest became us", because of the greatness of the saints in view of the heavenly calling. We need such a high priest as that, and then it says, "holy, harmless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and become higher than the heavens". Wonderful that we need such an One! It lifts us from all the littleness of what we are in the flesh to "holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling".

E.B.McC. Would the youths in Exodus 24 who offered, have on something akin to these garments? They would be morally qualified before Moses could send them to offer.

J.T. That has to be assumed. They are not said to be priests, although serving as priests; but when

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we come to chapter 28 God is asserting what is required by Him: "that they may serve me as priests". As has been remarked, sonship is the basis of priesthood, and that shows the terrible character of the uprising in christendom, in men who are not converted at all assuming to be priests. The whole clerical system you may say is responsible and is involved in that; the idea of priesthood is assumed aside from sonship.

P.L. Is that why the Lord as the "Son of God" joins issue with Thyatira?

J.T. Just so. That is where you see the idea of priesthood especially set up in man in the flesh. I suppose you see it in the Romish system more fully than anywhere else; although Anglicans also use the term, and the idea attaches to everyone in the clerical office. It makes the assumption to be priests aside from being sons a serious matter.

J.C. Would you say a little in connection with Nadab and Abihu, and strange fire?

J.T. That shows that even the real priesthood may fail and has failed, but the more serious thing is in Numbers 16, where the Levites assumed to be priests, because they were Levites; not sons of Aaron. Meaning that persons who have gift and who are serving in the gospel and the like are assuming to be priests. That is pretty much what the clerical system means. It does not attach to the laity, who are shut out from the priesthood in the general thought.

J.C.S. Do you not think there is a danger of the saints being invaded by that idea, that everyone feels he has a right to say something?

J.T. Yes. In the assembly we must speak as priests, that is, as in the service of God. That means we are spiritual, and not only so, but intelligent and holy in our thoughts, practically righteous publicly. If I am not clothed with righteousness, I have no

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right to speak nor to be in the fellowship, and if I am not able to judge the world and refuse it, I am not fit for the service of God. Added to that is the idea of holiness.

J.C.S. These are the conditions that are necessary for ascending to the hill of the Lord.

A.W. According to Exodus the priests had to be suitably dressed for going into the presence of Jehovah.

J.T. That is exactly what we are trying to stress. It is "serve me as priests", not as sons. God will not say that by-and-by when there is no evil around us, but now in the presence of evil He is speaking; at Sinai in the wilderness, where the evil is, He is taking account of conditions, so He stresses priesthood.

J.C.S. It is a very great triumph morally that God has a company of priests in the world.

J.T. It is a wonderful thing that there are such garments as priests' clothes, and it is remarkable that in remnant times -- and ours are remnant times -- Nehemiah makes so much of priests' garments. Coming back from Babylon we are apt to carry Babylonish garments with us, hence the need of priestly garments to replace them.

C.H.H. The high priest's garments were for glory and ornament. All the moral features in the saints would be anticipated in that way.

J.T. Well, quite so. The priestly system seen typically in our chapter of course includes Christ as now in heaven. The principal habiliments refer to the high priest; what Christ wears -- the ephod, the breast-plate, the chequered vest, the cloak, and the turban, and all that. All this refers to the high priest only; so we have to grasp the thought of Christ first, in order to see what is meant. Then in verse 40 to the end, we have the application to all of us, the sons of Aaron, but in both cases we are associated

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with Him and He with us, and we have the formula, "they may serve me as priests". "That he may serve me" would refer to Christ. Christ takes up the service first as we see in the gospels, particularly in Luke, and then He is ascended into heaven in Acts and the saints are associated with Him. The coming down of the Spirit is the inauguration of the priestly family on earth, so that the service should go on.

P.L. The coming of the Spirit according to Luke is connected with clothing.

J.T. That is important -- "till ye be clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49) -- not 'heaven' it is moral dignity.

C.A.I. Would the idea be that the clothing is available thus?

J.T. It is, only that it includes your own exercises; that you have the clothing, and in order to see the moral side working out, bondmanship I think has to be noted in Exodus 21, and seen there typically in Christ. Romans works it out in every saint. We begin with the idea of yielding ourselves bondmen to God, and our members instruments of righteousness to God, and on that line we have our "fruit unto holiness, and the end eternal life".

Ques. Is service to mark the saints throughout eternity?

J.T. Clearly. God intends that. He says, "Let my son go, that he may serve me", and in Revelation we are told that "his servants shall serve him".

S.H.B. What a sense of dignity these garments give! The Lord would help us to touch the matters of every-day life on a higher level.

J.T. These garments are to be seen, they are practical righteousness and salvation, and then the helmet or turban, with the plate in it, "Holiness to the Lord", is to prevent natural ability, mental ability. In no way are we more exposed in the

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allowance of our minds than in the holy things of God, treating them merely in a mental way.

J.C.S. You have specifically before you the assembly in function, so to speak.

J.T. Yes, the full thought of God is when we are together "in assembly". These holy garments are seen, from Christ down to ourselves, they are all there.

S.H.B. Would the thought of serving God refer to the whole of our time here, or only to such time as convened?

J.T. It is when we are convened we get the full thought; we are for God. Romans helps us -- we should "be to another", entirely abstracted that we might serve in newness of spirit. But our attitude is that of service all the time; service Godward and service manward. Priesthood is attached to both sides. We have the two thoughts in Peter's epistle. The first is a holy priesthood, that is the inward attitude or bearing of our service, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Then the royal priesthood is mentioned later by Peter to show forth -- that is external -- the virtues of Christ "who has called you out of darkness to his wonderful light". So that priesthood is attached to both positions.

J.C.S. Do you think a priest in his service would resent any intrusion of nature, and his part would not only be intelligent, but there would be a spiritual flavour with it?

J.T. Quite so. Spiritual flavour is good. Intelligence, too, is a great part of priesthood. Of course we say a simple person, a young brother speaking simply is very good. You may have a young brother taking part for the first time, he may speak brokenly, but that would be like chapter 24 of Exodus, where the work is done without any reference to garments. God accepted that. It was

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Moses' suggestion that the youths should offer and no doubt they did the best they could. The point is it was done, and done in youthfulness. We have all felt that a young brother standing up for the first time in fulness of affection imparts a certain flavour. But the next time he stands up you look for the garments, and they should appear, because after that chapter, God imposes what is required for His service in the tabernacle, and particularly here in these two chapters. He has great regard for what is suitable to Him. So that the next time I take part I should certainly have respect for the garments, and thus I am progressive, advancing in the thought of garments. Paul says, "I will sing with the spirit", that is, with feeling, and not merely because I want to say something my spirit has indited; "I will sing also with the understanding" -- that is the priestly garment.

Romans gives us the basic features of priesthood. It is well for young christians especially to study Romans. At the outset the Lord is declared to be the "Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead" -- the Spirit of holiness. I believe that is introduced at the beginning of Romans to notify us that in receiving the gospel we receive it in that way. The element of everything is received in the gospel and has to be worked out in us; so when we come to chapter 5 we are seen as enriched. We have substance by the love of God being "shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit". Then in chapter 6 we begin to look towards the position "in Christ". We are to regard ourselves as "in Christ", and to regard ourselves as bondmen to God and our members as instruments of righteousness to God, and so have our fruit unto holiness. We must have holiness. Then in chapter 7 we are said to serve "in newness of spirit". In chapter 6 it is "newness

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of life", and in chapter 7 it is newness of spirit. In chapter 12 we have the renewing of our mind -- newness of mind. In understanding these statements you get to see what God requires worked out in our beings. Then the Spirit in chapter 8 is the great power for it all; even as to prayer, we are told He makes intercession with groanings; He intercedes for the saints according to God. We get the sense in ourselves in speaking to God of what is in the groaning of the Spirit; and not only so, but we cry, "Abba, Father". According to Galatians, the Spirit cries, "Abba, Father" first, and we say it by the spirit of adoption; that is chapter 8 of Romans; so that the Holy Spirit leads us on in that way.

J.C.S. The features observed in Romans are the priestly tendencies that are to be developed in us.

J.T. That is right. They are woven into our very beings as the outcome of the gospel presented to us; Christ declared to be Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by resurrection of the dead.

P.L. Is that seen as the fruit of the gospel as presented in Luke -- you have a priestly company praising in the temple? They were the fruit of the presentation of what is developed in Romans in doctrine, but presented in Luke as praising God.

J.T. That is the end in view. They returned to Jerusalem with great joy -- they had substance. They are blessed -- the Lord blessed them. They "were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God". The epistle to the Romans should have produced in Rome, in the very capital of the empire, a priestly company -- that is what is in mind -- a priestly company in newness of life. First enrichment in chapter 5; newness of life and holiness in chapter 6; newness of spirit in chapter 7; the Spirit itself interceding with groanings which cannot be uttered; the spirit of adoption crying,

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"Abba, Father;" the sons of God led by the Spirit of God in chapter 8; and then the renewing of the mind and knowing how to present a sacrifice -- your bodies -- in chapter 12. The sacrifice is to be "holy, acceptable to God, which is your intelligent service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind". All that was to be developed in the saints in Rome. Luke would confirm that; his gospel would confirm Paul's ministry. He continues the subject in his second treatise until he shows you the apostle Paul himself in Rome, the testimony is there, he is a prisoner, but still he is there. The Spirit presented in Romans 8 is the power for all the things we meet with. The chapter is wonderful from this point of view; it contemplates the end of the wilderness. Chapter 6 is the beginning of the journey, but chapter 8 contemplates we are in the plains of Moab, safely carried through, equal to the service of God -- sons -led by the Spirit, by the Spirit of adoption; crying, "Abba, Father;" God's Spirit witnessing with our spirit that we are children of God. Then the Spirit is interceding for us "with groanings which cannot be uttered. But he who searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for saints according to God". Following on that we are seen victorious in the power of the Spirit.

J.C.S. The garments generally are ornamental, but what about the linen breeches, which were very plain? What do they represent?

J.T. They represent sobriety where the flesh is strongest, fleshly feelings -- they represent that side. We have the head taken account of, and the breast and the girdle of the loins, the linen breeches. Linen is the covering downwards. I believe the idea is of our being sober, balanced in the part we take in the things of God; we are not to be governed by natural

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feelings in any way. Sobriety is the thought in linen, I think.

P.L. The spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet.

J.T. Quite so. Paul says, I keep under my body, which would mean he never allowed it to govern him. Whether it be a sick body, or an athletic body -- whatever it be -- he never allowed it to control him; he was always in control of it. Self-control is the fruit of the Spirit.

J.C. Would the thought of consecration begin by our being bondmen to God as in Romans?

J.T. That is the way it would work out with any one of us. Take a young believer presenting his body; that means he has control of it, but it is not a dead body. In chapter 8 it says, the body is dead on account of sin, if Christ be in you, but the Spirit is life on account of righteousness. The Spirit is in the christian, and that is now the only power of life in him. Physical life is not in mind; it is the moral side. The body once actuated by sinful motions is dead, if Christ be in you, but the Spirit is life in view of righteousness; henceforth I am righteous practically. Chapters 9 - 11 are parenthetical, then in chapter 12 the christian path is resumed. There the believer is besought by the compassions of God to present his body a living sacrifice. That alludes to chapter 8, where the Spirit is owned: "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your intelligent service".

E.B.McC. We need Colossians and Ephesians as well, to reach the last chapter of Luke -- in the temple praising God?

J.T. Quite so. There is the power from on high.

C.H.H. Are the garments progressive in our spiritual history, or are they characteristic?

J.T. The idea is progressive. It is to be noticed that John does not admit of any faith being valid

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which is not progressive. If it is stationary, it has ceased to be faith characteristically. He tells us that the Lord took small cords and drove out from the temple the sheep and oxen; and that the disciples remembered that it is written, "The zeal of thy house devours me". They remembered that; they were not appalled at such drastic action as the Lord took. There are those who say that you are too severe, and are demanding too much; that you must be broad-minded and take in every christian, and that sort of thing; but that will not do. The disciples, when the Lord made the whip of small cords, did not make any objection to what He did, but remembered rather what the Scripture said about that very thing. They were with Him in what He did, which required faith. Then the Lord proceeded to speak about the temple of His body, that He should raise it up; and it says, His disciples remembered what He had said, after He was raised, and they believed the scripture and the words of Jesus. They carried the thoughts through. Their faith was progressive. That is what is so needed amongst us.

C.H.H. Absolute perfection is seen in the Lord and progression in the disciples. I was thinking of the voice from heaven saying, "Thou art my beloved Son".

J.T. God begins with that, the highest thought at the Jordan, and everything that follows is to lead us up to that. The company at the end of Luke is the great result: "praising and blessing God" in the temple. They are amenable to His leading; another great feature in Luke. Having instructed them, opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written. He spoke of the law, the prophets, and the Psalms -- the whole Bible -- and then He led them out as far as to Bethany. They are amenable to His leading, and He went up from them there. He was received up into heaven; thus heaven

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is expressing its corresponding delight in Him, as at the beginning, at the Jordan. He is received up, "And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem". They knew what to do, they are like sons of God, led of the Spirit of God, add are "continually in the temple, praising and blessing God".

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CHRIST AS MODEL IN SUPERIORITY TO CIRCUMSTANCES

Luke 10:21; Luke 11:1; Luke 21:37; Luke 22:39

The Lord's position as in these verses is in the way of example. Matthew, in the same setting as we have in Luke 10, records the Lord's words, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me" (Matthew 11:29). He formally presents Himself there as a Model, calling attention to what He was -- "meek and lowly in heart".

I might have spoken from that passage, but I was minded to speak from Luke, so as to bring out from the Lord's example that the saints should learn how to become accustomed to spiritual buoyancy. Luke presents the testimony -- the Lord's ministry -- in this connection. Luke's gospel is marked by it throughout, ending up, as you will recall, with our Lord extending His hands in blessing His disciples, and as in this attitude being "carried up into heaven", or, as we are told elsewhere, "received up in glory". The disciples, instead of being depressed or discouraged, returned to Jerusalem, the place of testimony, and were "continually in the temple, praising and blessing God". That is how the gospel ends, as you will remember, and that is how it is presented to us. It is the testimony of the gospel in the saints as marked by a spirit of holy buoyancy, the spirit of victory indeed.

Hence you will find in the chapter that presents it supremely -- chapter 15 of this gospel -- that the Lord is seen as a Shepherd, losing one of His sheep and finding it; and He calls persons together to rejoice with Him for He has found His sheep. A great benefaction had accrued to the sheep, but the joy was with the Bestower, and others are called into it. Then again the woman who loses a piece of silver

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and finds it, also calls her friends and neighbours together and asks them to rejoice with her. All this reflects what was going on in heaven. The father of the prodigal does not call his friends and neighbours, what is in view there is more blessed even than that; nor is it presented as a figure of what is in heaven. The prodigal had spoken to himself of hired servants, and that he would be one, too, indicating how little he understood what was before him, and what the gospel proposed.

As he reached his father, there is no word about hired servants. The hireling flees, we are told, he does not belong to that holy place, that association, but the bondman does; the bondmen are called upon to serve, dear brethren. It is christianity that is in mind, when there are no hired servants, but bondmen. The idea of a bondman, in this sense, is one who loves. The Lord Jesus, indeed, is figured to us in the type of the Hebrew bondman, as you well know, as One who loves. One who was possessed of love; One that ascends, but who comes down in descending love, and horizontal love, and in ascending love, too.

These are the features, beloved brethren, that belong to christianity, and they decide the future of the prodigal. The father says -- we all know the beautiful language -- "Bring out the best robe, and clothe him in it, ... and bring the fatted calf and kill it; and let us eat and make merry". The bondmen surely understood; they were not hired servants. Hired servants, today, mark the christian profession, but they are not the ones that are called upon to bring out things, these bondmen are persons who can go inside where the best things are kept, and bring them out. Then we have the father's words, "let us eat and make merry". The picture shows music and dancing inside; the bearing of Luke 15 is inward, it is not our relief. Divine

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Persons are working for Their own satisfaction, and bring others into it. The music and the dancing went on. The elder brother had no taste for that; the father did not honour him with the pronoun 'we'. He justifies what is going on, that is the point today. "It was right to make merry and rejoice", he said. How important is the word, "it was right". That settles everything. It was right to make merry, not that 'we should', not that the elder brother should be in it. The father is justifying what is current; the state of spiritual merriment "was right". It adds in verse 24, "And they began to make merry" -- there is no end to that. There is instruction to follow up what has already begun on the divine side, "they began to make merry". Why should I not be in that? If I do not have any part in it, I shall have very little effect in my testimony or preaching, for I do not rightly represent the position. The point is to represent the position that God has brought about.

Well, the Lord, in chapter 10, at a crucial hour, "rejoiced in spirit". I apprehend that Luke has in mind to set out how the early christians, the apostles and others who were with the Lord, were formed according to what He was, not only by what He said, but by who He was, and what marked Him under certain circumstances. We are all brought, more or less, if we are in any way with God, into critical circumstances from time to time; it is the making of us spiritually to experience critical circumstances. The apostle Paul speaks of his "despair even of living", such a terrible pressure came upon him. But through the experience he was the more qualified to write his second letter to the Corinthians; and what a letter it was! It was the letter of a man brought out of a crisis with God. He says, "God ... who has delivered us from so great a death, and does

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deliver; in whom we confide that he will also yet deliver" (2 Corinthians 1:10).

These crises are the making of us, but let us go through them, dear brethren, in this way, confiding in God. As it says of David, he "strengthened himself in Jehovah his God" at a great and serious crisis when his men talked of stoning him, (1 Samuel 30:6). Then he called for the ephod. So here the Lord rejoices in spirit. He had just been denouncing the cities where most of His mighty works were done, for they were rejecting Him. The greatest possible testimony had been presented to them, and they were rejecting it. Capernaum itself, which had been raised up to heaven, should be thrust down to hell, because they were rejecting His mighty works, and rejecting Him, but He rejoices in spirit. He says, "I praise thee, Father". I am presenting that as a model for us in these days of pressure; that we may learn how to turn to God in holy buoyancy, in holy victory, as knowing Him. It says, "David strengthened himself in Jehovah his God:" and we see here, how Jesus, in keeping with this book, strengthened Himself, as we may say, supremely, as He "rejoiced in spirit" in that crisis. And what is the occasion of it? These disciples were recording their victory, and the thought had come into His mind that they were to be in heaven with Him; that their names were written there. Not simply that they were known, but they had names; every one in heaven will have distinction, and will be distinguished by a name. He calls the stars by name; infinite in number as they seem to be, and in variety, He calls them all by name. And He says, "your names". Can I take that home -- that my name is written in heaven? The thought of it causes joy of heart, dear brethren. He is going to have us there, He is going to have us in all the dignity that He has put upon us. What the work of God implies, as expressed in the name;

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our names are there. I apprehend our names in heaven are potential, they represent what we shall be brought to, and what we shall be there. There will not be a single discrepancy between my name as it is there, and what I shall be there -- and the Lord rejoiced in the thought!

Moreover, He says to His Father, "thou hast hid these things from wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to babes". God is doing that today; the truth has been hidden; a sorrowful thing, for it is judicial; man has despised it, and God is resentful. He bears long, but He is resentful and He hides from certain ones and reveals to others. That is what He is doing every day. It shows what the public official christendom is losing, but, on the other hand, those who have things spiritually are being added to every day. "To him that hath shall be given". That is going on, and is causing joy to Jesus. He says, God is doing that -- "thou hast hid these things from wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to babes: yea, Father, for thus it has been well-pleasing in thy sight". The history of the assembly here, however sorrowful and dark at times, always yields something to Christ, I am sure of that. There has always been something to cause Him joy, and I want to be in that, I want to cause joy to Christ. He is making known some things to me that He is hiding from others; that is going on, beloved brethren, and we want to be in it, for it brings joy to Christ. Our meetings of this kind remind us of what is going on.

Well now, as I said, David had recourse to the ephod in a time of severest pressure, (1 Samuel 30), and here, Luke 11, the Lord is praying "in a certain place". Prayer and joy are concurrent; God indeed promises to make us joyful in His house of prayer, (Isaiah 56:7). Prayer expresses dependence on God. The ephod is the priestly garment particularly,

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and David had recourse to it, marking him off as truly a priest. That is the next thing we are to have in mind, the position calls for this, it calls for joy, as the apostle says, "Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice" (Philippians 4:4). Without prayer there will be no continuance of this joy, and so the Lord is "in a certain place praying". Now that word "place" reminds us of much. There is so much current today in certain places to cause sorrow. I have no doubt the word "place" alludes to the early part of chapter 10, and again to the end of the same chapter, where it speaks of "a certain village", where there was a complaining sister, and a sister who is in accord with the spirit of the moment. This section of Luke includes the mount of transfiguration, and that mount implies that Jesus, according to the mind of heaven, is to be listened to. The Voice says, "Hear him". Mary is occupied with that, she is in the spirit of the moment, a great matter! It is a spiritual thing. It is a great matter to be in the spirit of the moment, to be in accord with it. As surely as I am in accord with it, I shall be persecuted by someone, maybe my nearest relative; it was so in this case. The persecutor was not only persecuting her sister, but the Lord. She was accusing the Lord. It is a local matter, and I speak of it now, because of so many local difficulties. How are they to be met? Certainly not in a complaining, or discouraged, or depressed spirit, but in heavenly buoyancy, because I am victorious myself. If I am not, I cannot help in these circumstances; I can but add to the sorrow if I touch it. It is nearly certain that I shall get into the current of the enemy if I touch it, apart from being myself in victory.

This wholly relates to heaven, as we see in the beginning of chapter 11; there is the spirit of prayer, the Lord was praying in a certain place.

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An important word there, because He is a Model here. In Luke 6:12 He prayed all night, the length of His prayer is stressed, how burdened He was! But here, we are not told of its length, the passage centres on the word "ceased:" an important word in our meetings for prayer. I should have the end in mind and not meander on. The Lord ceased, and the disciples waited until He ceased. We have to wait until our brethren cease. 1 Corinthians 14 contemplates that while I am speaking, I become conscious that another should be speaking and I cease. It is very important to learn how to cease. The Lord ceased from prayer and the disciples saw Him. I should like to have seen the Lord in prayer. One of His disciples wanted the Lord to teach them to pray. He must have the pre-eminence in all things, and certainly in prayer. He immediately says, "When ye pray, say, Father". That is to say, He puts the terms of relationship, involving liberty, into our mouths, and into our hearts, showing that prayer is not to be forced or legal, but in liberty. He tells them to say, "Father, thy name be hallowed". The Lord's formula here has in mind local conditions. The name of Father is to be hallowed; it is not to be used lightly; not to be profaned by light usage; it is a question of what is spiritual; we say "Father" by "the spirit of adoption" (Romans 8:15). That is, we know how to pray. "Thy name be hallowed". That implies the divine name is used with reverence. "Father, thy name be hallowed; thy kingdom come". That is to say, let God's power come in; there is no other power than the power of God to meet these matters, and it is available to us.

Well now, the passage in chapter 21: 37 alludes to a place of spiritual resort. The Lord sets the example in that. John alludes to this on one occasion only in his gospel, saying that others went

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to their own homes, "but Jesus went to the mount of Olives" (John 8:1). The reflection is on those who had been with Him, "every one went to his home". Luke does not mention that, but that the Lord was teaching during the day. Those of us who have any little part in the service know how onerous it is, not only physically, but in regard of our obtaining from the Lord what is needed and suitable to present to the saints. That causes the greatest labour. Now the Lord sets us the example here as to that, daily He taught in the temple. How untiring His work must have been! Ready to answer questions, ready for anything that came up to help men to take any opportunity for this! But then, what about the night? This is a searching matter as to where one spends one's nights, in this sense. The night is distinguished from the day. The night is the special time of secret resource. It was the period of the Lord's secret intercourse with heaven. Where is it? The mount of Olives. It is a matter, dear brethren, to be looked into. Indeed, I believe it is intended to suggest, to use a well-known term, an out-of-the-world state of things, not exactly heaven, but an out-of-the-world state of things. Jerusalem represents the world, the sphere of testimony and public toil; it is not the sphere in which one lives. There is another sphere for that, as I said, an out-of-the-world one. It involves the power of abstraction or withdrawal from what is seen and public, so that we draw upon what is invisible, which alone suffices for the public service; that is, that one draws from heaven. The mount of Olives was the place of heavenly resource; the Lord was accustomed to go there. It was not here like going to Bethany; we are told elsewhere, He went and spent a night at Bethany, but the point here is the mount of Olives, which has its own meaning in Scripture.

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Matthew and Mark tell us that the Lord as having instituted His supper, instructed His disciples about the new covenant and the cup, and then they sang a hymn, and they went to the mount of Olives. No doubt the Lord did, too, but that is not the point there. The point is to bring in a moral state of things, so that there is united movement; that we might move together to that place, laying the basis for assembly service. The Lord here is leading the way. This, He says, is My place of resource; every night I am here. You see what a Person He is! His resources were all there, as a dependent Man He was out of view. You could not find Him in Jerusalem, nor anywhere save here. "By night ... he remained abroad on the mountain called the mount of Olives". He was accustomed to be there. What times must have been spent there by the Lord alone! but He says, "I am not alone". He speaks of being "alone; and yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me" (John 16:32). He had always His Father to go to (the Father is the source of all), to receive of Him strength, as a Man, a dependent Man here. How essential that is for preaching! With what power He would come into the temple and preach!

In the next passage, chapter 22: 39, He goes there and His disciples follow Him. It is no doubt the same occasion, but not as Matthew and Mark record it. It is not here that they went there, but that He went there, it was His custom to go. Now it is a question of His sufferings, He is entering into them, not from Gethsemane, but from the heavenly side -- and as to ourselves, how differently we enter them from the heavenly side. It is a question of the power of the Spirit of God, supporting us through suffering. So you will notice that His disciples follow Him here. The time had come for that, the time has come for that, and in view of the intensest suffering, as following Him, we have recourse to an out-of-

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the-world state of things: we follow. We shall go through the sufferings buoyantly in power with the Lord; feeling everything as it should be felt, but going through them in power -- and therein lies the testimony. It is what one is in suffering, in persecution -- that is the testimony; not the mere sufferings, but what one is in them.

That is what Luke presents to us, what Christ was in going through the sufferings, how supported He was. He went to the mount of Olives, not to Gethsemane here, as I said, and He finds spiritual support, and is in accord with heaven in the acutest sufferings. Hence the Lord as presented in Luke is evangelical on the cross, showing that I can be evangelical, and in spiritual buoyancy in the severest sufferings, as maintaining my touch with heaven, drawing my resources from the true spiritual source. Hence He evangelises on the cross, as I might say. The thief was saved there; and the Lord says to His Father, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). Beautiful words, denoting the Lord's infinite superiority to the sufferings. Luke presents these examples in testimony, so that having to do with things that involve suffering and maybe call forth our natural resentment, we may have the Lord before us as Model. As soon as ever mere natural resentment shows itself, I have lost my power. It is what I am as going through the thing that is the victory, that is, as I am in a forgiving spirit.

How are all these sorrows that have come up and exist in different localities, to be met? They are to be met in this way. I am outside the thing myself, I do not get into the quagmire, therefore I can help others. "But others save with fear, snatching them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh" (Jude 23). You snatch them out; you do not

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leave them there; it is a question of power; "hating even the garment spotted by the flesh". Some are to be saved, Jude says, let us save them. Luke would teach us how to save them.

May God bless these thoughts to this end!

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GOD CALLING ATTENTION TO HIS PEOPLE

Matthew 3:16, 17; Genesis 20:7; Exodus 4:22, 23

What I have to say will bear on the presence of the people of God on earth, not so much as having a heavenly destiny and being already heavenly, but what would bear on our position on earth; and how God calls the attention of the world to us, that is to christians. How He informs the world, or its representatives, of what His people are towards it and for the world's benefit, and what they are as in the world towards God and for His benefit.

I read in Matthew so as to bring out the full divine thought in this respect, for we have to come to Christ for this, whatever may be in mind. We have to find it in Christ first. It is in Him God is pleased to set out all His thoughts, not only in principle, but in detail, in concrete detail. As here in flesh, the Lord Jesus is seen in the types, as anointed without dying -- without blood, so that His service was not on the ground of redemption in regard to Himself -- it was carried on on the ground of His own Person. He was announced on that ground, and so the voice from heaven is mentioned in Matthew 3:17 saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight". Not all My delight, it does not say that, but My delight, leaving room for a great extension of what is there. From whom the voice was is not stated here.

In Mark and Luke the voice was directly to the Lord Himself; saying, "Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I have found my delight". That was for Himself in view of His service; an important pattern, that those who serve are to serve in the sense of divine complacency -- even delight. Thus the service is not only beneficial to those who hear, but

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also pleasing to God. That is what Mark and Luke have in mind. Matthew uses another pronoun: "This is my beloved Son", showing that it was for other ears as well as for the Lord Jesus, and inasmuch as these ears are not specified it is obvious that the pronouncement bears universally. It is for all to hear. It resounds throughout the centuries, on earth and in heaven. It was intended for other ears, as I have said, as well as those of Jesus, but inasmuch as they are not specified or limited, obviously it has universal bearing. God has His own way of causing His words to travel. It may take time, but if He intends them for certain ears, these ears will hear. It says indeed elsewhere, "The Lord gives the word: great the host of the publishers" (Psalm 68:11). I suppose the publishers have continued ever since. No doubt a goodly number heard, and the point is that the words are to be heard by human ears.

On the mount of transfiguration we have the same thought. Peter says in a feeling, worshipful way, "this voice we heard". It was a voice from the excellent glory, and we heard it, he says, "when we were with him on the holy mount". Then, according to this same evangelist, it is said, "Hear him". The reference therefore on the mount is further and alludes obviously to the persons who were there. Persons represented in Peter who proposed to make three tabernacles there -- one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elias -- a very unintelligent proposal, showing that the speaker had not as yet seized, although he had great opportunity, the truth of the great Person who was there. He had just heard by revelation that this Person was no less than Christ, the Son of the living God, and yet he would place Moses and Elias on the same level with Jesus, and heaven's voice was to correct that -- to put Jesus alone in His personal dignity. Moses had been heard, Elias had been heard and

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are being heard, and the Lord Himself especially stresses that Moses should be heard, but the truth is brought out that the Moses that was to be heard got his message from this same Jesus -- no other. The writer of the tables on the mount was this same Jesus -- Jehovah; so that Peter was utterly at fault in placing Jesus on the level of Moses and Elias. "This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight: hear him" (Matthew 17:5). That is the word to christians; persons already owned. There are many who are hearing others, and many drifting, on the line of placing others on the same level as Jesus. This is very dangerous -- it is a very bad line -- it is to be rebuked, for we are to have fixedly in our souls and in our minds this great Person. He has no equal -- He is God. He who builds the house, Scripture says, "has more honour than the house ... he who has built all things is God" (Hebrews 3:3, 4). Christ is the Builder of all things and He is God; the One to hear.

We are not told here that it was the Father who spoke, but who can say "my beloved Son" other than the Father? and He says His delight is there. What an object for the attention of the universe is this, and for ourselves now at this very moment! The Father says, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight".

At this juncture He had come to the Jordan. The Lord never journeyed aimlessly; never took a holiday; never made the service of God a side line. All His journeys were taken with definiteness. He had journeyed from Galilee to the Jordan, we are told, with the express purpose of being baptised. Think of all that entered into His holy affections and mind at every step He took as He came to John! He had pleasure doubtless in seeing the people repentant and confessing their sins and being baptised by John. No one there would be more

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interested than He; but He had not come for that, He had come expressly to be baptised. It was a wonderful day, no day in John's ministry like it. Not that anyone who had been there says anything about it, but the great baptiser himself; he tells us what he saw. He does not say that he heard these words I have spoken of, but he does say that he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and abiding on Jesus. John saw that, and he was full of it, according to John the evangelist's account. Jesus had in mind to be baptised, and John questioned with Him and said, "I have need to be baptised of thee". That is very suitable. One has the fullest sympathy with John on this point, he was full of his own insignificance in the presence of this great and glorious Person. Indeed, we are told by the evangelist that John bore witness and "cried" about this, a cry which expressed in this feeling way his littleness in the presence of the Son of God. He "cried saying, This was he of whom I said, He that comes after me is preferred before me, for he was before me" (John 1:15). None of us naturally wishes to talk of persons who are preferred before us, especially in service. The natural heart seeks the pre-eminence, but the heart affected by the Spirit of God, instead of making much of itself, makes much of Christ.

The significance of John's remarks would be understood by those who knew the facts, for John was born before Jesus. He was older by some six months, so that reference is not to age in manhood, but to deity. He was before me, he says, twice or thrice. He says further, "the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to unloose". You can understand how genuine were John the baptist's feelings when he expostulated with Christ, saying, "I have need to be baptised of thee". The Lord says, "Suffer it now; for thus it becometh us" -- not becometh

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Me. How beautiful that is! He links John with Himself. He says to Peter later in this gospel, "Give it to them for me and thee". It is very affecting to be linked up by the Lord's own lips with Himself. Here he says, "Suffer it now; for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness". That word ALL is worthy of the largest capitals you can write it in, bringing out the Man, how that He was not only personally, on the ground of His deity, able to enter on this service, but He is equal to it morally and that is within the range of every one of us. All righteousness must be considered as attaching to a servant before he enters on his service, and indeed in every connection. "Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness", for one is not in salvation unless one is righteous. So John suffered Him, and He is baptised and He came up out of the water. Heaven's delight in Him personally is expressed, but the moral element is evident in His remarks; as He came up out of the water, heaven is opened to Him and He is saluted on those lines. Heaven found for the first time in a servant what suited it infinitely and says, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight". That is God calling the attention, as I said, of the universe to what He now has in testimony. In Matthew 12:18, quoted from Isaiah, it is said, "My servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, in whom my soul has found its delight".

Well, what I have remarked I think will be intelligible to all, as indicating the great general position of the testimony, what God has and what stands. Christ has gone into heaven, but John says we know that the Son of God has come -- not come and gone, morally there is no change in this position. The Lord says, "Behold, I am with you all the days, until the completion of the age". Redemption accomplished, this is the great and glorious position, dear brethren, in which the testimony of God stands. The coming

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down of the Spirit brings us into it according to God and fills out the great thought, but this is the principle of the great position on which the testimony of God stands -- what God has here.

Now I want to go on to Genesis, first to show how in those early days God calls attention to what He had. All, of course, is anticipative of what I have been saying. There could be no Genesis, there could be no Exodus, there could be no Old Testament without the prospective coming of the Son of God, the Incarnation; so that He is before all things, He is first in everything. The historical coming of the Lord cannot weaken the fact that He is "the beginning, firstborn from among the dead, that he might have the first place in all things" (Colossians 1:18). So what we get in this chapter is founded on what I have been saying. It is God here calling attention to one saint in obscurity and indeed in suffering; his position so weak that his wife is taken away from him and he cannot overcome the situation himself, but God can. What this chapter shows is God's protection of His saints, and how He calls the attention of the representatives of the world to them. Here God calls the Philistine king's attention to this man whose wife he had taken, He says "he is a prophet". I am speaking, dear brethren, not merely to interest you in a historical matter of hundreds of years ago. The Scriptures are not written on that line at all; the Scriptures always speak to the persons who read them, or hear them read. That is, it is their present voice that God would impress upon us. We know that, above all persons, Abraham represents that, because we are told in Galatians that the Scriptures "announced beforehand the glad tidings to Abraham".

Such is the service of the Scriptures; they always speak to the persons who read them, and therefore, as to Abraham, so also to the feeblest christian in

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this room, or a christian who may be isolated and feels his feebleness. It may have never entered into your mind that God is protecting you in that position. Here a great disaster was pending, but it did not happen; and every christian should look up to God in the sense that he can count on His protection. The disaster did not happen, not because Abraham had any power in himself to prevent it. He had not, but God had, and God spoke to this man, this king of the Philistines, whom we may regard as being representative of authorities, and this is a great matter in the present time. God has a way of speaking to those in authority, and if He does speak, He has no pleasure in speaking to them about anything, but about Christ and His people here. We are feeble and the more we realise that, the stronger we are, but that is not a mere theory, it is something to take up in faith, for the great principle of the dispensation is faith.

If I am speaking now to those here who may be placed in feeble positions, two or three or more, this word is for you. It is for each one of us: in our conscious weakness, God takes up matters for us. At times it may be unknown to us; God's intervention was undoubtedly unknown to Abraham at the moment. See how God took up matters for Israel in the wilderness against the king of Moab. He works in an unseen way, but He also works governmentally in an outward way, and if He speaks at all, it is to call attention to what He has here representative of Himself. He says to Abimelech, this man that you are wronging is a prophet. He was very fair to the king, He said, I know your thoughts in this matter, but this man is a prophet. God is calling attention to this servant of His, Abraham, as a prophet, he represents Him, he is also a priest to Him; he is a prophet and he is a priest. Now what a great thing that is, God calling

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the attention of some great person or persons in this world to a few feeble christians and identifying Himself with them! He "is not ashamed of them, to be called their God", and not only so but He ennobles Abraham in telling the king that he is a prophet. Now prophecy is not to minister to God, it is for men; and moreover Abraham was a priest. He "will pray for thee", Jehovah says. One can picture how an intelligent man such as Abimelech would, in measure, be affected, that Jehovah Himself had called his attention to this man, and what he was; he was these two things. Whatever the king thought about him, and his thought of him was not enhanced by the fact that Abraham was not just courageous about his wife, he had denied her true relationship to him. Yet God says, I think much of him; he is representative of Me; he is a prophet.

What a thing it is that there should be a christian in any community who can convey the mind of God to men and who can pray for men! God would encourage us to take up that position; an assembly position, because that is the thought today; there is nothing less than that in principle while the dispensation continues. If there is one person like that, or "two of you", as the Lord says, He will support them in whatever they undertake in faith. The support of heaven is there, but I am speaking now of God calling attention to the saints -- that Abraham was a prophet and he would pray for Abimelech. And it was that he might live. Now you can understand that if Abraham was a vindictive man he would pray that he should die, should be crushed; but no, God says that he will pray for you, and pray for you that you might live. That is our position. The testimony today is that men might live and not die. The gospel announces that. God has no pleasure in the death of the

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wicked, He announces the gospel that all should come to the knowledge of the truth, that they might live. That is our position in relation to the world. We are feeble, but let us take up the position in faith. God loves us to take up what is accorded us. The Lord Himself says, "if two of you shall agree on the earth concerning any matter, whatsoever it may be that they shall ask, it shall come to them from my Father who is in the heavens". He goes on: "where two or three are gathered together unto my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:19, 20). So you see how much heaven thinks of our position here. In the next chapter Abraham is able to face this same Abimelech in power, and to exhibit before him the spirit that he should have. He says, there are seven ewe lambs for you; and what does that mean? It means that Abraham has the spirit of the heavenly man -- not the spirit of vengeance, but the spirit of Christ.

Now I go on to the well-known scripture in Exodus 4, to show you what is here for God; His portion. He says to Moses, "say to Pharaoh, Thus saith Jehovah: Israel is my son, my firstborn". It is a different message from the word to Abimelech, and it is not direct, it is through Moses, because in Exodus you have what is ministerial; it is now Moses and Aaron. The message comes through Moses, but it is plain, and it is about Israel. He says, "Israel is my son, my firstborn ... Let my son go, that he may serve me". That is the position in Exodus, and you can see how it is the counterpart of what I have been speaking of. Abraham was serving men, but Israel, as a son, was to serve God. You may say, serving man is serving God, because you carry out God's wishes, but this use of the word 'service' refers, as indeed in the New Testament, too, to our attitude towards God; something that is very much omitted in christendom. There is the idea of serving man, but very little service Godward, which is based

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on sonship. Think of God condescending to tell the Egyptian monarch that He had a son, and as I said before, there can be no meaning to this word at all except in view of the Incarnation. In fact, this verse is set in relation to Christ, carried through Hosea to the second chapter of Matthew. Christ was God's Son, and so He had to go to Egypt, and He is called out of Egypt. Thus it is really exemplified in the Lord Jesus, and exemplified now in those who are, through Him, sons. It involves sonship in Christ and sonship in men.

Now, dear brethren, we are on the plane of this great thought of God; He has been bringing it to our attention for years. It had, I may say, been lost to the church for centuries; now it has been restored, and it is one of the most attractive and liberating features of the truth. God is stressing it day and night amongst His people, and here in the beginning of Moses' ministry the king of Egypt is told about it. The word today is that we might take it to heart that God calls the attention of others to the position of the saints in this sense. God says to Pharaoh, If you do not let My son go to serve Me, I will slay your son. God forgets nothing. There is not a nation on earth the records of which are not kept accurately with God, and what happens to the various nations is not by chance, it is the outcome of a long history in each case. God has His thought for His people, and those who have hindered His people from serving Him come in for His judicial dealings, and things become worse and worse with them. I am speaking now for ourselves, that we may take it home, this great privilege and responsibility conveyed in the word, "Let my son go, that he may serve me". That is the ground in Exodus, and what follows in Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and throughout all Scripture fills out this great thought, and it is for each of us to take

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it to ourselves; we are in sonship, and the divine intent of having sons here is that we might serve God. The idea of the service of God is a great thought. It formally begins here, and it is said by Paul in Philippians that "we are the circumcision, who worship (or serve) by the Spirit of God". That is the position today: God is worshipped in the power of His Spirit, and we are to carry on what is called the public service of God. I mean public in the sense that anyone can see that there are those who love God, and reverence God, and who would gratify His heart; whose main business here is to do this; serving in a spiritual way, not in outward forms, but as those who worship by the Spirit of God, having no confidence in the flesh.

Now that is what this passage in Exodus teaches, and if you will look, at your leisure, at the chapters that follow, you will be impressed with how God keeps this thought before Pharaoh in all His messages to Pharaoh until the people are free. He keeps calling attention to it, nor does Moses ever fail to stress it -- all resulting in this, that the very last word Pharaoh said to Moses in this book, was: "go, serve Jehovah, as ye have said". God brought the world round to it, and they were compelled to let Israel go. This is very encouraging. "Go", Pharaoh says, "serve Jehovah as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and go; and bless me also". The service began at Sinai. Pharaoh said earlier, "Go, serve Jehovah; only, let your flocks and your herds remain". But Moses said, "Our cattle also must go with us: there shall not a hoof be left behind; for we must take thereof to serve Jehovah our God". Today we must have the children and cattle -- everything we have is subservient to this great thought. Israel's deliverance from Egypt is a wonderful testimony to the power of God on our behalf as we get on to right lines; as we see

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what His mind is and take up our position according to it: this is how it will be until the end. He will see us through as we move on the lines He indicates.

In this book He says, "ye shall serve God upon this mountain". That is what God says to Moses, and what that implies, dear brethren, is that in getting to the mountain we get to the place of resource. We may think we have nothing and that we cannot go on, but as we reach the mountain of God we find resource. "On the mount of Jehovah will be provided", was said earlier, (Genesis 22:14). Well, that is what I had in mind for this meeting. May God bless it!

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GATHERING WITH CHRIST

Numbers 15:32 - 36; 1 Kings 17:10 - 12: Acts 28:3

These scriptures, as will have been observed, refer to sticks. That is why they have been read at this time, as it is believed that the Spirit of God in writing or inditing these passages was providing material for ministry, which He, in due time, would use for the instruction of God's people. They suggest indeed what a variety of material Scripture contains, deposited as it were with a view to subsequent need and use. As in the earth, the Creator with wonderful forethought and consideration places such material as should be needed as the human race proceeded on its way. There are marvellous deposits which are regarded as riches, whether potentially or actually, in the various continents, besides what is called the fulness of the earth, which latter expression signifies what comes out of it by the energy of life.

Gold does not come out of the earth on that principle; it is taken out by human strength and the like. As early as the days of Job, which would probably be patriarchal days, corresponding with the book of Genesis, we have reference to such deposits and the means of securing them, as witnesses of the bounty and forethought of our Creator. So these scriptures correspondingly contain rich deposits, as I may call them, in view of subsequent needs and exigencies, and it is for those who recognise the Spirit, who has placed them there, to depend on Him under the Lord to bring them out, so that saints should be enriched.

Although the word stick refers to what is ordinarily very common, a piece of wood strewn, as intimated in the book of Numbers, yet it has its own voice; indeed we have it in a wonderful setting

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in the book of Ezekiel, the book which treats among many other things peculiarly of life. In chapter 37, which deals with this very matter, and which also treats of the valley of dry bones, you have reference to two sticks. The woman of Zarephath had in her mind two sticks, but Ezekiel, by the Spirit, speaks of two sticks in a very different way. The woman had two sticks in her mind in order that she might cook a morsel of food and die. Ezekiel is directed to have two sticks in his hand, one representing the kingdom of Judah, and the other representing Joseph or the ten tribes. These two sticks were to be in the prophet's hand and become one there, as a type that all Israel shall be in perfect unity in the end. And, as applied today, that the saints once divided, once at rivalry, once envious of each other, should now become one. The opening up of that is in the epistle to the Ephesians and applies to every gathering of the Lord's people, that as in the hand of Christ we should be in the unity of life. I make those remarks, dear brethren, so that you may see the place this idea of the stick has in the Scripture, and how used, in order that we might put ourselves under that insignificant heading and see what a place gathering has in mind according to God. The Lord says, "he that gathers not with me scatters", and the idea of gathering runs through these passages.

The first is in the book of Numbers in a chapter that is speaking about the land of Canaan. Later the idea of stick arises in regard to a borrowed piece of iron that fell into the Jordan. The prophet Elisha cuts down a stick and casts it into the water where the axe-head fell, and the axe-head swam; referring to the virtue of the stick. This is a type, insignificant though it appears, of none less than Christ entering into death; so that we who would have sunk for ever into it are caused to live, and not only to live, but in principle to swim, as superior

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to the power of death. Hence you may see what a great place the idea of a stick has and how thoroughly it is subverted in the first scripture.

Numbers 15 is full of the richest thoughts, as you will see if you look into it. It begins with most important references typically to christians as to balance, that every main offering, whether a lamb or a larger creature, was to be accompanied by other proportionate offerings. The larger the creature the larger the accompanying oblations and drink-offerings. So brothers in assembly should be balanced, their minds should not travel ahead of their hearts, or their affections, and that all should be in power in suitable intelligence.

The worship or service of God is to be conducted in suitable feeling and in balance, as it says, "I will sing with the spirit", meaning that my feelings or affections are in the singing. But it also says, "I will sing with the understanding also;" meaning that I am not using words that are inappropriate. Now that is how the chapter begins, and it ends with calling attention to the riband of blue often referred to amongst us, as indicating that we, as believers in Christ, are to shine here as heavenly; that we are to understand that we belong to heaven. The lace of blue was to be on the corners of their garments, meaning that in a difficult critical moment in our relations with one another, or with others, we maintain a heavenly spirit, and do not give way to the naughty contentions of the flesh.

That is how this chapter is encased, as I might say; other beautiful things are also seen. But now we have this terrible action of a certain person while Israel was in the wilderness. We are not told just what part of the time this occurred, for they were forty years in the wilderness, and this happened while they were in it. Inasmuch as the time of this action is not specified, it is to be viewed

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as characteristic, such as was likely to take place at any time, the wilderness being the scene of contrariety; provocative in that way. But whatever the provocation, dear brethren, the supply to meet it is abundant, and we get it in this very book. Indeed, in all the wilderness books, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, we get this supply so that there need be no defeat by circumstances. One of the most difficult things is to keep above our circumstances. If we get under them, we are pretty sure to do something high-handed, or to say some lawless thing. If we are above our circumstances we know where to draw from, so that there is nothing of this kind. In a few verses immediately preceding, there is an allusion to high-handed conduct; a most common thing in christendom. It began in a general way, sorrowfully near the time of the apostles, indeed, it began in their own times. Paul speaks of the mystery of iniquity, and while that is a secret thing, high-handed actions soon began to grow out of it, and they have continued ever since; and they are increasing. There never was a day of boldness such as this; bold opposition to God; to the truth; to Christ, to the assembly; to the Spirit. Indeed, it culminates in speaking blasphemously against the Spirit of God, a sin which is never to be forgiven.

So this man in the wilderness goes out on the sabbath and gathers sticks. You might say he was doing no one any harm, but he was doing harm to God; he was calling in question the whole dispensation of God. The sabbath in the types represents what God has found in Christ and what man finds in Christ by the Spirit. In these two thoughts christianity essentially is embodied; Christ is the centre for God, and the centre for us. That is to say, for contemplation, for rest. God can rest in the midst of a troubled scene, and men can rest in the midst of

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a troubled scene. That is what the sabbath signifies; it was expressly called the sign of the covenant. God had on the mount opened up His mind to Moses in the pattern of the tabernacle; in all these chapters, from Exodus 25 to 31, unfolding what He had in mind in a variety of features in the pattern of the tabernacle.

In truth He was occupied all that time with Christ in type; Christ as Man. What a time God had in unfolding all this to Moses! Moses did not fully understand, of course, it is for us as having the Spirit to understand. Moses sought to see the glory of God, but God said, No, only My back parts. The tabernacle signifies more than His back parts. The antitype implies the glory of God shining in the face of Jesus. That is christianity. But God had Christ before Him in all that He was saying, and He was delighted, and so in the end He refers to the sabbath. If you will look at the end of chapter 31 you will be impressed by the recurrence of the word there, reminding us of the place it has in the divine thoughts. You get a statement there that you get nowhere else: "on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed". We do not get that in Genesis, yet the allusion is to Genesis, but God reserved this precious thought for the particular occasion, when for forty days He had been unfolding the glories of Christ and the universe that centres in Christ; when He finishes He reverts to that, He was refreshed. Think of the blessed God speaking in that way and embodying His everlasting covenant in it: and He announces His judgment against anyone that disregards the sabbath.

The first mention of the sabbath by name is in Exodus 16, and that was in relation to the manna, as no doubt most of you know. The occasion is very affecting, because it alludes to Christ humbled here; that is, what He was here as Man and how God

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rested in Him! But even there you do not get the statement that God was refreshed. It is after the unfolding of the glories of Christ in the type, and the universe that God has in mind to set up. Then God comes back to this great thought and calls it a sign of the covenant, of the everlasting covenant between Himself and Israel. As we take all these things into account, we see the very important place the sabbath has. After what I have alluded to in chapter 31, we have the failure of Israel, in Exodus 32 and 33. Then after the second giving of the law, chapter 34, God again refers to the sabbath, enjoining it upon His people; before they bring one item of the material for the tabernacle the observance of the sabbath is again enjoined.

Now this man has disregarded all this. In this action of gathering sticks on the sabbath he is setting aside the dispensation. He is giving a lead typically that has been taken up in christendom and spread abroad, and is seen today in the hierarchy and paraphernalia that belongs to what is called the public worship of God. There is a disregard of what God had in mind as characterising the whole dispensation. You can see from the sequence of this conduct how it behoves us, if in any way we are linked up with high-handed conduct such as this, to abandon it for ever; not to stay a moment in it. It is under the judgment of God; there is no forgiveness for it. I am not speaking of individuals now, but of the principle of this evil, and we do well to follow the example of Moses and Aaron here, and of Israel. They put the man under custody; they did not know just what to do; it was a new thing; it was a bold action; he gathered sticks on the sabbath. It is not said what he was going to do with them. Satan does not divulge his mind at the outset, it is sometimes in mystery. He has formulated his opposition to God systematically.

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Systematised error is the most deadly error, and that is found in christendom. Satan systematising, and embodying his nefarious thoughts against God, so as to offset and subvert all that God has inaugurated, is what marks our day. Satan's intent is to set aside the holy dispensation that is established in Christ.

That is the position, and, as I say, we do well to put this matter "in custody", as it were, if we do not understand it, and there are thousands and thousands of our brethren who do not. If we do not quite understand it, put it in custody, that is to say, give it that place in your mind, give it consideration. Let your language be, I want to judge this thing, I want to consider what you are saying, and I want to arrive at a right judgment about it. If you do you will get it. You will be sure to get it, they got it here, and it was summary: "The man shall certainly be put to death", says Jehovah. Putting to death in this sense today is not to be understood literally. We read of Jezebel's children being killed with death: that is not literal death -- it is moral death. There is such a thing as that, the judgment of God executed in a moral way. As soon as I put the thing in custody, I mark it off as something that requires the mind of God, God will give me His mind about it, and the next thing is to execute it. What God reveals to you, put into effect.

Let no one think that the mere judgment of a thing is of any moral worth, unless it is put into effect. Holding a thing as wrong and following it, continuing in it, is to damage your soul. That is the trend of it, to weaken you, to disqualify you for any testimony. Here God made His mind plain to them, and they carried it out, "as Jehovah commanded Moses". That is one of the finest statements you get, and God loves that very thing; it is those who have His commandments, and do them, who

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love Him. This has been going on for years. Thousands of God's people have acted on it, and it is for you today, if there is anyone here who is linked up with these things, to put it into custody. If you do not understand clearly, look into the Scriptures and you will get light, and the next thing is to act, and act at once. What these sticks were to be used for is not stated here, but we now know what is in mind typically; what systems have been formulated ever since apostolic times, how men are gathered together, systems that are regarded as almost immovable because of their antiquity. But God is going to take that great system Babylon and let it drop down into the sea like a millstone never to rise again. That is His judgment.

Well, I proceed to the second passage, that in Kings. It is a well-known chapter, a chapter that introduces to us one of the most notable men in Scripture -- Elijah the prophet. He was, as you know, maintained by ravens by the brook Cherith, near the Jordan, and the brook dried up, and then God says to him, I have commanded a woman to maintain thee. Elijah represents the testimony that God has at the moment, and what God has in our day needs to be maintained. It is obligatory on every one of us to see that we are maintaining it in so far as we are able. So the prophet wended his way across the country to Zarephath, which is near Zidon, the gentile regions -- the Lord Jesus alludes to this Himself -- and as he arrives at the place he finds this woman gathering sticks, a very suitable occupation under the circumstances so far as it appears. What is she going to do with them? That is the point, we may be doing what is apparently right with a wrong thought in our minds. She gives an account of her work to the prophet; and this raises the whole question as to what we are doing; what each one here has in mind as to his gathering.

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Gathering is the order of the day. God says, I will gather others besides those that are gathered, a very encouraging word for us -- besides those that are gathered. Do not let these go, they are precious, but besides these, there are others to be gathered. So that gathering enters into all our evangelical exercises and work; the point is to get persons, and what for? Not for my own glory; not to make a party round myself, that would be akin to the man in the wilderness gathering sticks. Gather for the assembly, dear brethren, gather for Christ.

This woman tells the prophet what she had before her. She had in the house a handful of meal in a barrel, and she had oil in a cruse. Very good! God marks this, and she was really on better ground than she thought she was. She had the meal, she had it where it should be, there is just a handful, but it is in the right vessel; and the oil is in the right vessel, too; but then she says, "I am gathering two sticks". She is very limited in her thought. Well, that would be quite in order if she only had a right thought in the work. Some of us here may not have gathered even one stick for the assembly. That is a poor thing, because gathering is what God is engaged in. That is what God is doing -- it is the gathering time. One of the first things you get in the book of the Acts is gathering. God has gathered His own; the assembly is the fruit of His gathering. So that it is a question of what I have gathered. Have I helped in any way to gather with Christ? The gospels show us how He gathered, and how He prayed about His own that were gathered; that they should be one, He says. Not only that, but Scripture says, He died that He might gather together into one the children of God that were scattered abroad. That was the thought, and it may be that a good many of us would have to admit that we have never gathered a stick for the

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assembly. This woman is gathering two sticks that she may prepare this oil and this meal for herself and her son "that we may eat it, and die". That is very poor, that is not christianity; that is a negative thing, it is the very opposite to christianity.

I was speaking to you the other day of how the Lord said to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, referring to Abraham, "for he is a prophet, and will pray for thee, that thou mayest live". It is a dispensation of life, and christians are imbued with the spirit of life, but this woman was gathering two sticks that she might die! Will she ever maintain the prophet? No, a dead woman and a dead boy will not maintain anything. We do not eat to die, we eat to live; the divine appointment is to eat and live. The Lord taught His disciples to pray, "give us today our needed bread". Apparently she had enough for the day, but she was thinking she would die tomorrow. So that you see it is only as we are on the divinely-appointed lines that we can maintain the testimony. It is living people, as Hezekiah says, "The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I this day" (Isaiah 38:19). The chapter before us in 1 Kings, as you will all know, is most remarkable. The woman's son died, but not for want of food; the handful of meal did not diminish nor did the oil fail all the year, and the woman had the honour of maintaining this great servant of God for the testimony. The son died from sickness, but he was raised up, made to live by the power of God through the prophet, so that as she maintained him (she is called "the mistress of the house"), he maintained her. That is to say, God is no debtor to anyone; as we maintain what is His, He maintains us far above any expectations of ours. The son is raised up and given back to the woman as brought up from the dead.

