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The notes of these meetings have been carefully revised, but not by the late Mr. James Taylor himself.


Genesis 22:19; Genesis 24:61 - 65; Genesis 26:7, 8; Genesis 43:16; Deuteronomy 24:5

J.T. The intent is to call attention to these scriptures to show how the Lord reserves a time for occupation with the assembly as His bride; this over against Joseph who is not a man of leisure, but a man of affairs, who would come in at noon in the midst of his work, and we have the reference therefore in Genesis 43 to his readiness to occupy himself with these brothers, including Benjamin, as they came down from Canaan. It is said that he should come home at noon, being occupied as a man of affairs. Verse 16 says "Joseph saw Benjamin with them, and said to the man who was over his house, Bring the men into the house, and slaughter cattle, and make ready; for the men shall eat with me at noon". Now the verse of the first passage was read because it points to the Lord Jesus typically as having gone to heaven. Abraham and the young men who accompanied him went to Beer-sheba. It is said, "And Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba. And Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba". Because the verse does not note that Isaac came with his father to Beer-sheba, the type suggests that Christ has gone to heaven, and his relations with the assembly now are from heaven, and the verses in Genesis 24 speak of Isaac being at Beer-lahai-roi. "Isaac had just returned from Beer-lahai-roi; for he was dwelling in the south country". That is, he is not engaged with anything special, and so he is preoccupied with Rebecca. It says, "Isaac had gone out to meditate in the fields toward the beginning of evening. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, camels were coming", meaning that

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he is occupied not so much with Rebecca as with the presence of the means by which she is carried, as if to remind us that the Lord is concerned as to whether we are being carried as part of the assembly or whether we are moving in relation to the power of nature, or according to human practice, or whether we are dependent on and separated by the Holy Spirit. The passage in chapter 26 only confirms this. Isaac is still seen at leisure, the word is 'dallying' with Rebecca, meaning that it is the time of affection, and the passage in Deuteronomy is to confirm further that the type requires that if a man takes a new wife he shall have a year of leisure. I hope these remarks will be intelligible.

J.T.W. Have you in mind that this covers the whole period of the assembly, or is it the Lord's particular service now?

J.T. I should say it is the Lord's particular service now, while it is, typically, after the death of Israel. He is occupied with the assembly. This, of course, comes out in the period of the Lord's supper, it does not go on constantly, but in the period when the Supper is celebrated, the first day of the week.

J.T.W. As over against other interests He is occupied with?

J.T. Just so, in that it would be particularly worked out in a dispensational sense. He is not sitting on His own throne yet, He is sitting on the Father's throne. He is not ruling the world, nor Israel yet, He is devoted to the assembly, and hence the leisure that is suggested in these passages. Not that the Lord is not occupied with work, other scriptures would show that, but this scripture shows what I am speaking of, and involves an important feature of the truth. It may be that the brethren have not noticed that Isaac did not return from the place of his offering up, in death typically, but it is a fact

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that it is not recorded that he returned with his father and the men to Beer-sheba.

T.B. What are we to understand by that, that Isaac does not return with Abraham?

J.T. Well, the reference would be to the ascension, as spoken of in Luke 24, and Acts 1 and in John 20, and in Mark. The testimony to the ascension is very full, and the assembly is supposed in the typical books and apostolic letters to be involved in the Lord's ascension. She goes up with him. That is to be understood mysteriously, but it is a fact. According to Revelation the man child goes up to heaven and it is intelligible that the assembly goes, too, because she is not in the persecution, she is taken out of the way. He says in Revelation 3 that He will keep us from the great tribulation.

C.E.B. Do we assemble ourselves together to break bread with the fact in mind that the Lord is in heaven?

J.T. The more accurate thought would be that He is rejected here. He is in heaven, it is true, but it is that He is rejected here that should be in our minds. "The stone which they that builded rejected, this has become the corner-stone". (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; see also Psalm 118:22)

Ques. Is it your thought that Rebecca is typical of the assembly in a peculiar way as ministering to the affections of Christ?

J.T. Just so.

Ques. So that He is peculiarly engaged with her in a leisurely way?

J.T. That is a good way to put it, in a leisurely way; hence the word in Genesis 26 (in the Darby Translation) is "dallying" not 'sporting' (as used in the Authorised Version) It is hardly in keeping with the position; the word 'sport' is hardly suitable, but 'dallying' is quite intelligible.

C.E.B. Does dallying convey the idea of union?

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J.T. Just so, and perfect familiarity in the sense of union.

J.C.E. Is this the assembly's position as ascended with Christ or here?

J.T. As ascended with Christ. That is the idea. The position of the assembly now is ascension. We are not only raised with Christ but we are ascended. Colossians speaks of our being raised with Him through faith of the operation of God. That is, a person who is baptised not only goes into the water, but comes out of it, a figure of resurrection, but Ephesians gives you that, and tells us that we are raised up together, and made to sit down together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.

Ques. Had the Lord this in mind in His ministry to Mary Magdalene when He said, "I ascend to my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God"?

J.T. That is just the point. The fact of ascension is not stressed there, but it is simply He would ascend, or rather the truth "I ascend". Not exactly the tense but the fact. It is a fact that He does ascend.

C.E.B. Does the thought of "dallying" convey the idea of responsive affections between Christ and the assembly?

J.T. That is right, and all the liberty and latitude that belongs to the position.

Ques. Should the quickening in Ephesians 2 give us the affections that would take advantage of this leisure time?

J.T. Well, the Philistine king saw this liberty that Isaac had with Rebecca, and that Rebecca had with him, and he discerned the fact she was his wife and not his sister. Now we are in a wealthy position. The word 'spouse' does involve the marital relation, but not all of it, and therefore when Isaac said she was his sister that was a denial of the truth. We are related to Christ in the sense of the wife. The

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marriage of the Lamb has come; the wife has made herself ready, it is a wifely time.

C.E.B. Does this follow on chapter 24, "Isaac led her into his mother Sarah's tent ... and she became his wife, and he loved her"?

J.T. That is just the fact. In chapter 26 he said she was his sister, whereas she was his wife. That is the important thing for us to understand; that is that we are united to Christ now as much as we shall ever be, and hence the possibilities of the assembly service at the present time.

Ques. Is it necessary to understand what is involved in what is said that when the servant said "it is my master", she took a veil and covered herself?

J.T. Well, that was becoming, as if she would say, 'I do not want my beauty to be exposed to others' -- she reserved it for Isaac. That is our suitability. It is said constantly, as in such as Abigail she was a woman of great beauty and good understanding, and so was Rebecca. She is said to be of beauty, her personal appearance is involved.

Rem. She would reserve that for Isaac alone.

J.T. That is what I understand, that is why she took a veil, but what is suggested is that we are not always carried by the Spirit, and that is why I believe the Lord here (Isaac) notes the fact that camels were coming. We might have thought that he saw Rebecca coming, she saw Isaac, but he saw the camels, meaning she was carried by the proper power. Hence all the systems of Christendom are shut out.

Ques. Is it not in measure as we know what it is to be carried by the camels, that we know what it is to see Isaac, and we are prepared to spring off the camels?

J.T. Yet she is perfectly in keeping with the position in her movements and acts, which are in order and suitable and seemly, and the Lord is

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pleased with how she has been carried to Him. There are many who are not carried by the Spirit, but are carried along by creeds and religious systems. Every believer has Him as the gift of God, and should use Him in relation to our approach and journey to Christ.

Rem. This great matter of taking a wife for Isaac began with the father, Abraham, and he made a provision, sending out the camels and so forth.

J.T. That is good, so what we find is the servant -- the chief one of his house, he is not called Eliezer in this chapter, he is just the chief servant of Abraham, and Abraham does not tell him what to do, he takes the camels himself, and is in complete charge of all that his master has. The position is thus very full, and very free from any human reservation and restriction; it is a sphere of freedom, the freedom of the Spirit. The Spirit is typified in the servant, and the camels, and therefore it is a time of liberation. The Spirit is also typified in the well by which Rebecca watered the camels, and the men. The well at Beer-lahai-roi is also a type of the Spirit. It is a very full position of spiritual power, and we should avail ourselves of it, and not be struggling with human systems and money and the like.

A.O. Is it possible in accepting the light we are not carried by the Spirit?

J.T. That is true, sadly true, and so we may be found making the ordinary customs of the brethren just a means of carrying us along, and the power is not there. Paul said he had the power, and that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

Rem. The Lord, speaking to the disciples of the Spirit coming, said, "He shall take of mine and shall shew it unto you". Was that the same thing as what is said of the servant? He takes the camels, without having been told to do so.

J.T. I had been thinking that. There is a peculiar

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liberty that is attached to the position; the Spirit here to serve, He is sent down from heaven, yet He is a divine Person, and He has to be apprehended as a divine Person, and yet serving in obedience.

F.A.W. In verse 61 it emphasises that "they rode upon the camels, and followed the man. And the servant took Rebecca". Is that as being available to the Spirit He takes her on?

J.T. Just so. There is a remarkable amount of latitude in the fact that the man led her, and she followed him. The type carries so much that it suggests the Spirit, and the power of the Spirit to us.

C.E.B. And as following the man she moves in a comely way, thinking of the way in which she springs from the camel and took a veil and veiled herself.

J.T. Like Abigail, who hasted and lighted off her ass. The power of the Spirit is a spring in our souls.

W.J.T. That is contrary to what is found in Christendom.

J.T. That is just the point. We are to be set aside and be in the true light and liberty of this chapter. What is said about Joseph is also important. He came in at noon. He was a man of affairs. The Lord will be a man of affairs presently. God has fixed the day when He will rule the world. He will judge the world, and the Lord will take on the rule of the world, whose right it is. It is His right. The powers that be are of God, and in that position, but only provisionally. And the saints, the assembly, are to be with Him in that rule.

J.M.T. In chapter 22 the suggestion is that Isaac is the ascended one, now in chapter 24 he is dwelling in the south country.

J.T. Well, that is another setting of the position. Although ascended into heaven we cannot say He is always stationary, for He tells us in John 14, "I will not leave you orphans, I am coming to you". That would be involved in what we said; He is not stationary.

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He has gone into heaven, in fact beyond all heavens. There is, indeed, rule in the Lord's present position.

W.W. Is that seen in the Song of Songs? "Behold, he cometh, leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills". Does that suggest the time He has to spend?

J.T. Very good. "I am coming to you" is very full of meaning. He would not leave us dependent upon what the ordinary religious societies depend upon. He is coming for us, too. We have to distinguish between His coming to us as in assembly and at other times, too. 1 Corinthians 15 tells us of the many times in which the Lord appeared to His own, first to Cephas, then to the twelve, then He appeared to about five hundred brethren at once, then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and then to Paul, showing that the Lord has latitude at the present time in the activities of His love.

J.T.W. Are you linking that up with the south country?

J.T. Yes, it is a favourable country, not like the north where things are adverse, everything is favourable in this chapter. You are impressed with the wealth. Abraham disappears and Isaac is called the master in the end. Isaac is all.

T.G. The expression in verse 63, "toward the beginning of evening", is that suggestive of the anticipated time for leisure?

J.T. Yes, but we must not leave Rebecca out of it, as to activity, because verse 61 says, "and Rebecca arose, and her maids, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man". That is to say the feminine side is stressed, not in Rebecca only, but her maids. We have the same thought in Abigail, she had maids, and so it is in the assembly's approach to the Lord. The feminine side is stressed, and this has to be understood in assembly service. It is not

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simply that Rebecca arose, but her maids, and they rode upon the camels. That is to say they also were carried by spiritual power, and they followed the man. And then the servant took Rebecca and went away, meaning he is in charge. The Spirit of God is in charge in certain relations and circumstances. The Spirit Himself at times is supreme, and so in Acts 13 He says, "Separate me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them". That is, the Spirit Himself is acting there, acting divinely, as God, "and having laid their hands on them, they let them go", and they went. And so we have to understand that the Spirit Himself is moving, and is in charge of the position, and so it goes on "Isaac had just returned". He is not doing anything very special. "Isaac had just returned from Beer-lahai-roi; for he was dwelling in the south country. And Isaac had gone out to meditate in the fields toward the beginning of evening", showing the Lord has His own thoughts. He is a divine Person, but He has a mind to meditate in the field toward the beginning of evening, meaning the day had pretty well ended, and then "he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, camels were coming". It is simply camels, not the camels. The Lord is taking in all the power by which we are carried, and the power which Rebecca began with was ten camels, which the servant selected, and they were at her disposal.

Ques. What is suggested in Isaac lifting up his eyes and Rebecca lifting up her eyes?

J.T. All that is to be said in that way is that he lifted up his eyes and saw camels; she lifted up her eyes and saw Isaac. The inference is he is occupied for the moment with the power by which she is carried, and she is occupied with him, which is suitable and seemly.

J.O.S. Would that enter into the way we assemble together?

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J.T. I think so. We begin with the Spirit. I think we begin with ourselves as a matter of fact. "We being assembled to break bread", the scripture says. That is to say, the Lord leaves us, as it were, to meet, and in due course He joins us, but He would think of what we are, and what He has done for us, and made us, and what we are capable of, and He joins us. And so we must think of each other. How valuable we are in the Lord's eyes! As if He would look down from heaven and see us in our way of meeting where we have love enough to be content with each other.

Ques. What does Sarah's tent convey to us?

J.T. It is Israel's position which will be again occupied. At the beginning of the Christian period Sarah's tent was occupied by the disciples. That is to say the Lord went up to heaven, and the disciples returned to Jerusalem, and they carried on for a considerable time. The breaking of bread is never said to be in the temple, but they did other things there. They disappeared, however, and the assembly took its own place. It is through Paul that the assembly claimed its full place, and Corinthians shows that the assembly takes the place of the temple, showing there is the metropolitan position -- for a time the temple -- and this in due course becoming the fixed position of the assembly on earth during the present dispensation.

Ques. Is that in the mind of the Spirit in the expression "Israel of God"?

J.T. Yes, I think so, "our whole twelve tribes". Paul used it, and it went on for a time, but in due course the assembly was recognised, and nothing else, among whom we also are builded together.

W.N. Would verse 65 suggest that the assembly is inquiring as to Christ on the journey?

J.T. Well, it would. "She had said to the servant"; that is what we are doing now; these Bible

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readings are inquiries. We all get instruction by inquiry. It says we are to inquire of the Lord. The Lord will give us understanding, and the Spirit does, He takes of the Lord's things and shows them unto us. The servant here is a type of the Spirit.

S.C. Solomon says, "Who is this that cometh up out of the wilderness?"

J.T. That is the millennial position, I think, in which the assembly fits in beautifully at times, as at the beginning of Acts, until Paul came into view, and he is formally recognised as the minister of the assembly; he has the light of it, and the ministry of reconciliation and the gospel, and he completed the word of God.

T.G. Is it understood that the Lord reserves a time to occupy Himself with the assembly (verse 67), and that the preceding verse suggests the detailed instruction leading up to it?

J.T. I would think so. The servant, as he is called, the Holy Spirit, instructs us, as in John's gospel, it is he that speaks of the Comforter. The Spirit is an active Person to instruct us about Christ. In John 20 we are told the Lord breathed into the disciples and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit". We have to understand that and compare it, and cause it to coincide with Acts 2. John 20 is a pattern of the thing. The Lord breathing into them is a more intimate thought than in Acts 2.

J.C.E. Psalm 45 says, "So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him". Does the thought of worship enter into this matter?

J.T. I would think so, as soon as Christ is recognised as the Master. He is called the master by the servant, "Who is the man that is walking in the fields to meet us? And the servant said, That is my master!" (verse 65). That is, Christ is God. He is

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a divine Person equal with the Father, and John's gospel opens that up to us.

Ques. Does that stress the importance of the marital side in the Supper?

J.T. That is what I was thinking, and what we have in chapter 26 enlarges on it, and in Deuteronomy, which perhaps the brethren may note. "When a man hath taken a new wife". Isaac had just taken a wife. Christ has taken a wife. "He shall not go out with the army, neither shall any kind of business be imposed upon him; he shall be free for his house one year, and shall gladden his wife whom he hath taken". Now I think what we have been saying is seen there. It is called a year, and no doubt it is what could be seen in the beginning, as the Spirit came down -- no conflict, although that comes in in due time, but that is not stressed, it is what Christ has in the assembly after Israel (Sarah) had died.

W.S. You yourself said you linked this more particularly with the first day of the week, rather than the whole.

J.T. Well, it would be any time. The Lord is said to have appeared to the brethren five or six times in 1 Corinthians 15. We cannot say that this is the first day of the week. Some think that it may be mediatorial, that He comes by the Spirit, but that is not the truth, because facts maintained show that He came in a corporal sense in the time of the forty days and after it. We cannot restrict the Lord -- a divine Person -- He may come any time. He came to Paul even with the event recorded in Acts 9.

C.E.B. Have you in mind that we should look for the Lord to come amongst us?

J.T. Well, I would hardly go so far as that. We can hardly expect what was at the beginning, miracles, etc., not in relation to the assembly but the gospel, and therefore the Lord would reserve to Himself His own liberty to come as it suited Him.

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Ques. You would say that He would appear to make His presence felt?

J.T. Yes, hence you would say, "It is the Lord". David said to Abigail, "Blessed be thy discernment, and blessed be thou".

T.G. What is your thought as to Deuteronomy 24? "He shall be free for his house one year, and shall gladden his wife whom he hath taken". Why the house first?

J.T. Well, Christ is the Son over His house; Son over God's house, but still it is His house, too, because the assembly is His. I would say it is the assembly as in the sense of Christ's assembly. He is free for that, and I therefore understand that the Lord's supper refers to Christ alone.

T.G. Would it be right to suggest that the Lord is doing His very best with the house for suitable circumstances for the wife?

J.T. Just so, to make it suitable for her, she has part in it.

W.J.T. So the word in Genesis 24 is "Isaac was comforted", and here the wife is gladdened.

J.T. The Lord is not now hampered with any thought of Israel, she is defunct, she is dead. The fact is she is dead for the moment. Paul formally separated himself from the Jews in Acts 19, and finally in Acts 28. "Be it known to you therefore, that this salvation of God has been sent to the nations; they also will hear it", as if the Jews were given up. So that the Lord is devoted to His own house, and I think Joseph is a type of the Lord in that sense; Christ among the Gentiles. The epistle to the Colossians is another suggestion of what He has among the Gentiles.

F.A.W. It is the Supper as given to Paul. Would "I received from the Lord", bear on this point?

J.T. It does. It refers to Christ, it is the Lord's

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supper, not the Father's supper, it is the Lord's supper, and all that stands related to it.

Ques. Where would you suggest, in taking the Lord's supper, this question of "dallying" would come between Christ and the assembly after the breaking of bread, or at the breaking of bread? Ecclesiastes says there is a time for everything, "a time to embrace" and "a time to love". (Ecclesiastes 3:5, 8)

J.T. Yes, and so the Lord's supper is a time of love, hence we have the Lord saying "my brethren". "Go to my brethren". The thought of the Father came in in due course, but let us give plenty of time for the dallying, for it is the Lord's own part with the assembly, what she is to Him and what she is for ever. There is still a tendency to hasten on to the Father. What we are saying is needed, in some places very much, in others not so. The Lord has to have His rights in the assembly, and it is the first place. He is said to be called the master, and so it is that we are said to be priests of the Christ.

Ques. If the Lord has His place in the way in which you are speaking, at the Supper, would we be led rightly to the Father, and there would not be the abruptness with which we sometimes turn?

J.T. Yes, I think that is good, and this question of priesthood implies intelligence in what we are doing. If we are abrupt in turning away from the Lord at the Supper we may do violence to the position. I am not saying it is so, but we may. The priests would correct all that. "The priest's lips should keep knowledge, and at his mouth they seek the law", and as I have just remarked, we are said to be priests unto Christ as well as unto God.

J.T.W. We are to give Him a greater place in the economy and in the service, that is Revelation 20.

J.T. It would do us all good to read it.

J.T.W. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection on such the second death hath

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no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:6).

J.T. Well, these are facts. It gives the Messiah the full divine place in the service. Other scriptures corroborate that. "He is thy Lord", for instance, "worship thou him".

W.W. It is the same in Ephesians as to the wife reverencing her husband in all.

J.T. It is, and so "I speak as to Christ and as to the assembly", as though Paul made much of the speaking. What he would be concerned about is Christ and the assembly.

Ques. Would this matter of worship come out in the case of Abigail, as seen in the way in which she spoke to David; very much on the line of worship, and as "my lord"?

J.T. Quite so, and what is to be said in addition is that in 1 Samuel 25 which speaks of Abigail and David it contemplates not only Christ in relation with the assembly, but the elder brethren, those who rule in the assembly, and who may not be always right, because David drops from the level of the type of Christ in his behaviour towards Nabal. He has to change his mind about it. Although the types help us, sometimes they fail us, but we can discern where. The brethren may drop to the level of ordinary brethren, from the full level of the position of Christ as Head of the assembly. It is a remarkable thing that Abigail is chosen to bring that out, and she becomes quite settled in the matter, and David comes to her side, and recognises her discernment. "Blessed be thy discernment, and blessed be thou". She was blessed in his eyes.

J.O.S. Does love and intelligence enter into priesthood?

J.T. Well, I think so, and so priesthood in Exodus is not attributed to Aaron and his sons until love is displayed, is plainly shown. It shows that priesthood

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is dependent on love; love being the side emphasised, so that you do not get priesthood applied to Aaron and his sons until Exodus 28, after love has been displayed, plainly shown, by the Hebrew servant. Probably that is the explanation of so much hesitancy and slowness and confusion because love is not ready -- the priests are not ready.

Ques. Is that why you linked the thought of Joseph's activities with his brethren and Isaac's leisure with his wife?

J.T. Well, he was serving them. When we spoke of leisure we applied it entirely to Isaac. Joseph is not that. Joseph is a great server, we can see that in other settings, whereas Isaac is not seen in that sense at all in the beginning. It is a question of latitude and liberty with dallying between Christ and the assembly in this dispensation. Joseph is serving his brethren. Pharaoh is said to have given him a name by which he is intended to be a deliverer of the world. He is another type of a man of affairs, of great things.

J.T.W. He could just come home at noon, whereas the Lord has plenty of time.

J.T. Exactly, He would afford enough time for his brethren.

T.G. It is the appreciation of Christ serving us in this way, the leisure, the restful, serene conditions.

J.T. Yes, I think so. We will never serve overtime to get the world's esteem on a Lord's day. If we are serving for money we will never get to the dallying point of which we have been speaking. The idea of a Sabbath is a prime idea in the scripture. The brethren so much need time in divine service, not to be in a hurry to get to it, but to be there leisurely. "In his shadow have I rapture and sit down".

T.G. Would not that fill out the periods of silence with the holiness that becomes the house of God, as well as the power?

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J.T. Yes, you see the time is so valuable that it must be rightly spent. The priests need time. Time is needed, and they know what to do. This is a great matter amongst us, to know what to do.

J.O.S. Would a word early in the meeting help in this matter of leisure?

J.T. I think it does, it sets the minds of the brethren at rest. The Lord's supper is a matter of the mind at first.

C.E.B. Joseph would be a man of great activities in the famine periods, and he had a wife and children, that is the whole idea of what is marital and sonship is involved.

J.T. I think that is good, he has a wife and two children, and they got names that indicate that. That is seen in chapter 41. It says, "And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah, and gave him as wife Asnath the daughter of Potipherah, the priest in On, and Joseph went out over the land of Egypt". He was a man of affairs, and later on it says, "And to Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asnath the daughter of Potipherah the priest in On bore to him. And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh" -- forgetting his toil -- "and the name of the second he called Ephraim" -- double fruitfulness, "For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction". That is most applicable to what we are saying. It indicates another side of Christ's position amongst the Gentiles, what He is rendering amongst the Gentiles.

J.O.S. Like John 4.

J.T. Just so. She reinforces the testimony of Christ as the Saviour of the world. Very good.

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2 Thessalonians 2:5 - 8; Matthew 16:15 - 19; John 20:21 - 23

I wish to speak at this time, dear brethren, about restraint and liberty, making it, as it were, a dual subject; and also added to that, the means of accomplishing restraint, and the means of accomplishing liberty. The subject will be divided up in a threefold manner, firstly, political restraint involving the government of the world, involving too the rule of Christ in the world, a sure guarantee of the restraint of evil, and the liberty of good. Secondly, the restraint in the service of God, through the personnel employed by Him, involving apostolic power and skill. Thirdly, collective restraint, or I should say, firstly collective liberty afforded through collective means, and then restraint afforded through collective restraint.

The first point is obvious; it occurs only in the second letter to the Thessalonians. Second apostolic letters are peculiar, and are usually to meet conditions arising immediately, which had not been arrived at in the first letters. The same applies to the gospel of Luke, which did not fill out what the writer had in mind, at least, according to his judgment; but afterwards he was helped in filling it out. Heaven knew; Luke was a servant, and heaven took him on again for a great service in writing to the same servant Theophilus, thinking that he would be gracious in looking into the matter of the truth of Christianity. So that second letters, such as this second epistle to the Thessalonians, are peculiar; the first was the proclamation of the gospel and the loveliness of the Thessalonian assembly, for the idea of the word 'assembly' had come into use. Until Acts 14 the metropolitan idea had prevailed and was thought

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right and useful. In Acts 9:31, the word 'assemblies' comes in, though it is disputed by some, that the single thought was still prevailing. It would seem so, as in Acts 18:22 Paul went to Caesarea, and then it says he went up, and "saluted the assembly", as if it was the only one. But the plural thought remains till now, and evidently love enters into it, and this is of advantage to the ministers. The Lord was establishing garrisons, as David did; in establishing His empire He has set up garrisons, and placed the authority in local assemblies, and the saints prove the benefit of them. So it is these second epistles are very instructive. But here the first is so, even more than the second, because the first deals with the attractiveness of the company at Thessalonica, as if God rested on the thought of the Thessalonians, young and fresh and most attractive, and obedient as well. They had "become imitators of the assemblies of God which are in Judaea in Christ Jesus". (1 Thessalonians 2:14); they followed the way, the order of the assembly set out in that section, "the assemblies of God which are in Judaea in Christ Jesus". The assembly of Thessalonians is one of the finest you can get, especially because it is "in God the Father". The second letter is to warn and instruct the young assembly as to the coming of the Lord, and the coming in of the antichrist, or rather, of the man of sin. It all turns on the means of meeting the conditions from which the assembly was formed; it was early, but not one of the first. Jerusalem was first, then the assemblies in Judaea, then in Syria.

But "the man of sin" (verse 3) is called in verse 7 "the mystery of lawlessness", not any particular person, or empire, or even the Roman Empire, but a mystery, that is something that was working by the enemy against the truth of the assembly. Now that mystery exists today; it has many more ramifications than previously, and it is now steeped in sin;

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all its ramifications working to that effect. It becomes us who"call upon the Lord", according to 2 Timothy 2:22, to enquire as to this matter, as to how it is to be met. We all need to understand what it is; though the antichrist, as yet, is not seen; in Paul's mind it is more the 'anti-God'. It is working still, a mystery. We all need to understand that word, "the mystery of piety is great. God has been manifested in flesh, has been justified in the Spirit, has appeared to angels, has been preached among the nations, has been believed on in the world, has been received up in glory" (1 Timothy 3:16); that is the truth; it is a combination of words, almost poetic words, unfolding the deity of God, and piety, too, to call attention to the need to be pious, hence it is "the mystery of piety". Anyone who understands the mystery of piety has something about him that others do not know: "And confessedly the mystery of piety is great", and the greatness is apparent. And so the man of sin is called "the mystery of lawlessness". The intent is not to enlarge any more upon it, but to add the corrective, it is being restrained; that such a thing as that is being restrained, and the Holy Spirit is here to help us to keep ourselves free of that iniquity. There is the power of the Holy Spirit working in us, "greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4), and that great Person is the Holy Spirit. We are to cultivate godliness and piety and assembly service, and not to forsake "the assembling of ourselves together, as the custom is with some", Hebrews 10:25. This awful thing is still current after these eighteen hundred years, all working against the truth of the assembly, which is growing and is supported in the sense of piety, the mystery of piety; it is one thing, and it produces the mystery of the assembly, which is a greater thing. How great a thing is glory to God "in the assembly in Christ

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Jesus", Ephesians 3:21. It means enjoying it and being in it to the glory of God.

That is the first point, and the second is the passage read in Matthew 16. When I speak of persons, I cannot but think of the twelve apostles; they are primary; there were the things as to which the Lord loved to go over the ground with them, as to who they were that He had in His mind, not one more than another. The number twelve has administration in mind, and they were to be the great administrators. So Peter is selected, the Lord at times calling attention to him. The twelve did not discern what an instrument the devil had in Judas. It is what we read this afternoon as to "the darnel of the field", (Matthew 13:36) -- "the sons of the evil one", a terrible thing; sons that oppose Christ are the progeny of the devil, not just a demon, such is the character of the wickedness we have to deal with. The sons of the kingdom were copied or imitated, just as Moses and Aaron were imitated, and so it is that such persons are devils this is not to occupy you with evil, but that you should be acquainted with it. But I am speaking of the personnel, that of the twelve, and Peter's selection; not here primarily, when the Lord had seen him fishing; that is not what I am speaking of here, but now as being appointed an administrator, and having the keys, the custody, of the kingdom of the heavens it is said of him, "first, Simon, who was called Peter" (Matthew 10:2), so that he becomes a most interesting person, especially in the maintenance of good against evil. There is the release of good, the deliverance of good, to meet the evil. Peter was in that office, and he becomes a most interesting occupation, not with his failures, we have no time for that But I want the brethren to see this idea of restraint; that we have a weapon called 'good', with which to overcome evil. We all recall the incident on the holy mount, in Peter's glorious ministry, but there is one

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thing the brethren may notice, that though he had this remarkable revelation, and spoke as he did here, he never spoke of it himself but once; he never uses the thought involved in it until he is about to die, that was in his second letter. It is to seek to show how we have the means of keeping things; "Keep", says Paul, "by the Holy Spirit which dwells in us, the good deposit entrusted", 2 Timothy 1:14. The Lord would have us keep this most precious thing. Paul kept his item in 2 Corinthians 12 for fourteen years how long Peter kept his, we do not know; which shows that we do not want to be resting unduly on one point of levitical service. There are levitical rules; that is, we are to learn to say what we are given of the Lord to say; it will keep; and it will come out, bringing in those thoughts, even when it does come; so Peter's matter came out in his second epistle, on the holy mount, from God as to His Son. Paul had the commission of the Son (Galatians 1:16), and of Christ "among the nations" (Colossians 1:27); he had the knowledge of the Sonship of Christ; his first preaching was on that (Acts 9:20), bringing to us in these modern times what perhaps our earlier brethren did not know. I urge the brethren to keep to the full thought of the Sonship of Christ, "God ... was pleased to reveal his Son in me", Galatians 1:15, 16. It was revealed to Peter, but to Paul it was a closer thing. We shall be there in the full thought of son-ship. Peter used his knowledge beautifully, but Paul even more so. The dispensation of sonship is the dispensation of the Spirit. It shines especially in Paul's ministry, "the Son of God, who has loved me and given himself for me", (Galatians 2:20); He was endeared to the heart of Paul. The thought of Peter enters into what I am saying as to binding and loosing, "And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of the heavens; and whatsoever thou mayest bind upon the earth shall be bound in the heavens; and whatsoever

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thou mayest loose on the earth shall be loosed in the heavens" (verse 19). The Lord gave that to Peter, not even to Paul, though he does similar things; he binds people, and looses them, but he is not given the keys of the kingdom, though he did his work well. Peter brings this forward as he is about to put off his tabernacle, a thing that comes very near to us who are older; but we feel He is coming; the Lord says it to His bondman John, and hundreds and hundreds of years have elapsed because He has waited for us. We are all bound up in the Spirit; and let us wait on others, not that any should perish, but "that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth", 1 Timothy 2:4. The work of the gospel is a prime work, "for it is woe to me if I should not announce the glad tidings", 1 Corinthians 9:16. It is the time of the gospel; the work is being done, not in any profession, but let us each see to it that we perfect the work, not in any doctrinal sense, or creed of any system, but in Christ Jesus; that is where the perfection is. So to finish as to Peter, and what I had to say. How he must have had this thought before him, this lovely finish, "but having been eyewitnesses of his majesty", how he would delight in that word, for he loved the Lord; so he says (2 Peter 1:17), "This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight; and this voice we heard"; it was the Father's voice; a fine thought in Peter's mind as he was about to depart, to put off his tabernacle, to be martyred, "another shall gird thee, and bring thee where thou dost not desire" (John 21:18); even if Peter did not seek it, he valued the privilege the Lord gave him of being a martyr. Now thirdly, in John 20, we have, not the binding, but the remitting; the Lord gives it to them as He breathed on them, He is going to commission them; it was a peculiar commission, and it has come down to us; it was not apostolic, it is for disciples (and if

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we are anything spiritually, we are this!) to be in the power to remit sins, and surely we should be thankful to do so if we can; "whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted to them; whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained". There is nothing else, no conditions beyond that; the Lord says He is trusting them to act faithfully in His absence, because there is so much of the committing of sins, even in us who break bread, who have all this privilege, there is so much of this committing sins. But our great High Priest is above, and the Holy Spirit is here, if there is anyone who needs forgiveness, any who are not growing in the truth, the Lord at the top will inaugurate it for you, so that "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness", 1 John 1:9. Well, there is the confession and the cleansing, the outcome of the Lord's own great service; and then we have the great High Priest above, and not only the High Priest, but we have Him as "the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 2:2); it is the great work of redemption, so that it is possible to have forgiveness because of His death. So in our verse it reads (John 20:23), "whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted to them; whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained". Now forgiveness must be touched on for a moment; it is a matter of the Lord's mind, and He is delegating it now, such forgiveness, to those who are saints, that the fellowship should be kept pure. If sins are committed, then there is forgiveness and cleansing. It all follows what He said through Mary of Magdala, of whom it says, "Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out", Luke 8:2. For in verse 21 He says, "as the Father sent me forth, I also send you"; He is speaking to His disciples as having already been told the message through Mary, involving that they were great morally; so He breathed into them the Holy

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Spirit, in pattern, not the truth as at Pentecost, but He is showing them how intimate He is with them, so that the truth of the dispensation can go on. There must be the confession of committed sins, and then the cleansing. The commission was to remit sins; how can we be together in the fellowship and have love amongst ourselves unless there is this matter of forgiveness, for in remitting there is no more consciousness of it in the fellowship? It is in this passage these disciples are like us all, having moral authority to forgive sins; to confess them, but more, a commission granted by the Lord to forgive and remit sins. The fellowship thus goes on to the end as these things are looked after. If there is the remission, there is also the retention of sins; we cannot go on with people who will not judge themselves, for as appropriating each other, we are to join with each other in dealing with sin.

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Acts 20:4 - 12

J.T. What is in mind is the need of life in this passage; it is not the main subject, but the leading subject. Much is made of the boy being brought away "alive", and they were no little comforted. The thought is not to enlarge on the Lord's supper, but to show the need of life in the celebration of it. The young who seek fellowship are in mind, whether they are living. The first epistle to Corinthians brings in the Lord's supper, and the second epistle has the same thought in mind, but links up the thought of life with it. Hezekiah says, "The living, the living, he shall praise thee" (Isaiah 38:19); so that the idea here is remarkable, and how it happened, and it has to be considered as needed to fill out the subject and make the Lord's supper what it should be in life and enjoyment. This chapter, it might be said, is the central chapter in this book. The truth rises till Paul comes to Ephesus in chapter 19, and then in this chapter he sends for the Ephesian elders because of his desire to speak to them. Paul had gone up to Jerusalem after his visit to Athens and Corinth, and "saluted the assembly" (Acts 18:22), and returning by "the upper districts" (Acts 19:1), shows how the Lord's supper is on the 'up-line', the line of life; but the twelve men at Ephesus were void of the Spirit, and undoubtedly this enters into this chapter, and indicates how essential the Spirit is, especially at the Lord's supper.

Ques. Is life in energy seen in Paul in descending and enfolding the boy in his arms and taking him up to his own level?

J.T. Yes, "for his life is in him", it says; it

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may mean 'soul', in keeping with Elijah's great anxiety as to the boy in the house in 1 Kings 17, how he prays, "Jehovah, my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again!" (verse 21).

Ques. Is life seen in energy?

J.T. Yes, especially in Paul. The word 'descending' is very remarkable; the youth "fell from the third story down to the bottom, and was taken up dead. But Paul descending fell upon him, and enfolding him in his arms, said, Be not troubled, for his life is in him. And having gone up, and having broken the bread, and eaten, and having long spoken until daybreak, so he went away. And they brought away the boy alive, and were no little comforted". The energy is in Paul, in keeping with the whole position here; it is apostolic ministry.

Ques. In Acts 16:7, 8, it refers to "the Spirit of Jesus" there; does it then show that Troas is the focal point?

J.T. Just so; the Lord orders things with a view to an end, even in a combination of circumstances, so that the Spirit preventing Paul had an end in mind which is seen in the next verse, "There was a certain Macedonian man, standing and beseeching him, and saying, Pass over into Macedonia and help us. And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go forth to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to announce to them the glad tidings" (verses 9, 10); the end is no doubt Europe, for the working out of the truth of the assembly. So that all the previous history of Europe comes into this, the thought of 'spreading' in Japheth (Genesis 5:32); that is as clear as it can be from the sequel. So the Lord's supper appearing in this particular chapter is undoubtedly to link up these matters. Verse 4 links on Paul's work, his own labours in these representatives; their localities are given; they are the produce of Paul's labours, and a living state of things is in

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mind. There were seven of them, from different areas where Paul had worked. Here we see how life and light go together; it speaks of, "many lights in the upper room where we were assembled".

Ques. Is the Supper a time for feelings?

J.T. Yes; someone said as to America, 'the birds have no song and the men have no souls!' Maybe it is so; our souls are called into the matter.

Ques. Does the Supper pave the way for Paul to descend and enfold him in his arms?

J.T. Yes; there are no accidents in the divine record; all is to a definite end. Even though the Lord's supper is mentioned here towards the end of the book, it is mentioned in Acts 2:42, and again in verse 46, where it says, "and breaking bread in the house"; the breaking of bread was removed from the temple, indicating that external religion is of no account in the Lord's supper.

Rem. Mary puts soul and spirit together.

J.T. Yes; Elizabeth and Mary and Zacharias furnish wonderful examples of priesthood in Luke's gospel; it is essential for the Lord's supper, we are priests unto Christ as well as priests unto God. It is remarkable how these three at the opening of Luke's gospel pave the way, not for formal priesthood as Zacharias had been in, to carry on the divine service; firstly we have Elizabeth, and then Mary, as you quoted; her soul and spirit are in it, and her intelligence too; she is an intelligent priest; and so was Zacharias as time went on, for when asked what the child's name is to be, he says, "John is his name", and then he became a real priest; and that is what is needed so much.

Rem. The seven named men are Gentiles.

J.T. It illustrates Paul's doctrine, because he was apostle of the nations, and they accompanied him here, and no doubt the reference to lights is to them.

Ques. Are we priests of Christ at the Supper?

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J.T. Yes, "for the priest's lips should keep knowledge", Malachi 2:7.

Ques. Would the twelve men at Ephesus not having the Spirit, be constituted priests as having the Holy Spirit?

J.T. Yes; Peter says so, "yourselves also ... a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ".

Ques. Would "we being assembled" be an evidence of life?

J.T. The word 'assembled' is not in the Authorised Version in verses 7 and 8, but it was that word as set out in the Lord Himself in Acts 1:4, where it says, "and, being assembled with them", to indicate to them how to assemble. We do "gather together", but that is not "assembling", for that is a greater thought, leading to the assembly in function.

Ques. Was it necessary that Eutychus was brought to life before they could break bread?

J.T. Paul saw that things were not right there.

Ques. Do we see the importance of time in the references to "five days", and "seven days" and finally in "the first day of the week"?

J.T. It was in Paul's mind. You can see in a group of brethren, as here, how order was in God's mind. It is current now, and has been a burning question, this order of the Supper, how life enters into it; it is a living state of things.

Ques. Would "not distinguishing the body" (1 Corinthians 11:29) be connected with Eutychus?

J.T. Yes, exactly; the direct discipline of God was invoked to meet the situation. Paul spoke most decidedly of their ways in the assembly; "But in prescribing to you on this which I now enter on, I do not praise, namely that ye come together, not for the better, but for the worse ... . For each one in eating takes his own supper before others, and one is hungry and another drinks to excess", 1 Corinthians 11:17, 21. Then

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he goes on to tell us what he "received from the Lord" (verse 23), showing what irregularities there were; so we can well account for the long discourse in Acts 20.

Rem. It would be in contrast to what you spoke of this morning as to their order in Colosse?

J.T. It was just that, and at Corinth it was the very opposite. We are not told what Paul said here. The brethren were comforted as having the living boy. The doctrine is to be followed and put into practice.

Ques. Do we see the direct discipline of the Lord in "On this account many among you are weak and infirm, and a good many are fallen asleep" (verse 30)?