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Now I come on to the last scripture to show how the gathering of sticks works out in the hands of the greatest of servants, for there is no greater than Paul, save the Lord Jesus. He is in very trying circumstances, he has just had a terrible voyage, a voyage under the government of God which no one felt more than he, he knew the secret of it. It is a type of the whole voyage, of the testimony. The breaking up of the ship is a type of the history of the public assembly in its decline and break up -- no one felt it more than Paul, and now he is on land on the island of Melita or Malta in the Mediterranean, a well-known place nowadays. This remarkable incident took place there, the great servant and those with him reached there in wintertime. It is always a trying time -- I am speaking now spiritually; winter spiritually is a very trying time. It comes in the cycle of the year as God says, "Henceforth, all the days of the earth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22). Here it was cold, it says expressly, that it was cold, but the inhabitants of the place received the company. They are called barbarians, the word of course you know was relative. It did not mean that they were barbarians in the sense that we speak. They were not Greeks, but they were a very kindly people, and what a comfort it was to come into a district such as this, especially to find warmth. The writer says, they showed us no little kindness, it is not said that they were converted, the point was that they were friendly. You know, fellowship has become a technical thing amongst us. It may be as cold as ice! I have been in meetings nominally in fellowship, but cold. Hence the importance of friendliness, kindly feeling towards visitors, is stressed here. The "chief man of the island" is mentioned. Let us not be disrespectful, in these

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democratic times, let us not be disrespectful towards persons of distinction. God enjoins us to honour them to whom honour is due.

So we have the chief man of the island here; he is kindly disposed towards Paul and the others. It is not simply that people are nominal christians, but it is a question of their kindness, their hospitality, their friendship. John uses the word "friends". "Brethren" has become a hackneyed word, not that it has lost its power spiritually. God would dissipate all unspiritual use of words and bring in the power attaching to them, and what belongs to the term brethren is friendship; friendship must be there. These were friendly, and so they treated us kindly, the writer tells us, and one of the best things they did at the outset was to light a fire, because it was cold. How the apostle Paul would cherish that fire; coming up out of the sea, and the terrible time over, when for weeks neither sun nor stars appeared! Now he is in the midst of friendliness, love, consideration, and the testimony to it in this fire. Then Paul comes out as a true servant as Jesus was: "I am among you as he that serves", He said. No true servant today would wear a clerical garb, nor regard himself as one to be set upon a throne and ministered to by all. Paul becomes the servant of all: he goes out and gathers sticks in that place. Put him alongside that widow in Zarephath, or that man in the wilderness, and you see the difference. He gathers "a certain quantity of sticks together in a bundle and laid it on the fire". He did it all himself, he is like his Master. The Lord Jesus said, "I am among you as he that serves". Mark "I am among you". I believe the Lord Jesus as here with them, would do anything that was to be done for His people. So with Paul as to those that were with him -- he gathered the sticks and placed them on the fire -- how beautiful that is! He would keep up the volume of heat

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and they would all be comforted. The fire was not going to die out if he were there -- nor will any warmth wane where anyone is who has the spirit of Christ. The point is to keep up the temperature, to get up the temperature in the meeting, not to fever heat, but to comfort heat. There are those amongst us who have no gift, but the thing is for them to add to the heat spiritually, as Paul did.

But then there is that terrible thing that happens -- a viper comes out. It does not say from the wood; the point is to call attention to the activity of the devil in these circumstances, that where warmth is he would spoil it, and he would discredit the one who is keeping the fire going. It is as if some might say to Paul, You are in prison now, you must resign your leadership, you cannot go about as you used to. Paul would say, The Lord said that by me the preaching is to be fully known, (2 Timothy 4:17). We cannot set aside Paul or anyone that the Lord raises up; but the viper, that is the devil, would discredit that man, in robbing him of his power. The viper, we are told, "coming out from the heat seized his hand". Satan would say, There shall be no more gathering sticks like that. The idea was to put out the fire, and the antidote is to do what Paul did; he gathered the sticks, put them in a bundle and put it on the fire. Satan will do what he can, but the Lord promises to His servants "they shall take up serpents; and if they should drink any deadly thing it shall not injure them" (Mark 16:18). Such "signs that follow" them show, that the servants of the Lord need never to be under the power of Satan; they are always victorious. Hence let no one attempt to overwhelm them; normally this cannot be done. To attempt it is to fight against God. So the viper is just thrown back into the fire, that is the end of it. The barbarians thought something was going to happen, but they changed their minds, and the apostle and those that were

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with him remained there for three months, the whole winter, and I suppose they never had such a winter in the island of Malta as they had that year. They had this wonderful servant of God and others of a like spirit there. We are told that Paul, having prayed, laid his hands on the father of Publius, the chief man of the island, and cured him of a serious disease; "the rest also who had sicknesses in the island came and were healed". The power of God was there. All this works out from this simple thought of adding heat to the fire, keeping the temperature at a considerable heat; as this is done, the enemy attacks, but the testimony is carried through. That is the position, dear brethren, so that Paul was sustained at Melita, as Elijah was at Zarephath, and laden with honours he goes on to Rome. It is said that he sailed in a ship that had "wintered in the island".

You see how God would bring us to this important point: however few sticks we may gather, gather them with this in view -- to add to what is there. The mere thought of getting numbers is dangerous; we must keep an eye on quality -- that which adds to what there is of God already present.

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CHRIST IN THE TEMPLE

Mark 9:7, 8; Acts 1:1 - 4; Hebrews 8:1, 2

J.T. I have been thinking that in view of the subject before us -- Christ viewed as the Minister of the sanctuary -- His relations with the temple at Jerusalem as seen in the gospels should be in mind. For undoubtedly what is related is intended to instruct us, partly at least as to His service as the Minister of the sanctuary. The temple at Jerusalem stood for the sanctuary, the idea of it having begun in the wilderness at Sinai where God was to be served, as He says, "Let my son go, that he may serve me". As the sanctuary was in mind at Sinai, in view of the wilderness, He stressed the priesthood; that Aaron and his sons should serve Him as priests.

The Lord in His infancy was taken into the temple and spoken of there by Simeon; His great service being outlined prophetically by Simeon. Then at the age of twelve, He appears there Himself, being seen in the midst of the doctors, hearing and asking questions. As His parents are amazed at Him and ignorantly reprove Him, He says, "did ye not know that I ought to be occupied in my Father's business?" (Luke 2:49), as if He intended to informally set out that He knew where His Father's business lay. That word "business" involving in His mind very much; involving something very different from what the Jewish dove-sellers, sheep-sellers, and money-changers would regard as business. Their business there was money-making, commerce, which points to the present state of christendom, where the ministry as it is called, has become a trade. The apostle speaks of those who make a trade of the word of God. The Lord at the age of twelve had a different mind. He was hearing and asking questions,

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and He was marked by "understanding and answers" even then; showing what is implied in the temple; in the house, which He afterwards calls His Father's house. Now it was His Father's business, but later His Father's house. So that His Father's business and His Father's house coalesced in that way. Later, in John 2:13 - 16, He is seen cleansing the temple, and He calls it His Father's house. According to Mark, He is seen looking around in it directing that no package should be taken through it. In Matthew He is seen explaining the singing, the praise of the children there; commending what they were doing.

These instances, I think, help us as to what the Lord is now engaged in as the Minister of the sanctuary, specially vindicating the praise rendered to Himself as opposed by others; a comforting thought for us in our time when those who love the Lord are carrying on the divine service unostentatiously and free from ritual -- ordinary religious ritual -- and coming under reproach because of it. But the Lord gives us to understand that He knows; He hears the praise, and He commends it; quoting from the Psalms, "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou has perfected praise" (Matthew 21:16). So having that in mind we may look at Mark 9 as the sequence of the glory. The disciples looked around, after seeing the cloud, and after hearing the voice from heaven, but saw no one save Jesus only with themselves. I think if we bear this statement in mind in regard to our position today, Jesus only with ourselves, shorn of all man's innovations in the service of God -- man's art and device -- we shall be ready for what the Spirit opens up in regard to Christ as the Minister of the sanctuary, and what the sanctuary is; how that it is wholly exclusive of man's innovations. It is Jesus alone with ourselves, which we might say, describes eternity in a sense. How

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great He will appear! The epistle to the Hebrews opens up to us how great and glorious He is; and indeed Colossians teaches us that we do not need any other, for "in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily", and that we are filled full in Him. Perhaps what I have said will give some little basis for consideration for our conversation together.

E.B.McC. I suppose it has always been the thought of God that He should dwell among His people and have a habitation here, as He said to Moses, "let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them" (Exodus 25:8).

J.T. That is right. Then, the sanctuary being built, who is to minister in it? That is what the type teaches. The priesthood appears at once, God stressing that it was as priests they were to serve, and not specifically "as sons", but "as priests", because what is so needed in carrying on the service in a contrary scene is intelligence, holiness, and all other traits that belong to priesthood.

C.H.H. Is the greatness of the Person of Jesus brought home to us by divine instruction? "This is my beloved Son".

J.T. Attention is called to Him on the mount, "This is my beloved Son". As Matthew says, "in whom I have found my delight: hear him". Attention is called to Him in the glory, that is, the glory is the background to our service, our position here on earth. But as coming down what is visible is "Jesus alone with themselves". The human mind will not be satisfied with that, and that is the general history of christendom. The human mind was not satisfied with "Jesus alone" and the saints. It wanted to add its own devices, whereas the true priestly state would keep to that, and the Lord would have this in mind in telling the disciples not to say anything about the glory they saw until He was risen. It is a spiritual matter, so that it becomes a question

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of what is involved in this -- Jesus alone with ourselves. The book of Acts opens this up, showing how He comes in Himself amongst the brethren and presents Himself living. As if He would say, I wish you to understand Me -- while it is Myself and you, I want you to understand Me. No one else could present Himself as He did. He presented Himself living after He had suffered -- that is the position.

J.C.S. Do these circumstances on the mount serve to emphasise the majesty of the Lord Jesus, and His greatness as with us?

J.T. Yes, that is the background. They have seen all that and now they are coming down. They first look around suddenly, which you might expect. We are all apt to look around with active minds and natural desires; but it is dangerous to look around with natural desires, and say, We have only got the Lord, others have great showy things in their service, we have not.

P.L. Is this reference to Jesus developed in Hebrews 12:2, where we get "looking stedfastly on Jesus", and "Jesus, mediator of a new covenant", and bound up with the great system of glory?

J.T. I think that is what Hebrews is intended to teach. It has been called, the book of the opened heavens. That is, we see what is there as over against what was then at Jerusalem -- those who still served under the old system. It was a question of directing the saints away from what was visible -- the great system at Jerusalem and the hierarchy there -- to what is in heaven where everything centres now in the Person of Christ. So that four times over in the book He is said to have "set himself down", up there. It is His own action; in chapter 1, at the "right hand of the greatness on high;" in chapter 8 at the "right hand of the throne of the greatness;" in chapter 10, the "right hand of God", and chapter 12, at the "right hand of the throne of

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God". Who can be greater than that? It is no less than a divine Person who is our High Priest. What is the Pope or the Archbishop, or any other religious dignitary compared with this Person? That is what Hebrews presents to us.

P.L. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and to the ages to come" (Hebrews 13:8).

J.C.S. If God by the cloud would shut out from equality with Christ even Moses and Elias, who is to come in after that?

J.T. So the disciples looking around after the transfiguration, is a sort of challenge to us. What would we see? Some travel about the world and see the great buildings. Even the disciples were not free from this thought. They call the Lord's attention to the great buildings at Jerusalem, and we are apt to look around in this way, and be captivated by the religious greatness around us, whereas the true position is He and ourselves -- true christians, not simply Jesus alone, but with ourselves. How much will develop out of that position? What cannot be done with it?

E.B.McC. We see "Jesus ... crowned with glory and honour" (Hebrews 2:9). We see Him in that way.

J.T. That is the thought; we see Him there in all the greatness that is mentioned in the epistle. This is to be in our minds as seeing Him there, and then the wonderful fact is, we have Him. Of course He has us, but we have Him. Hebrews is to show how well off christians are in having "such a one high priest".

E.W.C. Is it that the assembly has Him in a special way?

J.T. It is the saints viewed in that way. The "we" would be christians characteristically.

A.W. Would the "babes and sucklings" suggest the attitude of mind we take up in the service of God?

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J.T. That is how Matthew sets the thing before us; he treats of children in a peculiar way. He brings in Rachel weeping for her children. He accredits her, quoting from the prophets, with motherly qualities, a mother in Israel weeping for her children because they were not. The Lord Himself says to His Father, "I praise thee, Father, Lord of the heaven and of the earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to babes. Yea, Father, for thus has it been well-pleasing in thy sight" (Matthew 11:25, 26). Then in chapter 18 the Lord calls a little child and sets him in the midst of the brethren, as an example, as over against ambition to be great in the kingdom. Then in chapter 19 he blesses little children and departs. In chapter 21 He is in the temple dealing with the dove-sellers and others, and the children begin to praise, and the priests and elders here ask the Lord, Do you hear what they say? As much as to say, they should not be praising here; and the Lord says, in effect, Yes, I hear them. "Have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise"? I think the Lord there asserts what enters into our present position. What is despised by the religious leaders is what He hears and approves of and defends; so we may rest under His wing in carrying on that service.

A.W. That should help the younger brethren to make a start.

W.H.W. Would the children in the temple be an illustration of what takes place if we are occupied with Jesus only?

J.T. Just so. Wonderful things develop out of that. There has never been such a service of God as that which has developed in christianity. It is the great thought of God; what He has developed from such a beginning; from babes.

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The Lord is seen in Acts 1 as starting to set up things in view of the assembly. According to Luke He had led the disciples out as far as Bethany, and they returned to Jerusalem after He went up, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. But in the Acts He is looking towards the assembly in contrast to the temple, although it is still there and to be owned, but He is looking towards the assembly. Hence He presents Himself living to them. It is to occupy them with Himself; and then He assembles with them (verse 4). He has the assembly in His mind; that He is to be known there. I think you see in verse 4 some suggestion of the Minister of the sanctuary. He "assembled with them".

W.H.W. That is a further thought than in Mark 9, where they saw Jesus alone.

J.T. He is now assembled with them. The word "assembled" there would point, I think, to the sanctuary, that the Lord had in His mind that in which He should minister. I think we may see in Acts 1 that He is inaugurating a new order of things, the new service. He directs them as to the promise of the Father. He says, "await the promise of the Father, which ... ye have heard of me ... but ye shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit after now not many days". That would be the full thought of the sanctuary. The promise of the Father -- the Holy Spirit coming -- would inaugurate really the new place of service.

J.C.S. While in Mark we get "Jesus alone" emphasised, the thought here goes further, the same persons being now assembled.

J.T. Yes. He is now looking towards the assembly, the great service of God, and they were to do nothing, but await the promise of the Father.

E.B.McC. Would this go further than what you get in Ezekiel, the glory departing from the temple?

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J.T. You mean the coming in of the promise of the Father would be the inauguration actually of the new system of things in which the Lord was to serve as Minister of the sanctuary, but it would be a heavenly order of things, awaiting Paul's ministry. The full thought did not materialise until Paul came on the scene, that is, it is a heavenly order of things; the figurative representation of things in the heavens was in the tabernacle.

A.W. The coming of the Spirit would give the power to carry on the service inaugurated by the Lord during the forty days.

J.T. Just so. The forty days are educational, teaching the disciples to be spiritually minded. The coming in of the Spirit would maintain all that, and be the power for carrying it on.

A.W. They would look back on these as pattern days.

J.T. Yes, they would look back to that spiritual education, but there was something further -- what came out of heaven. The Lord had not yet gone in as Man. He was going in and the Holy Spirit coming out, and what has been set up has been brought out of heaven. Christ as in heaven is Minister of the sanctuary. If He were on earth, He would not be a priest, but it is what He is in heaven as Man.

C.H.H. Would there be a connection between the Lord presenting Himself living and the coming of the promise of the Father?

J.T. What He was as presenting Himself living was one thing, but the Spirit coming in would bring in more than that, it is the glorious condition He is in up there, that enters into this service.

J.C. Would the idea the brethren received of the Lord Jesus presenting Himself living during those forty days be carried over, and as a pattern be presented to us?

J.T. Yes, it was an initial thought carried over,

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but not yet a glorious Christ; the Minister of the sanctuary is Christ in heaven, not simply Christ as risen, but Christ in heaven. What He did during the forty days was pattern, as has been remarked, but it could not be the full pattern, because the Holy Spirit would bring in the heavenly side -- what Christ is there. We cannot say very much about it, as John says, "what we shall be has not yet been manifested; but we know that if it is manifested we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). It is His body of glory to which we shall be conformed.

J.C.S. Why was the conversation apparently confined to speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God?

J.T. Well, that was as far as the Lord went, but the coming in of the Spirit would mean more than that. It was reserved for Paul to unfold the great heavenly system, all was tentative until then. The coming in of the Spirit involved that in principle, but it awaited the doctrine of the mystery, which meant the full service of God. There can be no doubt that it was Paul who wrote Hebrews; anyway, it confirms his ministry. It is the heavenly system of things.

J.C.S. Were these conversations really preparatory in that way?

J.T. They were, leading up to the full thought.

C.A.I. Would Solomon in 2 Chronicles be typical of the Minister of the sanctuary in service?

J.T. In so far as it went; he did not go into the holy place, not being a priest, his service was in the court alone, but there is the great general thought of one in charge. The Minister of the sanctuary in the types is properly Aaron.

J.S.C. Does the idea of the Minister of the sanctuary and the priestly family, the sons of Aaron, go

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as far as association as we speak of it, as in the epistle to the Colossians?

J.T. That is right. The first thing is to get a grasp of the Person who is Minister of the sanctuary, because He determines everything. It is He who gives character and dignity to the service. He will have to do with service on the earth, too, later on, but today the great heavenly system is set up, and all hinges on the Person -- who He is -- One able to set Himself down, as we are told, at the right hand of the greatness in the heavens.

E.W.C. Was the tabernacle really pitched by the Lord, until the Holy Spirit came down?

J.T. Not properly; it involves the heavenly position.

J.C. What is the spiritual idea connected with the word "pitched"?

J.T. The allusion is to the tabernacle in the wilderness. That is the type in Hebrews, pitching the tent, setting it up firmly with pegs and cords and so forth. Now, that is not in view, but what the Lord has pitched finally and permanently.

W.H.W. Is the thought in Acts 1 that the Lord as Minister of the sanctuary helps us in the way we should serve? The disciples turned to times and seasons, but the Lord passes over those.

J.T. He excludes that from them. It was not for them to know, so He says, "ye will receive power, the Holy Spirit having come upon you, and ye shall be my witnesses". "My witnesses" -- that is a further thought, but verse 4 is more, because He was assembled with them then.

J.C.S. The apprehension of the greatness of the Person who is before us would influence the character of the service and give tone to it.

J.T. It lifts us out of the range of mere current religion, however ancient or dignified. Who is there of church dignitaries who can take a place like this?

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"Sat down on the right hand of the throne of the greatness in the heavens" (Hebrews 8:1).

S.H.B. Do we need to be exercised to apprehend the Lord a little more in this particular way -- as the Minister of the sanctuary?

J.T. I think we might have that before us -- first to be content with what there is. Many of us like a little more show than is available amongst the saints who love the Lord. If we are naturally minded we like a little more show than there is. Jesus and the saints are not quite enough for us. That is the first thing to see, I think, whereas those of us who understand a little of the truth, know the background of our position is the heavenly glory, what was seen on the mount, nothing less than that, where Jesus, according to Mark, is changed. His garments became so white, as it says, "exceeding white as snow, such as fuller on earth could not whiten them". It is a pure system of things, utterly exclusive of all human innovations. And then that there is no one to be heard in relation to this matter but Jesus -- "Hear him". He may use others, but He is the One who is speaking. "Hear him" -- that is heaven's voice, and then they look around and they see only Him and themselves. It is important that they see themselves, because the saints are essential to what is in the mind of God.

C.F.I. Would the voice from the cloud greatly dignify Him in their eyes, and then seeing Jesus alone with themselves dignify the saints?

J.T. The intent is that they should carry that on. Whatever others might think of them at Jerusalem, as over against the great buildings there and the high priest, they had this secret information -- those three men -- Peter, James, and John -- had the knowledge of the glory above, and who this Person is. Others would despise the position, but they knew, and that would sustain them. So Peter says, as he

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is about to die, "we have not made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, following cleverly imagined fables, but having been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, such a voice being uttered to him by the excellent glory: This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight; and this voice we heard uttered from heaven, being with him on the holy mountain" (2 Peter 1:16 - 18). Who could rob him of that? Nobody. They might despise him and say he was a Galilean, that he had a Galilean accent, and was only a fisherman, but who could take that out of his heart? Nobody. What strength he would have in continuing the testimony in Jerusalem! And that is our position now -- we have the secret knowledge of the glory, but the Lord says, Do not say anything about it until I am risen. It is a matter that relates to Christ in His spiritual state. We do not want to parade it to man's natural mind -- it is a spiritual matter, it does not pertain to man in flesh.

J.C.S. What you speak of still remains in spite of the breakdown publicly.

J.T. That is the thing. As the captives came back together from Babylon what holy vessels were available! According to the type in Ezra, and Nehemiah, the service of God begins; the altar is set up and the service goes on, and the word was, "The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former".

A.E.T. When Peter spoke on the mount he linked Elijah and Moses with the Lord, but when he is giving an account in his epistle of what he saw, he leaves them out. He had come to understand "no man ... save Jesus only with themselves".

J.T. I expect he had left them out long before, as well as the three tabernacles -- there was only one. Moses and Elias certainly could not have a tabernacle alongside of Jesus. The truth is, the tabernacle

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would be Jesus with themselves. The saints are the tabernacle here.

J.C. Does baptising with the Holy Spirit secure this one idea?

J.T. Yes. The Spirit is the power for unity. The promise of the Father, as here, is a characteristic word; the "Father" standing for the dispensation; the relation into which He has come. He is known as Father, which implies grace, pure grace. His promise would involve the dispensation, and what would be effected by the Spirit in the disciples themselves, so that Paul's doctrine opens up to us what is implied in the presence of the Spirit here as to unity; the body is implied. The idea of the tabernacle is developed by the presence of the Holy Spirit, so it really awaited Paul's ministry.

E.B.McC. If we think of 1 Corinthians 14, the tabernacle was set up and they were speaking as the Spirit gave them utterance.

J.T. Quite so; there was the exercise of the gift of ministry, but then we have in chapter 10 a reference to the body. "We being many are ... one body". That is, we are all baptised in the power of one Spirit into one body.

I am wondering whether we have grasped this position in Acts 1, whether we have followed the thought of Jesus alone with ourselves, and then His presentation of Himself to us -- what He is. Only He can present Himself aright. We may present Christ in our service in one way or another, by a word in ministry to the saints, or in the gospel, but only He can present Himself perfectly, and that is the idea. We want to have a view of Christ as He wishes us to have it. It is a question of what He wishes, how He presents Himself. The first thing is, He presented Himself alive after He had suffered. It is a touching thought, the presentation of Himself living after He had suffered. That is to be in

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our minds; then His assembling with us, and then His word to wait for the promise of the Father. That would be essential to their answering to what was in His mind, and this would bring in the body, as in Paul's ministry. What He unfolds to us requires the body, the saints coming to apprehend one another in love, not simply theoretically, but in love; because the thing has no practical form or substance aside from our regarding one another in love; the Spirit sustaining us in unity and affection. It is in that, you reach the service of God. The Lord has a place there. He comes in at the Supper as showing Himself; particularly in the bread -- making Himself known. But how He presents Himself will depend on conditions.

J.C.S. Does this, the presentation of Himself in that way, furnish us with the substance required for the occasion?

J.T. You have to make room for that. How will He show Himself? He showed Himself in different ways according to 1 Corinthians 15, but the point here is, He presented Himself living, after He suffered. If the service is to go on, we must have a clear apprehension of Christ as He wishes Himself to be understood.

E.W.C. Would the presentation of Himself draw us into the power and liberty of the assembly?

J.T. Yes. He is very attractive as He presents Himself. It is not simply that He is there, but that He is there with us. They saw no one but Jesus alone "with themselves", but He was not yet presenting Himself. When He begins to present Himself you get something attractive. He is seen, and it is a question of what He has in mind in the presentation.

C.H.H. The thought of "living" is to give character to the whole position. The Lord cannot be tied down to a cut-and-dried condition of things.

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J.T. Yes. It is over against a dead system of things. In the ministry to the Jewish christians, the idea of living is stressed, because they were surrounded by a dead system as we are now in christendom. You cannot have Christ presenting Himself in the rituals of christendom. You cannot fit a living Christ into any of them. A creed, a prayer-book, religious garments, and other current paraphernalia -- you cannot fit Christ into all that. It is as though He would say, I wish Myself to be seen. Pilate presented Christ to the crowd, saying "Behold the man!" But He was crowned with a crown of thorns, and they had put a purple robe on Him. That was their estimate of Him. We see Him in different garments from those. He would not present Himself that way; He would present Himself to His own as He wishes to be seen by His people.

C.F.I. Might the presentation vary on different occasions?

J.T. The idea of life is to be noted because it is over against a dead system of things. It is a living Christ, but a living Christ presented by Himself. He wants you to see Him in a certain way.

C.F.I. How does that take place? Might there be an indication of the manner in the thanksgiving for the emblems?

J.T. The Lord comes in in His own way. Everything is mediate. He does not come in corporeally. If He comes in He wishes to be understood in a certain way, and especially that it is as living.

A.W. In one place He showed them His hands and His side, and in another His hands and His feet.

J.T. Just so. The one is Luke, the hands and the feet. He is ready to move about and serve -- He supports us in our intelligence and affections -- "His left hand is under my head, And his right hand doth embrace me", as the bride says in the Song of Songs 2:6. That would be John's line. Luke would present

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the Lord as using His feet, too. You get this in Revelation. He walks in the midst of the seven golden lamps, but when things are happy and right He would show us that it is a question of reciprocation of affection. John presents this side.

E.W.C. It would not be a mere objective presentation of Himself, but conveyed in the power of the Spirit to the affections of those gathered.

J.T. It is objective in that way. He calls attention to Himself in some way. We are to be alert to discern that.

P.L. It may be an appearing "in another form" as seen in Mark. Love treasures these different forms, and in so doing is ready for the next. They are sovereign.

J.T. Just so. It also involves their feet in Mark 16, because they were travelling into the country, and in our minds we may be. We may, while sitting in the meeting, be occupied with our farms, or cows, or business. The Lord then has to use His feet, so to speak. They went into the country, and He had to go after them. It is not His hands, but His feet in that case, but if it is a question purely of love, it is His hands and His side. His hands embracing us to sustain us in our affections.

P.L. If in love, like Mary, we are pouring the ointment on His feet, our feet will cause Him no concern.

J.T. Just so, certainly there is no concern in the picture in John 12, no concern is expressed because there is no need for it until Judas speaks. It is when a voice like that of Judas is heard in the meeting the Lord has to come in with reproof. He may have to do that any time because the best meeting may have a Judas element. At Bethany everything was in outward order, and yet one brings in a discordant, criticising, withering element, and the Lord rebukes that. So we can never tell what the Lord may have

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to do. We cannot say it must be so-and-so, because there may be someone like Judas, and He would have to deal with that element.

J.C. Does it work out through the brethren today?

J.T. It is all mediate now. The Spirit being here makes it possible.

Rem. The man in John 9 had Jesus before him, and we have to know something of that before we can go to Him outside the camp.

J.T. That helps as to what we are saying. It is a question of how the Lord presents Himself. It is in Acts 1 as living after He had suffered; but in John 9 it is as the Son of God. "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" That is the idea; it is a thought further now.

Ques. Would finding the Lord as His centre make that man an assembly man?

J.T. Yes. I think the culminating point in the instruction is reached in chapter 12.

J.C.S. In presenting Himself living to the affections of the saints, would that have the effect of moving their affections? There would be spiritual emotions.

J.T. If we have an eye for beauty -- for spiritual beauty -- we shall be moved, because that is what David represents in the type. He was ruddy and beautiful, and anyone with an eye for beauty would be moved as seeing Jesus, how He presents Himself.

P.L. God would say, "Arise, anoint him, for this is he".

J.T. Just so, that is the man, not an official, but a delightful man. He must have the pre-eminence.

W.H.W. Does the priest then come in and the saints advance as in Hebrews 8, where it says, "We have such a one high priest".

J.T. That is the next thing. All that we have said really leads up to that, to what "we have". It is a characteristic phrase in Hebrews -- what we

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have as enriching us as over against what others have not. We have an altar, we have this great Priest, we have boldness. It is an exclusive thought, and refers to what others have not got. This is the principle, the bearing of the remarks as over against judaism, which existed at the time the epistle was written.

P.L. "We have an altar of which they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle" (Hebrews 13:10).

W.H.W. That would work out as support for us when we come together.

J.T. People say, 'you are too exclusive'. What we have been speaking of emphasises the principle of exclusiveness; it is a word that belongs to the divine vocabulary, not in a narrow sense, but should be treasured as shutting out man, not shutting out anything of God, but what is of man. The epistle shows how wonderfully furnished we are. The writer says here, "a summary of the things of which we are speaking is, We have such a one high priest who has sat down on the right hand of the throne of the greatness in the heavens; minister of the holy places and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord has pitched, and not man" (Hebrews 8:1, 2). It is not here what God has, but what the saints have. It is in view of the service; the saints are essential to the service.

C.H.H. Does the greatness of the Minister of the sanctuary imply there will be no possible breakdown in the service Godward?

J.T. Quite so. A great Person is presented at the outset, as you will observe; "who being the effulgence of his glory and the expression of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power" (Hebrews 1:3). Such a One as that is a sure guarantee for the maintenance of the service. There is no breakdown possible in it; and how wonderful it is that we can appropriate Christ in this way as

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coming in amongst us and making Himself known in our midst! We can appropriate Him and clothe Him and ourselves with all this that is opened up in Hebrews. Approach to God through Christ, He leading in it, is equal to the revelation of God which He has made.

C.H.H. Does that imply that the need of God's heart would be met?

J.T. Quite so. The Lord is great enough to know what is needed divinely, what the Father seeks, and leads us accordingly.

T.B. Will you tell us a little more about "Let my son go, that he may serve me"? Does not worship enter into that, and all you have been speaking of lead on to worship of the Father? If service implies worship, when does that take place? Is it specially after the breaking of bread the Lord leads us?

J.T. Well, I think it is well to get at the concrete thing. Scriptural instruction is usually extended and general, but it is well to come to the concrete thought. In Acts 20:7 Luke says, "we being assembled to break bread". The idea was there, and Paul was present, and a number of brothers present too from different parts of the world, who represented Paul's ministry, and who would be guards of it so that nothing contrary should be there; especially the Berean, who would compare everything with Scripture, to see whether it were so. We are told that Paul discoursed till midnight, though we are not told what he said. What is meant is that we must listen to him first if we are to understand this great matter, for he is heaven's representative in the sense of his having received the ministry of the assembly as well as of the gospel. As the minister of the assembly, he must be heard before we can proceed. I believe that is what is meant, so that in coming together to break bread, we are obliged to take up his thought, as well as the record of the gospels, as to what the Lord

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said and did at the institution of the supper. Paul's ministry is the last word from heaven, it is from the Lord directly through him, and the stress is on the "remembrance of me". Paul's account is to be before us, and we must see that there is an act of mind implied. The word "remembrance" here is used only in 1 Corinthians 11:24, Luke 22:19, and Hebrews 10:3. The minds of the saints based on Romans would be renewed minds, so that they have power to call Christ in, to bring Him in, that is, to make a way in the action of their minds, so He has room to come in. He would seize that opportunity and come in. It would be in the breaking of bread, meaning that He would show Himself in that sense as referring to the will of God, and our being a body for that use. So that the obvious impression is that we are to be for the will of God now -- "by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Hebrews 10:10). And now we are available to Him, as amongst us. Colossians lays it down as a great general thought amongst the gentiles: "Christ in you the hope of glory". In any circumstances in which that is a concrete fact you may look for glory. Glory is in mind. Though there are things to be dealt with and the Lord will deal with them, yet if conditions are right He will proceed to what He has in mind as the Minister of the sanctuary, and lead on to the service of God. That I think is how the matter stands.

T.B. Are priests the same as sons?

J.T. "That they may serve me as priests", is what God says. Conditions require that the priestly element should be prominent, but the primary thought in God's mind is "sons", that we should be before Him according to Ephesians, "holy and without blame before him in love".

J.C.S. Would Paul's ministry develop that, as beyond that of the twelve?

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J.T. Quite so. His is the heavenly side of the truth. He has the last word from the Lord in this matter. We have to listen to Paul. Corinthians is procedure. We go there for it. Here the point is that seeing he speaks so long, there is much to learn from him before you can break bread.

P.L. "Think of what I say, for the Lord will give thee understanding in all things" (2 Timothy 2:7).

J.T. Eutychus did not do that. He is a warning. We must listen to Paul.

E.B.McC. So we have in 1 Corinthians 10 and 11 the lordship and headship of Christ which would help us to proceed.

J.T. In so far as you can put headship into Corinthians. It is the headship over the woman, hardly to the assembly, also Christ as Head over every man. That is the reason why one is slow to say He comes in as Head. He comes in, and thus will deal with what is there. If conditions for headship are not there, He has to help, and He will do what He can for us. We may as well be practical.

J.C.S. I am glad you stressed that. It is a point upon which we want help. There has been an effort to tie the Lord down to coming in in a certain way.

J.T. We are all struggling in this matter. What I observe now is that there is a tendency to leave out hymns. We have a good collection of hymns. The Lord has helped in providing them, and I observe there is a great tendency to use them very little. The Lord loves to hear our voices speaking to Him, but I think He likes music. I know He does, and for music you must have poetry, and for His service you must have spiritual poetry, and God has provided us with it to a very great extent. What the Lord says in Hebrews 2:12, as quoted from Psalm 22 on the cross, ought, I think, to touch our hearts, "in the midst of the assembly will I sing thy praises", not 'speak' but "sing".

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J.C. As the sweet Psalmist of Israel He would love music.

J.T. The number of the psalms is remarkable, and in itself educational. There are five books containing one hundred and fifty psalms carefully divided, in which David must have had the leading part.

E.B.McC. Would you say that some of these beautiful hymns to the Lord would come in after the breaking of bread?

J.T. I have no doubt the Lord would help us to tarry there. We should not be too strict in dividing the service up into compartments, but make room for the Lord to come in and show Himself, and see what He may do. We must be attentive, He being there.

P.L. Would the Songs of Degrees suggest that the music would stimulate ascent?

J.T. I think so. Spiritual singing is most glorious to me, not that the speakings to the Lord are not to be desired, "Let me hear thy voice; For sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely" (Song of Songs 2:14); but the general thought of the service of God is song. The Lord indicates this on the cross.

C.A.I. In Matthew after they had sung a hymn they went out. We have thought the hymn after the breaking of bread should be to God.

J.T. No doubt it has reference there to a covenant hymn; possibly Psalm 113 or 114.

C.A.I. Would it be going back to have a hymn to God after the supper and then to the Lord?

J.T. If purely a covenant hymn there is nothing incongruous in speaking to the Mediator after addressing the God of the covenant; but in the family and heavenly position if we get on to that altitude we should stay there, and the Lord is ready to take us there.

P.L. Paul's prayers are to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He preserves the altitude.

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J.T. Yes, and that is what the Minister of the sanctuary would do. He is exalted, He has gone to the highest point. The previous chapter says He has gone beyond all the heavens, so we may leave it with Him; He will go high enough.

E.G.H. It is frequently noticed that a brother will give out a hymn, immediately after the breaking of bread, addressed to the Father, and afterwards we step down.

J.T. Tarrying around the covenant is of great importance. It tends to liberate us and gives the Lord scope as to what He may do. It is just as well not to attempt to go beyond this if there seems no power, but the Lord is great enough to touch us when we least expect it and lead into the family side of things.

Ques. As Minister of the sanctuary does He take us beyond the covenant?

J.T. The sanctuary is a great general thought in Hebrews. Although not called priests, the suggestion is of the sons being brought to glory. I think the sanctuary is a great general thought, having reference to that in which God is approached and worshipped.

C.F.I. Does it cover headship too?

J.T. It would in the fulness of its working. Headship means that the Lord has a body. He is Head of His body, and that implies that the saints are in liberty holding each other in that setting, so that the Lord can proceed with us. As Head, all movement is from Him.

P.L. So the expression in Hebrews, "holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling" would be a body expression.

J.T. I think so.

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SANCTIFICATION

Hebrews 13:12 - 14; Hebrews 10:8 - 14; Hebrews 2:11, 12

J.T. What is in mind is to speak of sanctification as seen in this epistle. The word appears in each of these scriptures, and the thought advances from the end of the book towards the beginning, where we have the highest thought of sanctification, that is, in chapter 2. Chapter 13 refers to the sin-offering: "those beasts whose blood is carried as sacrifices for sin into the holy of holies by the high priest, of these the bodies are burned outside the camp. Wherefore also Jesus, that he might sanctify the people by his own blood, suffered without the gate: therefore let us go forth to him without the camp, bearing his reproach". We have sanctification in this passage in a basic sense. The Lord suffered outside the gate as a sacrifice for sin, and the believer is to go correspondingly outside the camp to Him, bearing His reproach. Sanctification thus implies separation from the world, from the religious world particularly. Then we have in chapter 10 sanctification by the will of God, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all; which enters into our position as partaking of the Lord's supper.

Then the Sanctifier and the sanctified are seen as "all of one" in chapter 2, showing how the saints come to Christ's sanctification and correspondence with Christ as the Sanctifier. If we compare this verse with John 17, we shall see that He is the measure of our sanctification, as glorified in heaven, but this verse in chapter 2 brings us into what corresponds with Him in the sense of order or character of humanity. That is "as he is, we also are in this world" (1 John 4:17), and hence He is not ashamed to call us brethren.

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C.A.I. Is progress in the saints in regard to sanctification seen in these scriptures?

J.T. Yes. I think the highest feature is in chapter 2, and it seems to be the climax of the whole book in this sense; the teaching following is to bring us to that in our souls. Hence I suggested the last chapter first because the teaching there as to sanctification is to bring us up to chapter 2. The teaching is not progressive as in some books, but the highest feature is presented first, and then how we reach it in the later instruction.

J.C.S. The first scripture is outside the camp, the second at the brazen altar, and the third in the holiest.

J.T. Yes. The camp is the religious world more particularly, and no one can hope to reach chapter 2 in his soul except by taking, as to that, the outside place. That is what the Lord had in mind -- suffering without the gate. It is the gate of Jerusalem, that is, the gate of the religious world, and the call here is that christians go outside of that camp.

J.C.S. If we are to come into correspondence with the truth, we cannot remain inside. It is imperative that we go outside.

J.T. That is how Hebrews is calculated to help the people of God at the present time; for christianity has become publicly what Judaism was. The religious camp is represented in Jerusalem. Christianity has become that, and the book of Revelation contemplates that the characteristic city of the world is "Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified" (Revelation 11:8). The public setting of the Lord's supper is in Jerusalem; as regards its attitude towards Christ, He suffered there. After He had instituted the Supper, they went to the mount of Olives, but publicly our position as regards the world is Jerusalem, where our Lord was crucified. He is viewed as crucified inside it in Revelation. That

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is to show the guilt of the city. In Hebrews 13, it is viewed as the camp out of which the christian must go if he is to have part with Christ. So that what the Lord as the Sanctifier had in mind was to sanctify us by suffering outside. It was no accident; it was deliberate.

J.C.S. Where our Lord was crucified puts that guilt upon Jerusalem.

J.T. That is the thought.

I.L. As we come to that we are prepared to move out.

J.C.S. As far as the position today is concerned, there has been no cancellation of that attitude in regard to Jerusalem.

J.T. We should regard each town in which we may be -- every world city -- as Jerusalem in that sense. It is Sodom and Egypt where also our Lord was crucified.

C.A.I. Is the setting of the Supper in Jerusalem in relation to the upper room?

J.T. That is the next thing. The Lord's supper is not in relation to the city religiously -- it is morally outside, but it is there as a testimony. "Ye announce the death of the Lord, until he come" (1 Corinthians 11:26).

J.M. Are the cities of christendom representative of Jerusalem, morally?

J.T. They have made christianity a worldly religion -- what judaism was. They have gone back to the beggarly elements, thus the position is what it was when the Lord was crucified, and our position is identification with Him. We view it abstractly. It is what it is at heart, if you go the whole way in testing it, it will be found that there is no change in the world; spiritually it is Sodom and Egypt, though not that outwardly perhaps.

J.C.S. Would you say that the saints in going outside the camp publicly and morally reverse the judgment of Jerusalem?

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J.T. They do. They are on the side of Christ. When He was on the cross He said, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" (Mark 15:34). Matthew and Mark give the sin-offering. The enemies thought that He was calling for Elias, they did not understand the words. Then we have the centurion affected by what he saw, and he acknowledges the Lord as the Son of God; that is another thing in that setting. There were those who did not understand what Christ said and they derided Him, saying, "He saved others; himself he cannot save". Then there were those who came with Him from Galilee, certain women, we are told. There were four distinct groups: the Lord's enemies; the centurion and those with him; and the women from Galilee; these latter representing the fellowship, and those who were morally outside the whole scene. Then we have a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, with whom, according to John's gospel, was associated Nicodemus. So that there were four sets of persons all standing in relation to the cross, in relation to Jesus suffering outside the gate. And ever since in this way, there have been persons attached to Him by affection, and also those who are opposed to Him. There are also here persons affected by the testimony, representing the immediate effect of the current work of God. This is seen in the centurion; and then there is a rich man who thinks enough of Christ to bury Him. I think we have in that setting how the matter stands ever since as regards the public position. In Matthew 27:55, 56 there are those whose affections were in action; "there were there many women beholding from afar off, who had followed Jesus from Galilee ministering to him, among whom was Mary of Magdala, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee". So that the question is, To which group do we belong? The group of women would be morally outside -- if not

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physically so -- and sanctified in that sense. The others are more distant. The centurion represents the current work of God; he says, "Truly this man was Son of God". Then there are Joseph and Nicodemus; two men in sympathy with Christ and grouped by themselves. The women evidently represent the fellowship -- those who are sanctified.

S.L. "I will not leave you orphans", the Lord says in John 14:18.

J.T. "I am coming to you". Well, that enters into this, but it refers to those outside the camp. That is the position, and that is where we begin this great matter of sanctification. I think Matthew gives us the whole scene -- the circle of those who love Christ, who were morally outside all, as with Him. There were others affected apparently by the testimony, and we are to look out for such. Then there are others who have been affected, but follow at a distance.

J.C.S. Do you regard these persons as representing spiritual elements that are found in the fellowship?

J.T. I think the fellowship is properly in those who came from Galilee. There are those who belong to Christ, like Joseph and Nicodemus, but who serve at a greater distance than those who are in reproach, like the women who followed Jesus from Galilee. But the present position, in a general way, is indicated in those groups. There are those who follow Him from Galilee, and minister to Him. We know that they were attached to Him in affection.

P.L. Would the Lord meeting them in Galilee, according to the next chapter, indicate that what is expressed by Galilee is now to be brought into the dispensation, and the reproach attaching to that, belongs to His lovers?

J.T. Chapter 28 shows that from the administrative side. He begins there. It is the Galileans

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characteristically that He identifies Himself with. That is the point; that they are carrying His reproach and know it. They follow from Galilee and share His reproach on the cross -- "bearing his reproach" (Hebrews 13:13). They are seen identified with Him as on the cross.

P.L. "And there were there many women". And then in verse 61 it is said that Mary of Magdala was there and the other Mary sitting opposite the sepulchre. This is the difference; the women survived, so to speak; they are not coming in at the end, but marked by continuance.

J.T. They had followed Him from Galilee. Galilee itself is reproach, but the cross is the extremity, the fulness of reproach, and they are identified with Him there.

J.C.S. We are to regard the women as suggestive of the fellowship, and then Joseph and Nicodemus as on the way to it, and the centurion and those with him as being affected by the testimony that is being rendered.

J.T. Yes. We might introduce Paul's ministry in the centurion's case, because he was a gentile, and recognises the Son of God, though he cannot as yet be regarded as in fellowship. There are many around like this who are believers, but in an isolated way. They are not in the group that came from Galilee.

E.B.McC. Are they like those who remained in the camp?

J.T. Yes. Although believers, they, like Nicodemus in the council, have not gone forth to Christ outside the camp. The Lord's enemies did not understand His language on the cross, and yet He must have spoken with most perfect articulation. He says, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46). And some of those who stood there, when they heard it, said, This man calls for Elias. And immediately one of

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them running and getting a sponge, having filled it with vinegar and fixed it on a reed, gave him to drink. But the rest said, Let be; let us see if Elias comes to save him (Matthew 27:46 - 49). That is, they would utterly misrepresent the Lord, implying that He died as a mere creature, calling on a creature to help Him.

P.L. Is that as the mother of harlots -- calling upon the saints? We have in contrast what is maternal here, two mothers. They would be mothers in Israel, in the possibilities of this Galilean setting -- the mother of James and of Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

J.T. Yes. You can see how the Romish system is bound up in this suggestion of calling upon the saints. It is utterly falsifying the whole position, and yet the Lord must have spoken with the most perfect articulation when He said, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" There can be no doubt as to the real words, but they did not take them in, or if they did, they misrepresented Him. The crowd seemed to be carried by the thought; they suggest waiting to see if Elias would come to save Him, which is falsifying the whole position, as I said, and there is much of that around today.

J.C.S. Christendom has misconstrued the Lord's words.

J.T. Corresponding with Matthew's account, who brings in that element at the cross, and then in the next chapter, the Jewish leaders bribe the soldiers to tell lies. All this points to the lying system which falsities christianity.

P.L. Would the fact that the Lord cried with a loud voice -- it does not say what He said -- and "gave up the ghost", involve that "your house is left unto you desolate", as one that is apostate and idolatrous; there is no other word for it but judgment?

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J.T. Just so. The second loud voice would possibly allude to the termination of the man who was so incorrigible as seen here. The first is the judgment of God -- "why hast thou forsaken me?" But that in itself did not terminate the man; there must be death, and the second cry is the termination of the man in the Lord's actual death, for "without shedding of blood there is no remission", or atonement. It involves the termination of the man that sinned.

C.F.T. Is that involved in sanctifying the people by His own blood, (Hebrews 13:12)?

J.T. The sin-offering involves both -- both the sins and the sinner. The bodies were burnt without the camp. Sins and sin in the flesh were dealt with in toto.

P.L. Did Paul preaching Christ and Him crucified imply this completeness?

J.T. That is the force of it. He insisted on the truth of the cross. There was the constancy and urgency of it in the testimony at Corinth.

E.B.McC. That brings in the altar of which they who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat; the altar would terminate the man that sinned.

J.T. We have that altar -- true christians have it. It involves all this that we are speaking of.

C.F.I. Sanctification involves not only the Lord's death, but also His present position.

J.T. Yes. It is His present position in glory, not simply Christ risen. "I sanctify myself for them, that they also may be sanctified by truth" (John 17:19), meaning that He is going to set Himself apart in heaven, as the measure of our sanctification.

C.F.I. That group of women from Galilee had been sanctified.

J.T. John says that they were "standing by the cross", as if they were there in relation to it. How

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the Lord would think of that, that He would sanctify them by His own blood! He is setting them apart.

C.F.I. They have seen His position in relation to the world, and the world in relation to Him.

C.A.I. Would going without the camp involve identification with Christ, and preparedness to go out of view?

J.T. I think so, especially religiously.

E.B.McC. That would bring us on to chapter 10, the sanctifying involving taking away the first that He might establish the second.

J.T. That is what enters into it, the taking away of the first. The will of God required that; whatever that may be, from our point of view, the first has been taken away.

J.C.S. Sanctification seems to be impregnated with the thought of His own blood, which is a very touching expression.

J.T. "His own blood". You can understand these women as John presents them -- and he alone says that they stood by the cross -- how in later years as the doctrine of it developed, they would speak of this, His own blood. How it would affect them as they looked back on the scene! The impression would be imperishable -- the impression gained as standing by the cross of Jesus.

J.C.S. If this were brought home to our souls in that way, it would move us and give us readiness to come out.

J.T. That is so. What the sin-offering seen in Hebrews 13 implies is the deepest insight we get into the meaning of the death of Christ. In other offerings the blood was not carried inside, it was more its bearing towards the offerer; but the blood carried inside and placed on the mercy-seat means that it is the bearing of it Godward, so that God is appeased. It is the deepest feature of the death of Christ.

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J.C.S. God is fully glorified in it.

J.T. Quite so. So that this chapter as bearing on the saints suggests that we have the opportunity of having the deepest understanding of the death of Christ. The more we love Him, the more this would come into view. It is quite scriptural to be occupied with His death. Short of its full meaning, most believers have only a partial view of the death of Christ, but enough to save them. The more we love Him, the more we shall enquire into it. Those who stood by His cross would represent those who enquire into it, and see the full bearing of the sufferings of Christ, that is, the forsaking side. Matthew and Mark give us the forsaking of Christ on the cross.

P.L. Would such entrance into the depths of Christ's sufferings provide the saints with suited emotions with which to enter into the service of God, which is in mind in Hebrews?

J.T. I think so. We are more deeply affected. The more the sufferings are understood, the more effective and richer will be the worship.

P.L. I was thinking of Psalm 22 -- the rich flow of worship from many companies -- where this great theme is presented.

J.T. It is in that connection we have the Lord singing in the midst. It is among those who have searched into the significance of His atoning sufferings. Psalm 22 gives us Christ in the midst singing the praises of God, as if His greatest sufferings enter into that service.

C.A.I. Would there be a connection between the cup as the covenant in His blood, and the blood sanctifying the people?

J.T. There is, the one testifying to the love of God, and the other testifying to His judgment -- suffering outside the gate alluding to the sin-offering; our sanctification involves the fulness of Christ's atoning sufferings. Psalm 22 particularly enters into

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the service of God. The Lord says, "And thou art holy, thou that dwellest amid the praises of Israel".

P.L. Would the spring of 'the hind of the morning' be in contrast to the stagnation of the camp?

J.T. You mean the title of the Psalm. That is very good, because the hind is a feminine thought; meaning that the Lord has in His mind, in the depth of His sufferings, the great living results in His saints.

P.L. The hind of the morning would dispose of liturgies and creeds, the paraphernalia of the camp.

J.T. There is no spiritual agility there whatever. The same hymn that was sung three hundred years ago is sung today. There is no spiritual movement at all. The hind of the morning is movement -- spiritual agility in response to the great sufferings Christ endured.

J.C.S. You regard this scripture as the foundation in connection with your preceding thought.

J.T. Yes, it is the foundation of the position. Then the next point is in chapter 10 -- working backwards -- the thought of establishing the second. For, as I said, the second chapter gives the end of our subject; and then how we are brought to it in correspondence with Christ as the Sanctifier. Chapter 10 is the question of the will of God and it lets us into the light of the psalm which speaks about the Lord taking a body. It alludes to the volume of the book, the divine record is there. The Lord had it in mind that the will of God should be carried out, therefore the body was prepared. The Lord's body is the means of our sanctification and necessarily works out in us in one body -- Christ's body as formed of the saints. It is for the will of God. The body of Christ here is for the will of God, and so "we being many are ... one body;" according to Corinthians we are for the will of God. As we partake of the Lord's supper, the principle is that we

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are unitedly for the will of God; that is the first thing morally in the assembly. I think if we look into this more we shall understand the Lord's supper better, especially the bread. We are brought into the will of God, and the body viewed in this aspect.

J.C.S. So that He not only died for the will of God, but to secure a company answering to that will, under the idea of the body.

J.T. There is that here which expresses Christ where He was for the will of God; the saints viewed as one body. That is what comes into view in the saints partaking of the bread.

J.C.S. So that in the body of the Lord Jesus here the will of God was carried out in detail, and in the body of Christ formed of the saints there is an answer to that.

J.T. That is the position. As we partake of the Lord's supper there is something here for the will of God, in that certain persons united as an organism are to stand at all costs for the will of God.

P.L. "That ... we should serve him ... in piety and righteousness before him, all our days" (Luke 1:74, 75).

J.T. Quite so. How much is against us! There is persistent influence abroad religiously today, to turn us from that -- from rigid adherence to the will of God. The Lord's supper is to maintain us in that relation and the Lord comes in in that way, "he was made known to them in the breaking of bread" (Luke 24:35), which alludes to His body.

Ques. Would you say a little about being sanctified? It says, "By the which will we are sanctified".

J.T. It is God bringing us into accord with Christ. "Sacrifices and offerings and burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin thou willedst not;" they did not meet His will, what could they do? they were only types. "But he, having offered one sacrifice for sins, sat down in perpetuity at the right hand of God".

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So the Lord says, "thou hast prepared me a body". In it He did the will of God unswervingly, and as in accordance with the will of God, that will is now working in us. "By the which will we have been sanctified". God prepared that body that it might be offered for our sanctification; He will require it, and as we break the bread according to the Lord's example, He shows Himself, the assembly being for the will of God. The Lord's supper is on the line of the will of God.

J.C.S. He shows Himself to persons who are committed to the will of God.

J.T. That is the principle. He will have to rebuke us if we are not on that line.

C.A.I. What is the thought in the will of God? Is it more than the obedience of that Man here in the days of His flesh?

J.T. It is a question of the testimony. The Lord expressed it fully in Gethsemane. "Not my will, but thine". He distinguishes between His will and God's, and that is what He would present to men -- God's will in the testimony.

Ques. Do you think the centurion and others on guard over the body of Jesus were instructed so as to give testimony -- "Truly this man was Son of God"?

J.T. God ordered that they should say that, and so this beautiful testimony appeared. It was the current work of God in relation to what was going on here. It is what He has evoked; something like that may happen at any time. The centurion represents the material God may affect and you can never tell what it may be. The Galilean is going on in his own group and Joseph in his position, but this centurion is an ordinary man of the world, looking after the crucifixion. Yet God evidently affected him, and he makes this confession: "Truly this man was

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Son of God". How remarkable that is! And we can look for it always.

The apostle says, "yet shew I unto you a way of more surpassing excellence" (1 Corinthians 12:31), and the women by the cross were in that way of love; it describes our position in fellowship. A man might come into the meeting at Corinth -- it is a public matter, the doors are not locked -- and prophetic ministry is current, and he falls down and says, God is among you of a truth. We can count on that.

C.F.I. Would you say in connection with the bread, there is a vessel secured for the heart of Christ?

J.T. Yes. The assembly is Christ's -- "my assembly". He will use it, not only for Himself, but for God. There is that which His affections have in the saints, He gave Himself for us, but then He will use it for God. It is a question of the will of God.

C.F.I. He delights to give effect to the will of God.

J.T. Hence the anointing alluded to in 1 Corinthians 12, where the saints are viewed as anointed for the will of God. "So also is the Christ".

D.H.R. The Lord was here for the will of God, and He is to have a company here to do the will of God.

J.T. Just as His body was prepared, so we are His body for that purpose. It is the same thought carried through.

J.C.S. All that came out with the Lord Jesus here is to be perpetuated for the will of God.

J.T. Yes, that is the thought, the moral element is in mind. So when He made Himself known to the two in the breaking of bread, what did they do? They saw that the will of God required that they should be at Jerusalem. Probably Emmaus was their home, but the will of God lay in another direction, and immediately they went back to the city.

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C.F.I. What do you understand by the sitting down in perpetuity after He had offered one sacrifice?

J.T. That is in keeping with Hebrews. It is to show that the sacrifice of Christ is final, it settles the matter. We are sanctified in perpetuity; there is no change in the position, and that gives us all the more liberty and power to be for Christ, and the will of God here. The basis of sanctification is finished. Then the liberty this affords enables us to have part in the service of God; that we might draw near to God, for that is what the apostle is leading up to in this chapter -- that we might be in liberty in our entering the holiest, as in verse 19.

R.M.D. Is the thought of sacrifice emphasised in chapter 10, and suffering in chapter 13?

J.T. Chapter 10 is to show the stability which the one sacrifice of Christ affords. It is the offering of His body, and this is what links on with the Lord's supper. It brings in the body of Christ for the will of God, and that through that body finality is reached sacrificially. There is no more need to offer in that sense. So that the saints are now free for the will of God, to draw near to Him. Romans 12 works out from this. We present our bodies a living sacrifice. You have a living state of things in the presenting of our bodies.

J.C.S. "That he may establish the second". The thing is established; it is final.

J.T. That is it. To understand this we have to go back to the Old Testament and look into all the 'seconds' -- Jacob instead of Esau; Isaac instead of Ishmael; Ephraim instead of Manasseh; Job's second family instead of the first, and other instances. We have to go through the Bible in order to grasp what is meant by the second being established.

P.L. I wondered whether this sense of stability

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would preserve us at the Lord's supper from restless intrusions relating to our sins being put away, and would leave us free, as on this foundation, to go forward in spiritual intelligence.

J.T. Quite so. That is what this chapter leads up to -- "Let us approach". It sets us in motion. We are at liberty now, set up in another Man, not the first. The religious world is on the principle of the first, but God is working on the principle of the second. Partaking of the Lord's supper is an intelligent matter, and we can go forward in liberty, making room for the worship of God. So that the way is said to be a new and living way. That is what we come to, and I believe that if we compare the service of the cathedral with that of christians walking in the light of the assembly, we shall see the new and living way in the latter, and the dead 'first' way which God has left in the former.

J.C.S. So that the second is really established in the assembly.

J.T. Yes. We are free, in the light of this chapter, as we come together; there is nothing in our way, hence we draw near by the new and living way.

Then as regards chapter 2, we are brought into correspondence with Christ as the Sanctifier. Those who are sanctified are one with Him; not only outside the camp; not only in the body for the will of God, but they are of His order, elevated to that dignity. So that "he is not ashamed to call them brethren", and then the writer quotes Psalm 22. It is now on the line of the heavenly; we are His brethren and He can take us, not only into the holiest, but on to the line of the heavenly family.

T.G.McG. That is what has been established in the second family.

J.T. I think that Job helps us as to the second family. It is a remarkable result, worked out in

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forty-two chapters. We get the first family in chapter 1 and the second in the last chapter, and the second was established. Figuratively, moral beauty was there -- in the daughters, and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.

C.F.I. Is there a link here between the covenant and the family thought?

J.T. Yes; but what we are speaking of goes beyond the covenant; it is our laying hold of the fact that "as he is, we also are in this world" (1 John 4:17). We are of His order. The covenant contemplates us here as needing assurance -- perfect love casting out fear -- but now we are on a level with Christ where He regards us as His brethren. We have family status now, and we do not need any assurance as in the covenant. As in the family we do not need any covenant assurance. I think that is what is in mind, because we are all of one with Him. It is not union, but it means that all are the same kind as the Sanctifier. So that He is not ashamed to call us brethren.

Ques. Would it be the same as Aaron and his sons?

J.T. It corresponds, only Aaron and his sons are the priestly family: the thought of God's sons and Christ's brethren goes further.

P.L. Would it be the same as the "much fruit" in John's gospel?

J.T. Yes. The corn of wheat falls into the ground and dies; the fruit is the same as the corn, so that He has His brethren. He recognises them as having family status with Him.

J.C.S. To see it in operation, do you think it carries us outside the limitations of this book?

J.T. It is on a higher level, like the summit of a mountain range, and the epistle generally bears on it. The Lord has not only a people sanctified by His blood, but He has them of His own order of

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humanity. The book is to get us on to that line in our minds and affections. The family of God is in mind -- He is bringing many sons to glory.

J.C.S. So that you have no past history on that line?

J.T. As to order, we are the same as Christ, there is no difference in that sense. As He is, so are we.

P. L. Would the first sanctification in chapter 13 involve our going out, the second one our going in, and the third our going up?

J.T. Just so. The heavenly leads us on to Ephesians. So that Ephesians opens not only with the fact that we are blessed, but where we are blessed, that is, in the heavenlies, and we are predestinated unto sonship through Jesus Christ, that we might be before God in love. That is the family side.

C.A.I. Is this the sons brought to glory?

J.T. That is the suggestion in verse 10, "for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory". These verses fill out that, it shows what is in mind. We are being brought to glory.

J.M. You spoke of Job's family. Does the fact that the family was not doubled imply that it was a new family brought in?

J.T. It is a supplanting principle. The same principle is seen in Jacob. In Job's case, the animals were doubled, but not the sons and daughters. The number of persons is the same, but new in character, and as the "second", it is established. This principle works out in every one of our histories.

P.L. And are the daughters now nameable -- they were not so at first?

J.T. Yes. The latter were in the eldest brother's house, that is the "first". In the second family the

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daughters are given "inheritance among their brethren".

J.C.S. Is the Minister of the sanctuary concurrent with this?

J.T. Yes; although that thought comes in earlier in assembly service. As seen in the family setting the Lord has us so that He can use us in relation to heaven. It is the heavenly ones. The Lord has us on a level in which He can use us according to God's eternal purpose.

J.C.S. The body is the underlying organism in connection with it.

J.T. Yes. The family line, however, does not imply the body. It is not a question of the body, but of persons in their family dignity: that is, sons of God and brethren of Christ.

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PRIESTHOOD IN THE PRESENT DISPENSATION

Leviticus 8:1 - 36

J.T. I have suggested this chapter because I think it gives us a full view of the priesthood as seen and known in the present dispensation. The next chapter shows it in relation to Israel. Aaron and his sons were to remain at the door of the tabernacle for seven days, pointing to a complete period, and what one might expect to find here is that the Lord's personal dignity is provided for. Aaron is anointed before his sons are introduced into the priesthood. It is a very important foundation to have laid in our souls in regard to any relation in which we stand to Christ that His personal dignity is always provided for first. He is anointed alone and that on the ground of His own personal dignity. Hebrews 1 is to establish the personal dignity of the Lord and chapter 2 shows Him on our side as Priest. The earlier part of Leviticus 8 shows the divine thought i.e., that the whole created universe is to be pervaded by the Spirit, and then you have Christ seen in relation to all that. The anointing is a very important principle in this chapter.

Ques. What is the particular thought in priesthood?

J.T. God created a sphere in which He is to be ministered to. God would be ministered to in that sphere by man. The Lord coming into manhood took up that thought, not officially on earth, but in principle; and in the mind of God He was a Priest from the outset.

The tabernacle is a pattern of the whole created sphere, both heaven and earth. You will find in connection with instructions given on the mount, regarding the tabernacle, that God brings in the

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thought of the sabbath because the sabbath is the great end God has in view, but how is God to reach it? He reaches it by anointing Christ in that sphere. Priesthood is mediatorial. It contemplates conditions in which certain relationships are more holy than others. That is not what we would call an eternal state of things; it is mediatorial, and it contemplates evil outside. The "true tabernacle" is a spiritual thought; it was pitched at Pentecost, but that was provisional. The assembly goes to her own place and all these thoughts will be reconnected with Israel. Isaac did not pitch a tent for Rebecca; he brought her into his mother Sarah's tent. She was to occupy the ground pending the re-establishment of Israel.

The assembly, viewed in its members in relation to Christ as the true Aaron, is in the sanctuary for the whole period of the dispensation (seven days). It implies that the testimony of God is in our keeping, and in order to keep the charge we need the priestly state. The saints -- the sons of Aaron -- are seen inside with Christ keeping the charge of the Lord.

Ques. What is included in the testimony?

J.T. The testimony embraces all the divine thoughts. Although largely spoken of from the outset, directly and in type, they have taken definite form in Christ, who exemplifies and effects them. God has not withdrawn any thought He has expressed from Adam onwards, and in the assembly every divine thought is cherished. We have this in addition, that we have access to the holiest. The picture here implies access to the holiest -- to all the divine thoughts, and in the assembly all are in safe keeping.

Ques. What is the thought in the command to the priests not to go out of the door of the tabernacle?

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J.T. At all times you treasure the divine thoughts. The tabernacle typifies the sphere in which the testimony is set, and whatever question may arise, you think of it in relation to the testimony. Going into the holiest you see the bearing of every divine thought, and keeping the charge is that you maintain what you have the light of in the holiest. The point in priesthood is the efficiency seen in Christ in effecting the will of God; righteousness, holiness, faithfulness, and intelligence, also sympathy with those who are subjects of God's mercy. Priesthood is official. Sonship is the service of affection. Priesthood is continuous during the whole period. You bear in mind at all times that you are under a charge, and the most serious charge that ever was committed to man. Under David you have twenty-four courses of priests, the number standing over against what obtained under Moses. David's economy as outlined in 1 Chronicles is a type of christianity in the sense that a double responsibility attaches to us, the responsibility of two dispensations and that there is ability for it. David did not set aside what Moses established, but he had an economy of his own, adding much to what Moses commanded. The twenty-four elders spoken of in Revelation allude to the twenty-four courses of priests instituted by David. Paul writing to the Corinthians says, "upon whom the ends of the ages are come". All that went before is to be taken up and maintained. When you come to Leviticus 10, two of the priests failed, and were smitten, and you have an additional instruction given: the priests were not to drink wine. The idea of wine in this connection is that which excites the flesh. We must not allow anything that excites the flesh; all is to be pervaded by the Spirit.

Ques. Why were there two high priests in the days of David?

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J.T. All that shows that under David everything was subordinate to the will of the king. After the failure of Eli it was said that the priest was to walk before the king (1 Samuel 2:35). The king was to be supreme. Christ is King and Priest. The robing of Aaron and his sons alludes to the way the disciples were brought into priesthood. It is seen first of all in Christ as anointed by the Spirit. All that Christ did had reference to the whole created universe; the saints -- the apostles and others -- were brought into participation of it anticipatively, and finally as the Holy Spirit came.

Ques. Does priesthood go on in the eternal state?

J.T. Priesthood is not a thought we could connect with new creation, but the state which characterises it goes on. Priesthood is necessary where evil is, and while God is rendering testimony.

Ques. Is there the thought of priesthood in what Paul says to Timothy: "The same commit to faithful men"?

J.T. In 2 Timothy the apostle was providing for the testimony. Timothy is a man of God, and that is a different thought from a priest, but what underlies a man of God is the priestly state.

This chapter shows how the priests are consecrated. First, the sin-offering; then the burnt-offering; and then the ram of consecration. A ram is used for the burnt-offering, and also one for the consecration offering. The priests are consecrated in the light of the judgment of sin as before God. We must accept this judgment. What represented the inward excellency of Christ in the sin-offering went up to God, but the carcase was burned without the camp. The burnt-offering is what Christ was in His devotedness to God; and then, the consecration has reference to His ministry. The idea of a ram is maturity. Maturity should mark the priesthood -- "not a novice" -- he is fully developed.

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Here the sin-offering is connected with the priesthood only, but in chapter 16 it is connected with the whole universe. Priesthood contemplates a development and growth suitable to God. The connection of the ram is very suggestive; it shows that they were to be in the light of that thought -- the thought of a fully-developed man. The Lord came to do the Father's will. "Lo, I come to do thy will", that is the burnt-offering. But then He was consecrated; He was set apart to the testimony. That is seen in Mark's gospel. The Lord's personal wisdom and affection are engaged in it; it was how He did things; that is the great point in Mark. Luke is the Priest more as meeting human need, sympathy and compassion. You cannot rightly treat of the things of the Lord in ministry apart from the priestly state. Priesthood goes with us in every relationship, verse 23. The blood was put on the tip of the priest's ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot. In what we listen to, and what we do, and where we go, we have to consider the charge that is laid upon us. In simple christian language, a priest is a spiritual man.

The thought of priesthood extends to every christian and the Spirit is here in order that we might take it up. We have to do the work of a levite and a common person, but the dignity of priesthood runs through all and gives character to everything we touch.

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CHRIST IN YOU

Colossians 1:27; Colossians 2:1 - 15

J.T. The teaching of these verses enters into the assembly, the saints' position as together in assembly. The epistle to the Colossians is general in its bearing; it does not deal formally with the saints as together, but the truth in these verses has its most concrete realisation as we are together. It deals with the spiritual side of our position, that in which, I believe, our gatherings are most defective. The order that is proper to the assembly convened is fairly well understood, and this order is included in what the apostle says in Colossians 2:5. He says there, "if indeed in the flesh I am absent, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing and seeing your order, and the firmness of your faith in Christ". The verse would cover the general deportment of the saints in Colosse, but it would have its most concrete expression in their assembly gatherings; their order was all that could be desired apparently, as the apostle says, he was not only pleased with it, but rejoiced in it. It was pleasing to him; although he had not been there in the flesh, he was there in spirit. This brings out the more spiritual side of the position.

If we apply the verse to the Lord Himself, it becomes fuller and more applicable as the saints are together in assembly at any time. So that we learn what our order is in His eyes, what joy He has in His people viewed in that way. So that although our assembly meetings may not go beyond this feature, there is something in them for Christ. What I thought we might see in this connection is that this second chapter aims at the more inward privileges that belong to us, as gathered; that we might enter upon them, and that we might see how all that

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would hinder us entering upon them is dealt with by God. So that what is to be considered is the more spiritual side of our position, corresponding with what was seen in the forty days in which the Lord appeared to His own before He ascended, after He rose; indeed, these days were for spiritual education. Hence chapter 1: 27 brings out the general position amongst the saints, that is, Christ being in us or among us. This has to be understood spiritually, and I believe that it involves the understanding of the forty days. It is not that He is amongst us corporeally, but still amongst us, and obviously this has the greatest realisation as we are together.

J.C.S. Is it that assembly order, to which you have referred, leads us to a platform where everything expands in a secret or inward spiritual way?

J.T. That is what enters into the passage, I think. The order is one thing -- the public order -- which is delightful to the Lord and to heaven. How we come together; how we sit together, and how things are done generally, but there is what follows on that, and expands beyond what is local.

J.C.S. I think you said that Colossians gives us a sphere -- a general idea of the spiritual order of things -- corresponding to the forty days, but that when we come together in assembly, this takes more definite form.

J.T. Yes; the conditions are then more suitable to it. Paul tells us -- in 1 Corinthians 15:5 - 8 -- that during those forty days and subsequent to them, but particularly during those forty days, the Lord appeared to Cephas and to the twelve, then to five hundred brethren at once; to James, to all the apostles, and to himself. The five hundred brethren at once certainly points to the saints together, and so the twelve, and so "all the apostles". Both sides are presented. Thus I think we may learn that the

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saints together in assembly afford the Lord an opportunity of making chapter 1: 27 real to us.

A.M.H. Has "Christ in you" in that sense a double bearing? You might say He dwells in the affections of the saints normally, but when we are together, is He brought into evidence amongst us?

J.T. I thought that. "Christ in you" would mean that He had a place in the affections of the brethren, particularly among the gentiles. It is set here as a mystery; "this mystery among the nations, which is Christ in you the hope of glory". It is spoken of in that way; it alludes evidently to the place He had acquired in that gathering and elsewhere among the nations; He was in their hearts. Of course, that is a general thought, applied normally among christians, that the Lord was always regarded affectionately and reverently, but when we are together in assembly it especially applies. Though that is not treated of in this epistle, the teaching here can be linked up with what is collective. When we come together in assembly, and have what He provided for as a means of calling Him to mind, the truth as it is stated in verse 27, would be more realised than at any other time.

J.C.S. Would it be right to say that a person coming in and sitting down in a back seat would be able to take account of the orderly procedure? But he would not be able to gauge the feelings or the affections of the saints in regard of the Lord Jesus.

J.T. That is right; and it helps as to the position when we are together in assembly. "Christ in you" is amplified as we partake of the Lord's supper. It is amplified in the saints. It is not only that He is in our affections, but that He comes in because of conditions, and is there in a more concrete way than at any other time. Only a spiritual eye can discern that; the ordinary person, as you say, might see and admire the order -- he might be affected by

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the assembly order -- but "this mystery" he could not discern.

P.L. Would this be in keeping with the thought in John 14:22? The question is asked as to how the Lord will manifest Himself to them and not to the world.

J.T. That enters into what we are saying. The Lord says, "If any one love me", and then He speaks about the word: "he will keep my word".

Earlier He said, "He that has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me; but he that loves me shall be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him". But when the question is raised how He manifests Himself to us and not to the world, then the Lord changes from "commandment" to "word". "He will keep my word", and then the Father and the Son come, meaning that the mind of God is understood as to the conditions suited to divine Persons. The commandments would separate us from what is wrong in christendom, but the word would lead us to the inward side of things; what the mind of God is as to conditions suited to Him, and that is beyond the range of the ordinary mind. A passage that helps as to all this is Exodus 24, where we are told that Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel were invited up to the mount, pointing to a realm beyond the natural, where they saw the God of Israel, and what was under His feet.

J.C.S. Would the commandment to which you referred fit in somewhat with the order of 1 Corinthians, and the word with the Colossian point of view?

J.T. The word is more Colossians and Ephesians.

P.L. "Let the word of the Christ dwell in you richly" -- would that link up with it?

J.T. It would. Colossians is an entering epistle, that is, it treats of conditions in us enabling us to

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enter on the divine ground, to go over Jordan. Ephesians opens up to us what is beyond. In that epistle you are immediately introduced to the heavenly position, you are blessed "with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies". It is the heavenly position, but Colossians is the entering in, the crossing of the Jordan.

G.C. "Christ in you the hope of glory" would give a totally different outlook from the natural, which would be apprehended only by those who are spiritual.

J.T. I think that helps. "Christ in you" involves that He has a place in our hearts day in and day out, and He gives us to understand that as He is loved by us, there is something beyond. It is not to set us up here where we are, but there is something beyond. That is what the Lord Jesus would do for us, and transferring the thought to the saints, as assembled, the same thing would apply in an increased measure. That is, as He is apprehended in the Supper -- as He comes in -- we realise there is something beyond. He is apprehended in our minds as present and He conveys this. All He says to the disciples in John 13 - 16 has the same thing in mind, that there is something always bearing on what is beyond, what He is going into, and what would be for us there.

J.F.S. Have you in mind that these chapters give us the inward position, as in John?

J.T. They do. Matthew, Mark, and Luke give us the external position -- the actual procedure at the institution of the supper, which John omits. In entering on these chapters John says that it was "before the passover". It is not a question of what happened outwardly in relation to religious dates or observances: that can be noted by the natural eye. This is what is inward. What we are speaking of now is particularly needed. Often as to

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the ministry there is the complaint. We do not follow, we do not understand; but the primary concern is that what is said should be the truth. If it is not understood, then it is a question of where we are spiritually. This epistle is to make us spiritual; mainly by presenting Christ in His personal greatness in chapter 1; then to show that He is in our hearts -- He is loved by us -- and that this is mysterious and involves glory -- the hope in our hearts is glory. Then in chapter 2 the things that would hinder us from following on into the glorious realm are dealt with.

P.L. Would chapter 1 be like the ark two thousand cubits distant, emphasising the glory of the Person, and chapter 2 the descent, the way made for Israel through Jordan -- disabilities cleared so that we may go over?

J.T. That is what this epistle teaches. Great things were to happen, Joshua stresses that great things were to happen at that time; and that is where we are defective; we are not on the alert for these great things.

F.S. Is that the thought in the section referred to in John's gospel where the Lord says, "Rise up, let us go hence", the ark is going to move?

J.T. Exactly. That is the end of chapter 14.

J.C.S. Does the breaking of bread prepare the way for this transference to the spiritual or inward situation?

J.T. That is what I think; indeed, there is nothing clearer than that. The breaking of bread is a public matter; it is properly in the wilderness. That has often been asserted, and it cannot be asserted too often; that it is a public matter here, where Christ is not. It is because He is not here that it is celebrated. He, having already a place in a general way in our hearts, seizes the opportunity to come in when our minds are disengaged from all else and

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engaged with Him in the memorial. All that happens in our minds. It is not in an external way at all, it is in our minds, and in that way the idea of Christ among us is amplified. If we take the type, Jehovah says to Joshua, "This day will I begin to magnify thee". Christ is magnified amongst us; He becomes greater and greater on these lines, so that He absorbs us and asserts His rights amongst us.

A.M.H. Hence, 'dead and risen with Christ' is true to faith all through the week. Your thought is that there should be a movement on these lines in the power of the Spirit when we are gathered together.

J.T. That is what I thought we might see, that John's gospel shows how an opportunity may be seized, or taken advantage of. As, for instance, Mary of Bethany took advantage of the opportunity to anoint the Lord for His burial some days before He died. This anointing would properly be as He was about to die, but it is as if she realised she might not have an opportunity again, and she seized it, as seen in John 12. I believe the idea may be connected with the Lord Himself, that in His love He takes advantage of an opportunity and the Lord's supper gives Him that. Our minds are disengaged at that time. We are wholly engaged with one thought, that He is not here; and that is why we call Him to mind. There is an action of our minds, and He seizes that opportunity to come in in a way that He has not done ordinarily. Then there is the magnifying, as we are told in the book of Joshua. Whatever the Lord may do as amongst us, we make way for Him. He becomes more and more.

J.C.S. So that spiritually every eye and every heart turn towards Him, and although there is no external appearance, yet very great things are taking place in the affections of the saints.

J.T. Exactly. The religious ceremony called 'holy

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communion' is what is external, and nothing else, what can be seen and heard by the natural mind and ear. But in the assembly there is an inward action, calling the Lord to mind, and an understanding and realisation of His presence: that is what is stressed here. "This mystery", the apostle says, is "Christ in you the hope of glory".

E.B.McC. Would you say that He had become magnified to the apostle so that he announces Him; "admonishing every man, and teaching every man, in all wisdom, to the end that we may present every man perfect in Christ"?

J.T. Yes. You can see how He was magnified in the apostle's mind in writing the letter. When he comes to chapter 2, he is greatly impressed with what he had in mind, saying, "I would have you know what combat I have for you, and those in Laodicea, and as many as have not seen my face in 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 of knowledge". This is a passage that requires special attention, because it is really preparatory to what we are speaking of -- the saints are to be knit together in love.

J.C.S. "Knit together in love". Does that supply the conditions necessary for the Lord to present Himself to us in this way?

J.T. In 1 Corinthians we have the order as to the Lord's supper, and the order of ministry in chapter 12. Then it comes to love and the apostle speaks about showing it. "Yet shew I unto you a way of more surpassing excellence". It was not there, so he had to describe it, but he does not do that here. Evidently there was a better state at Colosse, and he presses that what they understood might apply in increased measure. Indeed, they had love for "all

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the saints", and they had "love in the Spirit". So that the thing was known there, he did not need to describe it, as he did to the Corinthians, but his prayer was that it should increase, that locally they should be united together in it.

P.L. Does the Lord crown the teaching of chapters 13- 16 of John with a prayer in chapter 17, after the order of Paul's here: "That they all may be one"?

J.T. That is the same thought; "knit together in love" is constructive. The loaf denotes that we are "one body", for all are partakers. What we do is to remind us of what we are to one another; and it is a great thing to take up that attitude, as we sit together in partaking of the Lord's supper.

G.C. These are the conditions that are inviting to the Lord, and from which He would not stay away.

J.T. You may be sure that He will come. That is just the point to reach -- what He will do and He will not do.

A.M.H. Is there a rising note in the understanding of the mystery of God?

J.T. I should think so. "Unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the full knowledge of the mystery of God". The idea is advance in riches, in full knowledge, as if conditions now were such that he could bring this forward. There is full assurance of understanding to the full knowledge of the mystery of God.

A.M.H. I was wondering whether that was necessary for the proper development of what you have before you -- not only Christ loved in our hearts and our being knit together, but the knowledge of the mystery of God, what God would have us know of Himself. Then there is more for the Lord to operate upon, for not only is Christ brought into

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evidence amongst us, but God Himself would become very great to us, would He not?

J.T. And then the mystery of God. The mysterious side of christianity is much spoken of in Scripture, and yet, speaking for oneself, how little it is known and taken in! Here it is the mystery of God.

C.C.C. A practical point of importance, if one gathers something of what is in your mind, is that the order of the Lord's supper may be proceeding in a defined way that is right, but a certain spiritual sensitiveness may be absent, which if present, would have made room for the movements of the Lord and His disclosures, and thus the best is lost from the occasion.

J.T. That is right. We should not minimise the early part of the meeting. The assembly is so pleasing to the Lord. "My assembly" -- the very initial thoughts of it are pleasing to Him. As spiritually one approached the tabernacle from the wilderness, one would note that the camps were all apart at respectful reverential distances. As one looked out on, or approached, the tabernacle with a spiritual eye, one would be affected. And the Lord is affected as He sees the idea of the assembly taking form even in its public character. I believe from the time when we begin to move from our houses, the Holy Spirit would serve us in that very connection in "the anointing". All is to be in holy dignity as we move forward to come together in assembly. It is all pleasing to the Lord, but more particularly when we sit down. It is attractive to Him, even the order of it. I believe that the loaves -- the shew-bread in the types -- indicate how He looks at it. In Exodus it is the "bread of the presence", not so much the order, as the presence of the saints in their position inside, so that God sees them. In Leviticus, the loaves are set in rows -- six in a row -- anointed

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with frankincense and always, as it were, fresh, for the loaves were removed every sabbath by Aaron, and I think that is what is alluded to in this chapter. The order of the saints, as meeting together, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because we are united in love. That is, it is a living state of things; Christ in us, delightful to the eye of God, and that is what is alluded to in verse 5. Then there is the more inward side of things, the apprehension of what is wholly spiritual. So that we have Christ presented to us here as the One in whom all the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily. Then it says, "ye are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and authority". These are all great spiritual thoughts and the understanding of them is open to us. The type says, Jehovah magnified Joshua. This helps as to what is before us. So in the assembly, as we go through and the time has come to disperse, Christ is greater in our eyes, and we feel spiritually greater. We feel we have had to do with wonderful things and are enlarged; it is not only a question of order, but of what we see inwardly.

J.C.S. You have spoken of spiritual emotions; would you connect that idea with the inward side, the influence of all the wealth upon our spirits?

J.T. Well, the Psalms help us as to worshippers, how the psalmist regarded what was inside; what a day in the courts of God was; what the sanctuaries were, as Asaph speaks of them! These things are written for us, to impress us with what is available to us, so that in assembly we get the good of them; and not only that, but we are enriched, able to worship, able to take part in what the Lord has in His mind. The fact that He is stated to be Head of all principality and power is a great thought. It is not that this is to be operative in the assembly, but in chapter 1 He is Head of the assembly, and this

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feature becomes operative, as we are in assembly.

J.C.S. Is it to emphasise the greatness of the Person who comes in, that He is spoken of as Head of all authority?

J.T. Yes, it is how Christ enters into the position. Whatever magnifies Him in our minds is to subdue and enlarge us.

P.L. Such an expression affords spiritual latitude therefore to dwell upon His glories and greatness in infinite variety.

J.T. I think that is what is meant in Joshua being magnified.

E.B. Do you mean variety on any given occasion or on successive occasions? I just ask because we have been accustomed to the thought that it was necessary to see in what particular character the Lord would present Himself and follow that up.

J.T. Yes. If He has to attend to any conditions amongst us that are contrary to the occasion, then it is not so much a question of magnifying Him, but of His service, and He is ready to serve us. But then the Spirit of God would bring in thoughts of Him, all to magnify Him in our eyes and to displace ourselves and any thoughts we may have that might hinder; so that you see it is all a question of Christ; what He leads to. We find that in the type, the whole twelve tribes are in mind -- an important matter, that we are not unduly local. Whilst the bread may denote our local units, it also denotes the unity of the saints on earth and I believe that is what is meant in the type; the twelve must be there. The two and a half tribes did not go over, as all the other tribes did, but they went over representatively in the forty thousand warriors, and they are mentioned as they pass over. There must be the whole thought of God in our minds.

G.C. "In him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily". Such an expression makes Christ very

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great to our hearts and outside of Him there is nothing for the saints. All these things are brought within our range in that Person.

J.T. That is exactly what is stated, so as to shut out any thought of mentality, or rhetoric, or music, in a fleshly way, or ceremonialism; philosophy, too, is mentioned here. All these things are shut out, so that there is nothing to mar the occasion. The Lord is free to move according to His own mind. All these things are dealt with effectually.

J.F.S. That would lead us on to what we have in chapter 3: 11 -- "Christ is everything, and in all".

J.T. That is in relation to the new man. Here it is the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in Christ bodily; that is, within our range. And then as to ourselves, we are "complete in him". He is on our side, so there is nothing lacking in the position.

J.C.S. Does that refer to the assembly -- "complete in him"?

J.T. It means that we are full -- 'filled full', as in the margin. There is nothing lacking in Him, so that all ceremonialism and philosophy is shut out as unnecessary -- not only as evil, but it is unnecessary. There is no need for it.

A.M.H. It is coupled with circumcisions is it not? If we are "complete in him", I suppose we must accept the other side -- the circumcision.

J.T. That is right, the putting off the body of flesh -- the totality of it in the circumcision of Christ. So that in the type in Joshua, we come on to what we have been saying, we come to chapters 3 and 4 -- the stones in Gilgal -- and then circumcision in chapter 5.

S.F. Would this teaching preserve the saints from being beguiled by what is of man, and hence detrimental to christianity proper?

J.T. That is the intent, and of course the teaching has its application to us in our general position, in

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our every-day position, but it has peculiar force when we are together, because these things viewed in that way in our minds would interfere with the service.

F.S. Is the body of flesh the full range of things in which the flesh finds its life?

J.T. I think it is more the flesh itself as a power, if allowed. Philosophy and vain deceit allow the flesh, whereas in the circumcision of Christ it is put off as before God.

J.C.S. We have "the body of his flesh" in the former chapters.

J.T. Here it is the body of the flesh, the totality of it -- the body means the whole thing. It is the flesh in me, here the power that works religiously, or philosophically. It is the flesh in these settings, but it is the totality of it.

F.S. There is nothing of it that is worth keeping.

J.T. Well, exactly, and it is what is evil, too. God has dealt with it effectively in the circumcision of Christ. The type of course, helps us, because the sharp knives are to show that the thing is thoroughly dealt with, there is the rolling away of the reproach of Egypt. Then what comes into view is the old corn, which means that we are now moving on to Christ. Not the Christ who was here -- the same Person, of course, but in another condition. It is Christ, according to the type in Joshua, as indigenous to heaven. It is Christ as He is up there, not simply as He was during the forty days, but as He is up there -- that is, the old corn -- what is there.

E.B. What distinction would you make between Christ as up there, and what He was during the forty days?

J.T. What He was during the forty days was educational; it was not final. It is the same Christ, personally, "the same yesterday, and today, and to

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the ages to come" (Hebrews 13:8), as to His Person. But as to His condition, there are variations, and we have to make room for Christ in glory -- glorified Christ. So that Philippians speaks of "his body of glory" -- we are to be conformed to His body of glory.

J.C.S. Would the old corn of the land embrace the idea of eternal purpose?

J.T. Yes. It is indigenous to heaven. The old corn means the stored corn, it is presented in that way, Christ as food, but Christ as there already. Not the manna, "the manna ceased", we are told. Nor is it the shew-bread, which was for the priests. It is Christ as food for heavenly people, that we may be sustained up there. Think of the greatness of that thought, that you can be sustained up there! You are equal to the place, the food sustaining you in it.

Ques. Would thoughts as to the Lord's greatness be expressed to Himself or to the Father?

J.T. It is quite in order to speak, as in the assembly, to the Lord as known thus. It is what we should do, but if He is on our side, leading us on to, or in, the service of God, then the Father is before us. We have to bear in mind that the assembly as convened has the service of God in view, and if we are going on to that then it is a question of speaking to the Father or God as Christ's Father.

I think there ought to be ample room in our assembly services for reciprocated affections, in word from our side, between Christ and the assembly. But at the same time ever having in mind that it is a question of the service of God, and that His office as amongst us in that connection is Minister of the sanctuary, and that His face is towards God, as our faces are. So that we proceed to speak to God, and we speak of Christ to God; but then we ought to be able to speak to God as to Himself, what He is.

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J.C.S. Do you think that calls for more spiritual power?

J.T. Well, it does, and the object of this meeting is to stir up interest in spirituality. The order of the assembly is fairly well understood, I think, with the exception that we are apt to bring in ceremonialism. That is, certain limitations and rules which would check the flow of life, the free action of life. But generally, the Lord has helped us as to order, but what is needed is spirituality, and the forty days of the Lord's sojourn here, I believe, are intended to teach us spirituality, they are educational.

C.C.C. The forty days suggest a sphere of great liberty for the Lord in His movements amongst His own, which practically we may restrict by holding on to order in our minds. This may be correct in itself, but hampering the Lord in His movements.

J.T. Well, I think that is a good remark, because Acts, which has the assembly in mind, begins with this, that the Lord presented Himself living. He presented Himself to His disciples living, and we must not interfere with that. He intends Himself to be seen and known in a certain way at any given time. We want to get that, and we do not want to restrict it. If it be only a question of Himself presented, we shall have a good meeting. Paul's allusion to His appearings show that we must give the Lord scope, that He may appear. He wishes to have scope to appear to us, to have to say to us.

E.B. Would that answer to the manifestations in the end of John? Would it be the same sort of idea?

J.T. It is the same idea as in the three manifestations in John 20 and 21, but it must be remembered that two of these were corrective. The first is the normal one; the one in chapter 20. I think the two subsequent ones are to encourage us that the Lord may turn a corrective service on His part

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into a manifestation; He leaves us with an impression that carries with it a new view of Himself.

J.C.S. I think that is very encouraging and it should help to preserve our spirits, for sometimes we get ruffled when things do not go just as we have expected.

J.T. So if there is subjection in the meeting, even a low state will bring out a ministration from the Lord which may be viewed as a manifestation; you see Him in a new way. One has often seen that in the meetings.

There are many other things here that time does not permit of dealing with. There is the thought of our taking the ground of being risen on the principle of faith, and then quickened, which is not a matter of faith, but of power. The Spirit of God has operated so as to stir up and enliven our affections. That is a matter of power, but the resurrection is a platform which we are to take up on the way to the great thought of glory in the assembly.

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PREPARATION FOR ASSEMBLY FUNCTIONING

Luke 24:28 - 43; John 20:17 - 21

J.T. These scriptures have often been under consideration and are more or less familiar. They are proposed now to indicate preparation for the assembly in its active function. The first depicts the Lord as acting in a restorative way, but with a view to those restored being prepared for the assembly, more particularly in its public character or aspect. The second has the same thing in view but more from the purely spiritual standpoint. So we have the formal message sent through Mary, obviously a preparatory message, having in mind the Lord coming into the midst. So that the two taken together will enable us to view, with the Lord's help, prophetically, what is needed for the public assembly and what is needed for it in its more private or purely spiritual relations and service. Preparation is needed for both, and we have divine preparation in these scriptures, that is, the Lord's dealings with us in view of it and, correspondingly, there is the idea, too, of preparing ourselves.

W.J.H. Would you not say that preparation marks divine operations from the outset?

J.T. Well, wisdom says that He prepared the heavens; had you that in mind?

W.J.H. Quite so. There was definite preparation in relation to creation as also in all the word of God.

J.T. I think that is right. It applies particularly to the service of God as seen in the great skill and care exercised in Exodus in relation to the tabernacle, and in 1 and 2 Chronicles in relation to the temple. The preparation resulted in an opportunity for God to come in.

There is the principle in the scriptures of taking

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advantage of opportunities; God looks for opportunities and never fails to take advantage of them. So He says, "In all places where I shall make my name to be remembered, I will come unto thee, and bless thee" (Exodus 20:24). The remembering of His name suggests condition. There I will come unto thee -- there I will bless thee. In the tabernacle, following its parts being put together and anointed and each part functioning, the divine glory is seen; that is, an opportunity is afforded which God seizes. And so as the one note of the priests and singers went up, "For he is good, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever" (2 Chronicles 5:13), that one note so intelligent, so appropriate, and so acceptable to Jehovah, then the glory fills the temple. In the first instance Moses could not enter to serve, and in the second the priests could not stand to do their service. Jehovah took advantage of the opportunity of filling the whole scene. He loves to show how He values the fruit of His own work as seen in His people. How He values them and has pleasure in them! And so in this instance in Luke 24 the opportunity was afforded, but the Lord had already anticipated it and had acted in a restorative way, first in His appearing to Peter, and then to those two going to Emmaus. The thing in view was that the condition should exist that did exist. That is, they were speaking about His appearing to Simon. "The Lord is indeed risen, and has appeared to Simon", and then how He was made known to the others in the breaking of bread. Then He seized the opportunity; He had no doubt looked for it and waited for it to come in.

G.C.H. Does this preparation to which you refer indicate that when the full position is reached, as set out in this twofold way, divine Persons are seen then in Their relative places, so that the service operates from that standpoint?

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J.T. I thought we might see, if the Lord help us, that we are in the presence of an economy. Christianity involves an economy into which divine Persons have come. The One retains His place in the Deity in absoluteness, whilst the other two Persons have taken the place of servants or ministers. Preparation for the assembly involves that the Persons of the Deity should have scope to act as intended in the economy. It is not that we are brought into the presence of Deity in Its own absolute relations, but Deity has come out and established an economy for a purpose -- an economy which may be intelligible to us. This economy is taking form now in the assembly. It will take a public form in the millennium and will go on to eternity, for it is never given up. It is intended to be intelligible to faith through understanding in His saints, so that as we are in the assembly, having been prepared, we give place to the conditions for the working out of this economy that we may see His end. The end is not man, but God.

G.C.H. It involves, does it not, a downward movement on the part of divine Persons, involving revelation, and then the upward movement in response to what has been established?

J.T. That is the thought exactly. The apostleship of Christ stands related to the revelation of God. The high-priesthood of Christ stands in relation to the responses of man to God. That takes form now in the assembly, and hence the need for preparation so that we might each know how to take his place in the assembly and function in it.

J.A.B. Would you say that the first movement with us is to intelligently find a place where the Lord would have us to be?

J.T. I think that is what Exodus indicates. You are struck with the great pains taken to ensure accuracy; everything is to be in accord with what

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was shown to Moses in the mount. The workmanship is effected by skilled persons filled with wisdom. So that not only are we told that things were to be made, but they were made, and were made exactly as God commanded them to be made, and that Moses passed them. They were brought to him and he passed each piece, showing that each was very good, and then he took them and set them up. As each piece was set up it was functioning, it was not inactive, meaning that the saints are set together locally, in spiritual intelligence, each functioning in his place. And as that proceeds the glory comes in. The glory in Exodus would be more the covenant glory. It comes in and fills the scene. The glory in Chronicles is on a higher level, I think, typically. It comes in, not simply as the parts of the temple were set up and the temple was completed, but as the voice of the singers singing and the priests trumpeting became as one. The glory entered and filled the house of God.

G.C.H. Does Exodus in that way connect the movement of the glory with the covenant? It says that "the glory of Jehovah filled the tabernacle" (Exodus 40:34), but in the building and dedication of the temple the name "Jehovah Elohim" is used frequently (see 2 Chronicles 6:41). Does that indicate that there is full response and that the vessel was complete?

J.T. I think that is good. 1 Chronicles 17 would help in that in the varied appellations by which David addresses God as sitting before Him. He covers, you might say, all the titles of the Deity in approaching God. He had proposed to build a house, but Jehovah sends a message saying that Solomon is to build the house. Instead of being resentful, David accepts the position, and acts himself as son. He enters the house of God and sits there in liberty; God evidently encouraged this. The terms that he

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is able to use in addressing Deity are most suggestive. Finality was in David's mind. God is to be the end of everything. So that 1 Chronicles 29 would follow David's testimony in that way. The glory filled the house of God in 2 Chronicles 5:13, 14 "when they lifted up their voice with trumpets, and cymbals, and instruments of music, and praised Jehovah: For He is good, for His loving-kindness endureth for ever; that then the house, the house of Jehovah, was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not stand to do their service because of the cloud; for the glory of Jehovah had filled the house of God".

E.S.W. Would you say a little more as to what preparation is required on our side to sustain the entrance to divine Persons?

J.T. That will take us a little too far at the moment. The first thing is the restorative preparation. In the last 100 years we have had this principle in great activity. It is the restorative service of Christ with a view to the assembly. That is what appears in Luke 24. What you get in the beginning of the chapter is that, whilst the women who saw where the Lord was placed in the tomb observed the sabbath according to the commandment, they were not believing as regards resurrection. I believe that applies in the history of the assembly: things were observed, there were certain observations according to the commandment, but there was lack of faith. The outward observance of things of God's ordering without faith is really valueless and cannot effect what is in God's mind. I believe that is what existed, and perhaps exists today. There was considerable recognition of the commandments, but want of faith. The women did not believe that the Lord would rise. They came with spices to anoint Him as if He were not going to rise. It was the observance of a commandment with the dead

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Christ, but a living Christ is needed for the service of God. And so the Lord commences this great restorative service here in going on the way to Emmaus to intercept those that were going away. They were full of thoughts about Christ and could speak a good deal about Him, and were dejected because of what had happened, but they were going away from the centre. Saints generally have gone away from the centre; they have turned to other things besides Jerusalem, to other systems, and the Lord has been and is operating to restore them, and that is what these verses we have read bring to our attention. How successful He was! He brought them back, not in any arbitrary way, but in the most skilful manner, appearing in the breaking of bread.

E.F. Do you think that, in the course of this preparation, we all have to come into personal contact with Christ, and do you think the Lord takes this matter up in view of restoration to the divine centre?

J.T. That is how the chapter stands. It says, "Behold, two of them were going on the same day to a village distant sixty stadia from Jerusalem, called Emmaus". They were going away. Possibly they would settle down in their old town, and start business there, and all that they had had to do with would fade away. The Lord knew there was something in their souls, that is, they were real at bottom. I believe that is the position today. The Lord is intercepting and restoring this and that one so as to prepare him for the assembly. It is not only to restore them to Jerusalem, which was the divine centre, but that they might be prepared for the assembly. They showed that this was effective, for when they returned they spoke about the breaking of bread.

R.S. Do you think in going away they would

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miss the present position of the Lord on high?

J.T. Yes, they would miss everything. The Lord was operating in Jerusalem. According to Luke the operations went on in Jerusalem. According to Matthew they would go on in Galilee. Emmaus was outside the range of divine operations. They might carry a good deal of information, but they were going entirely out of the range of divine operations. That is how thousands and thousands of the Lord's people are today. The Lord is working to get them into the realm of the divine operations, and the assembly is the centre of it.

N.B.S. Would the making as if He would go further, be a test as to whether they would settle down without Him?

J.T. Just so. He would indicate that He was a Man of affairs, so to speak. The Lord is like Joseph of old -- the man of affairs. He is conducting great affairs. He made as though He would have gone further, as much as to say, 'I have affairs beyond this'. But He gave them opportunity to constrain Him, showing that He is capable of being constrained, but all the time with one end in view, that is restoration.

G.A.v.S. Would you say that in acting in that way He was really counting upon what He knew; He was operating in their hearts when they were going to Emmaus?

J.T. Their hearts were capable of burning. "Was not our heart burning in us as he spoke to us on the way?" They were converted people, capable of that. Without that there is no hope, unless their hearts could warm up under the influence of His speaking.

W.J.H. By going away, such miss the forty days in which He assembled with them, which was a wonderful experience.

J.T. Quite so. They were really going outside

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the range of what He was doing. He said nothing about Emmaus in His remarks to them. Jerusalem is the centre. Luke says Jerusalem. They were going away from Jerusalem.

G.A.v.S. Would the Supper test us as to where we really are as to understanding the mind of the Lord for this occasion?

J.T. Quite so. Many of us come and sit down, and our hearts are incapable of being set on fire or being affected. It is the state of our hearts. They came back, we are told, the same hour.

W.W.W. Their hearts, then, were in better condition than their feet.

J.T. That is right. For the moment they were. He knew that. You may be sure He had a good time opening up the Scriptures to them. I think the Lord had a good time. If there is any attachment of heart we shall enjoy the opening up of the Scriptures. How they would love to hear what He said about the ark in Exodus and the glory of the tabernacle. He knew their heart was burning, and that would encourage Him to go on. He had the end in mind. As has often been the case, you meet a christian and he listens to you. His heart is burning and you are encouraged to go on. You do not commit yourself to him. That is, your occupation is wider. Those who are intelligent as to the assembly are on a wide basis; never narrowed up. The Lord made as though He would have gone further. He was a Man of many affairs. But He was ready to go in if conditions warranted it. The conditions did warrant it for His purpose.

J.R.B. Did the Lord indicate this when asking, "Who do men say that I the Son of man am?" (Matthew 16:13).

J.T. Well, I think He wanted to bring out what was current so as to show that the testimony was not really being effective in a public way. That is,

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the generality of the Jews was not affected. There was no hope of restoring the position of Israel. His question was to bring that out, I think. So that the next thing can come out, the assembly. It is essential; you must have it. The public do not grasp it at all. They had respectful thoughts and were not opposed, but they did not have the idea.

G.A.v.S. Was His being known to them in the breaking of bread to induce them to return to the centre in which He was operating?

J.T. That is how it stands exactly. They were talking about that. He intended, I believe, that they should grasp something about the breaking of bread. The Lord's supper is taken by many as a sacrament. Those taking it may be the Lord's, and we must have respect for them, but the breaking of bread belongs properly to another place; no sect can be equal to it or great enough for it. It belongs to another place. So they went back to Jerusalem and found the eleven. Every one should go where the authority of the Lord is owned.

J.J.J. In recognising Him, would they say He was the Man of sorrows?

J.T. You can understand that what He was was in their minds. "He would go further", it is said. But He is gone. Where has He gone? That would fill their minds. He disappeared from them. Where is He? They did not lose time on that point; the conclusion which the Lord intended arises in their minds at once. They went back to the centre.

G.A.v.S. Would it mean that the glory would not properly fill the house until they returned?

J.T. The thought is initial preparation, so He appeared to Simon and to these two. It does not tell us how He appeared to Simon. It is a simple statement, "The Lord is indeed risen and has appeared to Simon". That is what they were saying in the gathering. He intended that as a result. He

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knows the end from the beginning, and in restoring anyone He intends that that one should contribute his quota, and He knows what is the need. They were speaking about this time, "how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread". That was another thing the Lord intended as essential to his appearing, coming in and filling the place. The first thing is for a recovered christian to find the eleven, which means those who represent the Lord's authority, and the place where the Lord's authority is maintained. We will never be right until we go to them.

Ques. Would you say that the result of the Lord's service to the two going to Emmaus would connect them with what is living?

J.T. Quite so, it would. The first thing is where the eleven are. The point in the eleven is that they represent the Lord's authority. This is a broken number, of course, as is the case today. While greatly decimated, yet there is that which recognises the Lord's authority, and that is the first thing. Until that is reached there is no hope of anyone having any part in the assembly. They found the eleven. They were to be found, and they found them that very night.

G.C.H. Would the Lord interpreting the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures lead to Him acquiring a place amongst His own? He first establishes authority and then comes into their home in nearness to them, in favourable conditions to lead them on still further with the assembly in view.

J.T. So He took the bread, we are told; the same word is used in the institution of the Lord's supper. It says, "he entered in to stay with them", meaning that He accepts their invitation. "And it came to pass as he was at table with them, having taken the bread, he blessed, and having broken it, gave it to them". He had caused their hearts to burn, so that

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they constrain Him to stay, and He comes in to stay. It is not that they set a meal for Him by Himself, but He was at table with them. Joseph had his brethren dining alone; they were at different tables in the dining hall. Joseph is at a distance from his brethren at the meal. The Lord here does not take up that attitude. He is getting at their hearts, sitting at the table with them. This is their affair. He is with them, and He takes the bread, exactly what He did in the upper room in Jerusalem, and He gave thanks and gave it to them. It says "he blessed, and having broken it, gave it to them". So He is before them as He had been earlier in His own realm in the upper room. Now He is in their house, but He is doing the same thing.

G.C.H. I wonder if the Lord would draw near in their own homes to souls who are not clear as to their place in the assembly and provide ministry there too.

J.T. I think the Lord would stress, in recovery, the importance of the believer's household. It is part of the testimony for God. I believe it comes under the heading of a "clean place", and the Lord would so regard the house of a christian. We say, He is not breaking bread, but the Lord knows the end from the beginning. He deals with us from His own point of view, and if He enters into a christian house it is because it would afford Him more scope than the roadside would; there is something distinctive in it that God has put there. And so it was with Zacchaeus; the Lord knew that man's heart and that he wanted to know who He was. He was concerned about the Person of Christ. The Lord knows what is current in every one of us. He is seeking the company of each one and knows just what is in the heart, and if that one is a married person and has a house He will come into that house. He would say 'I will respect your house'.

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He says to Zacchaeus, "make haste and come down, for today I must remain in thy house". The Lord knew exactly what to do. Zacchaeus acted exactly as the Lord desired. He entered into his house bringing salvation to it. "To-day salvation is come to this house". That was the effect -- anybody with eyes to see, saw. It brought out what the man was. Undoubtedly, the presence of the Lord in his house made him feel more than he could have anywhere else. He says in the house, "if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I return him fourfold". That is what the house is and what the Lord is, indeed. Here in Luke 24 it is what their house was, and what He could do there.

G.C.H. The breaking of bread is really what takes place now in the assembly?

J.T. Well, it was a suggestion of it. It was not, of course, the assembly, but the house afforded Him an opportunity to suggest the assembly to them.

E.S.W. Does the Lord take advantage of our households to teach us what is proper to the assembly?

J.T. That is what I was thinking we might get at, the preparatory idea, the lines on which the Lord is moving in this great service of recovery. After He gets in the house, there are conditions there which He can use to a certain point but not beyond that. It says, "their eyes were opened;" not just that He showed Himself, for He disappeared. That is, there is an action of God current. Their eyes were opened and they recognised Him. While He entered in to stay with them He has no thought of remaining there once they recognise Him. The point was to reach this and as soon as it is reached He departs.

J.G.H. He vanished out of their sight.

J.T. They knew Him. That means that every christian has some knowledge of the Lord. They

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had special knowledge because they were two that had been with Him.

G.A.v.S. Was not what He did in giving thanks and breaking the bread reminiscent of the Supper?

J.T. I think so. One, if not both, had undoubtedly been at the Supper, and had undoubtedly seen Him break the bread before and give thanks. He would always do it, I suppose, at meals with them; it was a very familiar action. They knew Him in that way. It was not only that the action thus disclosed Him, but their eyes were opened. There was an action in them too.

J.A.B. We might have a very definite sense of the Lord in our houses, but that would only encourage us to find the place in which He would have us to be.

J.T. That is the idea. The believer's house is a divine institution, the household of faith, but it is a stepping-stone to what is greater.

G.C.H. I was wondering in that way if the language of the Song of Songs would fit in with this, "Tell me, thou whom my soul loveth" (Song of Songs 1:7).

J.T. Very good.

E.S.W. Thus the Lord, taking the bread, suggests that there was something in the believer's household that He could use for His purpose.

J.T. Well, that is very evident here. He took the bread. Someone may say, 'Well, this is just what He did in the upper room'. It ought to be observed that in the upper room probably there was more bread than the one loaf, and in the house here probably more bread than one loaf. In either case there is the idea of detachment from something else.

G.A.v.S. And so is that also necessary, if we are to have assembly conditions?

J.T. Well, quite so. There is a detachment, which

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is another feature of recovery, that the Lord's supper has its proper setting. It has a setting all of its own: it is neither the upper room with the passover supper present, nor the believer's house where his own supper might be present. It belongs to the assembly. In the early days they had it in relation to their own houses, but under Paul the Lord's supper was formally detached from the households of the saints. He said "Have ye not houses to eat in?" And he would detach household conditions from the assembly. The bread is the centre of a new system, and it is only this particular bread that He takes, so Paul calls it "this bread".

Ques. Why is the cup absent here?

J.T. Well, you could not go that far in the believer's house. You could not go as far as the covenant. The house of the believer is hardly equal to that. It involves the Supper.

W.W.W. Would you say in the household the Lord comes to our circumstances, whereas in the assembly we go to His?

J.T. That is right. The assembly is His. "My assembly".

J.A.B. Would the thought of being where the eleven apostles are make for subjection to the Lord and love for the Lord?

J.T. That is right. And then the next thing is what they are saying there. If you go into a sectarian assembly, what are they talking about? They are bringing forward scriptures which they think support their sectarian position. I am not attacking any -- only seeking to illustrate their assembly. The synod is to regulate things relative to that system and it is very probable that is what they are talking about normally. If you sit down amongst them, what are they saying? It is so with every sect.

R.S. I understand the meaning of the word Simon

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is 'hearing'. He would speak as he heard, would you say.

J.T. Well, that is true. The Lord had appeared to him. He is called by his responsible name here, Simon. But I was speaking about what people say in their assemblies. What do the brethren, say? Here it says they were saying that "the Lord is indeed risen". There is no question about it, they are sure of it. It is not a mere question of creed or mere doctrine, but a fact. They are occupied with facts and with principles. "The Lord is indeed risen and has appeared to Simon", and the fact that He had appeared to Simon was proof that He was risen. As risen He is graciously on the restoring line. The next thing is that the other two said that He was made known to them in the breaking of bread. "And as they were saying these things" the Lord stood in their midst. The glory, as it were, came in.

Ques. Would you say this is secured in the Philadelphian assembly?

J.T. Well, we were saying previously that the message in John 20 links on peculiarly with the overcomer in Philadelphia, and the overcomer in any assembly represents the principles set out in the letter to that assembly. He values the principles and truth relative to that assembly, and the Lord speaks to the overcomer four times of "my God". A very remarkable thing because I think He indicates that in the overcomer in our time you will find a recognition of God as Christ's God. He is apprehended as Christ's God.

W.J.H. Would you say a little as to what that conveys to your own heart?

J.T. Well, I think it is God in the full thought of how man should know Him. It is more than God in the covenant; it is God as Christ knows Him. It must carry with it the absolute thought

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- that is how I understand it. He counts on the overcomer in Philadelphia to value and understand that.

Rem. Thomas had said, "My Lord and my God". He had to see Him before he believed.

J.T. Quite so. He said that to Christ. He called Christ his God, and that is to say he apprehended His deity. But then Jesus says "my God" in the message to His brethren in John 20, and in the letter to Philadelphia he addressed the overcomer and used the phrase "my God" four times. That is a very significant thing and I think it points to what the Lord has been drawing our attention to, that the end of all things is God. It is God known as Christ knows Him, not only what He is in creation or redemption, but what He is to Christ. It is Christ only who has the full thought of God, Christ as Man.

G.C.H. Does Luke present God in regard to covenant relations and this sets us free to go further; the Father is seen in John and at the end the Lord speaks of "my Father and your Father ... my God and your God".

J.T. Well, I think that is right. It is generally so that Luke is concerned about the public order and service of the assembly, whereas the purely spiritual side is implied in John's narrative.

G.C.H. The thought of God being beyond that of Father is probably new to many or us. We have thought that the Father was the greatest and the final thought.

J.T. Well, I am sure it is not so. The Father is a more limited thought and the thought that enters into the economy. We are baptised unto the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. But where the Lord says "my Father and your Father ... my God and your God", that is the order in which the truth is developed, showing that the end is God; God is all and in all.

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G.C.H. Would you suggest God as in relation to the covenant and also the Father's name are both mediatorially expressed, but that God in the absolute is more than a mediatorial position?

J.T. Well, it is as Christ knows Him, according to all that He is. We, of course, can never grasp it as Christ grasped it. But what it is to be alongside of Him! He sent a message before to prepare them, to enable them to stand alongside of Him. We take our place alongside of Him and wait for Him to lead us.

G.A.v.S. Do you imply there is a special place to which He leads those who thus stand alongside of Him?

J.T. I think that is the trend of the truth. If you listen to Him speaking to God you get some thought of God, not only in His covenant relation, but in His absolute relation, how Christ knows Him. It is most significant that He says it four times over to the overcomer in Philadelphia.

G.C.H. Is the knowledge of God, in the way in which you have been calling attention to it, connected with His place in regard to the assembly?

J.T. It clearly is. "Of him, and through him, and for him are all things" (Romans 11:36), that enters into this message. In the Lord's mind God was the end of all that He had been doing, and now He is going up on high, ascending to "my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God". What He had in mind when He came amongst them was that they would be prepared to take their place alongside of Him. It is the pattern for the assembly worked out under Paul; it is under Paul's ministry that you get all this. I do not think the ministry of the twelve reached it at all. Peter never mentions the Son of God in his ministry except in the reference to the mount of transfiguration. It was not that he did not know, but he knew how to keep

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things and leave them with the vessel that God intended to use.

L.S. Would "to him be glory in the assembly" have this in view?

J.T. That is right. "To him be glory in the assembly in Christ Jesus unto all generations of the age of ages" (Ephesians 3:21). That is the climax reached in the assembly and that is under Paul.

J.A.B. The Lord identifies Himself with such a company as is seen in Luke 24.

J.T. Well, in Luke you have the public aspect, and what they are saying, but in John they are not saying anything; there it is the spiritual side. It is very striking in John. Lazarus never said anything as far as Scripture goes, not that he never spoke, but see what he is in the testimony, what an effect he had; so the spiritual side makes room for silence. It is a question of being in the assembly to contemplate what is presented to us.

G.A.v.S. What is the relation of 1 Corinthians 15:28, "that God may be all in all", to what you have referred to as Christ's God?

J.T. Well, I think that helps as to what we are saying. That gives the end: Christ is subject to Him who is God and Father. He takes His Place in that way, but then it goes on to say that God may be all, as an object, and in all. The preposition implies that He is in all in power, filling all things in power. That is the end. It must be good. Everything is filled by God.

E.S.W. What part has seeing the Lord in this? Mary told the disciples that she had seen the Lord. They also rejoiced at having seen Him.