J.T. I am not sure whether it is the Lord's hand, or God's; but it is plainly stated there, that this matter is taken up. Chapter 10 gives us the public order, and chapter 11 the inward side, involving the severe discipline of God that fell on this company because of the irregularities there. "On this account many among you are weak and infirm, and a good many are fallen asleep. But if we judged ourselves, so were we not judged. But being judged, we are disciplined of the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world" (verses 30 - 32). It seems to me very plain that the judgment is direct from the Lord; it is very severe, even to death.

Ques. Would the conditions in Eutychus before he was raised be like those in Christendom?

J.T. I think that is right; we touched on it a little yesterday. There was not much to be seen, but it is the real thing, the work of God; to get at it is the thing; "for his life is in him"; he would not have been looking out of the window if he were living.

Rem. So Paul's service in verse 10 is like the Lord's in John 13.

J.T. Just so; it is very much like the Lord's own service, "Unless I wash thee, thou hast not part with me", John 13:8.

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Ques. Why do we have the boy's name given?

J.T. It is in keeping with the divine way that what is of God is to be named, as in the creation. Adam was intelligent enough and named the animals, and so it is now; if a brother or a sister, let us find out their name.

Ques. Does this matter of naming things promote the living results?

J.T. Very good, and in keeping with what I am saying. The Lord takes the place of the last Adam; so He names Peter, "thou shalt be called Cephas", John 1:42. He was a person worth naming.

Ques. Is the basic work there, and the active energy of the Spirit enters into the matter now?

J.T. That is a very good suggestion and brings up the matter of Luke's second treatise, because it is a question of personality, and "Jesus began both to do and to teach" (Acts 1:1), brings up the work of God, what is done firstly, and then teaching based on it. In Luke 11 the Lord was praying, and one of His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray; the teaching leads up to the Father and His giving "the Holy Spirit to them that ask him" (verse 13). The Lord had worked before the Holy Spirit came, so He left it to see how the work of God in itself will act, so that the Spirit can be attached to it, and bring it into the assembly. According to Luke's statement in Acts 1:3 He was with them "during forty days", because they needed more instruction; it can be seen that according to Mark He goes up into heaven, and as far as the words go He went up at once. So when Peter stood up in Acts 1:15, how many names were there! There were "about a hundred and twenty" names; each had distinction; the work of God had made them that. Peter stood up and recounted as to Judas, and then that there was a missing apostle, and cites many things from the Psalms, showing how intelligent he was because the

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Lord Jesus had Himself "assembled with them"; this is clearly shown. The Lord was pleased with the progress they were making before the Spirit came. The brethren should see that young people have the Holy Spirit before they break bread in order to have their affections right for the assembly.

Ques. Would Eliezer and Rebecca and the camels in Genesis 24 be seen in this?

J.T. Eliezer's name is not mentioned in Genesis 24; it is said "the man was astonished at her" (verse 21) he was a type of the Spirit, and so are the camels; there are many thoughts and much to indicate that the Spirit was to come. Rebecca answers exactly to the servant's prayer, and not only so, but gave drink to him and all his camels. It shows that she was not only a beautiful person, but a worker, too, to give drink to all those camels. Then there is this wonderment of the Spirit, too, not to belittle the Spirit at all, but how He has taken the place of the servant! New birth is one thing, but life by the Spirit is another thing.

Rem. "Let thy work appear unto thy servants", Psalm 90:16.

J.T. Quite so.

Ques. Would there be this basic work in Cornelius in Acts 10?

J.T. Yes; he had not the Spirit, but was building up a memorial in heaven.

Ques. Would our part in the Supper in life be patterned after the Lord in Revelation 1:17, "I am the first and the last, and the living one"? Should we be ready to move with Him?

J.T. Well, just that. Peter says in Acts 1:21, "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", those movements, you mean? In John 14:18 He says, "I will not leave you orphans, I am coming to you".

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Ques. Would "the third story" indicate a high level spiritually?

J.T. Yes; it would be from heaven: "This is the bread which has come down out of heaven. Not as the fathers ate and died: he that eats this bread shall live for ever" (John 6:58); but there was the downward move with the boy.

Ques. Would the Holy Spirit enable us to distinguish the body and would He link on with the disciplinary action?

J.T. "Not distinguishing" the Lord's own body in the Supper should be worked out in the spiritual body.

Rem. "The youths of the children of Israel"were available in a priestly sense (Exodus 24:5).

J.T. Yes, they were the priests; not the official priests, because Aaron was not called a priest until Exodus 28:1. We have to wait for the full thought of priest till after the Hebrew servant. "Aaron and his sons" means that they know what to do; the thought of love has been brought in among us by Him.

Rem. Paul expressed love in enfolding Eutychus.

J.T. He would indeed. Someone has called the Corinthian epistle 'the picture on the wall'; there is no life there; and so it is, life cannot be developed there; they are just children, but he wants men. Chapter 13 is the abstract thought of love, but not worked out in persons; the Lord wants the loveliness of persons.

Ques. So would 2 Corinthians 8 be like life working in the assembly?

J.T. Yes; the second epistle is based on life; the first is not that. It helps us to compare the two epistles.

Ques. Do we need spiritual sensibilities?

J.T. I think so; a boy is more alive under those circumstances; boys do not usually bring out comfort in these things.

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Ques. Would living conditions be seen in the prison at Philippi?

J.T. The basis for love working out was seen there, Paul and Silas preached the word of the Lord.

Ques. What does Paul's embrace involve practically for us?

J.T. It is what he could do. He enfolded him in his arms; the human body is calculated to express warmth. It looks as if Paul's statement in verse 10 was literal, whereas the soul of the boy had gone, and he labours for its return.

Rem. "And they all wept sore" (verse 37) would be the answer to Paul's embrace.

J.T. It is a love chapter.

Ques. Is what is maternal seen in Paul?

J.T. Yes; and paternal, too, for they had not many fathers, so he was doing it.

Ques. Is the promotion of life in individuals a necessary part of the care of the assembly?

J.T. Both are true.

Ques. As to priestly service, would Leviticus 8:36 apply? "And Aaron and his sons did all things that Jehovah had commanded by the hand of Moses".

J.T. Very good. I believe the use of the word 'boy' is significant; there is another generation needed, and that is why Paul had to discourse and speak at such length. Verse 9 reads, "And a certain youth, by name Eutychus, sitting at the window opening, overpowered by deep sleep, while Paul discoursed very much at length, having been overpowered by the sleep, fell from the third story down to the bottom, and was taken up dead". It is left with us to decide whether there was not a low state at Troas, and these seven men, the result of Paul's ministry, are left to work it out; for a serious occasion took place, and in addition to Paul's discourse in verse 7, we have something like what he said in 1 Corinthians 11:30, "On this account many among

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you are weak and infirm, and a good many are fallen asleep. But if we judged ourselves, so were we not judged. But being judged, we are disciplined of the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world". He says, as it were, you can see what is happening, how many are weak and infirm, and a good many are fallen asleep; he had to speak so long, and leave the matter; he must leave it, and count on God for better conditions; the boy is left as a witness to the power of apostolic ministry.

Ques. Is paying attention therefore much needed?

J.T. Yes; the thing was so serious.

Ques. Are we to have the records in the gospels as to the Lord's supper in our minds, but we are to be guided in what we do by Paul?

J.T. Paul's is the last word, and if we are to get at the truth of the Lord's supper, we are to get it from the last word from heaven, and then seek to see why there are apparent discrepancies in the accounts, as to remission of sins and other matters. We must consider these things, and bear in mind that Paul has the ministry of the glad tidings and the ministry of the assembly, and he completed the word of God; well, we are at the fountain-head! Luther and the other sects were baffled by the ministry of the glad tidings and by the ministry of the assembly as beginning with Paul; they never speak of Paul, but usually of Matthew.

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Exodus 2:15 - 22; Exodus 18:19 - 12

J.T. The word, dear brethren, is Christ and the assembly, but in the sense of His marital relations. These take varied forms in the types, seven at least being in mind, so that there is variety, and now it is thought that we should look at Moses as a type of Christ in His marital relations; we should therefore read from Exodus.

The teaching as to the assembly is linked up typically in large measure by the histories of the types of Christ in His marital relations. As He is considered thus, the feminine types of the assembly found in the Old Testament will, of course, come under review. This is not the thought now, but simply to think of Moses in this relation; but in order to understand Moses rightly in this sense, it is needful to link on the earlier types so that we may see the order entering into them, and how Christ is seen in His varied perfections as the Husband, as we may say, of the assembly. Firstly, Adam brings before us intelligence, for it is in connection with his intelligence that Eve is brought in. He had named the animals, Jehovah bringing them to Adam to see what he would call them. Now as the woman is brought to him, the remarks he makes can be transferred to the assembly: "This time", he says, alluding to the other times when he gave names, "This time it is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: this shall be called Woman, because this was taken out of a man". There is intelligence in the naming.

Then in Isaac, among many other things there is the feature of leisure which marks him as Rebecca draws near. He is seen coming from the well Lahai-roi

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-- indeed, it is a matter of coming and going, as if that well was in his mind, pointing to the Spirit in view of all that should follow. He is also seen meditating in the field, and then he sees camels coming, alluding to the power by which she was carried, anti-typically the power of the Holy Spirit by which we are carried to Christ. In a later chapter Isaac is seen dallying with Rebecca, all pointing to the idea of leisure in Christ's relations with the assembly.

Then Joseph, who is also a type of Christ in these matters, is seen as a man of great affairs, as married. According to Deuteronomy 24:5 a man who took a wife was allowed a year off, which means that the Lord now, instead of ruling the nations and administering publicly, is occupied with the assembly according to His love for it, for Christ loved the assembly, we are told; but Joseph is a man of great affairs, and he is made head of everything in Egypt except Pharaoh himself. So that the Lord is now to be understood in His marital relations as having great matters on hand, and successfully administering everything. If he had to meet his brothers, particularly Benjamin, it is at noon, as it were, lunch-time.

Now, as remarked, we are linking up Moses with these types, that we may see in him what feature of Christ is coming out at the present time; and it is to be noted that Zipporah comes in first. Moses also is seen in relation to a well as she comes into view.

Ques. What great feature does Zipporah set forth?

J.T. It is what she does not set forth in a sense that has to come before us, because there is very little of the spouse in her, and that is to bring out what there is at the moment for Christ. The facts are that Zipporah made little or nothing of Moses; she left him outside, and he is seen as engaged with her father's sheep. The idea of 'in-laws' comes into evidence at once: "And Moses tended the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian",

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chapter 3: 1. While he is neglected by the one who became his spouse -- for she did not bring him in, but left him outside -- he is ready to look after her father's flock; in fact, he helped her and her sisters. It is said in chapter 2: 16, "And the priest of Midian had seven daughters; and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs, to water their father's flock. And the shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses rose and helped them, and watered their flock. And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, Why are ye come so soon today? And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water abundantly for us, and watered the flock. And he said to his daughters, And where is he? why then have ye left the man behind? Call him, that he may eat bread". That is what we get here; Zipporah comes into view in relation to these facts. Then in chapter 3 it is said that "Moses tended the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock behind the wilderness, and came to the mountain of God -- to Horeb"; that is, we have him administering in relation to his father-in-law's flock. Then in chapter 18 we read: "And Jethro the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done to Moses, and to Israel his people; that Jehovah had brought Israel out of Egypt. And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back, and her two sons". So that now we are in the midst of facts that relate to Moses' marital life, Moses' family life, and we have to see where these typical facts come in at the present time that is, whether the brethren are really in them, and we shall see as we proceed that ultimately the main thought is the testimony of God. Zipporah was little concerned about it; we hardly get anything worth speaking of in that sense with her; and it is a question of our seeing now whether the assembly appears

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in the circumstances as bound up with the testimony, engaged with it, and why the 'in-law' idea is in such evidence, instead of grace and love which are the great characteristics of this dispensation. It is a legal situation. Moses shines in it, and so does Jethro, but the wife hardly at all; and that, of course, would indicate that we are not much in the understanding of Christ and the assembly, the assembly viewed in the feminine way.

A.W.G.T. Are you suggesting that Zipporah represents what the assembly has been in her public history as not making use of Christ in His administrative ability?

J.T. That is exactly what is in mind; it is a question of where we are, viewed as the spouse of Christ, who, as we know, is engaged with the testimony of God. It is a continual matter with Him, and there are many, too, who are continually ministering the truth, preaching the word; but the question is how much is coming into evidence of the feminine thought of the assembly, for the primary thought is Christ and the assembly; the feminine feature is to be seen in her for ever, for she comes down as a bride adorned for her husband.

J.McK. Would the word in Romans 7:1: "Are ye ignorant, brethren", be a similar kind of challenge as to whether they were aware of the potentialities and possibilities of being to Another so as to bring forth fruit to God?

J.T. Just so; therefore the Roman position comes up, as we shall see -- more particularly the Corinthian position; but the Roman position comes up, and we have to infer what the feminine truth is in the epistle to the Romans. It is said that we are "to be to another" -- which is a suggestion of it -- "in order that we might bear fruit to God". But the best example is Phoebe: she is a concrete example of the feminine side of the assembly. Hence it is necessary

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to look at the reference in chapter 16: "But I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is minister of the assembly which is in Cenchrea; that ye may receive her in the Lord worthily of saints, and that ye may assist her in whatever matter she has need of you; for she also has been a helper of many, and of myself". Then we have Priscilla, another example, but she is linked up intimately with her husband. Phoebe is the outstanding feminine character in Romans, and her characteristics are not in evidence in Zipporah.

Ques. Have you in mind the expression, "For she also has been a helper of many, and of myself"? And do you think Zipporah was lacking there?

J.T. Those are the facts; and yet the testimony is in view, and Moses is pre-eminently in view in the types as bound up with the testimony of God.

Ques. You speak of the testimony of God with reference to Moses: have you in mind what immediately follows in regard of the law?

J.T. The whole of his ministry is in mind, I would say. We get his history from childhood, from the outset right to the very minute of his death. He is seen bound up with the testimony of God, and showing how love regards heaven and the inhabitants of heaven, so to speak; for the territory of the twelve tribes is taken account of by Jehovah on mount Pisgah according to the names of the tribes as they are seen there. That is love as the great end of administration: we become absorbed with the saints as Christ is, according to His love for them, and ministry can only be valued rightly, however effective and able we may be, as it is actuated by love. You do not see that in Zipporah.

Ques. You would say that there is no lack on Moses' side?

J.T. See how outstanding he is as identified with the testimony; and no doubt it runs down in the

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history of the assembly, marred by the public history, as has been alluded to; for there has been very little from apostolic days down to our own times.

Rem. The sons are born.

J.T. Well, the sons are there, but the love seems lacking. Zipporah has little or nothing to say about her sons; of course, they are there.

Ques. Would it be right to say that Zipporah really withstood Moses in regard of the matter of the inn and circumcision?

J.T. She was against him. That is one of the most remarkable things in Scripture: "Jehovah came upon him, and sought to slay him". The bearing of that is on Zipporah, because then she recognised that he was a bloody husband -- though she had reproach in that; it was needful that it should be understood that blood had to flow in the idea of the circumcision; it looks on to the circumcision of Christ.

Ques. Does that show how in the church's history there has been opposition to Him in regard of the church?

J.T. That is the idea. What opposition there has been in that which has the place of the assembly right up to the very end! But there is recovery in the book of Revelation in Philadelphia. There was love before in Ephesus, and so on, but the recovery is in Philadelphia -- real affection and care for Christ seen in care and love for the saints.

Ques. Is Moses' great concern in Exodus 2 that the flock should be watered?

J.T. That is one of the first things we get, showing that he was well worthy of the affection of Zipporah; but there was very little, as we see by comparing her with what is said of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31, because the assembly is seen femininely in that chapter. "Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land" (verse 23),

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and the household is cared for in every way; so that love is the great point. If the saints are to be with the Lord in the testimony, it is a question of love. At Corinth it was hardly there at all, but it was there: "Though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved", the apostle says in 2 Corinthians 12:15, which is a very sorrowful thing; but the work of God was there, and that is, of course, true in this type; there was something there. Zipporah certainly looked after the two sons to some extent. But then we have the 'in-law' -- the legal position -- in her father and Moses' father-in-law. He was loyal to a point, and even Aaron comes with Moses to eat bread with him; that is, there are good relations in a legal sense; but, alas, the legal position is giving way now, because the Scriptures are being given up, and the testimony is being given up by that which should be the assembly.

A.W.G.T. You are thinking that Moses discerned the greatest defection on the part of his spouse, and that those things are written as types of us? The great thing is that we should not fail at the end in the affection that is due to Christ, and that works out in the care of the saints.

J.T. Exactly, it is a question of love: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matthew 25:40); it is a question of the feminine side being worked out in that sense.

Rem. Moses says, in naming his second son, "God is my help". He had not really got help from Zipporah. Phoebe was a helper.

J.T. Very good; whatever there was in her case was bound up with her father. We should recognise the legal position, of course. Brethren and young people recognise the lordship of Christ over them, in a formal way, it may be, but at any rate it is recognised. We are glad of that, of course, where we see

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it; but then, where is the love? "Where is he? why then have ye left the man behind?" Jethro enquires in chapter 2. Moses had helped Jethro's daughters, but they had not brought him in. That is the position.

Ques. Is that how Jethro shines as one who is concerned? He enquired for Moses, as to why he was left out.

J.T. That is it exactly; it is the legal position, the 'in-law' position. That is, parents, brothers and sisters may serve, but the persons who are the objects of the service are more or less indifferent. That is really the position.

J.McK. Even in chapter 18 it is not Zipporah who makes the move.

J.T. It is the father-in-law: "Jethro the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done to Moses, and to Israel his people; that Jehovah had brought Israel out of Egypt. And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back". Her father did the work. It seems to be intentional that what should be there with Zipporah is not there, and the question therefore is whether this applies at the present moment, whether in the case of the young people, the 'in-laws' -- the father, mother, grandfather, brother, sister -- are not relied upon instead of the persons who are the direct objects of the interest and service; they may be indifferent.

Ques. Is the suggestion that Moses is feeling all this, and his affections are not being satisfied, because little can be said about that?

J.T. Very often it is that wives turn out that way, for husbands need to be disciplined. No doubt Moses was disciplined through Zipporah. Then he had another wife with whom we are not now dealing, and she comes under the same head, because she was just a Cushite. There is nothing on her side to bring

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out the true thought of the assembly; and the question is how that applies to us, and whether we are meeting the absence of feminine qualities in the marital relation spiritually.

J.A.P. What about the two sons: is there not a measure of fruitfulness?

J.T. Just so; Moses noted that. The word is: "Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back, and her two sons, of whom the name of the one was Gershom -- for he said, I have been a sojourner in a foreign land -- and the name of the other, Eliezer -- For the God of my father has been my help, and has delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh". That is what the two sons would mean in the house every time Moses looked at them. I apply the thought at the present time: What do our young people denote? What comes before us as we see them? Here Moses carried the thought in his heart; it was his own experience with God of what God had been to him. That is good enough, so far as it goes, but what does it mean to the two sons?

A.J.G. Do you think that the name of the first son possibly suggests that Moses felt the lack of sympathy, and the name of the second expresses the feeling that notwithstanding that as a general condition, God was helping?

J.T. That is a helpful way of putting it. God is helping notwithstanding whatever may be in the mother or the sons.

A.J.G. Would it fit in with what you referred to as 'a little strength' in Philadelphia? Notwithstanding the general condition of little affection for Christ in assembly relations, there is something which God has wrought among the saints in that relation?

J.T. I would go with that thoroughly. God is helping; that is one of the most encouraging things wherever you go, though grievous things have to be

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recorded, yet notwithstanding the general condition, God is working, and the word will be finally, "What hath God wrought!" (Numbers 23:23). God has his man; if Zipporah is failing, he is not failing; I mean, in general Moses is the outstanding man as representing the testimony of God.

Ques. Why had Moses sent her back? To bring her into evidence?

J.T. I suppose the conflict required it; it is somewhat obscure. What the scripture says is: "After he had sent her back"; it may be that it was in the sense of protection.

Rem. It is noticeable that the kiss is between Moses and Jethro.

J.T. Just so; that is well to notice. I think if we pay attention to what has been already said as to the previous types of Christ in general, we shall get help by contrast in this case, because we learn the truth by contrast very often, and the contrast between Zipporah and Rebecca, for instance, is very striking.

Rem. You mean that we want to have the positive before us so as to catch up something.

J.T. Just so. It is what you do not find in her that helps. It is negative, but because you have the positive in the previous types, you can seize the idea and work it out. We can work out the idea now, for it applies to us as much as in her case.

Ques. You were referring to Eve as a type of the assembly in Genesis 2; is there a link with Ephesians 1:23, "The fulness of him who fills all in all", which means that nothing is lacking?

J.T. That is the idea; so Adam has no complaint at first; he says, "This time ..." meaning that he has remembrance of what had happened before. There was always a void in regard of his affections, but he remembered what happened; God had suggested his naming the creatures, and he named them,

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and God did not alter what names he gave them. Now when he comes to this wonderful creature, he says, "This time ..." You can see that his heart is full; you can see the idea of a great exclamation mark in his remarks. So the idea of what Eve was is carried down into the Ephesian epistle by Paul. What we find in Zipporah is almost entirely negative. Well, is it so? Where is that now? Is it not somewhat the situation today, that there is a great negativeness as to the feminine side in relation to the affections that belong to Christ in His rights over us?

J.McK. Is it striking that the Lord found the fullest sympathy in the house of a woman l I was thinking of the way the most precious features of the Lord's ministry developed in the house of a woman, as indicating the sympathy and spiritual responsiveness in the house of Martha.

J.T. Quite so. Of course, Mary is more than Martha; Mary is the feminine side in that position; we are told in Luke 10 that she sat at Jesus' feet and was listening to His word. That is what appealed to His heart. I believe that the prayer in the next chapter is to suggest that He did not find that in Martha: He needed to pray for her, for it immediately follows, "He was in a certain place praying", and the whole matter of priestly power and service is worked out from that in Luke. "As he was in a certain place praying, when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, Lord, teach us to pray", meaning that he had right feeling; he was not selfish; he would not make much of anything that he might say in ministry; he would make much of what someone else said; he would rather another said it. So the Lord says immediately, "When ye pray, say, Father", and He runs on to the great point of the gift of the Holy Spirit on the principle of asking: "How much rather shall the Father who is of heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

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(chapter 11: 13). That is what I am sure is needed at present more and more: it is the teaching of the Lord as to the service of God, as to priestly power. So we have three cases in Luke worked out of that thought, not simply types, but actual cases of priestly power. The first is Elizabeth who recognised Mary spiritually, and the unborn babe recognised the voice of Mary, showing that the priestly element was there. Then Mary herself proceeds to answer what Elizabeth said, and shows how priestly she is. Elizabeth had said of her, "Blessed is she that has believed": it is not a question of 'in-law', but of real faith, for the dispensation of God is in faith, not in law, and the love that flows out of faith. So Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour", and as she continues, she shows how priestly she is. Then there is Zacharias; although he had been dumb in the discipline of God for nine months, he is ready to officiate as a true priest, not a legal priest, an 'in-law' -- he had been that, and became dumb on that account through discipline -- but now he is ready to praise the Lord immediately. His thought is Christ, not John the baptist. John the baptist was just born, and the neighbours and the 'in-laws', so to speak, say that he should be called Zacharias. Elizabeth says, No: she is a real priest. Then they say, Let us ask his father; and he asked for a writing table, and wrote, "His name is John", and they marvelled at it; and he began his service as priest immediately. That is the point, dear brethren: it is the service of praise; because the great shortage is in priests, not exactly in preachers; Luke brings out this in a concrete way, not simply in a typical way; the real persons are there who can serve and praise God.

Ques. Your thought is that Jesus is not left outside now, but is brought in on that line?

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J.T. Very good; Zipporah had left Moses outside.

Rem. There were good conditions on the feminine side when the testimony came to Europe.

J.T. Just so; Lydia is another example of the feminine side of the assembly.

Rem. Your exercise is that it may be maintained.

J.T. That where the shortage is, it may be furnished.

Ques. Would the service, seen in 1 and 2 Corinthians, of the fellow helpers -- as being under God, I suppose, be calculated to bring in these features, the lack of which you are emphasising? Bearing on what our brother Mr. G. said as to God helping us, it is to be seen that there are others, thank God, in that service as well.

J.T. That is a good idea. So in Philippians Paul speaks of the women as having helped.

Rem. I was thinking particularly of the legal side in Zipporah, seen also in the Corinthian saints.

J.T. I believe she is a type of the Corinthian position, and the matter was met in the second Corinthian epistle. Some of us have been speaking today of 'second' things, such as plagues that were repeated, and then second epistles. The second epistle rectifies, such as Peter's, and Paul's to the Corinthians certainly meets the situation. The apostle was ready to meet the situation fully in the sense of discipline when their obedience was fulfilled (2 Corinthians 10:6); that is to say, as we are subject, the Lord will come in and rectify everything.

A.J.G. How striking it is that in the second epistle Paul says, "I have espoused you unto one man, to present you a chaste virgin to Christ", as though he is touching the real secret of recovery.

J.T. That is very good; I was thinking of that this very day: "I have espoused you ..."; he does not go so far as to say she is the bride. John the

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baptist speaks of the bride in the abstract: "He that has the bride is the bridegroom" (John 3:29); he does not say who the bride is, but Paul comes near it in saying, "I have espoused you unto one man, to present you a chaste virgin to Christ"; it is his action, showing how full the great minister was of the love of Christ for the assembly, and how he would furnish what He loved.

A.W.G.T. Does not what is seen in the ministers in the way of the sufferings and the feelings in which the ministry was carried on, bring in the ministry which brings about the full recovery of the Corinthian position in that second epistle?

J.T. Just so, no doubt through the new covenant being brought in, connected in the second epistle with the ministry of Paul -- "ministers of the new covenant", he says (chapter 3: 6), "not of letter" -- not of the 'in-law' thought -- but the real thing. The reality of the thing is in mind, and that is what is before us, because we are not living in the time of law but of grace; and it is important to be equal to the moment in which we are, which is not the dispensation of law but of grace. Hence way is made for love. I believe the first letter to the Corinthians is as if the apostle hung up a card on the wall because that was all there was. It was just a picture; therefore the idea of love is in the abstract in chapter 13 of the first epistle; but he is coming near it in the second epistle. So when his brother Titus arrives with good news of the Corinthian saints, he is cheered. That is the idea; the ministers are thoroughly in the thing. They are thinking of the void there is at the present time as regards feminine feelings towards Christ.

Ques. Is there not often a difficulty at the Supper in realising the feminine position? But if the feminine side and the enjoyment of it are touched, it leads to priesthood?

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J.T. That is what I was thinking. The examples we get in Luke are very striking.

Rem. Moses would have appreciated the full affection of Zipporah.

J.T. No doubt; he is there at the very outset. Why was he so ready to help the women, and to help them so bountifully? Yet they were not up to it.

Ques. Was there a lack of affection with the Galatian saints, the apostle Paul feeling it so much? "Ye did run well", he says, Galatians 5:7.

J.T. Just so; that is another phase that could easily be worked into what we are saying, because it brings up the question of legality. It may serve us, but at the time of the Galatian epistle the apostle had to return to pure grace in types; Sarah is the type, she is our mother: "Jerusalem above is free, which is our mother", chapter 4: 26. We are coming to that through the principles set out in Philadelphia -- the question of "new Jerusalem" and what is written on the overcomer. It is the feminine side, and so Revelation 21 begins with "new Jerusalem, coming down out of the heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband". There is nothing about administration there, but from verse 9 onwards that chapter is full of the idea of administration, which is a question of love active in wisdom, knowing what to do, and doing it in love.

Ques. Would you say what position Rebecca holds in relation to Isaac?

J.T. What is seen is the way she answers the servant, because it is a question, not of Eliezer, but of the eldest servant of Abraham's house who is over all that he has. That is the person before whom Rebecca is shining. It is said that he wondered at her, she moving as a type of the assembly, showing how thoroughly the feminine idea was there; how

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practical it is, too; she undertook to water even the camels.

R.G.B. Does this particularly test us in our day-today movements in our local settings as seeking to care for the testimony of God?

J.T. We have our care meetings, of course; the very name means that we have care for the brethren, but it has to be seen not only in the care meeting -- in the words -- for often those who say most are not the ones who look after the saints. It is a question of persons who care for them, with genuine feeling how they get on. So the eldest servant in the house of Abraham prayed, and then he himself marvels: everything happens according to his prayer, but he wonders at her. We shall see it presently when the Lord takes the assembly up: it will all be there, for He would not take us up otherwise, and we must understand how it can be in the abstract sense, and how it will come out in the result.

Rem. We should like to have the secret of that in our souls.

J.T. What have you to say about having it yourself?

Rem. What a joy it is to have His approval in that way.

J.T. "She hath done what she could" (Mark 14:8); that is perhaps the best expression of it. That referred to Mary of Bethany.

Rem. What Moses did, Rebecca did; Moses watered the flock, and Rebecca watered the camels.

J.T. Look at what she proposed to do! There was no sham with her. Think of the amount of water ten camels would need, but she undertook to supply it, and said also that there was plenty of provender for them, showing how broad and lavish her thoughts were, how womanly she was, how capable of ruling the house in the absence of her husband, for that is the position as brought before

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us in Proverbs 31"Her husband is known in the gates".

Rem. It all shows up the poverty set forth in Zipporah.

J.T. The poverty is like the picture on the wall. The wife is there, but that is all you can say. There is more needed really than serving meals for the brethren; the feminine side must work out in more than that.

A.J.G. In referring to the servant's wonderment at Rebecca, do you mean that the more we are in the Spirit's appreciation of the assembly, the more we shall be incited to serve the saints in love?

J.T. Just so; we are thankful, of course, for the service of the sisters in connection with week-end meetings and the like; but then Rebecca means more than that: it is spiritual service that is needed.

Rem. Rebecca made haste to do these things.

J.T. Just so: "The king's business required haste", 1 Samuel 21:8.

A.W.G.T. Are you thinking of general service, or spiritual activity in the service of God?

J.T. That is the whole point, the other is incidental. We shall not need food, clothing or the like presently; it is a matter of what is being built up in our souls by example and by effort. So the word in Acts 1 is: "All that Jesus began both to do and teach", the doing is first and then teaching. So the actual servants, those who are ministering on the platform, serve well by doing first, then teaching. The idea is that what I teach I am doing before I present it in the way of doctrine or teaching; I am accustomed to do it.

J.A.P. You mean that it is carried out practically?

J.T. It is the idea of doing. In the second treatise by Luke this is how the Lord is brought in: "All that Jesus began both to do and teach": that refers to what is in the gospel of Luke, what He did

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and what He taught. So the levitical position is in mind in the teaching. John makes much of teaching as well as Luke; but the teaching is exemplified in the doing: that is the thing.

Ques. Would Ezra be a fine example of that? He "prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach", Ezra 7:10.

J.T. Ezra was a priest, of course, and he taught, too.

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Acts 11:19 - 26; Acts 13:1 - 12

J.T. This thought, that Paul represents, of the principle of revival in the history of the assembly, whilst not in any way detracting from the inauguration of the great system, yet in the completion of it awaited this advent. The apostles were stressed at the outset, of course only to the number twelve, a pattern afforded, and then they go on to the end, their names being in the foundations of the heavenly city. But from the outset it was evident it needed revival, as time went on correctness was needed. This is not a matter of mere history, but has present application that we should count on God for revival and for persons qualified to lead in it. I thought these passages serve to bring out these facts, so the scattering became the occasion of the intervention that we see here, and the spreading of the truth, the spreading of the movement. Up to this time the metropolitan thought, in the assembly at Jerusalem, more or less prevailed, but now the movement had gone beyond Jerusalem and took fresh character in Antioch. So these thoughts are intended to move us and to help us to see that it is a question of one generation passing away and another coming; Ecclesiastes 1:4. God uses what may be available at any time. So these passages show how this movement was signalised, first in Barnabas and then in Paul himself, the movement, of course, proceeding, and the incoming of the Gentiles at Caesarea, so that the apostles, the twelve are still in their place, their full place, Peter being used to bring in the Gentiles, but still Paul was the apostle of the Gentiles. So Peter served to link on the beginning with the present movement. Therefore there is no thought of a break

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or schism, but continuance of the truth, of the divine movement, so that the movement is one. The assembly is the centre of it, not simply the apostles or one apostle, but the assembly. So the divine thought is glory to God "in the assembly in Christ Jesus unto all generations of the age of ages", Ephesians 3:21. Is that clear?

G.G. I think so. In that regard is it significant that what was preached at Antioch was the "glad tidings of the Lord Jesus", as though they had this assembly touch as the glad tidings were presented?

J.T. It will be seen that chapter 11 is in a way the completion of the primary suggestion, that is, what began with Peter's movement at Caesarea, and then the thought of love providing in a financial way to meet the need and how the collection for the saints became ultimately a matter of consequence and continuance, so the ministry of prophecy coming in is accentuated, but there is a break to bring out the work of the devil meeting all these things. Then the main subject is what is in Antioch -- the assembly was there, the full thought of the assembly, but that was at Antioch, not Jerusalem, no rivalry but variety and enlargement.

Eu.R. It was there as the result of the teaching of Paul and Barnabas for a whole year.

J.T. I suppose to bring out the completeness of the ministry that was introduced, particularly here intimating full time for any service of the kind to complete it, so the character of the material gave way to the influence of ministry, the influence of gift, and eventuated in a definite name which carried with it the thought of the Lord Jesus, that is Christians, the name being divine, it had come from God, it was special -- not only disciples but Christians, which I think ought to be borne in mind that the working out of the truth which took many years, was not in a moment. The period in Luke's account

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would almost intimate that it was, but a long time was needed to bring out the great developments which were in mind. This name is to break off from mere Judaism. No doubt the thought of Bar-jesus, the fact of the discipline on him, was to suggest the abandonment on the part of God of Judaism for a season bringing in the Gentiles. Bar-jesus was to be "blind, not seeing the sun for a season", meaning it was not finality. Judaism will be resumed but in the meantime we have Christianity giving special distinction to the brethren stamped by the ministry of Paul and Barnabas.

Rem. It seems the preaching of the glad tidings of the Lord Jesus led up to this and laid the foundation for it. Would you help us so that we might preach in this way? It seems to be the ground work of all that is built.

J.T. "Announcing the glad tidings of the Lord Jesus". It is a peculiarly touching formative designation, "Lord Jesus". Paul says later, "No one can say, Lord Jesus, unless in the power of the Holy Spirit", 1 Corinthians 12:3. I am not so sure there is very much attached to it, except a touch of endearment. We have the "glad tidings of Jesus" in chapter 8: 35, and in the same chapter -- verse 5 -- Philip preached "the Christ" to them.

J.Ttr. There seemed to be fellowship between Antioch and Jerusalem at this time, sending out Barnabas, and it says it came to the "ears of the assembly".

J.T. It existed at the outset. Antioch was here, it comes in here in this chapter; and in chapter 8 the movement by Philip was signalised by the intervention of the twelve sending out two in view of the gift of the Spirit. That the Spirit was not given through the preaching of Philip was remarkable as if Jerusalem had to be fully acknowledged.

J.Ttr. You referred to the metropolitan idea.

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J.T. The word 'assembly' is in the singular up to this time. In chapter 14 Paul and Barnabas chose elders in each assembly, which would mean that the assemblies henceforth should be on the footing of responsibility, not independent, but the idea of assemblies. The plural word in chapter 9 is questionable, but Paul in chapter 18 greets "the assembly" without saying which one (verse 22). As late as his service at Ephesus the metropolitan thought is there, but gradually disappearing. It must be transferred to heaven, Jerusalem above is the centre of everything for us now. Is that clear?

J.Ttr. The remark as to the "ears of the assembly" is interesting, does the assembly today have ears?

J.T. I should think so in principle. The brethren have what we call care meetings which are simple statements of fact. We have care and as having care we have ears to hearken to what is said as to assembly matters.

G.G. It is significant in our chapter we get, "They were gathered together in the assembly and taught a large crowd".

J.T. That would be the assembly in the sense of any local assembly. It was the assembly at Antioch. That ran through. You may not hear the assembly, that would refer to Jerusalem, but it holds now, meaning any local assembly has authority from the Lord in that sense, although we never forget that we are in broken times. But the Lord tells us He is thinking of the whole in Revelation. "I also will keep thee out of the hour of trial", Revelation 3:10. That refers to the whole assembly.

Ques. Would you say a word about Paul representing the principle of revival?

J.T. It is an allusion to what marked him at the outset before he was commissioned. He preached that Jesus was the Son of God and eventually became

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active and energetic in the testimony to promote the revival. These verses indicate plainly there was a revival. This whole year's service in which Paul was the leader eventually would indicate the movement in heaven. The brethren will remember the force of the word 'called' here, it is not simply an ordinary word but of divine origin, divine pronouncement, meaning a distinct stamp had been placed on the work of God at that time, and that work continued. There must have been continual impressions left, original impressions which we do not get now. Thoughts now are not different from what we have had before because the word of God has been completed. So the Lord would help us to be aware and cognisant of what is going on in a distinctive character, that we are dealing with a great matter, not to call attention to ourselves, but great people are involved.

Ques. Would a revival of this sort bring in a large crowd of intelligent persons and lead to distinctiveness in chapter 13?

J.T. Just what I was thinking. The verses in chapter 11 bring in Paul. He is mentioned last in the list in chapter 13, but he comes to the front. It says, "Paul and his company" in verse 13, which is a definite expression. No one would attempt to suggest anybody had a company now, no brother, however gifted. So here we are in a time of the beginning, the inaugural state of things, so he and Barnabas chose elders in every assembly.

Rem. It was a new departure in the ways of God, in bringing the Gentiles in.

J.T. In the sense in which we are saying it is not exactly new, for the Gentiles were brought in from Caesarea, but it is new in the sense of apostolic ministry. Barnabas is called an apostle, too. None had such authority as Paul, such a wide area of subjects, the ministry of the assembly, the ministry of reconciliation, and the ministry of the gospel and

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one or two others. So we can see at once this section is revival and yet in a sense not a revival but a continuance of the truth, in the sense of great addition.

Rem. The circumstances seem to call for a man like Paul, so that the crowd twice mentioned are formed by example into the assembly. They would know of his "ways ... in Christ" (1 Corinthians 4:17), and his "intelligence in the mystery of the Christ" (Ephesians 3:4).

J.T. And that was augmented by special attendance, Titus and Timotheus stood out and continued.

Ques. The fact that he spoke to Greeks -- what would you say about that?

J.T. Not simply Jewish converts but Greeks, as if God was affecting the Pagan world, not only that, but possibly to bring out the language in which He intended to distinguish the written testimony. He is the God of the Gentiles and could use them at His pleasure. But what we come to now should stress what was at Antioch. "There were in Antioch, in the assembly which was there, prophets and teachers" whose names are given and Saul is the last. The Holy Spirit stresses Himself as God, not simply as sent down from heaven, but as God, for it says, "As they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them". I have called them. "Then, having fasted and prayed, and having laid their hands on them, they let them go. They, therefore, having been sent forth by the Holy Spirit", showing the Spirit is stressed in this section. It would seem that it is suitable it should be so, that at such a juncture the Spirit should assert Himself in sending out these servants to the Gentiles.

Eu.R. Each Person in the Deity seems concerned in the assembly; it adds great lustre to it.

J.T. Thus God protects the truth of the Deity,

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whilst maintaining the economy set out in order to meet a certain end, yet the Deity is Itself protected in our minds.

Ques. On what kind of occasion do you think this took place? "As they were ministering to the Lord and fasting".

J.T. I think it was to develop the thought of the service of God which has become very prominent with us lately, involving the Lord's supper; although it is not mentioned here, it comes in later. The service of God is being set out in the order of it, the order in which divine Persons have part in it. There is not the same order in the early chapters, the service went on but not with such definiteness. It acquired no such distinction in Acts 2 but under Paul it did and does yet. It still retains its distinction as at the beginning of the service.

Eu.R. Ministering to the Lord and fasting involves priestly service.

J.T. I am sure. Whether the Lord is Christ or Jehovah -- I think it is the Lord Jesus. We are said to be priests unto Christ, so the service in the Lord's supper can continue by itself and yet not separated from the main service, but as it were a section in it.

Eu.R. He has made us priests.

J.T. But we are made priests unto Christ too, so that the Lord has the thing for Himself.

J.Ttr. Does the Holy Spirit speak in this way today?

J.T. I would think so. I think that all the divine Persons speak distinctly. It is a question of our discernment whether we are able to see and discern the Father's voice, and the Son's voice is to be discerned, and the Spirit's voice, too, is to be discerned. We could hardly carry on intelligently without recognising these things. The Lord is giving more character to the meetings and the parts of the services, so I think brethren are more intelligent

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in it and it is right to seek to continue in intelligence in view of our eternal part.

Rem. These two great servants in the matter of revival do not enter into it voluntarily. Barnabas was sent from Jerusalem and Paul was called into it.

J.T. Showing the sympathetic cohesion in the services. Barnabas was sent from Jerusalem and he sought out Paul. And then Paul went to Jerusalem to make acquaintance with Peter, showing the strong fellowship and unity that marked them, which should mark us now, for national feeling tends to disrupt these things. "Jerusalem above", it says in Galatians 4:26, "which is our mother", is our one common centre.

J.McK. Does this fit into Ephesians 2 where the apostle speaks of "the foundation of the apostles and prophets"? Then the apostle goes on to what is made known concerning Christ and the assembly by the power of the Spirit, the great opening out of the assembly springing out of that.

J.T. That is very suggestive, and the great place Paul had in all that is in mind. That ye may understand "my intelligence in the mystery of the Christ", not the intelligence of the twelve but "my intelligence". The Lord gave him that place in the affections of the brethren. And though he is not in the foundations of the heavenly city, he is in the inner side -- that ye might "be strengthened ... in the inner man", Ephesians 3:16. The inward side is to be kept in mind, because Paul says, God "was pleased to reveal his Son in me", Galatians 1:16. With Peter it was to him. So the inward is taken up by Paul and enlarged on.

Eu.R. This would stimulate the meetings for prophetic ministry.

J.T. I am sure. That is what God has helped us in.

Eu.R. "The Spirit speaks expressly" -- that is in

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view of the apostate state coming in. We need this prophetic ministry locally more than ever.

J.T. Quite. So the Lord has helped us to apply the thought of prophetic ministry to these meetings. For there should be an element of authority in the ministry if the character of it is kept in mind. Therefore in 1 Corinthians 14 the great point is "rather that ye may prophesy". So the question of the prophetic character -- "the hill of God" which is alluded to in 1 Samuel 10:5 -- comes in that chapter, "If therefore the whole assembly come together in one place". It is the whole assembly, the whole idea, as if God would indicate there is authority. He has authoritative speaking, and the assertion of the truth, so that the temple of God comes into it. "Do ye not know that ye are the temple of God?" (1 Corinthians 3:16). The same idea you see in Ephesians 2:21 -- it "increases to a holy temple in the Lord". It is in view of unfolding the mind of God in a coming day. The assembly is in view of that.

Rem. This thought of Barnabas and Saul being called comes through the Holy Spirit making a distinct impression on one vessel present?

J.T. That is what I understand. The Spirit did not become incarnate so He speaks through someone in whom He dwells, but it is His speaking.

Rem. It seems to give the Spirit room to operate in what is levitical. He speaks in relation to sending forth these two men for further work thus linking the work of God elsewhere.

J.T. So the work is one whole. "There is one body and one Spirit, ... one hope ... one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in us all", Ephesians 4:4 - 6. It is all one thing. All that should be stressed in ministry, especially prophetic ministry, so that what is said here will be said in Australia.

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Rem. So that what is done by the Spirit is done mediately.

J.T. The assembly has ears as viewed as universal.

Rem. As this finds expression and is worked out in the saints, what once has owned His name and proves to be apostate will be left. The Lord has that in which He operates.

J.T. The brethren ought to understand that. In the Lord's address to Philadelphia, the assembly is there and in His mind it is functioning, and He says, "I make them of the synagogue of Satan ... I will cause that they shall come and shall do homage before thy feet, and shall know that I have loved thee". The Lord was thus distinguishing what was of Himself, and exposing what was not. So the revelation through John, the Apocalypse, provides for all these matters. The apostate thing will be judged according to their judgment. "God has judged your judgment upon her", Revelation 18:20. This is a great matter; what we are dealing with now, God will deal with presently, and He is taking account of what the brethren are saying and what they are praying about. He has not given up the primary thought. He has not altered one iota of His thought of the assembly.

Rem. So a designation is given to this man -- a false prophet, such are to be banned.

J.T. That is the thought. It is a Jew. But in the epistle to the Hebrews there is the assertion of apostasy as in chapters 6: 4 - 8 and 10: 26 - 31, etc. Things are being defined so that we can distinguish. God has been working politically to distinguish things amongst the brethren. As the end draws near the thing is there. That gives great advantage to the brethren to carry on in prayer, able to see that God is recognising the powers that be for a purpose. This man has a certain link with Jesus, I suppose - Bar-jesus. He was a "magician (for so his name is

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by interpretation)" -- we can see the idea of interpretation -- "opposed them, seeking to turn away the proconsul from the faith". It is a political matter with him. He would turn him away from the faith.

Eu.R. What have you in mind?

J.T. It is a political title. Any man working on these lines, we would have our eye upon him. We can identify the thing here by the thought of interpretation. It is rather he is carrying on with the outward thing, that God has owned, for instance the Church of England is an institution God has owned. No spiritual man wishes it overthrown, not that he would in any way support it.

Eu.R. It is of service and going on till the Lord comes.

J.T. Quite so.

Rem. Saul says, "O full of all deceit and all craft son of the devil, enemy of all righteousness wilt thou not cease perverting the right paths of the Lord?" His name is in condemnation.

J.T. You can read a political position in what he says. At the same time Paul is an apostle of Jesus Christ and naming things in that light. What a great matter it was that the proconsul should be secured. They went the whole length of the island to secure him. He marvelled at the teaching. These religious systems are nothing compared with the assembly.

Rem. Saul's name is changed here to Paul. There is intelligence in his new name.

J.T. It is character, I think. The Spirit of God is calling attention to what Paul is characteristically, not simply his name. The meaning of the name Paul is 'little'; he is "less than the least of all saints", Ephesians 3:8. That is what he says of himself.

Rem. It is the inwardness that is there, and he is fearless in using the Lord's name.

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J.T. "Wilt thou not cease perverting the right paths of the Lord?"

Eu.R. There is much of this mist and darkness around. Should we not seek to be on the lines of "Paul and his company" in verse 13?

J.T. The Spirit of God distinguishes him in that way, having a company. He speaks of himself "being such a one as Paul the aged", Philemon 9. There is a distinction attached to him that no one else has. So a great servant said, Cleave to Paul, do not forget John but cleave to Paul, he is teaching the last word from heaven, the last word for many things, especially the completion of the word of God.

Rem. This principle of revival stands connected with Paul.

J.T. I should say so. Hence the long discourse at Troas. We are not told what he said, but it was accompanied with revival. Of the boy Paul said, "His life is in him". It was the resuscitation of the testimony in mind. "They brought away the boy alive, and were no little comforted", Acts 20:12.

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Hebrews 2:10 - 12

J.T. From the facts before us in Holy Scripture, it will be seen that the completion of divine service was in the teaching of the apostle Paul. That was in mind to begin with, and one thought that these verses would indicate what the service of God implies. The passage already quoted here in prayer from Philippians 3:3 helps, too, "We are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God, and boast in Christ Jesus, and do not trust in flesh". Man's way is to be disregarded, for however embellished and ancient, it is man's way. I was thinking that whilst Paul's ministry had been rightly touched on -- for this undoubtedly is his epistle, it bears the character of being his -- the service of God was not clearly inaugurated as we have it now. The scripture would indicate it now. It was not indicated at the beginning of Christianity nor is it clear that the idea of the Lord's supper was primarily attached to it at the outset. It takes years to develop the truth of the service of God and we have it now indicated in the Scriptures which they did not have at the beginning. The New Testament did not exist when the Spirit of God came, sent down from heaven, and wrought in the apostles. It says of the converts on the day of Pentecost, "They persevered in the teaching and fellowship of the apostles, in breaking of bread and prayers", Acts 2:42. But there is no evidence that there was any great distinction of formula which marked the times although the Spirit of God was there and there was worship, of course. There were priests, they praised God, they served Him, indeed the apostles entered into the temple, "and were continually in the temple praising and

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blessing God", Luke 24:53. The temple was there and recognised, for so much had to be taught so that the saints should be delivered from man's way. Then the temple had to be discarded. The Lord said, "Not a stone shall be left here upon a stone which shall not be thrown down", Matthew 24:2. That was to make way for the new structure, the spiritual structure as it is said in 2 Corinthians 6:16. "Ye are the living God's temple". The Corinthian saints were said to be that by Paul. It would be, no doubt, he who wrote this epistle to the Hebrews, in which much is unfolded which rightly enters into the service of God.

So it is that these verses would help us as we look at them. Verse 10 reads, "For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things", that is God, "in bringing many sons to glory, to make perfect the leader of their salvation through sufferings". Then we have verse 11 alluding to our sanctification. "For both he that sanctifies and those sanctified" -- that is the saints, ourselves, all the saints -- "are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name" -- that is the Son speaking to the Father, "I will declare thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly will I sing thy praises". It seems as if we may find here the service. Whilst the Lord's supper is not included it is clear that it was included in the service as the truth was opened up, for the Spirit of God tells us through Luke that the saints came together the first day of the week to break bread; Acts 20:7. They broke bread in the houses in chapter 2, meaning the ordinary dwellings of the saints as over against the temple. It does not appear that the Lord's supper was ever celebrated in the temple. There is no evidence that it was. But in Acts 20 it had acquired a place on the first day of the week, and the other elements of divine

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service would also take place then, for the day would be suitable, the day the Lord rose from the dead. It is called the Lord's day, and we have a similar expression, the Lord's supper. The Father has given all things into the hands of the Son, so we may be sure the service of God is in His hands. The Lord's supper is first in the order of it, and praise to Him, and then to the Father, to God. That is what was in my mind. I think the Lord would encourage us as to the service of God and confirm us in certain features that have come into evidence through the ministry that the Spirit has given.

Rem. Psalm 22 would support what you have said. That is the source of the quotation in Hebrews 2.

J.T. It is. It shows how, as we might expect in this epistle, the book of Psalms had a place in the service of God from the outset. It shows how the book of Psalms was contributory to the service of God as we have it.

G.G. Would you say the Lord's supper is the great hinge-pin on which the work of God stands?

J.T. That is what I understand, although it is not clear that it had acquired that place at the start. But the apostles are appealed to, alluded to, as the authoritative persons, not Moses but the apostles. The converts, especially on the first day of Peter's service of preaching at Pentecost, the apostles were alluded to at once as the authority and not Moses or David. "They persevered in the teaching and fellowship of the apostles, in breaking of bread and prayers". So it would look as if there was in the minds generally the idea of breaking of bread and prayers. The word in Philippians 3 is intended for public worship, that is what we have now in our services. The worship of God took form as a public matter, as the Lord's supper has taken form as a public matter. The order in which things are to appear in the service is generally a matter of instruction

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and the Lord has been for years instructing His people through the apostles' teaching. Things took form by the apostles' instruction, but more recently on the principle of gift. The Lord has ascended and given gifts to men; Ephesians 4:8. The idea of service took form. What we have now is authoritative.

Ques. As having come in recently, about a hundred years ago?

J.T. I go back to Paul. Paul distinguishes between the place of breaking bread and the houses, "Have ye not then houses for eating and drinking?" (1 Corinthians 11:22). The truth gradually becomes clear from year to year, from day to day. Breaking bread in the houses would mean that the Spirit of God had diverted the saints from Judaism. He was delivering them from it. This epistle is intended to deliver them from it.

G.G. So what came before us this morning in 1 Corinthians 11:23, "For I received from the Lord" is a very special point in the development of this matter.

J.T. That is good. That is subsequent to what the apostles had in Acts 2. Paul's message from the Lord had some things spoken of in the gospels, and added something else to what the gospels had. So there was a gradual adjustment in that nothing was given up which had been held but teaching gradually modified things.

G.G. It seems a great matter we should be livingly connected with what is authoritative. It is carried over from Luke where apostles are mentioned, and now Paul received this special word from the Lord.

J.T. It helps us as to the whole of Scripture. "Every scripture is divinely inspired, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness", 2 Timothy 3:16. That would enter into the latter phase -- instruction in righteousness. So that Paul's exclusive message

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from the Lord for the brethren, especially the Corinthian brethren, would be the last word as to the Lord's supper, and helps us to see that the apostolic teaching is the last word in all matters. Whatever is found in apostolic teaching should be the final word in matters.

G.G. It is a vital matter. It produces great stability in what is pleasing to the Lord and thus enters into God's service.

J.T. One would be glad if the brethren would be free to say what they think about it, for unity should be with us. Paul says, "thus I ordain in all the assemblies", 1 Corinthians 7:17. There should be a unified teaching and learning. "They shall be all taught of God", John 6:45. God teaches according to what is true, not diversely from Himself.

Rem. You base what you do in the morning meeting on the words of the apostle, rather than Old Testament scriptures?

J.T. Yes, but the Old Testament scriptures afford much that is not found in the New Testament, especially in the Psalms. This Psalm quoted here in verse 12 is the 22nd. Undoubtedly the book of Psalms, divided into five books, was intended to fit into the service of God as it was then. David was employed to arrange the Psalms in view of the service of God. We have singing referred to here. So we should be very cautious against eliminating anything in the Old Testament. All Scripture is for instruction. When we come to what is final, Paul says it was given to him to complete the word of God; Colossians 1:25. Therefore whatever deals with discipline, we should see from Scripture what confirms us in regard to discipline, and so in regard to the service of God.

Rem. Many sons being brought to glory is consequent upon the Lord taking His place amongst His brethren.

J.T. It is intended by the writer of this epistle

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to stress that God is the Author of everything. The economy into which He has come, is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, God "is over all, and through all, and in us all", Ephesians 4:6. So what is written is for us from God. Everything has been placed in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ, as it is said, "The Father loves the Son, and has given all things to be in his hand", John 3:35. The whole service is under Him, as this epistle says, He is Minister of the sanctuary; chapter 8: 2. The service relating to God is under Christ. So this verse 10 would be under Him as Minister of the sanctuary. God is bringing many sons to glory, so that it became God to make the Leader perfect through sufferings. So that the Lord is therefore before us in God's service as the Sufferer, not in any sense imperfect at any time but He has attained to a certain condition, reached through sufferings, which was due to God; redemption had to be wrought out, so things are set on a sure foundation. Hence God is the Author of His service, He is the One to be served, so sonship comes in in the service. But verse 11 is the Sanctifier. Christ is our Sanctifier. The One who is said to be the Leader or Captain is the Sanctifier in verse 11. In verse 12 He is the Singer in the assembly. So the order can be easily pieced in. We include the Lord's supper, the Sanctifier, the brethren, Christ's own part in it and then the assembly, the Lord Himself being the Singer in it, and God Himself being the Object of the whole service.

Rem. There is a great deal in Hebrews about the service.

J.T. It is a great epistle for contribution to the service.

Rem. The service is divine and the order divinely provided for.

J.T. The order in which the service comes before God now.

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Ques. Had you in mind to say a word about that?

J.T. I have already indicated it. The Lord's supper is first. "We being assembled", Luke says, by the Spirit of God, 'we' meaning the saints.

Ques. How does the Lord have His place afterwards, helping in the service?

J.T. It is to bring into position the general facts that the Lord had done much before He went up to heaven, but there is more to be done. He says, "He that believes on me, the works which I do shall he do also, and he shall do greater than these, because I go to the Father" (John 14:12) -- because He went to the Father and because the Spirit should come. So there were forty days after His resurrection, which forty days were needed to prepare for the Spirit. It was intended that what the Lord had done should be seen in its perfection. Forty days' work was to be seen in its perfection, but it could not be completed until the Holy Spirit came. So the forty days were needed and we can see what is related, the brethren were progressing in what they were doing. At the time of the Lord's own death, and after He was raised they were very crude because they were unbelieving. He upbraided them with their unbelief. The Lord had to adjust them and He did before He went up. But they soon came into knowing how to do things and He intended that should be known. So we are told first of all what happened after the Lord went up to heaven. He went up from the mount of Olives according to Acts, from Bethany according to Luke, but Acts is that the spiritual side is to come into evidence, so they came from the mount of Olives and went to the upper room, meaning that from the very outset Judaism was superseded, for the representatives of the Lord were said to be resident in the upper room, and the Lord's mother was there, and several brethren, and Peter stood up in the midst

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of them. We are told how many there were. It is a question of their names. Peter stood up and related what had happened to Judas in a most orderly way, and it was settled that two should be nominated so that the twelfth place should be filled. The Lord left it with them undoubtedly to bring out what was there, His own work in them. So Peter related, it was needful that of the men who had been with them, "who have assembled with us all the time in which the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us", one should be a witness, showing that they were growing in the use of language. All that indicates there was growth in the brethren before the Holy Spirit came down, which is an important fact. So they nominated two and Matthias was selected. On the principle of lot the matter was put into God's hands, and the lot was used "and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles". I am only mentioning all that because I think it is necessary to get it in our minds to get our subject before us. The matter was settled as to apostleship and ten days elapsed before the Spirit came down. Then we have Peter's address and the statement that the converts, about three thousand, "persevered in the teaching and fellowship of the apostles, in breaking of bread and prayers".

Rem. They are an intelligent company in the upper room instructed in the use of words. It is remarkable they should be instructed in right words in the service of God. Were you going to lead on from that point where they break bread from house to house? Paul led them further.

J.T. The idea of the service of God was there but it waited perfection in Paul's ministry. The Lord intended Paul's teaching to be our standing.

Rem. The Lord is to have His place after the breaking of bread. Would the service be greater if He were given His place, before leading to the Father?

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J.T. That is what has come now. I would like to hear what the brethren have to say.

Rem. This word 'again' linking the scriptures together in verse 13, does that denote the way divine teaching is used to open up the service of God? You have spoken of the need of teaching.

J.T. Quite. If you visualise how it would be amongst the Jewish disciples when this epistle was written, you can see how each addition was needed. Many things in this epistle were not said at all before as far as we know, especially the ministry of the sanctuary. In chapter 8 summing up the previous part, the writer says, "Now 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". Now this is alluding to the service of God and what form it would take now Christ has gone into heaven. What they had been at Jerusalem, well, we can gather, but now we are clearly presented with new ministry and a new Minister, and a Priest who inaugurated it all and sustains it all and is carrying it on day by day, week by week.

Ques. Is that why Paul's ministry is especially for us?

J.T. It is he who takes a lead in his writings in all these matters, especially Corinthians alongside Hebrews. The epistles to the Corinthians are the fullest and most elaborate and defined as applying to Gentiles. The writing to Corinth is in view of Gentiles coming into the truth. Hebrews is largely derived from the Old Testament but made intelligible to us so as to be understood. The Church of England has its terminology. We need to get our terminology from Paul. He deals with the people of God as children. He begins at the bottom and that is an

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advantage to us that he does. We can put ourselves in the position of children; we can follow his way.

G.G. That is a very encouraging matter and particularly in the light of the epistle we are considering, for if we have this new Priest and the true tabernacle and the new sanctuary, we should be concerned to come in as new worshippers intelligently. I should like to ask, referring to what is fundamental, whether the long discourse of Paul in Acts 20 might be taken to cover his ministry which would lead to conditions where we can rightly take the Supper.

J.T. The absence of facts as to the discourse is all the more to be noticed. It must have been something he had spoken of elsewhere and now saw the need of putting before the saints in that particular place, though possibly making Ephesus the centre of it. What happened at Troas seems to link on with the whole chapter. They are taken up as representing the whole assembly. Now Paul says to the Ephesian elders, "And now I commit you to God, and to the word of his grace". He opens up what he had taught them at Ephesus, and undoubtedly the record at Troas is to govern the assembly at that time, and is prophetic in view of the long history in the middle ages, and leads to revival in our own time.

G.G. You are referring to Ephesus, that is confirming, I think.

J.T. It was a question of God. They brought away the boy alive, that was after Paul's discourse, and after they broke bread. So they are left with his discourse and the boy. The discourse would be what would develop from the Scriptures, but we must have the living boy. That is a person who can be built up and made a man of. "Until we all arrive at ... the full-grown man", Ephesians 4:13. One feels we are in the midst of a revival. Many amongst us have been speaking about it all our lives, it is about a hundred and fifty years old and is running on yet and will do

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to the end. It is representative of the idea connected with Paul, but it is continuing. It is a revival of things.

Rem. It is maturing and will continue.

J.T. It is hoped therefore by exhortation and example to keep the saints going.

Rem. Would this epistle help that?

J.T. Very beautifully. The quotations from the Psalms so beautifully refer to Christ. One has designated the book of Hebrews 'The Book of the Open Heavens'. The Son of man is in heaven.

Rem. The service is dependent on the perfect Leader and the perfect ministry, so that it should be a perfect service.

J.T. So in Hebrews we arrive at perfection because it is a divine Person. So "God having spoken in many parts and in many ways formerly to the fathers in the prophets, at the end of these days has spoken to us in the person of the Son" (Hebrews 1:1, 2) brings down the service to the present time. It is God in that Person, that Person being divine, He has the last word in everything. So the whole chapter relates to His Person. He honours His people by quoting their sayings and all tending to exalt Christ. The book brings out the glories of Christ, especially in relation to the service of God.

G.G. How does the matter of salvation come in? "Their salvation", what is the bearing of that?

J.T. Anything they needed to be saved from. At that time it was Judaism.

Rem. Anything that hinders the service of God.

J.T. We need to be saved from it. In chapter 2 it is the "great salvation" involving redemption.

Ques. What is the thought of 'brethren' in chapter 2?

J.T. It was hoped we might get the order of the service, so that we might see in the service what relates to ourselves to begin with because we meet

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together in assembly. We assemble together, the Lord is not supposed to be there because He would make way for the work of God in us. We celebrate the Lord's supper in His absence to call Him to mind. If He were in the midst there would be no need to call Him to mind. It is a memorial He has devised and left with us. A brother places the ingredients on the table and we are all there, we assemble with ourselves. The Lord is pleased if we do things rightly and then He comes in. In Acts 1:21 it says, "the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us". The apostle who was to be nominated was to be one who was accustomed to that. We learn to assemble, set in relation to one another, persons having the Holy Spirit and who love one another. The Lord comes in because we are attractive, so to speak, to Him, and we are attractive to Him, that is the way the matter stands. It is a great matter to understand and value one another, so that we are worth while to come to. The Lord thinks we are worth while to come to.

Ques. What would help us to recognise the Lord when He does come in?

J.T. That is the next thing, whether we have discernment for it, and all of us would say, "It is the Lord". That is what they said at the beginning.

Rem. We appropriate one another as His brethren.

J.T. First I would say as disciples, "We being assembled". It does not designate us by any terms. The writer is Luke. He was one of them. "We being assembled", and then what comes in is the breaking of bread. But it was in abeyance for Paul discoursed at length, much was needed to be said.

Rem. "By this shall all know that ye are disciples of mine, if ye have love amongst yourselves", John 13:35.

J.T. It is our relation to one another first and then our relation to Him. We cannot be there hating one another, but we must love one another, or the

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Lord is not pleased to come. We are there as believers, as disciples.

G.G. This matter of assembling and love appropriating one another involves that we are thinking of the whole assembly on the earth also, that is, every one having the Spirit. That must be the ground of the thing in our hearts.

J.T. That is the way the Lord looks at it. The first thing is how we stand with one another, whether we are pleased with one another and can appropriate one another, and sit down together happily as loving one another, as has been remarked, "By this shall all know that ye are disciples of mine, if ye have love amongst yourselves". That is in a section where the Lord is speaking about having part with Him.

Ques. Where does the thought of calling them 'brethren' come in?

J.T. It alludes to our relations with Him, as of Him. They that are sanctified are all of one with the Sanctifier, not exactly united but "of one" stock or kind. We are like Him. We often quote what the Lord said, "Except the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, it abides alone; but if it die, it bears much fruit", John 12:24. That fruit is like the grain that was sown, like Himself. "He that sanctifies and those sanctified are all of one" -- all of one kind, which agrees with what Abraham had in mind that Rebecca must be of the same family as Isaac.

Rem. So it was in resurrection the Lord said, "Go to my brethren".

J.T. Quite so. It is not now brethren of one another but of Christ.

Ques. What is in mind in "I will declare thy name to my brethren"?

J.T. It refers to what the Lord will do in us in the way of ministry. We know what Mary Magdalene's message was. The Lord said, "Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father; but go to

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my brethren and say to them, I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God", John 20:17. That would be the declaration. That is what is alluded to here, "I will declare thy name to my brethren".

Ques. Is it a recurring matter?

J.T. The declaration is once for all but the Spirit maintains it.

Rem. The Lord does not come into the assembly till the breaking of bread.

J.T. That is because the breaking of bread is intended to be a memorial of Himself. "This do for the calling of me to mind" (see the Darby Translation note to "me" in 1 Corinthians 11:24). The calling Me to mind, it is a matter of our minds, and we have the mind of Christ, so our minds are capable of being impressed by Him. That is the time you expect Him to come. There is an action in our minds that recalls Him. His presence is consequent, as you may say, synchronous. The Lord would be equal to our minds. He would not be behind at the great moment, He would be there. So John's gospel would help us, He says, "I will not leave you orphans, I am coming to you". It is not a definite period of time, but it is His attitude of mind. That helps in all matters.

Rem. He was made known to them in the breaking of bread in Luke 24.

J.T. That is an additional sidelight, it was not the Lord's supper, but something happened very much like what happens at the Lord's supper, but He vanished. He does not vanish at the Supper. He comes to us. John would endorse Paul's line of truth, so John says, "Jesus came and stood in the midst", John 20:19. Luke says, Jesus "himself stood in their midst", Luke 24:36. But John says "came", so the word 'came' precedes "stood in the midst".

Rem. The Lord said, "I am with you all the days", Matthew 28:20. It seems Christ is with us.

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J.T. That is Matthew. He says, "Behold, I am with you all the days, until the completion of the age". Well, now will you enlarge what you have on your mind?

Rem. I believe that Christ is with us when we gather together in His name; He is with us, but manifests Himself in a fresh new way as we break bread. But is there ever a time when He is not with us? In preaching the gospel is not Christ in our meeting there?

J.T. He is if He is. If we are in a bad state He is not.

Ques. When do we lose Christ?

J.T. According to the Scriptures the Lord says He will send a Comforter that He may be with us for ever. That is applicable to Christ in the sense in which it refers to the Holy Spirit. He is alongside of us, that is the general position. The Lord says He will send the Comforter, "ye know him; for he dwelleth with you". He was there, as the Lord was here. But the Spirit is here, too, He "dwelleth with you, and shall be in you". And He says, "I will not leave you orphans", meaning they would not be left to themselves without a Protector. "I am coming to you" -- it means He is not there at first, He is coming. Therefore while Matthew says, "Lo, I am with you alway", we have to understand what that means. We have to rightly divide the word of truth; 2 Timothy 2:15. We have to distinguish between Matthew and John. John has certain lines before him. Matthew never tells us the Lord ascended at all. John says He had not yet ascended. Luke tells us He ascended. So we have to distinguish between Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. You have to rightly divide those gospels. In John He comes to us constantly, but in Matthew He is with us always.

Rem. Paul says, "I bow my knees to the Father

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of our Lord Jesus Christ ... that the Christ may dwell, through faith, in your hearts", Ephesians 3:14 - 17.

J.T. Well, that is a general truth. No one of us would be without that truth. The Lord is in our hearts. But He has gone into heaven and He is coming back, He has not yet come back. But according to John He says, "I am coming to you". Paul says, "He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the most remain until now, but some also have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James; then to all the apostles; and last of all ... he appeared to me also", 1 Corinthians 15:5 - 8. These are all appearings, and last He appeared to Paul. We have to understand that, too. So it is, brethren today are looking for the Lord to come to us according to His promise, but it is in the sense that Scripture says. The Spirit of God is here, a divine Person.

G.G. I think it helps us and we can all do with that line of things for the establishment of our hearts. In Matthew the Lord's unceasing presence would stand in connection with the support He would give us in service, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have enjoined you. And behold, I am with you all the days, until the completion of the age". That would be a great support to us in service.

J.T. It makes our position impregnable. It cannot be overthrown. So He says, "Hades' gates shall not prevail against it", Matthew 16:18. That is a wonderful thing. It is true for us now.

Rem. In Luke 22:19 the Lord says, "This do in remembrance of me". Not exactly of what I have done for you, but Himself.

J.T. And the remembrance is calling Him to mind.

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Ques. How should we recognise the incoming of the Lord?

J.T. That is a question of discernment. It is a mark of the assembly. It is used in David's address to Abigail. He says, "Blessed be thy discernment", 1 Samuel 25:33. Those words apply to the assembly today.

Rem. In the Song of Solomon He comes in answer to love. Love would call Him.

J.T. Quite so. We are getting at spiritual matters, and "Every word of God is pure" Proverbs 30:5 -- and "Every scripture is divinely inspired", 2 Timothy 3:16. The Spirit has come to give us understanding. "The Lord will give thee understanding in all things", 2 Timothy 2:7. We get it waiting on the Lord, comparing spiritual with spiritual, and rightly dividing the word of truth. The brethren are coming to see these things.

Rem. Jesus "has passed through the heavens" (Hebrews 4:14) and things are operated from there.

J.T. So Hebrews 2:9 says, "We see Jesus". He is crowned with glory and honour. We see Him there.

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1 Corinthians 10:14 - 22; 1 Corinthians 11:17 - 26

J.T. I was thinking today that the Lord's supper seems to be divinely intended to be the centre of divine service. It is mentioned from the outset after the Spirit of God came down from heaven, the converts at Pentecost were said to have "persevered in the teaching and fellowship of the apostles, in breaking of bread and prayers" (Acts 2:42), with other things which are also said in that chapter. In verse 46 they broke bread in the house, which implies evidently they did not break bread in the temple, and we also are to understand that whilst the house is mentioned, the house as a dwelling-place of the saints is not exactly intended to be used as the meeting place of the saints, for the houses are differentiated in that they were to eat at home if it was a question of literally eating a meal. Paul says, "Have ye not then houses for eating and drinking?" So evidently the Lord's supper, whilst it is spoken of as being partaken of in houses as over against the temple, was intended to be partaken of in buildings such as are suitable for the saints to meet in, especially as it is said when the Lord ascended, those who saw Him go up returned and went to the upper room, not to the temple. So we have indication that the Lord's supper stood as the centre of the service of God. Other services might be linked on, but the Acts shows that the first day of the week was the day on which the Lord's supper was celebrated. These facts are important, and whilst not being formal, such as the ritual of the Old Testament was, there is certainly form and order connected with it and stressed, too, as this epistle shows. The subject of the Lord's supper is

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clearly divided into external features and internal features, the inward features. So the first section read in chapter 10 points to the bearing or conduct of the saints, and walk and ways of the saints are tested by the fact of the Lord's supper. The word 'fellowship' being used in chapter 10 and not in chapter 11 suggests the external bearing of the Lord's supper, and how the walk and ways of the saints were tested by the Lord's supper, by the effects of it. Chapter 11 commencing with the subject of headship, that is to say the head-dress of women and men, these facts, these features of public conduct of relations, are touched on there, evidently with a view of bringing out what is suitable in the way of order when we are gathered together. The idea of prophecy is stressed which belongs in itself to the service of God.

H.E.S. Is outward order the first consideration?

J.T. No. I would suggest rather that public conduct involving fellowship is the first consideration as in chapter 10. The order is in chapter 11.

Ques. What would be included in public conduct?

J.T. Whatever may be public, particularly household conduct, family conduct, then business conduct and in general our relations with men, because you must be right with men. It is a question of what is public, of what affects God in a public way, and then the order that is proper to us as we are gathered. The word 'assembly' is the governing idea in chapter 11. It comes in as early as Acts 1. The Lord is said to have "assembled with them" in verse 4. But as to the Lord's supper, Acts 20 says the saints were assembled. "We being assembled to break bread" (verse 7).

Eu.R. What does that convey, the thought of "being assembled"?

J.T. I think God would convey to us that the

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assembly was to be the vessel of His service, the service toward Himself and toward men.

Eu.R. Involving intelligence on the part of each one.

J.T. Just so. "I speak as to intelligent persons: do ye judge what I say". The word would mean that we are called out, the idea of separation, but much more has become attached to it.

G.C.G. Is the governing word 'communion' or 'fellowship'?

J.T. Fellowship, I would say that.

J.F.G. If we are to be right in a public position we must flee idolatry. We need to be right in every relationship.

J.T. Quite so. Idolatry, I should say, was the centre of paganism, and God would not ignore that, for He intended we should be separate from that and Judaism, too. So we have in this epistle, "Give no occasion to stumbling, whether to Jews, or Greeks, or the assembly of God". Those are the three centres, you might say; the first Christianity, the second Judaism, the Jew, and the third the Gentile, paganism. Idolatry is connected with it. You might get the three meeting-places in the same city, to be simple about it you might have them in the same street. And one might go into the pagan place, the idolatrous place, and might go into the synagogue, and might go into the meeting room, and he would find God there. He would not find God in either of the other places. He would find God in the assembly, and he should find God there now.

Eu.R. There could be no fellowship between the assembly of God and the others.

J.T. Hence the word 'fellowship' has acquired such a place. It designates where we are. It is not in chapter 11, but in chapter 10 because of public relations, and the word 'fellowship' has acquired a great place as to how we are bound up together,

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running along with unity in the Spirit. Fellowship is bound up with the Spirit. Persons in fellowship should have the Spirit.

Rem. In chapter 1 we are called to the fellowship of God's Son excluding idol fellowship and every other.

J.T. Quite so. It is a convenient word to be applied as to where we are. If we are in fellowship, are we walking consistently? So there is the fellowship of Christ, the Son of God, which is the dignity of it, and the fellowship of Christ's death in chapter 10, and the fellowship of the Spirit in the second epistle. I think therefore the word is a very convenient one and a very right one to designate us where we are.

Ques. Would this fellowship exclude evil?

J.T. I should say so, and the great test of the fellowship is in chapter 5. It is a serious case of evil but it is allowed to come in as a test. The saints were to keep the feast, showing how the idea of fellowship is carried down from old times. We are to keep the feast not with leaven, "but with unleavened bread of sincerity and truth", alluding to the passover. Leaven is a type of sin. It is called old leaven to be purged out -- "according as ye are unleavened". Being redeemed and made holy by the Spirit, we are unleavened, fit for the assembly, fit for fellowship. There seems a need for revival among the brethren of the whole position as to fellowship and all that goes with it, reviving the whole position of the assembly publicly and privately, too, the latter involving we are going to heaven, the former, that is fellowship, implying a condition in entire keeping with heaven, the Spirit of God being here, equal to Christ in heaven, maintaining here morally what is in heaven.

G.C.G. I think that means when a person asks to take their place enquiry is directed as to whether they are in fellowship.

J.T. Just so. So that we come up before each

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other in the sense of test or re-examination as to whether we are walking in the truth.

Eu.R. Is that the setting in which the question of associations has come so much to the fore? There are questions which call for one answer but we need to be reminded of the practical bearing of them in our movements among men.

J.T. And the following statements are the comment of the Spirit of God, what we are, not simply what we are in the counsels of God, "Ye shall be to me for sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty", 2 Corinthians 6:18. We are the public family of God, and we are to come out and be separate, "Touch not what is unclean", 2 Corinthians. 6:17. "Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us purify ourselves from every pollution of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in God's fear", 2 Corinthians 7:1. God has brought in the thought of fear amongst the saints which I think is clearly of importance. Leadership was the great principle at the beginning, and so the word 'care' is applied to leadership in Timothy. "How shall he take care of the assembly of God?" (1 Timothy 3:5). Perhaps the thought of it is weakened because of the general weakness among the saints, those who are gathered. So although God placed it amongst us especially in large cities, it became evident that the brethren ought to be all in the thing. The idea of care ought to govern the position and therefore God has blessed the principle of coming together in care. So that young men are to be there. If they have a care and love the Lord they ought to be there, not to lead, of course, but acknowledging their youthfulness, but at the same time to be there.

Ques. Does this challenge every relationship and mode of contact? Does it have a bearing on "When ye come therefore together into one place"?

J.T. Enlarge further on that so that I shall understand you.

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Rem. It seems this matter of fellowship is a great challenge as to how we work things out in this matter of the assembly.

G.C.G. So "Let a man prove himself, and thus eat of the bread, and drink of the cup". That proving of oneself would be the full challenge of chapter 10.

J.T. And the question of children and baptism, household baptism is a feature of the truth that has come into prominence in the last fifty years. About that time household baptism was hardly entertained among half the brethren. Well, now you can hardly find a brother who does not believe in it. It ought to be brought up as to where parents are as to their families, and how the families stand in relation to the assembly.

F.J. In those days a generation was lost.

J.T. The lack of household baptism was bound to weaken the position.

Rem. Taking this up clarifies what the meaning of fellowship is. It tends to become hackneyed, the term 'coming into fellowship'.

J.T. We should study the word. In chapter 10 it is communion but the word 'fellowship' is better. It brings in having part in things joyfully and it commits us to things.

Rem. Does the fact that the cup of blessing is the blood of Christ have any bearing on the outward rather than the inward?

J.T. I think it has, the matter of blessing, we are to rise to it.

Rem. It comes before the bread is mentioned.

J.T. It is a question of the dispensation, how Israel was held responsible and the judgment of God fell on them, and so today the judgment of God will fall if our conduct is not right. If we are blessed it is well to keep in the position. He signalises the truth by blessing. We come in on the first day of the week with what blessing there is.

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Rem. Are baptised children part of the fellowship?

J.T. They would be in the external sense, because it says, "Your children ... are holy", 1 Corinthians 7:14. That is in an external sense. That should be an incentive to maintain holiness in the houses. We get ungodliness in the Old Testament. What happened to them are types. "I speak as to intelligent persons" -- that implies we understand the types. The list given of what happened is solemn and if children are allowed to take their own course, judgment will come in, for God is what He ever was, He is holy. "Be ye holy, for I am holy".

Ques. Is that why we take hold of the abstract side of things?

J.T. Just so. Get the abstract idea. That is another word we do well to look into as well as fellowship. For chapter 5 has that thought. First we are told to "purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, according as ye are unleavened". We could only be that in an abstract sense.

G.C.G. I think that is helpful "according as ye are unleavened", a blessed thing for us all to seize on that abstract truth, and then seek help and grace to be in the thing practically.

J.T. John's epistle helps us greatly. All John's writings are intended to work out an abstract idea to support the great features of Paul in the fellowship.

F.I. So the first chapter would be the abstract idea.

J.T. The whole of that first paragraph is abstract, the great idea applicable to the Corinthians, they are called "the assembly of God which is in Corinth". The abstract is worked out in the first nine verses. Then we get the practical concrete conditions which the apostle has much to say about. There was disunity amongst the brethren.

J.F.G. We are brought into that as we drink the cup?

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J.T. We are standing in our own light if we disregard what is right and holy, because it is a system of blessing that we are connected with. "There hath Jehovah commanded the blessing, life for evermore", Psalm 133:3. That was in the mind of God and it is now in the mind of God.

Rem. Blessing in connection with the holiness of God.

J.T. Just so.

Eu.R. What you say in regard to the first nine verses is very helpful. We should approach every company of saints walking together in the light of that, however small.

J.T. Take, for instance, this town, compare them with what is around in the so-called churches, you can see at once there is not concern about holiness in their services in these churches. The Holy Spirit is the means of holiness and remission the basis of it. In the Old Testament blessing was commanded but it is more than that now. It is a divine Person here, "He abides with you, and shall be in you", John 14:17.

G.C.G. All this enables us intelligently, and with affections fully secured, to enter into chapter 11.

J.T. We must touch on that now for it is the positive thing we are dealing with, namely the Lord's supper and celebrating it. According to other passages, the suggestion is we are together by ourselves, so to speak -- "We being assembled", and the Lord comes to us. The order of it implies He would first show what we are by the work of God. He would first show that when we come together, so we meet one another, we assemble, not simply there as so many persons but on a certain principle, namely assembled. It suggests we appropriate one another, we are essential to one another, we love one another, the Lord is waiting for that. He is ready to come under those circumstances.

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G.C.G. So now you have the inner side which is commensurate with the position publicly. Would that be the force of remembrance being brought in in the bread and in the cup here?

J.T. It makes way for the Lord. The allusion in the main is to the mind in the Lord's supper. It is for a calling of Him to mind. That is the word and it alludes to an action in our minds. The Lord coming to us is an action of His but at the same time there is an action in the mind that makes way for Him, "a calling of me to mind". Affection will have its place, of course, but the mind is the leading thought.

Rem. We are intelligent to what the Lord has in mind.

J.T. Just so. The Lord has gone into heaven. "This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, shall thus come in the manner in which ye have beheld him going into heaven", Acts 1:11. What happens in the interim is what is important to notice. He is free to move. Mark says He is "at the right hand of God", Mark 16:19. That is as Administrator, but that implies He loves His people. He will have them in heaven presently, but He comes to them now. He loves them and is active towards them.

Eu.R. "I will not leave you orphans, I am coming to you", John 14:18. He counts upon our affections in the scene of His absence.

J.T. Quite so and then again, "If any one love me, he will keep my word". And again it begins with the idea of keeping His commandments which is fundamental in the service of God here below. The Holy Spirit is here, another Comforter. The Lord says, "I will beg the Father, and he will give you another Comforter". This is the point, in the interim between the Lord's ascension and His coming for His own, "Ye see me" not 'shall see me', but "ye see me; because I live ye also shall live". That is not a

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matter in heaven but what happens in the interim in the activity of the Lord's love for us.

F.I. "In that day", does that refer to the Spirit's day?

J.T. That is just what it does refer to.

F.I. Having power in the Spirit we enter into what you are saying. We must have a sense of the Man in glory.

J.T. Then the interim is the time left open. It has lasted more than eighteen hundred years. It was meant to be a spiritual era in which the love of Christ should be shown beside many other things, the love of Christ for His own. He is not staying in heaven till He takes her there, He loves her now.