J.T. Very much. That brings out another thing the ability to see things, to discern the Lord. John says, "It is the Lord". He had discernment and power to see that it was the Lord. He says to Simon in the boat, "It is the Lord". So that when He

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comes in in relation to the Supper you see Him; it is an entirely spiritual matter.

G.A.v.S. Does that lead on to the living God you were speaking of elsewhere?

J.T. Well, it does, only I think "the living God" is a relative term having death in mind, particularly in religious circles. God by Himself, spoken of as Christ's God, is God who is known eternally. The Son is placed in subjection to Him who put all things in subjection to Him; then comes the end, that God will be all in all. That is the end of things.

J.G.H. The Lord uses the same word on the cross. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me"?

J.T. Yes, there you have Him using it again. He is using it there, of course, as dealing with sin, but in the assembly it is His God, but not as dealing with sin, but in His own relation as Christ's God. It is what we shall be engaged with forever.

D.J.M. You spoke about the Lord being alongside the disciples. Does the Lord give us strength to take that exalted place?

J.T. Well, that is another thing, to be sustained there. Hebrews shows the means whereby we can be sustained there. It says "having", which is a characteristic word in Hebrews. "Having therefore, brethren, boldness for entering into the holy of holies by the blood of Jesus, the new and living way which he has dedicated for us through the veil, that is, his flesh, and having a great priest over the house of God, let us approach" (Hebrews 10:19 - 21). That is, the means is furnished for sustaining us in the presence of God in the sanctuary. We are to be sustained there.

E.F. Would being strengthened with might by His Spirit also enter into this?

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J.T. Quite so. I was thinking of that; that is in the inner man.

J.A.B. Referring to preparation, Mary has something to learn before she is equal to carrying the great message given her. Would you suggest that we also have something to learn before we take up our relationships in a spiritual setting?

J.T. Exactly. With her, as with the two, the preparation develops out of restoration. Restoration really applied to Mary, too. Although she was very affectionate, she was very dark in her soul. She thought the Lord was dead, when He was alive, and kept on at it. So that both she and the two going to Emmaus serve to show us how the Lord causes restorative service to become light as to the assembly. She had the light of His Person as ascending to His Father and her Father, to His God and her God. So that you can understand what an atmosphere her message, as delivered, would produce in the company. And so it is that every truly restored person is prepared for the assembly and contributes to it. Recovery implies preparation for the assembly.

L.S. And would the normal result be what was referred to as glory to God, the normal occupation of the vessel?

J.T. That is the thought. So you find throughout Luke constantly that they glorified God.

G.S. Could you tell us where Matthias comes in in the broken state of things?

J.T. The Lord restores the position through him: he became an apostle. The Lord wrought here with men as He found them in relation to Israel. It terminated with a breach, that is, Judas was lost. The Scripture had foretold it. It was intended of God that it should be so. But the new system, that is, the system in which we are, could not properly begin with a broken number. It begins with a

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complete number, and that is the first thing that occupies the brethren. Peter says in his speech among the brethren, "It is necessary therefore, that of the men who have assembled with us all the time in which the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day in which he was taken up from us, one of these should be a witness with us of his resurrection" (Acts 1:21, 22). A fine speech that was! Well, they chose two and cast lots and the lot came upon Matthias and he was numbered with the eleven. So that when Peter stands up to preach for the first time, Matthias is there.

Rem. Does what has been said correspond with the provision of material for the completion of the tabernacle and also for the temple; nothing was lacking?

J.T. Yes, it is in relation with the princely side. The assembly is composed of men and women, old and young, and each cost the same. The boards are all socketed with silver -- representing the cost of the saints. "The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less" (Exodus 30:15). It is a common ground we are on. That is the position of the assembly publicly, but then we must make room for spiritual formation, and that is what develops in the kings and princes. It is a question of David, for instance, providing a hundred thousand talents of gold. How much did Paul provide? and how much did Peter provide? Thus it is a question of spiritual formation. A man is worth what he is and if he has a hundred thousand talents of gold, he is worth it. You have to recognise a man according to what he is, so that the fact that I am breaking bread is not everything. It is a question of spirituality. In speaking to young people, Isaiah 44:4, 5 is most significant; it says that the children "shall spring up among the grass, as willows by the water-courses" and presently

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one of them says, "I am Jehovah's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another ... surname himself by the name of Israel". Well, that means he is going to be a prince, and every young christian should have that prominently before him. That is what I am going to be; I am coming into the fellowship, that is, consciously. You may get on a bit and surpass others; the one who describes himself as Israel says, 'I am going to be a spiritual man'. That is what counts in the assembly and that is what counts in eternity, too, for it is a question of our measure.

L.S. The Lord's message to the brethren that they are His brethren would prepare for such a service.

J.T. I think that is it. The message would be light in their souls, and if the Lord came in you can understand that the light would operate. He says in John, "Peace be to you", and it says "they rejoiced". That is, things are normal in John. He is entitled to view us abstractly. God is entitled to do that. He views things abstractly, and shuts out fleshly things for the moment. The Lord would enable us to view saints as entirely in relation to His work in them. They gladly received the Lord, and then the Lord says the second time, "Peace be to you". As much as to say, 'I can commit Myself entirely to you', and then He breathes into them and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit".

Ques. You referred last night to the principle of being shown a thing. Is that something that we should be ready for?

J.T. Well, that is another thing, readiness to be shown a matter. The Lord is ready to show you. Indeed, that is what comes out in David in that the foundation of the house is shown. God shows you what it really is. All along things are shown to us, as to what they really are.

Ques. Are we to understand by what has been

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said, that we can enter into the knowledge of God beyond what is mediatorial?

J.T. I do not think we can grasp anything without the mediatorial service of Christ, because if you are standing alongside the Lord, and if He is speaking to God, you are learning through Him. You are grasping the thing through Him; so that we see Him pray alone in a certain place. Well, how would He pray to God? The person who saw Him was impressed by that. What a thing it was to see Him praying. Following this they said, "teach us to pray".

G.A.v.S. Would you say in that connection that when Mary said "Rabboni" He recognised the state and condition in which He could make a disclosure of this nature?

J.T. Quite so. It was a word of her own. She was appropriating Him as her Teacher; it was not 'Rabbi', but "Rabboni". The Lord saw that she was getting on.

W.J.H. It would seem that the Lord used these two expressions, "My Father", "My God", while in flesh and blood but there is no evidence of any one sharing them until after His resurrection and in view of His ascending.

J.T. No. It is very remarkable that it says He was praying alone, and yet they were all around Him. It was His own action. The relation was exclusive to Himself until He died and went up into heaven. John 20 anticipates the ascension.

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PRESSURE

Genesis 22:9 - 14: 2 Chronicles 3:1; Exodus 15:23 - 25

These scriptures speak of certain things shown, or told of, divinely and hence they are read; also to link up with what is divinely shown to God's people in the thought of pressure. Pressure is evident in these scriptures, not indeed in the actual verse in 2 Chronicles but in the section in 1 Chronicles to which they allude we have the pressure. Pressure is a means employed by God in His formative operations, and hence we are to know something of it, if we are to be formed according to the divine design for us. This applies to each of us and to all of us viewed as a whole. Pressure, from heat or from weight, in solid matter or water, is the means used. In the creation and in many other instances it serves to symbolise what God is doing in His people; for in truth He is operating on the line of new creation. The idea of the first and second applies. He takes away the first that He may establish the second; the second is what He has in mind; it is what is to remain, what is being established. The idea of pressure is seen in it just as it appears in the first. And so, dear brethren, I bring it forward that we may think of it, and not take ourselves out of the way of it, as God may see necessary to apply it, for in it He intends to carry on His great work of the second creation, or new creation. By pressure He effects formation, as I said; it may be seen constantly throughout the whole realm of the physical system, and in it as God places us and brings it upon us He would seize opportunities to show us what we may need in the pressure. Whilst He allows and causes the pressure, He also operates through our minds, for we are not inanimate material; we are

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constituted intelligent by God, so that we might know what He does. If we do not know at the moment we may know later: the Lord says, "What I do thou dost not know now, but thou shalt know hereafter" (John 13:7). That is always an encouraging word! In speaking of pressure, dear brethren, one has in mind that the Lord as become Man, led the way. Gethsemane is symbolical or representative of the great thought of it. The Lord was always under pressure whilst here; He could not be in a world of sin without being under pressure, nor can anyone who is for God be in a world of sin without being under pressure. Then there is also the government of God, which, of course, is not sin. The government of God began early, it began as sin came into the world, a sort of veil through which God may, or may not, let us look. He has long experience in the use of it; it is the very opposite of sin, and is to counteract, or to limit, the working of sin, but it is pressure. No one knows better than God how to apply the principle; He is the God of measure, and in no circumstance is the idea of measure more used of Him than when He is dealing with His people by pressure. He knows exactly the pressure needed, every point of it is considered, every ounce of it. He has a design in the application of it, and the end of that design will be reached, but He is thoughtful and considerate of us and will not allow or order more than we can stand. What He seeks is to call our attention to what He is doing, so that He is operating on material that is not inanimate but intelligent, not unfeeling but feeling, and knowing what is proceeding.

Well, now, that would indicate what I have in mind; and Abraham stands out in this matter of divine showing, as also in the matter of divine pressure; he is the father of all believers. Some of

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you young people may not have thought of that, that Abraham is your father in the sense of being a believer. God, of course, is our Father, the Fatherhood of God comes out in Christ. We cannot attribute faith to God or to Christ in that sense, -- not that the Lord Jesus did not walk by faith -- but Abraham is representative of faith in the sense of being the great believer. He is the father of us all, we are told, from that point of view; and he is the father not only in that sense, but also in what goes with the thought of faith. And so in calling him out from Mesopotamia, God speaks of showing him the land. I think he is in that sense the first one to whom the land is mentioned: "The land that I will shew thee". He would always have in his mind in his journey from Mesopotamia to Canaan the idea of the land as divinely shown. One would like to have that -- the idea of things divinely shown. God may use instrumentalities; He does, He is doing it; and so in this well known chapter, God approaches Abraham and applies the test, and what a test! "Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, Isaac". It is as if God would press the idea of the sacrifice he was about to make -- "Thine only son, whom thou lovest", making the test more poignant, if possible, and appealing to the affections of Abraham as to the attractiveness and loveableness of his son. One would invite special attention to the way in which God approaches the point immediately, not leading up to it gradually. He puts it straight to Abraham; you are going to be tested. He knew Abraham; He knew exactly how things had gone; He had followed him from the time of the promise of Isaac up to this moment and He understood every movement of affection and intelligence in the heart of Abraham. He waited the moment when Isaac would be all that a young man could be as an only son, for such he was, and as

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such he is regarded. God did not ask for Isaac when he was a babe. At that time Abraham was willing to keep Ishmael alongside Isaac. But now he had gone through the process of casting out the bondwoman and her son, and the boy Isaac had grown and found his way, embedded himself in the affections of his father, a love that perhaps never existed in man before existed in that father's heart at that time. God awaits opportunities, and the opportunity had arrived to bring this peculiar pressure to bear upon Abraham. What is written across the chapter is the idea of the position being told or shown him. Moriah seems to mean that; certainly it does as it is found in Chronicles. So that the pressure proceeds accordingly with something that is shown, and the establishment of a permanent land-mark in spiritual history. That is another great point that He intends in dealing with us. Heaven's records are full of the spiritual history of God's people down here, of the effect of God's work in His people down here. Would that we could take that in! It is a question of what heaven is working out indelibly for the location of positions, for the establishment of spiritual land-marks, for the perfection of spiritual history as needed in the records in heaven. And so Abraham pursues his way these three days with his beloved son. One need not say much about it, it is a well-known chapter. There was the full testimony, the three days, the full testimony to the test, that the test was continued in its most poignant effect on the patriarch as he pursued his way to the place shown, the place spoken of, the place to be seen. He made no mistakes when he arrived close enough to see it. The sight of it would only increase the pressure, only a few moments and the object of his affections would be gone. Think of the feelings of the man, and think of heaven watching with the

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utmost intensity as that hand was raised to slay that boy. Heaven arrested it, it never came back again to do its work. That is the position, dear brethren, and Abraham looks around and sees a ram caught by its horns in the thicket. We have here a great land-mark. This mountain is marked off for all the people of God throughout all generations that should follow, a great spiritual land-mark: "Jehovah-jireh; ... On the mount of Jehovah will be provided". You see, dear brethren, in taking on the pressure as God directly places it upon us, what the result may be. Who knows but what this pressure may mean the establishment of some great spiritual land-mark that others will profit by? God works in a wise plan; He operates with each of us; He loves each of us. He thinks of us in relation to His great plan, and who knows but some great spiritual principle may be established as we submit to the government of God. And so, dear brethren, this opportunity brings out, as I said, "Jehovah-jireh". And Moses who wrote about it hundreds of years later says, "as it is said at the present day, On the mount of Jehovah will be provided". "On the mount of Jehovah" -- who knew better than he? God had in mind that His people in all ages should have this great principle before them, there is a place where God will provide. Moses who was to be used to construct the tabernacle, to lead the people of God out of Egypt through the wilderness, would know this great principle. "On the mount of Jehovah will be provided". As I look at a fellow christian and see how he is going on under divine pressure I am learning from that brother what God is effecting in him. What has happened to him is going to be recorded. The Holy Spirit will see to it that it will go down, that nothing will be lost, that others will profit by it. So we have land-marks established for the encouragement and the education

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of others. In what transpired in this remarkable chapter a mountain is called attention to, the mountain of the Lord. It is a question of the mountain of the Lord. We read as regards Joseph of "the best things of the ancient mountains ... the precious things of the everlasting hills" (Deuteronomy 33:15). Here is one of the precious things coming down to Joseph, that is to say, upon the head of Christ, and that is in relation to all that belongs to Christ: the "myriads of Ephraim" and "thousands of Manasseh", that is, the saints. It comes down to us for our profit through Christ in this way.

Now the second point is in 2 Chronicles. The first is a question of resource. We will all be tested as to what we are going to do next when we get in tight places. This is the great lesson of Genesis 22. It brings you to understand the place of divine resource so that you know where to turn, you never have to turn your face to the wall but you always have a way out. "On the mount of Jehovah will be provide", as Abraham proved in the ram caught in the thicket. What a way out! It was the wonderful intervention of God when he was supremely tested. The ram was there. In 2 Chronicles what is in mind is the foundation of the house; it fits in with what I have been saying. The foundation is but little understood. The foundation that is alluded to here is a shown foundation; it has to be shown, and God is ready to show it. The Father revealed it to Peter, for instance, Peter says to the Lord, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16). The Lord says, "thou art Peter, and on this rock I will build my assembly". That was the foundation. Solomon's foundation it is called here, though it was not shown to Solomon, but to David. We are to understand that Solomon is the counterpart of David. He comes in in the sense of a counterpart to work out what was begun

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in David, and one of the things is that David had had the plan of the house shown him. God would show it to every believer; it must be shown to us; the weakness of many is that they have not seen it. In chapter 21 of this first book many will remember, God moved David to number the people. Satan moved him, but God did too; it was a question of God's government, a most solemn matter. He had to deal with Israel for some secret conditions, and he moved the king to number the people. We have to be on our guard about numbers, dear brethren, mere numbers. David sinned in numbering the people, because he wanted to find out the mere numbers, the number of persons, not the qualities, but the number. Then we find that God directed Gad, David's seer, to offer sacrifices in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. Jehovah directs David to the site as the sequel shows. David was quick to answer to the direction and he offered sacrifices which God accepted, a very fine point for the sinner, as we move under divine direction as afforded us. David was quick to own his guilt and accept the government of God, and immediately divine direction is afforded him. Let me say to anyone here, however great or small the offence, there is a way out. Gad was the immediate mouthpiece of God, and Gad directed David as to this matter, and David was quick to respond to the direction divinely given through him. He was being shown. Think of God being here tonight to show things! He may use me or He may use the Scriptures I have read. The Holy Spirit is here to show there is a way out for everyone who may be in difficulties in regard to his soul. There may be some such here. David was in straits; he says, "I am in a great strait". It is a good, wholesome experience if our wills are at work. In love God will allow us to reach it. David

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was in a strait; and, how beautiful, he says, "Let me fall, I pray thee, into the hand of Jehovah, for his mercies are very great". A second message instructs him to rear an altar on the threshing-floor of Ornan the Jebusite. He immediately proceeds to Ornan and buys the place. If God shows you something, you want every inch of it. Chronicles would indicate that David secured every inch of the place; we cannot afford to let one inch slip, we must get every inch of it. The idea is it is a wide place, not simply that I am going to be in it, but that it is a wide idea. David bought the place he was divinely shown. So, if you are in a strait, and God shows you anything, do not fail to take it, secure every inch of it so that it is yours forever. David paid the full price; he would not have it without cost. That is the trouble with us, we are not prepared to sacrifice; we are afraid of publicity perhaps, or some other consideration. If God is pleased to show us a way out, let us not allow one inch of what is shown to slip away. The idea of the house of God began with Jacob and is taken up by David in a most unexpected way, for he found the foundation of the house. He saw that Jehovah answered him in his offering. If you are going on in a self-willed way God will not answer you. Get out of the path of self-will into the path of divine recognition and acceptance. David saw that God had accepted him and he offers sacrifices. He was pleased to be there; he understood God. He could not go to the tabernacle; the sword is not sheathed there. If you pursue on the line of self-will, the sword is dangling over your head, but if you are in submission the sword is sheathed. We need to get on to that foundation; that is what God's love is, that is where the saints are. Faith would say, "That I may dwell in the house of Jehovah all the days of my life" (Psalm 27:4). No one desired

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it more than David, and immediately after he desired that, the sword was sheathed. God looked on David and saw how David was sacrificing, and He says to the angel, 'Put the sword into its sheath'. The discipline is over, the lesson is learned, the foundation of the house of God, the residence of the love of God, of God Himself and of those He loves, is secured. You cannot afford to be outside of it; and so David, discerning that, says, "This is the house of Jehovah Elohim". He has reached the spot, he had reached it through pressure, for it was divinely shown him through pressure. That is what comes out in chapter 3 of the next book. Solomon proceeds to build at the place shown and on the position that was shown. Let everyone take heed how he builds. So the Spirit of God goes on to tell us what Solomon's foundation was and that the height of the porch was a hundred and twenty cubits. We can build to elevation on these lines, dear brethren, but if we build on other lines, down it will come. Not a stone shall be left, the Lord said.

Now the next thought is what we get in Exodus. Moses and the children of Israel had come under great pressure; theirs was a great victory, they reached the wilderness side of the Red Sea by divine power. It is a question of the death and resurrection of Jesus. God brings us through in Christ; but the waters were undrinkable, they were bitter waters. Moses and the children of Israel were in straits. The children of Israel were murmuring against Moses. What was he to do? It says, "Jehovah shewed him wood". What He showed him was that the principle that came through the Red Sea was Christ entering into death and coming out of it by the power of God. It is the same Christ that came through the Red Sea. He entered into death and annulled its power that we might

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get out of it. It is the same Christ, only He is shown as wood (not a tree, though wood comes from a tree). It is a type of the humanity of Christ that the believer is shown. Many are content that they are converted, and have a little light as to Christ delivered for their offences and raised again for their justification, and leave it at that. Perhaps you intend to go on with the world; you have no idea of leaving it. You will never get this wood shown you because you are not in straits. It is as coming under pressure that you come to feel that you are thirsting and that there is no water. Do you say the water is not to your liking? I cannot say that is true of anyone here; if it were, you would not be here; but, maybe, you have in your heart to go along with the world, and if you do you will never have this wood shown you. God is ready to show it to you in this touching way. Christ has been cast into the water. He laid down His life of Himself; He entered into death of His own volition according to John; but here the figure is He is cast in by authority. That is to say He has tasted death for everything, He has been in it. The lover of Christ says, Well, I want that, I want to share with Christ. So my baptism means I have been baptised not only unto Him, but unto His death, and that the world is refused, that I say I reckon myself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ. How changed everything becomes. The whole horizon is lighted up with satisfaction, no longer murmuring. I am sharing in His death and the Lord says I will make you a statute, and He does; and they come to plenty of beautiful fresh water, twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees. But I am only speaking of the pressure and of shown things running together; and as a thing is shown to you it leads you out of the pressure and you never forget it. You apprehend Christ

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as being in death Himself, you have part with Him, you would not have it otherwise, and the bitter waters of Marah are made sweet. That is all I have to say; I hope the Lord will use it for our blessing.

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THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (1)

John 1:32 - 34; John 3:1 - 8; John 4:1 - 14

J.T. We were looking at the second epistle of Peter in regard to the substantial side of christianity and I have been thinking that we might look at the way the Spirit of God is presented in John's gospel that we may pursue the subject of substantiality. Peter's second epistle has in mind the confirmation of the saints in view of the apostasy, and we were observing how substantiality marks the features mentioned in chapter 1 of that epistle particularly. Certain christian qualities come to us through certain other christian or divine qualities. We are enjoined to add one quality to another: "In your faith have also virtue, in virtue knowledge, in knowledge temperance, in temperance endurance, in endurance godliness, in godliness brotherly love, in brotherly love love" (2 Peter 1:5 - 7). The apostle adds that he and his fellow apostles had not followed "cleverly imagined fables" but had been eyewitnesses of His majesty, alluding to the holy mount.

I thought we might pursue the subject in the gospel of John. He writes obviously in view of the last days, and views the Spirit from the same standpoint of substantiality, not as a mere theory. John the baptist sees Him as a dove descending, a symbol, of course, but still a symbol of what is substantial, not theoretical. Then the gospel presents Him as the Spirit under the figure of wind in chapter 3, and as water in chapter 4. All these are tangible suggestions. We have Him later as water in chapter 7 and as the Comforter, an actual Person, "another Comforter" in chapter 14 and in chapter 20 He is seen under the symbol of breath, the Lord breathing into His disciples. I thought we

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might look at the first two scriptures particularly this evening in a general way considering the subject as John the baptist speaks of it. John the evangelist is the only one who tells us that John the baptist saw the Spirit coming in this way.

W.P. Why do you particularly refer to the first chapter with reference to the Lord personally? You are speaking of what is substantial?

J.T. Yes, the dove; the Spirit is seen under the figure of a dove, seen with the human eye, so as to show that the presence of the Spirit is real and not theoretical.

R.S. All the substance that is spoken of in Peter's epistle was originally found in the Lord Himself, was it not?

J.T. Quite so; and John's fellow apostles could speak of Him, as John himself particularly speaks of Him, as "that which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes; that which we contemplated, and our hands handled" (1 John 1:1), alluding to substantiality. Luke speaks of the Babe as "the holy thing", alluding to the same thought, substantiality. He was substantially holy. Now the same principle comes into view in John's gospel; the dove represents, of course, other things as well, but it certainly represents what is substantial, not theoretical. I am afraid many of us are theoretical in our thoughts of the Spirit.

W.K. Is that confirmed by Luke's presentation of the Spirit descending in bodily form like a dove?

J.T. Yes, Luke speaks in that way, but no one speaks about John the baptist seeing Him, except John the apostle. John the baptist is said to have seen Him here, he is a witness of this great event.

W.J.H. Would you say a little more as to the recognition of the Spirit being theoretical with some of us?

J.T. I have no doubt you have observed that,

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too, especially with young christians. The thought is taken up in a very theoretical way, and we do not examine into the fact that what a believer has is substantial in a spiritual sense.

W.J.H. Was the widow in 2 Kings like that? She had something, but she belittled in her own mind what she had.

J.T. That is a good illustration. The prophet says, "what hast thou in the house?" (2 Kings 4:2). It suggests an enquiry as to what a christian has and what use he is making of it. The widow at Zarephath (1 Kings 17:12) had a handful of meal and a little oil in a cruse, and she was just going to make a little food and die, as if everything was about to finish, but it did not finish; the meal and the oil lasted for a whole year. In 2 Kings 4 it is a question of borrowing vessels, not a few, and shutting the door. The oil only stayed when no further vessels were available. The Spirit will fill us as we give Him scope.

W.J.H. And so she met her obligations with it and lived on the rest. The rest would be substance consciously enjoyed.

J.T. It would correspond with Romans 8:4 "that the righteous requirement of the law should be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to flesh but according to Spirit". That is, all our obligations are met and we are told the Spirit is life as well.

J.C. Would there be any reality at all apart from the Spirit? Having the Spirit is something substantial; not having the Spirit, if not in the recognition of the Spirit one would be in poverty.

J.T. That is what we thought we might get at tonight, that young believers might be stirred up to find how far they are in christianity, whether they have come to the substantial side of it.

W.P. In the scriptures in John 1 it is the Lord

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personally. Have you in mind we should be able to take account of what is substantial in Him first?

J.T. That is the general thought that is presented, that John saw Him. It says of Him, "John bore witness, saying, I beheld the Spirit descending as a dove from heaven, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not; but he who sent me to baptise with water, he said to me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and abiding on him, he it is who baptises with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and borne witness that this is the Son of God". That is John's record, and he is recording what is substantial, that there was a visible form seen by him descending, it was as of a dove and abode upon Jesus. His conclusion is that this is the Son of God. He who sent him to baptise with water told him that the One upon whom the Spirit could come in that way is One that would baptise with the Holy Spirit. The word "baptise with the Holy Spirit" is a substantial thought.

R.S. This substance would not only be taken account of by the eye of heaven, but seen of man.

J.T. Well, John saw it; he was told beforehand that he was to look for that sign, and at Pentecost there was the evidence of it. Some, in ridicule, said it was new wine; but, inadvertently, they were attesting the very fact we are speaking of, that there was a real thing there, causing a real change. Peter shows it is not wine at all, but that it is something real. He says, "Having therefore been exalted by the right hand of God, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which ye behold and hear" (Acts 2:33). That is a substantial thought.

C.W.P. Is there a sense in which we should see it?

J.T. There are the fruits of the Spirit which are given to us in Galatians 5; they are a nine-branched tree. Moreover, it is seen in the anointing

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the change in the believer's spirit, a change from misery through the conviction of sin, and of the knowledge of sin in himself, to joy; his countenance is changed; he is changed all over.

A.S. What is the force of the expression, baptised with the Holy Spirit?

J.T. I think it is seen in 1 Corinthians 12:13. It is said there "in the power of one Spirit, we have all been baptised into one body". That is one person speaking of it as experiencing it. It is an immense thing that we have persons in the Scriptures who are examples of what they teach. The apostle was an example of what he taught, he was one who was baptised in the power of one Spirit into one body, meaning that in the power of baptism he merged with the brethren. He came in late as an apostle, but he did not act independently, he went up to Jerusalem to make the acquaintance of Peter. Before that he was with the brethren at Damascus, going in and out amongst them. He merged with the poor followers of Jesus and was there in a satisfied way. In 1 Corinthians 12 we are all baptised in the power of one Spirit into one body, "and have all been given to drink of one Spirit". It makes for unity. The "one" is 1 merge with the brethren, I am not independent of them, I respect their judgment. We respect the brethren, and in that respect we are to be subject to one another, we do not find the position irksome, we do not wish to pull away from them, we are satisfied. "The trees of Jehovah are satisfied" (Psalm 104:16). I believe 'drinking of one Spirit' alludes to being satisfied.

W.J.H. The thought of being baptised -- all baptised "in the power of one Spirit" suggests bodies and volume. The figure in regard to the Lord, the dove, is outwardly small, but the Lord receiving the Holy Spirit in this way is sufficient.

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J.T. He got it uniquely for He must have in all things the pre-eminence. The idea in the dove is not only substantial, but total. No creature could receive the Holy Spirit totally. The Spirit is here in the assembly, and we come into the gain of it as of the assembly; but the Lord, as here on earth in humanity, had Him, in a total sense, not partially.

A.H. In 1 John 4:13 it says, "he has given to us of his Spirit;" but here it is the total sense.

J.T. The Lord had Him as no creature could have Him; He was capable of having Him totally. I believe that is involved in what John saw in the dove.

W.K. Would coming in the bodily form imply the totality of it?

J.T. It is the whole thought. He came at Pentecost in the same sense, but there it is as received by Jesus on high; he received Him from the Father, and He came in power, as over against the dove, which rather suggests sensitiveness. At Pentecost He came in power, they heard the sound we are told, as of a rushing mighty wind and it filled the house where they were sitting; they would all be sensible of it, what a mighty thing it was. Each one in the company was noted of the Spirit, He sat on each of them in the character of cloven tongues of fire. The symbol is very different, but it is not less substantial; He sat on each of them.

W.P. Does the Spirit coming in this way on the Lord suggest the pleasure of God?

J.T. Yes, there was nothing to disturb there.

W.P. And in its measure answers to the thought in Acts of the hundred and twenty?

J.T. There was something to disturb in Acts, and that is why the thought of fire is added, the fire would deal with anything of the flesh that acted. The dove is very sensitive. There was nothing at all to disturb in Jesus. The coming

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in of the Spirit would imply the coming in of what is spoken of in Colossians.

W.P. I was wondering if the pleasure of God is suggested in giving the Holy Spirit to them.

J.T. Yes, and reconciliation too, but potentially as in us seen down here, there is what would disturb and hence the thought of fire.

W.K. In regard to the Lord, it says the Spirit descended on Him, but He baptises with the Holy Spirit.

J.T. The word Holy is relative in view of what we are.

J.C. Does the dove suggest complacency?

J.T. I think so. There is the idea of sensitiveness. There was not anything in Christ to cause the least suggestion of unrest or disturbance. The idea of the dove begins in Genesis 8, and there is there the suggestion of the affection between it and Noah, representative of God. It found no rest for the sole of its foot; it was different from the raven, it is the idea of sensitiveness. It required something on which it could rest with satisfaction and with assurance.

W.J.H. Whilst the Spirit of God was active after that in many ways, the dove character disappears; it says the dove was from heaven.

J.T. Yes, and then it descended. Stress is laid on the descending; it descended with a definite object in view. What delight the Deity had in the movement! The voice from heaven is not given in John's gospel. The point is what was here substantially, which John was cognisant of; it is what is here in a substantial way seen by a creature, seen by John.

J.M. Is your thought that what is substantial is what you can take account of definitely in the movements of the Spirit?

J.T. What you can realise in your own soul and observe in others, as substantial spirituality. The

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person is different from what he used to be; his face shines; it used to be hard and repulsive, but now it is attractive.

F.C. He says "And I knew him not; but he who sent me to baptise with water, he said to me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and abiding on him, he it is who baptises with the Holy Spirit".

J.T. Jesus is to be known spiritually, by spiritual means. John the baptist was his cousin after the flesh; he was born six months before Him; he thus had the means of knowing the Lord, and who He was. People talk about a historical Christ and leave it at that. It is not a historical Christ. It is the Christ that now is. Not that there is any difference in the Person, but there is a difference in the condition. Paul says "if even we have known Christ according to flesh, yet now we know him thus no longer" (2 Corinthians 5:16). It is the Christ that is in heaven that is the foundation for us. It is from heaven that the Spirit is sent, and that implies that Christ died and has been raised from among the dead, and is known here in spiritual condition. We have a further thought which John speaks of, "We shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). It is the Christ of christianity. There is no change in His Person, but a very great change in His condition. He is a real Person, real humanity, but a new kind of humanity.

W.K. The Spirit descends as a divine Person.

J.T. He is a divine Person with a definite objective here on earth, and that objective was a Person, a Man, and another man could see it. The lesson is we are to understand christianity by the Spirit; it is substantial; it is not Christ after the flesh any more; it is Christ as He is.

A.H. Would you say, speaking of sensitiveness,

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that the Spirit is still sensitive? We read in Ephesians 4:30 that we should not grieve Him.

J.T. That is the word, neither to grieve nor to quench the Spirit; He is very sensitive, He retires. While that is true as regards the dove character, we must bear in mind that the other side is the cloven tongues as of fire, enforcing divine rights, and dealing with the flesh in me in a most drastic way.

J.C. Would spiritual manifestations be something substantial?

J.T. Well, if you are alluding to 1 Corinthians 12:1, I suppose the word is not 'manifestation', it is "spiritual" (see New Trans.). Substantial, spiritual gift is what is meant; and the apostle's exercise was that there should not be demoniacal conditions; the demon was a substantial being. Paul was concerned that the Corinthians in their desire to be great in the assembly should not come under the power of a demon, but that the power should be truly spiritual and given by Christ. Demoniacal conditions are very real. John does not deal with them; he does not refer to them. We are not so much harassed by them as the saints were in the early days; the apostles had to deal with heathendom and that implied demoniacal conditions. He says, "I do not wish you to be in communion with demons" (1 Corinthians 10:20). The heathen worshipped demons, they sacrificed to demons, real beings, and the christians were apt to come under the power of that. The test is given in 1 Corinthians 12:3 "No one, speaking in the power of the Spirit of God, says, Curse on Jesus; and no one can say, Lord Jesus, unless in the power of the Holy Spirit". A demon would never say, "Lord Jesus".

W.K. He says no one can call Jesus Lord save by the Spirit.

J.T. That is the test; and this early passage in

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John's gospel is to help young christians to see what christianity is. It is a real thing; the presence of the Spirit of God here is as real as anything can be; it is as real as the incarnation was, only He operates through christians, through believers. Jesus had a body prepared for Him.

W.P. Would you say that Nicodemus was able to take account of something substantial when he says, "We know that thou art come a teacher from God" (John 3:2).

J.T. I think that is right. He has something in him, enabling him to take account of this matter, and I believe that is why the Lord opens up so much to him as to new birth.

C.W.P. What is suggested in that the sound filled the house?

J.T. Everyone in the house was affected by the power of the sound; the sound filled the house. This helps us as to sounds. The apostle Paul speaks of the different sounds in the world (1 Corinthians 14:10). Christians are to distinguish between the different sounds. I believe that sound would enable christians to understand the spiritual sound that is of God. It was initial, you know. The whole house was filled with that sound; you would not listen to any other sound. It alludes to the ear and to the power christians have of discerning the sounds. The world is full of sounds, which are largely turned into music; radios carry them through space, these unholy sounds that come from the pit. The Spirit of God came in at the beginning and the sound filled the house where they were sitting. What a difference from these worldly sounds! What subdued feeling, reverential feeling there was in that house! All natural feelings would be withered up by it.

J.M. Would the dove, the wind, and the water suggest normal characteristics of the Spirit?

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J.T. The wind is the next great feature. In chapter 3 it is brought in by the Lord; it is not seen, but it is felt and heard too. What is there is not for the eye, but for other senses, particularly the sense of feeling. We have five senses, and manhood according to God implies the development of these senses. God addresses us through the senses. So the senses of feeling and hearing come in in regard to the wind.

A.H. In christianity all the senses are active so that we may discern between good and evil.

J.T. Quite so. This symbol of wind -- every one knows something about it -- may represent evil, as sound may represent evil of any kind; but we have to understand that, in this context it alludes to the Holy Spirit acting sovereignly and freely; there is no power that can interfere with Him. "Thou hearest its voice, but knowest not whence it comes and where it goes". That alludes to inscrutability.

J.M. We get in that way the normal work of the Spirit.

J.T. It is the supremacy of wind; everybody is conscious of wind. It is doubtful if the true thought of wind is ever understood; it is inscrutable.

W.K. It is "where it will".

J.T. Yes, it is beyond you to make out. There are great thoughts about wind, but this would show that it has an inscrutable character and symbolises the Spirit of God. He is operating sovereignly and dominantly, He cannot be interfered with from this point of view. It is only God who can gather up the wind in His fists.

W.P. Is this the way the Spirit of God works initially in souls?

J.T. Yes, you are made to feel that you are being acted upon by some supreme, sovereign, omnipotent thing and that there is a result.

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W.P. The result may be unhappiness and self-judgment.

J.T. Yes, you are conscious that something has happened; you are not what you used to be, you feel you have sinned, and you have to do with God. That proves that some great change has taken place.

J.M. That was the state of Nicodemus; he was uneasy because he was outside the kingdom.

J.T. He was affected in this way. It is so with most persons; they can see there is something there, but they cannot tell you intelligently. The Lord made a difference between him and the others.

A.H. Does such a soul need enlightening?

J.T. It is remarkable how the Lord opens things up to him. He had to know that even such a man as he had to be born anew. It had already taken place, but he did not know it. There are many like him in whom you can see the change, but who go on with the world, perhaps in religious belief; Nicodemus still remained a ruler of the Jews. There are many like that who stay on and go on as before, though interested in the things of God; they are not scoffers, not modernists. They need teaching; it is the greatest need of today.

W.P. And would teaching enable one to distinguish between flesh and spirit?

J.T. It is not easy to bring things home to a man of distinction, like Nicodemus. He makes a great deal of his position. The Lord had a fine opportunity. Nicodemus came to Him by night; not looking about like a thrush afraid of the cat after him. If the Lord had met him in the street he might have been ashamed or afraid to be seen; but at night he was secluded and the Lord had a fine opportunity and used it. The Lord says to him "Thou art the teacher of Israel;" apparently he was a great person in Israel. The Lord virtually says to him, 'You do not know the Scriptures too well; you ought to

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have known these things; you should not have to ask me about this'. The Lord put it to him that he should have known something had happened in his soul. Why did he think so differently of Christ from the rest of the Pharisees? What made the difference? He said to the Lord, "thou art come a teacher from God".

J.C. His coming to Jesus would show that the Spirit was working there. It was not so much the responsible side.

J.T. "No one can come to me except the Father who has sent me draw him" (John 6:44), and "It is the Spirit which quickens, the flesh profits nothing: the words which I have spoken unto you are spirit and are life" (John 6:63).

W.K. How far does the first step go? "Except anyone be born anew he cannot see the kingdom of God".

J.T. That is right, it is a question of what you see; if you are not born anew, you do not see it. The second step is entering into it; the water is added the second time by the Lord. You will find that if you come to the Lord and ask questions, as Nicodemus did, He will tell you more than you expect. He always pays attention to a believer who asks questions.

R.S. Elijah says to Elisha, "If thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so" (2 Kings 2:10).

J.T. Yes, vigilance is needed in regard to these things; that is the great lack, we are not vigilant. Scripture speaks of certain things, and we are not watching for them.

W.P. Were you going to say something more about seeing and entering?

J.T. Seeing is the first thing. That requires vigilance. There is something here, the kingdom of God; it is not of this world, it is not something that can be taken account of as men take account of

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things. It is a moral thing, righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. It may be all around you and yet you do not see it unless you are born anew. There may be young people in families where the fathers and mothers are spiritual and possibly brothers and sisters too; the thing is all around them, but they do not see it. The secret is they are not born anew. It is a terrible thing to awake to the fact that one is not born anew, that God has not operated in you at all.

W.P. Is the seeing suggested in that they can see love, joy and peace in activity in others?

J.T. That is right, it is a moral thought. It is the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of heaven here. It is a question of how God is here at the present time in the saints on earth.

W.P. Would the person who is not born of God be able to regard the people of God as merely upright, honourable people and not be able to take account of the kingdom?

J.T. That is true. As soon as you see a young person turning round and pricking up his ears and asking questions you may be sure something has happened; that is the thing to watch for in young people. Soon they will come to the meetings, and you will see them draw near when spiritual things are spoken of; you may be sure it is an evidence that something has happened.

The next thing is entering in. The Lord says, "Except any one be born of water and of Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit". There is a substantial thing there.

E.A.M. Is this the sovereign operation of the Spirit?

J.T. That is what is alluded to here. The symbols all point to that fact. Nothing can stay the wind;

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you may succeed in keeping it out of the house, but it is blowing all round; it is dominant.

W.J.H. Yet absolutely invisible; you referred to the young people, you cannot see what is going on, but there is something going on by an invisible power.

J.T. Quite so.

F.C. You cannot see the wind, but you can see the effect of it.

J.T. Yes you can see how powerful it is, you can see its effect on the ships, the waves, or the trees blown down, but you cannot see it. It is as real as can be, real as water, or stones. Two senses are affected by it, the senses of feeling and hearing.

W.K. What do you say as to the water?

J.T. It is the element of purification in the company of the people of God. There must be the element of purification; it is enlarged upon as the gospel is received, for it develops into the full thought of the death and resurrection of Christ. He came by water and blood. The water would be the effect of the word used of God. Some conception of the death of Christ must enter into it. There is no purification otherwise.

W.K. Does it correspond in any way with the blind man in chapter 9?

J.T. That is a fuller thought of course.

W.P. Would it come to light in the reception of the gospel?

J.T. That is the proof. The greatest proof is that one accepts the truth. Instincts may be there, young people may be holding back, but when they definitely believe the truth there is the proof of it.

A.H. Believing on the truth, the seal of the Spirit comes on that.

J.T. Quite so, it is God laying hold of the christian and putting His stamp upon him. That is the next thing, the water. The water is to be asked for, and that implies that I am conscious of need in my

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soul. Asking is because I have need, but how real a thing it is. The Lord says, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that says to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water". So that in this feature of the Spirit we have the great thought of the Deity in a Person, "Who it is". You are now in the presence of what is infinite. "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is ... thou wouldest have asked of him". The great Person who gives the Spirit, is God.

W.K. If thou knewest God's giving, is not that the idea?

J.T. Yes, and who it is.

A.H. Is the asking a very important matter?

J.T. It is, because it brings out that God has effected a sense of need in a man's soul. He has need of spiritual things; he has drunk of this world and has not been satisfied. Spiritual things are available; the Spirit of God is available. It is all based on "if thou knewest". That is teaching, if thou knewest. Meetings like this have that in view that we might ask if we have not got it. We can search our own hearts as to whether we are thirsting. If we are, the thing is to fall back on this, if thou knewest.

W.P. Is there a significance in the fact that it was an unsatisfied person and that the Lord was speaking to her.

J.T. A very great significance. She was a picked sort of person, the Lord ordered it that she should be there, and alone, too. There is so much entering into it, it should be seen in all its greatness.

W.P. So that it would be a voice to all of us who have been seeking satisfaction in other things and have not found it.

J.T. Here is a person who sought satisfaction after the flesh, and has not found it. The Lord knew about it, and He would bring it out. When she asks

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for water, He says, "Go, call thy husband". That is another great matter that we are shallow in regard of the moral question, in regard of sin; it discloses the meanness of our natural hearts.

C.E. It would be the normal consequence with the woman; if she knew the gift, she would have asked him for it.

J.T. Yes, if she knew. She did not know, but she was conscious of need; but there is a moral question, and the Lord says, virtually, 'This question has to be settled; call your husband and come here'. That brought out the whole story of her life.

W.K. Is that where the prophet comes in? I perceive that thou art a prophet.

J.T. Yes, she is gradually being illuminated, she gained by his teaching; she leaves her waterpot and goes away into the city. She understood that the Lord meant the living water was to be in her, that she was to be the vessel of it. She was herself, now, the vessel of living water.

A.H. That is substantial.

J.T. Quite so. She went to the men and said to them, "Come, see a man who told me all things I had ever done" (John 4:29). She does not say anything about the living water; it is the moral question that needed settling. They came to Him, and they believed in Him, and in a far wider way than she did, that He was the Saviour of the world.

C.E. The woman made very happy progress spiritually.

J.T. She did, she is a special sample for us. One lesson you learn is that you have to get to the Lord yourself, go into your closet, and speak to the Father secretly, get into touch with the Lord by yourself, and have everything out with Him.

W.P. Does the woman in that way set forth what might apply to all of us as seeking satisfaction

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in anything apart from God, though we may not be as degraded as this woman?

J.T. That is what is meant.

A.H. The evasion of moral questions is the root of much unhappiness.

J.T. I am sure it is. This shows the skill of the Lord, "Go, call thy husband, and come here". You see how that would work as light from God in her soul. "Man's spirit is the lamp of Jehovah, searching all the inner parts of the belly" (Proverbs 20:27).

W.K. So she says, "Come, see a man who told me all things".

J.T. Yes, all things.

J.J. Must each of us take this spiritual journey?

J.T. I think so. The first is the great general position in christianity, the Spirit here in a substantial way, baptising. We have been baptised by Him. Then there is the initial work in each of us by the wind, the water, and the Spirit; and then that which satisfies the heart, the living water, is to be asked for.

J.J. I was wondering if that was the spiritual history we must go through.

J.T. Notice how solitary each case is. Nicodemus alone by night, and the woman alone by day at the sixth hour. Each was alone with Christ.

J.M. Is this to help us to see how God would give according to Himself?

J.T. It brings in the thought of who it is; and it is what you would expect in divine teaching; Deity is before you. It is only God who can give the Spirit.

F.C. So that we carry over what God is in chapter 1 as still with us in this way. The One who sat amongst them was the One who baptised with the Holy Spirit.

J.T. That is the great general position of christianity.

The Holy Spirit is here, a Person on behalf of

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God. The word "Comforter" is that He is here alongside of us. Chapter 4 is wonderful because you are in the presence of Deity, for Jesus is no less than God, and though wearied with His journey this is how He speaks, "If thou knewest the gift of God and who it is ..." That is, in effect, He asserts His deity.

W.J.H. The Lord's position is figurative of His spiritual position, typical of sitting in control and ministering to us. The Spirit is available to us.

J.T. I think that is good, the suggestion is there. In Genesis the thought of the well is very prominent, so that all points to one thing, the Spirit of God. Joseph is said to be the fruitful bough whose branches run over the wall.

W.P. The greatness of Christ, who He is, emphasises the blessedness of His taking us up individually.

J.T. There is nothing to be sought more than to be alone with such a Person, especially when you are not clear about things. It is good to ask the brethren, but get to the Lord; He will have the moral question settled, nothing will be passed over.

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THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (2)

John 7:37 - 39; John 14:15 - 26

J.T. Brethren will understand that our object in these readings is not only to call attention to the fact of the Spirit's presence here in a doctrinal way, but to speak of Him as here in a substantial, spiritually tangible way, so that each christian may be able to determine how much he proves and realises the presence of the Spirit, so that our christianity may not be merely a matter of doctrine or theory, but in reality, enjoyment and power. We have already considered chapter 4, which, with chapter 7, treats of the Spirit as typified by water. We noted first of all the symbol of a dove as suggestive of the totality of the Spirit here coming on Jesus (chapter 1) and then as wind effecting the new birth (chapter 3); and then in chapter 4, as we said we had water, another tangible suggestion. What came before us, among many other things, as to chapter 4 was that it was the Spirit from the standpoint of satisfaction. Water as being drunk suggests satisfaction. We have in chapter 6 the idea of food, the bread that came down from heaven, which is for building up our constitution, for support; but water symbolises refreshment or satisfaction. The effect and bearing of chapter 4 is towards God, or at least upward, in the believer. It is said to be a fountain springing up into everlasting life, a fountain of water. That is, it is the Spirit affecting us so that He acts in us automatically, not necessarily through our intelligence. He operates in the automatic organs so to speak in the sense that there is a springing up into everlasting life, into the realm of unending satisfaction. In chapter 7 He is seen in the converse way of flowing out in testimony. It is formally stated, in this passage, that the Lord in the use of the figure

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of water alluded to the Holy Spirit. "This he said concerning the Spirit, which they that believed on him were about to receive". And His presence here is seen as the consequence of Jesus being glorified.

W.J.H. I was thinking that while the Spirit of God is ever invisible, yet it must be tangible, and clear to any one that there are those who are completely altered on the earth, and there are those who are satisfied. That can be seen. It is substantial in that way.

J.T. So that it is a question of the effect of the Spirit. In chapter 4 the believer's body comes under notice particularly, bringing out the idea of a vessel. The woman had brought a vessel to draw water and take it back with her, but as having listened to what the Lord said and being affected she left it, meaning that she understood at least instinctively that she herself was to be the vessel of living water.

W.P. Do we learn from that that the spring is within us?

J.T. I think that is what is meant. The principle is seen in the service she rendered in the city. She went to the men and said, "Come, see a man who told me all things I had ever done: is not he the Christ?" It is not only the words, but evidently something accompanying the words, some change in herself that affected them. She was not the person they had known. It sets forth the great change that comes over one who has the Spirit. It affects the testimony.

F.C. Does the idea of change come into this here?

J.T. I think it is just the counterpart of chapter 4. The idea of the vessel is set out in chapter 4, that is, set out in an informal way, "The water which I shall give him shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into eternal life". That is, the thing is seen as acting, not merely static. It is the principle throughout that what God intends for service

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is acting as you see. It is exemplified, and she, in immediately going to the city and leaving her waterpot shows she understood, and was functioning as to what she understood, that her own body was a vessel able to convey the idea of living water to others. And that is enlarged upon in chapter 7 because the location of the body is formally stated, that out of which the water flows, meaning it is a question of affections, not, as we shall see later, lungs, that is breath. It is more the compassionate side that is in mind, which flows out from the lower affections.

A.H. Is the springing up to be before the flowing out?

J.T. That is the order. Chapter 4 is for satisfaction; not only am I satisfied, but what I have springs up into finality, a final state of things that is to be apprehended by the christian. Eternal life is viewed not as in the believer but as an order of things into which a believer has access by the power of the Spirit and water flows up into that.

F.C. Would you help as to its setting? Why is it the last day of the feast?

J.T. It is satisfaction. Where the best in the religious world fails you, you have what is altogether satisfying in Christ. The feast of tabernacles was the best, the final feast of the year in Israel and carried forward cumulatively all the other feasts from the passover onwards. It is a cumulative thought, it is all that there was, as it were, in the religious order of things; it was all there in principle and it failed. It was the last great day of the feast, and the Lord infers that there was a possibility of thirst, in spite of the feast and the greatness of the day. One can see the applicability of that now, in view of what christianity has become. Public christianity has become an absolute failure as to satisfaction. They have all sorts of things to meet the

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desires of the young, even to the extreme of ordinary dances in church halls, to endeavour to meet the religious need of man or of young people, but it fails, and that is where the testimony of real christians comes in, because you have what satisfies.

W.J.H. Is that not also in evidence amongst us? Are there not those holding the truth in an orthodox way merely, without the power of the Spirit operating? Such are not satisfied.

J.T. If souls turned into our meetings, what is intended is that there should be something satisfying. The Spirit is there.

W.P. Does the thought of satisfaction extend to God as well as to us?

J.T. If it be a question of service Godward, the figure used is a drink offering in the types. It is called strong drink, a very remarkable thing that is used as a type of Christ presented to God sacrificially by the saints. In Numbers 28 and 29 that subject is gone into extensively in the type, and the strong drink was never to be lacking in the offerings, alluding to the stimulating of God, speaking reverently, by the presentation of Christ in the service of His people. That is never to be lacking, it is to be presented.

W.K. Does it account for the fact that in chapter 4 the Father seeks worshippers?

J.T. That is so. The subject is brought in there. The woman introduced it, and the Lord did not shrink from speaking of it, because the thought is intimately linked up with the ascending power of the Spirit; it is not an artificial or man-made service, it is spontaneous, as God comes before us.

W.P. Does the strong drink of the drink offering suggest there is a springing up in a joyous way?

J.T. That is the thought. God does not shrink from using the figure of strong drink in spite of the fact that the first time it is mentioned it caused a

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man to be drunk. It is His own creature, and He uses it as a figure of the stimulating power of Christ in the service of His people. I think the announcement from heaven at the Jordan suggests this, it was the opening up that He was the Beloved Son in whom the delight of heaven is found.

J.C. Does the springing up and the flowing out suggest living power?

J.T. Well, that is the thought. It is not effort, either in service Godward or manward; it is real power and enjoyment. Every bit of service toward God or to man ought to occasion us enjoyment. The Lord is not wearied with the service in John 4; He is not wearied speaking to the woman, speaking about God, He was wearied with His journey. As Paul says, "In journeyings often" (2 Corinthians 11:26), but weariness with service is not mentioned.

W.P. And at the end of his days he could say I am ready to be poured out.

J.T. Yes, as a sacrifice, a sort of libation, and that was a drink offering; that is what is meant, "on the sacrifice and ministration of your faith", that is whatever the Philippians offered, Paul would add to it. What a joy he was to Heaven!

J.C. Would not being wearied in service show the resource we have in the Spirit?

J.T. Well, quite so. There is joy in it in dealing with souls, in dealing with spiritual things, your soul is affected joyously. The body may be wearied, but it was with the journey as the Lord says, and Paul makes much of that as to what he endured physically, mentioning even the journeyings he had.

W.K. As the psalmist says, I will praise God with my whole being.

J.T. Yes, all that is within me, another said. Chapter 4 helps us as to all that is within us. There is purification first, in the way the Lord dealt with the woman; He told her all things that ever she had

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done. Calling upon all that is within you means the organs are all clear, and there is spontaneous response. The inward man is set free. How could I glorify or praise God, as Peter says, if the inwards are not pure.

W.K. Is the idea of the vessel suggested in chapter 2?

J.T. Yes, only there it is the vessel of the water of purification. There are two lines of thought in John, the water of purification, which has an external application, and then there is water for drinking, which is internal. They run together. If we are to call upon all that is within us to worship God, the water of purification must come in. The Lord Jesus came by water and blood, not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that bears witness. The Spirit applies the water, so that we are said to be born of water (chapter 3). We have purification in chapter 2 in the vessels, the six waterpots; but the water of purification becomes wine. The water we drink of does not become wine, the point is refreshment and satisfaction, not stimulation.

W.P. Is there teaching for us in the fact that the woman in going to the men of the city does not speak of the water, but of the Man, "Come, see a man".

J.T. The subject of the testimony in the gospel is Christ, not that the Holy Spirit does not come in too, but it is the gospel concerning God's Son. It seems therefore as if the woman acted wonderfully from the spiritual instinct. She knew just what to say and she went to the men of the city, those who knew her; she was inspired by courage, she carried in her demeanour the testimony of the Lord's word to her. What a change it brought about in her!

C.E. With the woman there was no effort.

J.T. There was no effort, and that is a point to

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get to, for if we are to be used of the Lord we must recognise the Spirit as the power of service Godward and manward; so that our service is not carried on in a perfunctory way, but in a living way. We are actuated by life. The Lord says in John 6:63, "It is the Spirit which quickens, the flesh profits nothing: the words which I have spoken unto you are spirit and are life". The flesh profits nothing; whether cultivated or religious, it profits nothing. We must serve in the Spirit.

W.P. Would that be the exercise with us as to all our comings together during the week and at other times?

J.T. It should enter into everything, it takes the form of the anointing too, not only life, satisfaction, energy, but dignity. The idea of the anointing is that we come together in a dignified way and serve in a dignified way. We do not need to put on the 'cloth' as it is called, to make us appear dignified, we are dignified by the anointing. This is another phase of the Spirit.

W.K. In regard to the question of what is inward, is it the Spirit as inward power for enjoyment as the soul enters into divine things, as well as the Spirit viewed outwardly?

J.T. It is not the anointing that is in view here; that is another feature that is in mind. As we come together in our meetings, and take up service, all is carried on in a dignified way, not with the polish of a seminary or of a university, but in the dignity of the Spirit. So it says of Stephen that they saw his face as the face of an angel, it had a dignified and heavenly appearance.

A.H. Would the flowing out suggest service manward?

J.T. That is the idea. There is the idea of volume; there is nothing trivial or small about the saints of God as they know the service of the Spirit

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flowing out in rivers. The allusion is to Genesis 2. The Lord said, "As the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water". We have to find out where the scripture says that; we shall not miss it if we search. The allusion is perhaps to Genesis 2, and other rivers, possibly all the rivers of blessing that Scripture speaks of. I suppose it is that Scripture says it in effect. If I say a thing in effect it has practically the same force as if formally stated in words.

W.J.H. We have that distinctly with regard to the Lord. "He shall be called a Nazaraean" (Matthew 2:23). The actual words are not used, but it is said in effect.

A.H. "It is more blessed to give than to receive", is another example.

J.T. Yes. I think the rivers of Genesis 2 would help as illustrating what is before us. The river went out of Eden to water the garden, as if there was a special spot God had in mind that must be kept fruitful. Adam was over the garden to keep it, but the river was to water it. In any rainless district the idea of a river acquires great significance. The river went out of Eden, which was a wider thought than the garden but it was to water the garden. God was to have a spot where the energy of life should be always seen; the garden should never come under sterile influences, but should be always fresh and fruitful, Adam dressing and keeping it, and the river watering it. From thence it was parted, it says, and became four heads or streams, meaning universal power and influence by refreshment.

W.P. Are you suggesting that the effect of the waters flowing out of our inmost parts would be that the garden of the Lord would be watered?

J.T. That is where we are to begin. I believe that at Pentecost that was seen. Those who were there

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got the benefit first and then it went out. It says, "we hear them each in our own dialect".

R.S. Would the thought of the river also indicate the source from which it flows?