Ques. The Lord coming in at the Supper, is it at the breaking of bread when the brother is serving?

J.T. The idea would be in the breaking of bread. "He was made known to them in the breaking of bread", Luke 24:35. That was not the Lord's supper but intended to give the idea. On that occasion He was made known to them in the breaking of bread and left immediately, but with us He comes to stay, to spend a season with us, a time with us, not according to Matthew to be there the whole age but a season. The word in Acts 1:21 is, "All the time in which the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us". That was not said for nothing.

Ques. Is He with us when we take the cup?

J.T. I should say so, perhaps before.

Ques. This coming in of the Lord, is it preceded by the mind entering intelligently into what the apostle said, "For I received from the Lord, that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus, in the night in which he was delivered up, took bread, and having given thanks broke it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me"? Is that the mind entering into and

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going back to that night? I should like help in relation to the mind.

J.T. The Lord Jesus in the night in which He was delivered up, that shows how the heart is touched, the fact that He was betrayed. He took bread and broke it and said, "This do for the calling of me to mind". He said also, "This is ... for you". The bread is for us.

G.C.G. We had an expression on Lord's day morning in regard of the bread, that the bread was there, and then you thanked the Lord that the bread is here. We felt it was most affectionate by way of giving us contact with what is implied.

J.T. So that the feelings -- we were speaking of the mind, but the feelings are intended to be touched, too. "I received from the Lord ... the Lord Jesus ... took bread, and having given thanks broke it" -- He did not eat it -- "and said, This is my body, which is for you". It is somewhat different from what Luke says, showing this message which Paul had is evidently the last one and has additions to what we get in the gospels, and some eliminations from what we get in the gospels. Now he said, "Having given thanks broke it, and said, This is my body which is for you", which would mean it is for the assembly and only for the assembly. "This do for the calling of me to mind". After that "In like manner also the cup, after having supped, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me". As the note says, "after having supped" there means having a meal -- evidently the passover supper (see the Darby Translation note to "supped" in 1 Corinthians 11:25) . So that it is clear if He says, "This do in remembrance of me" as to the bread, He is there from that time; although the cup must be an additional thought, it is only that. The breaking of bread implies He is coming.

Ques. Is it a remembrance of the Lord where He went or where He is now, it is not a historical matter in that sense?

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J.T. It is where He is, wherever it happens.

Ques. Are vessels thus secured for God? The whole vessel filled with delight and joy in Christ.

J.T. I do not know why you bring in vessels.

Rem. Each of us forming part of the assembly that the Lord is able to control us completely by His love.

J.T. Well, quite so.

Eu.R. Does that involve worship?

J.T. Yes, as the Lord's supper is partaken of, He being there, there is room for His relations with the assembly according to the order of it; according to the type, Isaac loved Rebecca and was dallying with her; Genesis 26:8. There is a time of waiting, mutual relations, after the Lord's supper. But I should say He is there from the outset of the breaking of bread, for it is a great formula of words.

F.I. When we were assembled.

J.T. The term 'the Lord's supper' -- there is a dual thought in the Lord's supper implying intensification of the thing. But the breaking of bread is enough, it is the term usually used.

H.E.S. There is the privilege side and the responsible side. The breaking of bread would be the privilege side.

J.T. I would say that.

J.F.G. Is it important that we keep Paul's presentation before us in the breaking of bread? It was given him "to complete the word of God", Colossians 1:25. We come together to remember a Person in glory.

J.T. He completed the word of God and that would include what we have here.

Rem. The announcing of the Lord's death till He come -- how does the announcing work out today?

J.T. It goes with the public position of the testimony. There was an idea forty years ago that denied that the Lord's supper was taken in the wilderness, but

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it is, it is a public idea. The Lord's death is shown.

Rem. Would you link it with chapter 10?

J.T. I would in relation to its being public. Chapter 10 generally alludes to our ordinary circumstances, where we are exposed to paganism.

Rem. Would it be orderly to give out a hymn as soon as the emblems are passed round or to wait on the Lord?

J.T. I think the assembly is viewed by the Lord -- as has been remarked it is His -- as intelligent, it knows what to do, but as He comes in the idea of headship comes in. They know what to do. The question would be, Is the hymn suitable? Very often a hymn involves remarkable joy and touches the hearts of the brethren.

G.C.G. There is a verse in the Song of Songs which has a bearing on this, "I charge you, daughters of Jerusalem, ... that ye stir not up nor awaken love till it please", (see the Darby Translation note to Song of Songs 2:7). If we are, as we would be, moving rightly as partaking of the Supper, it means we are entirely absorbed with Christ and shall know when to move and how to move.

J.T. The question is whether you should confine love to the saints there, whether it is love in Christ or in the saints.

G.C.G. I had before me the way He is before us. It is a question of His love and Himself. "Nor awaken love till it please".

J.T. It would be love then not Christ, whether it be in Him or in the assembly. It is the time of love. Love in the assembly might be quite ready to do something because they are capable of it. That is the constitution of it, they are capable. The Lord would accentuate it, but it is there.

Eu.R. Is it like Isaac lifting up his eyes, and Rebecca lifting up her eyes?

J.T. What Isaac saw was the camels, the power by which the assembly is carried. The Lord knows

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how the assembly is constituted. She is His. It is a time of love, the Lord knows it is there and comes because it is there, and He would add to what is there.

F.I. Calling Him to mind would show we are under the mind of the Spirit, having our minds in control.

J.T. Just so, we are ready. The whole position is living. The Lord is not stirring up something that is dead, but it is living and He would join in with it. The Holy Spirit is there, continually there ready to act at any time.

Eu.R. "Ye see me; because I live ye also shall live". Living affection.

J.T. Quite so. The difficulty at Troas was that whilst there was life there, Eutychus fell from the third story and was taken up dead, but Paul enfolded him and said, "His life is in him", hence he was a living boy henceforth. Life is there. The assembly is not simply a living boy, but the saints are there in the spirit of life, and the Spirit is there. The Spirit was active in the Middle Ages, however few there may have been. The Lord took up what was there. And the truth would make the assembly what it is, a living system.

Eu.R. It will go on to an eternal day.

J.T. I think we ought to stress that it is living. The Lord is coming to that.

Rem. The Lord's supper relates to what is public, but we move into the inward.

J.T. It is always public, for the emblems are still there. Sometimes they used to cover them over but they are to be there.

Rem. Sometimes there is lack of joy.

J.T. A word of ministry serves for that purpose, it is used for liberation under the Lord and under the Spirit, too, to stir up the affections. It is a delicate time. We are dealing with delicacy, the instruments involved can easily be touched.

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Ques. Could you help us as to each taking his own supper?

J.T. That means he was doing what he should not do. Paul said, "It is not to eat the Lord's supper". It is your own supper. You hardly get anything so gross today as that. But no doubt it was intended to bring out the truth as we have it. Then Paul brings in the idea of your houses. You might say the meeting is in a house, but the idea is it is a place to meet and the saints are meeting in an orderly way such as the Lord may appraise and He comes to that. It is beautiful in His eyes and He comes to it. The Holy Spirit being there, that is the underlying basic position of the assembly, and it is living.

Eu.R. "This cup is the new covenant".

J.T. It brings out the thought of a drinking vessel. Hence it is used in connection with the cup and not the bread. That brings up the idea of a vessel working out in the assembly herself, for she is a vessel and we have the idea of vessels to pour out with, and vessels that can be hung on something, that is the Lord Himself, and each one may be included in that. But it is to bring out the thought of drinking.

Eu.R. Including joy?

J.T. Drinking has that in mind.

Rem. "Drink ye all of it", Matthew 26:27.

J.T. If we are all Christians here we should all drink of it. The Lord would say, It is for all of you, and they all drank out of it.

Ques. Being carried in the joy of the morning meeting, is not the thought we are each to drink it?

J.T. Drinking is a satisfying thing.

Rem. The question of it not being historical rather disturbs me. Many of us regard it as historical. What have you in mind in it being a present matter?

J.T. It can only be historical in the way it says

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they broke bread in the house, and "We being assembled to break bread", that is the only way I would use the word 'historical'. The thing is what we do now.

G.C.G. We need help, because often what we do express both in regard of the bread and the cup is very much on the historical line. But if we are together in the conditions we are considering there would be a definite and fresh touch on every occasion.

J.T. Quite so. The saints are supposed to have the Spirit and cut in a straight line the word of truth. So the simple Christian would say, Paul is our apostle and if we are going to break bread -- and we are accustomed to breaking bread -- we want to see what Paul says about that. You would like to know what Paul says about it. The intelligent Christian knows Paul has the last word as to it. We should be governed by it.

Eu.R. He received it from the Lord.

J.T. He received it after the Lord went up to heaven.

Eu.R. It is for "calling of me to mind" -- that Person.

J.T. The idea is He is absent. We often refer to what is said in Exodus 32:1: "For this Moses, the man that has brought us up out of the land of Egypt, -- we do not know what is become of him". We know what has become of the Lord, He has gone up to heaven, He is staying there, but He may come if He pleases. Paul said, "He appeared to me also", 1 Corinthians 15:8. We cannot say He appears in that way now, but He does come to us. It is the One Who is away Who comes to us. How glad we are to see Him. It is intended to accentuate our joy.

Eu.R. It is the gladness of His heart in a spiritual way.

J.T. Quite so.

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Ques. Why do we drink if He is already made known to us in the breaking of bread?

J.T. It is an additional thought. It is a dual matter. The cup is mentioned first in chapter 10 and the bread in chapter 11, that is the order of the celebration of it. So we have the cup mentioned several times as distinct from the Lord's table. But the Lord is there in the breaking of bread, because it says He was made known to them in the breaking of bread.

Eu.R. Would it cause His glory to shine before us in an enhancing way -- the cup?

J.T. Quite. The dual thought is very often to emphasise.

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Matthew 12:46 - 50; Matthew 13:1 - 9, 24 - 30, 36 - 43

J.T. Matthew has been in mind in view of sowing. What is to be said today is intended to centre in the verses read in chapter 12. This passage contemplates a new and basic centre for the opening up of certain features of the truth in Matthew leading on to chapter 16 in which we find the assembly spoken of. The passage read in chapter 12 refers to the disciples as with the Lord. Here it is said, "Stretching out his hand to his disciples, he said, Behold my mother and my brethren; for whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in the heavens, he is my brother, and sister, and mother". That is to say the disciples are viewed as a family -- the Lord in the midst of them. The statements imply that they are no longer of Judaism but of Christ, later to be called Christians. So the three synoptic gospels treat of this particular section and contemplate the disciples as a household, at least in principle -- attached to the Lord as their centre, and He treats them as representing the family thought which was, and is now, the main characteristic of Christianity. I thought additionally that the Lord's supper may be regarded as connected with this family, although not here. But in chapter 26 we are told that it is the Lord's disciples who are treated as the centre of the service of God in Christianity. The old system had a temple and in the court of it sacrifices were offered, but now it is a new order of things and the synoptic gospels treat the Lord's disciples as His family among whom He institutes His supper, growing out of the passover.

It is thought well to mention these things because of the great importance of the Lord's supper as connected with the family; we are to understand it in

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this way -- it is His supper. Paul enlarges on this in detail in connection with Christianity in Corinthians. It is thought well that we should have this before us because the results of the sowing here are intended to displace Judaism, and a new crop for God is now in mind -- the Lord is seen as sowing in view of it.

Then the parable developed in verse 36 refers not to grains of seed, but persons sown -- sons of the kingdom. These are sown by the Lord and the devil is imitating Him, hence the situation around us related to Christianity is mainly spurious, the devil having affected it. It is hoped the Lord will help us to be extricated from these matters and to be sons of the kingdom.

Ques. Are we to understand the sowing in the first parable refers to sowing of the word, and the sowing in the second parable to sowing of persons; and would the disciples as spoken of in chapter 12 actually be the fruit of the sowing in chapter 13?

J.T. They could be regarded in that light, but the nations are also in mind. In chapter 13 it is said, "And that same day Jesus went out from the house and sat down by the sea", meaning the nations are in mind, too. "And great crowds were gathered together to him, so that going on board ship himself he sat down, and the whole crowd stood on the shore. And he spoke to them many things in parables, saying, Behold, the sower went out to sow". Now in verse 36 we are told that He dismissed the crowds, "Having dismissed the crowds, he went into the house". This is another house. The first verse would be the Jewish house, but verse 36 would be the Christian house. That is what I understand.

What I would like the brethren to see particularly is the position of the persons called the sons of the kingdom. They are viewed as so many persons already formed in kingdom principles and able to carry on for the Lord in view of the final gathering,

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as it is said, "Then the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He that has ears, let him hear". I apprehend the Lord has now a situation, or had from the outset, in which He has persons sown -- set in certain positions on the earth in which they can be used. They are not babes but sons of the kingdom -- a great thought.

H.P.W. Does that mean these sons of the kingdom are practical exponents of the principles of the kingdom itself?

J.T. That is what I thought.

H.P.W. Righteousness, peace and joy. Are those the principles?

J.T. That is what the kingdom is said to be composed of. "Righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit". It seems to me that this being understood the Lord will have more here as men definitely set according to His own dispositions of them for the maintenance of His interests. They are full grown men.

N.K.M. Why does the Lord allude to Himself here as Son of man?

J.T. That term is very much used -- about eighty-one times in the New Testament, implying that Judaism is set aside. It is a universal thought. So it is that Stephen said he saw "the Son of man standing at the right hand of God", at the time that God was about to set Israel aside because of Stephen's death.

W.W. Is it consequent on His rejection by Israel that He takes up this title?

J.T. That is what I understand. The time had come for it and the Lord has given up Judaism. "Lo, we turn to the nations" (Acts 13:46), Paul says. The salvation of God is sent to them and they will receive it.

I should not like that we should get away from the precious thought of the family position which is

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basic. I would like the brethren to take on a little more this lowly position the Lord takes in the midst of a few, and the way He indicates to them what they are to Him. "Stretching out his hand to his disciples, he said, Behold my mother and my brethren"; meaning that it is the family although not going so far as the doctrine of the family. "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in the heavens, he is my brother, and sister, and mother". We have family relationships and we are to enjoy them. They are to work out in feelings of affection for the Lord and for each other in the maintenance of the kingdom.

Ques. Does all that supersede the natural claim?

J.T. That is what the word means, the natural claim of His mother -- she was standing there. "While he was yet speaking to the crowds, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, seeking to speak to him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren are standing without, seeking to speak to thee". That one inside had some sympathy with what was outside and very little sympathy with the Lord -- he is intimating that the Lord should go out to them, whereas He is in His own circle.

H.P.W. Are you thinking of what this circle is to the heart of Christ personally?

J.T. I am. He must have found much joy in what there was there.

H.P.W. And still does?

J.T. When we meet each other our eyes indicate our secret feelings about things. We can know all about what goes on in the world from the newspapers, but we have our secrets. "The secret of Jehovah is with them that fear him" (Psalm 25:14), and we have an understanding between each other because we know something of the mysteries of the kingdom.

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N.K.M. Do you link that more with the thought of brethren?

J.T. The general term 'brethren' would cover it -- One is our Instructor; Matthew 23:8.

Ques. Is that why the succession of parables comes in chapter 13, that this secret should be kept in its own relation?

J.T. The next parable would be to conceal the truth from the natural mind, but at the same time to help those who have faith to understand. What the Lord says in a later verse helps as to that. "Jesus says to them, Have ye understood all these things? They say to him, Yea, Lord. And he said to them, For this reason every scribe discipled to the kingdom of the heavens is like a man that is a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old". That is where the precious secret lies, and the Lord does not question that they had understood. It was an understanding time -- the truth was gaining among them. The Lord was here that they all might understand. "Have ye understood all these things?" And He accepted the answer. So much is assumed in our Bible readings. We talk about something else directly after the meeting and forget what is spoken of by the Spirit. That is why the Lord is saying, "Have ye understood all these things?" They said, "Yea, Lord. And he said to them, For this reason every scribe ..." -- a scribe is a man who knows things and is accurate -- "discipled to the kingdom of the heavens is like a man that is a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old". These two verses are intended to help us at our Bible readings so that we carry away understanding of what is said.

Ques. Would "things new and old" refer to the Old Testament and the New Testament?

J.T. Yes.

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M.C. When the apostle Paul speaks of "Jerusalem above ... our mother" (Galatians 4:26), does that support what you are saying about "my mother and my brethren"

J.T. Just so. If you are thinking of the type -- Sarah, she was the true mother, Hagar had no place at all. So that Jerusalem above is our mother, that is the assembly. The assembly is not above yet, but it is in principle, anticipatively above and viewed abstractly in that sense. Hence the position of mother -- the family position.

J.P.H. What does the mother stand for amongst the saints?

J.T. It is the feminine thought, according to the reading of the word 'mother'. We have the idea of a mother in Israel, and the thought of 'fathers'. Things have to be worked out primarily according to what they are and then seek to get the spiritual understanding and whole great thought about them. The free woman is our mother, meaning that our liberty through the gospel makes us free with one another, with the Lord and with the Spirit. Thus Christianity is amongst us. We have the motherly spirit with us.

Ques. Is there any link between what you are saying and what the Lord says from the cross when He sees His mother, "Woman, behold thy son" and "Behold thy mother", John 19:26, 27?

J.T. Anyone who went into John's house, and apparently he had a house, would see that the Lord's mother was John's mother -- John would regard her as such. The Lord had put both of them in their places. There never was anything of the kind before. There is nothing said in Scripture to anyone as to that save to John the evangelist. He was "the disciple whom Jesus loved" and the Lord intended that that should come into Christianity in that sense. There should be the thought of mother and son, younger men treating older women as their mothers,

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and even when speaking to young sisters to be careful about it -- "with all purity".

Ques. Were these features secured in the remnant in the end of Malachi, "They that feared Jehovah spoke often one to another; and Jehovah observed it, and heard, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared Jehovah, and that thought upon his name", Malachi 3:16?

J.T. There you get Elijah. "Remember the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, the statutes and ordinances. Behold, I send unto you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and terrible day of Jehovah. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers". What you say about the remnant has no doubt come out in that way. This is Elijah that was to come. There will be great ministry by someone turning the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.

Rem. Did not Elijah say "That this people may know ... that thou hast turned their heart"?

J.T. Very good.

Rem. What you are saying is over against the spirit of lawlessness which is increasing.

J.T. Quite so. There is a motherly influence among the brethren, and a fatherly influence. The apostle said, "Ye ... have ... not many fathers" -- you may have men who speak well and yet fail to influence the young in a fatherly way. Paul was a father to the Corinthians, anyway.

Rem. All this seems to open up with the understanding. Doing the "will of my Father" -- there is no family liberty apart from that.

J.T. Quite so.

J.P.H. Is it your thought that these relationships known amongst the brethren help the saints in every department of the truth, including the spreading of

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the truth as in the first part of chapter 13? It is to be noticed how many times a brother comes in throughout the Scriptures gradually helping the truth forward. For instance, Genesis 24, and Barnabas in the Acts fetching Saul.

J.T. Yes. And young women are spoken of -- what influence they are to have. The brothers are to regard them in purity; older women as mothers; and a widow who has been such is to be put on the list -- the assembly's money is regarded as so precious but she has earned it, she is qualified to receive help.

J.C.E. Did you make some reference to this bearing on the Supper -- this great feature of sowing?

J.T. I only mentioned it and did not intend to enlarge on the Supper beyond that it is a family matter. The Lord's supper is mentioned immediately as the Spirit of God comes down. It is not mentioned before in the Acts but it is mentioned in chapter 2 twice, to call attention to the fact that it is a family matter. Other things were carried on in the temple, but the Lord's supper was never connected with the temple -- the family thought is bound up with it. There is not much said beyond that the early converts persevered in the teaching and fellowship of the apostles, in breaking of bread and prayers."Then we are told later ''breaking bread in the house", which would indicate that the temple was not used for it. In 1 Corinthians it is clear that the apostle alludes to the breaking of bread as in the meeting place -- in places where brethren meet. He calls attention to what they were doing and that they should be doing it in their houses, but the Lord's supper was to be in a place where the brethren meet, not in the houses of the saints.

Ques. Would Acts 20 -- the matter of Eutychus, disclose the family feature?

J.T. He is called a boy. Paul descended when the thing happened, a very sorrowful happening,

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the procedure of the meeting must have been stayed for a time. He enfolded the boy in his arms and said, "His life is in him", as if to indicate that in spite of what happened it was a living situation -- a place where the assembly was gathered, and the child was living. Afterward they went up and the breaking of bread ensued and conversation followed. Then Paul and his company went away, and the others were not a little comforted. They brought away the boy alive.

Ques. Would Joseph be a true brother? He had his father's interests at heart concerning the younger brother.

J.T. Quite so. He entered into what his father felt. We have now come to the point of the Lord's supper, but it is only to bring out the basic thought in Matthew -- the assembly gospel -- which is in this verse we read in which the Lord speaks of brother and sister and mother -- the family situation. Not yet as Hebrews says -- the Lord is not ashamed to call us brethren, but what we are in everyday circumstances.

H.P.W. Would you say that the features of mother and brother really spring out of true discipleship?

J.T. Quite so.

H.P.W. I was thinking as to whether we realise these features, in the secret of our own souls, following Him and imbibing His teaching.

J.T. Yes. The use the Lord intended to make of John comes to me. He says to Peter, "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me". Paul's doctrine is contemplated only the family is linked up with it. The Lord had great confidence in John, "The disciple whom Jesus loved", but at the outset of the ministry he was always second to Peter, "Peter and John", Acts 3 and 4. Peter was official and authoritative and John ready to leave things, but thoroughly in them. In writing his

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gospel the Lord must have given him a knowledge of all that love would need in carrying on in view of the last days. The greatest things are the smallest things.

H.P.W. I was really thinking, you said a little time back about God having secrets and mysteries of the kingdom, and the Lord teaching them. That was not so much to the disciples as to us -- these are the people who have great secrets, and are now carrying on things. Is that how the thing is really developed?

J.T. The Lord has His favourites. In Gethsemane He disposed of what He had, put one here and one there -- a time of pressure. Pressure is coming on now and it is a question as to whether we are holding ourselves available so that the Lord may get the most from us. There is much needed, not only preaching and teaching. There is the mother and sister and brother -- these are all now to be maintained as the family in a practical way.

H.P.W. So you become an exponent of what you have learnt from the Lord, and you are useable in that way.

J.T. Quite so. In John 1, John the baptist was serving and he stood, and his disciples heard him speak and followed Jesus. That is the beginning of things according to John's gospel -- Jesus is the centre. They said, "Where abidest thou?" He inquired of them what they sought, to bring out what they were thinking of. The Lord said, "What seek ye? And they said to him, Rabbi, ... where abidest thou? He says to them, Come and see. They went therefore, and saw where he abode; and they abode with him that day. It was about the tenth hour". Where the Lord abode there they stayed. So the narrative goes on to Nathanael and greater things -- in chapter 2 to marriage -- all practical things and the Lord Himself had part in them, He was not above it. He made wine for them when they needed it. So John would lead us on practical, and

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yet the very highest, lines, so that we are ready for service.

F.A.W. John has family feelings and is a true son of the kingdom, and he could be entirely above things at Patmos.

J.T. That is good. The Lord would take account of him as in prison. He was one whose place was in a certain position, according to the Lord's disposition -- what the Lord would wish. That is what we get here, those that do the will of God -- we belong to that family.

Rem. You are not thinking of special gift at the moment. It is those who do the will of the Father who would be marked by liberty. There is special gift but that is not a family matter.

J.T. The Lord says, "she hath done what she could". There is so much to be done and the Lord is looking for us to do things. "The Lord began to do and to teach". Doing first, then teaching.

Rem. He made a certain promise to Peter in calling him, but as far as I know He did not promise John anything. He promises Peter that He will make him fisher of men, but John He simply calls to follow Him.

J.T. To John He gave full wages, that would be love, I am sure.

Ques. Do we arrive at the family thought in Martha, Mary and Lazarus?

J.T. We do. A Jewish family, though. The real family link is in John 13. The Lord went up from Bethany according to Luke, but according to Acts 1 from the mount of Olives. But in John 13 it is the family thought in Christianity, so that it has part with Christ. "Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end" -- so we have part with Him. Hence He washes our feet and puts us to wash one another's feet. Christianity is worked out from chapter 6 to the end of chapter 17 where

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the Lord is with His Father. He lifts up His eyes to heaven and says "Father". That beautiful chapter has the Christian family in mind.

Ques. How are we sustained in this? Is it by prayer and supplication?

J.T. It is the Spirit -- the other Comforter. The whole system in fact is sustained by the Christ. He has gone to be with the Father, and the Spirit has come here so that the position is held in that sense and filled out in the assembly. The assembly is used by the Lord as His own.

Rem. The family thought underlies the service of Aquila and Priscilla in connection with Apollos. They "took him to them".

J.T. If they had a house or lodgings they would take him there. It was an important matter because he was to be a great servant. If we apply the idea of sowing to Apollos we can see how important it was to get him right, that he should be accurate in his use of Scripture -- to know "the way of God more exactly".

Rem. Apollos was accurate, but they taught him more accurately. We can get more and more accurate in the truth.

J.T. We are apt to get things loosely.

Rem. "Strive diligently to present thyself approved to God, a workman that has not to be ashamed, cutting in a straight line the word of truth", 2 Timothy 2:15.

J.T. That is very important -- the truth should be spoken of accurately.

H.P.W. Does accuracy of speaking come from accuracy of mind? As our minds come under the sway of the Holy Spirit we should walk in the Spirit and even think in the Spirit.

J.T. Quite so.

Rem. God says to Moses, "I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say".

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J.T. God has made man's mouth and He has made it to be accurate.

Ques. Is accuracy in hearing necessary?

J.T. Yes, it is.

Ques. Is the principle of the school of Tyrannus in Ephesus helpful in this connection -- on the line of accuracy?

J.T. I would think so.

Ques. What would be the Lord's object in this parable of the sower? He says at the end, "He that hath ears, let him hear". Is it that we should take heed to what we hear so that we should not be like grain on rocky places?

J.T. That applies to every one of us.

H.P.W. There is a touching allusion to the Holy Spirit, "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". We need really to have our thoughts controlled by the Holy Spirit.

J.T. Yes. There is no doubt that the method of ministering to one another which the Lord has supported for so many years is this method of Bible readings. Whether they had it at the beginning exactly as we have it is uncertain, but the principle was there. The method in Troas is to be noted because the word is changed. After Eutychus fell and was raised, or resuscitated, life was there, and they went up and broke bread and talked. There could be no doubt that the apostle would have much to say about the Supper. We are not told what he said at all, but he conversed at length. The ministry has been used of God, and it helps us to understand, and hence the need of hearing aright. "Take heed how ye hear". We should be able to judge what was said after a meeting. We should have church ears. The ears of the assembly are spoken of, they should

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be ears that hear aright. Hence the importance of hearing and speaking rightly.

Ques. Had Luke that in view when he commenced his gospel? "Most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things".

J.T. That is right. "Eye-witnesses of and attendants on the Word". Hence we have the understanding in the end of John's gospel. The Lord did not say that that disciple "does not die". There is a sense in which the disciple continues but not literally.

Rem. Lydia was one whose heart the Lord opened to attend to the words spoken by Paul.

J.T. Yes. As if he were the chief speaker.

Ques. Would verse 36 help on this line?

J.T. It is to bring in this side. He left the Jewish house. "Jesus went out from the house and sat down by the sea". That was the position. Then we have the parables. There was a private side to the position as there is always. What is said publicly may require careful sifting out privately. Aquila and Priscilla took Apollos to them; they would treat the matter as private. They would be careful not to expose him because he was manifestly a great vessel. So we should be careful as to what we hear, and to talk, if necessary, privately to one another about certain doctrines or phases of the truth or principles that are not clear generally, so that we may avoid differences of opinion.

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Genesis 15; 2 Timothy 4:1 - 5

J.T. What is in mind is that we should become assured of the truth; Abraham sought to know. And so it is that we have so much about knowledge in the chapter we read from Genesis. It affords the first thought of the word of God as such, not the Scriptures exactly, but the word of God. This chapter speaks of it for the first time in Scripture, and that is why it is proposed now, because it indicates that God would assure Abram by His word, His own word. And so the passage in 2 Timothy is suggested because it tells Timothy to preach the word, that is the word of God, to do the work of an evangelist. The work of the evangelist would evidently take the form, if not entirely, certainly largely, of the preaching of the word. Other things, of course, would be found in the service of the evangelist, or the person who is said to do the work, for Timotheus is not exactly called an evangelist, he is to do the work of an evangelist. So it is to take the character of preaching the word, the word of God. It is thought that looking into Genesis 15 will help us in a general way as to assurance; assurance which comes through the word of God. Hence it is said, Abram said, "Lo, to me thou hast given no seed, and behold, a son of my house will be mine heir. And behold, the word of Jehovah came to him, saying, This shall not be thine heir, but he that will come forth out of thy body shall be thine heir. And he led him out, and said, Look now toward the heavens, and number the stars, if thou be able to number them. And he said to him, So shall thy seed be!" This is a word of assurance. "And he believed Jehovah; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness", and then Jehovah said to him,

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"I am Jehovah who brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give thee this land to possess it. And he said" (that is Abram), "Lord Jehovah, how shall I know that I shall possess it?" So that the matter is in this way set before us, God's side of the matter, and Abram's, and we shall see that Abram's side requires what would be regarded or should be regarded as subjective knowledge.

Ques. When you speak of the word, you said 'not the Scriptures exactly'. Have you in mind that which is living and powerful?

J.T. Just so. The word of God is living and powerful.

Ques. That could hardly be said of the Scriptures?

J.T. Well, they would be that, of course, by the Spirit, as the Spirit uses them, as any of us uses them by the Spirit. But we have to distinguish between the word of God and the Scriptures nevertheless. "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, with whom we have to do", Hebrews 4:12, 13. That is the idea of the word which we should keep before us, but clearly what we have in Genesis bears on Abram's daily circumstances having a prophetic character and an assuring character to Abram.

Ques. Does the victory secured in chapter 14 bring to light the need of an heir that the land should be inherited?

J.T. Well, no doubt Abram felt the need of it before, he alludes to Eliezer and calls him the son of his house, that is, born a domestic servant. So that it would be in Abram's mind that it should be a son, not a domestic servant, and, of course, when we come down the lines of the truth, Christ is the Son.

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Ques. Did God's first word to Abram encourage him to raise this question as to an heir, "Fear not, Abram; I am thy shield, thy exceeding great reward"? Then Abram raises the question of an heir, does he not?

J.T. Yes, and undoubtedly God intended that he should. It would keep him from any natural efforts or subterfuges. It was God speaking, as we might say, to His child, and though the idea of the children of God came in later, yet Abram was born of God in that sense, he was one of God's children, and he was to be assured. It would take time to bring out all the facts. The gospel of Matthew enters on them, beginning with Abraham, forty-two generations were required to bring out the facts, showing how God will have His own way, and take His own time, and teach us patience at the same time in learning God's ways, and becoming assured of His ways, and confident in Him; and undoubtedly it was pleasing to God that Abram should wish to know, as he says, "Lord Jehovah, how shall I know that I shall possess it?" And then we have further down, in verse 13, "He said to Abram, Know assuredly that thy seed will be a sojourner in a land that is not theirs", that is, know assuredly. God therefore would have us to be assured. Covenants were made with Abraham, but we ought not to expect them, because we are born of God in a true sense, we are given title to take the place of children of God. Not simply that we are born again in the sense of John 3, but born of the Spirit, that is, the full thought of the children of God. And so now we are the children of God.

Ques. So that the word, would you say, is in relation to facts, and those facts eventually form the basis of all true teaching.

J.T. In relation to facts. That is good.

Rem. Which are in themselves basic and fundamental.

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J.T. God therefore would enter into conversation with us as He did with Abram, conversational teaching is a feature, especially in the New Testament, and the basis of it is that we are a family.

N.K.M. What would be the force of God presenting Himself to Abram in this way, "Fear not, Abram; I am thy shield, thy exceeding great reward"?

J.T. Well, I think just what I have said, that Jehovah would assure Abram. Much has passed, as we have already heard, the great battle that was fought, and Abram had three hundred and eighteen trained servants in his house, and he joined the conflict, not as an ally of the attacking kings but because of his brother. It was a matter of love. But Abram himself had to be assured. Melchisedec, whose names are given in the previous chapter, was a direct messenger of God to him, to refresh him in the conflict. It is said that "Melchisedec king of Salem brought out bread and wine. And he was priest of the Most High God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of heavens and earth. And blessed be the Most High God, who has delivered thine enemies into thy hand". Well, this would be very assuring so far, but the heir was not promised. I think God loves to have His children to be free with Him, to be bold in our asking; "How much rather shall the Father", it is said, "who is of heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" How much rather, showing how things are to be had for the asking. God loves to have us draw near and ask. "Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and ye shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you". And so forth. So that God would have us in liberty with Him.

R.G.B. Does John's epistle develop this thought of assurance?

J.T. Well, if we approach that epistle we shall see that the main thought is introduced. We have

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gradations in the fellowship; that is to say, the Father and the Son are in it and the apostles are in it, and then all the saints. So that we are to understand that we are dealing with divine Persons, and we are to be regulated accordingly to be reverential, but the epistle as it proceeds opens up love, and, just as we have said, "See what love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God". In that sense I would say it certainly does assure us, it opens up what we are dealing with. The Father is available to us, as we have already had it just now, "we have both access by one Spirit to the Father" -- through Christ. It is a mediatorial position, but nevertheless liberty, the liberty in which Christ sets us free.

W.S.S. I was thinking of Abram saying, "the steward of my house". I wondered in connection with your last remark, whether there could not be the liberty until there is the proper provision for the house in the Son. Would that have a bearing on what you have in mind?

J.T. Just so, according to John 8, for instance, "If therefore the Son shall set you free, ye shall be really free". He is over the house, I suppose that is what you mean?

W.S.S. I was thinking that no reward could be offered to Abram that would really satisfy his heart, so long as there was not provision for the house, in the Son.

J.T. Hebrews opens that up, too; the Son was the builder of the house, being God, and He is over it as Son.

Rem. The footnote is the 'son of possession' in connection with the steward.

J.T. That would be that it is Eliezer that he is meaning. But he is possessed as a servant.

Rem. "Son of possession" as the steward, in contrast to a steward who has his master whom he

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is under; the son of possession would be entitled as the heir to gather the father's mind in it.

J.T. The expression son of possession could hardly convey the idea of sonship in the sense in which Isaac was son, even the eldest of Abraham's servants, as mentioned in chapter 24; he was not a son, he was the eldest servant of his house, that is to say that he was over all that Abraham had -- rising indeed to the thought of the Holy Spirit as a type. But this one is a domestic.

Ques. Is the reference "a son of my house will be mine heir", to one of his domestics?

J.T. Yes, just so. That is Abram, no doubt, would induct them in some sense into his wealth, but that would not be the divine thought.

W.S.S. I was wondering whether the thought of understanding of assurance, of which you have spoken, is connected in that way with the apprehension of the Son. Abram was not satisfied until the truth of the Son, so to speak, fills his vision. In the end of John's epistle it says, "We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding".

J.T. Just so.

Ques. On what line did this word of Jehovah come to him? It says, "And behold, the word of Jehovah came to him, saying ..." How did that reach him? Was that an utterance?

J.T. Well, we have to leave it. When Moses went into the sanctuary to speak to Jehovah, it says Jehovah spoke to him, and He spoke to him "from between the two cherubim". So that we cannot say that it was a medium, in the sense of a person, a man; it was God's way, it was mysterious, but still it was God, and it would seem as if all the communications were on that principle after Moses experienced what he did in Numbers 7. He went in to speak to Jehovah, but Jehovah spoke to him, and

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that is He had a way of speaking to men "from between the two cherubim". The allusion would be, I suppose, to the Lord Jesus and the Spirit, the means that God has now in the assembly. The speaking goes on, the Spirit may take on men and He does, but it is God speaking. And so Hebrews takes it up, as God who has spoken to us in times past by the fathers, "at the end of these days has spoken to us in Son", the article not being there is simply that God was speaking in the Son, or as the Son, so that I think the manner of the speaking would be in divine Persons.

N.K.M. It says, "then he heard the voice speaking to him from off the mercy-seat which was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubim".

J.T. And that would be now in the incarnation of Christ, of course, and it comes down in the sense of gift, too, in the ministry, because the assembly is the sanctuary, through which God is now operating, and the intention is not to detain us unduly, save as to the general thought of the chapter, that God undertook to speak to Abram in this gracious and full way. It says, "After these things the word of Jehovah came to Abram in a vision". It is a definite departure with God, because it is the first time you have the idea of the word being used, and then it runs on to what we have already read, when Abram says, "Lord Jehovah, how shall I know that I shall possess it?" Now he wants to be sure. "And he said to him, Take me a heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon. And he took all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid the half of each opposite its fellow; but the birds he did not divide. And the birds of prey came down on the carcases; and Abram scared them away. And as the sun was just going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, a horror, a great darkness, fell

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upon him". Well then, this is a subjective experience that Abram has, and God is intending to put him through it, so that he may come out with assurance. Although the period would be long it would take the character of a prophetic word, yet Abram would be assured that all was settled, and that is the great point that one has in mind, that we should be assured, and that although there may be prophetic ministry, there is assurance that the Spirit of God is in it, and it encourages us to be assured, to believe God, because that is the point -- Abram believed God "and he counted it to him for righteousness".

Ques. When he asks, "how shall I know that I shall possess it?"does he show that he is ready then for the subjective exercises?

J.T. Well, that is right. He is saying to God, I want to know, and then God makes a proposal to him and he accepts it. The proposal is, "Take me a heifer" and so forth, I read the passage, (verses 9 - 11). These creatures would be typical of a subjective experience that faith has to go through in answer to the word of God, which comes to us, whatever way it may come it comes to us, and assures us, and searches us, too, and Abram was equal to that, he was ready to be searched, and to go through horror because the meaning is that he has got to go through in some sense the experience that Israel would go through before they were delivered, possibly something like Romans 7 we have often been reminded of. We have to go through things with God, and learn what God provides as language for us, so that we should understand. These creatures are intended to be a vocabulary for us, so that we should understand and go through things with God, so that we are real Christians.

Ques. Would the searching character of the word of God -- exposing -- be suggested in the division of these animals?

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J.T. Well, we have to recognise the female and the male, because these sexes have meanings, have a further language, "Take me a heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon". The first three creatures are said to be three years old, which would mean full maturity, and that must find a reaction in the believer, because the question is of the believer advancing in the knowledge of God, and being assured of it, as if it were already existing; it is faith but it is to be assured of as if it existed already.

Ques. Would the thought in Acts 19:20 be the same thought as yours? "Thus with might the word of the Lord increased and prevailed".

J.T. Well, it is the word of the Lord in the gospel there that prevailed. It would be the same thing, and it would be in, one might say, a company. It is a question of the ministry of the gospel, and it increased and prevailed. Ephesus was the very top of the position. Paul was moved on until he came to Ephesus, and there the top stone was laid in the ministry.

Ques. Would Saul go through this experience in Acts 9, in the three days, and then he was assured by the word of Ananias, putting his hands upon him and saying, "Saul, brother"?

J.T. Three days and three nights. Yes, very good. I would say that. And no doubt he worked it out in his own letter to the Romans, in chapter 7.

Ques. Does the way the seven sons of Sceva are dealt with in Acts 19 link with Abram scaring away the birds?

J.T. That is a great matter, for young believers especially and for all of us, to scare away the birds, because they are just agents of the devil, to rob us of the truth that we get at a meeting like this. Many times we get things, and we stop the meeting and we

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get talking of this, that and the other thing, and we forget what has been said.

Ques. But Jehovah is going to be jealous of what there is with Abram, by not giving him any instructions as to what to do with these animals, he leaves it to Abram. I wondered whether that was calculated to develop the subjective side of the truth?

J.T. Just so, to bring out the intelligence he had. I think God loves to look on us and give us inklings of what is in His mind, and now it is your turn next, as it were, He would say to you. And so it is that Abram knew what to do here. And so it was that Jehovah would have the animals named, and He "brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof", as if God is ready to see us go through with things and become acquainted with Him, to come to know Him, to know God. So the last word in John's first epistle is, "He is the true God and eternal life". What an immense thing that is! We read in the beginning, "That which was from the beginning", and so on. We would begin with that, Christ in humanity, but we end with the fact that "He is the true God and eternal life". He "hath given us an understanding that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ".

Rem. So that we are divinely sensible. Is that it?

J.T. Quite so. Then in due course we are to be able to converse with God, for this book brings out how God was ready to converse with Abraham; in chapter 18, as we know, He and two others came and took their stand under the tree and waited for Abraham to cook a meal for them. So that God is ready to converse with us.

Ques. Is there a suggestion here in the Lord saying, "Take me a heifer", not 'take thee'?

J.T. Take me, you say? Quite so. God is saying,

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This is how you are going to get to know things. And how much there is in the sense of commandment. "If any one thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him recognise the things that I write to you, that it is the Lord's commandment". It is working the things out that are commanded that leads us to the knowledge of God, and makes us confident to converse with Him, to have to say to Him.

Rem. The conversation is resumed when he has attended to Him.

J.T. Yes. So that as we go on with the subjective feature, I think we shall come to what is in mind. The first a heifer, which is a feminine thought, and would allude to true love working out, response toward the Lord, and towards each other. "Take me a heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram", which is a progenitive thought, "and a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon. And he took all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid the half of each opposite its fellow; but the birds he did not divide". Showing that he knew what to do, and is left to do it. And then the birds of prey came down on the carcases; and Abram scared them away; meaning that he was going through things with God, although things are severe in a way, as the passage further says, "And as the sun was just going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, a horror, a great darkness, fell upon him". It is not pleasant, but it has got to be gone through, and it was. He knew what he had to do, and he drove the birds away, that is, the emissaries of the devil. He was learning, God was teaching him, and who teaches like Him?

N.K.M. What would be the thought in the sun going down, "just going down", it says?

J.T. Well, I think it would be that the horror would be accentuated, the darkness coming on.

Rem. As you suggested earlier, I believe, it was going through this severe exercise and this horror of

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darkness, that God says, "And he said to Abram, Know assuredly", that he would get assurance and be established.

J.T. Yes, that is it. I think it used to be said that the brethren would always come back to Romans 7. Perhaps we have forgotten that, to make Romans 7 a lesson-book as to experience, and bitter experience, where we find "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me", and then the answer is there, in thanksgiving.

W.S.S. He says, "I know that in me ... good does not dwell", that is, subjective knowledge.

J.T. Quite so.

W.S.S. I suppose this would be a question of our apprehension of the death of Christ?

J.T. Well, I suppose it would, and then the further thoughts in the later verses; it says, in verse 17, "And it came to pass when the sun had gone down, and it was dark", so that things are deepening in the exercise and experience of knowing God, acquiring a knowledge of God; we have the thought of the depths of God, and how God is to be known in these experiences. And so it says, "It was dark", and "behold, there was a smoking furnace, and a flame of fire which passed between those pieces". That is the end, as it were, which would mean, I suppose, the power from God operating in the midst of those pieces. They are Abram's provision, God ordering it, that these powerful things, these powerful suggestions are in the midst of them. There was a smoking furnace, and a flame of fire which passed between those pieces. That is to say, we are dealing with real power, and the power is not against us but for us, leading on to a true knowledge of God; these experiences are very real and tend to depression and the like, but the power that comes in, the power that worketh in us, but particularly now in the objective sense, power in the sense of trial and the furnace, are all in our favour,

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and work out in our souls the knowledge of God. Hence the word begins, "Fear not, Abram", because there are so many things that are going on in the world, and so many prognostications by scientific men, that people do fear; they do not know what to do or think. And God would show us that power is on our side, and very great power.

R.G.B. Is that why it says in verse 18, "On the same day Jehovah made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed I give this land", and so on?

J.T. It is a confirmation that he wanted to know. God is saying to him, You want to know and I am telling how you should know, and hence what we get in these verses. And when the confirmation comes it says, "On the same day Jehovah made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates"; not simply Canaan but the whole territory to the Euphrates.

Ques. Does it suggest spiritual enlargement as a result of these exercises?

J.T. Well, it does. It shows how God had His servant in His mind and how He would meet him, and He would not spare him, because he had to go through these things, as we have to go through Romans 7. We may as well face it, or we will never be sure. Many of us are not sure.

W.S.S. If we do not face it we never know power; Romans 8 might come into this?

J.T. I think it does. I think the Spirit is mentioned thirteen times in the first half of Romans 8.

Rem. "According to the power which works in us", not 'the power that works for us'.

J.T. Yes, just so. That is the way God is working with us; Paul bowed his knees. I suppose that chapter is so wonderful as it developed in his own mind, he wanted the brethren to know how much he knew about the mystery, and he bowed his knees to

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the Father, and it worked out in the saints as "the power that worketh in us".

F.A.W. Abraham is spoken of early in Romans as being fully persuaded, and Paul at the end of chapter 8 uses the same words; he was persuaded; has the assurance entered into his soul there subjectively?

J.T. I would say so. The four hundred years has to be understood. But what a chapter it is. It was a vision, of course. We were speaking of the medium through which the communication might be made, which is a matter which we have to leave, but what a chapter it is. It is a vision. Abraham saw all this in a vision, which tends to make us spiritual. He would emerge from this extraordinary experience a great deal more spiritual than he had been. He had to do with God in a vision, God in His mercy to him, and His grace and His love to him, and in His power towards him, that is what the chapter means.

Rem. Beautiful the way in which the Spirit of God would enlarge on these exercises in Romans 4, is it not? "Who against hope believed in hope", and "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God".

Rem. Abraham was a great person, but do you suggest that it is of the power of God that he undergoes this searching, in order that he might learn more about God? The verse in Ephesians says, "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us". As children of God?

J.T. Well, yes. Of course, we have to bear in mind the differences of the dispensations now. Abram was in another dispensation; redemption had not been accomplished; at the same time the principle of relation with God was there. He was Abraham, the father of the faithful, coming down to ourselves, the father of us all. And he is a believer now, which is

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the idea, but the basic thought is that I am a believer. The next thing is, what do I believe? And going over this chapter you see that the creatures, the feminine and masculine creatures and the birds, would bring out experiences that are to enter into the make-up of the believer, that he is in relation with God. God is on his side, God is for him, and he "believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness", showing that he got that great principle, so early in Genesis, the principle of reckoning righteousness to faith, faith is reckoned as righteousness.

W.S.S. Were you thinking that we may perhaps sometimes have thought that when Abram says, "How shall I know?" that that was a mark of unbelief, but it is the mark of belief, is it not? It is pleasing to Jehovah that he should have this desire to know the things.

J.T. I think he is ready. God had opened up the matter with him. It was an overture on God's part in a vision. And so Abram is free from many things which ordinarily he would not be free from. He is free in a vision so as to get things as they are with God. And he would go to the limit, until we come to the smoking furnace, as it says, "A smoking furnace, and a flame of fire which passed between those pieces". Those pieces -- Abraham is identified with those pieces -- and these powerful things are passing between them, as it were, on Abraham's behalf.

W.S.S. If we are to know, there must be the subjective experience. I was thinking of your reference to the word of God. It is very striking that this is the first reference to it in Scripture, that the subjective result is seen in Abram. We might know the Scriptures without the subjective work.

Rem. God appears to compass the whole of Abraham's life. What would that suggest to us in the way of exercise?

J.T. Well, if He takes you up at all, He takes you

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up in regard of your life, whether in this world or the next. He takes you up wholly. It is a question therefore of what God will do for you, and I think He has taken up Abraham as a model for us as believers. It is a question of being believers. He is Abraham, the believer, that is really what his position is, a believer, and this chapter shows he is a believer, and his faith is reckoned to him as righteousness, so that he is a righteous man too as well as being a believer.

Ques. What had you in mind in the four hundred years? What are they intended to convey?

J.T. To bring down the history from Abraham till the deliverance from Egypt. Abraham himself was included.

R.G.B. Is the triumphant issue of Romans 7 seen in the end of Romans 8, where it says nothing can "separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord"? Is the subjective work seen fully there?

J.T. I think so. I think Romans 8 is intended to work it out, and to work it out triumphantly. It is the chapter that tells us "All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to purpose". And if I lay hold of that, nothing can baffle me, for everything is working for good for me.

Ques. It says, "On the same day Jehovah made a covenant with Abram". Would that suggest that God sees His own work in us?

J.T. I think if you were to get behind the scenes and know what the mind of God was, you would see how delighted He was with His servant, with His great creature. He was a great creature, a great prophet, he was the head of a family. The first chapter of Matthew begins with Abraham, and it works out until we come to "Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ" But we

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have to add David, we have to think of David, in view of Christ, and the forty-two generations, showing how the work of God patiently moves on to an end, and we are to move on with it, and Abraham is the believer; he is the man that God has taken on to show as the great head of the new order of being, a new race, he is to be the great head of that and God is showing in him what we all are to be, because he is the father of us all.

Ques. Is there a suggestion early in the chapter that these things can only be brought to pass on the line of affections, because Abraham had said, "seeing I go childless"? And Jehovah's answer is, "This shall not be thine heir, but he that will come forth out of thy body (or bowels) shall be thine heir". Does that suggest affections?

J.T. Yes, and the feminine side especially; in the feminine creatures the idea of affection is worked out, and the birds are not divided. I mean to say, Abraham understands what to do, he is intelligent.

N.K.M. Why are the birds not divided?

J.T. Well, I suppose Abraham knew what to do. The creatures were divided and afforded what was needed to exercise power. The power that was to be exercised was to come between the creatures, but the birds were not divided. We have the same principle, I think, in the book of Leviticus; certain things are not divided because they are too small, and yet, however small, God will accept them, and they are brought in in this way.

Ques. Does that scripture confirm the greatness of Abraham actually, God indicating that his intelligence in this matter was right, taking it up in Leviticus that these things are not divided and Abraham did not divide them?

J.T. Leviticus is just the working out of this, because these creatures were taken up, and Abraham, you might say, was the offering priest. He was a

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priest. God accounts him to be able to do this, he lets him do it, as he would bring out the idea of priesthood. Some of us have been noting that priesthood is scarce, very scarce among the brethren. Levitical service, preaching and teaching is not so scarce, but priesthood is quite scarce, and it has been shown that Aaron and his sons were not called priests until love is displayed in Exodus in the Hebrew servant, when the threefold testimony to love in the Hebrew servant is indicated or asserted, spoken plainly; then you get the High Priesthood, and the priests and their clothes, especially Aaron's own garments, because it is a question of the thoughts of God in priesthood, in those garments.

W.S.S. We try to apprehend these things, I am afraid, without a sufficient sense in ourselves of the death of Christ and the way in which the glories of Christ have been reached, the priestly garments speaking of His glory in resurrection, perhaps, and here I was thinking, in connection with your remarks, the Lord says to Abraham, in effect, if you are to know things, you must have dealings with Me on the basis of the death of Christ. Would that be the thought?

J.T. Quite so. What an impressive thing it was -- "a smoking furnace and a flame of fire, which passed between those pieces". Abraham had nothing to do with that. He did not cause the smoking furnace and the flame of fire, he placed the pieces where they should be placed, and God let him do it, and he did it, and God's power comes in between them, showing how God's power is identified with the believer.

W.S.S. Would you say that if we really do move subjectively in relation to the truth of the death of Christ we should be surprised at the power that comes in?

J.T. Just so. "The power that worketh in us". I think what we have come to now is what everyone

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of us should get into his soul, that the power is there, "the power that worketh in us", and this smoking furnace and fire -- Abraham had nothing to do with that. He put the creatures in their places, and kept the enemy away, and then let God act, because if we let the enemy in we will hinder God, but keeping the enemy away we let God act, and God's action is seen in these two wonderful things, the smoking furnace and the flame of fire. These are symbols of power.

Ques. Are we responsible for our thoughts, then? I was thinking of the birds of prey, the wandering thoughts, perhaps, in letting our thoughts wander all over the place at such holy moments, or at moments when ministry is coming before us. Would that correspond?

J.T. Well, if we do not learn to control our thoughts we are not fit to have part in God's service, because we have to learn to exclude what is extraneous to the service of God. It is a question of the Father, the Son and the Spirit, and the saints. Many things, of course, are right in their places but they are not right now, where it is a question of God's service, what we are towards God, and these symbols of power would indicate what is possible, "the power that worketh in us" as before God.

Ques. Is it here that God is demonstrating that He will bring to consummation that which is desired?

J.T. That is suggested in the extent of the territory, it is greater than what was given to Israel at first. David alone secured this territory, we are told that; here it is "On the same day Jehovah made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates" and so forth, down to the naming of all the Canaanitish nations. They must be overthrown, because they are only the devil in another sense, and, of course, Joshua tells us how they were overthrown; that is to say, Joshua is

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extirpation, but David is subjugation. David comes in on God's part for subjugation, and that is by the Spirit, so that He gives the Holy Spirit to those who are subject, we are told, those who obey.

W.S.S. Is your thought that after these experiences Abraham, or, on the other hand, Timothy, would be able to proclaim the word -- not merely say what was in the Scriptures?

J.T. Well, I think we ought to come to that now, because Timothy is not exactly an evangelist, although he had the gift which he did not stir up, and he needed to stir up his gift, one of his gifts, we are told; but it says here, "I testify before God and Christ Jesus, who is about to judge living and dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom, proclaim the word"; and then further, "But thou, be sober in all things, bear evils, do the work of an evangelist, fill up the full measure of thy ministry". Whatever it is, whatever the ministry may be, fill it up. That is prescribed -- to preach the word. It is a remarkable thing, it does not say, 'preach the gospel' here, although the gospel, of course, is to be preached, but it is preach the word, as if in the last days we need to stress the word in the preaching.

W.S.S. I would just like to be helped about this. The thought of the word that you are presenting to us is connected, I gather, with the subjective exercises of Abraham, so that something is made good in the one who does the preaching, is that the thought?

J.T. Well, if Abraham is kept before us, the evangelists all come in in due course, and the teachers, and the gifts, because they all come in on that line, but dispensations have to be taken into account, too. We begin with twelve apostles; there was one missing, in Judas, but that one was made up before the Lord sent down the Spirit. The Lord was in heaven for ten days before He sent down the Spirit. There must have been some consideration and thought as to the

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spirit coming and whether everything was ready for the incoming of the Spirit, and then we are told about the converts, Peter being the evangelist, the preacher, there were three thousand of the converts, or the saints, generally, there. "They persevered in the teaching and fellowship of the apostles, in breaking of bread and prayers". That went on very happily, according to the facts. When we come to chapter 6 there was the complaining element, and provision had to be made to meet that, until Paul comes on the scene, as if the principle of revival had already come. The principle became needed, and so the Lord says, "he is an elect vessel to me, to bear my name before both nations and kings and the sons of Israel for I will show to him how much he must suffer for my name", so that it would look as if the need of the principle of revival is almost constant, because we are apt to settle down in former ways and forget that freshness is always needed, and the incoming of Paul implied freshness and vigour, and the full working out of the divine thoughts, because very much was left until Paul came in.

Ques. Would that preserve us from being overwhelmed with the horrors and darkness of the last days?

J.T. Quite so.

N.K.M. We have alluded to preaching the gospel and preaching the word. Would you say another word as to that?

J.T. I think the word implies, as we see here, the need of something more forceful, because the gospel is glad tidings. It has the spirit of gladness in it, but the word ploughs us up more, I would think. As we were saying, the "word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword", showing what is needed under certain circumstances in the testimony of God, and we need the word.

Rem. That was very similar to the idea when the

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centurion said, "Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed".

J.T. Yes, very good.

Ques. Do you feel we should press the authority and rights of God in the gospel?

J.T. I think where the word of God is implied, there is more power in the word, it is living and operative. It is remarkable phraseology in Hebrews 4, "the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do". One feels that in the end of the dispensation we need to do that, to keep to the word.

Rem. That is what I was thinking, in view of the days we are living in, no fear of God, lawlessness, corruption abounding. I was just wondering whether you need to press the sovereign rights of God.

R.G.B. Is it something direct from God conveyed mediatorially? I was thinking of how the speaking of God was conveyed in the Son, but that now the saints are brought into it, to convey what is brought direct from God. Would that be right?

J.T. It would, because God Himself is speaking in His word. It runs into that in Hebrews 4. It runs into the thought of Son in Hebrews 1, but in the fourth chapter it runs into God Himself. It is nothing less than that the word of God is God Himself. We are all naked and open to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. That is the word, the word runs into that, runs into the thought of God Himself.

Ques. God spake to Abraham in a vision. Should we look for that in connection with hearing God's word?

J.T. I doubt it. Of course, there may be visions,

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but there is not much now, you know, not much ecstasy now. All these things were quite familiar and much used at the start. At the same time, the Spirit of God is here, and the humility that attaches to Him and His services; the marvellous patience of the Spirit of God remaining here all these centuries, and still here, as in a meeting like this; He is still here, and He is set on working out what Christ is in us, the Spirit of Christ. It is said to be the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, as if there is need of a supply of it at any given time.

W.S.S. You would look for impressions, would you?

J.T. Quite so, why should we not? The Spirit of God is here. If we are self-judged we will get something.

Ques. At the end of Hebrews, it says, "Remember your leaders who have spoken to you the word of God". Is that the thing?

J.T. Well, it is said in Hebrews 2, "For this reason we should give heed more abundantly to the things we have heard, lest in any way we should slip away. For if the word which was spoken by angels was firm, and every transgression and disobedience received just retribution, how shall we escape if we have been negligent of so great salvation, which, having had its commencement in being spoken of by the Lord, has been confirmed to us by those who have heard". This is how the matter came out. "God bearing, besides, witness with them to it, both by signs and wonders, and various acts of power, and distributions of the Holy Spirit, according to his will?" This is a statement in the epistle to the Hebrews of how things came in at the beginning.

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Colossians 2

J.T. Notice the references to combat. The apostle says, "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". There are other references to combat in the epistle which may help us, especially Epaphras, of whom it is said "Always combating earnestly for you in prayers, to the end that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God". This brother probably suggested the epistle to be written to the Colossians, as if they needed the instruction that the letter affords. Epaphras combated for them and the apostle did, too.

Ques. Why does he say that he would have them to know this? What is particularly in mind when he speaks not only of them but others in Laodicea? Would the others come down to our day?

J.T. It is a comfort to know that such a one as Paul or even a lesser is thinking of us in this sense, especially as informed as to some local condition.

Rem. You think in that connection that we are apt to forget that this combat is going on with those who have this desire to present every man perfect in Christ.

J.T. That is so; and another thing that comes into that is the fact that we are dealing with an epistle intended for Gentiles, not such as Hebrews or other epistles where the Jews are involved -- Jewish Christians. This is a suggestion of the position of Christ typified in Joseph. Joseph was a man of affairs who had much care, whereas Isaac was another type of Christ in relation to the assembly -- Isaac was a man of leisure. So this epistle speaks of Christ among the Gentiles from which we could imply that

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the Lord has much on His hands, the pressure being great and the service being great -- the need of serving the saints then this combat. It all involves the Lord's extreme concern about us. It would be reflected in those who serve Him in the ministry, especially if any information has been given as to any local company, and how that is to be met.

Rem. The great concern and exercise is this matter of standing perfect and complete in the will of God.

J.T. Quite so; "in all the will of God".

Rem. He addresses them as holy and faithful brethren in the first chapter. There was a good state there.

J.T. Yes -- a good meeting with certain dangers attaching to it. It is an advantage to the ministers to know what dangers may be current in any local company.

Ques. Is it a good point that he says, "Epaphras, who is one of you"?

J.T. I suppose he must have informed Paul as to local conditions. Paul had never been there. They had not seen his face in the flesh, but Epaphras would inform the apostle. I suppose the fact that he is mentioned in this way, "Even as ye learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow-bondman, who is a faithful minister of Christ for you, who has also manifested to us your love in the Spirit", and then later "Epaphras, who is one of you, the bondman of Christ Jesus, salutes you, always combating earnestly for you in prayers, to the end that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God", shows that he would be leading personally in the whole position. We can find in the local companies persons who are outstanding and carry things before God -- they labour in prayer before God, and then if need be inform others who might be able to help and meet the difficulty.

Rem. Combating would go beyond prayer.

J.T. Yes. It would be a question of Satan's power

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having to be faced. "Satan has hindered us", Paul says to the Thessalonians, and there are men like Epaphras who take the matter up for the Lord and His interests, like a Daniel -- persons who can always be counted on. The Lord alludes to persons who are sown -- sons of the kingdom. Here and there where the Lord's interests are, persons are sown; persons whom the Lord can rely on.

Rem. He puts them where He wants them by a certain process.

J.T. A 'certain process' is the right word. It might be by a bit of information that reaches one. There are many ways the Lord has of teaching His servants so that they may be sown here and there. When He reaches Gethsemane in the hour of distress He disposed of those that were with Him to the best advantage. They did not act very well, but that was the idea.

Rem. I think you have often said that He divided them. There were the three, Peter, James and John, who would suggest in a certain way the assembly, and then the eight would signify the thought of what was eternal, do you think?

J.T. I believe that is right.

Rem. I have an idea that it seems to suggest eternity as reached by the ways of God.

J.T. What we are told here is clear, that this brother Epaphras is a person known to the Lord. He is a man who will not turn aside if any difficulty arises, he will face it as far as he can. He will be at home when anything is up in the way of conflict. This brother, although he was away at this moment, he was clearly in the position to meet the local situation at Colosse and Laodicea. Paul says he is "a faithful minister of Christ for you". The word is, a man who would take up a position and meet it at whatever cost. He is a local man acquainting the brethren with the position in Colosse, perhaps in

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Laodicea, too, but he is a man that carries things and that is the great point in assembly service. The opening of assembly service in the plural is taken from Paul and Barnabas, "Having chosen them elders in each assembly" -- men that heaven would reckon on to look after things. This brother is such a one as that, one that would care for this meeting, we will say. He will have in his heart that there are certain conditions in this meeting and would carry them before the Lord, and if needed he will be there if the enemy is attacking, and meet him. Paul tells us elsewhere how to meet the enemy and where he is. It is in heavenly places. Not in wilderness conditions, the position where Satan has power is heaven. He has power in the wilderness, too, but when it is the assembly, it is a heavenly matter which is to be met on heavenly lines. Epaphras is a minister to them. "Who is one of you, the bondman of Christ Jesus, salutes you". Paul is writing to them, but Epaphras joins in in the letter. "Always combating earnestly for you in prayers, to the end that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God". It seems to me that this is important to have before us at the present time.

Rem. He would be a local brother given over to prayer in an intense way. Would that signify the kind of man he would be? Not necessarily trying to meet these things by his own words -- he left that to an abler man. What marks the man is an intense form of prayer.

Rem. It seems to be in secret. The apostle tells them that he was praying for them.

J.T. Quite so. Paul was in thorough accord with Epaphras, showing how the ministry stands at the present time. We have no apostles, but we have those who serve in faithfulness -- there are many. They are acquainted with conditions. The many who move about over the whole earth where the brethren are,

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are conversant with the situations. They have assembly ears and hear from others what happens. Their services are governed accordingly.

Ques. You were referring in prayer to the need for discernment. Is not Epaphras one who discerned what was needed and had the ability to acquaint others?

J.T. I refer to Abigail who is really a type of the assembly herself. She was the wife of Nabal who was a hard type of man. One of her young men, one of Nabal's young men actually, was loyal to the truth concerning the matter that Abigail was concerned about, and he lays the matter before her. Meaning that if a brother sees there is something likely to damage the assembly he would lay it before someone who can act. Abigail acts immediately. She furnishes food for David and his men. She came down the hill at the same time as David did and met him on a plain where it could be talked about. In due course David says to her, after considerable mutual discourse, "Blessed be thy discernment, and blessed be thou". I think that is quite apropos of what we have here in Colossians. It is the Gentile position which was under the range of Paul's ministry, but he had not had occasion to be there. It is, however, in his diocese, as it were. He is minister of the assembly for the Gentiles. Paul writes to Colosse, not Peter. So it is a question of the responsibility that may attach to any minister and how to meet any local conditions. Apparently Paul had in mind that his combat for them would be encouraging to them when they knew about it. "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".

Ques. I wonder if Paul's desires and prayers merged with those of Epaphras in that way.

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J.T. I would think so. I think the movement began with the local man.

Ques. Is it suggested that as the thing is carried in this way it will have this encouraging effect, and then the further thought of uniting them together in love?

J.T. Quite so. "Unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the full knowledge of the mystery of God". He had great thoughts as to them. The whole idea of the mystery of God.

Rem. "In which are hid all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge".

J.T. Showing how elevated is the position taken on by Paul.

Ques. Would the ministry in this epistle be on the lines that we have in the first chapter, "Christ in you the hope of glory"?

J.T. That is what it is exactly. Referring to the type of Joseph -- it is Christ in Egypt. Joseph was in Egypt and was head over the administration of the food, which is a matter about which the Lord would appeal to us all now. It is a question of ministration of food, not actual food but spiritual food. So the Lord says, referring to one who looks after the saints in the sense providing food for them, that when the Lord comes He shall set him over all that He has. He is one who provides a measure of meat for the saints in due season.

Rem. In regard to what you are saying as to Joseph, we have been wondering if you get Christ in the Solomonic position in this epistle. It speaks of Solomon's table and the provision that he should make.

J.T. Quite so. I think Nehemiah's table is more suitable in speaking of Colosse. Solomon is more universal -- more Ephesian, but Colossians is more limited, so that is "Christ in you the hope of glory", meaning Christ in the sense of being in us by the

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Spirit. The apostle is concerned as to the terrible attack that had been made. "I say this to the end that no one may delude you by persuasive speech". We have to watch -- we are in the Greek world in this epistle.

Ques. What is philosophy here?

J.T. It is what the natural mind would evolve by the devil's power to corrupt the saints.

Rem. In your prayer you referred to the appearances of the Lord, how He appeared to those who had been toiling all night and told them to cast on the right side, and they did not discern it was the Lord. On another occasion He says, "Children, have ye any meat?" and provides it.

J.T. Very good. I am glad you brought that up. The thought is manifestation in John. John bears on the last days, and that chapter is an appendix. Chapter 20 is really the finish of the gospel in the main, but the Lord comes in in chapter 21 on the point of food. There were seven of them, I think, and Peter said . "I go to fish". (John 21:3) and they say "We also go with thee". It was a diversion from the whole position, which has happened many times in the history of the assembly. The Lord does not upbraid them but calls them "Children" -- very beautiful He says to them, "Have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find". Earlier He had asked Peter to cast the net out, and Peter did, and they had a great catch and the net brake, but not this time. It is a comfort that what we have now is the Colossian position, we have the power of resurrection to count on. It is "through faith of the working of God who raised him from among the dead".

Ques. Are we all in peculiar danger of diversion?

J.T. We are always in danger of that. This matter in John 21 comes into what we are saying

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because it is a question of food. We all know the world is short of food just now, but we are concerned about spiritual food and the world is short of that, too. The question is whether we have enough here. The matter of food bears on our position. We were speaking of a brother who ministers a portion of meat to the household. All the saints are part of Christ's household. We are providing food for the saints. Our Bible readings have that character. The Lord says to the brethren, instead of reproving them for their unfaithfulness, "Children, have ye any meat?" It brings out the tenderness of His feelings for them.

Rem. The word 'children' there is a word of peculiar affection.

J.T. It reminds us of Isaiah 9"the everlasting Father". It means He is having that position in the millennium -- the Father of the age -- the millennial day, He is to act as Father. Washington was the father of his country -- Christ is the Father of the millennium. So here, He says "Children". There was a fire of coals and fish laid thereon and bread. That was the Father's doing -- I mean Christ as the Father. The Lord says, "Cast the net at the right side of the ship and ye will find", and they did -- "great fishes". We may look for something like that in these last days. Peter came to the land and they found the coals and the fish and bread. Now the Lord says, What you have got, bring that, too. He would graciously connect with what we have got to add to the food. Any one of us might be adding to the food. That is what John 21 brings out, it was the third manifestation of Christ.

Rem. They got food as a result of failure in that expedition.

J.T. The Lord did not upbraid them. At times He passes over things in order to secure us. He secured them fast, for He finally adjusted Peter in that same chapter.

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Rem. There was no question of Peter being regulated by the will of God. If food is to be brought in for the saints it will be by those who are concerned about being in the will of God.

J.T. It will be brought by those who are capable of being affected by the grace of God. Their wills were at work. "I go to fish". (John 21:3) That was not serious -- a root matter. We have to discern as to whether matters are root or superficial. In this case their real state was superficial, therefore He immediately restores them and brings them into what He is doing -- connects what they had done with what He is doing. They had food, too, and the Lord credits them with having it. It is very beautiful to see the Lord knows how deep the root is or whether it is a root at all. The Lord saw that His work was really not affected. What He did in His disciples was genuine, it was affected for a moment but the damage was not deep, and He could use them immediately. It is to show His grace.

Ques. Do they respond to the title of 'Children' in that way? Does it show that that which was effected in them was capable of being resuscitated?

J.T. The Lord deals with us according to our state. In Mark 16 the whole thing seemed to be hopeless -- the women were affrighted and saying nothing. The eleven apostles were in unbelief, but the Lord says to them immediately, "Go into all the world, and preach the glad tidings to all the creation". It shows the depth of the work of God. The apparent damage done to them was superficial.

Rem. He was capable of meeting the conditions.

J.T. Exactly. John brings out the same point, that the Lord does not upbraid them about anything, although they were acting in self-will. He did not even upbraid Peter when he denied Him. "The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon". John says, "It is the Lord". He would say that

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victoriously. We can rely on the Lord and go on. It would afford more confidence in one another, too.

Ques. What do you think was in mind in the great fishes?

J.T. It is what would happen in the last days. There is a suggestion that we may have many real men in the last days.

Rem. As the result of His great ways He puts His flock in the hands of Peter.

J.T. "Feed my sheep".

Rem. They toiled all night and caught nothing.

J.T. The Lord knew that, too. Yet it is hopeful, because that fire of coals and the fish and bread meant a dinner. It is a thing the Lord is providing for us in spite of our weakness.

Rem. He had everything ready for them. My need -- God has supplied everything to meet me.

J.T. But we are to add to it.

Ques. Is it never to be diminished to what was already there?

J.T. Abstractly the thing is never diminished. The dispensation is set up and goes right on to the end.

Rem. We should add what is suitable to what is there.

J.T. Yes.

Rem. The casting over to the right side of the ship would be in view of adding to what He has provided.

J.T. It would mean we are intelligent persons. That is the ground on which Paul writes to the Corinthians. It results in great increase accumulated and continually accumulating.

Ques. "Buried with him in baptism, in which ye have been also raised with him through faith of the working of God who raised him from among the dead". Could we have a word on that?

J.T. Perhaps we should proceed a little through the chapter first. "As therefore ye have received the

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Christ, Jesus the Lord, walk in him". It is a question of what ye have received. "Rooted and built up in him, and assured in the faith, even as ye have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. See that there be no one who shall lead you away as a prey through philosophy and vain deceit", meaning that Satan's work is proceeding, "... according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily". This is one of the greatest statements in the epistle -- what is in Christ bodily. In chapter 1 we have what is in Him without using the word 'bodily'. In verse 18 it says, "And he is the head of the body, the assembly; who is the beginning, firstborn from among the dead, that he might have the first place in all things for in him all the fulness of the Godhead was pleased to dwell". So we have to understand that verse and then understand this verse. "All the fulness of the Godhead bodily" -- it is a question of the incarnation, what He is to us and what we are to Him. "Ye are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and authority, 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". This is what has just been referred to, "Buried with him in baptism, in which ye have been also raised with him through faith of the working of God who raised him from among the dead". It is a faith position. We have faith in the power of the Spirit, and we are enabled to see that faith works in us, too.

Ques. Is it true of us that we have died in Christ and are raised again?

J.T. "Buried with him in baptism". It says, in which ye have been also raised with him.'' In Romans we are told that we are buried with Christ, but we are not told that we are raised with Christ in that epistle -- we are here, however. It is a question

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of faith. The force of the word 'baptism' with a person who is baptised in Romans is 'buried', he is to come out of the water, but he is buried, it is not said that he is raised because it does not agree with Romans. Here, however, the coming out of the water of the person who is baptised is continued as though he were risen.

Ques. Why is it not 'shall be raised'? How does it affect the present?

J.T. On the principle of faith. It is literally future but it is a scriptural way of speaking.

Rem. Abraham had faith in the power of God to raise Isaac, and we have the same kind of faith.

J.T. Quite so. Time is nothing to God -- it is as good as done -- we are raised. The apostle is using the thought of a person coming out of the water to represent a person in resurrection. It is faith in our souls that is the point.

Rem. I hold that by faith all the time here.

J.T. It is the ground on which we have part in the service of God. We are intended to take the place of being raised with Christ for the service of God.

Ques. Is it seeing where Christ is that maintains our faith?

J.T. Quite so. There is no water in Jordan. There is no water for us because we have the Spirit -- it is power, it is God. We have Him.

Ques. "Quickened together with him". Will you open that up?

J.T. It is a concrete fact. It may be linked on with what we were saying last night, "Raised us up together, and has made us sit down together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus". That is the full thought of Ephesians, and the apostle can so record it because it is a question of the power of God.

Rem. The apostle in the closing words of the preceding chapter speaks of the working of God in power and then amplifies and expands it.

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J.T. Quite so. "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". The whole question is God, and what power He has.

Rem. What He effectuates is perfect and delightful to Him.

J.T. On that ground we carry on the service of God, entitled to view ourselves as raised with Jesus Christ. "Buried with him in baptism, in which ye have been also raised with him through faith of the working of God who raised him from among the dead". We are raised through faith in the working of God. It is as good as if you were raised actually.

Ques. Would this reference to resurrection in type link on with the Jordan and what we have in Romans, "walk in newness of life", more the Red Sea?

J.T. That is quite right. The Red Sea takes us into the wilderness, the Jordan takes us into the land which is heavenly. That is important.

Ques. Would you give us another word on this momentous statement, "For in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily"? In chapter 1: 19 all the fulness was pleased to dwell in Him, but here it is a present matter. What would you say is suggested by the thought of all the fulness of the Godhead?

J.T. It is a reference to His deity -- God Himself in manhood. He has not changed His deity, although His condition is changed. The word 'bodily' refers to the condition, but the Person we are dealing with is divine, is God Himself. John says, We have handled and seen. The Person we are speaking of is absolute. What we are dealing with refers to God as related to ourselves.

Rem. This is not a matter of what He was down here, it is what He is and where He is now.

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J.T. For in Him all the fulness was pleased to dwell. That would refer to man because of the idea of dwelling, but the word 'bodily' is to bring out the fulness of the incarnation. All is based on God come in flesh. The word is "Became flesh and dwelt among us".

Rem. This word "with him" comes three times. "Buried with him in baptism, in which ye have been also raised with him through faith of the working of God", and then "Quickened together with him". They are very choice words.

J.T. In each baptism was the figure.

Ques. The emphasis is on 'Him' -- the greatness of Christ?

Ques. Is it the consciousness we have by the Spirit of being "with him"?

J.T. That is what comes out in the Colossians. It is a great fact -- the greatest fact next to the resurrection and ascension of Christ, is that the Holy Spirit is down here, permanently in us.

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Exodus 3

J.T. The chapter is significant for it opens with the relationship of 'in-law', the father-in-law of Moses; it is one of the features of Exodus; it implies that this relation to Moses scarcely bore on the relationship of love, and yet was legal, so that the service of Moses was thus handicapped from the outset, as is often the case with gatherings and with servants, calling for a special intervention of God to put things right if administration is to be in mind. Had you thought of that?

Rem. No; we had not that thought.

J.T. It is a great administrative book, and typically involves much in the ways of God with His people in government; so we need to take up all these things to understand what is in mind. There is the adverse attitude of Pharaoh, the attitude of the king to Moses himself, and how it is to be met; also his wife, as well as his father-in-law; and also that God had a mind to slay Moses, according to the next chapter. We need to take account of all these facts to see how God is seen in the book.

Rem. The answer in the midwives was that they feared God.

J.T. Yes; that is a keynote in the book; they had much to fear according to man, but not according to God; so faith is needed.

Rem. You have said, 'Fear not!'

J.T. Quite. Abraham was a great personage, and God says to him, "Fear not", Genesis 15:1. In Hebrews 11:27 it says, "By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king". So now there is much to fear publicly, politically and socially, and the word "Fear not" is to be thought of. The position calls

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for courage: "not fearing the wrath of the king"; and yet it seems he did fear, and fled because of it.

Rem. He was here in the ordering of God, and accepted the position.

J.T. That is the thing to see, to get the right point of view at the beginning in the reading of the book. So the circumstances in Midian bring out the position of Moses in a striking way; it says, "And Pharaoh heard of this matter, and sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from before Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian. And he sat by the well. And the priest of Midian had seven daughters" (Exodus 2:15, 16); he sat by the well. You will have seen that?

Ques. Do you think that these early chapters of Exodus have a parallel in that the Lord is about to take the assembly out of the world? So in Exodus 1:8 - 14, Pharaoh spoke roughly, and made the difference between the Egyptians and the children of Israel.

J.T. I think so. It is also a type of millennial times, as well as our going out of Egypt; that is the moral phase, when we go out of the world through the Red Sea; and secondly, when we go from the wilderness into Canaan, which is a spiritual thought. They involve the dual phase of our position. Morally we are out of the world now; baptism and the Lord's supper suggest the means by which we go out; the heavenly side is seen in the Jordan.

Rem. I am thinking of the aspect these things have in the world, and the parallel in spoiling the Egyptians of clothing, silver and gold; so we leave the world divested of all that is of value.

J.T. It is a question of how we get at things morally; how do we ask for vessels and clothing? And then they have "favour in the eyes of the Egyptians", as it says in Exodus 12:35, "And the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses,

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and they had asked of the Egyptians utensils of silver, and utensils of gold, and clothing. And Jehovah had given the people favour in the eyes of the Egyptians, and they gave to them; and they spoiled the Egyptians". It seems to me all this is likely to affect us on the moral line; involving also the political situation, and the industrial and its many complications, and how the rights of God are to be asserted we must assert them. So the plagues become the opening up of God's moral rights over the Egyptians, as well as over His people.

Rem. He said, "Let my son go, that he may serve me", Exodus 4:23.

J.T. Yes; it would be on this particular mountain, God had said to Moses. Has the world any moral right to interfere? There is not much opposition to what the brethren are doing.

Rem. This chapter is between God and Moses alone.

J.T. Clearly; it was a question of the mediator, and what he had to learn, and that these external matters must be faced.

Rem. It was not yet the public side; Moses would have all this in his soul.

J.T. Yes; but we must see that he was an administrator already; he led his father-in-law's flock "behind the wilderness". So God is the Father, and the Lord Jesus is Father in Isaiah 9:6; we have a double thought of fatherhood; the Father in Christianity, and in the Messiah in view of the millennium. The father-in-law has to be considered; he is not with Moses, and yet not against him. Later on he had the offer of being eyes to the people, but he was not ready for it. We have to face things inwardly as well as things externally. So the thorn-bush is a precious point to consider; it really involves John's ministry.

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Rem. Moses' first difficulty was the possibility of the extrication of the people from Egypt (verse 11).

J.T. Take one step at a time in Exodus, as in all these books. So we pick our way in them; we are not at the 'in-law' position, but the public profession, we cannot ignore them.

Ques. What are we to see in Moses sitting by the well?

J.T. It is very beautiful, and one of the leading thoughts in the book. How lowly he was! It is the well.

Ques. Does the great house of 2 Timothy 2:20 correspond to the 'in-law' position?

J.T. I would think that, and it must involve the whole of Christendom, the obligations that are there, and how the saints are to be brought out in spite of the difficulties.

Ques. How does it work out, and how are we to be undeterred in the presence of the opposition?

J.T. It is worked out for one thing in the young brothers in the army; it is not very conducive to love, but it is in the will of God; it is a terrible time for them, and now it is a double dose for them, as it were, for this second war is like an addition to what has been before, and the 'in-law' position enters into it.

Ques. Pharaoh took up a certain attitude towards Moses which God in His power completely reversed, and later Moses tells Pharaoh what to do; Exodus 9:19. In the end -- not roughly, but in the night (Exodus 12:31) -- Pharaoh begs him to go out. How does this work out?

J.T. The moral side must enter into it. Pharaoh has to do with God though Moses; a system was set up, and Moses was God to Pharaoh, and Aaron his spokesman; Exodus 7:1. There must be some moral quality in Moses, and thus this system is set up on moral lines; ultimately they will come out on top.

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Ques. You are speaking of Moses getting free of the 'in-law' position, and then wanting to go back and take up things for God?

J.T. Well; he has to go through considerable suffering in chapters 2, 3 and 4, and yet in chapter 7 he is in a deified position. How could it be unless on moral lines? It is not so much to get free, but to be quietly accepting it at the well; then we have the father-in-law, and the flock, and then this secret matter, which God is carrying on; it is the ministry of John, really.

Ques. Does it lead to the 'speaking well' of the word of God?

J.T. It would be there. Moses was the law-giver; he is not in the 'in-law' position now, but he is the law-giver, as when Israel sang to the well; Numbers 21:17, 18.

Ques. Was he fortified against what is adverse by what he had seen at the mountain of God?

J.T. Very good; and there is what we were saying as to the well, and the quiet stability Moses had in sitting there. All these thoughts run together.

Rem. There is a basis for God to approach.

J.T. Yes; there must be that for the revelation that was made; but it is here, and the disclosures that were made: "And the Angel of Jehovah appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a thorn-bush: and he looked, and behold, the thorn-bush burned with fire, and the thorn-bush was not being consumed". Now it is a question as to whether we can have a meeting like this without fear; "And Moses said, Let me now turn aside and see this great sight, why the thorn-bush is not burnt. And Jehovah saw that he turned aside to see, and God called to him out of the midst of the thorn-bush and said, Moses, Moses! And he said, Here am I". And he was afraid; it was wholesome fear; we have here the thought of sitting down quietly, and not being afraid

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of the facts of the revelation of God, and all that there is for us; and it is for us to pursue these things. There is wholesome fear and yet liberty of soul to draw near.