J.T. It runs through the Scriptures. The source is more definite than Eden. Eden is a wide idea. The word means 'pleasure', I believe, and it is a great thought that the source is of that character. But as you go down through the Scriptures, you find, as in Ezekiel, that the source of the water was the house (Ezekiel 47), involving suffering, for it came from beneath the altar. The Holy Spirit, in His world-wide effect is here, not only because Jesus is glorified, but because He suffered. In Exodus 17 the point as to the water is that the rock was smitten. It is the death of Christ; but when we come to Revelation 22, the water flows out from the throne, it is a question of authority, of government. So, the idea of the source is made very definite for us. Here the source is Christ glorified in heaven. When He was glorified this would take effect. The Spirit is sent down from heaven, and the immediate channel or vessel is the believer, "He that believes on me", it is the believer; faith is thus stressed.

J.M. With regard to the lower affections, are you suggesting that this is not the highest part of our service?

J.T. It is more elevated, flowing out of chapter 20, where the Lord breathes into His own. This is a most important and practical side of the truth, it means that the saints are delivered from the flesh. That is what chapter 4 means: that as one is delivered from the flesh, all the inner organs are available for the Spirit and so there is automatic action, a springing up.

J.M. Does it suggest we have compassions now?

J.T. That is the thought, I think. This part of the body is usually called the reins, for the side of

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compassion, and indeed, for instruction. Psalm 16:7 says, "Even in the nights my reins instruct me". The Spirit of God in you, perhaps in the wakeful hours of the night, gives promptings, it is not merely mental action, but thoughts come to you, automatically, as it were, thoughts that you never had before. The secret of that is that the Spirit is there, that He has movement, that He has not to strive against the flesh, but has room to suggest things to you. That is of great importance in regard to the service of God, that as we are sitting together in assembly we should be free from the flesh, and allowing the Spirit to be free to suggest thoughts in regard to God. So too in service to man the Spirit gives substance.

W.J.H. Would you say a word as to the difference between the idea of a fountain and a river?

J.T. Well, I suppose the thought in the fountain is more living, more active; it springs up, the effect is upward, whereas a river is governed by gravity. A river flows out, but it is governed by gravity, by some principle that directs it some particular way. Gravity spiritually is that your mind is in that direction, the mind is controlling things in the service of God, the river flows out, but the vessel is regarded as intelligent. The woman in chapter 4 was intelligent as to what she was doing. The bent of her mind was towards souls, and the water flowed in that direction.

W.J.H. The fountain would be upward towards God so that the apostle says, that if He was beside himself it was to God. That was Godward, it would not be towards man.

J.T. How ready the Spirit is to move in that direction!

C.F. Jeremiah 2:13 says, "My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters". Is that in contrast to the woman now?

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J.T. She had not forsaken Him. The Lord said to her, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is". In truth God was there. She was brought to God, and He was the fountain, really, in Christ, but it is very striking that the bent of her mind led her to the men, and the water flowed in that direction.

C.E. To be in continual touch with Eden means that water flows freely from the believer because he is in touch with Christ in glory.

J.T. That is right, we must get into touch with Christ in glory; it is not exactly the heavenly side, though John is full of that. We must distinguish between Christ in glory and Christ in heaven. The Man who glorified God on earth is glorified in heaven, and the Spirit is here on that account. So we have a wonderful setting here. The Lord spoke here about the Spirit which they that believed on Him were about to receive. The question is whether we have faith. That is the great thing to see to, if we are to come into this service, faith makes room for the Spirit.

A.S. Do you connect faith with intelligence? It is a further thought than instinct.

J.T. It is an act of intelligence, faith is usually accredited to the believer. The Lord was to be an object of faith in heaven. "Ye believe on God, believe also on me" (John 14:1). That is stressed in this gospel. How good it was to believe on Him when the whole force was against Him! Everything hinged on faith.

W.J.H. Would you say a little as to the distinction between Christ being glorified and being in heaven?

J.T. Heaven is His place: "If then ye see the Son of man ascending up where he was before?" (John 6:62). "No one has gone up into heaven, save he who came down out of heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven" (John 3:13). That is His

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place, He is really indigenous to the place, but glorification is a moral thought. Because of what He was here God has glorified Him there. It hinges on what He was here as Man, deserving glory. He says, "Glorify me ... with the glory which I had along with thee before the world was" (John 17:5). He says, "I have glorified thee on the earth" (John 17:4), and He ascends to be glorified. He begins with "Father ... glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee" (John 17:1). I believe God has given Him a place in heaven consequent on what He was here, and as glorified in heaven, He is now glorifying God down here.

W.J.H. What is the connection between that and the gift of the Spirit in that relation?

J.T. It is the merit of Christ in a moral sense as up there, the honour accorded to Him on account of personal merit, not exactly on personal grounds as belonging to Him, but on the ground of merit.

W.P. Does what you say involve that the Spirit of God would come from the Man who is glorified in view of bringing to pass a similar thing on earth?

J.T. Yes; as in heaven, as glorified. "Father ... glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee". He means, I think, that He can do more now that He is glorified above than He could do down here. He could only go so far down here; now that He is glorified, He can carry things on further. That is going on in the formation of the assembly through the proclamation of the gospel.

W.K. Is that following on the gift of the Spirit?

J.T. The gift of the Spirit is consequent on that. "Having therefore been exalted by the right hand of God", Peter says (Acts 2:33).

A.H. In that sense He says He was straitened until His death were accomplished.

W.K. Does that fit in with what He said, "The

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works which I do shall he do also, and he shall do greater than these"? (John 14:12).

J.T. All that is going on ever since, that He should glorify the Father here, as glorified Himself above.

W.P. Why do you think Christ being glorified enters into this and not into the previous reference to the Spirit?

J.T. Because of testimony going out, it should be on its proper footing. As Peter says, "Having therefore been exalted by the right hand of God, ... he has poured out this which ye behold and hear" (Acts 2:33). He instances the fact that the Lord Jesus had been exalted. In his address he calls attention to Christ here, but now He is exalted, and the testimony is flowing out from heaven.

W.P. The testimony is really to an exalted Man. Is that the idea?

J.T. That is right, and He is carrying it on to glorify the Father, so that every convert is glorifying the Father. That is how the Thessalonians stand, they are a result of the testimony, they are regarded as in God the Father, and the Father is pleased with them.

A.H. It is good to have these elevated thoughts before us today in spite of the confusion around us.

J.T. It is an immense thing as it lifts you above what man is doing. The enemy is working might and main to blot out the testimony altogether, but God has revived it. He calls attention to Christ in heaven, and those who have faith carry the testimony on here.

W.P. So that in the carrying out of that we see testimony as to Christ's present position.

J.T. Yes, and Peter's first address greatly helps, he set out the thought of elevation. He stood up with the eleven: it was on the ground of gift, but gifts from an exalted Christ. Paul says, "He that descended

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is the same who has also ascended up above all the heavens" (Ephesians 4:10), and hence the gifts, some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some shepherds and teachers. It is a great thing to get into our souls that the Centre is in heaven.

W.P. In that way you see what is substantial in a practical way in the saints.

J.T. Quite so.

F.C. Does the idea of the flowing out take its character from Genesis, in relation to the respective features that mark the flowing out of the rivers?

J.T. The four heads would be universality. The gospel should go out everywhere, not only as light, but as influence. The Lord says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations" (Matthew 28:19). For that you must have the river. That is the power of grace operating in the servants. You make disciples, you influence them.

F.C. I was thinking of the feature of the gold, "the gold of that land is good" (Genesis 2:12), and then that part is described as producing precious stones.

J.T. We are told where the wonderful rivers flowed and the gold of that land was good. You interpret that in relation to the assembly, that historically the western part of the world is in mind, the outgoings from Europe, God having gold for His purpose in that particular part of the world.

W.P. The gold being found where the water flowed involves the work of God.

J.T. Gold is the work of God, the influence of Christ flowing out in testimony brings that to light.

W.P. That would be an influence on the gospel preacher as to where he preaches. They had the work of God in view.

J.T. Hence you have not only to get to the Lord about your subject, but as to where you are to present

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it, and that is the thought in Acts 16, where so much is made of the apostle being guided to Europe where he should present the testimony.

A.H. What have you to say about chapter 14?

J.T. The idea is the Person of the Holy Spirit which stands connected with the Lord's coming to us; it all points to what is real and tangible.

W.J.H. Is it not important to see that any powerful influence as amongst the saints depends upon being satisfied? There are so many one would question about as to whether they are really satisfied.

J.T. That is one of the most important things for the young amongst us. They have a hard battle; I know well enough how things are. These readings ought to appeal to them. The world is appealing to them, and they would not perhaps tell us always what they are experiencing, but there is a battle going on. What has been said here ought to be noted by the young amongst us; the Lord was at the well, apparently circumstantially or accidentally, but it was not accidental, on account of a soul that was not satisfied. She had drunk deeply into the world, but was unsatisfied and the Lord has great regard for that. It says, "The trees of Jehovah are satisfied" (Psalm 104:16). And this chapter is to show how the believer comes into satisfaction. The Lord opens up the full position. It is in regard of Deity here, "If thou knewest the gift of God" (John 4:10); what God is giving. Look at Christ, look at the bounty of God. What testimony there is in the heavens and on the earth as to the bounty of God. But then the Lord is not speaking of that, great as that is; He is speaking of something else, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is ... thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water". That is a word for every single person. The Lord is in that attitude; He came into lowly circumstances that you should

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be in the presence of God and know the infinitude of divine giving, so that you might ask, that you might get to God, if you are not satisfied. Everything in creation is for Him so the individual believer gets to God, and as he does he becomes satisfied.

W.J.H. Is it not the same feature in chapter 7 also in regard to flowing out, "If any one thirst, let him come to me, and drink"? Then you can go out as satisfied.

J.T. And the effect there is greater in the sense of volume, and faith is stressed. It is not so much asking in John 7 as in John 4. In John 7 it is faith, so I am challenged as to whether I have faith. "If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this he said concerning the Spirit, which they that believed on him were about to receive". It is a question of faith. There is asking in chapter 4, in the presence of God, in the presence of the One who is there. But in chapter 7 this despised Man in the midst of all the religious show, says, 'Believe on me'. That is the test; in the midst of the religion around today. I am called upon to believe on the lowly Jesus, who has no outward show attached to him at all.

W.P. Is that the force of "Let him come to me"?

J.T. Yes, all over against the religious world all around. His brethren said, 'Show thyself to the world'. But He went up in testimony and kept, as it were, in obscurity.

-.D. Is there any significance in the words "Jesus stood and cried, saying"?

J.T. I think it is the urgency of the moment, a cry from Him in testimony means urgency. You can understand how the Lord felt the thousands of Israel endeavouring to get help at the feast of tabernacles

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and there was not any. It was utter barrenness, and how He feels about it now!

W.P. That would appeal to our hearts at the present moment, if we come to meetings and do not get satisfaction, the Lord feels in regard to it.

J.T. The Lord's feelings ought to be reflected in us. The cry is urgency, He wanted everybody to hear; it is remarkable that He should cry!

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THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (3)

John 15:26, 27; John 16:1 - 14; John 20:22, 23

J.T. We were unable to dwell on the verses read in chapter 14, and they are most important verses, bearing on our subject, which is the Holy Spirit in this gospel. They introduce the Spirit formally as a Divine Person under the name of Comforter, and would seem to show that the Lord comes to us. His coming to us now is dependent on the presence of the Spirit here. So that, having said that He would ask the Father and He would give them another Comforter that He should abide with them for ever, the Spirit of truth, He goes on to say, "I will not leave you orphans, I am coming to you" (verse 18). Then again He says, "But ye see me; because I live ye also shall live". These remarks or promises are all contingent on the presence of the Spirit here. Verses 15 to 20 contemplate the normal conditions after the Spirit came; but in verses 21 to 26 we have abnormal or remnant conditions; these verses therefore afford most important instruction as to our subject.

W.P. What is the thought in the Comforter?

J.T. Firstly, that the Spirit is a divine Person, another Comforter. The Lord Himself was here as a Comforter, in that character with the disciples, and the Spirit would also be here as a Comforter, another Comforter. The original word denotes that the Spirit would be here beside, or alongside us to look after our affairs, to take full charge of our affairs. So the truth of His presence enters peculiarly into meetings like this, assembly meetings. The bearing of the word is towards us in a collective sense. The earlier teaching which we have already had bears on the individual; it is one born anew, or one drinking, asking for living water. It is individual

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From this point onwards the Spirit is portrayed more as serving the saints in a collective sense.

W.P. Does that also apply to the Lord saying, "I am coming to you"?

J.T. What is collective is in mind, only in the abnormal state of things the presence of divine Persons is available to even one saint but that is only because others are not available. Even one will be looked after.

A.H. Are all the abnormal conditions that you refer to to be found in the present day?

J.T. I think so. John 14:23 corresponds with Matthew 18:19, 20. Instruction with regard to the assembly is divided into two parts. The first has to do with the assembly normally as viewed as intact, representative of heaven here, it has to be told things. The Lord says, "I say to you, that if two of you shall agree on the earth concerning any matter, whatsoever it may be they shall ask, it shall come to them from my Father who is in the heavens. For where two or three are gathered together unto my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:19, 20). The two passages correspond: in Matthew it is brought down to two or three; in John it is one person, "If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our abode with him" (John 14:23). That is contingent on the Spirit; it is brought down to one, one person.

W.K. Does that agree with what we find in Revelation, "If any one hear my voice and open the door" (Revelation 3:20)?

J.T. You mean Laodicea -- yes, that sort of thing.

F.C. When you said this was contingent on the coming of the Spirit, are you applying that to what you have just quoted, "I am coming to you"?

J.T. That promise holds. It is not abrogated any more than the authority of the assembly is abrogated

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(in Matthew), but we have to use it in a humble way, rather making it a matter of light than assuming to be in the condition contemplated. The conditions have altered, and we are to acknowledge the altered conditions. Verse 21 contemplates that. Some were not keeping the commandments. The Lord says, "He that has my commandments and keeps them ..." He is contemplating the time when some would not love Him, although they have professed to do so. It is well to acknowledge that conditions have altered from apostolic times.

E.J. Is binding and loosing (Matthew 18) applicable in an abnormal day?

J.T. It is a question of how we speak of them. We cannot speak officially, because the binding and loosing in Matthew 18 refer to the assembly in its pristine condition, whereas these verses, and verses 19 and 20 of Matthew 18 refer to remnant times. We should own that conditions have changed, and that someone is responsible for that. We cannot assume to be irresponsible. We have to accept that we have our share in that.

W.J.H. Is your thought in reading this section to help us to see the personal greatness of the Holy Spirit as distinct from the figures used, such as the dove, wind, water, and breath? Here we have the Holy Spirit personally.

J.T. That is what I thought might be before us now. It cannot be a mere theory. It is a Person, thus establishing the idea of substantiality in a greater sense than any of the others do.

W.J.H. It is interesting, in that connection, that the Spirit is called the Lord the Spirit, as the Lord Jesus, and Lord God; we have the Lord the Spirit, emphasising His personality and greatness.

J.T. Yes, you mean 2 Corinthians 3:17, 18. That is, there is a combination there of authority in the Spirit. It is a combination in verse 17. "The Lord

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is the Spirit", and, "even as by the Lord the Spirit". But it also says, "We all, looking on the glory of the Lord, with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory". There is a wonderful combination there, worked out in the Spirit's activities here. How real it is! The point is, that to make the covenant effective in us you need the element of authority as well as the subtle, inscrutable manner in which the Spirit operates in that chapter.

J.C. Is the Spirit of truth in contrast to what is around today?

J.T. You can see the force of it. It is in view of error being so prevalent.

C.F. It says in regard to keeping His commandments that He will manifest Himself to us, and in regard to keeping His word that He makes His abode with us.

J.T. That helps as to the way the truth is worked out in these verses. The first is, "He that has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me". The commandments would take you out of that which is contrary to God, as enlarged on in 2 Timothy. 'The word' is more the mind of God unfolded, and is more positive. It brings us into tabernacle conditions. I believe that is what is in mind, that one person can afford tabernacle conditions, in withdrawing from what is contrary to God, and observing the general government of the house: and then the word unfolded His mind. It directs us back to the book of Exodus. From chapter 25 it is what God said or commanded, but also what is unfolded in the way of wisdom, as shown to Moses on the mount. It is a very wonderful thought that these verses in Exodus contemplate, and that it is actually found in one person, the person who loves the Lord and shows it by keeping His commandments, and then by keeping His word, as He says

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to Judas, not the Iscariote, "If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our abode with him". One christian today can afford tabernacle conditions.

W.J.H. You have in mind, in referring to Exodus, the commandments, and then all the detail of the word treasured by Israel?

J.T. That is how it stands. We have the commandments first in Exodus, the ten words given in chapter 20, and then we have in that connection the suggestion of lovers of God. It says, "Thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments" (Exodus 20:6), a very great comforting word in this day. It is not those who should love, but those who do. We can always reckon on lovers of God while the Spirit is here. Jehovah goes on to say to Moses, "in all places where I shall make my name to be remembered, I will come unto thee, and bless thee" (Exodus 20:24). He immediately announced the thought of coming to His people under certain conditions. They were to make an altar of earth first of all, which implies there is the means of sacrifice, the recognition of what is due to God from man. They could make an altar of stone, but it would not unchristianise them if they could not; but it must be of whole stones, they are not to use a tool on them. We have the humanity of Christ in the altar of earth, and Christ in resurrection in the altar of stone. If we move on to the permanent side all the better, but we are still under divine direction. That is chapter 20, and then in chapters 21 - 24 we begin with the bondman. He says, "I love". That is, you have the principle of someone who loves. "I love my master, my wife, and my children, I will not go free". That runs on to chapter 24, and there God says to Moses, 'You come up, you and Aaron and Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, come up to Me on the mountain'. And

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before Moses does that or undertakes to do it, he tells Israel what God had said, what God's requirements were, as much as to say, If I am going up, I want to know that things are right here before I leave, because the principle of going to heaven must depend on having conditions adjusted on earth first. So He tells the people what Jehovah's requirements were, and they said, "All the words that Jehovah has said will we do!" (Exodus 24:3). The principle of obedience is accepted unqualifiedly. Whether they fail is another matter. As in the inauguration of christianity this principle is set out first; the great principle of obedience is laid down as to relations with God, and the Lord here brings in the commandments. If we profess to love Him, that is to be evidenced in keeping His commandments. There are many in human organisations who profess to love God but they overlook the commandments. It is in keeping the commandments that we are tested as to our love. Israel accepted it, and they said, "All the words that Jehovah has said will we do"! Then Moses builds twelve pillars. First there is the great principle of obedience, submission to God, and then he builds an altar and offers. He calls upon the youths of Israel to act as priests. They are not priests but they act as priests. It is a fresh state of things. They acted as priests and the blood was put in basons, there was a great deal of it. Moses is going to establish things on the basis of blood, the sprinkling of the blood; and the volume is in evidence, it is put in basons, there is plenty of it there, showing what the death of Christ is in these circumstances. Moses sprinkles the blood on the people and on the altar. So the covenant is set up, the people committing themselves on the ground of obedience, and they profess a second time that they are going to obey. After they said they would obey Moses wrote the words. It is a fixed matter; they

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committed themselves to it. It is most important to see that if God lays down principles, even if they are only recognised for one hour, the idea is set out. On the basis of all that they went up to the mountain and "They saw the God of Israel; and there was under his feet as it were work of transparent sapphire, and as it were the form of heaven for clearness. And on the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand" (Exodus 24:10, 11). You have the great definite thought set out in principle, the kind of conditions that there are, that God has, and which He would bring us into. Chapter 25 announces what God requires down here in the tabernacle, and chapters 25 to 40, exclusive of 32 and 33, are taken up with the thought of tabernacle conditions, a place for God to dwell in here.

W.P. So that we have the thought of abiding here?

J.T. That is what comes in here. All that, great as it is, extensive as it is in the Old Testament in type; the Lord brings it into a few verses here, and it hinges on the keeping of the commandments and of the word. The keeping of the word is the positive side. It is the mind of God as to what He would wish amongst us, and if that be there the Father will come and the Son will come.

W.P. Is that what constitutes an overcomer today, the keeping of the commandments, and the keeping of the word?

J.T. Yes, he affords conditions suitable for divine Persons.

R.S. Would keeping the commandments enable us to hear the voice of the Spirit speaking to us?

J.T. It makes scope for the Spirit. That is how the present revival took form. They could see that they could not go on with human organisations, and they withdrew, and in withdrawing they made room for the Spirit: "Let every one who names the name

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of the Lord withdraw from iniquity" (2 Timothy 2:19). There was a tract written in those days the title of which was, The Notion of a Clergyman Dispensationally the Sin Against the Holy Ghost; see J.N.D., Collected Writings (Volume 1, page 36). A very strong title! Not that every clergyman is sinning against the Holy Spirit, but the idea is sin; it displaces the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is here to take charge; that is the force of the word, that He takes charge down here of the saints' affairs, and if a man or a system takes charge the Spirit is shut out. And hence, separating from that, we make room for the Spirit, and the Father, and the Son come to us and make their abode with us.

W.P. Is this on individual lines, making way for what is collective?

J.T. It is one person. John does not use collective terms. He is concerned that there should be overcomers, if there are a hundred all the better, but even if it be only one person God comes to him, and makes His abode with him. It is not exactly as in Laodicea, that the Lord is knocking at the door, and saying, "If any one hear my voice and open the door, I will come in unto him and sup with him, and he with me". That is what He had in mind, that the believer should come into the Lord's circumstances, but here it is more than that: the Father and the Son come and make their abode with him.

W.K. "Thou ... hast kept my word" is the word to Philadelphia.

J.T. It is to the assembly in Philadelphia. The word assembly is used; it is more than one person, but the overcomer is also addressed and there is more said to him than to the whole assembly. The Lord stresses the idea of what belongs to Himself. He uses the word, "my God" four times in referring to the overcomer.

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J.C. In regard to the breakdown in Exodus, collectively, God secured His end in the individual, in the Hebrew servant.

J.T. Of course that comes in before you get the breakdown. The Hebrew servant is in chapter 21, and the breakdown in chapter 32, but the idea comes out, one man stood in the breach, that is Moses, and he secured the blessing for the people.

W.J.H. Do you not think it is of the greatest importance to keep in mind that what is available on this line today is on the basis of obedience, and love is proved by obedience?

J.T. I think that is morally the greatest thought, and the Lord brings it in first here, when the question is asked Him. "Yet a little and the world sees me no longer; but ye see me". And then He says. "He that has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me". Obedience is the first thing, and then, when one asks, "How is it that thou wilt manifest thyself to us and not to the world?" the answer is, "If anyone love me, he will keep my word ...". It is the same thought of obedience, but it includes more. It is the opening up of God's mind, not only what He required, but what is in His mind. "He spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast" (Psalm 33:9). The speaking is opening up the thing, what is in His mind, and the commandment caused it to stand.

R.S. What is the difference between the 'word' and the present voice of the Spirit?

J.T. Not much. In the addresses to the assemblies, the Lord's word is given in every case. Each assembly receives a message from the Lord's own lips, and to each assembly it is said, "He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies". What I apprehend by that is that the Spirit opens up what the Lord has said, and enlarges upon it, and that ministry runs right on to

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the end. What the Spirit says is not written. It is for you to hear what He is saying at any given period. The Spirit may take what the Lord says and He may use you or a hundred brothers to open it up, and apply it according to the circumstances. We are called upon to hear him.

W.J.H. The apostle speaks of the Holy Spirit witnessing in every city; in every city he went into at that time he could hear the voice of the Spirit. That is the thing, that we should make room for the Spirit.

J.T. Quite so, and that would open up a good deal of what is called ministry meetings, a new appellation as to meetings. What is in mind is the meeting contemplated in 1 Corinthians 14, where the whole assembly is said to come together in one place, where a brother has something, and another brother, and another. All these 'somethings' may be a word for the moment, a given word, what the Spirit is saying. It shows how important these meetings are, that the brethren come together in dependence on the Lord so that the Spirit has scope to speak.

W.P. Is the speaking on the lines of what is prophetic and what is edifying?

J.T. That is what is required. The apostle urges on prophecy, and, indeed, instruction comes into it, "And let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge" (1 Corinthians 14:29). That is the point, it is for prophetic ministry, not to announce coming events, but to bring God in.

W.P. Would the thought of what is edifying be included? Is it not included in that same chapter?

J.T. It is, it says prophecy edifies.

W.P. Does "I am coming to you", apply to assembly meetings, or does it apply to all our meetings?

J.T. It is very general, but another thing that comes out in that connection is that God, or divine Persons, take advantage of opportunities, and the

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greatest opportunity for the incoming of the Lord is when the saints are engaged with the Lord's supper, because it is intended to call Him to mind. That is the greatest opportunity for Him, and He will seize that. I should not confine it to the assembly, but it refers to it particularly, that the Lord comes on that occasion.

W.K. Would "I am coming to you" be something different from a manifestation?

J.T. Yes, manifestation is one thing; coming is another. "I am coming to you" is collective. The pronoun is collective, it is a plural word. "I will manifest myself to him" is individual. "We will come to him" is individual.

W.P. Would you say something about chapters 15 and 16?

J.T. This is a most important section. I thought we might go back to see chapter 14. The Lord says, "These things I have said to you, abiding with you; but the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and will bring to your remembrance things which I have said to you" (verse 26). Notice the word "in my name;" the Lord, I think, has remnant times in mind in saying that. Remnant times stress the idea of His name, when other names have been taken on. He says to Philadelphia, "Thou hast not denied my name". Other christians took on other names, but Philadelphia did not, and the Lord honours it on that account. The Holy Spirit is here, it says, in the Lord's name, and He brings to our remembrance things that might be forgotten, "all the things which I have said to you", He says, meaning that you do not need ten thousand teachers. It does not mean that men may not be used (that is how He teaches, through men, but not in the sense of men as in christendom). I believe it links on with the Lord's supper, the idea of remembrance.

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W.P. Does this link up with Matthew "where two or three are gathered together unto my name"? (Matthew 18:20).

J.T. Yes, "my name" and recalling things. The things we are going on with today were, no doubt, ministered before, but they have been forgotten; the Spirit is bringing them back to us.

A.H. Does that cover all the apostolic writings too, not merely what the Lord said to them personally?

J.T. Quite so, in applying it spiritually to where we are now, it would include all that has been forgotten. Everything had been forgotten, or distorted, or added to, even the very term church. The apostle is bringing these things back to us.

A.H. We recognise that what the apostle Paul wrote are the commandments of the Lord (see 1 Corinthians 14:37).

W.K. Would it give one a great sense of the office of the Spirit?

J.T. Yes, and it explains what the prophet says, in meetings like this if there is room given for the Spirit, the truth is opened up to us. It is immense to see all this, and attend to these things. The Spirit is there in the character of the Comforter, the One who is taking charge of things. The principle is opened up. One brother says one thing, and another brother says another; the Holy Spirit is behind it all, and you have things unfolded in every meeting.

W.P. So you would be very jealous as to anything that might come in to hinder that?

J.T. Quite so. Now in chapter 15 it is the Spirit sent out by the Lord Himself, "whom I will send to you from the Father". In chapter 14 the Father sends Him in Christ's name. Here the Son sends Him from the Father. What is in mind is that He should bring out all the thoughts of heaven, what the Father thinks about Christ. He is coming out

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from being with the Father, it says. "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes forth from with the Father, he shall bear witness concerning me" (verse 26). No other translation has this, save this one. It is stressing the idea of the Spirit being with the Father. He comes out, announcing perfectly all the Father's thoughts.

W.P. Does coming forth from with the Father involve that the Son is there?

J.T. The Son is there to send Him. It is as much as to say that the Son and the Father combined to send the third Person, and He is perfectly announcing what is up there.

W.P. Would that include the relationship between the Father and the Son?

J.T. Yes, and it includes Paul's doctrine. It says, "Ye too". I believe Paul was in mind, particularly, that the Spirit should bear witness "concerning me", as the Lord says, concerning Him as up there, not as down here. Paul says, We do not know Christ in any other way. "If even we have known Christ according to flesh, yet now we know him thus no longer" (2 Corinthians 5:16). It is the Christ that is up there. The Lord says, "Ye too bear witness, because ye are with me from the beginning" (John 15:27).

W.J.H. You find something of that in the beginning of Acts. The apostle Peter can say what is happening in heaven: "Having therefore been exalted by the right hand of God" (Acts 2:33). He had not been there, but he is able to declare what he saw there.

J.T. The apostle Paul's communication is distinctively heavenly. The Lord appeared to him as He was up there. That is the suggestion. "Why persecutest thou me?" The Lord never said that to Peter. It is the Christ that is up there that appears

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to Paul, and after that we have the unfolding of the mystery. So John says, "We shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2), as He is up there; it is unfolded by the Spirit.

W.K. Would it be right to say that the Spirit has first-hand knowledge of all that is in heaven?

J.T. It comes to our way of thinking. The Lord assures us there is not anything up there that is not to be brought out here by the Spirit. I believe the Lord is operating on these lines today, to prepare us for heavenly things. We are presently going there, and are to be instructed as to what Christ is up there. Paul says, "... the heavens, from which also we await the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, who shall transform our body of humiliation into conformity to his body of glory" (Philippians 3:20, 21), into likeness to His body of glory, not His body of resurrection, His body of glory. Then in chapter 16, the Lord goes further and says that the Spirit would show us things to come, show us and guide us into all truth. "Guide", I believe, applies as much to our Bible readings as to anything else. One says one thing, and another says another, and the Spirit of God takes control and guides us into all truth, where brethren are subject. Where there is error, this is precluded. The idea is the Spirit is here to take charge, to guide us into the thing. How would we get on otherwise? To have a Bible reading without the Spirit we would need to have the creeds and commit them to memory. If we are dependent on the Spirit He guides us in spite of our weakness.

W.P. Do you think that sometimes we are in danger of being dependent on our memory instead of being dependent on the Spirit?

J.T. That may be so; the great thing is, first, obedience, and then making room for the Spirit. "The Lord the Spirit". The Spirit is here in His

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own inscrutable way, and the truth comes out in meetings like these.

W.J.H. The Spirit draws on His great reservoir, on all that the Lord has ever said at any time.

J.T. And then, what a wonderful thing it is to be brought into all the wonderful thoughts of divine Persons in heaven. All that is brought in amongst the brethren. "The Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God" (1 Corinthians 2:10).

W.P. And does the Spirit also draw upon what is formed in the souls of the saints as brethren together?

J.T. He does. It is a question of what we have. The chapter in Corinthians contemplates that we come together. We come together to get something. It is not what is in the place that the Holy Spirit works on. On the occasion of the ship-wreck in Melita the people who were friendly made a fire (the local meeting makes the fire), but the apostle Paul added to it. That is the principle of revival. What is there is added to.

C.F. Would you say that in these three portions you have mentioned we get the testimony of the Spirit in the past, the present, and the future? He brings to remembrance the things that Jesus spoke, and He comes as from the Father to make present things known, and He testifies as to things to come.

J.T. That is right. So it says here (verse 7), "it is profitable for you that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go I will send him to you. And having come, he will bring demonstration to the world, of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment ... But when he is come, the Spirit of truth, he shall guide you into all the truth; for he shall not speak from himself; but whatsoever he shall hear he shall speak; and he will announce to you what is coming. He shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine and shall

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announce it to you". So we are led on to the future in what the Spirit unfolds to us.

R.S. Is it only what is announced to us by the Spirit that we can speak of?

J.T. Quite so. You notice the change of verbs, 'He guides', and 'He announces' things, and then another thing is He brings into this world demonstration of certain things, sin, righteousness, and judgment. How important that is for us at any given time, that things are demonstrated.

A.H. Will you tell us how they are demonstrated, in what way?

J.T. Well, in the coming in of the Spirit, as at Pentecost, the Lord brought out that He became identified with the disciples of Jesus. Jesus had been put to death by the Jews, and the Spirit came to the disciples, not to the Jews. That is a local demonstration of those whom He can say that to them He gave His Spirit. And so, at any given time today, it is a demonstration of that, that He is not with those who have not the truth, but with those who have it.

W.J.H. That is the thing to keep the eye on in any difficulty as to doctrine. Where the Spirit of God is, where spiritual power is, where the Lord's presence is.

J.T. That is always the final word. You may have books written; doctrine is important, but the final word is where God is. If God is among you, what can anybody say?

W.J.H. I was thinking in that connection that the divine answer, when the murmurings took place, was the glory; that settles everything.

J.T. It is beautiful, in the Old Testament, how God comes in and the glory settles everything; and so the ministry is demonstrative. So that if a man who is a stranger comes in among you he falls down

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and says, "God is indeed amongst you". That settles everything.

W.P. What is the next thought as to righteousness?

J.T. The next thing is the demonstration of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, "of sin, because they do not believe on me; of righteousness, because I go away to my Father, and ye behold me no longer; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged". That is to say, Jesus is with the Father, there is nothing more right than that, than the fact that Jesus is with the Father, He was a righteous Man here; and that same principle will always hold; there will be some evidence of how God regards a righteous man. This righteous Man has the most exalted place in the universe. That is righteousness, there is nothing more right than that.

C.W.P. Why is it the thought of the Father, not God?

J.T. Well, I suppose it is the place of love. The Lord is in the place of love. There is nothing at all between Him and the Father. The issue is between Christ and the Jews; the cross brought that out. The Jews, while professedly not wishing to get rid of God (the issue was between Christ and them) put Christ to death; God glorified Him, God settles the question; the Jews are guilty, Christ is exonerated, Christ is exalted.

E.A.M. The Father sent the Son.

J.T. Yes, He is in the place of supreme blessedness as over against the Jews' claims. They pretend to be acting for God, but God settles the matter in this way. God will come in and settle the matter in all crises if we give Him time. He will show where the truth is.

W.P. Had you in mind that that is seen in the thought of judgment?

J.T. That is so. The prince of this world is

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judged. The Holy Spirit brings out that the whole matter is settled. The presence of the Spirit of God here for over nineteen hundred years means that the thing is settled, the ruler of this world is already, judged (verse 11).

J.J. Would you have time to say a little on chapter 20?

J.T. The Spirit is viewed as the breath of Christ, and I think it is for the helping of our brethren who are in associations that are sinful. "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted to them; whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained". That is a great weapon in our hands in dealing with brethren who are in organisations that are sinful. Anything of man is sinful. There are thousands who are in these organisations, and the thing is, not to impute the sinfulness to them, but to accept them as brethren on the ground of forgiveness. "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted to them". The Lord says, as it were, 'I am with you in that'. We have a blank cheque for any amount. It is a question of confidence. The Lord has confidence in us. We are not to treat them harshly, but treat them as brethren, take them up on the ground of forgiveness, until they show that they are rebellious. The Lord has confidence in us as loving Him. He says, I give you liberty to forgive them; if you forgive them, I do. It is a great weapon in our hands. It does not mean that we do not sin, but it is that we accept them as our brethren. If they go back we have to leave it. We retain sins. We may have to retain sins against people.

F.C. You could not condone it when it is the Holy Spirit that is grieved?

J.T. Quite so. It is the last Adam, the life-giving Spirit, and He sets us up in life. He directs us back to the wonderful way He dealt with men here, how

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gracious He was. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19).

A.S. A question was asked about christians in systems of men.

J.T. You know he is a christian; he may be an Anglican, but you do not abuse the system he is in, you speak to him about Christ first. John's gospel begins with the great truth of the Person of Christ, and if he were a christian at all he would be glad to know something about that. He is not a christian if he does not listen to John 1. Leave the matter of associations till he is interested in the Person of Christ. What is he saying about Christ? The Lord says, 'What are men saying about me?' John's gospel is that. If a man is a christian he will say the things John says.

C.F. The breathing here is different from the breathing in Genesis. The vessel had been formed to receive the Holy Spirit and then He could say these things to them.

J.T. After the message had come to them through Mary they are called brethren. The Lord says to them, "As the Father sent me forth, I also send you". You can see what an exalted place He has given us.

J.C. Breathing on them would give spiritual power. Does it need spiritual power to overcome?

J.T. It is the spirit in which we approach people. So He puts forgiveness first. In Matthew 18, the binding is first because He has the Jews in mind. This gospel is later. It has in mind that our brethren are mixed up in all sorts of things, and we want to get them clear, and so we approach them in the spirit of forgiveness.

W.P. In the beginning of these meetings you spoke of the lower affections, and of the higher affections; will you say something of the higher affections?

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J.T. The higher affections are in mind in this. The Lord is saying, I have confidence in you, I am allowing you to forgive, and if you forgive I do too.

A.H. A very intimate action, was it not?

J.T. Very! It ought to touch our hearts. The Lord has come near to us and made us His own, and has breathed into us.

E.A.M. Is the thought here that the Holy Spirit is given that we should be a people set up here in holiness?

J.T. Quite so, it is not what attaches to Christ personally; the word 'holy' is not applicable with regard to Him. Here it is the Spirit. We need the added thought of holiness. It implies, if you have such, the Holy Spirit, the Lord can trust you. It constitutes us holy in this way, and then He trusts us. I do not know anything so much to be desired as to be trusted by the Lord.

W.K. Chapter 21 illustrates His own way of dealing with things.

J.T. That is an appendix, as if He said, I will give them a further thought. It is His own way of recovering the leading servants, those who went astray, and it is to show how He can restore the leading servants.

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WALKING WITH GOD

1 Thessalonians 4:1; Genesis 5:21 - 24; Genesis 6:9; Genesis 17:1

The subject in mind is walking with God. It has a very great place in the Scriptures, and it appears in the first scripture significantly as addressed to young christians. The Thessalonians had been converted only a short time; they had "turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to await his Son from the heavens"(1 Thessalonians 1:9, 10). Their conversion was thus very genuine and definite. But they had not long been converted in this way when the Spirit of God saw it needful that they should be addressed in an epistle. In chapter 4 the apostle Paul, seems to have come to the end of what he had in mind, and in his usual way he says, "For the rest", that is, whatever remained to be said. He had said what he mainly had in mind. He urges on them this matter of 'walk', how they should walk and please God. He had already touched on the matter, and not without effect, for, as in all else, they were proving themselves genuine, a great matter. As weeks elapse after conversion what marks converts is a matter of great interest, for the mere conversion or turning to God may be regarded as a historical thing, and what normally should flow from it may be neglected. The apostle had not overlooked this, and as he said, had spoken to them. He says, "Ye have received from us how ye ought to walk and please God". Not only had he put it before them, but they had received what he put before them. It is a matter of urgent importance for young christians not only to listen but to receive the ministry and to receive it honestly. They had done this, but the writer, the great apostle Paul, was concerned that the work of

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God should continue and increase more and more. More and more is indefinite, implying that there is really no limit to the increase that may be looked for, for the standard of walk is not really less than God Himself. He is the first to have walked, according to the record.

Before touching further on this scripture, I would remark on the great fact that God is the first to be spoken of as having walked, and it was concurrent with the temptings of the serpent which led to the alienation of the heart of Adam and Eve from God. That is the first record we have of walking, and the allusion is not so much to the walk as to the voice that accompanied the walk. Adam had heard the voice of the Lord God walking; the voice is what he heard, not the footsteps. That is to say, a voice, conveying God in His feelings, what He is; and what feelings, dear brethren, must have filled Him at this juncture. Whilst God knows everything from beginning to end, He is a feeling God, and nothing occurs in regard to His people, but is felt by Him. We are told later that man's conduct was a grief to him every day. What a new experience it was to God, speaking reverently, as on this eventful occasion the garden was occupied (indeed one could hardly call it occupied, for they were hiding) by alienated hearts, by hearts that had proved untrue, disloyal. God feels that; there is nothing God feels more than disloyalty. His voice, we may be sure, would be changed, if indeed it could be discerned with these feelings. But He was walking, and He has been walking ever since. As the matter of sin, the matter of the disloyalty between His creatures and Himself was gone into, He continued on. That is His way was before Him; it necessarily took on different features, but it was the way of God; one of the most interesting epithets or phrases you can get is the way of God. A great believer, Apollos,

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came over to Ephesus from Alexandria in the early days of christianity, knowing only the baptism of John. He spoke to the people there, the interested ones and others, about the Lord Jesus, but only in a very imperfect way, for he did not know the way of God fully, like millions today who have some light, but not the full light, of Christ. A certain man and his wife in that city, devoted persons left there by Paul, took him to them. They heard him preaching, and he preached exactly according to the light he had, but that light was very limited; and so, these two persons took him to them and showed him the way of God; they showed it to him more exactly. There are those today who disregard these things, and accuse brethren who want to be right as to spiritual things, of being exacting, and hair-splitters. But the Spirit of God wrote approvingly of Aquila and Priscilla as taking this man to them and showing to him the way of God more exactly. I can understand that Aquila would tell him something of what he had heard Paul say, of what matters he had touched upon in his preaching. Priscilla, in her womanly, sisterly way, would join in and confirm her husband and between them both Apollos would get help. How loyal they were to the way of God and what a contrast to Adam and Eve. God is calling for that today, dear brethren, because there are voices all around us, diverting us from the way of God, whereas one voice is ever sounding, This is the way, walk ye in it -- the way of God. These two persons instructed this great servant in the way of God more exactly. The instruction had come down to them from Eden, as it has come down to us in this city tonight, the way of God. There is only the one way, and it has come down to us, and our business here tonight is to seek to instruct the brethren in the way of God more exactly. In order to make the position clear, I would remark

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that after God had walked in Eden calling for Adam and Eve, and finding them in disloyalty, His way involved sacrifice. I would like to say here, Let no one assume to be in the way of God unless on that principle, the principle of sacrifice. The entrance to that way is stamped with sacrifice and so all the way along. Hence the Lord, as I said, dealt with the sin question in the most pointed and effective way, and, I have no doubt, led Adam and Eve into His way; although that is not formally stated; the spiritual eye can see that He led them into His way, the way of sacrifice. God had a new experience, if you will allow me to use that word in a reverent way, a new experience in making clothes. He had made the heavens and the earth, and He made beings too before this of which we know but little, but the making of clothes was a new experience. It entered into the way, the way of God. Walking is not merely going from one point to another; it is a question of one's manner. That is, the idea is in what is proceeding and in the way He is proceeding, and He has recourse to this great service, this humble service. Think of it, dear brethren! This humble service rendered by the great eternal God so that all that enter upon His way now should understand that it is a way of sacrifice. The first one that formally entered upon it was Abel; he understood; he added his quota to that way, that shining way, the way of God; he walked in it. But God inaugurated the idea, and so, in making clothes, He sacrifices. He not only sacrificed His dignity as Creator but He sacrificed what belonged to Him; whatever the creature was, it belonged to Him. How that is enlarged and enlarged as we go down the shining way of God, in the sacrifices of Genesis, and the obligatory sacrifices of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, until we reach Calvary's cross. It is the great divine way

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that God was on and is on, for He purchased us (that is the assembly) with the blood of His own, with what belonged to Him (see Acts 20:28). The principle is seen there in Genesis 3:21. Was it nothing to God to slay and skin a creature that belonged to Him? Was it nothing to God? He is a feeling God. But in the light of the great Gift by which He was to be infinitely glorified we can understand how God entered on that way by the principle of sacrifice. And, if we turn to the New Testament, so as to clarify this point, what we find in John's gospel, is John the baptist, who was God's servant pre-eminently at that time, looking upon Jesus as He walked, that is, as He was on the way. The Lord never walked aimlessly, He never went out for a walk, He was always definite, always had something in mind. He was here for nothing else than to do the will of God. The word 'sent' is written in large letters in John's gospel, and enters into every moment of the Lord's life here, and He was leading others into that. The man in chapter 9 was led into it; Siloam means "sent". So John the baptist sees the Lord walking, and he says, "Behold the Lamb of God" (John 1:36). That word "Lamb" denotes sacrifice, it has no other meaning, the meaning of it as presented in Scripture implies sacrifice; it runs from Genesis to Revelation, and the very last thought in Revelation is that of God and the Lamb and the temple; it is the heavenly side. Sacrifice runs right through, John the baptist discerned it. The use of the word "Lamb" brought out his spiritual understanding and carried with it the spiritual significance attaching to that creature throughout scripture. He was in the way; never had one walked that way before, although there had been foreshadowings of that walk. The Lord was on the way of God when John saw Him walking. Never had the way been so adorned as at that moment, and

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John's heart was full of the thought. He was not exactly like Bartimaeus, sitting by the wayside. He was on it; he had been moving but was standing then and speaking glorious things about the Lamb, about Jesus, things that made little of himself, for he says, He "takes a place before me because he was before me". What a worthy bystander! The real meaning of his standing was that when this glorious Person was walking, what could he do but stand and admire? It is not that he would not be walking, but he has to stand and admire. There was never anything seen on earth to be admired like the walk of the Lamb. John says, "Behold the Lamb of God;" and he set others in motion, those who heard him speak followed Him in the way of God. That is our point tonight, to draw our hearts into the way of God. In this scripture in John we have the thought of walking; it is the thought of God walking in Genesis, and the Lamb walking in John's gospel. It is the same thought carried through, so we have the full divine idea set out in these two passages; we cannot add to them at all. The gospels set out the complete idea and the epistles are to lead us to that idea. The gospels are the great standard, and the epistles are the way to it, sometimes rising almost to their level as in Ephesians, but God's level is the gospels.

Now I go back to speak of the educational side in regard to men like ourselves. What I have been saying is not on the educational side, but it is the standard and then we have education that leads up to the standard. The great teacher to lead us to that standard is Paul. Of course Peter had the thought in mind, but Paul teaches the gentiles how to walk. The one gentile who had never walked, the man at Lystra, who was lame from the beginning, represents the gentile, us poor dogs as Scripture calls us. It is well to go back and think in that

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humble way of ourselves. In the dark regions and ages of paganism, from east to west, from north to south, we never walked. There were ethics and philosophy among the Greeks, but they never walked, the great masters of Greece never walked according to God. It is humbling to own that there are those who live and die under the great masters, but who have never walked and pleased God. That is the great point. Paul came out among the gentiles and taught them how to walk and his teaching remains. God had said of Himself, years before, that He taught Ephraim to walk. Israel had to be taught how to walk. I apprehend the allusion is to the instruction in the book of Numbers, which sets out the manner of the divine way and how Israel was to go through the wilderness. They are taught how to walk, to walk in relation to God. God says, I taught Ephraim to walk. Ephraim was situated at the west side of the tabernacle with two other tribes, and he was nearest to the ark of the covenant. The psalm calls upon Jehovah to shine forth upon him; there is the light of the glory; the glory lit up the way in those wilderness times. There was no way in the wilderness, there were no roads there, the way was marked out by God, the way of glory. The glory moved and then the tabernacle, and Ephraim followed. That is to us the idea of teaching. "I it was that taught Ephraim to walk" (Hosea 11:3).

The antitype corresponding to that in the New Testament is Paul's system. The tabernacle system is not really set up till you have Paul's ministry. It is a figurative representation of things in the heavens. God, as He looks upon it, in speaking to David, says, I went about with you, I walked with you in the wilderness myself. He knew the way. Think of God using such language as, "In all my going about with all Israel" and again "I have been

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from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another" (1 Chronicles 17:5, 6). Jehovah said, I never asked you to build me a house. He was pleased to dwell with His people and went with them from one tent to another, from one tabernacle to another. See how much He had to put up with! And how much He has to put up with in our meetings! How patient He is with us! As we seek to walk in the light of the tabernacle to make conditions suitable for the divine dwelling, He comes in to walk among us. God said He would dwell among them. Our exercise should be for God to walk amongst us. God is pleased to dwell among us if in any little way we walk in the light. In addressing David through Nathan He says, 'I have walked among you from the time you came out of Egypt and I did not complain at all'. How wonderfully gracious He is! In the New Testament the idea of the tabernacle in its full thought required Paul's ministry; the book of Acts is really the setting up of the tabernacle, and it requires the great services of Paul and Barnabas at Antioch, at Philippi, at Thessalonica, at Corinth and, particularly, at Ephesus. It is in the great services and the light that shines in them that we apprehend what there is for God to walk in, and if God is to walk with us He wants us to walk alongside of Him.

Now I just want to touch on Enoch to show how delightful it is to walk with God. Paul, who is the educationalist, says, I have showed you how to walk and I want it to be more and more pleasing to God, that God may not have to look down from His holy abode and see the things He had to look at in the tents of Israel. The idea is how we should walk and please God. There may be hundreds of places where there is what God is pleased with, but not entirely. I am only speaking in general terms, but my thought is that the Lord may lay it

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on us that this walk is to please Him, and to be more and more pleasing to Him. So that we have our way cut out for us, and there is no limitation, because the standard is seen, as I have been seeking to put before you, in God walking in the garden and in Jesus walking here as the Lamb. Paul's ministry and the power of the Spirit are available to enable us to walk with God and to please God more and more.

These Thessalonians were young christians, and the allusion here to this matter of walking is significant because the Spirit of God is constantly concerned about the young people amongst us. They are much on the mind of the Spirit of God, because tomorrow the burden will rest on them, so the desire is that they may increase more and more. These Thessalonians are said to be the assembly of the Thessalonians. It is, as the Spirit of God would say, the assembly of Brisbane, those who have been converted here, and have grown up here in the truth. They are addressed as "in God the Father" in the first epistle and "in God our Father" in the second, meaning they are in the place of young children, loved of the Father. All the feelings and affections of the Father are drawn out by this young assembly, freshly converted and turned to Him, as if God would say, You are in my heart, everyone of you has a place in my heart to care for you. It is a very remarkable address in that way; so that the point is, how delightful young christians are to God as they go on in any measure in a walk that pleases Him. I referred to Enoch, Noah and Abraham as exemplifying all this. The first is Enoch, and I would say to any parent here that the connection in Enoch is with the family. He was a man of sixty-five years old when his first son was born, and after that, it is said, he began to walk with God. Why he did not do so before I cannot

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say, but the Spirit of God connects his walking with God with Methuselah, and surely every parent will discern that there is a voice for him in this, for it is as if Enoch recognised that if Methuselah were to be brought up rightly he must walk before him in such a way as would tend to lead him to God. It is the outcome of the work of God in the man's soul, but evidently there was the sense of responsibility in having a son. This son lived nine hundred and sixty-nine years and there is not much to say about him. It does not appear that he was lost in the flood. His father, Enoch, began to walk with God when Methuselah was a babe, and he walked with Him three hundred years. What an example! The Spirit of God does not rest on that; not a word is said about the effect on Methuselah, but the Spirit of God runs right on with what God thought about this companion, what He found in the first companion He is said to have had. "Can two walk together except they be agreed?" God would not walk far with Enoch unless they were agreed. We know there was agreement, for the Spirit of God carries the thought on to the New Testament, where it says, "before his translation he has the testimony that he had pleased God" (Hebrews 11:5). I do not believe there is anything one would covet more, than to have in his soul the testimony that he pleased God in this life. It is open to us, dear brethren, especially the young people here, that you should begin with this idea, that you make God your companion in walk and please Him. It does not say God walked with him, the point is that God found a companion, wonderful thought, and a companion that walked with Him for three hundred years. I am speaking very respectfully and reverently, but I think it is in accord with the truth of the Scriptures to say that there was companionship for God with this man; he walked with God. What

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times Enoch must have had in nearness to God, in companionship with Him, in these early days when all the world was alienated and corrupt around him.

Of Noah it says he walked with God; he was perfect in his generations. It does not say that of Enoch. There was nothing said as to conflict, nothing as to service in relation to Enoch, it is a question of companionship with God. Of course there was service but that is not presented to us; the thought is how pleasing he was. But when you come to Noah, it is a cumulative thought; the same person has to take on onerous responsibility. Noah is a man who did things, a man of exploits, that is what is needed today, men who can do things for God. As to his sons, his brothers, his mother, you could not say anything, he was perfect in his generations. There can be no doubt that there would be persecution of a man like that. If any of us is to serve in the assembly in this city, we cannot close the mouths of our enemies, but we can take away opportunities from those that seek them. Noah took away opportunities. He was perfect in his generations, and he walked with God in a crisis. We are approaching a greater crisis, the world is about to be engulfed in the judgment of God. Noah had to do with God in similar circumstances and he walked with God. How needful he was at that time, but men who can do things are needed just as much today. There are many who do nothing, but the point is to do something for God; that is what Noah would suggest; he is a man of exploits, he would take on a great matter. There is nothing about Enoch with regard to the saving of his house. He went the right way, but Noah had faith and went the whole way; he prepared an ark for the saving of his house. It is a most urgent matter, for if our children are not saved the enemy has a great advantage. God has greatly revived the truth of the

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house recently, many are moving in it and the testimony is greatly augmented by the way brethren are taking up the truth of the household, preparing an ark for the saving of the house. The thought is cumulative. Jehovah carries the thought on; He says to Abraham, Walk before Me; indeed He says, I want you to walk before My face, as if God's face were in a certain direction, but it does not say much about that in this section. The point for the moment is that Abraham is called to walk before Jehovah's face and be perfect. Noah was perfect in his generations; Abraham is to be perfect from the divine standpoint. I apprehend perfection is that you walk in the full light you have, in the full light available. The light greatly enhances the shining out of God at this time as compared with the days of Enoch and Noah, and so later on God comes and says, 'Abraham is a friend of Mine'. What a great thing it is to be a friend of God! Abraham is the first one to be called a friend of God. The thought is carried down through the Scriptures. God says, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing?" (Genesis 18:17). He had already answered to the divine command to walk before Jehovah's face. Jehovah came to him in the heat of the day, and found him just where he should be. He was not asleep, he was vigilant. There is need for vigilance. As the Lord says, "what I say to you, I say to all, Watch" (Mark 13:37). Abraham is vigilant, and he sees three men coming to him, and they found him just as he should be. I need not enlarge on that beautiful scene in Genesis 18. Abraham was before the face of God, he knew God and addressed Him, distinguishing Him from the other two. And God graciously says, I have proved Abraham, that he is walking before Me; I found him unawares, but he was all ready. What a challenge as to what we may be in our houses; on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, when we

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are not under the eyes of the brethren. God walks among us, and not simply when we are gathered together. He moves around our houses; He looks into our houses. Jehovah made a great matter of the tents of the people, that everything about the camp should be suitable to Him, that there should be nothing about them unsuitable to Him. He came to Abraham and found him just as he should be. What a fine thing! If God moves about the city, and looks into our houses, what will He find? He found what He delighted in in Abraham, and He says, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing?" He says, he will be a great and mighty nation, but he will look after his household, he will command his children and his house after him. Abraham dwelt in tents with Isaac and Jacob, he thought not only of his immediate child, but of his grandchildren also. God would look in on these tents, and find them as they should be. Abraham would walk with God and be perfect.

Well, dear brethren, that is all. I think you will admit it is an important matter, especially for young people, whether married or about to set up households, to pay attention to our walk and ways, and whether our houses are being secured for the testimony. Preparing an ark for the saving of his house is a powerful word for every parent.

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THE DAWN

2 Peter 1:19 - 21; Song of Songs 6:10; Psalm 108:1 - 13

Each of these scriptures contains an allusion to the dawn, and that is why they have been read. The principle that opens up in relation to the first is that of prophecy. What opens up in relation to the second, in the Song of Songs, is the appearance under the Lord's eye of the saints collectively as moving in subjection. The third, that is the psalm, alludes to praise. Under these three heads I hope, by the Lord's help, to present what would be profitable, and to that end earnestly solicit attention, that is, the hearing of faith. Faith comes by hearing, but it also hears. We can only hear aright as in the exercise of faith, and it is well to be reminded that we are enjoined not only as to what we hear, but as to how we hear. The same applies to reading the Scriptures. It is not only what we read, but how we read. As the Lord says, "How readest thou?" Faith is required, for God addresses Himself to us as possessing faith.

Now, as to the first scripture, the apostle Peter is the writer, as you will notice, and the chapter throughout deals with confirmation particularly in young believers, but not excluding old believers, that they should be confirmed in what they have believed. There is the thought of 'since ye believed' in Scripture. One enquires, "Did ye receive the Holy Spirit when ye had believed?" (Acts 19:2). We are challenged as to what has transpired in our soul's history since we believed. Peter, about to put off his tabernacle, as he says, for the Lord Jesus had shown him that he was about to die as a martyr for the truth, is concerned in this epistle, to stir up the pure minds of the brethren, not so

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much in opening up new things as that they should be established in what they have received. In this remarkable instruction that he furnishes, he touches on the mount of transfiguration. He introduces it by way of confirmation, that it was the confirmation of what he and his fellow apostles ministered, that they had not spun the doctrines of christianity out of their own minds, as instanced in other religions in the world, particularly in the East. They had not followed cunningly devised fables but were eyewitnesses of the majesty of the Lord Jesus. They were eyewitnesses of the power and coming of the Lord Jesus Christ: three of them, of whom he was one, the only one who had been present who relates it, and so spake as they knew, as they saw that wonderful scene on the mount. He touches on the matter of prophecy, and says, "we have the prophetic word made surer". That is, the confirmation of all Scripture was seen on the mount of transfiguration; as in a later day, the Lord, after He rose from among the dead, began from Moses and from all the prophets and interpreted the things concerning Himself unto certain persons, to believers, but straying ones at the moment. The Scriptures from Moses down to Malachi are just brimful of things concerning Christ. He is the theme, indeed, of all Scripture. Christ is the central theme of all Scripture, and so, in another instance, He says to His hearers, "Ye search the scriptures, for ye think that in them ye have life eternal, and they it is which bear witness concerning me" (John 5:39). He was speaking to the Jews, but He says, they are they which testify of me, so that in reading the Scriptures or perusing them we do well to keep that in mind. We shall not get much help otherwise. It is a question of Christ, dear brethren, as He was seen on the mount, for Moses and Elias were there, representative of all the prophets; but particularly as

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He is seen after He rose from the dead. The Scriptures would have no meaning at all, no value indeed to us really, save in the light of Christ, not only His incarnation, but His death, and His resurrection. He came to die and to rise again. The Scripture had announced this. And in pursuing this line of thought the apostle Peter speaks in a most instructive way about the prophets.