Rem. He was moving with the flock.

J.T. Yes; it is the place the flock has with us; how long did he lead the flock?

Rem. It says, "And Moses tended the flock of Jethro his father-in-law"; he did what was necessary, where it was necessary.

J.T. Yes; he was qualifying for administration. We must have that in the service of God.

Ques. What is implied in his sitting by the well?

J.T. These things run together; it is what he had in his soul as he advanced in years, "when he had become great", as it says in Hebrews 11:24.

Ques. What does the thorn-bush signify?

J.T. A weak and lowly position, yet it is not burnt, though God is in it. The power of life is in it. It is not only the incarnation, but God's presence with His people.

Ques. Is it comparable to Acts 2, the fire there; the Holy Spirit coming down, and the saints outwardly defenceless?

J.T. Well, let us look at it: "And when the day of Pentecost was now accomplishing, they were all together in one place. And there came suddenly a sound out of heaven as of a violent impetuous blowing, and filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues, as of fire, and it sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave to them to speak forth", Acts 2:1 - 4. There must be something in the 'fire'.

Rem. There was no fear on their side.

J.T. It does not say so. The crowd spoke in folly, but Peter explains the position to them.

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Ques. Does Moses' reference to "the good will of him that dwelt in the bush" (Deuteronomy 33:16) refer to this?

J.T. Surely.

Ques. Is the incarnation linked with the burning bush?

J.T. Yes.

Ques. As to Moses' language here, "Let me now turn aside and see this great sight"; was it moral formation in his soul?

J.T. Yes; notwithstanding the fear he had, too; there was this other element; it was not curiosity, but something going on in his soul.

Ques. What would the object be for the servant?

J.T. It is all there in the book. We must get all the elements. We are coming to the system. It is a question of Christianity, really.

Ques. Is it "we have contemplated his glory"?

J.T. Yes; John says that; John 1:14.

Rem. Moses is urgent, "now", he says.

J.T. Yes; God is answering by calling. In choosing Barnabas and Saul it says, "Separate me now" (Acts 13:2); so it is here. Moses is full of enquiries, and God would be pleased with that. Now God is speaking, not from heaven, but by the Spirit in the assembly.

Ques. Would "Moses, Moses!" here be like Barnabas and Saul, the persons named?

J.T. Very beautiful; doubling of the name; it would greatly emphasise the person.

Ques. What about the bush burning but not being consumed?

J.T. Moses was struck with that; and then the idea of Being, linked with "I AM THAT I AM".

Rem. "God is a spirit" (John 4:24) is seen now in smallness.

J.T. Yes.

Ques. Would lowly and reverent inquiry lead to

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more disclosures as to the truth of divine Persons and the assembly?

J.T. Yes; hence let us go back over the ground covered, and one wonders if the brethren are covering the truth. The Lord says, "But when he is come, the Spirit of truth, he shall guide you into all the truth" (John 16:13); there is much as to the Lord's supper and the knowledge of divine Persons; it is a question of the Being of God. In Colossians 1:19 it says, "for in him all the fulness of the Godhead was pleased to dwell", but in Colossians 2:9 it reads, "For in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily"; hence it is brought into our range, while in chapter 1 it is the Being, the fulness of the Being of God is there.

Ques. Is Colossians 1:19 the Lord here, and Colossians 2:9 the Lord on high?

J.T. Let us read it. Verse 18 says, "And he is the head of the body, the assembly; who is the beginning, firstborn from among the dead, that he might have the first place in all things: for in him all the fulness of the Godhead was pleased to dwell". It is not saying what, but in the second chapter it is 'bodily'.

Ques. In Colossians 2 it is all that is to be known in Christ above, but is it historical in chapter 1?

J.T. Yes; it is the incarnation; in chapter 1 it is "was pleased to dwell".

Ques. Is "I AM THAT I AM" inscrutability?

J.T. Yes; we have been speaking of the Being, involving the "not being consumed", the thorn-bush is subsisting by the power of God, and we must work out the truth in the following verses 5 - 9, "And he said, Draw not nigh hither: loose thy sandals from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. And he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look at God. And Jehovah said, I have seen

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assuredly the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and their cry have I heard on account of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows. And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good and spacious land, unto a land flowing with milk and honey, unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me"; God is compassionate for His people and wants Moses to understand. We should see the system, not yet unfolded; it is a question of God in His compassions for His people, and of Moses himself being brought to this. Then it says, "and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. And now come, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. And Moses said to God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he said, For I will be with thee; and this shall be the sign to thee that I have sent thee when thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain" (verses 9 - 12). God had not changed His mind as to where the service should be carried on: "And Moses said to God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?" (verse 13). Now we come to revelation, "I AM THAT I AM", it is God's Being. "And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM. And he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel: I AM hath sent me unto you" (verse 14). We have first the thought of Being, and then the Being is acting on behalf of His people. It is John, and Ephesians, and Colossians, and Hebrews. The truth

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of Christ's Person has been before us many years, and eternal life, and the service of God, but there needs to be a reviewing of things as to divine Persons, and how They are to be addressed.

Ques. Is this God in the absolute?

J.T. "I AM THAT I AM" is absolute; it is not in relation to anything; but "I AM hath sent me unto you" is not absolute, but God in relation to His people. We must keep this before us; let us repeat it, that "I AM THAT I AM" is absolute and not in relation to anything, whereas "I AM hath sent me unto you" is God in relation to His people, and all our hopes are bound up in that. The abstract idea is God; not three Persons. Again to repeat, "I AM THAT I AM" is God in the absolute. So we have here the absolute idea of God, not in relation to anything or any other being; but the second reference is relative to His people.

Ques. Would these be the depths of God which the Spirit searches?

J.T. That is a relative thought; no matter how deep you go into it, the more you find out what He is.

Ques. Would you say more as to God in a relative place, and the need for reviewing?

J.T. Well; so much has come before us, and perhaps irregularly, that we need to review things. The Spirit guides us.

Ques. Do we learn in parts?

J.T. Yes; particularly at the readings. God has made more of them possible than at the beginning; it is like Acts 20, the brethren in love together in conversational thoughts.

Rem. Certain things are emphasised at certain times; the idea of the well is needed, so as to come at them in an orderly way.

J.T. I see it more and more; the Lord says, "By this shall all know that ye are disciples of mine, if ye have love amongst yourselves", John 13:35.

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Ques. Is there a correspondence between Moses and John?

J.T. There is a great likeness between them, and the Lord likens Moses to Himself in John 5:46, 47.

Rem. In Malachi 3:16 it speaks of them that feared Jehovah speaking "often one to another".

J.T. So also Balaam says of Israel, "What hath God wrought!" (Numbers 23:23). God is working to bring out the truth; "the truth shall set you free" (John 8:32), the Lord says.

Ques. How far does "the full knowledge of him" go in Ephesians 1:17?

J.T. The note to the word 'know' in Matthew 11:27 will help, where it says, "no one knows the Son but the Father"; the note says it is 'real knowledge, not a mere objective acquaintance with a person'; so we have the saints arriving at "the knowledge of the Son of God, at the full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fulness of the Christ" (Ephesians 4:13); that is full knowledge.

Ques. Can there be anything greater than God known in the economy? Is "I AM THAT I AM" greater than that?

J.T. We have the real knowledge of God as revealed.

Ques. Does the whole system depend on what is in verse 14?

J.T. John's gospel greatly enlarges on that; the three Persons are seen acting together. The Son is seen acting objectively in 1 Corinthians 1:1 - 9; it implies the objective knowledge the Corinthians had in the abstract seen in that chapter; it is the objective idea of the truth; the apostle is accrediting the Corinthians with being in everything enriched in Christ, "in all word of doctrine, and all knowledge", 1 Corinthians 1:5.

Ques. Is the "temple of God" (1 Corinthians 3:16) another great abstract thought?

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J.T. Yes; they had to learn that.

Ques. Does all this involve stability in our souls?

J.T. Yes, exactly.

Ques. Is that implied in Psalm 90, where Moses says, "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, and thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from eternity to eternity thou art God" (verses 1, 2)?

J.T. You wonder at what is said of Moses.

Ques. Is the spirit of enquiry right, "they shall say, What is his name"?

J.T. It will take time, the scripture is 'unfolding' the truth; Deuteronomy 1:5 uses this word; the fulness comes out in the New Testament. "This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations"; it had to be disclosed.

Ques. The disclosure to Moses was in answer to an enquiry; are we to experience that?

J.T. We need that, too, as we are together in love as we dig into the deepest matters.

Rem. Are we to know the reality of God bringing His people out of Egypt "unto a land flowing with milk and honey" (verse 8)?

J.T. Yes; it is the abstract idea, and Moses brings it out. He is the first to use the word 'Jah', Exodus 15:2. Numbers 12:8 helps as to what Moses had; "the form of Jehovah doth he behold", He says of Moses. So Paul speaks of "my intelligence in the mystery" (Ephesians 3:4); he had a wonderful knowledge of God. So we have two men that have extraordinary knowledge.

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John 1:35 - 39, 46 - 51; John 6:66 - 71; John 20:16 - 21

J.T. What has been suggested is a feature of the whole gospel; that is, the desire for learning and for instruction, the end being reached when Mary says to the Lord "Rabboni", that is to say her Teacher, to remind us that we are to restrict ourselves as to learning; it is to be confined to the Lord. Nathanael was a quick learner; so was the Magdalene; the Lord calls her 'Mary', showing His personal interest and knowledge of her, "Jesus says to her, Mary. She, turning round, says to Him in Hebrew, Rabboni, which means Teacher". In chapter 6 Peter says, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast words of life eternal; and we have believed and known that thou art the holy one of God". That is to say, in his answer he recognised the Lord's priesthood, "words of life eternal", and that He was "the holy one of God", so that in his mind holiness was connected with priesthood. In Malachi 2:7 we have "For the priest's lips should keep knowledge".

Ques. Is it interesting that in this gospel it says, "And they shall be all taught of God", John 6:45?

J.T. Quite so; a very important verse, a key word as to what we are speaking of. There is so much teaching and so many teachers, that the thought comes to us of the need for right teachers and teaching, and how it bears on the present moment, and helps to deliver us from the present system of things in the world. There is not only the teaching, but the Teacher; the Person of the Lord is in mind in all matters.

Ques. Is the need for teaching emphasised by the

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interpretation, "Rabboni which, being interpreted, signifies Teacher"

J.T. It is to make plain the key-line in the gospel. The leaders who would be prophets to the Gentiles would need to know what the word 'Rabbi' meant.

Ques. Paul uses the word 'apprehend'; does John open that up? It is an Ephesian word.

J.T. I think that.

Rem. Apprehension is our side; teaching is His side.

J.T. Yes, of course. If we keep in mind that Mary Magdalene is the Lord's ideal, having the assembly in view, it helps to clarify the matter. Her name, and her great desire for teaching, and her saying "Rabboni, which means Teacher", all direct our minds to the assembly. She becomes a sister like Phoebe, and like Lydia, suggestive of the assembly, as also the Old Testament furnishes types in Eve, Rebecca, Asenath, Zipporah, Achsah and Abigail; these are outstanding women to direct our way to the assembly.

Ques. Would you include Leah?

J.T. Yes; and Rachel, too, in a certain way. Leah is characteristically the Gentile; the last loved, but the first to be obtained.

Rem. The "teaching of the Lord" is referred to in Acts 13:12 after Paul had spoken to the proconsul and had dealt with Elymas. There was the desire to learn.

J.T. No doubt. But John's general position in the testimony is calculated to make his teaching attractive.

Ques. Are we to desire to know where He abides?

J.T. Yes, and the readiness to stay with Him; and then the witness of Nathanael in learning, makes him of special interest to the Lord Himself. The Lord enlarges on the thought of teaching in his case, "Philip finds Nathanael, and says to him, We have

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found him of whom Moses wrote in the law, and the prophets, Jesus, the son of Joseph, who is from Nazareth. And Nathanael said to him, Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Philip says to him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and says of him, Behold, one truly an Israelite, in whom there is no guile"; so that we can see how readily and loftily his mind moved in learning; "Nathanael says to him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said to him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and said to him, Rabbi, thou are the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said to him, Because I said to thee, I saw thee under the fig-tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these. And he says to him, Verily, verily, I say to you, Henceforth ye shall see the heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man". It is as if the Lord discerned that others would join with Nathanael. The plural is used in verse 51, 'ye', but in verse 50 it is 'thou'. The Lord discerns that the interest will widen.

Ques. Does learning depend on the place the Lord Himself has in our affections we are subdued in the sense of the greatness of His Person?

J.T. Just so. Enlargement in chapter 1 is suggested as to John the baptist; then there is "The true light was that which, coming into the world, lightens every man", notice the note, 'sheds its light upon' every man; and another thing strikes us in John 1, it is "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we have contemplated his glory)", that is the disciples contemplated, not only heard another great point in understanding the Lord.

Rem. Nothing is said as to what was taught in verse 38; was it on the line of contemplation?

J.T. The Lord would have in mind that if you

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come, you see the environment in which He is set, His surroundings, like it is now; that we should be intent on learning; it is what is in His mind.

Ques. Is it what He is like? He says to them, What seek ye?

J.T. Yes; someone said 'class-learning is best; you learn with others'. It is better to learn thus. The Lord discerns this in the enquiry. So that in John 13 He lays aside His garments, and takes a linen towel, and so on, and then calls attention to what He had done and who He was. That section is full of instruction as to the points before us, as to doing what He did.

Ques. Would class-learning be like the school of Tyrannus (Acts 19:9)?

J.T. It would be like these readings we are having now; they have a great importance; we learn together; there is the thought of teaching; the Lord went up on high and gave gifts to men, as it says in Ephesians 4:10 - 12,"He that descended is the same who has also ascended up above all the heavens, that he might fill all things; and he has given some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some shepherds and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints"; so that there is the idea of teaching; it is ability and gift; the shepherd and teacher is one gift. As in Hebrews 10:25 we are not to forsake "the assembling of ourselves together, as the custom is with some; but encouraging one another, and by so much the more as ye see the day drawing near". Let the young people get to the meetings; the shepherds and teachers would have them in mind, both brothers and sisters.

Rem. In Acts 1:6 it says, "They therefore, being come together".

J.T. It was the fulfilment of His word, "If then ye see the Son of man ascending up where he was before?" (John 6:62); He went up while they were

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together; "having said these things he was taken up, they beholding him"; they were instructed further by the angels, or the two men in white clothing; it means that the angels added ministry, and shows how the Lord moved between the interim of going into heaven and coming back; it is what He is doing now, going and coming. Another thing that follows is what Peter says in Acts 1:21, "that of the men who have assembled with us all the time in which the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us", that one of these should be a witness of His resurrection; one who had been there to see His movements, coming in and going out. We learn by the way He goes up how He will come back.

Ques. To reign or at the rapture?

J.T. The rapture is not formally taught; we are to love His appearing.

Ques. Do we see in 1 John 1:1 the result of the teaching, "that which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes; that which we contemplated, and our hands handled, concerning the word of life"?

J.T. Just so; it is to bring out the reality, and the Person in whom the life is seen; the familiarity, too, the touching and handling. It is what Christianity implies; there is the thought of the Lord coming to us.

Ques. To "learn from me" (Matthew 11:29); is that as a model?

J.T. That is the idea; to learn from Him.

Ques. Are we to make it a more deep habit to enquire?

J.T. Yes; the more spiritual those you get amongst are, the more you learn. If you stay in the infants' class -- well! The need is to be with the elder brethren, to see how they do and say things.

Rem. We are to move away from the Sunday schools.

J.T. They are indeed "like whited sepulchres,

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which appear beautiful outwardly, but within are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness", Matthew 23:27.

Ques. Is it not a question of our willingness? Nathanael comes to Him, and in chapter 6: 67 the Lord says, "Will ye also go away?" He refers to the will; is not that essential?

J.T. Yes; it is like "My soul set me upon the chariots of my willing people" (Song of Songs 6:12); and what is said as to the elder brethren and the younger is important, that the younger accustom themselves to be with them and learn from them, and what they are, too. Those two disciples had a great advantage to go to where He abode. As to Aquila and Priscilla in Acts 18:26; whether they took Apollos to their rooms or home, or whether it was in the meeting-room, they followed the Lord's example and took him to them.

Ques. Would this "Come and see" be similar to the word to Mary, "Go to my brethren" (John 20:17)? Would both draw them together?

J.T. Yes.

Rem. The apostles were handicapped; as the writer brings the truth to bear upon the Hebrews, he has to say, "ye are become dull in hearing", Hebrews 5:11.

J.T. Yes; and in keeping with that, "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together", Hebrews 10:25. Thin meetings show that declension has set in. Nathanael was a brother ready to take in great facts, so he says, "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel". His personal features show a respect for the "greater things"; he was not keeping the brethren on the lower grades, but on the higher levels, as in Ephesians; as in the school of Tyrannus, where we are to learn.

Rem. The distinguished company with Paul in Acts 20 would augment the truth.

J.T. Certain ones who accompanied him, you

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mean; it is a very great point, as if Paul would show the servants as examples of what he was bringing out. There was a Berean, it says, and "there were many lights in the upper room" where they were assembled. What intelligence there is amongst the brethren, and the zeal amongst some, like the dear brethren here from Australia, who feel the desire to see what there is here.

Rem. You are referring to the work of God here. Yes, indeed!

J.T. Many are sacrificing much for it.

Rem. They desire to get more into the current.

J.T. One greatly values what the brethren desire, and on the part of some especially, to get the best, and the Lord does not fail them.

Rem. He operates this way, if we can bear it.

J.T. Yes.

Ques. Where did Nathanael learn this?

J.T. In the right atmosphere, he was near the Lord.

Ques. What was the secret of his quick learning?

J.T. The Lord really began the matter, for it says, And "Philip finds Nathanael, and says to him, We have found him of whom Moses wrote in the law, and the prophets, Jesus, the son of Joseph, who is from Nazareth. And Nathanael said to him, Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" He was rightly handled. How do we handle the brethren that come amongst us? It is a characteristic phrase to "Come and see"; he was coming to Him as "an Israelite, in whom there is no guile". Do not say evil things as to those who are enquiring to drive them away. We may gain a brother if we accredit him. So "Philip says to him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and says of him, Behold one truly an Israelite, in whom there is no guile. Nathanael says to him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said to him, Before that Philip called thee, when

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thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee". We are coming into the presence of spiritual power. We had it this morning, as to Abigail, "blessed be thy discernment" (1 Samuel 25:33); that is it! The Lord discerned what was there. We are not asking people to an ordinary man, but to an extraordinary One, a divine Person really; God is amongst us.

Ques. Is it like John 4:29, "Is not he the Christ"?

J.T. Yes; she knew how to handle people; she had herself been properly handled.

Ques. In this matter of discernment, are we to be more discerning?

J.T. Yes; "the spiritual discerns all things" (1 Corinthians 2:15), and it adds, "he is discerned of no one". Christians are beyond the range of ordinary intelligence.

Rem. We learn more from atmosphere than textbooks.

J.T. Yes; we are dealing with divine Persons, and spiritual persons, who are discerned of no one, and then it says, "But we have the mind of Christ". The spiritual man is the model; he discerns all things; the Spirit he has is beyond the ordinary person.

Rem. In John 9 the blind man was led out.

J.T. I was thinking of him. What a remarkable learner he was! They thought he had sinned, but the Lord says, No; he gives an account of himself, that God was working; he told the neighbours, "having gone and washed, I saw"; it was historical; but to the Pharisees he says, "I washed, and I see"; that is moral.

Rem. He went on learning.

Ques. How do we become spiritual? Is it the ascending line?

J.T. Bring before people that there is such a thing as a spiritual man; the person is before you, and you are concerned as to it. "What seek ye" is before you;

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"more than Jonas is here", "more than Solomon is here", Matthew 12:41, 42. No one is more interesting than Mary of Magdala; she has attention from the angels and from the Lord; she designated Him, "Rabboni, which means Teacher".

Rem. Peculiar attention is given to this; it says "which means Teacher"; there is to be no mistake about it.

J.T. That is what is said, and it is in their own language.

Ques. Why is it that Bartimaeus is the only other one who uses that expression; Mark 10:51?

J.T. He must have been a quick learner; he had knowledge in his soul, though blind; he was a suitable person; so it says, he "followed him in the way".

Ques. Do we need to have our treasuries?

J.T. Undoubtedly; they are intended by the Holy Spirit to be there; it is what I have gathered up in my own soul. How Mary Magdalene was ready to be used. We have not had a finished product yet; Nathanael was not, but here we are very near to the finishing point; so the Lord says to her, "I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God". The Lord regards her as near the finishing point. So we are not to be journeymen or apprentices as if we are always learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth.

Ques. Does she represent the feature of dignity?

J.T. A good suggestion. When Paul's name was changed (Acts 13:9), he was a learner till then, but after that he was a finished product, and I think Mary comes into that line. One thing to add, "Jesus says to her, Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father"; what comes out of heaven, is what in principle has gone into heaven, like the heavenly city; Revelation 21.

Rem. She is taking in the heavenly.

J.T. Yes; finality. Somebody has learnt. Paul

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says, "my intelligence in the mystery of the Christ", Ephesians 3:4.

Rem. Hence this is essential to the thought of instruction and of the mystery.

J.T. Well; it is especially in mind in John. Hence the Baptist says, "He that has the bride is the bridegroom"; and he has already said, "A man can receive nothing unless it be given him out of heaven" (John 3:27, 29), for there is no other way; it is like the sheet, held by the four corners (Acts 10:11), the innate strength that was there.

Rem. The heavens are opened in Acts 10 and in John 1:51.

J.T. So Stephen tells us later. Christianity is like the book of Hebrews, 'the book of the opened heavens'.

Ques. What did you mean by 'innate power'?

J.T. What was in it like the net not broken in John 21:11; it is resurrection, but more heavenly; a square, a universal thought; and it appeared three times to bring out the strength of it.

Ques. Is there a link with the Lord saying, "I have not yet ascended to my Father", and "he that descended is the same who has also ascended up above all the heavens"in Ephesians 4; is it the objective?

J.T. I suppose so. He goes beyond; a great spiritual thought, involving Deity. No creature can go there; the gifts have come from there, and hence the strength of them.

Ques. Why does He say, "my Father"?

J.T. It is in keeping with what we have; it involves the economy.

Ques. Why does He say, "Touch me not"?

J.T. In the next meeting He was touchable; "Bring thy finger here", the Lord says. The idea is that the assembly is the place where things are adjusted; we get the touch there, as Mary did; there was no discrepancy, no weakness in the circle;

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not like Luke 24, where they were frightened, whereas here in John 20 it is not so, "When therefore it was evening on that day, which was the first day of the week, and the doors shut where the disciples were, through fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and says to them, Peace be to you. And having said this, he shewed to them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced therefore, having seen the Lord". They rejoiced; they were not abashed, but in liberty. We have the divine thoughts, "Jesus said therefore again to them, Peace be to you: as the Father sent me forth, I also send you". This second time there is no description; the position is final; the thing is settled.

Rem. You have brought it out elsewhere that He comes and stands "in the midst".

J.T. It was the centre, not like Luke 24, which is a local thought.

Rem. The disciples were the great persons.

J.T. Yes; He goes there.

Ques. Is assembling on this high spiritual level a result of the teaching?

J.T. Yes.

Rem. He came to them.

J.T. Yes; there were none like them; "Jesus said therefore again to them, Peace be to you: as the Father sent me forth, I also send you"; they were fit to be sent forth; "And having said this, he breathed into them, and says to them, Receive the Holy Spirit: whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted to them; whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained". Things are put into our hands; this remitting of sins is a great matter; if sins are committed there is a means of dealing with them and restoring people. It is to bring out the character of the moment.

Rem. "The heart of her husband confideth in her", Proverbs 31:11.

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J.T. Yes. The remission is first; the spiritual of the company are in mind. "Brethren, if even a man be taken in some fault, ye who are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself lest thou also be tempted", Galatians 6:1.

Ques. How far does His action go, "he breathed into them, and says to them, Receive the Holy Spirit"?

J.T. It is not the great matter of Pentecost power; there was no fire, but a gracious breathing.

Ques. Are these normal conditions?

J.T. Yes; it is the character of the dispensation; the brethren imbued with the spirit of the dispensation.

Rem. The Holy Spirit would be sensitive as to sin.

J.T. Yes, indeed. The Lord trusting us is a great matter; He signs a blank cheque; He is ready to forgive; so it comes first in this chapter, to bring out the dispensation on the highest level.

Ques. Is it incorporated in Paul's ministry?

J.T. By the sense of grace and forgiveness.

Rem. Discipline is fully committed to the assembly as representing the Lord.

J.T. He was ascended to the highest level.

Rem. "As he is, we also are in this world", 1 John 4:17.

J.T. Yes.

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Numbers 10:29 - 32; Numbers 21:17, 18; Isaiah 8:18 - 20

The passage in Numbers 10 is in mind because it shows how unreliable natural relations are especially if 'in-law'. The passage treats of Moses' father-in-law; the question is as to whether it was his actual father-in-law, or the son of his father-in-law, but we would understand that Jethro, Moses' actual father-in-law, is in mind. More is said of this relationship in Moses than in anyone; in this relationship he is mentioned as serving his father-in-law well; and in fact the father-in-law is mentioned because he served Moses well; so that one would be measured as to any remarks as to these 'in-law' relationships, and as to others, especially mothers-in-law. Take Naomi, she served her daughter-in-law well! But I am speaking of Moses as a son-in-law, and therefore having a father-in-law; and I have in mind to speak, by contrast, of him as the 'law-giver'. We cannot hope for much from the father-in-law; as we connect the 'in-law' position with Christendom and the many Christians there, we need to gauge things rightly. In the beginning of the dispensation Moses refers to persons of natural relation to Israel, namely the children of Esau, in Deuteronomy 2; that such persons were treated well; mercy and grace were shown to them; but later the condition changed because the state of Esau was unmendable, and God says, "I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau", Malachi 1:3. I mention this because we are living in these relationships, too; at the beginning much grace was shown to natural relations, a long time was given to Judaism; but the complete deliverance awaited Paul; and as a matter of consequence there was a gradual breaking-up after the Lord went into heaven, according to

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Luke 24:50 - 52, "he led them out as far as Bethany, and having lifted up his hands, he blessed them. And it came to pass as he was blessing them, he was separated from them and was carried up into heaven. And they, having done him homage, returned to Jerusalem with great joy", not to the mount of Olives, or to the upper room; so that in going to Jerusalem it was all favourable to the condition of the 'in-law' position; God's long suffering was seen in this, and so it was the Lord would have His people go to the temple, and they "were continually in the temple praising and blessing God", and this will last only as long as the conditions and the expressions belonging to them were taken on, as for instance the covenant never applied to Christianity; it applied to Christianity as the new covenant with the assembly as brought into the Supper; it was the beginning of the fading away of Judaism, though it lasted a long time. We are apt to retain the terms long after the thing has past. The new covenant was never made with the assembly, only in the spirit of it. Judaism has gone; Stephen's burial was the burial of Judaism, and of any good with it. "Great lamentation" was made over Stephen, but undoubtedly it was what Judaism was in such a man as Paul, who wished to "be a curse from the Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen, according to flesh", Romans 9:3. In Colossians and Ephesians we do not get these things. Paul's judgment was to remit, and not to retain what had been, and to show in the burial of Stephen that all that was to be given up. In the death of Herod it was what was abominable to him, and if we are to have in-laws we must be watchful to keep them in their proper place. It was no accident that it was in Antioch that "the disciples were first called Christians", and that Christianity was first established there, and should remain with all the lustre that belongs to it.

I pass on to the other thought, as we have in Moses.

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He is not retained because of his Judaic associations, but because of what he represents, and the Lord Jesus connects him and parallels him with Himself; He says in John 5:46, 47, "for if ye had believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote of me. But if ye do not believe his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" And so Paul's and Peter's words are placed on record as Scripture, and we see how Paul acquires such a place. So the thought of the law-giver is so necessary now; there is so much lawlessness. Moses is the law-giver, but not of the law of Sinai. He took good instructions from his father-in-law, and we may get good thoughts from our 'in-laws', but there is much that is spurious among what is so-called Christian. The law-giver is to be understood, and he is to be retained rigorously; all that are Bereans will do this; they will keep the Scriptures, and all with them; they search daily, as for hidden treasure, and to see if words are rightly used. Those who minister have these treasures to serve and to feed the saints; hence we have the word as to feeding, "Who then is the faithful and prudent steward, whom his lord will set over his household, to give the measure of corn in season ? Blessed is that bondman whom his lord on coming shall find doing thus; verily I say unto you, that he will set him over all that he has", Luke 12:42 - 44. It means the Lord's house; He is often spoken of as the house-father, and in Isaiah 9:6 as the "Father of Eternity". The thought, a very precious one, has to be retained, and as we sit here the Lord will look upon us and say, "Children, have ye anything to eat?" John 21:5. We might even paraphrase that and ask whether it is food that the saints are having. Seven of them went fishing, yet not a word of reproof. What seemed so deep-rooted in them, was shallow, and the Lord knew it. The law-giver refers to law, but not in a legal sense; here it means praise, so the language in

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Numbers 21 is, "Then Israel sang this song, Rise up, well! sing unto it: Well which princes digged, which the nobles of the people hollowed out at the word of the lawgiver, with their staves". That is it was the word of the law-giver; it is today a question of what can be applied in the service of God in singing. It is "respond to it". Whatever there is of Christ in the singing is response; it is a beautiful word as it sinks down into the affections of the heart. So it is that law-giving is most necessary at the present time, that response (a rich word!) may be fuller. It enters into the song in Exodus 15 of Moses and the children of Israel; and Miriam and the women had their refrain; it resounded in the wilderness. What God had in that early time! It is the feminine side leading to the assembly. So Miriam went out; she is called "the prophetess", so early; and so it is we have it in our own Scriptures, laws, as I may call them, the first and second epistles to the Corinthians; the first, as it were, a bare commandment, "the things that I write to you, that it is the Lord's commandment" (1 Corinthians 14:37); the other, full of sympathy and feeling; beautiful feelings in the second epistle, "I have espoused you unto one man, to present you a chaste virgin to Christ", 2 Corinthians 11:2. That is all we get in that epistle of the bride, but very full, as a root; how it is needed, that root! These epistles of law, or principles, in which the apostle says so much of women; one marvels that there was so much in these women; we have the suggestion that they prophesied in those days; we have in Acts 21:9, "Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied"; but do they prophesy today? I do not know where to put it; but if it is a void, it wants to be remedied. I refer to this scripture because law-giving promotes song, spiritual melody for God and for Christ. Christ has priests on His own account, and God has, too, "they shall be priests of

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God and of the Christ", Revelation 20:6. It means that Christ has a means of carrying on, on His own account, and we need to see how to conform to it; so here the law-giver directs the song. It is the suggestion of a word that is exercised in authority in singing, "Then Israel sang this song, Rise up, well! Respond unto it: Well which princes digged, which the nobles of the people hollowed out at the word of the law-giver"; thus we are in the presence of nobility. I venture to compare it with the two letters to the Corinthians, where it says, "If any one thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him recognise the things that I write to you, that it is the Lord's commandment" (1 Corinthians 14:37), and the Lord's supper comes into those epistles, and the Lord is said to be the Person who gives the commandment. Before Gethsemane He disposed of what He had; His lovers were not strong enough to retain Him; their love was so weak, and yet He knew the depth of the roots He had laid; it would fill the whole earth; we go "from glory to glory" as we have it in 2 Corinthians 3:18. We each should be imbued with it, and know how to carry it through. The epistles are full of comfort, and God is the "God of all encouragement", 2 Corinthians 1:3. The lawgiver raises the question of the authority of the Lord, His authority in the Supper; let no one challenge it! The epistles are full of what belongs to Christ, and it is a question of His rights, and the right He has to time, and what use He can make of us. We are espoused to Christ, to be used for His pleasure, to be used for Him, and how essential in our time to see this; there is so much that is lawless. Take the translation of the Scriptures by the Roman Catholics; we find lawlessness in it; so we need the law-giver, and we need the one, whoever he be, who keeps to the Scripture. The Supper, these meetings which we have week after week, are that we might learn in one language; it was at the beginning, not

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as at Babel, but it was the Spirit here; the gift of tongues is not needed now, but subjection to the Scriptures; let us learn what is there, and learn to speak the same things, and think eye to eye. Paul says he heard there were divisions among them, and he partly believed it (1 Corinthians 11:18); it was not the terrible thing spoken of in chapter 5, but it is a pernicious thing that slips in so easily. In Numbers 21 they spoke in unity, hence the song.

Now in Isaiah, he was the most feeling prophet, and he includes the most musical king, Hezekiah, who had been down to the gates of death. He says, "The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness", this is what we are hopeful of in such as Eutychus (Acts 20:9), in recovery in the assembly; and this is what Hezekiah said, "I said, In the meridian of my days I shall go to the gates of Sheol: I am deprived of the rest of my years. I said, I shall not see Jah, Jah in the land of the living. With those who dwell where all has ceased to be, I shall behold man no more. Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd's tent. I have cut off like a weaver my life. He separateth me from the thrum: -- from day to night thou wilt make an end of me. I kept still until the morning; ... as a lion, so doth he break all my bones. From day to night thou wilt make an end of me". This is the way he thought of God. "Like a swallow [or] a crane, so did I chatter; I mourned as a dove; mine eyes failed [with looking] upward: Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me. What shall I say? He hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done it. I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul. Lord, by these things [men] live". This is what I want to come to, to be in such a time, as we need resurrection life in the assembly. I will read on, "and in all these things is the life of my spirit; and thou hast recovered me,

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and made me to live. Behold, instead of peace I had bitterness upon bitterness; but thou hast in love delivered my soul from the pit of destruction; for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. For not Sheol shall praise thee, nor death celebrate thee; they that go down into the pit do not hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I this day", Isaiah 38:9 - 19. This is my effort to bring something to the dear brethren as to the service of God; that we have right hymns and words. The law-giver means the intensification of the thought of right words, and that we all learn to be of one mind, and more, to think the same thing. In the Philippian epistle the Lord Jesus is the greatest model for us, He made Himself of no reputation, and Hezekiah came into the spirit of it, and put it into song, and became one of the great promoters of song in the Old Testament.

Now turn back to chapter 8: 18, "Behold, I and the children that Jehovah hath given me", it is the Lord Jesus speaking in the Spirit,"are for signs and for wonders in Israel, from Jehovah of hosts, who dwelleth in mount Zion. And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto the necromancers and unto the soothsayers, who chirp and who mutter, say, Shall not a people seek unto their God? Will they go for the living unto the dead? To the law and the testimony! If they speak not according to this word, for them there is no daybreak". These are the things we have to face; they are 'in-laws'; yes, but worse apostasy is next door to us; it calls for sobriety; no giving in or dying; it is the great position for us to hold fast; and so here it is, "To the law and the testimony! If they speak not according to this word, for them there is no daybreak", so we are to feel that in the 'in-law' position we may be related to these darkened people. John says, "the darkness is passing and the true light already shines", 1 John 2:8. "Behold, I and

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the children that Jehovah hath given me", it is the Lord's gracious place of Father; not the Father, He never takes that; it is a question of moral greatness; and Who has a greater place today? It is a question of what the saints are being fed on; is it real spiritual food -- the best possible? The Lord said in John 21:12, "Come and dine"; it is the best food, not the poorest, and it is for everyone who is serving to give the best; it must be accurate, and that there should be no need of a Berean to challenge what has been said. We as brethren should all speak the same thing, and then as we proceed, the Lord's supper and the service of God would be better.

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Hebrews 4

J.T. What is in mind particularly is the word of God as unfolded in this chapter, and ultimately we may see in the closing part of the chapter how we are supported in it -- the word of God.

In the early part the idea of faith is in mind, so that it is said, "For indeed we have had glad tidings presented to us, even as they also; but the word of the report did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard". The glad tidings here will be understood to refer to heaven, not the glad tidings of our salvation spoken of earlier. Therefore the application to our own time is evident, because heaven is specially stressed by the Spirit in view of the coming of the Lord. The allusion is to the report that was brought back by the spies; it was not mixed with faith in those who heard. Hence the disallowance of the great mass of Israel to enter the land. Similar disallowance is now current, for entrance into heaven is on the principle of faith, that is entrance into heavenly things or places now. It is a time of faith.

The epistle opens with an unfolding of certain statements in the Psalms and other scriptures referring to the Person of Christ. The whole of the first chapter is to call attention to the Person of Christ, and the terrors of disregarding the word: "For this reason", as it says in chapter 2, "we should give abundantly to the things we have heard, lest in any way we should slip away. For if the word which was spoken by angels was firm, and every transgression and disobedience received just retribution, how shall we escape if we have been negligent

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of so great salvation, which, having had its commencement in being spoken of by the Lord, has been confirmed to us by those who have heard; God bearing, besides, witness with them to it, both by signs and wonders, and various acts of power, and distributions of the Holy Spirit, according to his will?" First there is the warning of slipping away. And the allusion in the chapter is to the report of the land which the spies brought back to Kadesh. And Psalm 95 being quoted in chapter 3, we are told, "Wherefore, even as says the Holy Spirit, To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness; where your fathers tempted me, by proving me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was wroth with this generation, and said, They always err in heart; and they have not known my ways; so I swore in my wrath, If they shall enter into my rest. See, brethren, lest there be in any one of you a wicked heart of unbelief, in turning away from the living God".

So that the object of the epistle is clearly set out, to appeal finally to Jewish Christians that they might not turn away. Because it is the Lord's mind to set up Christianity as a thing by itself, not simply as something developed out of Judaism but opened up from heaven to us. There is abundant evidence that the terms of Judaism so prevalent in the early part of Christianity were to give place to Christian terms. Terms in this epistle are largely drawn from what the Spirit of God had taught at the beginning, but now the time had come for the full opening up of Christianity. There are many terms that are used in Christian doctrine which arose primarily from Judaism; not, indeed, that there is anything wrong in it, they are inspired, from the word of God, of course, but at the same time it was intended that they should give place largely to what is terminologically properly Christian. Hence the study of

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Paul's ministry would show that there is very little -- take, for instance, Colossians and Ephesians and some other epistles -- save what we would regard as properly Christian terminology. And so such terms as covenant and sanctuary and many other such terms are gradually giving place to what is properly Christian. Especially, of course, what refers to the Lord's supper, which was at the outset and is now the centre of the service of God. So that the terms should be derived from what is properly Christian.

The new covenant is much appealed to from time to time, but it is a term which does not properly belong to Christianity. There was no new covenant made with Christians. I only refer to that because the apostle Paul has the last word in regard to the Lord's supper and it is clear that we should pay attention to it. It contains references, of course, to what is said in the gospels under the same head, but certain things were added by Paul that are not found in the gospels, and much is left out that is found in the gospels in Paul's final word from the Lord regarding the Supper.

Ques. Have you in mind that we should understand what you speak of now as really belonging to Christians, to our dispensation; what is for us now as Paul presents it in Colossians and Ephesians?

J.T. What is intended for Christians. Only, early terminology was used and God was patient and long-suffering with the Jewish Christians. Hence when the Lord ascended to heaven the disciples according to Luke went to the temple; they were continually praising God in the temple, but that was not intended to continue, and so the second treatise of Luke introduces the thought of mount Olivet. The ascension is connected with mount Olivet. And the disciples returning to the city went to the upper room, not to the temple. That is to say there was intended to be a gradual disappearance of mere Judaism and the

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establishment of what is properly Christian. So that the term Christian is an oracular term which indicates that God intended it to cover the position now from the time that Paul's ministry was established.

Ques. Do we see that first developing at Antioch when Barnabas seeks out Saul and they taught a large crowd?

J.T. That is what I was thinking. Paul and Barnabas taught a large crowd, as you say. They taught them in the assembly, which is remarkable, as if that was to prevail -- teaching in the assembly. And so it is in later days, as in Acts 20 where Luke tells us that they assembled, "We being assembled to break bread, ..." Not simply being gathered together, but being assembled. And the Lord would, I am sure, impress this upon us, that our expressions should be correct, derived as it were from heaven and have a heavenly character to them. Especially now, because we are dealing with a chapter which deals with heaven typically -- the report of the spies as to the land. It was no question of the wilderness, but the land -- the land of promise.

Ques. What difference do you make between being gathered and being assembled?

J.T. It is said of the Lord Himself in Acts 1, "being assembled with them". And in several instances later it is not simply being gathered but being assembled. It is not indeed the word that refers to the assembly later, but it is the idea of the assembly. Not just gathered together as at a railway station or in a house as at an ordinary social or family time, but being assembled with a certain attitude in the mind and in the heart. That is, it makes way for God and God's things, especially the Lord's supper.

Rem. I think it would help us if, as you say, the new covenant does not apply to us, if you would say something about what we get in 1 Corinthians 11, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood".