I am not going into detail, but to remind you, dear brethren, that what we are enjoying, here tonight and what is enjoyed throughout the world is, under God, due to the devotedness of certain men and women about one hundred years ago, who as they were guided by the Spirit of God, made enquiries into the prophets. Those who know bear witness to the fact that prophecy was the chief enquiry at the beginning of this wonderful revival that we now are sharing in; and hence the importance of Peter's word as to it. In the first letter he says that the prophets enquired into the salvation which the saints were at that time enjoying. They, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the others, enquired as to the application of their prophecies, and it was revealed to them, Peter tells us, that the things they ministered were not unto themselves but unto us. They searched "what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ which was in them pointed out, testifying before of the sufferings which belonged to Christ, and the glories after these" (1 Peter 1:11). And it says that it was revealed to them that these ministrations were not to themselves, but unto us, looking on to the things ministered in the gospel by the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven.

Now in the second epistle he touches again on the prophets, but in the sense of illuminating what they had already had, that the prophetic page is lighted up by the testimony of the gospel come in by the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven. So that

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we have the prophetic word made surer, he says. Not that it was anything else but sure, for the prophets never ministered by the will of man; they never devised anything from their own minds. There are apocryphal books that claim to be Scripture, but they are human productions, some utterly puerile, valueless really, and entirely to be repudiated. Peter is not alluding to these books; he is referring to books written by holy men of old, moved by the Holy Spirit. These are the only books to be accredited.

I have said all that, dear brethren, to induce you, according to the Lord's mind, to look into the prophets. Every line of the prophetic word is for us, as Peter says, and it is to be read. All these prophets in the Old Testament are to be read in the light of the New. They are lighted up, confirmed, by the wonderful history of the gospels, and the epistles. The more you understand Paul's letters, Peter's letters, John's letters, and the others, the more you will understand the prophets. The four gospels are the golden thread of confirmation of the prophets; it runs right through all the gospels, and the more we are instructed in the epistles and the gospels, the more sure will the prophetic word be made to us. We read it as Scripture, not simply as addressed to the Jewish people, but to ourselves. Every line of it is addressed to christians. Now, dear brethren, you will understand I am not suggesting that we should be diverted from what is properly christian, but the early thought I alluded to opened up the great dispensation, the great perspective. Every christian should understand, should be able to look on the great perspective that Scripture opens up. He should know where he is, where the assembly is, and where the Jewish nation is in the mind of God. He should know where all the nations are in the mind of God, since God is the God not only of the Jews,

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but of the gentiles. He has the gentiles in mind and they will appear in the coming age for they are all to be blessed. There is to be a great system of nations blessed. They shall go away into everlasting life, and will be blessed under Christ in relation to God's earthly people; and the heavenly side, inclusive of ourselves the assembly, is the great metropolis. The nations shall bring their glory to it. These are not simply things we should hold in theory as prophecies. They apply directly to ourselves, and, dear brethren, such marvellous things, such transcending things set out in the heavenly city, as inclusive of ourselves, should be of importance to us. Our minds should be ready to receive every bit of instruction available to us. Think of the glory of the heavenly city; the nations shall bring their glory to it, a wonderful system of things, permeated by spiritual intelligence. So the nations will understand the heavenly metropolis and respect it. They will own Christ. He is to be King of kings and Lord of lords. These are wonderful thoughts every christian should have. Each should be ready for every bit of light that is available in the prophecies so that these things, the prophetic word as Peter calls it, are made surer, and so that we may have no doubt as to it, he says, referring to the Old Testament. Prophecy is as a light shining in a dark place. The whole system is dark, the only light is that which shone among God's people, and this light appeared in the prophets, through the prophetic word which they had; for to them, we are told, were entrusted the oracles of God. The prophetic word shone as light in a dark place during the Old Testament times, that is the Jewish times. All that has come down to us, and Peter says it is made surer so that we might understand how the ancient world stood, and that God had testimony in it, which has come

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down to us and is confirmed in christianity by the light and the truth and the Spirit of God.

So he says, "Until the day dawn and the morning star arise in your hearts", that is the point, the dawning of the day. The world, the christian world, has assumed a shroud of darkness as the ancient heathen world had, but there is light in the holy scriptures, inclusive of the prophets, and the Spirit of God remains here, a wonderful fact. As indeed is said in the prophet Haggai, "The word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, and my Spirit, remain among you" (Haggai 2:5). Think of that fact as we sit here tonight; it is not a mere theoretical position, but the word of the covenant and the Spirit of God remain here. Think of this marvellous fact that we as believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit as the Comforter, and we have the word of the covenant. Well, now, Peter says, in regard of this certainty, this confirmation of the prophets, that it is until the day dawn. And, dear brethren, one would enquire as to this dawn: "Until the day dawn and the morning star arise in your hearts". The dawn is a great general thought. Many of us have seen it; as the sun begins to rise, or to be more accurate, as the earth revolves and the glimmerings of the great orb appear above the horizon, how full of hope it is; it has a peculiar effect on the observant mind. Peter alludes to it here, the dawn of the day of the glory of Christ is to be observed already, the sufferings stood in relation to the glory, the glory that is to follow. The rays of the rising sun are to be observed already, not indeed in the political sky. Let no one be deceived by the political sky. God is not operating there yet. Things are happening in the world, but Peter is alluding to what is happening in the believer's heart, in our hearts. There are those who scan Europe, and we know from the prophets what

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will happen. God has furnished us with instruction as to what will happen, but let us remember that the understanding of prophecy lies in the position the Jew has, not the assembly. The assembly is not the subject of it at all. It lies outside the range of prophecy. So if you read the book of Daniel, you will find in chapter 11, a long chapter and difficult to follow, that while the Grecian empire is divided into four parts, the Spirit of God pursues two parts, the North and the South. These two members of the empire had to do with God's ancient people. They fought their battles in the land of Palestine. So that in all the prophets, we have to understand it is a question of God's dispensation on the earth, and as He has not returned to that yet, we shall never understand prophecy by looking at the map of Europe. I wish to direct you to what is spiritual. Peter says, until the day dawn and the morning star arise in your hearts. It is a question therefore of saints enquiring into their own hearts, not to become introspective, but as to what God is doing. His government goes on; that is another matter; it will go on; but the direct operations of God today are in the hearts of christians, and that is where you get your light. "Until the day dawn and the morning star arise in your hearts". Has any one a doubt that that has taken place? You may have if you look into your own heart. Our hearts may be full of earthly prospects. If that is what is filling our hearts the morning star and the dawn will never arise in those hearts; there is no room. We need to have hearts suitable for divine operations. Paul says, even as to divine writing, the writing of Christ is in the hearts of christians. The concern is to be free, to be available to God as material for writing, and then for the great portending things, for the coming of the Lord. Our hearts are that material in which He sets out

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His great thoughts. "Until the day dawn and the morning star arise in your hearts". The word is, "Son, give me thine heart". See what our hearts are! Instead of understanding that earthly prospects are blighted with death, young people allow their hearts to be full of earthly hopes, and they shut out these great things of God that belong to eternity.

Now I go on to the Song of Songs. It is written to the earthly bride, but written for, us, you know, and it has a place in the prophetic word. "Who is she that looketh forth as the dawn, Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, Terrible as troops with banners?" These are wonderful figures. Nobody energised by his own ability would ever use such figures far-reaching, transcending, picturing the dawn, to symbolise the look of a person. Think of the magnificence of the figure! She looks forth as the dawn. What does it mean? It is Christ speaking, in figure, about His earthly bride. He looks on the remnant, their outlook will be like the dawn. Some of us are acquainted with the outlook of the few in the West. Their look is not like that, they are grovelling on the earth for the money it can afford them, and they will have it. I am not accusing anybody, only describing the difference between the Jew as having rejected Jesus and the Jew who will have his countenance looking forth as the dawn, as the dawn that is going to open very soon. What a beautiful thing it is to see the countenance of a young christian as the dawn. "Who is she that looketh forth as the dawn, Fair as the moon, clear as the sun". How the Lord looks down into our countenances and would read below the surface and see what we are thinking of, what is our look, what is our objective, our mind, what is radiated in our countenance. What is in the face of the christian whose outlook is the dawn? He is full of light and expectations

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not of earthly prospects, but of heavenly ones, of the coming of Jesus. That is the hope, that is what occasions such a wonderful figure. She looketh forth as the dawn; it is the appearance of the countenance, what she looks like, with the greatest expectancy of something to come into view.

She is fair as the moon. Now, dear brethren, the meaning of that is that she is in subjection to Christ, not self-willed. This passage speaks of a willing people, the moon is a figure of what is subject, a figure of the assembly, or of Israel. In either case it is a question of subjection. All that she is, whatever is of moral worth in Israel or in the assembly, depends on subjection to Christ, reflecting the glory of Christ, as the moon reflects the glory of the great orb that dominates the day. The assembly reflects the glory that belongs to Christ, and how? By subjection. It is said to be subjected, not only subject; she is said to be in the attitude of subjection. That includes every brother and sister. It shuts out every thought of independency. There is no allowance of any confusion, of any other will, it is a question of united subjection to Christ, and how fair it is, how beautiful, fair as the moon, and then he goes on to say, clear as the sun.

There is no mistaking what the brethren say; they know things, and they are not dark or obscure. The apostle says, I speak as to intelligent persons. The assembly is regarded as characteristically intelligent. "We speak that which we know, and we bear witness of that which we have seen" (John 3:11). That is to say, it is clear as the sun, everything is out, there is no hiding of things, but brethren are together in confidence and in transparency one with another; everything is clear. The Lord is looking down for these things. He uses these metaphors because they are applicable.

And then finally, "Terrible as troops with banners".

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That is to say, if rebellion will persist there is an army with banners, they are serving under authority, not independently. And woe to him who stands in self-will against the authority of the Lord in the midst of His people! The Lord is greatly to be feared in the assembly of His saints.

Now in Psalm 108 David says, "My heart is fixed, O God: I will sing, yea, I will sing psalms, even with my glory. Awake, lute and harp; I will wake the dawn". Now this is not so easy to understand, but I think it is quite intelligible as we apply it to Christ, the spirit of Christ in David, as the great leader of song amongst His people. What a glorious thought that is. The Lord has brought it to our attention and there is much light in these last days on the last book of Psalms. The last book begins with Psalm 107, the one before this, and shows how the saints are to be gathered in the last days, corresponding with the thought of the remnant. The last book has wonderful significance in our time. It is the great 'praise' book, extending from Psalm 107 to 150. It is full of praise, especially in the closing sections. You can understand how the Lord in spirit would have part in this book, for it is a question of leading the saints in the service of song. There is no doubt that the Lord in instituting the Supper had this book in mind. The passover included certain psalms out of this book, and the hymn, which was sung by the disciples when the cup was drunk, was probably selected from this book. It refers to remnant times. They were that at the beginning, and we are that; we are those who have been recovered in these last days; we are of remnant character. This book, as I said, presents the Lord leading the praises. He says, "My heart is fixed". If Jesus said that, and surely He could say it, it is that I should say it too. What a word it is for the young people that we should

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not be of double heart; that is a painful thing, a double heart. "My heart is fixed", says the psalmist, and he goes on to say, "I will sing, yea, I will sing psalms, even with my glory". Did it ever occur to you that, as a christian, you have glory? Jesus had infinite glory, even as a Man, but the christian has glory normally. The Spirit of glory and the Spirit of God rests upon the christian. Am I going to use it? Am I not going to bring my best into the glory of God in the assembly? Am I going to detract from the glory? Am I going to be a dark body in that realm? No, dear friends, "with my glory", that is, with the best you have; you should be in the assembly with the best you have. And what is the best? "The Spirit of glory and the Spirit of God rests upon you", for whom God has justified He has glorified; it is not that He will do it, He has done it. The scene is glorious, and my service in the temple, in the sanctuary, is to be with my glory. And then the point is "Awake, lute and harp: I will wake the dawn". He is a man of energy. It is the Lord in spirit, I have no doubt. He is here in an exemplary way, that every christian is to be on this line. It is that for which I am called into the service of God and made glorious; and, as far as I am able, this is the line I am on. Introduce that into any meeting and think of it as to any part you may take. Is it going to wake the dawn? Am I going to lead on into that which is coming? That is the idea, lead on in power in the assembly, to the dawn, to the time when Jesus will be supreme everywhere, when the day has fully come.

It seems to me that everyone of us should have this in mind, as to whether I can break in on the dawn, whether my part is in such power that it leads on to the dawn. We leave behind us the darkness of Jerusalem; but what does the dawn lead to? It leads to a new day, to the rising of the Sun of

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righteousness with healing in His wings. We are looking forward, dear friends, always, in the assembly, and the part each one takes is to have in mind the awakening of the dawn.

These are the thoughts I had and I ask the Lord to bless them, that they may work out in our service, if the Lord permit, on the coming first day of the week.

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"The Power that Worketh in Us". Birmingham and elsewhere, 1938 (Volume 141).

THE POWER THAT WORKETH IN US (1)

Joshua 1:1 - 15; Joshua 2:1 - 16

J.T. It is in mind to look into this book, particularly the earlier chapters, as the Lord may help us, to see how it bears on assembly service. We shall find as we proceed that Colossians and Ephesians particularly give us the antitypical teaching, and what may be said will be from the point of view of these epistles. As we understand them we shall see how that the teaching they contain is enlarged upon in this book. This teaching does not refer to that part of assembly service which is governed by apostolic authority, though, of course, apostolic authority runs through all the epistles; yet there is that which is wholly spiritual in the service of the assembly. In this case the Lord Himself has part as Minister of the sanctuary, but that service or ministry of His can only be effective as Colossians and Ephesians are understood. Aside from the understanding of these epistles, our assembly service, in which the Lord as Minister of the sanctuary has part, can only be as a matter of light on our part, or it may be only theory, and the Lord is hampered in carrying out what He has in mind in the assembly.

What is especially in view is "the power that worketh in us" (Ephesians 3:20) and the spiritual stature that goes with it, so that we may enter upon what is in this book -- our inheritance, which is essential to God obtaining His in actuality. Joshua does not give us, as far as I understand, God's inheritance, but the inheritance of the saints, this being essential to our being for God. David's ministry is really to bring in God's inheritance -- what He regards as peculiarly

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His; and this is the outcome in us of what we enter upon as seen in Joshua.

The book of Exodus shows that God from the very outset, in taking up Moses, had His own service in mind. The people as delivered out of Egypt were to serve Him at the mountain, at Horeb, and His message to Pharaoh expressly states that He wishes His son to be released to serve Him, "Let my son go, that he may serve me" (Exodus 4:23). The material for the service at Horeb is wealth of its own kind. It is what is secured by the believer concurrent with his exercises as coming out of Egypt. Israel came out of Egypt with great wealth. That is distinct from what we have in the land, but still God had inheritance in the saints typically at Sinai; His glory filled the tabernacle as it filled the temple.

M.W.B. Would you explain the link between the Minister of the sanctuary and the wholly spiritual side of assembly service? The thought of the Minister is brought before us in Hebrews 8. Would you carry it on to the highest side of the truth as seen in Ephesians and Colossians?

J.T. As I understand it, it is Christ in heaven that is spoken of as Minister of the sanctuary, in the antitype of Aaron. What should be seen first in regard of the subject is the dominical side of the service, that is, the authoritative side, which stands related to Christ as Lord; that is hardly Aaron's side, but rather that of Moses. The first chapter of this book makes provision for Moses. Joshua is directed to "take heed to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded thee. Turn not from it to the right or to the left" (verse 7). Then, "This book of the law shall not depart from thy mouth; and thou shalt meditate upon it day and night, that thou mayest take heed to do according to all that is written therein; for then shalt thou

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have good success in thy ways, and then shalt thou prosper" (verse 8).

A.M.H. Is your thought that there are two characters of service, the first having its climax in Sinai, and the tabernacle being filled with glory; and then you have the service in the land, and the Minister of the sanctuary having His place more there?

J.T. Aaron's service was in the wilderness, but in the antitype, Christ's part in the service of God refers particularly to the heavenly side of our position. His office as Minister of the sanctuary is connected with His present place in heaven, (Hebrews 8:1, 2). The part of assembly service typified in Exodus particularly, contemplates subjection in us, and, withal, certain wealth which is not acquired in the land, for we are not yet in it, but what accrues from the exodus out of Egypt and the exercises attending thereon. Exodus 15 shows, even before Sinai is reached, that there is the thought of serving God. "Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song to Jehovah" (Exodus 15:1). The song is led by Moses, but the children of Israel had part in it. Miriam's part would indicate a certain measure, which was in keeping with that position. They already had great wealth, but as encamped before the mountain, they are in the position of the resources of God in the wilderness, divine resources, and these are now to come forth, so that there should be ability in the people to serve God according to His own mind.

Well, that is the great general thought in the type, and obviously it is to have a counterpart in assembly service. There is to be not only subjection -- subjection is imperative -- but a certain measure of wealth. Perhaps the people were not aware that there was so much; but like them, as coming under divine authority, we find we have what is required for the

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service. God's thought is that every bit of wealth that there is should be utilised -- should be available, and the demand for it brings it out. Exodus 21 brings in the bondman, one who can say, "I love;" that shows there is something. One who can say "I love" indicates there is some wealth for God; nor can anyone really be in the service of God except he has love. There were thousands of them that loved God (Exodus 20:6) but they had to be brought to light, and the thought of God as to His service had to be put to them.

P.L. Is the covenant the great stimulative power to bring that out -- to draw it forth?

J.T. I think that is so. The apostle in writing to the Corinthians stresses love as a subject. There was but little love amongst them, so the apostle shows it. Room is thus made for the covenant in the second letter. It is mentioned in the first, but it is in the blood of Christ, "in my blood", (1 Corinthians 11:25). This denotes sacrifice. It had but little response in the Corinthians.

Eu.R. Does Paul allude to it when he says, "if any one love God, he is known of him" (1 Corinthians 8:3)?

J.T. That is a good reference: "the same is known". That does not mean that one is known among the brethren simply, but known of God. God knows us all creatorially as men, but then, when He says He knows a person that loves Him, He indicates that they are scarce; they are of prime value.

H.M.S. Would you make a little more clear the distinction between the riches acquired in Egypt, and those acquired in the land? Paul told the Corinthians that in everything they had been enriched in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:5).

J.T. All christians are enriched in an objective sense, from the divine side, but what is in mind now is what one acquires through his exercises and

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experiences, as coming out of Egypt. God had it so much in mind that He gave Israel favour in the eyes of the Egyptians, and they obtained from them utensils. God had in mind in that what the believer should be as soon as he gets out of Egypt. It is the persons themselves, of course; that makes way for every christian, and every one as delivered out of Egypt has gained something. I do not think God intends anyone to be in His service who has not gained something.

J.T.S. "He brought them forth with silver and gold; and there was not one feeble among their tribes" (Psalm 105:37).

J.T. That is good; and then there were the utensils the Egyptians gave them.

F.W.K. Do the Thessalonians suggest a company that acquired wealth as coming out of Egypt?

J.T. I think they are so regarded. Their wealth would arise largely from the mutual attitude of the apostle in labouring amongst them. Authority was there, but in a most mutual sort of way. He went in among them, and they would come to know him. He speaks of himself as a nurse amongst them -- that is, the ministerial service that entered into what he was saying. It is not only what I say, but what I am in authority. It was what the apostle was amongst the Thessalonians. Then he says, "how ye turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God" (1 Thessalonians 1:9). How they did it; they had the service of God in mind.

W.L. Would God's providential arrangements enter into this as seen in Timothy's mother and grandmother?

J.T. Whatever God does providentially enters into it. He gave these Israelites favour in the eyes of the Egyptians, so that they gave them things. God gave the people favour.

W.C. Would the principle be seen in Zechariah 6:11 --

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"take silver and gold, and make crowns"?

J.T. That is a good thought; take it from those who returned. What has been said ought to show us that God is looking for whatever there is, and He puts it to us, as in the question raised, "What hast thou in the house?"

H.P.W. How do you distinguish between the silver and gold and the vessels?

J.T. You often see those who would take part in service, but they are not renewed in mind. The vessel means that the man is available in all his faculties.

E.G. What does the thought of clothing involve?

J.T. God had in mind suitable garments. It is a great pleasure, I think, with God to have us as vessels; it means that all the faculties of the believer are available. So that the person in Romans 7:25 says: "I myself with the mind serve God's law". You cannot use a vessel wherein the mind is not serving God's law. It is not merely serving a specific law, but your mind is of that kind. That makes room for the Spirit, so that the whole body is seen in Romans as available, and presented to God as a living sacrifice, as a holy, intelligent service (Romans 12:1). The believer has his faculties under control in a holy way, so that a young believer joins in quite happily. One often sees it, and it should be encouraged, because as soon as one is out of Egypt, God's thought is that one is to serve. You find it in the gospels; persons who are delivered by the Lord and healed, serve, as the mother-in-law of Simon served. One might not be able to serve on a great occasion, but our meetings generally are small, and it is a matter of great consequence that everyone should serve. Young brothers who are silent are not contributing.

Ques. Would you say it is exemplified to a large extent in Rahab receiving the spies in peace and

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reporting what she had heard as to the Israelites? She lodged them and sent them on their way.

J.T. Yes; she certainly would be ready to serve as dwelling in Israel. On a great occasion like John 12 Martha served, she is now equal to this. She had much to learn, for she was not able to serve at the beginning -- she was critical; but afterwards she is able to serve on a great occasion.

E.J.McB. Is your thought that what is presented in Colossians 2:5, which caused thanksgiving in the apostle, is more the objective side, but what is before us now is the subjective work of the Spirit of God in us?

J.T. Yes. The order of procedure amongst them was acceptable, but they needed preservation from what would damage the spiritual result they had already attained. What needed to be preserved with them was the spiritual power they had, which belonged to the land. This needed to be preserved from philosophy and ceremonialism. Thus it would develop and become effective in the service of God.

A.J.G. You make a distinction between the service of God in the wilderness and the service of God in the land. Would you say what feature of assembly service is typified in the offering of bullocks, goats, and so on, which were offered both in the wilderness and in the land?

J.T. Livestock is what can experience death, typifying what the believer is to God as going through death in correspondence with Christ. That runs on into the land. Romans teaches us how the believer brings in death on himself, leading on to resurrection. We are not risen with Christ in Romans, but death is brought in.

H.H. In either case it is what is connected with sacrifice.

J.T. Yes, livestock is that side; life that can be given up on the principle of sacrifice.

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H.H. I thought that entered into what was being said as to service; it is on the line of sacrifice.

J.T. Livestock would be distinct from the silver, and gold, and clothing; it is that in which death is brought in. In Romans the truth does not go as far as our resurrection, but our bodies are presented a living sacrifice. Christ has a place in your heart, as the apostle says, "the body is dead on account of sin, but the Spirit life on account of righteousness" (Romans 8:10). The body is seen as presented a living sacrifice. So the livestock coming out of Egypt would allude to what goes into death in order that God should be served. Moses said to Pharaoh as to the cattle, "Thou must give also sacrifices and burnt-offerings into our hands, that we may sacrifice to Jehovah our God. Our cattle also must go with us: ... for we must take thereof to serve Jehovah our God" (Exodus 10:25, 26). In the land, which goes further, we are risen with Christ.

As to those who serve, Luke gives us what is basic. In mentioning Martha he shows there was material there from the very first, but correction was needed. Much had to be eliminated from the vessel, and this was effected; so that when you come to John, you have the desired result, that is, she served suitably. It is not simply that she served Christ, but she is able to serve now on a great occasion, typically one of the greatest occasions.

A.M.H. Would the sacrifices in the wilderness refer to the way we know God as having come out to us, and the sacrifices in the land more as to His thoughts and purposes in Christ?

J.T. Quite so; Colossians contemplates that we are risen with Him. The Red Sea and Jordan are brought together, as we have often been reminded. It says, "risen with him" -- but how? "through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead" (Colossians 2:12). We are also quickened

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with Him; the believer is altogether for God -- not only risen on the principle of faith, but his affections are affected.

M.W.B. Is that why in Numbers 15 we have the insistence on the meat offerings and the drink offerings to accompany the sacrifices in the land?

J.T. Yes, each having his own proportionate quantities of the things mentioned, including wine. That supports what we are saying, that what is for God is in intelligent proportions.

A.N. Would you say the root from which all service flows is the knowledge of God in Christ as apprehended by the believer?

J.T. Yes; the presentation of our bodies to God is said to be our "intelligent service".

Eu.R. Do I understand that the height of God's service is touched at Sinai, but from our side we need Joshua in formation spiritually that it may be sustained?

J.T. We need the land; we need to enter on our proper inheritance, which Sinai does not supply. The glory entering at the end of Exodus is in relation to Moses and his authority. Everything is put together and every item of the tabernacle is functioning, as we have often remarked -- each in its place. It is the glory entering, in that connection; it is not so great a position as 2 Chronicles 5, because there you have a number of priests ministering. We have referred to the statement that Martha served; that is, she is a characteristic person in service -- doing it on a great occasion. Following the types, we would learn that she had to become a priest, and for that she had to undergo discipline in service. Sonship is not mentioned in Exodus 28 and 29, where we have instructions as to priesthood. It is mentioned in chapter 4, but for actual service, priesthood is necessary; thus Aaron was to serve as priest. God would say, as it were, I must be served

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suitably, and hence the necessity for priesthood. Let the young ones come forward as they have liberty, but they soon have to learn that they are to be priests, and that refers to holiness and intelligence. In 2 Chronicles 5 we have a large number of priests, and they are serving, together in a most beautiful way; musically they were in perfect unity, and in that relation the glory comes in in the service of God.

A.M.H. So that whilst we may view the journey from Egypt to the land as spiritual history, does there have to be a kind of education as together in order to reach the higher level from that on which we are at the Lord's supper?

J.T. Quite so; hence the importance of taking part in assembly in a priestly way. Young people normally have a measure of ability to take part, but they must progress in it.

M.W.B. There is an interesting reference in Acts 7:44 - 47; first, as to the tabernacle in the wilderness made according to the model as God commanded Moses; then brought into the land by the fathers with Joshua; then to the days of David and Solomon. Does that give the threefold view?

J.T. Just so, showing how cumulative the thing is. Hence Chronicles deals with the testimony from the outset, beginning with Adam. It is as if God had His service in mind from the beginning. So you find in 2 Chronicles the tabernacle is taken over. Solomon goes to Gibeon, where the tabernacle was, linking up the new order of service with it. Later, all that related to the service under Moses was taken over. That ought to enter into every service -- that we keep in mind what there is, and let nothing be omitted that is of God. When we come to the book of Joshua, Moses is greatly stressed. In verse 1, "Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' attendant". In verse 2, "Moses my servant is dead". In verse 5,

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"as I was with Moses". Moses my servant. A great landmark had now been reached at the death of such a servant. Think of all that had come out previously in this wonderful ministry! But "Moses my servant is dead". What is to become of all that came out in this great ministry? That is a challenge for the young. It is the living that praise God, and the responsibility remains. Therefore, to begin with, Joshua is to embody what came out in Moses, for he is Moses' attendant. Moses is dead, but Joshua is to proceed; Joshua is not inaugurating anything; he is to take heed to all that came out, as to the great service of God, through Moses.

J.T.S. Would the closing verses of Deuteronomy 34 emphasise the service of Moses: "there arose no prophet since in Israel like Moses"?

J.T. Quite so. It was to impress them with what that ministry was, but the ninth verse says: "And Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands upon him". The service of God is thus secured -- a most important thing to notice. Moses laid his hands upon him.

Now in this first chapter of Joshua the thought comes out that if you attend to the law in detail, You will be prosperous. Joshua is reminded that the territory granted to Israel is a very great territory, inasmuch as typically the heavenly side is stressed. It is, "From the wilderness and this Lebanon to the great river, the river Euphrates, the whole land of the Hittites, to the great sea, toward the going down of the sun, shall be your border" (verse 4). That is to be in mind in the service of God; every bit of the territory is to be before us. It includes the territory of the Euphrates, though we have to wait for David to get all this; yet it is in our minds. Let it not be out of our minds, even if our feet have not trodden it. A man like Jabez is an example for us, as to this

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(see 1 Chronicles 4:10). Let the whole inheritance be in my heart before God.

Then another thing is, "Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, Go through the midst of the camp, and command the people, saying, Prepare yourselves victuals, for in three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, that ye may enter in to take possession of the land which Jehovah your God giveth you to possess it". We have there the principle of needed food as entering on this great territory, though the victuals are not specified. It is for me to see that I am not without them. Then he says to the Reubenites and to the Gadites and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, "Remember the word that Moses the servant of Jehovah commanded you, saying, Jehovah your God has given you rest and has given you this land. Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle shall abide in the land that Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan, but ye, all the valiant men, shall go over in array before your brethren and help them, until Jehovah give your brethren rest as to you, and they also take possession of the land which Jehovah your God giveth them". This, it seems to me, is to show that, as one is strengthened in assembly service, you include all the saints -- the whole twelve tribes. You may say, Such an one is not very spiritual. Nevertheless, he has some inheritance, and if he is subject, he is to come into it. If he has the Holy Spirit, and is subject, he must not be excluded. So the whole twelve tribes are in mind in the service of God. They are not viewed as delinquent in any way, but seen representatively in these forty thousand ready to go over. The unity is to be maintained, and if the saints are subject to the Lord, and not against the truth, but for it, they must be counted and included in our affections. The

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Colossians are said to have had love for all saints; one is disqualified if one does not love all saints.

The next thought is in Joshua 2 -- the work of God. What has come before us so far has been the effect of the ministry; what Moses had said and the territory Moses had given them; but now it is the effect of the work of God in each of us. There is not a word about Moses or Aaron in chapter 2. It is a person who is affected herself and caring for herself. She has the idea of "another way". She is spiritual. The principle of spirituality shines in Rahab.

M.W.B. What have you in mind in emphasising "another way"?

J.T. It shows that if the service of God is to go on, it is not to be in the ordinary way at all. If the ministry is to help the people of God, we are to have one thing in our minds in what we are doing -- that is, to help them to see that the current way of serving God is not a spiritual way. She speaks of "another way", that is what the Spirit of God says in the New Testament (James 2:25). Here it says, "And she let them down by a cord through the window; for her house was upon the city-wall, and she dwelt upon the wall. And she said to them, Go to the mountain, that the pursuers may not meet with you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers have returned; and afterwards go your way". She introduces Colossian truth, that is, the principle of hiding; of not making a show. She said, "Go to the mountain;" and then, "go your way;" the way is plain now.

H.P.W. Have you anything in mind as to why three times over Joshua is exhorted to "Be strong and courageous", also, the valiant men that are to go over exhort him to be strong and courageous?

J.T. It follows on what we have been saying.

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We are dealing now with an advanced condition amongst the people of God. It is not initial, but is the end of a great service -- "Moses my servant is dead" -- and his service calls for results. So the word is "What hath God wrought" (Numbers 23:23). Though I have been forty years in fellowship, it may have to be asked, What has been wrought in me?

E.J.McB. It is a very good thought, that Rahab represents the work of God. It is remarkable, too, the account she gives of God's work in Israel.

J.T. She does not say anything about Moses, but speaks about what God has done and what Israel had done. As having overcome Sihon and Og, we are valiant men; we have overcome ourselves. She represents the work of God, and in His mind it is not to be imperfect. We are to be fully grown, valiant men, ready for the land.

We are touching now a point that causes great difficulty all over the world -- the want of manhood: the want of entering on and appreciating the inheritance that God has proposed for us. It is not heaven literally, but what God is seeking to get us into now. God is operating on our minds, our faculties, in relation to one another, so that we might be fit to enter in. It is a question of manhood here, after such a ministry as that of Moses and the truth of it exemplified. If I have been forty years in fellowship, there should be something to show for it.

A.W. What is the link between the woman hiding the men under the flax, and the instructions to hide themselves in the mountains?

J.T. There is a very strong connection. Hiding them under the flax would mean that there is now something in this house that no citizen of Jericho would look for. The flax refers to purity, what men do not understand. "The world knows us not"

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(1 John 3:1). The children of God are not known, because the world does not understand. The house and the woman were public; but now there is something different here. What caused the difference? God had been working there. The inhabitants of Jericho do not understand this. She hides the men; it is a spiritual touch really that she had, something that the world does not understand. The hiding in the mountains was not the men's own thought; it came from her, showing the spiritual nature of the work of God.

G.C.C. Is the territory given to the two and a half tribes by Moses, to be legitimately appropriated by those who dwell in Canaan? Does it in any way connect with Colossians and Ephesians in the various relations of life?

J.T. It is included in the territory described in chapter 1 and hence belongs to all, and the instruction, in what is before us, is that those who are content with that alone are to be included among all saints. It is a real inheritance; something not to be despised in one who serves the Lord's people with his means and many other such things, though his living relations are not over Jordan. From John's point of view you give that man credit for everything; you are entitled to look on him abstractly -- he belongs to the whole. You would like him to go over; for he has the full status of a man in the inheritance. It is an inheritance that was given to the people of God. Other scriptures show that those who limit themselves to it are in great danger.

Moses was very displeased with the two and a half tribes when they proposed it, and we know they were brought into captivity first.

P.L. Does Barzillai emphasise this view?

J.T. Very good; he is a man not to be despised; but, as you know, he failed as wanting in taste for heavenly things; that is a thing to be watched.

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Ques. Would it not be well to recollect what the Lord said to Martha in John 11:40? "Did I not say to thee, that if thou shouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" That is Colossians, is it not?

J.T. Quite so; a great thing to keep in mind. Barzillai was an old man; he maintained the king at his own expense the other side of Jordan, but he was unequal to the heavenly land and Jerusalem. Very often old brethren suffer in that way; it is wisdom for the young ones to enter on the land at once, and keep there. Believers should learn to provide for themselves in old age; that is, to live in the heavenly land; building up a constitution suitable to it, as feeding on the old corn. Barzillai missed all that, contenting himself with what he had on the wilderness side of the Jordan.

P.L. Does Anna represent what you have in mind?

J.T. What remarkable instances of this were Anna and Simeon! How intelligent and agile they were in the service of God!

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THE POWER THAT WORKETH IN US (2)

Joshua 3:1 - 17

J.T. It was remarked in the previous reading that what was in mind was the bearing of this typical book on the service of God. It implies the saints entering on their inheritance -- taking possession with a view to God having His inheritance. His inheritance is the saints -- the saints as He would have them; that is, clothed and enriched with their heavenly portion, so as to serve Him. We enlarged this morning on the dominical side of the service of God, which is really introductory to what we are speaking of now. It has reference to the wilderness side of our position; that is, for the individual as in Romans; and for the assembly as in Corinthians. This stands in relation to the Lord's supper; not in the gospels, but in the first epistle to the Corinthians, which gives us the doctrine of it. It is not God's supper, or the Father's supper; it is the Lord's supper; therefore, it involves subjection. The importance of this side of the position is seen in the types, in that the glory enters the tabernacle in relation to the service of Moses. As the glory enters, it is significantly intimated that the service of Moses is no longer needed. Moses could not enter, we are told; as if God took charge of the saints viewed there typically as pleasing to Him. It is to show the result reached as the brethren are in subjection; each is in his place, and functioning in his place.

Following the dominical side as set forth in Moses' ministry, it is emphatically stated, in the first chapter of this book, that "Moses my servant is dead". Yet the service is to go on, the service of God. There is to be no void. Joshua, who had been Moses' attendant during all the period, we may say of his service, is here; one upon whom Moses

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had laid his hands. It is said, in the end of Deuteronomy, that the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as Jehovah had commanded Moses; so that the allegiance went on. Hence the new position is to be taken up on the same principle, namely obedience.

Joshua represents another view of Christ. As seen in Joshua, Christ is presented in Romans and Corinthians; for whilst the authority of Moses runs into the book of Joshua, what Joshua represents extends back to the beginning of Moses' ministerial history. Joshua is just another side, or feature, of Christ -- the hidden side -- connected with our exercises. In chapter 1 obedience to what Moses had said is enjoined, and Joshua brings forward the two and a half tribes as completing the idea of administrative unity in the twelve. The administrative idea, involving love, runs right through. In Joshua 1, 2, and 3 the tentative side of the position is seen; but we must never lose sight of the unity -- the saints as one body; otherwise we shall be partisan or sectarian. On these lines of subjection and unity there is no possibility of defeat -- we go right through; so that there is every encouragement given to Joshua that God will be with him. Thus as to chapter 2, it was pointed out that the work of God is seen by itself. Rahab as the subject of it does not mention any minister; she mentions what God did for Israel in the overthrow of death in the Red Sea, and subsequently, what Israel did themselves in the overthrow of Sihon and Og, the latter the big man; that is done by themselves. It is obvious therefore, that we have to do that in a spiritual sense, to make room for one new man; for our old man has been crucified with Christ.

It was also pointed out that what marks the work of God is what is different; that is, "another way;" and what accompanies it is purity, as seen in the

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flax. It is said first that she hid the men, and then we are told how she did it; she hid them with stalks of flax -- an element spiritually that would not be expected to be with her. God's work is to defeat the enemy at every point, even in the sense of hiding. His work is not known, for it is hidden. On the other hand, it is distinctive. Hence we find in the word of the spies that the "cord" is composed of "scarlet thread", a suggestion of the feature of distinction in God's servants, and of what is of God. The token is not to be an ordinary one, but of a moral character. She is to be distinctive in their eyes, including her family also. The token was for the eyes of Israel, therefore it was to be distinctive. It was not simply a cord, but what it was composed of -- a constructive idea is referred to -- "scarlet thread". It would be well for younger brethren especially to dwell on chapter 2. Ministry is inclined to carry us beyond what we really are, but what we learn from God ourselves, as subjects of the work of God, is most important: in other words, a man is what he is.

What is in mind in chapter 3 is still tentative, but it contains most important items from the standpoint that we are considering; the filling out of the antitype by the type. The type is explanatory of the antitype, that is, Colossians and Ephesians.

N.K.McC. Why do you stress what is tentative?

J.T. To provide for contingencies before we come to the matter in hand, otherwise we should be baffled and confused when we reach the real issue. The Spirit of God helps us in detail here. Many of us are confused as to the change from the dominical side to the paternal side of the service of God; to the Minister of the sanctuary, and the heavenly side that follows the dominical side. There is a great deal of confusion about it all over this country. I believe we have to observe what is furnished to us

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as to approach; not only approach to God, but by the new and living way; not only the objective, but the way to it.

W.S.S. Would it be appropriate to ask as to the three days in each of these chapters? Joshua 1:11, "Prepare yourselves victuals, for in three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, that ye may enter in to take possession of the land which Jehovah your God giveth you to possess it". Then in Joshua 2:16, "she said to them, Go to the mountain, that the pursuers may not meet with you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers have returned;" again, in verse 22, "And they went, and came to the mountain, and remained there three days, until the pursuers had returned". In Joshua 3:2, 3 "And it came to pass at the end of three days, that the officers went through the camp; and they commanded the people".

J.T. It seems important instruction. In the first chapter it includes the idea of victuals; the food is not specified, as it is left to us to determine what we need to eat. It would seem that the three days in chapter 2 would establish the teaching of the chapter in linking what is in Canaan with what is still the other side of Jordan. That is, the spies go back greater men than they were, for they go back another way, I suppose the idea is that we do not enter Canaan as strangers; there are those there with whom we are linked. The link would be in this other way: their remarks and hers mingle beautifully; they are all in line with what is subjective and continuous. It would be one of the sure signs of the truth; things would be on a sure footing; and the spies, instead of using the word "cord", refer to "scarlet thread" (verse 18) -- what is distinctive. What is of God is distinctive; the work of God in us makes us definite. The line of scarlet thread would allude, I think, to what is constitutional. The cord

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is made of such a thread as that; so that we are not simply on the line of light; but moving in what we are constitutionally according to God. The heavenly family are to be known in this way; built up constitutionally and distinctively.

P.L. "To the end that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God" (Colossians 4:12). Is that the constitutional side?

J.T. Yes. Colossians contemplates that there could be no continuance on this ground aside from the positive work of God. Light itself would not suffice, or even instruction. If we do not begin early to build up our constitution on these lines, it will show itself later. We may go along with light and the truth, but in the long run the constitution will be defective, and I think that is in mind in the victuals and the other way. The stalks of flax and the thread are foundational. The thread would be the continuity of the thought; it has gone through the process.

F.I. Do the victuals in the three days suggest that, having had the Lord before us in the dominical side, we need strengthening for what is before Him as Minister of the sanctuary, and to go into our inheritance?

J.T. As to the victuals, it is that we ought to know at this juncture what to eat. "Give ye them to eat", the Lord said to the disciples (Matthew 14:16); but they could not do it. We are to know what is needed and have it.

P.L. Would the distinctiveness of what is constitutional come to light in Epaphras, who is said to be "our beloved fellow-bondman", and "faithful minister of Christ for you", (Colossian 1:7). Then Tychicus, and Onesimus, "who is one of you", (Colossians 4:9). Are they in the land already, so to speak? Are they constitutionally and distinctively marked?

J.T. Quite so; Onesimus might exceed Philemon,

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for instance; and certainly Epaphras would go beyond what was in Colosse generally. Onesimus is sent back as marked by the work of God, a brother beloved, to be received for ever -- it is an eternal thought.

A.P.T. Is John the baptist one who early began to imbibe these features, which keep him constitutionally right in his history?

J.T. I should think that; he was in the deserts and his food was locusts and wild honey. I suppose that would be a good illustration of building up from the beginning constitutionally, so that one is characteristically of the land. I suppose Rahab would represent that side; she could say to any of them, I was in the land before you. Paul says there was one in Christ before him, and that is something.

Eu.R. Does Colossians 1:21 - 23 involve what you speak of as tentative? It recognises what we were as alienated and enemies in mind by wicked works, and recognises what we are to be; it is made dependent on continuing.

J.T. Quite so. God is able to do that through reconciliation. It seems to me that this should be looked into, especially by young men amongst us, for we are sure to be tested as to it. The scarlet thread must run through from the outset. I believe that it is a family thread, too, that is in mind, because she specifies her family; she is a family woman. Her previous course would be destructive of the family, but now she has family feelings -- her father's house, father, mother, brethren, and sisters, "and all that belong to them". She is brought back to what is normal in the mind of God, and their salvation would be contingent on the line of scarlet thread, bound in her window. She immediately does it, so that she continues in Israel.

C.A.M. Do you think Rahab, as representative of the work of God, and awakening this interest,

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would be something like Epaphras in Colossians, as representing the work of God in that place; he awakened great interest in the apostle's soul?

J.T. His prayers would show that he was "always combating earnestly" for them.

E.B.G. In view of the work of God in Rahab, how are we to understand the misleading statements she made to those who came to search?

J.T. That is intelligible as we compare the light she had with what we have. The sinfulness of untruthfulness does not seem to have been brought out; from her point of view, she was doing what was right. We read that God winked at the times of this ignorance (Acts 17:30). It does not affect what we are speaking of. The scriptures in the New Testament corresponding with Joshua teach us to "Lie not one to another" (Colossian 3:9).

F.S.M. What would be the present application of the injunction that she must bind the line in the window?

J.T. It is where it should be. Spiritually it is herself, but it is to be seen.

F.S.M. It is more than confession, it is the person.

J.T. That is it. The brethren will look for you, they will consider you. I believe a spiritual man has a judgment about everybody he knows, particularly himself.

A.M.P. The word in Acts 9 as to Saul, "behold he is praying", would indicate the early features of the work of God.

J.T. A very good illustration. It is noticeable that he never lost that characteristic. I often wonder how he prayed for so many.

H.E.S. Why do these spiritual triumphs of God come to light in the early part of the book?

J.T. To show the work of God. This is a crucial matter that we should fully notice as we go on.

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We have now come to this third three days that our brother referred to, chapter 3:2. "Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. And it came to pass at the end of three days, that the officers went through the camp; and they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of Jehovah your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then remove from your place, and go after it; yet there shall be a distance between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Ye shall not come near it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go; for ye have not passed this way heretofore" (verses 1 - 4). This direction is to be put over against verses 9 and 10, "And Joshua said to the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of Jehovah your God. And Joshua said, Hereby shall ye know that the living God is in your midst, and that he will without fail dispossess from before you the Canaanites". The direction as to the three days, and as to the distance between them and the ark, is to impress us with the need of sobriety, solemnity, and reverence. If we apply that to an assembly gathered, we see the force of it; three days meaning that sufficient time is allowed for the exercise to be completed. We do not move till the ark moves, and we move reverently after it. There is another thing -- stimulation for our movements in the matter of assembly service. Joshua says, "Come hither, and hear the words of Jehovah your God". This is a direct word from Jehovah -- an important matter in assembly service.

M.W.B. Would you link that with a word on a Lord's day morning, possibly after the Supper?

J.T. I was thinking of that; it helps greatly, especially a word coming in at the particular stage

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indicated. Three days is a completed exercise. You are measured in what you are doing. Ecclesiastes enjoins that we be careful in regard to the house of God: keep our feet, and look to our words. But then, at a given point, a word greatly helps. "Come hither, and hear the words of Jehovah your God". Then Joshua says further: "Hereby shall ye know that the living God is in your midst". The living God in our midst is to be recognised.

J.J. Do you make any difference between assembly service and service in relation to the sanctuary?

J.T. Well, I think the assembly is the sanctuary, only that the thought is enlarged when the Minister is mentioned. It is seen in this connection; we are passing into a wholly spiritual realm, but I do not think we should ever lose sight of the fact that it is in assembly; we pass from what is local to what is universal. Ephesians 3:21 would show that it goes right through: "to him be glory in the assembly in Christ Jesus unto all generations of the age of ages". The assembly is "in Christ Jesus;" we come together "in assembly", but "the assembly in Christ Jesus" goes on; the preposition would imply, I think, that it goes on in the power of Christ Jesus.

J.J. Is it in your mind that the sanctuary and assembly are identical?

J.T. Well, they are identical, the word meaning a sanctified area or condition. It alludes to the formation of the assembly here for God's service, in which He seeks His pleasure in His people.

J.J. Then how do you regard the holiest?

J.T. The holiest is involved in it. The holiest is, of course, a typical word, used antitypically; that is, used for Jewish ears. It is the presence of God, according to what Christ is before Him. In scriptures which refer to gentiles it is expressed in other terms; but the presence of God, according to what

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was typified in the holiest in the tabernacle, is what is in mind. "Let us draw near" (Hebrews 10:22), is the end in view. The holiest relates to a spiritual element put into our minds; we have boldness to enter it, and this affords us liberty in our souls in assembly service. Christ is at the right hand of God, but it is Christ in relation to the assembly that is before us. It is God according to what He has reached in Christ. God is glorified in Him according to all that He is.

H.H. In Hebrews the holiest is in a sense in a wilderness setting; how would you connect that with what you are saying?

J.T. It is in a wilderness setting, as has often been remarked; the saints are viewed as there, and in contrast to Aaron, they have boldness to enter, so that there is full liberty to draw near to God. Ephesians 2:18 corresponds, only it is positive, Christ and the Spirit are seen as instrumental for access. In Hebrews 2:10 God is seen as bringing many sons to glory: that is the great idea in Hebrews. "For it became him", that is, God, "for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make perfect the leader of their salvation through sufferings. For both he that sanctifies and those sanctified are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly will I sing thy praises" (Hebrews 2:10 - 12). That is the full thought; it is specially what is in the mind of God in Hebrews. Then the Spirit of God leads on to the full thought of priesthood, seen in Hebrews 7:26, where we read: "such a high priest became us". This means that it is a heavenly people with a heavenly Priest. The greatness of the people required such a great High Priest. While Hebrews, alluding to the tabernacle, contemplates the saints

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as actually in the wilderness, it has in view that we should take up our heavenly calling and privileges. The reference to the holiest is to show that we have liberty to do this, and hence that we should "draw near". Hebrews has the heavenly calling of the saints in mind. It is the book of the opened heavens; and inasmuch as heaven is our place, we are being brought "to glory". How we are being brought to glory, chapter 2: 10 shows; God has made our Leader perfect through sufferings, referring to His glorified condition, and that He is not ashamed to call us brethren. Chapter 7 shows that He is our Priest up there. Then we come to the next chapter, which gives a summary of all that has been said: "We have such a one high priest who has set on the right hand of the throne of the greatness in the heavens; minister of the holy places" (Hebrews 8:1, 2). It is a heavenly thought, "Minister of the holy places and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord has pitched, and not man". Then we have a collateral section to that, beginning with what is said, that it is meet that He should have something to offer.

We have now come to chapter 8: 3, which runs on immediately to the covenant and gives a description of the first tabernacle and the service there; the Spirit showing that "the way of the holy of holies has not yet been made manifest, while as yet the first tabernacle has its standing" (Hebrews 9:8). Then the Spirit of God enlarges on the offerings through chapter 9 to verse 15 of chapter 10; returning then to the question of the covenant. After specifying what the covenant means subjectively for Israel, he says, "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holy of holies by the blood of Jesus, the new and living way which he has dedicated for us through the veil, that is, his flesh, and having a great priest over the house of God, let us approach" (Hebrews 10:19 - 22). It is a question of drawing

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near to God; that is to say, the heavenly position is settled, for "such a high priest became us". The heavenly position is settled, but how are saints coming into all this? Chapter 8: 3 begins this subject and carries it on till we come to verse 19 of chapter 10, where we have the exhortation to draw near to God; and that is where the wilderness comes in. It is a wilderness position, but clearly the second chapter is in mind. The Spirit of God is mentioning the heavenly side and establishing the idea of it, but how we are coming to it is the next thing -- the covenant is necessary for that.

W.H.U. How are we to regard God in relation to the sanctuary? In the light of the covenant, or in the light of Father?

J.T. Well, it is stated in chapter 8 what was in mind in the covenant: it was not made with the assembly, or those who form it, but with the house of Israel, and the house of Judah. "I will be to them for God, and they shall be to me for people" (verse 10). There is no covenant between the Father and Christ, or between the Father and His sons. It is a question of God and a people down here. God is not said to be our Father in Hebrews.

W.H.U. I thought you connected the service of the sanctuary with Colossians and Ephesians.

J.T. We shall come to that, to the heavenly side, please God. What is in my mind now is to make clear that the Father is never connected with the new covenant.

H.W.S. Do you think of drawing near to God in relation to the wilderness position, or does it go further?

J.T. It does go further; the full thought is in Hebrews 2, where it is said that God is "bringing many sons to glory". That is in His mind. Anyone drawing near to God would find out that that is

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what He has in His mind. Ephesians 2:18 is the extension of the thought. There we are said to have access, through Christ and by the Spirit, to the Father.

Eu.R. Does the sanctuary include both covenant relations and heavenly and spiritual relations? Are both enjoyed there?

J.T. I think so. The Minister of the sanctuary is mentioned in Hebrews 8:2 and then the Holy Spirit takes up the high priesthood of Christ again. He takes it up in relation to sacrifice, and finishes the subject in the exhortation to draw near -- having "boldness for entering into the holy of holies by the blood of Jesus, the new and living way which he has dedicated for us through the veil" (Hebrews 10:19, 20). In drawing near to God, we have a great Priest over His house, and we have to ponder how much is involved -- the holiest, the house of God, and the great Priest over it. As drawing near to God, great thoughts come into your soul; you come to what is in His mind.

Ques. What is the difference between drawing near, in Hebrews, access by faith in Romans, and in Ephesians access by the Spirit?

J.T. We have access by faith through Him into this favour in which we stand; that is Romans. In Hebrews, access by blood, by the new and living way, goes beyond Romans. It implies, I apprehend, Christ in resurrection, and the presence of the Holy Spirit here. If an intelligent believer in Jerusalem in pentecostal times should meet a Jew, exercised as to the service of God, he could suggest to him to "come and see". What would he see? Suppose he saw Peter and John and other spiritual men sitting down at the Lord's supper; he would see a living state of things -- not what was current in the Jewish temple. He would see that the saints had liberty of approach through faith, by the blood of Jesus; but

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it was a new way, altogether different; and as they proceeded, he would find that the saints were occupied with a living Christ in heaven. Manifestly they would reach God in the power of the Spirit and worship Him. What an experience that would be! How he would be affected by the way in which things were done! It helps to look at a concrete picture, and even at the present time it may be realised -- what it is to reach God. Of Him are all things and for Him are all things, and He is bringing many sons to glory through their Leader, who was made perfect through sufferings.

M.W.B. Does "the abode of thy holiness", if entered into, give the leverage to go in to "the mountain of thine inheritance" -- the sanctuary in the land?

J.T. Quite so. One has often thought of the great vista that opens up through Moses in Exodus 15:17; how he went right on to David's time, "the Sanctuary, Lord, that thy hands have prepared". What a thought that is! It indicates what we have been speaking of. Moses did not stop at mount Sinai; he went right on to the place that God had prepared for himself to dwell in -- God's prepared dwelling.

Ques. Where would you place the thought of God leading them to His holy habitation, referred to in Exodus 15 some time before the sanctuary is mentioned? -- "Thou by thy mercy hast led forth the people that thou hast redeemed; Thou hast guided them by thy strength unto the abode of thy holiness" (Exodus 15:13).

J.T. That is the tabernacle.

Ques. "Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, The place that thou, Jehovah, hast made thy dwelling, The Sanctuary, Lord, that thy hands have prepared" (Exodus 15:17). What is the difference between the tabernacle

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setting of the truth and the sanctuary in the land? Would not Hebrews answer to the former?

J.T. I think the "abode of thy holiness" is an allusion to what took place at Sinai; but "Thou shalt bring them in" alludes to the land. Verse 17 is anticipatively the final thought, corresponding with Psalm 78:68, 69.

Ques. Would the sanctuary in the wilderness in the main answer to the epistle to the Hebrews, and coming into that position are we led further?

J.T. I would not say that the sanctuary in Hebrews is confined to the wilderness; the way it is brought in in the teaching of the epistle, would be on account of the state of Jewish christians, but chapter 2 shows that God had the full thought in mind -- "bringing many sons to glory". Although we have to begin with the blood of Jesus, God has nothing less than what is mentioned in chapter 2: 10 - 12 in His mind. Hebrews 10:19 - 22 would thus link with Ephesians 2:18, as has already been said.

J.J. Would you say that the truth in Hebrews is on a level with Ephesians?

J.T. It is all implied, but the state of the people the Spirit is writing to prevented Him opening it up.

Ques. Why is the throne emphasised in Hebrews, particularly in the opening part of chapter 8?

J.T. I suppose what is in mind in the four references is what Christ has entered into actually -- the idea of permanency; that the Lord Jesus has reached a permanent position in regard of what is on hand. It is the fixedness of the thing. We are on sure ground, and the beginning of chapter 8, taken with what we have quoted in chapter 10, is to show how believers are led into it, from a very low state, and how this links at the present time with christendom.

J.J. I notice the covenant is mentioned in Joshua 3 seven times in connection with the ark.

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J.T. That is important; we are still on the wilderness side of Jordan. It is an if position, and the covenant is very important in such circumstances. It is brought in, in Hebrews, in that connection.

J.A.P. Did I understand that the full position is reached in Hebrews 2:10 - 12?

J.T. Yes. What would you expect to get beyond that? Christ owns the saints as His brethren, and He is in the midst of the assembly praising God. The full service of God in the assembly is implied.

C.R.B. Is chapter 8: 3 reverting back to chapter 2? -- "in the midst of the assembly will I sing thy praises". In chapter 8: 3 we read, "whence it is needful that this one also should have something which he may offer".

J.T. I do not think so; it is the High Priest over against the other high priests.

C.R.B. What would that offering be?

J.T. I think it is opened up in chapters 9 and 10. We have nothing about the covenant until chapter 8, and then chapters 9 and 10 open it up to us. It is a high-priestly offering characteristically that is required.

Ques. Would you say a word as to the "great priest over the house of God" and the "minister of the sanctuary"?