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J.T. Well, it is there, of course, and other things are there in 2 Corinthians 3. But it is not in letter but in spirit, as it says. The reference is spiritual, and intended to run into Christianity. Because the new covenant was made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. The Lord does not say anything different from that, but He does say it is in His blood, and it was in His blood as they drank it, "As oft as ye drink it". And it is remarkable that the writer, Paul, alludes to "after having supped", the passing by of the Passover time. "After having supped" means that the Passover had come to an end and it was now the Lord's supper, which means Christianity. So that it is said, "In like manner also the cup, after having supped, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me". Or, "For the calling me to mind". It is a memorial just as the bread is. It is only said to be a memorial there, that is, in Paul's message from the Lord. It is only said there. The bread is said to be a memorial in Luke and it is also said in 1 Corinthians 11. That was the Lord's message from heaven through Paul, because the apostle says, "I received from the Lord ...". He does not say he received it from the twelve; he received it from the Lord.

Ques. Was he like the twelve spies coming back with the heavenly light?

J.T. It was that exactly, which is very important to keep in mind. He was a heavenly man; "an elect vessel to me", the Lord says.

Rem. So that the light of heaven came more into prominence at Antioch than at Jerusalem.

J.T. Well, I would say that. The service of Paul and Barnabas at Antioch is to be noted. It was said to be in the assembly; not simply in a meeting place or hall, but in the assembly, which has its own distinction. And then beyond that in Acts 13 the

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service of God is already current, it was proceeding. It is said, "Now there were in Antioch, in the assembly which was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius the Cyrenian, and Manaen, foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. And as they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them", showing it was an epoch; the time had come for it and it was a question of the Spirit Himself; it was the Spirit's action. We must read it carefully. Of course, we no doubt do read carefully, but specially should this be so when attention is called to it that the facts stated as to Paul are intended to be a turning point in regard of the testimony. Not indeed that there was any change in a doctrinal way but there was a sort of revival. The advent of Paul was an advent stirring up the saints and leading out into a wider field. And so the first great missionary service of Paul and Barnabas began here and it carries with it the term Christian. As we know, the word is in Acts 11:26, "And so it was with them that for a whole year they were gathered together in the assembly and taught a large crowd: and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch". Then we have chapter 12 which is somewhat parenthetical, but it really indicates a crisis in the history because the allusion is to setting aside Judaism. The king, the whole system, was being dealt with, and the full thought of Herod would show that God was abominating what was going on in turning away from them. But Christianity was to stand on its own footing, and the service was to continue, particularly the service of the Lord's supper.

Ques. Does the fact of ministering to the Lord in chapter 13 refer to the public character of the work?

J.T. That is right. It is the public worship of God, you might say, in that sense.

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Rem. I wondered if you meant that it had taken on proper Christian character.

J.T. I think it had. Because of what it says in chapter 11 where it speaks of the disciples being called Christians. The word is oracular, which means that it is intended to be stamped on Christianity. Not simply something which arose out of Judaism but from heaven really.

Ques. What is the significance of it being the Holy Spirit who says, "Separate me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them"?

J.T. What is significant is that it is the Holy Spirit Personally who is acting. He is sent down from heaven, but at the same time, in keeping with what we have been remarking, there is an outstanding stress laid here on the Spirit acting Himself. And so it says, "As they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. Then, having fasted and prayed, and having laid their hands on them, they let them go". They are not sent out by the assembly, they are let go, but let go with the assembly's sympathy and fellowship. "They therefore, having been sent forth by the Holy Spirit" -- it does not say they are sent out by the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit -- "went down to Seleucia, and thence sailed away to Cyprus ...", That is the position. So that the idea of missionary work is not ever based on the assembly. It is by the Spirit -- the action of the Spirit.

Ques. Would that be pressing them from within?

J.T. I think it would be. The movement was not simply external. It was external, it could be seen, but it was also inward, which indeed marked Paul's ministry. He says, "God ... was pleased to reveal his Son in me", not to but in me -- "that I may announce him as glad tidings among the nations".

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Galatians 1:15, 16. It was an inward thing. Not exactly like what was said to Peter in Matthew 16; the revelation was to Peter, not in him, whereas it was in Paul. And so Paul stresses the idea of the inward man.

Ques. Would it be the extension of what we get in Acts 2:42, "They persevered in the teaching and fellowship of the apostles"? Were you suggesting that Paul and Barnabas should carry this out to the nations?

J.T. Well, it was to bring out the apostolic position, because it was to stamp not only the present dispensation but the millennial time. On the foundations of the wall of the city in Revelation 21 were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. So that the idea of apostolic service was ever to be kept in mind, but at the same time Paul was additional to that -- a special person separated to God's glad tidings and receiving the ministry of the gospel and the ministry of reconciliation, and, indeed, the ministry of the word of God itself because he completed it. So that it was, you might say, a beginning over again, not at all setting aside what was there, only adding what was not there, that is the heavenly side of the position, which is the basis of the service of God. "Minister of the holy places and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord has pitched, and not man" (Hebrews 8:2); which is Christ in heaven. Hebrews is the book of the opened heavens and discloses to us that the ministry is in the heavens.

Rem. Would 2 Corinthians 3 come into it where the apostle speaks of not needing letters to them or from them, they being Christ's epistle written not with ink but the Spirit of the living God? It was the spiritual side that he had in mind. So that the new covenant ministry coming in, it is not in letter but in spirit. It is not a formal matter.

J.T. Quite so. It is not a formal matter. It is

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a spiritual matter. And then the Lord Himself is that Spirit, "Now the Lord is the Spirit", 2 Corinthians 3:17.

Ques. Is it right to link this with the Supper on the line of the Lord manifesting His glory?

J.T. It is indeed, and confirms what we are saying as to the thought of the spiritual and heavenly side of things being gradually brought to the front instead of the position being the outcome of Judaism. Because in due time Paul formally states in the second treatise of Luke, "Lo, we turn to the Gentiles". And again at the end of that book, "The salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and they will hear it". And, of course it has gone on on these lines ever since. So we find in Ephesians 2 that the position of the Gentiles is formally recognised by itself as the habitation of God. "In whom ye also are built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit" (verse 22). Not, of course, setting aside the great thought of Jew and Gentile being formed into one body and one house, but the time had come to see that Christianity was coming on to its own footing.

Ques. Would you say that both Mark and Barnabas were tested as to this, and even Peter in connection with Cornelius? Do you think there was a touch of Judaism there which might have hindered them going on with Paul fully?

J.T. There was undoubtedly some feeling about it, but the Spirit of God overcame it. Although in the case of Barnabas and his nephew they left Paul -- you were referring, of course, to Acts 15 -- the contention being so sharp, still the position is that Paul is being led forward. God is distinctively with him. And it is to set out the full position of Christianity, which is to take a westerly course. And so in chapter 16 we have the reference to the jailor and the vision made to Paul leading to the Greek world, "Come over into Macedonia, and help us". And so Paul's course was henceforward in that direction.

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Rem. The Spirit particularly guards their movements.

J.T. Quite so. They would have taken a certain easterly course but the Spirit of Jesus did not suffer them, which is remarkable. The vision of Paul had in mind the Greek world, "Come over into Macedonia, and help us". And so from that time forth that is the direction in which the testimony flows.

Rem. They must have been very sensitive as to what the Spirit's feelings were to discern that, do you think? -- the Spirit of Jesus suffering them not.

J.T. I would say that. Confirmed by the vision. Because at that particular time there were visions, Paul's service being accentuated in that sense. He had a vision at Corinth, for instance, indicating that there was to be a great work there; the Lord spoke to him by a vision saying, "I have much people in this city". So that these visions ought to be guides for us to know how things are stressed in any given time.

Ques. In connection with the changeover from Judaism to Christianity is there any suggestion in the early part of Acts 13 in Paul retaining his old name? It is "Barnabas and Saul" when the Spirit calls them out, but later it is Paul.

J.T. Yes. And it is "Paul and his company", the Spirit of God recognising his company -- a remarkable thing. No one else is distinguished in that way, and we should all recognise the way the Lord distinguishes Paul at that time. I think what has been said is to clarify the whole position, and what we have to look at now is the rest of God which is involved in the chapter read in Hebrews. And inasmuch as Psalm 95, which is to warn against the apostasy is touched on in chapter 3, in chapter 4 the setting is clearly the heavenly side, that is to say, the report of the twelve spies, and how it led to rebellion on the part of the mass of the

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people, so that only the young ones should go into the land. It really involves a new movement, that is to say, a movement of the younger. The first had failed. And so it says, "For we enter into the rest who have believed; as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, If they shall enter into my rest; although the works had been completed from the foundation of the world. For he has said somewhere" (the allusion is to the creation now) "of the seventh day thus, And God rested on the seventh day from all his works": it is a very touching thing because it comes in here to show how our sympathy should arise towards God in His wonderful creative works and how His love really underlay all that He was doing. For it was not a question of the primary works of creation, but how God brought the creation into its present form with a view to Christianity and the great testimony in mind.

And so it is said in Genesis and in Exodus that God rested. It is not said in Genesis that He was refreshed, but in Exodus it is said that He rested and was refreshed. So that we are to be in sympathy with God in His creative works as well as His redemptive works. So here, "and in this again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remains that some enter into it, and those who first received the glad tidings did not enter in on account of not hearkening to the word, again he determines a certain day, saying, in David, 'To-day', after so long a time; (according as it has been said before), To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts". That is to say, the Spirit of God is stressing the danger of hardening our hearts, which is the present condition in Christendom, a hard state of things leading to the general apostasy and all the more stressing the need of the brethren who have the truth, and faith, to continue and persevere in it. So that it says, "Seeing therefore it remains that some enter into it".

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That is, some enter into it, and it is a question of seeing to it that we all enter into it -- the time of the rest of God.

Ques. What are we to understand today by entering into the rest of God?

J.T. I think it has to be taken up from the Old Testament and see what is meant. What is God doing at the present time? What is this great revival that God has brought about that extends to our present time? What does it mean? It means that we are going to heaven. Some enter into it, but the question is whether we are now seeing to it that we are entering into it. "Let us therefore use diligence to enter into that rest".

Ques. Is God speaking in David today? It says, "Saying, in David ..."

J.T. Well, that just means Psalm 95 here, because David you might say is the editor of the Psalm; he is the sweet psalmist of Israel, and his Psalms were a prophetic thing. David was a prophet, and all the prophets have their voice, you know. We read of "the voices of the prophets" in Acts 13.

Ques. Instead of looking at the Psalm as what David said, do you look at it as the word of God?

J.T. Exactly. It is the word of God. Not hearkening to the word is the point here. "Let us therefore use diligence to enter into that rest, that no one may fall after the same example of not hearkening to the word" (verse 11). Hence the idea of the word of God is enlarged on as we look at the next verse, "For 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". The point is whether we are hearkening to the word. Because the glad tidings are being preached to us -- the glad tidings of the land. Not simply the glad tidings of salvation preached as Paul says to

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all the world, but the glad tidings of heaven. That is what the report of the spies brought out, telling the people that the land was good. It was an exceedingly good land. But the mass of the people did not hearken to it.

Ques. Does this refer to the gospel for believers?

J.T. That is what I would say. Of course, you might also say it is a gospel for anyone; but it is a gospel intended to remind us that we are going to heaven and we are to be ready to go in.

Rem. Mr. Coates used to speak of a heavenly present.

J.T. Quite so. That is the idea. Because we have already access to it. Therefore it is said that we are raised up together and made to sit down together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus. That is a heavenly present -- not simply a heavenly future but a heavenly present -- what we do now.

Rem. Does that mean that we leave everything connected with the wilderness? While we are here we have our responsibilities and there are various things we have to touch, but in our spirits we leave all that and cross over the Jordan.

J.T. And so Moses when speaking to Hobab, his father-in-law, proposes that he should be eyes to them in the wilderness as they were journeying to the land. But Hobab refused; he would stay in the wilderness. Whereas Christianity is not to stay in the wilderness; we are simply to pass through it. We are journeying to the land God has promised us. The point is, If we believe if we really believe what this gospel means we belong to heaven.

Rem. Those who believe enter into the enjoyment of the rest of God. "For we enter into the rest who have believed".

J.T. That is what is meant.

Rem. And then it says, "As he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, If they shall enter into my rest".

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J.T. The 'if' there means that they did not. But then some have entered in and the question now is whether we all make a point of it to enter. The way is open to us to enter the rest of God.

Rem. Not to harden the heart so that it becomes less sensitive to divine speaking.

J.T. Exactly. Because the wilderness in itself has a hardening character. The hard road they had to travel, they grew weary of it, we are told. It does harden us. Hence the point here is that we see to it that we are going into the land. Hobab would not go; he would remain in the wilderness. Many are doing that and settling down here. And so the Lord says in the letter to Philadelphia, "I also will keep thee out of the hour of trial, which is about to come upon the whole habitable world, to try them that dwell upon the earth". Earth dwellers are not going in.

Ques. Would the word of God as presented to the Corinthians in Acts 18 help? Paul remained with them for a year and six months teaching the word of God. I wondered whether it was basic to our entering in.

J.T. Quite so. It was the word of God, not the word of the Lord there. The Lord had a large number of people in that city. It was a terribly bad city, but then the point in the Lord's mind would be what could be done in spite of the badness, whether we can go through. And so we have more about the assembly in its public character -- the formation and structure of it -- in the epistles to the Corinthians than anywhere. And the Lord's supper peculiarly is set in a wilderness position, and the service of God begins with it and then we go on from glory to glory to the higher levels which we get in Ephesians. Paul came in at Ephesus by way of the upper regions. And so it is that the service of God is to begin with the Lord's supper according to what we have been saying, but then it

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does not stop there, it goes on to the higher levels, that is to say, the full thought of the service of God. Hence the ministry in the second epistle is much more spiritual than it is in the first.

Ques. In verse 12 does it mean that the word of God discovers to us what the hindrances are that would keep us from entering into the rest?

J.T. The danger would be not hearkening to it. "For 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, with whom we have to do". So that the idea is not simply the unfolding of divine counsels in Scripture or in ministry, but the word of God is that by which God can deal with evil in us, and hence the danger of evading it. We see what can happen to us if we do not hearken.

Rem. This would go further than what is referred to in the second chapter, the "great salvation"

J.T. This does go further, by inference. Because in 2 Timothy the apostle Paul urges Timothy to "preach the word". That is a higher thought than simply the glad tidings. And it is the word here that is in mind. And so whilst there is the danger of evading what is presented in the word and failing to enter in, the Priesthood of Christ is brought in in verses 14 - 16 so as to help us in and to keep us from falling. "Having therefore a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast the confession". (That is, the confession of Christianity). "For we have not a high priest not able to sympathise with our infirmities, but tempted in all things in like manner, sin apart. Let us approach therefore with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and

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seasonable help". The priesthood of Christ is brought in so that we might not fall in the wilderness. The High Priest from that point of view is to support us in our weakness. Not to allow us to go on in sin, because sin is apostasy in Hebrews. He supports us in weakness; as the Lord said to Paul, "My grace suffices thee; for my power is perfected in weakness", 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Ques. Does the service of the Priest bring us to God's viewpoint and feelings about this matter?

J.T. I would say so. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. The priesthood of Christ is the reflection of God's own heart for His people. Why then should we turn away in unbelief?

Ques. God waits upon us so as to bring us into sympathy with His own heart. Does the service of the Priest bring us to this?

J.T. That is so, and that brings us to another point. The system which we are in has a High Priest above, in heaven, and the Holy Spirit here, so that an impregnable position is opened up to us.

We have the intercession of Christ in heaven as we read in John's first epistle, "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous". There we have a reference to sin, but Hebrews does not contemplate sin as at all owned in the believer. He is to be relieved of it. As said before, sin is apostasy in Hebrews. We read of it in chapter 6 particularly: if they have fallen away there is no hope for them -- a most solemn thing. At the same time the priesthood is running parallel all the time. That is, the priest is sympathetic with us, not with our sinful ways but in our weaknesses, and hence it says, "Let us approach therefore with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and find grace for seasonable help". Why should we turn away? We have such a system; Christ above and the Holy Spirit below and the assembly here with all

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its privileges. We are furnished in the most wonderful way so that we should go on to the end. As it says, "Let us go on".

Rem. It should encourage us to go on.

J.T. It ought to touch us that God has set up such a system for us -- the Lord our great High Priest above and the Holy Spirit here, also sympathetic with us, who "makes intercession with groanings which cannot be uttered", Romans 8:26.

Ques. Why does it say in verse 14, "Who has passed through the heavens"? Does it show how much greater this is than the Jewish system?

J.T. Yes, to bring out that very thing. Meaning that He is a divine Person, because no creature goes beyond the heavens. Creation is where we may go, but the uncreated condition is where God is,"dwelling in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen, nor is able to see", 1 Timothy 6:16.

Ques. Why is faith linked with hearing? "Not being mixed with faith in those who heard" (verse 2).

J.T. I think it would be well to look at the modus of faith in Romans 10, beginning at verse 10, "For with the heart is believed to righteousness; and with the mouth confession made to salvation. For the scripture says, No one believing on him shall be ashamed. For there is no difference of Jew and Greek; for the same Lord of all is rich towards all that call upon him. For every one whosoever, who shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved. How then shall they call upon him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe on him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without one who preaches? and how shall they preach unless they have been sent? according as it is written, How beautiful the feet of them that announce glad tidings of peace, of them that announce glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the glad tidings. For Esaias says, Lord, who

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has believed our report? So faith then is by a report, but the report by God's word".

Well, that is the thing to understand. The hearing is the basis of faith. There is the report, but it is what is possible through the ear, what it effects. Faith is by a report, and the report is by God's word. God's word is the more positive side of it, the substantial side, but the report is there. So that faith is the product, and what we are dealing with now is the question of faith in the word of God. And added to that is the support and sympathy of Christ as Priest.

Ques. Does the gift come in that way -- by way of the report -- faith being the gift of God?

J.T. Exactly. It does away with irresponsibility. People are so irresponsible. And as to faith, the avenue of the report is through the hearing.

Rem. It is to affect the heart.

J.T. Quite so. "With the heart is believed to righteousness".

Rem. "For every one whosoever, who shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved". It is very touching, as though it would move us on evangelical lines.

Rem. It makes the ministry very important, because it says, "How shall they hear without one who preaches?"

J.T. Quite so. Hence preachers according to 2 Timothy should "preach the word". Not simply the glad tidings but the word of God. I think that is the word at the present time, "Preach the word", and all the responsibility that attaches to the non-hearing of the word of God, because the word of God carries its own judgment with it, its own penalties. As we see here, it 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

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of the heart. And there is not a creature unapparent before him; but all things are naked and laid bare to his eyes, with whom we have to do". So that the word of God runs on to the thought of God Himself. "Him ... with whom we have to do". And this epistle opens up the terribleness of failing to hearken to the word. There is so much opened up to us, and if we fail to hearken to it the penalties are attached.

Rem. The last chapter of the epistle refers to remembering those "who have spoken to you the word of God".

J.T. Yes, and then the present ministers, too, are referred to in that chapter -- those who minister at the present time.

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Acts 7:54 - 60; Acts 11:19 - 26; Acts 13:1 - 13

J.T. The ministry of Paul and Barnabas is in mind in these scriptures, showing how Judaism is about to disappear, especially because it had refused the testimony of Stephen to Christ; and then, in general, it was because apostasy from the truth of Christianity already testified to by the twelve had begun; and then politically it was because murder appeared against the ministry, for Herod had slain James with the sword, and had already put Peter in prison, and would have slain him, too. Then in the evident purpose of God it was designed that Christianity should get its own name and character as devoid of Jewish terms, as in "the covenant" and such expressions. Hence "the disciples were first called Christians" here, and then there is the selection of Paul, in view of the divine counsels for him, particularly that he should complete the word of God. Thus we see the manifest rise of his personality, called by the Lord Himself "an elect vessel" unto Him; Acts 9:15. The time, too, had come for a revival, as well as an assertion of its distinctiveness as from heaven. Paul presents the heavenly side of the truth, and Barnabas was evidently called to be with him; and as commissioned by the Spirit they were seen in Antioch. They began ministering there, and it lasted for a year, the assembly being designated as the place of it; a large crowd became merged through their ministry, and became the assembly in Antioch. So that the Gentiles are in mind, and it is hoped we may see that it was all necessary and effective. We have thus come in; Judaism has gone, unless for a few outward things. At the same time the purpose of God stands, according to Romans, as Paul says, "and

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so all Israel shall be saved", Romans 11:26. We have here, in these scriptures, the death of Herod, as representing the corrupt state of that section of the world; and then we have Bar-jesus in chapter 13, pointing to the religious side, and described in the most positive terms as being wicked and of the devil. So that what is stated of Christianity synchronises with this, as it is said (1 Thessalonians 2:16), "but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost", the service of God, however, is to go on in the assembly.

P.L. The enemy's yoke was to be destroyed from Israel because of the anointing, in the prophet Isaiah.

J.T. Where is the passage?

P.L. In Isaiah 10:27; it is somewhat akin to Herod?

J.T. Let us read it, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck; and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing ..."; a helpful reference. The epistle of Galatians helps, too, by the apostle denouncing their turning aside, "how do ye turn again to the weak and beggarly principles to which ye desire to be again anew in bondage?" (Galatians 4:9), as having been delivered because of the Spirit and having received Him; the testimony being that "The just shall live on the principle of faith" (Galatians 3:11), otherwise it is judgment.

Rem. He uses strong language!

J.T. It is the same as in Genesis 15, where we have the word of God as it is now, and the Holy Spirit in our hearts. The word of God came to Abram, and the first thing is, "Fear not", which is a word for us all, because there is much to fear if we are relying on ourselves, but not if we are relying on God.

Ques. Why does Stephen speak of Jehovah as "the God of glory", Acts 7:2?

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J.T. He began with that himself, for they "saw his face as the face of an angel"; that is why I began with Stephen, the great martyr, and that his words should be before us, "And hearing these things they were cut to the heart, and gnashed their teeth against him. But being full of the Holy Spirit, having fixed his eyes on heaven, he saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, Lo, I behold the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God. And they cried out with a loud voice, and held their cars, and rushed upon him with one accord; and having cast him out of the city, they stoned him. And the witnesses laid aside their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul. And they stoned Stephen, praying, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And kneeling down, he cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And having said this, he fell asleep". The time had come that this sin should not be laid to their charge. The solemn truth of the death of Stephen is taken up, and Paul and Barnabas came forward.

P.L. Does the mission of the servant of Abraham following the death of Sarah come in here?

J.T. The death of Sarah certainly applies and Isaac, I think, as a man of leisure, not of toil. The death of Sarah would point to the moral death of Israel alluded to in Ezekiel 37, where the dry bones are seen coming up clothed in the power of prophecy; they are "an exceeding great army ... these bones are the whole house of Israel", Ezekiel 37:10, 11. They are held in abeyance now, Sarah's death held till then, and it comes out in Paul's ministry; Barnabas had a part in it, too. The truth of the Lord's supper comes in for us at this juncture as witness the apostles in Acts 2, who had the breaking of bread, and the converts persevering "in the teaching and fellowship of the apostles, in breaking of

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bread and prayers" (Acts 2:42); and also there is the breaking bread in the house (verse 46), not in the temple, for it was never connected with that, never therefore with Judaism. We may have used the terms, but as Paul presents it the breaking of bread was never calculated to remain in the house, but to be in connection with the assembly; it was not for the ordinary house of the believer, he had only to eat and to drink in it; it is not for celebrating the Lord's supper; that is celebrated in the assembly, and all the terms attached to it are there, as delivered to Paul.

Rem. We should get free from Jewish terms such as the covenant.

J.T. Yes; we do not get them in Colossians or Ephesians; the terms proper to it do not include the covenant. The term 'covenant' is found in connection with the Lord's supper, but it is the Spirit we want, not the letter.

Rem. One desires to see the saints enjoying this liberty.

J.T. I do, indeed.

Rem. It is "the new covenant in my blood", 1 Corinthians 11:25.

J.T. He uses that beautiful expression in 1 Corinthians, in the law of the house, and in 2 Corinthians we regard it, too, as the word of the law-giver, making way for the reception of the Spirit in the wilderness, "Rise up, well! sing unto it", Numbers 21:17.

P.L. Is that the law of the house?

J.T. I thought of that; so that those that saw Him go up, went to the upper room in Acts 1, not to the temple (that was from Bethany in Luke 24 and they were "in the temple praising and blessing God"), but the "upper chamber" housed the assembly; the names are given, and the Lord's mother and His brethren are all there.

Ques. In Romans 16 Paul says, "Salute Prisca and Aquila ... and the assembly at their house"

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(verses 3 - 5). Would a house be a suitable meeting-room today?

J.T. From 1 Corinthians 11:22 it is clear that houses are for "eating and drinking", but if one has to be used for a meeting-room, that is quite suitable.

Ques. Has the taking of the Lord's supper a heavenly character?

J.T. Yes; it is associated with the assembly, and she has a heavenly character. So we have this section before us in which Paul is so prominent; it is because of what he is morally; hence we have later "Paul and his company".

Ques. What features would we see in Barnabas?

J.T. I think he was knighted by the apostles peculiarly, especially in chapter 4: 36 and he had the place of an apostle; but this means on moral grounds, like the heavenly city, where all is on moral lines in the power of the Spirit.

Ques. Why is Paul so authoritative in the laying out of the Lord's supper, and to such a company as at Corinth?

J.T. He was alone equal to it, and no one was so recognised as such, as Paul. He never fails. That is the only way I think of it. The Lord had this man, the man He needed; He had, in a way, waited for him. In the first treatise of Luke the Lord goes up immediately, as if hastening to take on the administrative service, but the second treatise gives a delay of forty days; and why was it Paul was used? Well, because he was "an elect vessel to me", the Lord says; no one else is so designated. And so you see more about directions and commandments with him than with any one, as in 1 Corinthians 11:16, "We have no such custom, nor the assemblies of God"; that shows how authoritative he is.

Ques. Have we to be governed by Paul's presentation of the Supper?

J.T. Yes; his is the last word we have, and thus

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carries authority. It eliminates much that is given in the gospels, and adds the idea of the memorial to the cup, which is not found in the gospel account.

H.F.N. Why does Paul introduce the double idea of the memorial, "in remembrance of me" twice?

J.T. It has often been said that it is a question of the mind more than the heart, "For I received from the Lord, that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus, in the night in which he was delivered up, took bread, and having given thanks broke it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me. In like manner also the cup, after having supped, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me", 1 Corinthians 11:23 - 25. It is the thought of "calling of me to mind"; the Darby Translation has the more accurate thought; the mind is to be more active than the heart. There is an action in the "calling of me to mind"; some active thing in the mind; He is called into the mind.

Rem. So Paul says, "I speak as to intelligent persons", 1 Corinthians 10:15.

J.T. Just so; it is not that I can remember things, but it is that the Lord Himself is called into the mind, and He comes in; He seizes the opportunity to come.

Ques. Does He come in response to love?

J.T. It would be so, but we must remember the mind; so Paul says, "But we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16); it is not simply an event called to mind, but the thinking faculty of Christ.

Rem. Our thoughts are to be on the Person.

J.T. Just that. The mind is conducted to the Person.

P.H.H. Bar-jesus, and such, would deflect us.

J.T. You mean the devil was in it.

P.H.H. He is called "a Jew"; would that imply the danger of going back to Jewish thoughts?

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J.T. So Paul uses terrible words, "O full of all deceit and all craft: son of the devil, enemy of all righteousness".

Rem. In view of this the action of John Mark (verse 13) was more serious.

J.T. Yes, and he look a long time to get clear of it.

Ques. I would like to ask about the reference to the new covenant in 1 Corinthians 11:25, and then what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:6, "God; who has also made us competent, as ministers of the new covenant; not of letter, but of spirit".

J.T. I have already said there is no covenant made with the assembly; the words are there, but it is in the spirit of it; even in the millennium it will be liberating. We have title to take on anything from the millennium; but is there any need? Certainly not, if you go to Colossians and Ephesians you have enough without them. Let us not say we have the covenant; so it says here, "For the letter kills, but the Spirit quickens"; therefore the cup should afford much in the way of liberation.

Ques. So would the cup have in mind the earthly side of Christianity?

J.T. Yes, I would say that; especially where there are children.

Rem. So verse 17 is, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, but where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty".

J.T. Yes.

Ques. Has the remembrance of the Lord in the cup in mind His relations with the assembly?

J.T. Yes, and especially for the young people to be helped by the term 'new covenant', but we have the spirit of it, we speak of it. The Lord is the Spirit of it in His supper. It was never made with the assembly, but with Israel and Judah. We need to accept it in its own value.

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Ques. Do we happily accept our links with Christ in taking the emblems?

J.T. Yes, but it is in drinking the cup, and in the giving thanks; it is this that is meant to liberate us. When He did it, how liberating it was! It had its own value.

P.L. Luke only gives the remembrance in the loaf.

J.T. He only of the gospel writers brings in the idea. Matthew and Mark both have a Jewish bearing, and the idea is liberation; it says, "and having sung a hymn" (Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26); it does not say specifically that He did it. So that the Supper is our charter, I was going to say. In John 20 the Lord says, "Mary"; she says, "Rabboni" that word liberated her, she is subject to teaching, and that is what is needed amongst us, teaching as to the Lord's supper.

Ques. It says in 1 Corinthians 11:25, "This cup is the new covenant". Does the cup therefore enter into the enjoyment of the covenant?

J.T. Yes; and it is "as often as ye shall drink it"; it is not the eating. But we are dependent on the act of drinking; it means satisfaction, especially as to what is spiritual. Then Matthew 26:27 says, "Drink ye all of it", so that it is for each one; whereas 1 Corinthians 11:25 is, "as often as ye shall drink it", it is as a memorial, 'a calling of Me to mind', a happy condition. There is the dual character of the Supper, and the cup is the second part of it. The drinking is in mind as adding to what is done, and calls forth satisfaction. So that it is the Lord personally that is before us.

Ques. Do the hymns therefore following the Supper recognise the Lord as amongst us?

J.T. Yes; they need to be very carefully selected not to mar what is already done.

P.H.H. Is "as often as ye shall drink it" in view of separating the cup from the covenant in the

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Old Testament by the frequency of the drinking in Christianity?

J.T. Just so, and another thing is said of the cup, that it is "after having supped", it is very carefully separated from the passover, it means the passover meal was over; so that this is the second part of the Supper, and the stress is on the frequency of it, and there is joy every time.

Ques. Why are the words "This is my body, which is for you" used, whereas in the cup "for you" is not there?

J.T. I think the "for you" is to be kept in view as a formula for the whole Supper, and the breaking of the bread is the main thought, a most influential thought. The Lord would keep us happy and sustain us in the second feature of the Supper; it points to the supply of the Spirit, as needed in the continuance of the service.

H.F.N. Would there be more liberty in speaking of the loaf than of the cup?

J.T. I do not find any difficulty.

H.F.N. It seems all the brethren are not like that. Can you not help us?

J.T. The Holy Spirit is there as we sit down, "being assembled", it says, as if that is intended to have weight and to add character to the occasion, and the Holy Spirit has to be in mind, too.

Rem. In Genesis 24:65 the servant says, "That is my master!"

J.T. And another thing in that type is that Isaac sees the camels coming, as if we could say to one another, 'that is the power that is carrying us'; we are apt to forget that, and the Holy Spirit comes to our aid, and helps as to our weakness. The Lord is thinking of what is carrying us in the memorials, and especially as we proceed after the Lord's supper.

Ques. Do we see this in Song of Songs 2:4, 5, where

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we are brought to the house of wine, and sustained with raisin-cakes and refreshed with apples?

J.T. Well, yes; raisin-cakes speak of stimulation.

Ques. Why does Rebecca spring off the camel?

J.T. Because she is thinking of Isaac, and he is thinking of what is carrying her.

Rem. We only think of one Person!

J.T. Quite so.

Rem. The Spirit of God recedes so that Christ may take on the service of the sanctuary.

J.T. That is exactly what I have thought. So the Lord is thinking of how we are sustained.

Rem. C.A.C. once said that a brother may exhaust himself in the thanksgiving for the loaf, so there is nothing left when he comes to the cup.

J.T. Yes; we have said that, too.

Ques. Does what we are all the week affect us in coming to the Supper?

J.T. Exactly.

Rem. Rebecca had already served the camels with water; Genesis 24:19.

J.T. Think of how much water was needed for them, and she rode on them, too.

Rem. The Holy Spirit Himself is speaking in Acts 13:2.

J.T. We should say the Holy Spirit is prominent both in this chapter, and in chapter 10. In Acts 13:2 it reads, "the Holy Spirit said, Separate me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them". We know what missionary work there has been, which He has never supported. The results in Asia have never justified it. But Paul's ministry comes into view to give us the best.

Ques. How does the Spirit speak today?

J.T. Some person is taken up as a medium. It is when He is recognised, and that is what the type means as to the camels. Isaac was looking for them, what was carrying his spouse, and in Revelation 21

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we can see how much power is needed, for the city is seen "coming down out of the heaven from God, having the glory of God" (verse 10).

Rem. The presence of the prophets and teachers at Antioch in Acts 13:1 enables the Spirit to speak.

J.T. Just so; the prophetic speaking runs through, "but rather that ye may prophesy", 1 Corinthians 14:1.

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Acts 1:15 - 26; Acts 10:1 - 4, 44

I purpose in reading these scriptures to seek to show what preparation is needed for the reception of the Holy Spirit. The whole of this first chapter could be read to enlarge on that point; for preparation is needed, and that preparation has to be regarded as the work of God, having, or characterised by, its own development, involving the new birth; but also the endings of the gospels, especially Mark, showing that much was needed to be done in this respect before the Lord died and after He rose. Mark shows the Lord's personal work, both what He did on earth, and after His resurrection; and how much had to be done! Mark 16 tells us, as the others do, that the Lord arose, and we read in the early part of the chapter of certain things that indicated grave unbelief among those who should have been believers; even the women who had waited during the sabbath to embalm Him, were afraid as the young man in white spoke to them, "and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid" (verse 8). So that if what was recorded up to this verse was all there was, it would be difficult to show that the Lord's work was a success. But then verse 9 shows that the Lord took the matter in hand, as He always does, as we fail in what is manifestly needed. So He appeared to Mary Magdalene, "out of whom he had cast seven demons", but the disciples failed, the apostles failed, they were unbelieving, and the Lord immediately rebuked them as they were eating at table in unbelief; reminding us of how little external advantage helps us, unless it is supported by the work of God, for I am dealing with things before the

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reception of the Spirit. He goes on to tell them to "Go into all the world, and preach the glad tidings to all the creation" (verse 15). We may enquire as to the consistency of this, 'How is the world to be evangelised by eleven unbelieving men?' But the Lord knew their unbelief was superficial, not deep; and that is the encouragement now; the work has been going on and there is a wide effect; many are converted; and there is also this that He is dealing with one family, the assembly. The work in the eleven men, and the women, too, was genuine; no such handiwork had been before, like the handiwork of the Lord Jesus, as a Man operating in those the Father had given Him. Hence the command can be recorded, "Go into all the world, and preach the glad tidings to all the creation", that is, to unbelieving men, at least at the moment; and He also said many other things. I may remind you of other things that He said (verse 16), "He that believes and is baptised shall be saved, and he that disbelieves shall be condemned", and saying that to eleven men who were unbelievers! And another thing that was said was that He, Himself, "was taken up into heaven, and sat at the right hand of God" (verse 19), without remarking what was at fault, to assure us that all would be well; He knew the depth of His own work; and so it is today, all will be gathered up, and nothing will be lost, "knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58); let us continue in it, and abound in it. The Lord will bring it into fruition; He can work in a short time, "in the twinkling of an eye"; and so He "sat at the right hand of God". That is Mark's account. Much had to be done, yet He sat, which means that we are able to take time in the work of God, be deliberate, contemplative, and do things with method, as Luke did (Luke 1:3), and in due time the results will come. He "sat at the right hand of God", and so, as I said, this chapter

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in Luke's second treatise might be read to prove what I am remarking on. I refer to the verses read, and the account of Peter's address. His gospel address awaited the Holy Spirit's coming; even the word in Mark 16, "preach the glad tidings to all the creation" has that in mind; for all awaited the advent of the Holy Spirit, and Peter awaited the advent of the Holy Spirit, but he did not await that advent to speak of what happened to Judas in the interim. I am not speaking of it, but I had to read it; a terrible thing, like the death of Herod in chapter 12; it is the severity of God; Paul says, "Behold then the goodness and severity of God" (Romans 11:22); He can be severe if necessary. How terrible the penalty on Judas and on Herod. So Peter quoted this psalm, the same Peter that was unbelieving, who did not believe Mary of Magdala's message, and he is telling us what he saw was needed to be done. For indeed also a new book, the second treatise of Luke, the man of method, was needed! So Peter says in verse 21 (passing over what he said as to Judas), "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". So you see, dear brethren, Peter had already been unbelieving as to the resurrection; Peter was unbelieving at a certain time, but not now. That is the point, what are we doing, or not doing, now. He is concerned as to the apostleship and the service, though as yet he had not received the Spirit, but the work was progressing in spite of that. He is progressing. Are we all doing that, or are we retrograding? The work is going on, and not one to be numbered among the brethren of the Lord, among the assembly, will be lost. If we are restful there will be plenty of time.

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But the forty days had elapsed, and Peter is going on, and yet he had not the Holy Spirit. You will see what I am at. Then there was to be the full number of the apostles. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:5, that the Lord "appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve"; there must be the twelve. He did not appear to the others first, but to Peter first; he took on the matter, "first Simon, who was called Peter" (Matthew 10:2); and the great need is leadership, not to be a leader, but the need for leading. Peter had not been told, but he is doing the right thing, he is leading. One must be appointed, it must be "one of these". "And they appointed two"; wisdom is employed, because "Two are better than one", Ecclesiastes 4:9. Matthias is chosen, and the twelve are now there. The work of the Lord is going on according to the divine plan, and according to love; there are no short cuts in the "way of more surpassing excellence", for it is the short way, and "Love never fails", 1 Corinthians 12:31 and 1 Corinthians 13:8. So there is no committee chosen to fill the gap, a lot must be cast; heaven must act, and it did act, "and the lot fell on Matthias". Paul speaks of the twelve (including Matthias), as if to show the completeness as to administration, that we may learn to keep our sabbaths, not to go to the sea coast, but to be before God. He rested on the seventh day, "and was refreshed", Exodus 31:17. So Jehovah set the example; the need to keep our sabbaths is great, for there is more to be done in us than by us. We pray for results lustily, but maybe the workmen are not keeping their sabbaths, which means being restful. I do not mean that we are not to get tired; there is nothing wrong in that, for the Lord was tired; but Jehovah rested on the seventh day, "and was refreshed".

I want to speak of what is needed to qualify for the reception of the Holy Spirit, that the whole

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number are there, the missing apostle was there, "And they gave lots on them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles". I should have said that Matthias was the appointed one; the missing apostle was Matthias by heaven's appointment; not now to enlarge on this, as time is flying, and we must have a word on chapter 10.