J.T. The High Priest is the Minister of the sanctuary. The summary in the beginning of chapter 8 is of all that preceded, which leads up to the thought of fixedness. The saints being such a people, a heavenly people, we need such a Priest as that One. How is the sanctuary to be reached? How is the service of God to be carried on? You must have the people; and if He is to have the people, He must have an offering, and that offering is Himself -- a characteristically high-priestly offering, and that has been offered. That is what is in mind, as far as I can see. So we have a fixedness in verse 1, all in

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view of the sanctuary. This implies the assembly. If we are to draw near, the way must be made for us, and it is a new and living way. Thus He has the saints with Him. Hebrews has in mind that there should be a practical sanctuary; the saints so constituted, and there every one appears before God -- they draw near to God.

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THE POWER THAT WORKETH IN US (3)

Joshua 4:1 - 24

J.T. We pursued our subject yesterday in the early verses of chapter 3. The new covenant came before us, and it necessarily enters into these chapters 3 and 4, because we have the ark of the covenant mentioned so frequently, some seven times in chapter 3. In these chapters perhaps more than anywhere we see the ark of the covenant active, so to say, functioning. So that what is to be considered, I think, is Christ in that relation.

Paul speaks about himself and others, as has often been noted, as "competent, as ministers of the new covenant; not of letter, but of spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:6). The obvious reason for his dealing with it in this way, is to make its application to those of us who form the assembly. The letter of the new covenant will have force; it is quoted twice in Hebrews without any reference to the spirit of it. It seems therefore that we ought to keep it in mind in that way. In 2 Corinthians 3 it is the spirit of it particularly in Christ; for the apostle goes on to say immediately in verse 17 (making allowance for the parenthesis), "the Lord is the Spirit". In other words, the spirit of the new covenant, that is Jeremiah 31, which the Lord Himself alludes to, is to be learned in Christ. How He would convey it to us! It will evidently be made effective in Israel, but the letter of it more -- the full spiritual significance of the letter of it. In Hebrews 10 the Holy Spirit is said to be a witness to us of it. Then we have the actual terms of it quoted, but the actual terms of it are not given in the references to it in the gospels, nor in 1 and 2 Corinthians. It is first a question of Christ's blood, 1 Corinthians 11; and then a question of the Spirit of the Lord as ministering it, as the Spirit of it, in

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2 Corinthians. So that we get the term "the ark of the covenant" some seven times in Joshua 3; and in connection with it, as we were remarking, a tentative state of things in which we are reminded of what is about to happen; first the victuals, and then that Jehovah was going to do wonders. If we bear in mind that what is before us is assembly service, we shall see how these promised things, or announced things, are preparatory, and are calculated to arouse us and bring us into what is current in assembly service. The magnifying of Joshua is announced; it was to be the result of the crossing of Jordan. Then in verse 9 of chapter 3 Joshua says, "Come hither, and hear the words of Jehovah your God ... Hereby shall ye know that the living God is in your midst".

Following that we have the further provision, that there were to be twelve men: "And now take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe" (verse 12). They are to be out of the tribes; one man for each tribe; without saying what they are to do; they are to be ready; it is a preparatory provision. We are to expect great things, and we are to be ready. Then the statement in verse 13 is, "it shall come to pass, when the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of Jehovah, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan, the waters flowing down from above, shall be cut off, and shall stand up in a heap".

This is preparatory, and, applying it to ourselves, it refers to impressions received into our minds; what the stature of each is as in assembly, and what each is capable of. All that is of God is to be available, not dormant -- all is to be active, in readiness and expectancy; and then we have the great final thought as to power: "And it came to pass when the people removed from their tents, to pass over the Jordan,

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that the priests bearing the ark of the covenant were before the people; and when they that bore the ark were come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (and the Jordan is full over all its banks throughout the days of harvest), the waters which flowed down from above stood and rose up in a heap, very far, by Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan; and those that flowed down towards the sea of the plain, the salt sea, were completely cut off. And the people went over opposite to Jericho. And the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of Jehovah stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan. And all Israel went over on dry ground, until all the nation had completely gone over the Jordan" (verses 14 - 17).

It seems to me that, applying this to assembly service, it alludes to the calling into action of what is in us, so that there is readiness to pass over. It is not the local position now; it is a question of the whole nation, and the ark of the covenant of Jehovah the Lord of all the earth. It is a universal thought.

P.L. Would John 13 to 17, and the allusion by the Lord to men in chapter 17, bear on the reference here? Then would the descent down into the Jordan be seen in chapter 19? Chapters 13 to 17 of John being calculated to call out these features?

J.T. That is what they are intended for, I think. The Lord reminds us in what He said to Peter, that He must have to do with each of us in view of all He had to say. "If I wash thee not" (John 13:8); it is His matter in that sense, whatever we may do in self-judgment. It is His matter, and room must be made for His service, if we are to be equal to what He has in mind in these wonderful chapters.

M.W.B. Reference has been made to the new and

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living way in Hebrews 10: though the truth is different, is there a kind of analogy in the truth presented, in passing over Jordan, and the new and living way?

J.T. I think so: not the blood of Jesus so much as the new and living way. I think that is right.

L.O.L. You alluded to Martha yesterday; would Martha and Mary, knowing the Lord as the resurrection and the life, have a bearing on this in view of John 12?

J.T. I think so; Martha represents one who has come under the influence and teaching of the Lord -- the new and living way -- as we have just been suggesting. The idea of service was with her from the beginning, only it was accompanied by much self-occupation and criticism of others. John introduces her to us as loved by the Lord, one whom He would bring all the way. He loved the three -- Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. As He arrives at Bethany, Martha meets Him, and He remains where she met Him. The conversation that ensued between Martha and the Lord led her to make a confession of faith. The Lord said, "Believest thou this?" (John 11:26). It is a question of faith. She says, "Yea, Lord; I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, who should come into the world" (John 11:27). We are left with that. She goes to her sister and says: "The teacher is come and calls thee". We see here that she is on the collective line; she is not making anything of the distinction afforded to her in meeting the Lord first. Yet she needed a little adjustment as to Lazarus. She had already said that she believed that her brother would rise at the resurrection: the Lord adjusted her as to that, telling her that He Himself is the resurrection and the life. Then she makes a confession of faith, but she questioned it in her mind, saying that Lazarus was already four

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days dead and stinks. She has to learn that the power of Christ affects not only those recently dead, but all the dead. He is, "marked out Son of God in power ... by resurrection of the dead" (Romans 1:4). It is persons in that state, whoever they are and whenever they died. She is then seen as serving, in John 12:2: "Martha served", and it was on a great occasion. All this wonderful light as to the Son of God enters into it, for the testimony to who He was and to His power was there at the table in one of those who sat at table with Jesus; Martha is able to serve on such an occasion as that. It points to the assembly, and we are tested by it, as to whether we are able to serve in an ordered state of things that attaches to the Lord's supper. There is an order attaching to it: it is seen in what Christ did; but there is no order attaching to Martha's service in John 12. She did what was needful; she was able to do it.

A.M.H. Are you connecting that with Joshua 3:9, which, as was said, corresponded with a word in the morning meeting? Then there is this expectancy of a further movement, and the Lord, as the ark of the covenant, presenting Himself to us, this resulting in a collective movement -- "all Israel".

J.T. That is the setting -- the ark of the covenant. The twelve men called into the thing ought to be noted; they are there, and all the saints are in mind.

Ques. Speaking of the covenant, you bring it forward in relation to the ark, do you not?

J.T. In the order of the Supper the covenant comes in. It is spoken of in the cup -- it is Christ's blood. The ark is not mentioned. It is "the new covenant in my blood" (Luke 22:20). That is where the covenant itself comes before us; but then the ark of the covenant goes on further, and we have to

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carry the thought through; for in entering, the new covenant has a great deal to do with our state of soul. It is a question of liberty.

F.I. Are we to infer that a word would be necessary before we are to pass over?

J.T. It is very remarkable here that Joshua said, "Come hither, and hear the words of Jehovah your God". That is an important matter. Am I ready to hear anything that God may say? Then he says further, "Hereby shall ye know that the living God is in your midst". God is now before us -- the living God.

J.H.T. Would the last verse of 2 Corinthians have anything to do with the passing over? "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all" (2 Corinthians 13:14). Is that the passing over? The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, speaking of the covenant; and then in the communion of the Holy Spirit, did he have the collective position in view?

J.T. It will be observed that what is called attention to involves qualities; it is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit. These are qualities, and have to do with our position in assembly; particularly, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God. We have, moreover, not only the qualities, but the Persons themselves in assembly service.

E.J.McB. Is it not an important matter here, that we apprehend the ark as going into Jordan, and the effect of that on the Jordan? The people have a way made for them to move over, till all are over. Is that not the great thought?

J.T. It is. It is a question here of the effect these great facts have on our souls. We are keeping to that point because it is so necessary just now. They

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should have force with each of us always, with each individually, but what force have they as we are sitting together in assembly? We learn to sit together in silence in the partaking of the Lord's supper. The scene at Bethany seems to be a little beyond, intervening between what transpires at the Lord's supper, which John does not mention, and what we have in John 20. Chapter 12 precedes what we have in chapter 20, and the Lord's lengthy instruction in chapters 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 are entered into fully in the interim, between the service as it stands related to the Lord's supper, and the final thought; that is, the ground on to which we are brought, not only through the resurrection of Christ, but through His ascension.

N.K.McC. Is what we have in John 12 preparatory to the men in chapter 17, in view of the passage of Jordan? I thought manhood was in mind.

J.T. That is what is in the Lord's mind. After all that He had said to the disciples, He said of them, "the men whom thou gavest me" (John 17:6). He has men. Chapter 12 contemplates spiritual power in silence; we are to be silent as the emblems and the box are passed round, but what follows upon that is where the defect and difficulty lies. The ability to be silent in power, that is, in "the power that worketh in us;" not simply a matter of what ought to be, but what is; "the power that worketh in us" (Ephesians 3:20). In John 12 we have a scene marked by resurrection, and all is perfect. There is not a word spoken by anyone until Judas interferes. It is a wonderful scene! It alludes to the power by which we can be silent in enjoyment, and this wonderful testimony to the power of the Lord presented in the ark, enters into that. It is as Colossians says, we are "raised with him through faith of the working of God who raised him from among the dead" (Colossians 2:12). It is a faith state, but,

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nevertheless, a real state, for in the presence of the Spirit in us, the power is there.

Ques. Is this power expressed by the priests standing firm on dry ground until all the people have gone over?

J.T. Well, they are bearing the ark. I suppose they have to be viewed as accessory to the ark as filling out the type. Power and holiness are suggested in the priests; all that has to be viewed as objective in this position. The ark has always to be viewed as objective. Christ is seen as in the midst; He is there to be spoken to and to be regarded. You could not have the type without the priests, but this matter of power refers to the people; that is to say, to ourselves, as sitting in assembly, and being in the faith of the resurrection -- that we are risen by faith, the faith of the power of God that is seen typically operating in the ark as the priests bear it. The priests' feet, touching the edge of the waters, caused the waters to go back; they are not the saints as such; they are all necessary to the type. The power of God operated for the overthrow of death, through the priests' feet touching the waters of Jordan, making a way for the people to go over. The ark actually touched death; it had to do with death, typically; even as Christ actually touched death; He had to do with the article of death. We are not having to do with it in assembly -- we are having to do with life. So the position is, that power has intervened on the part of God to overthrow death. It is not abolished outwardly yet; the waters of Jordan came back to their position. Death remains externally what it was, so that it is a faith position in assembly; we are risen by faith of the operation of God, who raised Christ; and thus the saints are held in that faith by the power of the Spirit. The power that worketh in us is the power that wrought in Christ.

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M.W.B. The priests are to be viewed as one with the ark; the twelve men and the people are more a type of the saints in their various experiences.

J.T. That is the idea; the twelve men are just mentioned.

J.J. Why is not anything said as to the further movement of the priests? When their feet touched the brim of the waters, the waters went back; but then the priests stood in the midst of the Jordan.

J.T. We have to take the Spirit's record that it was the midst. We have enough for the spiritual thought: that is the thing to get hold of. The Lord Jesus went into death, and met it in all its power. The exceeding greatness of the power of God is seen in Him, and that power is working in us. That is the thing to get hold of; the realisation of all this power coming into our souls on the principle of faith, but nevertheless real, for it is the power of God.

H.P.W. You spoke of a period of silence in power after the emblems of the Lord's supper are partaken of; is that connected with Joshua being magnified in our eyes? Would the Lord come before us in all His glory, His blessedness and beauty in that silence?

J.T. There is this further thought that Joshua is to be magnified. Joshua is really, you might say, to merge in the ark. The ark is one idea; it is Christ in the exercise of almighty power in dealing with death. It is a matter of faith to us, but realised in the power that worketh in us. Alongside of that you have Joshua, who represents Christ spiritually understood in us, functioning now in the assembly. The Joshua characteristic of Christ, beginning at Rephidim, is known in the believer's soul for forty years. In assembly He is becoming greater and greater.

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Eu.R. Is there a transition at this point from the glory of the Mediator to the glory of the Head?

J.T. I think so. We are occupied really, in this chapter, with power, and it is a question of the brethren realising the power and being quiet and restful in it, so that Joshua may be magnified. We are beginning to see Christ as He is. Then these twelve men are there. We think of all the saints; they are all to be there in our minds. The twelve men are there, though not doing anything; but they are doing something in the next chapter. The ministry, as suggested in chapter 3: 9 that may come to us, would therefore be intended to draw out the latent power.

Rem. Whilst the twelve men are there, Joshua arranges the twelve stones in the river.

J.T. That is chapter 4; we have not come to that yet. We are dealing with chapter 3, which is more tentative than chapter 4. There, it is what has been done. The end of chapter 3 tells us of the actual overthrow of death. These twelve men are there; we are alive as to all the saints, and have them in our affections. The twelve men would allude to this, and they are usable. The Lord wants the men whom He can use.

G.C.G. What bearing has Hebrews 2:14 on this matter? -- "Since therefore the children partake of blood and flesh, he also, in like manner, took part in the same, that through death he might annul him who has the might of death, that is, the devil". I am referring to the word "has the might of death".

J.T. It refers to the public position, I think; that Jordan has come back into its place publicly. Publicly, the devil has the might of death, but for faith, he has not got it; for death is ours. Death does not belong to this poor world; it is still under the power of death.

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J.H.T. Is the magnifying of Joshua seen in Colossians 1, and what answers to the twelve men seen in the expression in chapter 2, "rejoicing and seeing your order"? In chapter 3, speaking of the saints, Paul says, "let the peace of Christ preside in your hearts, to which also ye have been called in one body, and be thankful". And then, "teaching and admonishing one another, in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to God". Is it order in chapter 2 and then the brethren functioning in chapter 3?

J.T. Chapter 1 is clearly Christ magnified; and chapter 2 is the overthrow of death; then chapter 3 brings in the new man which I think has place in what we are speaking of. It is a question of freshness in the new man, who is "renewed into full knowledge according to the image of him that has created him" (verse 10). The new man is renewed in knowledge; he is fresh as being recent: for that is what should mark us at the juncture of assembly service of which we are speaking. Then he is renewed in knowledge, that word does not indicate freshness, but that there is nothing like it; it is a wholly different knowledge, and it is "according to the image of him that has created him". That kind of knowledge enters into the position; there is nothing like it abroad in the religious world; nothing at all like it. This chapter goes on to say: "there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman; but Christ is everything, and in all" (verse 11). What a state of things comes about thus, as the teaching of Joshua 4 -- Colossians being the antitype -- has place in our souls, and is contributory in our souls, as we are together in assembly!

W.S.S. With regard to what you said about power, verse 10 seems to bring that very beautifully before us: "And the priests who bore the ark stood in the midst of the Jordan, until everything was finished

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that Jehovah had commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. And the people hasted and passed over".

J.T. It is a question of Christ holding back the power of death until we pass over. Death remains publicly, but faith enables us to pass over, and in a real way, too, on to the heavenly ground.

Ques. Do I understand that the magnifying of Joshua is always in our souls?

J.T. Well, you feel that; how He grows in us in such circumstances. As the doors are shut -- the doors of our hearts -- so that the Jewish element is not admitted, how Christ is magnified! So that when He comes in John 20, they were glad to see Him. "Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord" (verse 20).

Ques. Does this bear on the question as to whether the Lord should be addressed after the Supper?

J.T. Well it does. It is the ark of the covenant still, in all this tentative state of things -- the process of passing over. It is a question of Christ at the Supper; firstly, it is a dominical thought; it is His authority, but now, it is the Person Himself; the Ark of the covenant -- He is still related to the covenant and the almighty power He has exercised; not only is the love of God known in our hearts, but He has exercised power, in order that we should be in the new position, on heavenly ground.

Ques. Did I understand by a remark made that we never pass over without a word being given?

J.T. I do not think we should understand it that way. I should not like to say that we cannot go over without it, but Joshua's remark shows that it has a great place in bringing the living God before us.

Ques. What form would that word take?

J.T. Joshua says, "Come hither, and hear the

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words of Jehovah your God" (chapter 3: 9). We are called upon to draw near to hear what God has to say. I think that as Christ is being magnified in our midst, we are ready. The twelve men give the idea of readiness for administrative purposes; they are to be usable, and any one of them may be capable of receiving a communication from God. In Luke, as the Babe is brought into the temple, Simeon receives Him into his arms and says wonderful things about Him. He gets a word for the moment. It is no question of the exercise of gift, but of words. Simeon's words are very extensive in their bearing, but it is simply a question of what he said, not of teaching, but words about the Babe he held in his arms. These twelve men suggest that idea of readiness for whatever may be needed to be done: and if a word is to be given, somebody is there who can do it, and it is important that we draw near to hear.

I think it is very important, what has been brought up now, as to the words of God, and a divine communication in the period of assembly service that we are contemplating. So that we know, as Joshua says, "Hereby shall ye know that the living God is in your midst, and that he will without fail dispossess from before you the Canaanites", and so forth. All that hindered would be moved out of the way. God in our midst, and our minds being affected by the words of Jehovah, the intelligence that is now contemplated as being in us is after the image of Him that created us; we can think like Christ, and take in divine things. Thus helped and illuminated we are available for what He has in mind. We are all ready.

F.C.H. Is that why Joshua gathers the men in chapter 3 and in chapter 4 Jehovah speaks to Joshua saying, "Take you twelve men out of the

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people, one man out of every tribe" (verse 2). Did God take those men on?

J.T. They are used in chapter 4, and we are trying to get the thought of being usable. These twelve men speak of usable persons. When we come to chapter 4 we see what they are to do.

A.P.T. In John 2:5, Mary the mother of Jesus says to the servants, "Whatever he may say to you, do". Would that bear on the necessity, or otherwise, of a word?

J.T. Yes; whatever He may say. Mary had been adjusted immediately, which is another important thing. She introduced a natural influence into the spiritual realm, which the Lord rebukes, and she is adjusted immediately. She says, "Whatever he may say to you, do". The servants are available now -- they had what was required.

A.J.G. Would you say how far the thought of the covenant in this connection goes? It is the ark of the covenant as it comes up out of Jordan, and as it is taken into Solomon's temple.

J.T. Solomon's temple really links on with what we are saying. We have been speaking earlier of the sanctuary, and what it is. It was remarked that as regards the assembly, whether viewed as the tabernacle in the wilderness, or the temple in the land, it is a question of the sanctuary. Joshua does not deal with the sanctuary of God, or the service of God, but our effort now is to see how the power of God enters into the matter of assembly service; the power that wrought in Christ when He was raised from among the dead. The knowledge of that is to affect us severally as we are together. So that the juncture of assembly service we are now dealing with really leads us to the sanctuary in the land -- "the Sanctuary, Lord, that thy hands have prepared" (Exodus 15:17). It is the sanctuary as typically seen in Solomon's building.

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J.J. In Psalm 114:2, where the Jordan is referred to as going back, we read that, "Judah was his sanctuary, Israel his dominion". Would you connect with that what you are saying as to the power that takes us in?

J.T. That is a very remarkable passage in the Psalms, and I suppose the thought is the ultimateness that is in mind in Exodus 15 -- the great end being finality as to the sanctuary. It is not the tabernacle, but the temple that is in mind; and Judah is everything in that connection; for there it is a question of David and Solomon. Faith goes right on to the ultimate thought.

J.J. You connect the sanctuary with both the wilderness and the land. Do you allow for getting beyond the sanctuary?

J.T. We do not get beyond the sanctuary, as far as I know; the idea goes right through.

J.J. You do not think of the Father's house in John 14 as going beyond that?

J.T. That is a future thought, not the idea of what we enter into now. I was saying last evening, Pharez is the beginning of the genealogy in view of David (see Ruth 4:18 - 22). It is more a matter of light and subjection in Exodus, but Pharez refers to innate power. He is the head of the line of the sanctuary, that is, of David, the sweet psalmist of Israel. He is the progenitor of Obed, through Ruth to Jesse and David. It is with David that all this is connected in the types.

S.J.B.C. Referring to the magnifying of Joshua, does it grow in the souls of the saints as we progress spiritually? We are told, "This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel" (chapter 3: 7). That is before they pass over. And then, after they passed over, we are told the Lord did magnify Joshua; and afterwards his fame went out throughout all the land. We do not get it all at once, do we?

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J.T. Quite so, bearing in mind what Joshua represents; it is Christ apprehended inwardly, operating inwardly; so that He increases in greatness in our eyes. This matter of the sanctuary, however, ought to be made clear; we should see that it runs right through whilst we are down here. The types bear on our position down here.

M.W.B. Would you link the breaking forth, that you refer to, with this passing over into the new, living circle, where the sanctuary would be experienced in the new way; possibly answering to the many sons linked with glory?

J.T. I should certainly. It is therefore a question now of God's inheritance. Joshua gives us our inheritance, how we come into it. David and Solomon bring out God's inheritance -- the saints in that setting and what God obtains from us in our assembly service.

We should bear in mind that Moses is Christ in authority in a public way, and that Christ is viewed in that relation at the Lord's supper, but Joshua is Christ in a hidden way apprehended in each of our souls, beginning as in Romans 7, the types beginning with Joshua at Rephidim (Exodus 17). He is then apprehended in assembly; it is a question of the place He has with each of us in this sense. It is Christ, but in that peculiar way in which He is introduced to us in Exodus 17, as dealing with our inward condition at Rephidim. He is seen as leading against the enemy's power in each of us. We have to follow that line, if we are to understand the book of Joshua. It is Christ in us giving us positive possession of the land. Thus we have it, not merely as a matter of light, but we are consciously in the land.

J.W.C.B. Is reaching the heavenlies a further thought than what you were saying yesterday as to the holiest?

J.T. The heavenlies are in mind; the holiest is

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simply how God is apprehended in Christ and how Christ is before Him in relation to the assembly; that is, it is God -- God in Christ, and Christ before Him. Everything is secured in Christ; that is the idea there. It is the initial thought, but Ephesians goes beyond that and brings in the idea of elevation; that is, God has raised us up together -- not that He will do it, but He has done that -- "raised us up together, and has made us sit down together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6). This is a matter of faith for us; but still, it is said to be done. Colossians says that we are raised with Christ "through faith of the working of God who raised him from among the dead", and then that we are quickened together with Him; this brings us consciously into the position.

Ques. How does the angel with the drawn sword come in?

J.T. That is ahead of us; it is military. We are now dealing with assembly service, and how we are brought into it in power, so that Christ has material for the great service to God that He has in mind.

Ques. It says in Psalm 96:6, "strength and beauty are in his sanctuary". Would that refer to inward power?

J.T. Exactly.

H.W.S. As to this matter of the sanctuary in the land, do you look upon it as a necessity while we are here -- the holy environment in which everything heavenly should be entered upon?

J.T. Yes, it is whilst we are down here. Our actual condition in flesh and blood necessitates the idea of the sanctuary. As in glorified bodies we shall not need it. There is the possibility, in spite of our present condition, of entering on heavenly things.

'And see! the Spirit's power
Has ope'd the heav'nly door'. (Hymn 74)

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It is a question of our state of soul and of our being usable for the Lord.

J.C.M.W. The highest point is reached when the voice of the people is one in 2 Chronicles 5, and then the house of Jehovah was filled with a cloud of glory. Is that God taking possession?

J.T. I think that marks the end of what we are speaking of. It is the glory coming in there. The furniture of the sanctuary, that is, the temple, denoting our heavenly manhood, so to speak; that He that sanctifies, and those sanctified are all of one. It is as thus being partakers of the manhood of Christ as He is now; our reaching that, even but for a moment, that we are conscious in abstraction of the realm of glory where God is. The manhood in which we have part is not that which He took upon Him in order to die, but the present manhood of Christ. "Both he that sanctifies and those sanctified are all of one" (Hebrews 2:11).

M.W.B. You speak of "risen ... through the faith of the operation of God" in connection with chapter 3, and then the further thought of quickening. Would you link that in any way with the movements of the twelve men taking up the stones?

J.T. Yes; the twelve men are now moving. You can understand it is a movement, as you might say, that belongs to the other side, to Canaan. They are exercising power, you will observe. "And Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had appointed of the children of Israel, a man out of every tribe; and Joshua said to them, Pass before the ark of Jehovah your God into the midst of the Jordan, and lift up each of you a stone and put it upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel". You see these men are moving under Joshua, suggesting Christ in authority, but as in us.

S.J.B.C. Would that be something like: "always

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bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our body" (2 Corinthians 4:10)?

J.T. Here it is bringing us on to resurrection ground.

Ques. Do you mean that whatever may be in our souls inwardly, we need a fresh touch from the Lord every time?

J.T. That is right. We are in a spiritual state of things now. Joshua is Christ viewed in a spiritual way; how we know Him in assembly today. It is a real thing; He moves us. These men are usable, and are now being used. It is no longer a wilderness position; we have come up with Christ out of death; we are of His order. These men are usable in that light. You can see how living and spiritual the circumstances are.

P.L. Would "the crowd of names" in Acts 1 illustrate that point -- these persons being usable? The mention of them follows on the forty days with Christ after He rose.

J.T. It is important to add that; it is not simply what they were on the first day of the week after He rose; they needed adjustment then, but now they are adjusted, each is distinguishable. The crowd of names would mean that each has a spiritual distinction. In our chapter these twelve men convey power and administrative service. Something is to be made plain; that we have come up with Christ out of death. It is not a wilderness thought any more, but what we are as risen with Christ, and that we partake of His humanity.

L.O.L. Is that the basis of all administration?

J.T. I think so. The number twelve contemplates the whole -- all the saints, as it were, under the hand of Christ, to be usable in relation to one another in love. And then the great fact that we are risen with Christ is seen here.

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E.G. Do you think this would be a fresh word from the Lord?

J.T. This action of the twelve men shows the power now present, characteristic of Christ being in us. It is a question of power, the power of God being used, and these men are moving in that connection. The twelve stones testify to the effectiveness of this power to place the whole assembly on heavenly ground.

H.O.E. Would you connect the twelve men, before they move, with John in Patmos, in the Spirit on the Lord's day; and so available and ready to receive divine communications?

J.T. Yes. He was in the Spirit, and so outside of ordinary circumstances in flesh and blood. We are now dealing with the assembly convened, and how far Christ's place with us as in assembly is realised. So far we have got to the twelve stones in Gilgal, that is, the fixed state of the saints viewed collectively as risen with Christ; and that is a great point to reach.

W.C.G. Does the title Son of God apply here?

J.T. I think so; a living state of things -- Christ is declared Son of God in that way. To sum up what is in mind; the ark of the covenant being so prominent here, as entering upon our assembly service, it is imperative that full scope should be given to the Lord as viewed in this way -- what He is as in the assembly is in this connection.

F.S.M. When in assembly at this stage, the Lord engaging our hearts, would there be any moment when it would be inappropriate to address Him in a worshipping spirit?

J.T. There is full liberty to address Him until we have reached the Father in the Spirit of adoption; spiritual understanding would then lead us to move on this line. The Spirit as the anointing has to be understood as we sit down together; and then the

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Spirit of the Lord: "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17). And then the Spirit of adoption. You can connect the Spirit in this last sense with the Lord as our Leader. It is not a question of authority, it is family relationship. In addition to the designations of the Spirit mentioned, we have the Father's Spirit. What a thought that is! The realm where the Father's Spirit is operating!

F.W. The holy place in Solomon's temple is covered with cypress, fir, whereas the most holy with cedar. Would the one suggest resurrection, and the other sonship?

J.T. The cedar represents the dignity of the saints; but the cypress suggests more the thought of life. The cedar usually speaks of dignity in the types.

Ques. You have remarked as to what Christ is to us as the Ark of the covenant. Would you say a word as to the marital relation between Christ and the assembly in that connection?

J.T. I think it ought to have a place. If the spirit of John the baptist is with us we hear the voice of the Bridegroom. Where do we hear it more loudly than at the Lord's supper? Why not give full scope to the Lord to draw out the affections of His people? Romans 7 formally states that we are "to be to another, who has been raised up from among the dead", and "to serve in newness of spirit". Why not give full scope to all that? Many hymns we have cover it and should be used. As scope in this respect is given, the more enrichment there is as to our affections. As with the Lord, not only in power, but in holy sentiment and affection, answering to Him as the Bridegroom, you can understand what richness enters into what follows. And we must consider Christ's affections, too, at such a time -- all culminating in what is in His heart, namely, worshippers of the Father and worshippers of God.

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N.K.McC. Is the worship of the Father and the worship of God connected with His service as the Minister of the sanctuary?

J.T. Certainly. We shall have to look into this a little more.

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THE POWER THAT WORKETH IN US (4)

Joshua 5:1 - 12; John 20:16 - 23

J.T. What is in mind, at this time, is to consider what we may call the paternal side in the service of God. It is well to have this in mind, whatever is said at the outset, that we may reach the subject from this point of view. It may be wise to remark again, that the book of Joshua has been turned to, not as affording light as to the order of assembly service, but to show how those who take part in it are qualified as they enter upon their inheritance, God's inheritance -- in a practical sense -- being contingent upon our being in possession of our inheritance. So that the ministry of David is really a counterpart of Exodus and Leviticus, but Joshua serves to bring out the persons, to qualify the persons, so that we are brought into accord with the heavenly scene or position, in which the service of God reaches finality, in so far as it may be reached while we are down here. What is in mind throughout is that in taking part in assembly, we should do so intelligently, in power, and in enrichment.

John 20, as corresponding with Ephesians, in the doctrinal part of the New Testament, has in mind the Father's part. Our Lord's message, saying, "my Father and your Father ... my God and your God", comes at the end of John's gospel, and there can be no doubt that there is a prophetic touch in this, in view of the end of the dispensation; having in mind that the full divine thought should be reached, and that the persons qualified to serve God in the heavenly realm should be brought in. It is Christ who brings us in, as it is said, "by whom are all things" (1 Corinthians 8:6).

M.W.B. Would you say a word as to the way in which the marital relationship between Christ and

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the assembly would further enrich us in the service of God, in addition to the thought of the covenant?

J.T. Well, I think John helps us. John the evangelist quotes the remarks of the baptist as to the Bridegroom, in which it is said that the baptist's joy in hearing the Bridegroom's voice was fulfilled. That was the fulfilment of his joy, as if it were the completion; he said, "this my joy then is fulfilled" (John 3:29). John the evangelist, as in prophetic service, is taken by the angel to see the bride, the Lamb's wife; as if he, too, would appreciate the sight. As a result he presents her first in relation to eternal scenes, coming down as a bride adorned for her husband; and then, in relation to the world to come, as the holy city, Jerusalem. John the evangelist, the Lord having reserved him in view of His return as indicated by His mysterious remarks to Simon Peter, would bring everything into clarity and concreteness. So that, as we see the end, the impressions we obtain in this way become riches, a wealth of intelligence in regard of Christ and the assembly.

Paul, correspondingly, in his own line, brings out the mystery in that same connection. He lays the basis for it in Romans, saying, that we are "to be to another", and to "serve in newness of spirit;" then in Ephesians he brings out the love of Christ for the assembly, though more in view of union than public display. John does not bring out the side of union, but presents the public side. Paul brings out union, which must have place in the service of the assembly; for as in union we are of Christ, and, as His body, we are His fulness.

M.W.B. Where would you look for a suited response to Christ from the assembly as consciously enjoying that relationship? As further than the covenant?

J.T. Yes. There are hymns that support that; but our concern is to see how the truth fits. The thoughts

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of the bride and the Bridegroom, rightly understood, as seen in Christ and the assembly, whether on the side of public display or on the side of union, must afford wealth spiritually. This would enable us to join in with Christ in what He has in mind.

A.M.H. Would the fact that the bride, the Lamb's wife, has the glory of God show what an intimate link there is between the bride and God?

J.T. I think, in public display, she carries with her in glory the effect of the covenant; she comes down from God out of heaven having the glory of God.

E.T.S. Would "adorned for her husband" (Revelation 21:2) help?

J.T. I think it does: "a bride adorned for her husband" indicates how she is concerned to be for him. She is intelligent as to the position and how she is to be in it. The king's daughter is all "glorious within" (Psalm 45:13).

P.H.H. Would this find oral expression after the Supper in the way of thanksgiving to the Lord? Would you bring it in as collateral with the covenant or before it? I refer to this expression of the relationship between Christ and the assembly.

J.T. I think it fits in as the new covenant has been before us. We are being invested with glory. It fits into our souls, the whole environment becomes enriched with divine thoughts. It is really a question of the formation of the persons so that they should be equal for the final thought, that is, the heavenly; but there is joy and blessedness, in which the Lord Himself shares, throughout. In chapter 5 here we touch on the heavenly, and we get a little beyond Colossians -- although Christ as seen in Colossians of course is in heaven -- but here it is the idea of His being indigenous to heaven. That is, we are bordering now on eternal thoughts. There are, however,

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certain adjustments in chapters 4 and 5 that lead up to the great subject before us at this reading.

We noted the fact that the twelve men are directed to take the twelve stones. "And Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had appointed of the children of Israel, a man out of every tribe; and Joshua said to them, Pass before the ark of Jehovah your God into the midst of the Jordan, and lift up each of you a stone and put it upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, that this may be a sign in your midst" (chapter 4: 4 - 6). Then it is said in verse 8, "And the children of Israel did so, as Joshua had commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of the Jordan, as Jehovah had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel". Again in verse 20: "And those twelve stones which they had taken out of the Jordan did Joshua set up in Gilgal". That is, the twelve men did it, and then Israel did it, and Joshua sets the stones up according to the latter verse read. Then again, we are told in verse 9, "And twelve stones did Joshua set up in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant had stood firm; and they are there to this day". So that the position of the saints, their qualification and position, are established; there is fixity spiritually. Joshua gives the final touch in regard of the stones at Gilgal, and also those in the Jordan. No one but he has anything to do with those in the Jordan. Thus we have the matter settled as to the saints now; their origin, their fixed position in the land -- twelve tribes, that is, all the saints. Then the witness, as it is said, "to this day" (verse 9), in the bed of Jordan, that they had been there. That is, the backward history is to the bed of the Jordan, from the standpoint of the land.

J.S.B. In verse 7, in answer to the children's inquiry,

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Joshua says, "That the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of Jehovah", but later Joshua says to the people, "ye shall let your children know, saying, ... Jehovah your God dried up the waters of the Jordan from before you". What is the difference in these two?

J.T. Verse 6 reads, "When your children ask hereafter, saying, What mean ye by these stones? then ye shall say to them, That the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of Jehovah; when it went through the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off". Verse 23, "because Jehovah your God dried up the waters of the Jordan from before you, until ye had passed over, as Jehovah your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we had passed over". The first would refer to the power of the ark; the waters of Jordan were cut off from before the ark of the covenant of Jehovah. That is, the power exercised by Christ Himself as seen in John, for instance, where He said, referring to Himself, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (John 2:19). Paul would stress what God did; God raised Christ. Verse 7 keeps Christ before us typically in the exercise of the same power that God exercised. Verse 23 shows that Jehovah had in mind that the people should go over, and He made a way for them, as He had done at the Red Sea; but then, Christ Himself abolished death, He "annulled death" (2 Timothy 1:10). The part that God took in the resurrection on our behalf is particularly to be noticed in Romans 4:25. We read that Christ "has been raised for our justification;" that is the Red Sea. Then it is said that He "has been raised up from among the dead by the glory of the Father" (Romans 6:4). It is not the power of the Father, but the glory of the Father; as if to bring out what the Father is -- how His affections shone out, in relation to Christ as

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having entered into death. In both cases it is the Red Sea, but chapter 6, it seems, links on with the Jordan peculiarly; for the saints are said to have become identified with Christ in the likeness of His death, so also they shall be in the likeness of His resurrection. In the meantime we are to walk in newness of life. Evidently, the Father comes in peculiarly in regard of the resurrection, when it is said to be by His glory; as if to remind us that He had been without Christ, as He went into death, for three days and three nights. But then, in taking Christ out of death, God has in mind to have ourselves also; and the beginning of this is in our being planted, or identified with Him, in the likeness of His death, so that we should also be in the likeness of His resurrection. Verse 23 of our chapter would point to God making a way for us. Christ comes out Himself -- it is stated, the ark itself came out -- but the saints are brought through by Jehovah. The operative exercise of power is in the ark in the bed of the Jordan. What power there was there holding the position until the divine thoughts were accomplished!

M.W.B. If we had the Lord thus before us at the Supper, would there not be a leverage to hasten and pass over?

J.T. I think so. It is a question now of the accomplishment of the divine thoughts; that we should be fixed in the new position, and chanter 5 has in mind that we are now appropriating a heavenly Christ. The old corn of the land is another type.

E.G. Is there anything in the thought that Joshua has no instructions for what he does in verse 9?

J.T. I think it is just a hint of what the Lord does; as if He were to say to us, You have been there, and I brought you up. It is history, as far back as it goes, that is, to the death of Christ. In

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Ephesians 2:1 we are said to be dead in trespasses and sins, but we are taken out of that state.

The operations of the Father ought to come into our minds. Chapter 5 brings us on to the side to which He can be attached; it is not exactly in the type here, because the thought of the Father literally does not enter into it at all. We are thinking of the formation of the saints, and as soon as we begin to appropriate Christ in heaven, that is, Christ in His own place, then we are being adjusted finally, as we might say, for the heavenly position. "I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God" (John 20:17). He is careful to disallow every link with the earth: He said to Mary Magdalene "Touch me not". She loved Christ, but the link with Him is not now down here -- that is the crucial point.

Ques. Do the twelve stones refer to the saints as having their origin in the death of Christ?

J.T. I think so. That is where the history begins, as in Ephesians.

A.F.M. Is that why the twelve stones in both instances are connected particularly with the work of the Lord?

J.T. Quite so: As already said, Joshua gives the final touch to the matter, both as regards those remaining in the Jordan and the setting up of the others in Gilgal. It is Christ, as having to do with all this. As regards what is before us now, He gives us to understand that He is having to do with us as to it; "Unless I wash thee, thou hast not part with me" (John 13:8). Apart from His own touch, we are unequal to have part with Him in heavenly things.

J.T.S. Is it important that we have the thought of quickening in Ephesians 2 and then, being raised up together and made to sit together in the heavenlies,

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before we are told that, "through him we have both access by one Spirit to the Father"? (verse 18).

J.T. It is important. The passage alluded to indicates where we were, in death; and then "raised up together", meaning raised up with one another. That refers to the twelve stones at Gilgal. We are raised up together and made to sit down together in the heavenlies in Christ. Our place is established up there in view of the ages to come; and thus "we both have access by one Spirit to the Father".

P.H.H. How far would "part with me", in John 13, go? There are certain chapters which seem to carry us forward, prior to the twentieth; would you include all those chapters?

J.T. I should, indeed. There is a principle introduced in chapter 13; the Lord has more in His mind than what we had at the beginning of chapter 12, and He is intimating that He is taking them with Him; not in an arbitrary way, but in an educational way. We should see that in all ministry one great point is to carry the brethren with you, carry them along with you; that is what the Lord Himself did. Certain things are said about the Father, and He said it because of those standing by. In raising Lazarus, He is leading them along with Him in these great matters. Then in chapter 12 He says: "Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour. But on account of this have I come to this hour. Father, glorify thy name" (verses 27, 28). In answer to this the voice from heaven says: "I both have glorified and will glorify it again" (verse 28). This is for those standing by (verse 30). Thus we are to be carried along with Christ. Then He proceeds in chapter 14, and He finds that some of the disciples are not quite clear as to what He is saying. One says: "shew us the Father and it suffices us" (verse 8). So the Lord says: "Am I so long a time with you, and thou hast not known me, Philip? He that

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has seen me has seen the Father" (verse 9). So they are being adjusted. The Lord, I am sure, was glad that Philip made that inquiry; and Judas also makes an inquiry. Right through these chapters we find inquiries and complaints; but the Lord meets them all. Every inquiry and complaint brings out fresh light. He is leading them with Him. Then He says, in chapter 16, "in that day ye shall demand nothing of me: verily, verily, I say to you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give you" (verse 23). And again, "the Father himself has affection for you" (verse 27). The Lord is transferring them to the Father in chapter 16. He also speaks there about the Spirit: what He would do; how He would bring demonstration to the world, of sin, righteousness, and judgment; "of righteousness, because I go away to my Father;" things would all be perfectly clear. Then in chapter 17 He hands them over to the Father. He has led them along in a true ministerial way, and now they are put into the Father's realm. That is the point in our present reading; what the Father will do. The Son had said, "I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou gavest me" (John 17:6). And in verse 26 He says, "I have made known to them thy name, and will make it known; that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them and I in them".

C.A.M. Attention was drawn to our feet in John 13. In the passage of the Jordan we read of the feet of the priests. We are to go that way.

J.T. Habakkuk 3:19 says: "He will make me to walk upon my high places". We are now entering upon our high places to walk with Christ, and you can see that He must have to do with our feet. There are other lessons which do not come into our subject, but the end of these wonderful chapters in John is, that we are placed in the realm of the Father.

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J.J. Is the realm of the Father different from the sanctuary which we had before us this morning?

J.T. The sanctuary runs along with the thought; our present condition is in mind. The very suggestion of washing suggests the need of the sanctuary. They were clean according to Jewish requirements, but not for this new order of things.

J.J. Is the sanctuary the spiritual sphere where all these things are possible?

J.T. Quite so. It is not a theoretical thing; it really begins in these men, and what Christ is going to make out of them. There would be tabernacle conditions even in one who loved Jesus, and who kept His commandments and His words, John 14:21 - 23.

F.I. Is there no moment until we get to glory, when we get beyond the sanctuary?

J.T. As to the general position, I think the sanctuary stands. Another matter that arises is, the power of abstraction; the ability we may acquire to abstract ourselves. Paul says: "we are beside ourselves ... to God" (2 Corinthians 5:13). John says: "I became in the Spirit on the Lord's day" (Revelation 1:10). Of Peter, it is said that "an ecstasy came upon him" (Acts 10:10). These are facts; surely not written merely as history. If the power of abstraction is fully known, we may reach a domain really beyond the sanctuary; because the sanctuary carried a negative thought, the exclusion of evil. Paul said as to his being caught up into paradise, that he did not know whether he was in the body or out of the body. I do not think we can connect the idea of the sanctuary with his experience in the third heaven, but he said, "whether in the body I know not, or out of the body I know not".

A.M.H. Does the sanctuary connect with our being together in spiritual conditions where there is

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neither male nor female, but, in fact, male and female have to be recognised?

J.T. This latter is quite clear in the public position.

J.T.S. Does the word in Ezekiel 11:16 help? "Although I have removed them far off among the nations, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries whither they are come".

J.T. That indicates the idea of the presence of God. It begins in Exodus 3 at the bush, the ground is holy; and so we have here in our chapter, as said to Joshua, "Loose thy sandal from off thy foot: for the place whereon thou standest is holy" (verse 15), showing what the presence of God is; how God can be a sanctuary to us. The great primary thought in the service of God is, first, who is to serve -- it is a son; then, how is he to serve -- that is, as priest, in view of conditions here; and where he is to serve -- that is the sanctuary.

E.J.McB. Would you say that abstraction is known when the saints touch what is eternal in character?

J.T. Well, if the abstraction does enable you to touch what is eternal. We are just speaking of something that is in Scripture, and it is right to do that. Whether any one of us has experienced it is a question. The Lord would not discourage us from aiming at what is possible. John pursues the line of abstraction in his epistle, and views the saints without fault at all (1 John 3:9).

P.L. The thought is presented in John in Patmos, is it not?

J.T. Yes -- "in the Spirit" he has to be called back.

W.C.G. Does not abstraction begin with abiding in Christ according to 1 John 3:6? "Whoever abides in him, does not sin".

J.T. Well, it does. The thought conveyed by John,

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in such statements as that is an astronomical one. As abiding in Christ, you are in your orbit. But he speaks of us abstractly apart from this thought, saying, "Whoever has been begotten of God does not practise sin, because his seed abides in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been begotten of God" (1 John 3:9).

M.W.B. Could you bring in the idea of abstraction and ecstasy in the actual service of God? All utterance in the assembly is to be in sobriety and intelligence, not ecstasy.

Ques. Is the point of abstraction seen in 2 Chronicles 5:14, where the priests could not stand to minister? Do the preceding verses give the road spiritually to this abstraction?

J.T. One has often thought of that passage as illustrative of abstraction; even if but for a moment. God seeks that -- at any given time, if even for a moment, to have us free from a sense of sinful condition; to have us as "of one" with Christ, (Hebrews 2:11). The glory fills the sanctuary; as if God would say, They are entirely according to My thoughts. He has us entirely for His pleasure. While this may be so, any audible service is to be governed by balance and intelligence, as just remarked. Whatever the size of my offering, I must be in proportion to it; that is the idea of balance. But then 2 Chronicles 5 speaks of the priests having reached perfect unison of sound in music, and God says, That is My thought. Even if but for a moment, there it is; the glory takes charge. It is the Father's realm, as it were; He has those He loves in the relation and condition in which Christ is as Man before Him.

Ques. Is that why the thought of rest comes in?

J.T. Quite so. The ark is at rest in that chapter; wilderness conditions are over.

Ques. Is the Father's realm different from the Father's house?

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J.T. The Father's house in John 14 is future. The Lord says, "I go to prepare you a place". He is coming again to take us to Himself: "In my Father's house there are many abodes". In John 8 we have just "the house", what is provisional down here in the meantime. The son abiding in the house for ever would be in contrast to the position of a servant, and of course the house is an abiding thought.

F.I. Is there any part of our service that can be carried on apart from viewing the Lord as Minister of the sanctuary?

J.T. We come together to break bread, and this does not necessitate the Minister of the sanctuary: it is what we do. This is initial as regards the service of God in the assembly, and the Lord comes in and leads to the heavenly part -- to which His service as Minister of the sanctuary peculiarly belongs. The sanctuary remains in view of our mixed condition.

J.J. Is there any difference between the Lord's headship and His service as the Minister of the sanctuary? Is He on our side as Head, but as Minister of the sanctuary, somewhat apart from us?

J.T. The Minister of the sanctuary refers to what Aaron did in the sanctuary. Christ takes charge of the whole matter; it is what He is Godward. Headship stands related to Paul's side of the position; the mystery as in Ephesians 5.

M.W.B. Would you say a word as to the old corn of the land; would that in its effect enrich the service of God?

J.T. It does; it builds us up in what is heavenly. It is the appropriation of Christ as He is in heaven. "And they ate of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened loaves, and roasted corn on that same day" (verse 11).

Ques. Before we go on to the old corn of the

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land; does the Minister of the sanctuary allow in your mind any thought of Moses?

J.T. The idea of Minister of the sanctuary develops out of, and is based on, mediatorship. The latter is in Moses -- in Christ as in 2 Corinthians 3:17, where we read, "the Lord is the Spirit, but where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty". The formation in us is by the Lord the Spirit.

Ques. Hebrews 8:6 says, "But now he has got a more excellent ministry, by so much as he is mediator of a better covenant, which is established on the footing of better promises". Would you allow that that is a reference to Moses, or do you think the Minister of the sanctuary lies in relation to the heavenly line of things and the covenant?

J.T. That verse follows on Christ's priesthood: "If then indeed he were upon earth, he would not even be a priest" (Hebrews 8:4); but now He has "a more excellent ministry, by so much as he is mediator of a better covenant". The mediatorship of the covenant refers to Moses' service; "a more excellent ministry" to that of Aaron; both thoughts are combined in Christ. "Mediator of a better covenant", is not priesthood; it is apostolic. The Spirit of God goes on to show in Hebrews 9 and 10, as we have had it, how this is worked out. The sacrificial service of Christ as Priest is mainly in view, but in relation to the saints drawing near. In chapter 10: 21, 22, we have Him as "great priest over the house of God".

Ques. Are these features seen in Acts? In chapter 1 He charged the apostles by the Holy Spirit, and then, chapter 2, as in heaven, He acts as Priest in blessing.

J.T. Acts 1 helps us as to what we are speaking of; He charged the apostles by the Spirit, but then in the same chapter He "assembled with them".

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There we have a suggestion of the Minister of the sanctuary.

A.J.G. Would it be right to say that the Minister of the sanctuary is more the function, but headship relates more to the affections of the saints?

J.T. Well, it is. As to the assembly, headship involves union. "Minister of the sanctuary" is an allusion to Aaron; he carried on the ministry of the sanctuary. It is in relation to God, for the sanctuary belongs to God. The book that brings it out is Exodus, the great fundamental book in the types. Having mentioned the "abode of thy holiness", Exodus 15 runs on to "the Sanctuary ... that thy hands have prepared" (verse 17); that is, the sanctuary as Solomon built it, which involves eternal relations.

If we keep this in mind, we shall see that we are now in the Father's realm. John 20 introduces the Father's realm. Christ had been speaking of the Father, but in John He never says, "your Father" to His own until chapter 20. He had been setting out the thought of the Father, in view of making men of them; in view of leading them up to the great position, indicated in His prayer, "that the love with which thou has loved me may be in them and I in them" (John 17:26). Think of Him having that thought for us! That we should have such love in our hearts! The love wherewith the Father loved the Son, the most exalted love conceivable; the Lord in speaking to His Father has no less a thought than that we should have that love; to have that kind of love in our hearts would render us peculiarly capable of loving Christ up there. The Father's love, and the Father's Spirit operating in us, we are set up as men in complete consonance with all that is up there. That is the aim of Paul's ministry, and the Lord is bringing it before us now, according to John's presentation of it, so that we reach the

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thought involved in His ascending to His Father and our Father, His God and our God. Having sent the message through Mary, He comes in where the disciples were, as if to say, This is the most august company. It is an abstract view -- He views them in the light of the message -- and they are equal to it according to the facts presented.

Eu.R. You were speaking about fixity; have you in mind that the Son of God would serve us as His brethren; and then we are enabled to take that ground as with Him in the presence of the Father?

J.T. Quite so; and all this formative work is to make the persons to whom He was coming equal to the light of the message in John 20:17. He comes to such persons; not as assembled, but where those persons were.

Ques. You said that it was a son who served, but served as a priest. Should we have the privilege in that service of presenting the perfections of Christ before the Father?

J.T. Quite so. And then you can speak to the Father about Himself, which is perhaps the greatest thought of all. The Lord goes to great pains to speak to the disciples about the Father, not in an abstract sense, but about the traits of the Father; conveying what He is. He is thus known to the worshipper as speaking to Him. In speaking to the Father, we of course have in mind who He is, but we think of Him also according to known qualities -- known in His infinitely holy traits as represented in Jesus. John 14:6 - 11 speaks of One divine Person presenting Another, so as to be intelligible to us, and that we should speak to Him, not only according to who He is, but what He is.

P.H.H. Would you say a little more as to the last part of John 17: "I in them"?

J.T. He would be in us as loving Him with the same kind of love as the Father loves Him. That is

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not exactly the same kind of love that the woman in Luke 7 had for Him; she loved much because she was forgiven much. It is love for Christ, but the Father's love is the most exalted love. It is the outcome of coming into the Father's side of things and seeing Christ as the Father sees Him.

Rem. "Yet a little and the world sees me no longer; but ye see me; because I live ye also shall live" (John 14:19).

J.T. That covers all that we have been saying as to how the Lord is apprehended in Joshua. It is not a corporeal view of Christ; it is how we see Him now. The world does not see him now: "ye see me; because I live ye also shall live". It is how we see him, that is, spiritually.

M.W.B. Is it not, in view of that, that the old corn of the land would build up the constitution?

J.T. That is the touch we get here. Then our subjective condition is brought in; it is unleavened. The corn is 'store corn', as the margin reads. It is Christ as indigenous to heaven, as has often been remarked.

Ques. When you spoke of speaking to the Father directly, had you in mind the thought of speaking to the Father as apprehending Himself personally?

J.T. Certainly: as the Supreme, known as Father; but with known traits -- qualities known through Christ that you can keep in your mind in speaking of Him and to Him.

Ques. I was noticing in Chronicles, in Hezekiah's time, that "all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded, all the time until the burnt-offering was finished" (2 Chronicles 29:28). Would that indicate the way the Lord would support us in assembly, and in speaking to the Father Himself?

J.T. It would: the whole passage shows how richly the service went on to completion. These

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chapters in John have in mind that we should speak directly to the Father. It is not that we should not pray to the Lord, as some say, as to chapter 16: 23. We come to see that the Father is a distinct Person that loves us as the Son loves us; and inasmuch as the Father is seen in the Son down here, we apprehend His traits. He comes into our range in that way.

A.P.T. In John 4:20, the woman says, "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain". Does the Lord use what she brings forward on the paternal side, to bring in the positive paternal side in His own thoughts -- the Father?

J.T. What He says to her about God enters into what we are saying now. We sometimes wonder why He did not ignore her remarks as to worship; but the truth is, she had already said, "Sir, I see that thou art a prophet" (verse 19). That is to say, she was becoming spiritual. The discerning word of the Lord as to her five husbands brought home to her that He was a prophet. She discerned who was there, and she is thus qualified for the Lord to speak to her about worship, and about the Father, and about God. She was one who is discerned through and through. It is said of a similar case: "the secrets of his heart are manifested" (1 Corinthians 14:25). The secrets of her heart were made manifest, and she was convicted. It is further said in 1 Corinthians 14:24, "he is convicted of all, he is judged of all". The man falls down -- and this woman is like him. Surely that is one to whom we may speak of the worship of God! The Lord speaks to her about it, and says to her things that He said to no one else that we know of.

Ques. In relation to the remark as to one divine Person representing Another, John 20:19 says: "Jesus came and stood in the midst". Would you help us as to the word 'representing'? I refer to the word of Philip, "Shew us the Father" (John 14:8). Then the Lord says: "Am I so long a time

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with you, and thou hast not known me?" Whereas in John 20 Jesus came and stood in the midst. It is one divine Person spoken of, but is not that all in the Spirit now -- it is not the Lord corporeally?

J.T. No, it is not. That is what we are saying; He comes in in a spiritual way.

Ques. "These things Jesus spoke, and lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, Father, the hour is come". Would that suggest to them what should mark the assembly position, and what He had in His mind all the time?

J.T. It suggests an attitude in us as in assembly; looking up and saying, Father. He is leading the disciples into the Father's realm.

Ques. Would the way the Lord speaks to the Father suggest some of these qualities you spoke of?

J.T. I think so. He would regard the Father according to what He had said of Him, but of course in His own infinite way. "The men whom thou gavest me" (verse 6); the word men there has great significance. He is linking them with the Father. They were the Father's and He gave them to the Son, who had manifested the Father's name to them, and now, as no longer in the world, He places them in the Father's hands. Later He says, "I have made known to them thy name, and will make it known" (verse 26). He is carrying on the thought of the Father, having His realm in mind. Then in chapter 20 He indicated the full thought -- "My brethren ... I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God". In coming into the midst, He stands, meaning that He is carrying on in the attitude of service in relation to the Father.

E.L.M. Is there a point presented in the thought of God that is beyond the thought of Father?

J.T. Yes: "My God and your God". I think the Father is more readily taken in by us; and that is why it is put first. It is a relation entered into; a

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relation well known amongst men. God takes up that relation with Christ as Man, and He is contemplated in that relationship (John 1:14); so that the idea of the Father did not necessitate death at all; it is established apart from the death of Christ. According to the counsels of love, one of the divine Persons became Man, and with Him God takes the relation of Father. In itself it has nothing to do with the new covenant; it does not necessitate the death of Christ. The disciples, the Jewish remnant, as they were then, are brought to the knowledge of the Father in a provisional way, but not as John presents it to us.

M.W.B. The death of Christ made known God's love; but what we used to sing is not right: 'Thy death has brought to light the Father's heart'.

J.T. I long felt that verse was wrong. The Father's heart was brought to light in Christ here before His death.

J.T.S. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ", is linked with, "according as he has chosen us in him before the world's foundation ... having marked us out beforehand for adoption through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has taken us into favour in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:4 - 6).

J.T. That is it; that is the most wonderful statement, next to John 20, in regard of our subject. It is no question of the blood being necessary; it is a question of the counsels of God. We, being actually sinners, needed redemption so as to come into sonship, but the relation of Father and Son stands in relation to divine counsel and existed between God and Christ before Christ's death.

S.R. Would you say a word as to "my God and your God"?

J.T. Christ's God suggests His inscrutable Being;

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His abstract relations. In the history of the service of God the name of Jah in its import comes out. Jah seems to be more God in the absolute (see note on Exodus 15:2 in New Trans.), if we can speak of apprehending Him in the absolute. It appears in what we may call the first contribution to the service of God in Scripture (Exodus 15), and suggests, I think, the power of penetration that there is in the service of God in song; that is, spiritual song. As the Spirit of God has His place with us, there is in song a peculiar depth of feeling and power of penetration; so that we enter more into what God is: "my God and your God". There must be power to enable us to grasp something of that; of what God is to Christ, and Christ is to God as His God. It seems to me that the use of the name Jah in the Old Testament, mostly poetically, would suggest the power of penetration that enters into the service of God. As we are with Christ, beside Him, in our service, the more that power lays holds of our souls. He uses the words "my God" four times in speaking to Philadelphia in Revelation 3:12.

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THE POWER THAT WORKETH IN US (5)

Joshua 5:13 - 15; Joshua 6:1 - 27

J.T. What is in mind for the two readings ahead of us, in the main, is conflict, but I believe the Lord would have us to take a cursory view of the subject we have been engaged with, namely, qualification for the service of God, as it is pursued throughout the remainder of this book. Nothing is more evident than that these books one after the other are cumulative, and that the service of God is in view throughout, until we reach David. We read, in Stephen's address, that Moses had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, and that it was carried over with Joshua into the land; and so it is in view in Joshua, Judges, and Samuel. Stephen says, until the days of David, "who found favour before God", who had desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob; but Solomon built him a house. The thread culminates in that way in the types, in David and Solomon.

In order to have a clear outlook as to this book, it may be observed that Joshua himself worships, according to the first passage read from chapter 5, and that he sets up an altar, chapter 8, and offers up burnt-offerings and peace-offerings. According to chapter 8, the direction of Moses in Deuteronomy is carried out as to the altar at mount Ebal, and the stones on which the law was written. The altar is not only set up, but there are offerings. Then we have the tabernacle again as seen in Shiloh; and Joshua carries on the thought of service in finally asserting, as to himself and his house, that they would serve the Lord. He denounces idolatry, and enjoins the people against it; and gives them an example, carrying down the great thought in Abraham as to the house -- as to him and his house, they

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would serve Jehovah. That is how Joshua leaves the matter to be carried forward; as, indeed, it is, through Phinehas in Judges.

Then we have the provision for and the great subject of the Levites in this book, who are seen generally in Deuteronomy and Joshua as priests. The distinction between Levites and priests is small, for what is in mind is the heavenly calling of the saints, as over against the earthly calling of God. The service of God is, in that way, amply provided for in this book, as carrying it forward. It is a transitional state of things, until He came, who had been in the mind of God, who would do all God's will; that is, Christ seen typically in David. The Levites are provided for, as marked off, and as having no inheritance on earth; so that the heavenly calling is peculiarly stressed in relation to the service of God in this book. So the Lord, in Luke, as the levites returned from their successful labours, reminded them of their heavenly calling; their names being written in heaven. They are to rejoice in that connection, the Lord introducing the whole matter into the realm of the Father in Luke 10. I thought it well to sketch the service of God, so as to show that the levites, the heavenly family, are linked up with the Father in Luke. That is the great culmination of the service of God.

The thought now is to proceed, as the Lord may help us, to see how the military side contributes to this as securing the inheritance; and what may be observed is -- so as to have a clear outline before us -- that the result is attained through bitter experiences amongst the saints, occasioned by failure. The end is reached, but in a most humiliating way. The result reached in Joshua 8 should have been reached as Israel entered into the land, for what was done according to that chapter was enjoined to take place as they reached the land -- the rearing of the altar

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between Gerizim and Ebal. It is a comfort to know that God reaches His end, though in humiliating circumstances on our side.

H.E.S. If maturity is to be reached, all these exercises have to be gone through.

J.T. That is what this book shows. In the beginning of chapter 5 it states that great fear laid hold of the inhabitants of the land, because of Israel; and then, immediately, we have circumcision brought in; so that it should be understood that the flesh profits nothing in all this. It is to be put off, entirely repudiated, in the most definite way, with sharp knives. Joshua himself is hardly equal to the position, because he is asking the Captain of Jehovah's host what side He is on. Joshua has the idea of a side; whereas it is Jehovah's issue; He is Captain of Jehovah's host. Joshua is told that he is on holy ground. It is due to the service of God, but imperative also as to the military side, that we should be holy.

A.F.M. Is the parallel to this in the beginning of the Acts, and set forth in Peter and those with him, the apostles?

J.T. Yes. The conquest of Canaan in the antitype is in the service of the apostles. It was in their service that the principles of the world were brought down; displaced by divine principles. The land was taken possession of, on that basis, as Joshua 8 shows.

N.K.McC. Could we have another word as to the need for holiness in conflict?

J.T. You can see how it appears here. Chapter 5, whilst touching on the heavenly side, that is, in the old corn, is, in the main, an adjusting chapter, especially in regard of circumcision. After such triumph in the power of God at the Jordan, there would be the danger of elation and place being given for the flesh; so circumcision is immediately brought in after we are told that the hearts of the inhabitants

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of Canaan melted, and there was no spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel. Then in verse 2 we read, "Make thee stone-knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time".

J.T.S. Would the spirit of what we have in 2 Corinthians 10:3, 4 apply? -- "For walking in flesh, we do not war according to flesh. For the arms of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful according to God to the overthrow of strongholds".

J.T. That is an excellent scripture at this juncture -- the resolve of a man; showing what one man can say about his service and indicating the great need for us in conflict. We can see how God saw the danger of elation at this juncture; and then, too, the need of holiness. Joshua is directed: "Loose thy sandal from off thy foot: for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so" (verse 15). Now he is on true military ground before God. This all comports with Colossians, which epistle has been before us; where we are said to be circumcised in the circumcision of Christ -- no less than that -- "putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of the Christ" (Colossians 2:11). It is the totality of it, put off in such a way.

Eu.R. Have you any thought as to why that comes in after the expression, "ye are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and authority"?

J.T. I suppose to protect the Colossians from any reliance on flesh; for they were greatly exposed to certain features of the flesh, that is, ceremonialism, philosophy, and vain deceit. These allow the flesh in a good sense, as people would say; but it is still the flesh as operative in the acquirement of the world's learning; and along with it the side that appeals to the fleshly sentiment peculiarly, that is, ceremonialism. The cross is brought in in the chapter, as always, to show how completely God has

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dealt with the flesh. These things are all taken out of the way, God having nailed them to the cross.

Ques. Would you say that the city of Jerusalem in the early part of the Acts is a counterpart of Jericho, inasmuch as it was in opposition to all the heavenly truth? Do we see that encircled by Peter and John, and brought down by Stephen's address, in relation to the heavenly truth?

J.T. I think that is good. The encircling is a great thought. We begin with circumcision; that is, the flesh wholly renounced. Then Jehovah's Captain, the Captain of Jehovah's host. The first great thought is to get into our souls this moral element -- circumcision, and what goes with it, the heavenly side. Israel had a good time, apparently; the enjoyment of their heavenly portion in a little way, eating of the old corn of the land, after the passover, with unleavened bread. They had, as you might say, a happy season together; but then there was the great moral element to be enforced, namely, circumcision. Then, the Captain of Jehovah's host, and the battle is the Lord's. Whatever may be dealt with subsequently, it is most important to get into our souls that the conflict is God's -- that, ultimately, we are to take on the whole armour of God. Here, it is Jehovah's host, and Joshua is to learn that his movements are to be holy, not the unholy efforts of partisanship. God is dealing from heaven, and Joshua is to be brought into accord with this. The Man says to him in answer to his inquiry: "No; for as captain of the army of Jehovah am I now come" (verse 14). That is, it was not to meet an exigency in Israel; it was a predetermined plan. God had come in, in His own time. "For as captain of the army of Jehovah am I now come", or, as in the note, 'for I, the captain (or prince) of the army of Jehovah, am now come'. He is Commander-in-chief; He has come now; He selects the time, and it is God's

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matter. As warriors we are to be imbued with this.

M.W.B. Does chapter 5 give the moral education and constitution, so that we can be prepared for the method of conflict adopted in chapter 6?

J.T. That is the thought, I am sure. Chapter 5 is for adjustment. We can see the necessity for it in our own little conflicts; the renouncement of partisan feeling, however well meant; of taking on any special persons, special links. The flesh is always proved to be unprofitable. The scripture quoted in 2 Corinthians 10 shows the greatest of all military men, next to Christ, and how he looked at things -- how he warred. Then, in relation to this question of holiness, we have to see that whatever advantage may seem to come to me by some manoeuvre, holiness forbids it. It is an essential quality to be ingrained into one as in divine warfare.

Ques. Have we an example of that in Acts 8? Peter and John are concerned as to the Holy Spirit, and they have to face one man, who was saying that he himself was a great one. They face him as one having no part or lot in the matter, being unholy and unspiritual?

J.T. Just so.

P.H.H. Do you see any connection between the sharp knives, or 'swords of rocks', as the note says, in the early part of the chapter, and the man with the drawn sword in the end of the chapter? Has the thought of circumcision, as brought before us in Romans, Colossians, and Philippians a bearing upon what you have in mind?

J.T. I think so. "For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God" (Philippians 3:3), for instance, has a bearing on it. As to what the stone knives signify, it is not easy to say much as to the material of which they are made, save that there must be some allusion to permanency. It is not for

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the moment only; it is not merely historically done; but you are always circumcised.

Ques. Is that why Joshua dwelt at Gilgal?

J.T. Well, that is the place of self-judgment and hence of power. Circumcision ought always to apply. Jehovah insists on circumcision with Moses at the outset; his wife said, "A bloody husband ... art thou to me! ... because of the circumcision" (Exodus 4:25, 26). Evidently Moses had neglected it. Israel came out of Egypt circumcised: the scripture would show that we should have the thing done. Let it never be otherwise.

A.P.T. Is not Peter an example at a certain time of one who, though in the company of the Lord Jesus, would mitigate the circumcision as in his mind? (Matthew 16:21 - 23). Later, when the Lord was about to offer Himself, he would interfere by using the sword against the high priest's servant.

J.T. Yes. As seen in the Acts all is changed. Peter has now gone through death and burial with Christ. He is so free from the flesh that he can charge others with the same working of it that once marked himself.

Ques. Is your thought that we arrive at the truth through failure?

J.T. God often reaches His end in us through our failures; He brings His people with Him. He has to exercise discipline to do it, but He does it.

G.C.G. With regard to circumcision in Colossians 2:11: "in whom also ye have been circumcised with circumcision not done by hand, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of the Christ". Are we to understand that we accept that on the principle of faith, as one of the things involved in the Jordan aspect of the death of Christ? and is the putting to death in chapter 3, the sharp knives of Joshua?

J.T. Colossians is the full thought. You do not

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get a statement so full as that in Romans. It is because of the progress made at Colosse, that the apostle could so speak; he would have them to take on the whole thought of circumcision. It had been effected, but not done with hand. They were in danger of going back to it as being done with hand, but in the circumcision of Christ it is not done with hand; the thorough cutting off of the flesh is seen there. Christ took it on vicariously, and it was thus judicially terminated through His death. "The body of the flesh" would allude to the totality of it; the power of it, too, all dealt with. It is to be taken in, not merely mentally, but appreciatively by us.

W.S.S. It would appear that the old corn of the land could not be enjoyed without circumcision.

J.T. Just so. That is what comes out in verse 10; but it ought to be remarked that Gilgal is expressly stressed in verse 9. It is said that the reproach of Egypt is rolled away, that is a fixed matter, one of the great fixed principles over against the world. Then, "And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and held the passover on the fourteenth day of the month, at even, in the plains of Jericho. And they ate of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened loaves, and roasted corn on that same day. And the manna ceased on the morrow, when they had eaten of the old corn of the land; and there was no more manna for the children of Israel; and they ate of the produce of the land of Canaan that year" (verses 10 - 12). The old corn is linked with the passover, which is an objective thought. The circumcision is, of course, effected in Christ, but it really is a subjective matter as to us. The passover is a distinctly objective thought, and, I think, always intended to affect our affections: "Christ our passover ... sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:7).

W.S.S. Paul was, I judge, bringing in the old

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corn of the land, but, as seen in Galatians 2:11 - 15, Peter was not for the moment in the good of circumcision, although having accepted it, and so was hindering the bringing out of the old corn. Paul had to rebuke him to bring him back to the truth he was setting aside.

J.T. Quite so.

A.L.B. Do you link the passover with the assembly convened?

J.T. The chapter enters into the subject we have had during the last two days, but it is properly military; it begins with a military allusion. The conflict is in mind particularly; so that the heavenly thought is brought in, and we are adjusted to it; they actually partook of the corn with the passover. It is not called the feast of unleavened bread; it is just said they ate unleavened bread, but they ate it as made of that heavenly corn.

Eu.R. Would Colossians bring in the glory of the Son of God as Head of the heavenly system, and so encourage us to shut the Jew out, and bring in the heavenly side?

J.T. I think so. Chapter 2 teaches circumcision in the fullest way; it is the putting off of the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ. Then we are also taught there that "the body is of Christ". But our subject now is military. Our chapter begins with the enemies, the Canaanites, that they are in fear; this shows that the excellency of the power is of God as seen in the crossing of the Jordan by Israel.

J.T.S. Would there be a link here with what Peter said (Acts 5:29): "God must be obeyed rather than men", and then, what the God of our fathers has done in raising up Jesus, and so on; and then the warning by Gamaliel: "lest ye be found also fighters against God"? (verse 39.)

J.T. Just so. We are now in the presence of the enemies. As the apostle began to operate militarily,

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fear laid hold on the rulers of the world. "Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine", the high priest said.

J.J. What phase of opposition does Jericho stand for?

J.T. It is the world simply. The whole thought enters into this chapter. The whole military thought in the book begins here. But after the capture of Jericho failure comes in and the victories are largely through discipline. The warriors have come through discipline. So that Joshua has to take the matter on in a more onerous way personally in dealing with Ai than anywhere else. He has to go through great humiliation as to Ai; he has to go through the conflict there in a peculiarly personal way. Jericho is the initial idea of warfare, and in order to see it, in the antitype in a historical way, we have to keep our eyes on the book of Acts, even as to the failures seen in the book of Joshua. The imprisonment of the apostle Paul has to be taken into account. What led up to it was allowed or ordered of God, so that we might have the great features of the war issuing from his prison.

M.W.B. What bearing has this military chapter 6, in regard of the service of God, suggested in the end of chapter 8, to which you have referred? Is that a kind of climax in entering the land, for which this military victory was necessary?

J.T. The overthrow of Jericho was necessary on the part of the people of God for assurance. But what was done later, according to chapter 8, should have been done as Israel crossed the Jordan (Deuteronomy 27:2). When a great power is invading a small, weak country, if he intends to take possession of the country, he just has to put his feet upon it and claim it. Joshua did not do that. If the invading power is weaker, or exposed to possible defeat, he should not take possession of the country until he

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gets his foot on it securely in a military way. I think the delay in Joshua was for the sake of the people; the matter was difficult. The direction was that they should do this as they entered the land, but it was not done. It was not done until Jericho and Ai had been taken (chapter 8: 30 - 35). They might have raised the flag, so to speak, at Ebal at once, for God was supporting them in His great power. What is seen in chapter 8 is the ground on which the land is to be held.

M.W.B. The ark standing in Jordan would, in faith, have strengthened them to erect the flag, and assert God's rights.

J.T. That is it exactly. The power was there: the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth, and all that was necessary was that they should put their foot on the land, and take possession of it for God. That was the divine direction, but they deferred it; still, it was done, thank God!

W.W. Does Rahab in putting the scarlet line in the window represent the recognition of the redemptive rights of God? The power of God is seen in relation to her own household, and that power would give character to the people.

J.T. I think that is right. She has the thought of redemption in the passage of the Red Sea, and the overthrow of the big man, Og. The believer, in his natural greatness, goes in the overthrow of Sihon and Og. She had those thoughts. The point, I think, in the line of scarlet thread is herself; what she is to be in the land. It is not so much redemptive rights as what is effected by the work of God in the believer. Peter and John, for instance, say, "Look on us" (Acts 3:4). That is what was in the line of scarlet thread -- for that is what it is called. The two men sent by Joshua direct all this: it is not her suggestion. It is what marked Israel at this particular time. "What hath God wrought!" (Numbers 23:23),

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ought to have been the leading thought at Shittim, the final camping place before they crossed the Jordan. In the coming over of the two spies, that is in view. There is what God has wrought in Caleb, for instance, and God has the continuance of that in mind. The idea is in the cord; the basic thought being the flax. The spies expected to see that, and they did see it in Rahab's window. I think it is really what the work of God had made her.

Ques. Is the Spirit of God bringing us back to basic principles in conflict? "The battle is not yours, but God's" (2 Chronicles 20:15), Jehoshaphat says; and then later, "Believe in Jehovah your God, and ye shall be established; believe his prophets, and ye shall prosper" (verse 20).

J.T. That is very good. The battle is God's. The thought is carried through; and what has been just said as to chapter 8 will help us to understand chapters 7 and 9, but particularly chapter 7: how the divine end is reached, although those responsible in the conflict are humiliated through failure. Could the law be written on them? For the idea in the stones is the saints; and what can be written on us. "The righteous requirement of the law should be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to flesh but according to Spirit" (Romans 8:4).

E.J.McB. Would it be right to say the question of conflict is not merely the overcoming of the enemy, but the development in spirituality of the combatants? Is that the great thought in conflict, so that we can have spoil?

J.T. That is right. The word of faith by Joshua and Caleb in the wilderness was that the Canaanites "shall be our food". The warriors are fed by the enemy in that sense. We become men in overcoming them; and I think it was thus necessary, under God, to defer the setting up of the stones in mount Ebal. The whole nation is there on the principle of

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circumcision; but then there is the principle of having things written on us, as indicated in Deuteronomy 27.

P.L. Had there been a deferring of the writing in regard of the great assembly revival in Philadelphia? The Lord said, "thou hast a little power, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name" (Revelation 3:8). Is that linked with the great military exercises? In the "little strength", has the crown come now, in principle? At the end of the Philadelphian epistle, the Lord is moving as a writer.

J.T. Yes. The overcomer in Philadelphia is capable of having great things written on him. It is a question of personality.

P.L. "He that overcomes, him will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more at all out; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven, from my God, and my new name" (Revelation 3:12).

J.T. Mark that; the name of my God. I am glad you brought that forward, because it is really the fulness of what we are speaking of; what the overcomer in our times is capable of; what the Lord can write on him. In Deuteronomy 27 the stones are required to be plastered; they are not said to be plastered here, but the law was written on them. God will write the law in the coming day on Israel, in their hearts, but the Lord is able to write these wonderful things on the overcomer in Philadelphia -- "the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven, from my God, and my new name". What quality in an overcomer in our own times in that sense!

N.K.McC. What would be "my new name"?

J.T. Well, I think the light is in the word new. We are accustomed to much now, after nineteen

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hundred years of nominal christianity, that has become old through unholy handling. Even the names of the Lord are hackneyed in merely religious mouths; but they become what they really were, as used in a spiritual way. The word new thus has force. I do not say there are not other things in it. We come into the freshness of things as they are taken up in a living way.

M.W.B. Referring to the stones again, and your reference to the last chapter as to definiteness in serving God; there is a reference in Joshua 24:26 as follows, "And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of Jehovah". Is there a link in that between the assertion and maintenance of God's rights and the sanctuary?

J.T. That seems so: if you link it with what is said of Abraham. God says, "I know him that he will command his children and his household after him" (Genesis 18:19). Joshua is about to die; but he has a house, and he says, "as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah". He is handing on the great thought of service. He writes the words in the book of the law of God; meaning that there is addition to the book, through the exercises seen in the book of Joshua. The testimony is cumulative; the book is being added to; and he himself is a leader in the whole matter. The stone, I suppose, suggests a permanent witness. All this, you will notice, is in Shechem, not at Shiloh; meaning, I think, that Joshua is in the land administratively; he is speaking tribally, so to speak. Jacob gave two portions to Joseph, and I think Joshua has the idea of distinction in the tribes in mind.

C.A.M. There is the great stone at Shechem and the heap of stones at Ai; what is the difference?

J.T. The latter would be, I suppose, the complete

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obliteration; disappearing under a curse of the Canaanite, and the idea of permanency as to it. In this chapter, "Jehovah said to Joshua, See, I have given into thy hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the valiant men. And ye shall go round the city, all the men of war, encompassing the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall carry before the ark seven blast-trumpets; and on the seventh day ye shall go round the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass when they make a long blast with the blast-horn, that all the people on hearing the sound of the trumpet shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall flat, and the people shall go up, each one straight before him" (verses 2 - 5). That is God's mind as to the matter in hand. That is all he says. Joshua opens up the next part (verse 6), and then the movement begins (verse 8); after that, verse 14 gives us the second day; and the final movement on the seventh day (verse 15). All is to show that it is God's matter; that the power is of God. This military manoeuvre is altogether different from ordinary military tactics; indeed, reproach would attach to it in the natural mind. In the antitype, a reproach does attach to it. This encircling the city for six days, and then seven times on the seventh day, would be absurd to the ordinary military eye; but then the walls fall. The ark, and Joshua, and the seven priests blowing the trumpets explain the thing; the power of God is there.

Ques. Would you say that the reproach is rolled in upon them, in that Joshua adds, saying, "Ye shall not shout, nor let your voice be heard, neither shall a word proceed out of your mouth" (verse 10)?

J.T. Yes. It is according to what we have often spoken of -- the ability to remain silent when the service of God requires it. There is silence until Joshua directed the people to shout. There should

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be no useless talking amongst the people -- in such circumstances. It is God's matter, and no light talking can help at all. All is under the direction of Joshua. God has spoken, and now Joshua is moving and directing. In order to keep clearly in mind what the type means, the ark is, it seems, the objective thought -- Christ apprehended objectively. We never hear of any increase of it, or magnification of it. It is Joshua that is magnified; the magnification is in the saints. It is the increased measure in which Christ is in us. Joshua is a man of like passions as ourselves; and though, showing the history of the saints, Christ is there spiritually, there is variation; but the ark is the divine standard, and there are no variations with it whatsoever. It is the great objective thought of Christ; understood as amongst His people, and running parallel with the idea of Joshua. Aside from Joshua, the type would fail; because there is need of power also. Joshua is Christ seen in a spiritual way in those responsible, and all the saints are responsible; but then, there is the great objective thought; the great standard that never alters -- the ark.

Ques. Would the priests bearing the ark represent the saints in a priestly setting, or are the priests in Jordan a necessary part of the ark as a type?

J.T. The latter is the truth: they refer to the element of holiness that attaches to the ark. The principle is attached to the saints, of course, but I think we must keep in mind that the priests bearing the ark are an integral part of the ark; it contained the stone tables of the testimony, but the idea of movement is not in the ark itself.

Ques. Does "Christ in you the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27), link with Joshua on the subjective side?

J.T. Colossians 1 speaks of Christ, among the gentiles really -- the hope of glory. He has a footing amongst the gentiles, but in this spiritual way;

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not as He will come to Israel presently, which will be in an outwardly visible sense. It is the way He has come to us; and Paul shows that what he was doing was by Christ in him: "Christ speaking in me", he says (2 Corinthians 13:3). The power of Christ in him; what power was there! The Corinthians should have understood it, but they did not. So it is Christ in a spiritual way in our dispensation; none the less real than He had been amongst the Jews. Joshua represents Him in this spiritual sense, but then there is the great objective thought which must never be lost sight of.

J.H.T. In connection with Colosse, and the apostle rejoicing in their order and firmness of their faith in Christ, would that be the military position? Then his concern that they should not fall a prey to the rudiments of the world, philosophy, and vain deceit: would that be to have them in the gain of the overthrow of Jericho?

J.T. Quite so.

D.L.H. What is the spiritual application to us of the six days going round Jericho?

J.T. There are seven priests and seven days, in a general way; seven priests sounding the trumpets, and seven days which have to be passed. The military are going before the trumpeters, and the ark following; so that the trumpeters are before the ark of Jehovah: and then (verses 8 - 11), the record of the great general position and operation of the first day. In verses 12 - 14, we have a further view -- the second day. The early rising would be a test to any of us. What does all this mean? It was a considerable journey to go round the city early, I suppose; and a large number of people. It would be today and tomorrow, and the same the next day, and so on, for the seven days. It would seem as if the flesh, if circumcision were not there, would inquire, What does all this mean? It is "the foolishness of God",

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as Paul says (1 Corinthians 1:25); there is foolishness attached to it. "We are fools", says the apostle, "for Christ's sake" (1 Corinthians 4:10). I think that is the thought; we have to go through that sort of thing initially, not to be afraid of being scorned in our methods.

Ques. Does this link with 1 John 5:4, "all that has been begotten of God gets the victory over the world; and this is the victory which has gotten the victory over the world, our faith".

J.T. That helps. It is a question of faith and what goes with it. The movements, the encircling of the city each day, and then finally, on the seventh day, seven times -- the intensified spiritual touch on the seventh day. There are the seven encirclings on the seventh day; so that we have seven strongly emphasised. It is the power of God that is stronger than men. So we are to go through these days experimentally, learning to be fools. "Ye are wise", but "We are fools for Christ's sake" (1 Corinthians 4:10). The natural mind does not like this. "For ... God has set us the apostles for the last, ... we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and men" (1 Corinthians 4:9). Paul preached and people fell down convicted. The world fell down before the testimony of God in him. The present religious state of things is Jericho revived. These seven days mean that we are to accept the foolishness that man attaches to us. Take it to heart, and admit that it is so, but in it is the power of God.

J.C.T. Does Isaiah 42:1 help in showing the kind of spirit that God beholds? "Behold my servant", not crying, but bringing forth judgment unto victory.

J.T. Just so.

E.S.B. Joshua rose very early in the morning, and in regard of the resurrection, in Matthew it is the dawn of the first day; in Mark very early in the

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morning; and in John, while it was yet dark.

J.T. John gives you the longest first day: the Lord comes in amongst the brethren late in the evening. John gives you the full thought of love's energy. I think that is what is here in the early rising. The clarity of mind and the best of a man generally is in the morning; one finds that. If anything important is to be done, get up early.

M.W.B. Would there be the permissible application of the seven days here, that in going through matters of controversy, much patience is needed in toil and detail, before the final touch of victory is seen?

J.T. Yes. We have to go through whatever is involved in any matter. One has observed this in Elijah: he prayed for dearth and it came; but he had to go through the thing himself: so with servants, we ourselves have to go through the consequence of our prayers. God says, I am going that way, but Elijah has to go that way, too. First in the east, and then in the west, after a long journey, a year there of extraordinary experience, but then, he reaches the end. He prays "again" and the rain comes.

P.L. "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience" (Revelation 3:10). Is that how it works?

J.T. That is right: going through the thing; "my patience".

D.L.H. Might there be a suggestion of the saints becoming fully aware of the power of evil, which has to be surmounted, before the final overthrow of that power takes place? "Our struggle is not against blood and flesh, but against ... spiritual power of wickedness in the heavenlies" (Ephesians 6:12). It is well for us that we should be aware of the full power of the enemy, and then take cognizance of the mighty power of God which comes in to overthrow it.

J.T. I am sure that is right.

H.M.S. Might I add as to the seven days that one

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of these days would also include the sabbath. Has that any bearing on the Lord Jesus Christ in His service here, working miracles on the sabbath day? Does it emphasise the holy character of the warfare here, that even the sabbath day must be used?

J.T. I think that is good. I have wondered myself as to the sabbath, that Joshua did not give them rest; Hebrews 4:8 may help. The sabbath would be used; the Lord used it to bring down the religious world, and He shows that the priests used it. Numbers 28 shows that offerings were presented on the sabbath.

H.M.S. Hebrews had occurred to me. In that epistle it is said that rest had not been given them, but here, in a typical sense, God was giving them rest.

J.T. It has to be taken up spiritually; we are laying hold of the inheritance, and whilst the world stands the battle has to go on. Our warfare is spiritual and there must be no cessation of it while enemies are in our territory.

Eu.R. Has it to be completed, so that we get spoil? "And all the silver, and gold, and vessels of copper and iron, shall be holy to Jehovah; they shall come into the treasury of Jehovah" (verse 19).

J.T. Quite so. They are metals, not clothing as elsewhere; meaning, I think, that they are elements that are of God even in the world. The world has some things with which God endowed man particularly, such as government. I think we need to be reminded that government is of God, and is to be respected, in whomsoever it may be. Abstractly, it is of God. The metals specified particularly here in verse 19, which has been quoted, would include that -- the principle of government.

H.W.U. What should we gather from the blowing of the trumpets?

J.T. It is the testimony sounded out; over against the prohibition of ordinary speaking, we have these

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loud trumpets which they blew in marching; meaning, I suppose, that the testimony is being called attention to; the ark is being carried; the trumpeters are before it, and the military are before that; so that attention is evidently called to "the ark of Jehovah", the ark following up immediately.

Ques. Do we get help in this encircling of Jericho at our local care meetings? Often we are up against conditions that make it impossible for brethren to go forward. Do we encircle the matter and look at it from all angles? God manifests His power after thirteen times.

J.T. That is good. The shouting that followed the blowing of trumpets in chapter 6: 16 is like the "shout of a king;" a shout of triumph, and power, now made audible. The trumpeters call attention to the ark; in the antitype, Christ carried in testimony by the priests. The shout is the sense we have of a victorious end reached. One could point out evidences of it in the Acts 5: 20, for instance. The apostles are put in prison, and an angel opens the prison; they are out in the morning, and early in the temple. They are told, on being released, to "speak ... all the words of this life". That is, Christ is expressed. Then they are arrested again; the people are interested in what they are saying; the leaders cannot use violence, but still they are haled before the tribunal; and finally, Gamaliel says, "Withdraw from these men ... lest ye be found also fighters against God". The apostles are released, and it is a marked triumph.

H.M.S. Do we hear that shout of triumph in 1 Corinthians 15:57? -- "thanks be to God, who gives us the victory".

J.T. Quite so.

Ques. Would the shout be heard in the prison in Acts 16? All the opposition of man is there; but there was an effect in the whole prison.

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J.T. Quite so. There was victory, but in the sense of singing; what a beautiful thought! The service of God really is there. In prayer, they sang praises to God, and the prisoners heard. That is the idea. This thought of the prison is worth considering; how the world came down. We read, "the foundations of the prison shook ... and the bonds of all loosed" (Acts 16:26). In the midst of all the opposition, see the beautiful spirit that is there! Really the spirit of Christ is in Paul and Silas, and they say, "Do thyself no harm, for we are all here". The result is: "Sirs, what must I do that I may be saved?" The answer is, "Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house". It is complete triumph, but in grace: the world is really broken down; Jericho taken in that way. Then there must be the idea of replacement; if the prison and all that it means is broken up, what is to replace it? Well, it is the household as saved. That is the great idea in Philippi; the households of the saints. Is the world broken up in them? The apostle immediately speaks the word of the Lord to the jailor and to all in his house.

Ques. Trumpets were also used "for the journeying of the camps" (Numbers 10); and three tribes were to move under one standard, etc. (Numbers 2). How would the three move simultaneously under the one standard? Would it work out district-wise? Is there scriptural warrant for brothers meeting district-wise, apart from temple character?

J.T. There is a good deal worth inquiring into in what you suggest; but in Numbers the trumpets are silver. It is not a question of silver, i.e., redemption, here, but the power of the ark, and how it brings down the world. What you are speaking of really belongs to Corinthians, and it is quite a good thought to bring in, but one thing ought to be clearly

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said; there is no such thing in Scripture as a district meeting -- meetings are always in a "city" or "place".

Ques. Would you say that there is anything wrong in brothers from a number of meetings coming together for a brothers' meeting, in view of sharing what help they have got?

J.T. It must always belong to a particular locality, however many meetings there may be. A district meeting is not warranted. In 1 Corinthians 1:2 we read, "the assembly of God which is in Corinth ... with all that in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ". The local is linked up with the universal thought. In 2 Corinthians 1:2 we have added to Corinth "all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia;" but manifestly all administrative matters were connected with Corinth.

All meetings in a district are liable to be influenced by some particular thing, hence certain instruction may apply to all. You have this in relation to the assemblies in Galatia, Colosse and Laodicea. The letters sent to the latter two were to be read in each; to hear them read the saints at Colosse were not to go to Laodicea, nor those of Laodicea to Colosse. The idea of each assembly is maintained. The administration of the light and blessing of the present dispensation, and all that enters into it, works out in local assemblies -- not 'district' or 'general' assemblies.

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THE POWER THAT WORKETH IN US (6)

Joshua 8:1 - 23; Joshua 10:7 - 15; Joshua 11:10 - 13

J.T. What is in mind now is that we might learn something of the way God turns our failures, as in the conflict, to good account, so that His end is reached in respect of them, and that there is gain through the humiliation that naturally attends defeat. In chapter 8 Joshua has, one might say, to go over the ground of the death of Christ. He identifies himself with the people; and, as we learn in verse 13, "Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley". This course has to pursued in order to show that victory comes that way, in going down, as Christ did. Then, more than ordinary power is seen in Joshua in the use of his javelin, for it is said: "Jehovah said to Joshua, Stretch out the javelin that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thy hand" (verse 18); and then, "Joshua did not draw back his hand, which he had stretched out with the javelin, until they had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai" (verse 26). This evidently points to the power of life working in the man himself, but along with that, having to accept outward defeat; that is, to act as if defeated -- another humiliating experience.

In chapter 10, the thought is to show the greatness of man in Joshua, as a feature of the book; how creation is under his hand, as it were, in the sun and the moon hearkening to him. These are the two thoughts in mind that we might consider; and finally, the overthrow and destruction of Hazor as involved in the victory -- that is, the overthrow of imperial power, because it was the head of the nations. The Lord will help us to see that these thoughts are to be found in the history of the conflict, at the beginning of our dispensation; but the divine end is reached through the process of humiliation; through

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failure and discipline, Christ is seen portrayed again, both in His humiliation and in His glory.

H.E.S. Would these thoughts be seen in the epistle to the Philippians? The Lord's descent into the valley first of all, and then everything put under Him -- His greatness as Man afterwards?

J.T. Yes. "also God highly exalted him" (Philippians 2:9). "Let this mind be in you", enters into it: a readiness to go down, to go all the way when failure occurs, and this involves correspondence to Christ's path in dealing with sin.

M.W.B. Will you say more as to the distinction between Christ presented in the ark and in Joshua? Do I understand in Joshua it is Christ appreciated in the heart in such a way that it becomes formative in us in spiritual quality?

J.T. That is the truth. The ark would allude to Christ Himself, having become small, marvellously compressed in order to do the will of God. It was a very small vessel, measured on the principle of a half, suggestive that there was more than was apparent. It does not appear in this conflict at Ai. Indeed, after chapter 6 it is scarcely mentioned until the end of chapter 8. I think, what is implied is that Joshua and Israel have learned their deep lesson. They see the variableness of themselves; how, although Christ be in us, which is the idea of Joshua, there may be failure in each of us, notwithstanding. As the lesson is learned, as we see in the verses read in chapter 8, the ark then has a great place. It is said in verse 33: "And all Israel and their elders, and their officers and judges, stood on this side and on that side of the ark before the priests the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, as well the stranger as the home-born Israelite; half of them toward mount Gerizim, and the other half of them toward mount Ebal". The ark has received a greater place than Moses had

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directed in the instructions in Deuteronomy; the people are on this side of it, and on that side of it. It seems as if it is central now in their thoughts; it is the divine standard. We may drop from it, but the divine standard remains; absolute perfection is in Christ.

A.M.H. Would the thought of the power of God come again before the soul, after the self-confidence of the previous chapter? They are encouraged to go forward; not to fear, nor to be dismayed now -- the ark is getting a greater place with them.

J.T. That, I think, is the meaning of the teaching.

P.L. Do we find that in 2 Timothy there is humiliation in church sorrows, but everything established in Christ Jesus?

J.T. I think that is a good suggestion. There had been a breakdown, but the position remains. "In Christ Jesus", is a leading thought in 2 Timothy; faith and love are there. Even as regards the gospel, the apostle laboured and suffered that the elect might "obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:10); as if that is what is needed now, "in Christ Jesus" being the fixedness of things.

J.J. Does what is implied in "in Christ Jesus" being mentioned so frequently in 2 Timothy have reference to the seven times going round the city?

J.T. I think the seven times encircling of Jericho would work out strength through weakness -- out of weakness we are made strong. Strength is perfected through weakness. Seven always suggests a perfect exercise spiritually. Three would be that testimonially, but spirituality needs more, a greater process. No doubt 2 Timothy has in mind the development of what "in Christ Jesus" means. It is fixedness as to what is of God, involving power -- a matter of supreme importance now, all outwardly being unstable.

Eu.R. Does the conquest of Canaan involve what

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came to pass at Pentecost, including Ephesus and Paul's epistles to the Colossians and Ephesians?

J.T. Yes; the conquest of Canaan typically is in the testimony of the apostles, especially Paul. The conquest of Ai is a specially instructive feature, the detail of it particularly; the failure relating to it really developed out of the overthrow of Jericho. That is what worked out after Pentecost, beginning with Ananias and Sapphira; then the murmuring seen in Acts 6; and the failure of the apostles to leave Jerusalem when the testimony was definitely rejected in the murder of Stephen. Even Paul himself did not escape failure, although we always hesitate to say much; but, in truth, his going to Jerusalem was not on the level of the heavenly testimony committed to him. He had courage enough, but the Spirit was against it, and I think that his imprisonment for something like four years would show the overruling of God reaching the end in mind; not as quickly, perhaps, as it might have been. But the epistles from the prison seem to be the crowning feature in the overthrow of the principles of the world, and the establishment of heaven's principles. For it is no question, in our dispensation, of the destruction of persons, but of principles. There is to be no toleration of them at all -- they are not merely set aside; the world is morally displaced where the testimony is truly received. That is what is brought in in the mystery. In the type the mystery required the overthrow of Hazor, that is, the imperial system. So Paul, I think, had to go over the ground seen here in type. He was experienced in going through death, from his conversion. He tells us before he wrote the second letter to the Corinthians, he had also been down into death; what he calls, "so great a death" (2 Corinthians 1:10). The imprisonment at Jerusalem seems to bring him down into "the valley" (Joshua 8:13), out of which we get

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some wonderful results. There is remarkable power, as we shall see, evidenced in Joshua holding out the javelin so long (verse 26).

Ques. Do you think we may be clear of one point and have judged it, but not another? When Paul calls the leaders of Ephesus, and speaks of the inheritance, he says: "I have coveted the silver or gold or clothing of no one" (Acts 20:33). He was free of that in the service of God.

J.T. I am sure of that -- as over against Achan's sin.

P.L. In the allusion to Christ as having "annulled death, and brought to light life and incorruptibility by the glad tidings" (2 Timothy 1:10) -- is that the power of life seen in Paul as set out here in the type?

J.T. It is brought to light in the javelin, as already noted.

A.M.P. Twice in connection with Ai there is a rising early in the morning; once in facing the iniquity and shame, and the other in taking the city. Is that significant?

J.T. Yes. We have frequently in the Scriptures the thought of rising early, and it is seen pre-eminently in the Lord in rising early on the first day of the week.

P.L. Is there something of the ambush character in 2 Timothy? Timothy is to bring Mark; and then Paul says: "Luke alone is with me" (2 Timothy 4:11); and he remarks as to Onesiphorus visiting him, as if such visits were not frequent. It is a military setting, but the forces are small, a kind of ambush, do you think?

J.T. Just so, the thought of ambush seems to be peculiar to this conquest of Ai; it means that in such circumstances, God veils what He is using. You get the thought earlier, in the hiding of the spies. The ambush means that the enemy is deceived; it may be in a brother, fitted for a certain service,

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but outwardly quite unlikely; yet when the time comes, he is there. What God intends to use is there. The idea of ambush is part of the teaching of the book; it is the concealment of what is of God, in order to gain an advantage.

A.P.T. It speaks in 1 Corinthians of the least esteemed; would that be the idea of an ambush. God might use one not particularly outstanding in the assembly.

J.T. Well, quite so: it is, of course, to honour the assembly. The least esteemed is more likely to have a better judgment than the chief justice: the least esteemed in the assembly; for he is "one of you". There might be much more in him than might appear; for in a condition like Corinth, where man's wisdom prevailed for the moment, one little esteemed might be spiritual. They are enjoined to recognise Stephanas. Why should they have to be enjoined to do that to so valuable a brother? The house of Chloe, she being a woman, would hardly be expected to render such a remarkable service as they did.

Rem. Over against the enemy being deceived, it is said, "we are not ignorant of his thoughts" (2 Corinthians 2:11).

J.T. Quite so: "the spiritual discerns all things, and he is discerned of no one" (1 Corinthians 2:15). The spiritual man is a means, in God's hands, of an ambush. He does not make a show of himself; God can hide things in him, or even hide him.

E.J.McB. There is a great principle in having more in reserve than you have in public.

J.T. That is good. It really corresponds with what we were saying about the ark -- the half measure.

S.R. The man went and hid the treasure he found in the field; does that speak of the ambush?

J.T. It is merely concealment there. The man bought the field so as to have a right to the treasure.

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H.M.S. Is it on the line of "privately to those conspicuous among them" (Galatians 2:2) -- lest the apostle should have run in vain?

J.T. Just so. Had he laid before the distinguished persons in public the gospel he preached, he might have found opposition. Speaking to them privately, he had more opportunity to explain, and they would not regard themselves as committed publicly by anything they might say. If a man commits himself publicly, he is more difficult to get right.

Eu.R. Would you say what is in the mind of God for us in Ai as compared with Jericho, Jericho being exceedingly public and Ai private?

J.T. What we have been saying is that the overthrow of Jericho is the full display of God's power in the testimony before failure occurred. The concealment at Ai is morally in keeping with the condition of Israel. In view of the great failure that had occurred, in which Joshua had his part, he and Israel had to go to the depths again. He had been down into the bed of Jordan, and the "valley" would point to what is, in the way of descent, in keeping with that. So there is no special honour, as it were, it is not victory with personal honour. Honour is attached to other victories, as in chapter 10; but if you are really self-judged, where failure has happened, you are not seeking that; you are content to go down into the valley, and to be with the people by night (chapter 8: 9, 13). The distinguished leader of the people going that way indicates that he is accepting what is morally right, and God knows it. I think it is in that way that we reach the meaning of the javelin here held steadily in Joshua's hand -- not used; it is a symbol of latent power -- there is much more than is used. It is, in a moral way, perhaps, honourable that although Joshua has recourse to so much strategy, it is not because he had not the power. That he is obliged to have recourse

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to so much strategy, is to show that there had been self-confidence; and the power must come in by his going through the principle of death in the valley. The javelin witnesses to latent power.

J.T.S. Do we have something like this when the apostle says: "Do ye look at what concerns appearance?" (2 Corinthians 10: 7) -- and then, later, "we will not boast out of measure" (verse 13)? The power was there nevertheless.

J.T. Quite so. That is really how he meets the opposition at Corinth. Let them say what they would about him, if he came they would find out that power was with him.

J.J. Is not the sending of Timothy to Corinth a strategic movement -- a man of Timothy's qualities?

J.T. I think so: that they might learn in him Paul's ways -- what kind of a man he was.

M.W.B. The failure was the obvious reason of the directions as to the attack on Ai, the deep lying reason being the sin of Achan. What are we to learn from that as to circumstances of failure in assembly matters?

J.T. Well, I think that where appreciation of Christ is waning, the Lord will feel in such circumstances that He is being displaced. Were Christ characteristically in any given company, such failure would not happen. Why should Joshua be insensible to what had happened? He represents really Christ in us; this is dependent on state. The ark is not that, it is the divine standard -- unvarying. Christ in us depends on our state; so that it is, "if Christ be in you" (Romans 8:10). If He be in us, there is a consequence: the "body is dead". The element of pride will not be active, nor any of the other elements of the flesh. I think that is what is seen; Joshua himself was not clear in the matter.

P.C. Would you say a word as to the spoil in

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verse 2, compared with the treasure of the house of Jehovah in chapter 6?

J.T. The verse reads: "And thou shalt do to Ai and to its king as thou didst to Jericho and to its king; only, the spoil thereof and the cattle thereof shall ye take as prey for yourselves".

What is to be noticed is that, as Israel goes on, they take over what is in Canaan. It was promised to Israel. Jericho, I think, represents the world in its essential elements; and only certain items are taken, namely, metals. That being fully understood, we can see how there are other things that in themselves are God's creatures. In Jericho, all seemed to be affected; all is affected by the spirit of the world, save the metals mentioned. As we proceed in the conquest of Canaan, as we may say, it becomes more and more clear that there is what has to be regarded as the creation of God. The gospel is to be preached to all the creation. That is how Mark puts it -- "Go into all the world" (Mark 16:15); that would be Jericho, the moral thing; but creation is another thing. That is, the creatures of God, in themselves, are good. "Every creature of God is good" (1 Timothy 4:4). In certain connections it may be inseparable from the spirit of the world, and cannot be utilised at all, but as the position is clear, we understand what the world is, as seen in Jericho; then we are able to discriminate as to what is of God in His creatures; "For every creature of God is good ... being received with thanksgiving". That is what impresses the mind as you proceed in this book. They took from the cities all that was valuable; for these creatures, although the Canaanites and Amorites had them, were there before. The Canaanites had no right there.

J.T.S. Would the word in Colossians 2:21, "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch", be in contrast with what you have been saying? I was thinking

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of your remark as to discriminating what is of God in His creatures; is there the non-recognition of that in what is said there?

J.T. It is characteristic of the evil combated in Colossians that the creatures of God would be excluded by legality and ceremonialism; whereas the spoil of Ai would mean that things are now clear; creation is in view. Jericho is the world essentially: "Go into all the world", that is the moral system which we cannot touch, but the creation is different; we are to "preach the glad tidings to all the creation" (Mark 16:15). The spoil, therefore, would be what comes in this respect out of the conflict.

H.M.S. Regarding the spoil of Jericho, does not the curse that is pronounced upon the one who touched it, or built the city again, have a voice to us today? "If any one love not the Lord Jesus Christ let him be Anathema Maranatha" (1 Corinthians 16:22).

J.T. There is that which is cursed; the execution of the curse there is put off till the Lord's coming. The rebuilding of Jericho is, of course, the setting up of the world in the assembly; in the public body. That has taken place; and, of course, the curse is about to fall. We know how in the history of Israel it did fall on Hiel. In the rebuilding of the things destroyed the curse is there, although its execution may be deferred.

H.W.S. Would you say a little more as to the metals being put into the treasury, referring to Jericho? Were you referring that to God's principles of government?

J.T. Yes: such as that. I think many of our brethren are defective as to that; they regard the government of the world as that which is not right. The persons may be unconverted, but that does not affect the matter. The principle of government is right; and other such things as that are in themselves right; they are all to be conserved.

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R.W.S. Recovery has in mind the length to which David goes to recover his kingdom by the Euphrates, that river being one of the borders of the inheritance mentioned in the first chapter. I wondered whether, in this day of recovery, we should have in mind the full extent of the inheritance.

J.T. Well, quite so; that would be a matter of the extension of the conquest. What we are dealing with now is Canaan, it is the part over Jordan. The other side was already allotted, at least in part; out of that territory was given the inheritance of the two and a half tribes. Whatever would be done later, would be done from Canaan. The extension to the Euphrates implies increased wealth and power which awaited David; so that he goes all the way, he would leave nothing in the hands of the enemy. However insignificant it might seem, however poor the territory might be, it must be secured.

A.M.H. Would you say a little more as to going into all the world? You say, that is moral and we cannot touch it at all, in contrast to "every creature"?

J.T. I think it fits in with verse 2: "only, the spoil thereof and the cattle thereof shall ye take as prey for yourselves". It is more than the metals, the cattle are particularly mentioned: creatures of God. "Bidding to abstain from meats" (1 Timothy 4:3), is one of the evils that have to be overcome. If we confine ourselves to Jericho, there might be some ground for that, but the commissioning of the disciples in Mark implies that we must consider "the creation". The creation is in God's mind, and the preaching is to men, not characteristically of the world, but as God's creatures; and we have a link with them at once on that ground. We do not regard them as enemies, however bad they may be; initially you regard them as God's creatures, and so are the

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preachers -- "in him we live and move and exist" (Acts 17:28).

A.M.H. As going into all the world, we really challenge the world, but we are viewing the creatures as God's.

J.T. Abstractly they are, man and beast, particularly man, and if you approach them on this line through Christ the Mediator between God and men, you are more likely to get their ear as fellow creatures than viewing them as enemies of God.

E.G. God desires all men to be saved.

J.T. Quite so: men.

E.L.M. With regard to Jonah and Nineveh, God speaks of "much cattle".

J.T. Yes. Jonah preached well to them, but he preached destruction. That kind of preaching will not do now; the gospel is not destruction, it is to the end that men may be secured for God as God's creatures, primarily -- but brought through the gospel into greater things than creation affords.

F.I. Is Joshua further magnified in connection with the sun and moon standing still?

J.T. That is what we must come to next, only I hope we will not forget what we began with as to chapter 8; the going down into the valley; the going over the ground again, and the latent power used with peculiar strategy -- the javelin held out so long by Joshua. So that we come humbly to surround the ark. It is a question of God's power; it is God doing all this in Christ. "Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me" (2 Corinthians 13:3), Paul says; that is the idea. The apostle had the standard of Christ. It is a most important thing not only to have Christ in you as power, but have Him in your mind rightly in an objective way, as the ark. So they surround the ark and take possession of the land on these lines. The stones are there; really,

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they come out of the valley, and they can be written on, so to speak.

Chapter 10 is the greatness of man, as has been remarked. "What is man, that thou rememberest him? or son of man that thou visitest him? Thou ... hast set him over the works of thy hands" (Hebrews 2:6, 7). "A man in Christ" was caught up into the third heaven; an altitude affording an understanding of heaven included in the "all things" that are ours: "Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things coming, all are yours" (1 Corinthians 3:22). The sun, the moon, and the stars -- every item in the vast creation of God is ours; life and death, too. What a triumphant position it is! So here we have a man speaking to the sun in verse 12: "Then spoke Joshua to Jehovah in the day when Jehovah gave up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand still upon Gibeon; And thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon!"

P.L. Would you say the thought of the valley is carried through? There are three in the scriptures read: The valley of Ajalon in chapter 10; Joshua in the valley at Ai; and then the valley of Lebanon in chapter 11: 17.

J.T. Yes; they allude generally to humiliation; the mountains rose, the valleys sank, suggestive of human experience. Valleys also carry the thought of richness of soil, seen in believers who characteristically accept death.

A.N.W. Does the poetic form Joshua uses indicate exultation?

J.T. That is good. One has often thought of poetry -- the penetrating power of spiritual poetry. It is divinely designed, I believe, for the expression of the most sublime features, reaching to Jah, as we get in the first great song of God's people, Exodus 15.

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L.O.L. The last five Psalms refer to the creation, calling upon it to praise Jehovah.

J.T. They fit in here. We have man reaching his place, not arbitrarily, but placed there as in Christ: "What is man ... and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" The question enters into this chapter, I think he is reaching his place from the side of the work of God in him, and I think it alludes here to "a man in Christ". It is the status we have attained, seen in this chapter. The place of man in God's mind is seen supremely in Christ personally.

M.W.B. I was wondering in that connection whether in chapters 5 and 6 there is the steady implied advance from Colossians to Ephesians; then a drop through the sin of Achan; and then the moral recovery suggested in 2 Corinthians until you reach the exaltation of the man in Christ (chapter 10).

J.T. Just so. One never tires of that section of 2 Corinthians; how the apostle was let down in a basket, going down as entering on his service, and then exalted. He carried it in his soul for fourteen years, as far as we know, saying nothing about it, but the greatness was there; a man in Christ.

E.L.M. Is this section explained in the words of the writer? "And there was no day like that before it or after it, that Jehovah hearkened to the voice of a man; for Jehovah fought for Israel" (verse 14). Does that work out in the apostle's ministry?

J.T. Quite so. How many times the voice of a man was hearkened to in Paul's history! How often that voice was heard in heaven! What prayers he speaks of! -- and for others, too. "Pray unceasingly", he exhorts (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Let our voices be heard up there.

A.P.T. He says, "The God and Father of the Lord Jesus knows ... I do not lie" (2 Corinthians 11:31). One who understood all.

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J.T. Quite so: "written in the book of Jasher", the upright.

W.C. Paul prays without ceasing in 2 Timothy 1:3; and the men are to pray in every place (1 Timothy 2:8). Is that the voice of man today?

J.T. Quite so.

J.M. James says as to Elijah, "The fervent supplication of the righteous man has much power" (James 5:16). Elijah comes in in Kings immediately after the rebuilding of Jericho.

J.T. Quite so: after the rebuilding of Jericho by Hiel. Elijah is a man who stands out; we get no previous mention of him at all, but he says to Ahab, there shall be no rain except by my word.

D.L.H. In the sun and moon stayed, is there not a suggestion of the Lord putting down all rule and authority and power?

J.T. Here it is, that the day should be lengthened.

A.J.G. The Lord says, "If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it" (John 14:14). Does that suggest the power in the hands of a man?

J.T. Quite so. It is power in this way. In chapter 8 it is power in the valley, but now as from heaven.

J.J. Does it suggest Christ in His present place as the sun, and the assembly down here in the valley, as it were?

J.T. Well, it is figuratively the lengthening out of the day, this wonderful day or year; now, of course, for the purposes of grace, not judgment.

H.H. Joshua was very conscious of the importance of the conflict, to command the sun and the moon to stand still until the enemy was overcome. Would it also have in view the importance of the conflict at the present time?

J.T. Quite so. It is all in relation to what heaven is doing, for heaven is acting. "And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, -- they were at the descent of Beth-horon, -- that Jehovah cast down

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great stones from heaven;" these are creatures of God, too, being used. Then, it says, "They were more who died with the hailstones than they whom the children of Israel had slain with the sword" (verse 11). "Then spoke Joshua;" as much as to say, We must proceed on that line. Why not use these things? Why not use the sun and moon? He "spoke to Jehovah" about it. And it was "in the day when Jehovah gave up the Amorites before the children of Israel".

Ques. As regards Paul in his move from Corinth to Ephesus -- is the great climax seen at Ephesus in the thought of union?

J.T. Quite so. That is the point as regards Hazor; it says, "And Joshua turned back at that time, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword; for Hazor was in times past the head of all those kingdoms. And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, destroying them utterly: there was not any left to breathe; and he burned Hazor with fire. And all the cities of those kings and all their kings did Joshua take; and he smote them with the edge of the sword, destroying them utterly, as Moses the servant of Jehovah had commanded. Only, all the cities that stood still upon their hills Israel did not burn, save Hazor alone, which Joshua burned" (verses. 10 - 13). It looks to me as if headship is now in view, the headship of Christ; for if man is so great as is seen typically in Joshua, he is surely qualified to be head. But, then, this Hazor, the head of the nations and what he represents, stands in the way; so it is a question, I think, of seeing how the gospel and apostolic power in principle brought down all that. Hazor refers typically to imperial Rome, but today, as seen in the book of Judges, ecclesiastical Rome -- a more difficult matter. There cannot be the working out of headship while this stands in the way. While any

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hostile head stands, and is owned, the headship of Christ cannot be effective. We know how it will work out presently in the man of sin; he will be dealt with as no man has ever been dealt with; cast alive into the lake of fire. He will dispute the rights of Christ in headship.

H.H. All this comes out in Israel's history when their territory was extended to the Euphrates.

J.T. Quite so. Israel became the head of the nations; they were this, we may say, during the reigns of David and Solomon, but through their failure they became the tail.

Rem. It is the assembly that holds Christ as supreme today.

J.T. That is what was reached in Ephesus. From our side the prayer is that we might know, "what the surpassing greatness of his power towards us who believe, according to the working of the might of his strength, in which he wrought in the Christ, in raising him from among the dead, and he set him down at his right hand in the heavenlies, above every principality, and authority and power, and dominion, and every name named, not only in this age, but also in that to come; and has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the assembly, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all" (Ephesians 1:19 - 23). It seems to me that in Joshua 11 we reach the climax of the conflict in the destruction of Hazor.

Ques. In connection with Joshua 8 and the reference to the apostle Paul going to Jerusalem as suggesting the descent into the valley, in Acts 23, when he reached Jerusalem and all the enemies were concentrated against him, and forty men had charged themselves with an oath till Paul was killed, a youth hears of it and saves the great vessel of the testimony.

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Would that suggest the importance of the youth today, in the way of an ambush?

J.T. I am sure that is worthy of consideration, especially as the saints at Jerusalem, who yet occupied an official place, were lending no hand at all.

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"THE POWER THAT WORKETH IN US"

Ephesians 3:20