Fresh material is in mind, not raw material, for we are coming to Cornelius. The Spirit came to the company at Jerusalem; the apostles were there in the upper room, for it says, "Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called the mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey off. And when they were come into the city, they went up to the upper chamber" (verses 12, 13); the disciples were housed there. "Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren", they were all there; all His brethren, it means, were saved, a touching thing that His relatives are referred to at all. It is a word for parents, that we have faith as to our children. Now, as to Cornelius, and the coming in of the Gentiles. There were Jews here, they were subjects of the Lord's own work in view of what was necessary, and the Lord waited forty days for it to come about. We need to see that divine Persons are working by the Holy Spirit; the Lord had worked and we see the work that was needed before the Holy Spirit could come in. Divine Persons can wait, forty days, and ten days more, all showing, when the time comes, the perfected work seen in Peter. So Paul says, "to the end that we may present every man perfect in Christ", Colossians 1:28. Peter was such, a piece of work from the hands of the Lord Jesus; I say this in view of the Holy Spirit coming to dwell in us. I come now to Cornelius. The matter was settled as to Jerusalem; the vacancy had been filled by the eleven, and God confirms what they did, and chapter 2

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brings out how glorious is the result; it was indeed no accident. Now waiting is necessary. The work in Cornelius had gone on before ever he had seen Peter and before the Holy Spirit came. So it was not raw material, but prepared material; so we read, "But a certain man in Caesarea, -- by name Cornelius, a centurion of the band called Italic, pious, and fearing God with all his house, both giving much alms to the people, and supplicating God continually, -- saw plainly in a vision, about the ninth hour of the day, an angel of God coming unto him, and saying to him, Cornelius. But he, having fixed his eyes upon him, and become full of fear, said, What is it, Lord? And he said to him, Thy prayers and thine alms have gone up for a memorial before God". He knows how to speak to the Lord, even if he has not the Spirit (I am not saying he is speaking to the Lord Jesus); and what a memorial! How could it be? It is the work of God, before the Spirit comes into the believer. You may question why I make so much of the Holy Spirit; but He is to be made much of as coming in to dwell in the believer. The work of God goes back to Adam. God was there, and He wrought what was in Eve, in Enoch, in Noah, and God has been working all the time. Even in the eastern world, God is working all the time; they are not given up. People are being born again, and like Peter, they know what to do in the absence of Christ. Cornelius was known in heaven, and without the Spirit. Yes, I am speaking of God and of what He can do. The angel comes to Cornelius and says, "Thy prayers and thine alms have gone up for a memorial before God". The whole chapter works out this thing, I am only touching on it. If we look for a revival, let us look at God and how He works, and be zealous in the work, and do it according to method, and keep our sabbaths, and the effects of His gracious influence will help us to grow up according to His

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mind. This man prayed and gave alms and "thy prayers and thine alms have gone up for a memorial before God"; it is not just doing things, but that there is a memorial, up there, before God, all that has gone up since Adam, and this is adding, as it were, adding to the assembly, adding "those that were to be saved", Acts 2:47. We need to make room in our houses and in the assemblies for the gift of the Spirit. One has often wondered what the midwives' houses were like, for it says in Exodus 1:21, "because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses". And then I have wondered what this memorial was like. We have spoken today of the memorial of the Supper. If I went to heaven today I should see it, and more than that, I should see Cornelius there; a great joy to see the saints! What lessons Peter had to learn in order that Cornelius should be rightly preached to; I do not know what meeting-room he would expect! We spoke of meetings in houses this afternoon, and of the upper room. It belonged to someone, and the Lord demanded it, "The Teacher says to thee, Where is the guest-chamber where I may eat the passover with my disciples?" (Luke 22:11). Anyone who has a meeting in his house, Scripture speaks well of that! This man was a Roman officer; he was like the "most excellent Theophilus" that Luke speaks of (Luke 1:3); we have all to be brought to the way God works, and the works we do are to be properly done; anything will not do. Maybe this meeting-room in Acts 10 was Cornelius's drawing-room, "Now therefore we are all present before God to hear all things that are commanded thee of God" (verse 33); what satisfaction he showed that the angel had spoken of Peter coming, and now heaven was looking on with great pleasure at things being done, and let us not be saying too much about the tiredness, but be keeping our sabbaths; so "We are all present before God",

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Cornelius says, and at the end of the chapter the Holy Spirit came into it, so "While Peter was yet speaking these words the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were hearing the word" (verse 44); He "fell upon" them; you can see how this links with our ideas of receiving the Spirit; we say, 'so-and-so has not the Holy Spirit', and that we had better be careful not to receive any one; but "the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were hearing the word" the man was speaking, and the Holy Spirit fell; we have never seen that! It is more than sealing. Am I worth while; is there anything to show that I am God's property? All this had gone on with Cornelius, and now he had a house ready for Peter, but the Holy Spirit's coming, he had not thought of that! God has a right to give the Holy Spirit where there is fitness qualifying for Him. "While Peter was yet speaking these words the Holy Spirit fell", not simply the Spirit was there, but it was His own action, it was like the Father's action in Luke 15, He "fell upon his neck, and covered him with kisses", He laid hold of His own property, divine property, living property, like Paul laying hold on Eutychus in Acts 20, "Paul descending fell upon him, and enfolding him in his arms, said, Be not troubled, for his life is in him", a beautiful touch as to his affections, a living boy, belonging to the assembly. The Spirit lays hold of us to put us into the assembly that we may function in the assembly. May God help us that there may be more for the great going up; all possible by the Spirit.

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Acts 4:23 - 37; John 13:1 - 5

I have read these scriptures because they contain the words "their own" and "his own". The first reference is to ourselves, that is the saints viewed as 'our own', as to whether we are entitled to regard them as thus 'our own', as belonging to us. The second is as to what the Lord regards as 'His own'. As seen first in Acts 4 it forms a sort of picture illustrating what Christianity is; not Christendom it is the greatest of all the dispensations, and the passage contemplates the testimonial position, a characteristic position, too, a characteristic scene of the early days of our dispensation. The thing in mind is that the Lord is bringing us back to such scenes; one is here today, one in which we regard each other as "our own", excluding all else, that is what is contrary, disallowing it; whether it be fellowship or companionship, we are content to dwell with "our own" people. All is, at least in the chapter we have read, favourable, no adversary is in the midst, or current. In John 13 the Lord is seen in relation with His own, who are said to be in the world; but the group in Acts 4 is not said to be in the world, but in its own sphere, that is love's sphere unalloyed; whereas in John 13 it is the Lord's own, only in their midst was the devil, terrifying them; he had already entered into the heart of Judas. The Lord accepted that fact, and His love went on in spite of it in this disadvantageous position. And today, as we see in Acts 4, we have love in its own sphere; and one desires that the brethren should cultivate this, though we cannot prevent Satan coming, as in the early days, when the sons of God came (@Job 1:6); and one fears lest we may allow this, "spots in your love-feasts"

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as Jude says (verse 12), as sunken rocks. There is the need of untrammelled spheres where love is; it is the greatest need; I say, need, because what we are exposed to outside is terrible, and becoming more terrible; but God is making it possible for us to go through, and conditions are not likely to improve, "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse", 2 Timothy 3:13; industrially and politically, it is the same.

I read this passage because we have local positions where love is at home; heaven is the home of love, but so is the assembly, and so the Lord encourages the brethren at the beginning; He said much in those holy speeches to His own, as Paul did in Acts 20; we are not told what he said; it was a long speech, and "there were many lights in the upper room where the saints were assembled" (Acts 20:8); and so it was the Lord carried on, but in greater variation, and His discourses are very full, and help us to form our own spheres for ministry and fellowship as we have it through Paul's ministry as outlined in Acts 13 to 17. These are most instructive chapters if we are to work out Christianity in these days in our own company. That word 'company' in chapter 4: 23 is not in the original, and the omission of this makes the passage similar to the one in John 13, and helps me to call attention to Christianity as it is at the present moment.

The two principal ones are Peter and John; they had had severe times and cruel persecutions; not that we have such now; but they were most cheerful in these circumstances. They were released, and they "let them go", which is a very appropriate expression, for our young men are now being let go. One speaks of it, for one has seen as well as heard, they are being formed for greater things, as the Lord says to Nathaniel in John 1:50, "Thou shalt see greater things than these", and I should say the

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young people are coming into greater things, not in this world, but morally. So our hearts are being stirred up, so that we in our turn stir up our young brethren, for they may get into defiling and damaging circumstances, and it is for them to keep themselves; each has to work it out for himself. So the Lord has been working and the brethren have kept themselves in measure, and the Lord tells them that they shall come into greater things, testimonial things. So Peter and John had been suffering, but now as let go, they come to their own company. It was a different letting-go to the one in Acts 13; there it was the brethren letting go Barnabas and Saul as serving the Lord, and all was well, "there is neither adversary nor evil event" as in 1 Kings 5:4; so the brethren laid their hands on them and let them go. It was the gentle release of love in regard of the two men, setting out to evangelise the Gentile world; no two men ever had such a service; they were workers; and there is to be time for that! Whatever our hands find to do, let us do it with our might! Paul and Barnabas were workers together; the work had turned out to be so great that one brother, one servant, sought out the other unjealously that the work of God might succeed. There is a love-call now for all workers, not a certain class exactly, but workers together, "knowing that your toil" (that is a levitical word) "is not in vain in the Lord", 1 Corinthians 15:58. And so it was that Paul and Barnabas were real workers, and they worked well as brothers in the city of Antioch, and an assembly was formed there. We seem to say sometimes that the assemblies are growing smaller, but I am sure that the work is progressing and successful towards assembly formation, and we can be encouraged to go on, and what we need is love, and that is what is in chapter 4; it is love in operation; love at home, too; these are things that I greatly desire to be prominent among us.

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Peter and John were relating that the efforts of the government to hold them were thwarted, as later on Herod was thwarted when wanting to kill them in chapter 12. God is frustrating these things, and so He is today. So they came to "their own", not friends or brethren, but simply "our own"; the reaction on the mind is that. Some brethren may turn away and cease to be that; some have turned away, and it is constantly facing us; turning away, they cease to be of"our own", they take on the world and its things, and we lose our brethren and they turn against us. "He came to his own, and his own received him not" (John 1:11); it was the Jews now, and Judaism was turning against the Lord, so that when He presented Himself to them (as we get in the gospels, He came to the Jews first) in John, it is said that they had turned against Him, "his own received him not". In the middle of Luke 9:51, it says "the days of his receiving up were fulfilled", meaning that the Jews had turned against Him, because "he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem". They did not want a man who would die, they wanted a warrior; but He did not come for that; the time of His receiving up was near; He came down from the mount to die; it was the "dying of Jesus", 2 Corinthians 4:10. But I am speaking of the time of His receiving up; "He came to his own, and his own received him not"; He was not received by those who were His own. Some may be here today who will turn back, and have to say, 'I was once in the assembly, once I was breaking bread'. I urge it in order that we may not turn aside and cease to be "His own".

Luke begins with peace on earth (chapter 2: 14), and finishes with peace in heaven (chapter 19: 38); the thing was changed; so it is there is peace in heaven, for the Lord says, "I beheld Satan as lightning falling out of heaven" (Luke 10:18); he has been cast out;

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the great battle between the archangel and the devil is not yet, but it will be; we are to be there then, and to actually sit down in the heavenlies; and so it is each Lord's day we have access to heaven now; the doors are opened wide, as it were. So Luke finishes with His being "carried up into heaven", Luke 24:51.

Now referring to the passage in Acts 4 that we are in now, it is common (though not ordinary), but prevalent, and more and more, for the brethren to have these holy scenes on Saturdays, when they are free to come together; I call attention to what is here now in this very town, this very hall, "And having been let go, they came to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. And they, having heard it, lifted up their voice with one accord to God, and said, Lord, thou art the God who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them" (verses 23, 24). You see how the Spirit of God puts into their mouths suitable expressions towards God, the Creator; He never loses this character; it will ever be a theme for us; and here are the brethren, where the opposition is, raising a note of praise, as we have today. Has He not heard it? I am sure that He has. Have we not enjoyed it? I am sure that we have. And the desire is to make these occasions more and more, and free from sin. So it goes on, "who hast said by the mouth of thy servant David, Why have the nations raged haughtily and the peoples meditated vain things? The kings of the earth were there, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his Christ. For in truth against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou hadst anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the nations, and peoples of Israel, have been gathered together in this city to do whatever thy hand and thy counsel had determined before should come to pass" (verses 25 - 28). How they

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revert to the counsels of God, and what He permitted; so again we read, "And now, Lord, look upon their threatenings, and give to thy bondmen with all boldness to speak thy word, in that thou stretchest out thy hand to heal, and that signs and wonders take place through the name of thy holy servant Jesus" (verses 29, 30). A suitable word, and I endeavour to encourage these occasions, that all the part taken in the service should be intelligent and intelligible. So I go on to read verse 31, "And when they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke the word of God with boldness". And again, "And the heart and soul of the multitude of those that had believed were one, and not one said that anything of what he possessed was his own, but all things were common to them; and with great power did the apostles give witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all" (verses 32, 33). This is a scene I want you to notice; the general spirit of the moment; the place the apostles had, especially when liberated, as we see in verse 33. So that once the mass of the brethren come together in a holy way, the apostles (that is the gifts that God has given for the building-up of the saints) have full scope. But I go on to verse 34, "For neither was there any one in want among them; for as many as were owners of lands or houses, selling them, brought the price of what was sold and laid it at the feet of the apostles; and distribution was made to each according as any one might have need". It shows how love was going on; love was doing it; what a dispensation it is! No one is forgotten, and God delights in love scenes on these lines.

Now I want to show you how personality comes in, so it reads in verse 36, "And Joseph, who had been surnamed Barnabas by the apostles (which is, being

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interpreted, Son of consolation), a Levite, Cyprian by birth, being possessed of land, having sold it, brought the money and laid it at the feet of the apostles". I refer to this, and you may see that there are incomers that have to be specially noted because they belong to the community, a holy community, in which all these things are to be seen, and made more and more as the time of translation draws near; as the first word of His power comes, we are to be ready for it; taken out of this scene and translated to a scene of glory. The time is imminent; it is coming, and we are to be in these occasions more and more, and I want to be in it, and I hope everyone here is the same, to be in that wonderful time, for it says (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17) "for the Lord himself, with an assembling shout, with archangel's voice and with trump of God, shall descend from heaven; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we, the living who remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we shall be always with the Lord". Now it is a learning time, a preparing time; we are those who love His appearing, when He comes out of heaven with His saints.

Now a word on John 13. This chapter is the beginning of the wonderful discourses of the Lord to His own before He suffered; Luke tells us in Acts 1 of what happened "after he had suffered". But here John speaks of "the end"; not the end in time, but the end in dangers and suffering, and that He "loved them to the end" in spite of all that. The devil was there, and the world in the offing; we are not there, but they were in the world. We are in the Father's protection; these meetings are really that. Here the Lord is in the world, and Satan right there, in Judas' heart; yet love goes on in spite of what is acting. We know it in our care-meetings; these mixed marriages, these terrible things that would deaden the fellowship. Love says, No. He goes

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through with His own, however severe the consequences. He "loved them to the end", in spite of Judas, and all that was there. The present knowledge that was in His mind; those precious thoughts of service in love. So He took a towel, not an ordinary one, a linen one; it was consideration for them, He "rises from supper and lays aside his garments, and having taken a linen towel he girded himself". Notice what He did in the presence of the devil; they needed washing, not bathing, but they needed their feet washed. The Lord has graciously taken account of what we need to keep our walk right. So it says in Ephesians 2:10, "For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has before prepared that we should walk in them", and we need our feet washed for that. We are not to be careless as to our feet. "Then he pours water into the wash-hand basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to wipe them with the linen towel with which he was girded". We should have said the washing was enough, but not so Jesus; they must be dried. He did all that well, that all the defilement, the soil, should be removed, and that we should be in full communion with the brethren.

I leave these things for these meetings. We have about twenty three-day meetings in U.S.A. I think the Lord will use the three-day meetings, for we get to know each other, and get ready for translation. May the Lord bless these thoughts to us.

P.S. -- At the house of a brother later, Mr. Taylor remarked that he thought 1 Corinthians was the washing in John 13, and that 2 Corinthians was the towel that left them comfortable.

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Genesis 22:19 - 24; John 20:16 - 23

J.T. It is thought that we might arrive at the truth concerning Christ and the assembly, and particularly now as to the Lord's coming to us. Genesis 22 as a type contemplates the death and resurrection of Christ, but there is the additional fact that Isaac did not come down from the mount when he, as Christ in type, had been offered up, and from this it may be deduced that the Lord in His incoming to the assembly on earth in this period of testimony does not come physically, when we do, nor even in a spiritual sense, but He comes by Himself. Isaac not coming down with Abraham and his young men would intimate that the Lord is to be regarded in that section as in John 20 as coming from heaven, coming from above, and hence we have to see in the book of the Acts that we ourselves assemble by ourselves first, then He comes. We come from our ordinary affairs and assemble, as Acts 20 says, "we being assembled". We assemble without Him, but He comes according to John 14, "I will not leave you orphans, I am coming to you". The Spirit remains with us, even in assembly He is with us, and He is the power for all that we do, but the Lord comes. Therefore if there be assembling with Him it is as He comes in, and John 20 shows that He does come and comes in spite of closed doors, that is to say, physical conditions do not affect His coming, so that it is said, "the doors shut", and again it is said that He came eight days after, to indicate the periodic character of His coming and how the facts indicate that we are in a certain position. The disciples were within in verse 19, "When therefore it was evening on that day, which was the first day of the week, and the doors shut

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where the disciples were through fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst", and then it is said, "the disciples rejoiced therefore, having seen the Lord". Then He says again to them, "Peace be to you: as the Father sent me forth, I also send you" -- so that evidently the facts related in John 20 linked on with the passage in Genesis would indicate that the outlook is ultimately testimony on earth, for He says in verse 21, "As the Father sent me forth, I also send you. And having said this, he breathed into them, and says to them, Receive the Holy Spirit: whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted to them; whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained", so that the outlook is ultimately for testimony on earth, whatever may ensue earlier as the Lord comes in. Hence the period of testimony as it proceeds affords opportunity for the Lord to come in, on the one hand, to conduct us into heavenly places; but, on the other hand, to fit us for testimony on earth.

Ques. In Luke 24 the idea of the Lord's coming is omitted. "As they were saying these things, he himself stood in their midst". Will you say a word as to that?

J.T. I am glad you mention that, for it indicates the difference in the two passages. In Luke it does not say He came, it just says He stood in the midst, as if He is ready for serving as needed, and there was much need. But in John 20, He came and He says, "Peace be to you" twice, and then He speaks about His sending them and the Father sending Him and that they would have power to remit sins, so that the testimonial outlook is clearer in John, as if they were ready for it, whereas in Luke they were not ready, much had to be done, and hence He was there to do it.

Ques. Does the reference to Beer-sheba in Genesis 22 enter into what you are speaking of?

J.T. Well, it is a place of promise and Abraham

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went there and dwelt there. Romans 11 shows that all Israel shall be saved, it is only a question of time, so I would say the position of Abraham and his young men would be awaiting that; whereas the assembly's place is in heaven, which is not the place of fulfilment of promise; she comes down out of heaven from God, but her own place is up there. Hence Isaac did not come down with his father according to the passage, he is above, and so Rebecca is just brought into view at the end of that chapter. So Mary would represent the assembly in John 20, although it is not mentioned, but she is made much of, she was in the Lord's mind -- He calls her Mary and she calls Him Rabboni. She was useful and in fact was used as a messenger to the assembly.

Ques. What would be the link between His word to Mary and what He says to the disciples as coming into the midst?

J.T. Well, Mary is just used, not officially; she is a sister, but I think she is more than a messenger, for she is an instructed person, which is in keeping with John's ministry. The whole of John's gospel is linked up with the idea of teaching. First, two disciples who came to Jesus from John the baptist enquire as to Him and as to the place of His teaching, "Where abidest thou?" They regarded Him as a teacher and the idea runs right through John's gospel, and I think at the present time it is culminating in the much instruction we are receiving and the ear for it, too. But then there is the official side and that is He is commissioning them as He was commissioned, and that commission extends to the forgiveness of sins, which would contemplate the gospel period.

P.L. Would that involve finally Rebecca gracing the tent as united to Isaac?

J.T. Quite so, she is just mentioned in chapter 22. Her genealogy is given so as to make way for chapter 24.

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Sarah died in chapter 23, hence the vacancy, but that is to be filled up by Rebecca, that is the assembly.

Ques. I would like to get a little clearer as to Abraham going back to his young men. Is that to emphasise the present position of the Lord, and then to bring into view subsequently the assembly? Is that what you have in mind?

J.T. Yes, they go to the place of promise. The verse read (verse 19) says that Abraham returned to his young men, saying nothing about Isaac, but the facts show that Isaac had gone up and been offered up, he is viewed as dead and risen, but with the omission of what happened to him afterwards. There is a suggestion that he remained up there in keeping with what Abraham says in chapter 24, that he is not to be brought back to where Abraham came from; the wife, the spouse, would be found there, but he was not to be taken back there. So chapter 24 fits in with the position here. Rebecca is seen in chapter 22: 23, she is there. Abraham would have in mind that the chief servant of his house should go and find her and he brings her back and Isaac is in the field coming from the well at which God appeared to Hagar. Isaac is seen there, and he is meditating in the fields coming and going, as we might say, from that well, as if his mind is on the Spirit in the type. Then he is looking for the camels, as if to suggest that he is thinking of what power is carrying the assembly and all that enters into the present moment as to the assembly's position, the power by which she is carried to Isaac, the power by which she is maintained in testimony.

Ques. If we link the testimony with John 20, should we have this in our minds?

J.T. Well, it is a great matter to clear people, who would seek their place in fellowship, from all thought of responsibility as to sin, and, if they have

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any, that that should be removed so that they should be free to enter into the assembly and its privileges. The thought enters into the assembly. If there be any who are not clear on account of past history, they should be set free so as to take up their place in the assembly.

Rem. So we do not carry in our minds, when they are released, their past history as against them.

J.T. No. For remission of sins comes first, so that they should be free. Why should they not be? Why should we be without these persons? Why should the Lord be without them on account of their sins? He has bought them. The power of forgiveness is not only with the Lord but with the brethren.

P.L. The past a closed book, as with David, so that he is free for the service of God.

A.M. As in John 4, our past is all dealt with and in chapter 9 we are free.

J.T. That is good.

Ques. If we understood the way the Lord would visit us would that help us on this line of remission?

J.T. Yes, the power of remission is in the assembly. John does not mention the word 'assembly' as we know, but we are entitled to speak of it, for the teaching of remission, and all that enters into it as to redemption, has been current in the assembly from the very outset. John has a prophetic character and the idea of teaching comes in, for there is so much need of it. Thousands of people are suffering from the want of teaching; the teaching implies that the assembly has power to remit sins.

Ques. What sins would that refer to, those of unconverted people?

J.T. I think it would be the conviction that would be current where the Lord was working, for all subsequent workings are by the Spirit, even new birth is by Him. That would make way for material for the assembly, but there are hindrances because of the

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want of teaching. So it says, "He breathed into them, and says to them, Receive the Holy Spirit", meaning that they were empowered in themselves to do it -- "whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted to them; whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained". But remission is first, remission to set the saints free that they should not be hindered by sins.

Rem. You have in mind that a mandate is given and they will use it discreetly, according to the persons in view.

J.T. Yes. Luke would show that forgiveness is preached, but John is saying forgiveness is with the brethren as in the upper room, qualified as breathed into by the Lord and having the Spirit and in the upper room and in power to release any of their own kind. It is not a question of the gospel exactly but of persons belonging to the assembly being released to have part in it.

P.L. So they come from the upper room in Acts 1, and in Peter's preaching there is the remission of sins, and then what follows is they persevered in the teaching, and then they became material for the assembly.

J.T. Quite so. We are in the last days, of course, and though John's gospel was written at the beginning, it contemplates the last days. So the Lord said to Peter as to John, "If I will that he abide until I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me". If there is one that is detained by sins committed, well, there is power in the assembly itself to release them. Not power in the sense in which the gospel is announced, remission of sins is preached in the gospel, according to Luke, but John is dealing with the persons who form the assembly and the question of relieving any of them who are bound by their past history.

Ques. Is there a difference between the binding and loosing in Matthew 18, and this?

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J.T. Well, Matthew 18 is assembly authority, so the question of transgression is mentioned. It is on lower ground, I would say, and yet not, for it is the official position of the assembly in Matthew, whereas John is dealing with the persons who form the assembly and their privileges and the fact that they are breathed into by Christ and brought into the most intimate relations with Christ.

Rem. You have in mind persons who are hampered in their spirits, not wilful persons.

J.T. Yes.

W.W. Would the woman in John 4 come in, where the Lord says, "Go, call thy husband", and she says, "Is not this the Christ?"

J.T. I would make an allowance for the difference between chapters 4 and 20. In chapter 20 you have to do with Mary, a wonderful person, she had been relieved of seven demons -- not a question of sin but of the power of Satan -- and the Lord cast them out Himself. But chapter 4 is a Samaritan and she has her questions and the Lord has to meet those questions. John 20 is on a higher level. At the same time we are dealing with John and we might as well touch what might help us. John 20 is the highest level in that gospel.

Ques. Is that why the woman is presented as having no past history in chapter 20?

J.T. Yes, her past history is not mentioned.

Ques. Do you mean that this links on with Rebecca and Abraham -- it is "my land" and "my kindred" -- is that John 20?

J.T. Well, Rebecca is to be brought to where Isaac is, not the idea of where his kindred were. Rebecca, of course, belonged to his kindred, but she has to be brought to him, not he to her. That is a long way, Mesopotamia is a long way from the land of Israel, so it is that the Lord, as it were, remains where He is seen as risen from the dead, and we might

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say He has gone up, for if we look into Luke we would think He went up the day He rose. There is nothing said about the forty days in Luke, nor is there indeed in John, although there, I believe, it is contemplated, but anyway the idea is that He has gone up, hence He says, "I ascend", which would be the character of the thing with a view to what is presented in testimony.

P.L. Would your allusion to Luke 24 fit into Ecclesiastes 1:5, the sun hastening to its place where it ariseth?

J.T. Quite so. It is a remarkable thing, as if the Lord was in haste, speaking reverently, to go to heaven, for heaven would be the place of administrative power. The commission in Luke 24 implies that forgiveness of sins should be preached and the Lord was in haste to go there, but the second treatise of Luke suggests a further thought, as if heaven had felt concern in consultation, so to speak, so that this present dispensation should be completed in the full thought of it and its wonderful effect on the race become active and operative. I believe many of us need to reconsider the first chapter of Acts to see what was needed to be effected before the Spirit could come. It is a question of what is needed on earth for those who were to form the administrative part of the assembly.

Ques. Should the attitude with regard to remitting characterise all our meetings and particularly the care meeting?

J.T. Just so. Not that we should be detained, but not to be unmindful that some of our number may be held in bondage because of sins, that they should be released, for the assembly has a sort of provisional power to do it.

Ques. Why is that preceded by His breathing into them and saying, "Receive the Holy Spirits"?

J.T. It is all a question of conditions that needed

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to be brought about to make circumstances suitable for any given situation. John 20 is more the inward and heavenly side of the assembly.

Ques. You have in mind the assembly dealing with its own personnel, what is within the assembly as such?

J.T. Yes, they belonged to the assembly because the new birth, which is the subject in John, implies that there is much going on to effect conditions so that the Holy Spirit should come in. It is going on all the time and many have not come to an understanding of the position of the Spirit or His activities. John 20 is unique; it deals with something by itself.

P.L. In Genesis 22, there are the appellations, "sons to thy brother" and then "his firstborn" and then "his brother", and then the reference to Abraham's brother. Do you think Rebecca is introduced as in a family environment?

J.T. Yes, and what an environment! I mean to say, the possibilities of it, and we have to think of them for later scriptures will unfold them to us, for we are proceeding on a certain principle. In the generations from Abraham to Christ, forty-two generations, how much would be unfolded. But chapters 22 and 24 open up the relations of Rebecca, and chapter 28 the relations of Jacob.

Ques. Is the word 'also' in verse 20 (chapter 22) important as an additional thought to Isaac?

J.T. So that we are in the midst of relations, as has been remarked, and what possibilities there are in these relations. We have to wait for the unfolding under God of what comes out of these relations, but in the meantime, Isaac and Rebecca are in mind, and then Sarah dies and Rebecca comes into view under the direction of Abraham himself.

Ques. Is John's gospel the great unfolding of these features of relationship? I was thinking of the way in which the relations of the Father and the Son are set out, the pattern of those relations affects everything.

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J.T. Well, the early part of John is that the Father loves the Son and has given all things to be in His hand. The "all things" are things to be administered, hence the Samaritan woman comes in at once to show how the administration proceeds and how she becomes part of it. She is not hindered by sin, that matter is settled; she leaves her waterpot and goes to the city and says to the men, "... Is not he the Christ?" I think it is important to see that John contemplates the administrative position of Christ, and so the woman comes into it, and the woman in John 20 comes into it on a higher level and becomes a messenger to the assembly herself and what she says is comely, certainly she is taught. The woman of Samaria could not be said to be taught, though she was afterwards, but Mary is taught and she says, "Rabboni". I think the trouble is now that so many are not taught, they do not understand the truth, yet they are affected, they are subjects of the work of God, but they are not delivered.

Ques. The Lord speaks to Mary of certain relations, what is the connection between that and the assembly?

J.T. They are the greatest things we can think of. He is ascending to the Father and the brethren are to understand that they are His brethren -- the message implies that. Mary's message instructed them so far, but then the Lord tells her He is going up to His Father and their Father and that they are His brethren.

Rem. One would like help as to the great lines of truth we have had before us -- sonship and the assembly.

J.T. Well, it is not simply, as in Acts 1, that He has ascended, but John presents a deeper thought, meaning that He is ascending, He has power to do it, and He is ascending to His Father and their Father, His God and their God. There could be no higher

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relation than that, and then the commission given them is the same as He had received. He sends them out as He had been sent out and He breathes on them and gives them His own Spirit and then gives them the power to remit sins.

Ques. The Lord has given much light in teaching, what is needed at the present moment to set the saints in liberty?

J.T. I would say correct teaching, much correct teaching. I believe there is a great deal of incorrect teaching, and the incorrectness implies that the converts are not free in their members, they are not wholly free, because the members of the saints are to be in mind in view of the assembly. There is much decrepitude amongst Christians, I would say; and especially among the sects, how very few there are who have the Spirit and who know they have Him, and hence they are deformed, but we need the release in our members, both personally and in a general way.

Ques. Would the Philippian company shine in this service of liberation? Paul was concerned that the sisters might be of the same mind.

J.T. Quite so, and Epaphroditus who was sick. Philippians would work on those lines. I wonder if we are all clear as to this matter of teaching, for all the creeds in a sense are in the way of the truth, those who hold them are hindered by them, and all the systems of teaching that are current are standing in the way of the liberation of the saints.

Ques. One comes across a great many that are interested and we feel incompetent to lead them; what would you suggest?

J.T. Referring to the sects, they are prejudiced. The clerical idea, the notion of the clergyman, being dispensationally the sin against the Holy Spirit (see the Collected Writings, Volume 1), the whole current system of Christendom is standing in the way of the liberation of the saints. I think the

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Lord is helping the brethren and they are on right lines and the Lord attaches great importance to this.

A.M. May we ourselves be greatly hampered by Jewish ideas clinging to us?

J.T. Yes, and brethrenistic ideas, all that has been held for the past hundred years. There is still much to be given up that hampers us and makes us unable to help our brethren outside.

P.L. Nehemiah discovered there was much rubbish to be removed.

W.W. You were saying the Lord's supper was the great central thought in the recovery of the truth.

J.T. Just so, and in Paul's hands it was abridged, so to speak, that is, made simple, and it is intelligible as applying to Christianity and nothing else. The Lord's supper will not be taken by the millennial saints; it is "my body, which is for you", that is the assembly. So the terms are to be noted and we are to see how they react upon us so as to liberate us for the service of God.

Rem. It says, "the disciples rejoiced therefore, having seen the Lord"; then it says, "Jesus said therefore again to them, Peace be to you".

J.T. That would show they were progressing.

W.W. Is not the great trouble generally in Christendom that the Person of Christ is not sufficient for the hearts of people?

J.T. Yes; what they need is teaching, if they will only listen. It is remarkable how the Lord is helping the brethren, the number of meetings of this kind the brethren are having. The proportion of meetings in which there is teaching in which the idea of the pillar and base of the truth is set out, is very large in comparison with what it was.

Rem. When Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy he had to say, "Thou knowest this, that all who are in Asia ... have turned away from me".

J.T. Yes, they were really turning away from

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Christ. In Paul's own letter to the Ephesians he lays great stress on what he knew, "Ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ" (Ephesians 3:4); the Lord had one man, anyway, who knew.

Ques. As to the Supper according to Paul, are you free to say a little as to the omission of the word 'given' in regard to the loaf?

J.T. I think Paul's account is right: "for you" is better -- Luke says "given"whereas Paul does not. The fact that much has been made of the Lord's supper in recent years, I think, is very striking, liberating the brethren in regard to assembly service.

Ques. Does that explain the omission in 1 Corinthians 11 of "poured out for you"?

J.T. Quite so, and then the addition of the thought of memorial in relation to the cup in 1 Corinthians 11.

A.M. Does the action of Thomas imply anything special? You called attention to unbelief as a very serious state of soul in view of the light that was shining.

J.T. Yes, he was missing the truth because he was absent. What the Lord points out to him later is just to make way for the Jews who will be in the millennium. I think the Lord is using the second appearing in John 20 to show He is making way for the Jews. There were three manifestations: the first in chapter 20:19, 20; the second the case of Thomas, and the third the draft of fishes at Tiberias, in chapter 21.

W.W. The Lord spoke to Paul of the much people He had in the city and it says he remained there a certain time teaching the word of God. Has that a bearing on what you are saying, the need of teaching?

J.T. Quite so, the word of God, too. Hence Paul says in 2 Timothy, "Preach the word", not so much the glad tidings, but the word.

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Psalm 87

In undertaking to say a word just now, dear brethren, it is clear that what has already been said should be followed up. The assembly viewed as it is now, that is where we are now, is the temple of God; that is any local assembly, it is not the temple, but "temple", that is, it is the character of it. So what has been said requires consideration, as it says in 2 Timothy 2:7, "Think of what I say, for the Lord will give thee understanding in all things". So as the temple is present, it may well be that we enquire in it. It is the time of enquiry, and also to add to what has been said. In view of this meeting it came to me that I might not have been here because of tomorrow and all that enters it, all that we are expecting. This psalm had force with me because it reminds us of Zion, of what great things are spoken there and how superior it is to the dwellings of Jacob, and had I remained away, it would have been in one of the dwellings of Jacob.

We are reminded of the assembly, how glorious and how superior it is. This first verse says, "His foundation is in the mountains of holiness"; there is what God founds and builds up, as we have just heard of what the ants can do, "a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer" (Proverbs 30:25); it is quite appropriate for such a time as this; but here it is what God founds, and in view of what I have been remarking, the gates of Zion are to be considered peculiarly, as to what God founded, the holiness of what He founded. "Glorious things are spoken" of her, the "city of God". It is better for us to take these things in here, and now. We can do this better here than in "all the habitations of

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Jacob"; even the questions that come up, they are more easily answered in the assembly than in any dwelling one may be in. Zion is glorious and luminous; as Mr. J. N. Darby's hymn says: 'And heavenly light makes all things bright, Seen in that blissful gaze'. (Hymn 12) Thus one feels what has already been said may become more luminous, and as in assembly, we go "from glory to glory".

As I was saying, I am glad I have come, and as here, these thoughts come, and the Spirit is here to take them up and enrich us, and build us up on our most holy faith (Jude 20), and love must have its place, and build us up, for without love there is no building; the assembly is being built up, and here in the temple there is hope of building up and of increase.

Here distinctions are seen, "Rahab and Babylon among them that know me". It is an advantage to be known and that we should know one another. Our brother has spoken of greeting and saluting, so it says, "Greet the friends by name", 3 John 14. One would love to be able to greet each one by name, especially as going around, it is more likely as we know one another. I have mentioned Rahab and Babylon, and there is also Rome; we have spoken of this today, and what we have to say as to Rome is to protect the brethren, and how the devil has made it to ensnare the brethren. We spoke of it thus to protect the truth, and also as we are told in Revelation, "God has judged your judgment upon her", Revelation 18:20. God has respect to our judgment on the terrible things built up to ensnare the saints. Here we have "Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia: this man was born there"; that is men who have been great in building up things here. So that we can become great in building up, like the Lord Jesus, for there is none like Him; He is so great! "Jehovah

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will count", it says; that is it; when He begins to count up, who is worth speaking of? We must speak of Him, who is from the beginning, the Word, "God blessed for ever", Romans 9:5. We speak of these things in the temple of God. Great names mean nothing except relatively; each name is mentioned as developed against Him, but we must revolve around Him.

"When he inscribeth the peoples", and so it is when we speak of John's gospel, what a Person is there! and what writing! In Luke we have another glorious view, and in Mark, and Matthew, the same, a four-fold witness of the greatness of Christ. In the temple I speak of it now, and feel it much as I speak that I did not stay in the dwellings of Jacob, but am here in the "gates of Zion", and that is heaven's authority.

We may well understand "the singers as the dancers shall say, All my springs are in thee". The singers and the dancers will be there; think of all that could be described there, all that David stands for! Therefore we rest in this, and may all return into the "habitations of Jacob" when God has given us commandment, here in His temple.

These thoughts may be transferred from Zion to the assembly now, at the present time, that is in the Spirit of God, and so we may be comforted in going over the ground, and in thinking of the great ones in this world, and of God's beloved Son and all that God has worked out in Him and in the coming glory, too.

David said to Solomon, "and thou shalt add to it", in 1 Chronicles 22:14; it was a time of counting the wealth and material for the house of God, and so it is for the younger brethren to add to what is already there.

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Genesis 27:26, 27; Luke 24:50 - 53

These scriptures have been selected, among other things, because of their brevity and conciseness, in view of the time at our disposal, and what is before us is to see the place blessing has in all the ways of God, but particularly in those ways of His that relate to His immediate family. The passage in Genesis is read to call attention to it, in the line of Abraham. Of Isaac it is said that he blessed both Jacob and Esau. What is in my mind now, however, is his blessing of Jacob, who is in the immediate line of blessing; Esau was in a more distant line, and ultimately lost the blessing, even the one he earnestly sought for and received, such as it was, but the line of blessing, the blessing of Abraham is very full and rich, I need not say, and it is continuous, even in our own times. The continuity of blessing obviously is seen amongst the brethren, it is unmistakable, and what is in mind now is that it should be continued and increased. Jacob's position in the chapter read is significant in this respect, because the blessing he received at the hands of Isaac may be regarded by many as undeserved, and such thought gives rise to the need of calling attention to depth and how we may be mistaken by appearances and by superficial evidences in these matters, because Isaac was himself hardly (at the outset of the facts related) equal to blessing others. In truth it would seem that he needed to be blessed himself, which is often the case in persons whom God has called into His testimony, and hence mistakes may be made, if we judge superficially, because the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. So here Isaac was the vessel of blessing, whatever the outward appearances were,

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and whatever may be said about Rebecca and about Jacob himself, God is adhering to His own line of thought, His own purposes, and hence when the time arrived Isaac is able to smell, and smell aright; he is able to use his senses aright, which would mean that God helped him to bless his son Jacob. The time had come for it, and so after considerable thought he says, "Come near now, and kiss me, my son". That is, the time had come for it, and whatever the appearances, the smell was not inaccurate, although superficial, but at the depth and root it was not, and so his father Isaac said unto him, "Come near now, and kiss me, my son. And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed". There is no doubt about it, the smell was there, the smell of potential blessing, the root was there, the root of promise was there, and so the blessing came, and hence, as I was remarking, the idea runs right through the family of Abraham, and by extension through the family of God.

We read that every family is blessed of the Father, "of whom every family in the heavens and on earth is named". They are all under His eye, only the one more immediately in view now is the assembly, and that is what now concerns us as to this matter of blessing, and so the Spirit of God keeps the current going in Jacob himself. We have to think of this in regard to the rulers of this world: they are in a plight now; I mean to say that in the government of God things are come to pass that are threatening, and we ourselves do well to be concerned and be more urgent in prayer. As to Jacob, we are told that he blessed Pharaoh. There could be no doubt that it was wider than the mere incident, that the Egyptian monarch should be blessed by Jacob. Presently Jacob is able to bless the twelve tribes, to bless them

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all one by one, although he did not talk about blessing at first, nor is it wise often to talk about blessing when we have to speak the truth which may not be pleasant, which may be needed, for the word of God is "sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart ... but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do". It often is needful to have recourse to the word in that sense, the word of God, but blessing is behind it. And so in regard of all the services that the Lord has committed to us, to His people in this wonderful dispensation, because it is wonderful and has not changed, nor will it change until it is finished, and then it will become publicly known as wonderful. The name of the Lord Jesus will be known in the coming age as "Wonderful". In all these services we may have recourse to the word of God in its searching power, and I might say retributive power, because there is such a thing as retribution even in this dispensation, for what a man sows he reaps. But then blessing is in mind, and we must never forget, that however apparent the opposite of blessing may be, yet blessing is in mind. And so it was with Jacob here, and so it was with Pharaoh, and so it was with the twelve tribes of Israel. But it was not blessing at the first, but "hearken unto Israel your father", that is the first thing. So that if there be any question or any discipline, and there is much need for it, we must not hesitate to say, Hearken, as we say, not unto Israel your father, but Hearken to the assembly; the need of hearkening to the assembly is often to be expressed before the blessing, before the forgiveness, before the restoration. And so it was with Jacob, "Hearken unto Israel your father". But then the beautiful wind up is this -- the blessing wherewith he blessed them, every one of

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them had a blessing of his own. Every one of us, whatever his state or conduct or history, if he is a Christian he has his own blessing, and God has it in mind; however He wants to bless each and all of us, He wants to bless us together. And that is the greatest thing, to be blessed together, to be raised up together, to be set down together "in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus", not individually; the less individual we are, in a sense, the better, although we have to be individual, and we have to be dealt with individually. But the great thought is together, they were all together in one place, we are told in Acts 2. At the end of the chapter it says they were all together, meaning they were together generally, and in effect always, it should be so that in no other sense are we together than together in heart.

And so as I said, the tribes had a blessing each, but then they were all blessed, too, "our whole twelve tribes serving incessantly day and night" (Acts 26:7), says the apostle Paul, "our whole twelve tribes". God has nothing less than that in mind. And so they are to be gathered, for the Lord Jesus is the One that will gather Israel. At one time it is said, "though Israel be not gathered", but they will be gathered, and not simply gathered but raised up. The whole twelve tribes of Israel will be raised up, clothed with sinews and skin, beautified with the beautification of the work of God, and designated "the whole house of Israel", all Israel shall be saved, nothing less than that; Ezekiel 37. And so Moses in his time comes to the thought of blessing, and he begins with it, the Spirit of God begins with blessing through Moses in the first line of Deuteronomy 33. There is no discrepancy at all brought out, there is no complaint at all, there is nothing else but good; wonderful to think of it, that Israel may be called the Israel of God, a present application, but a prophetic application, too. And so the time had come,

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and the word will be, "What hath God wrought!" "At this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!" So that we may be encouraged when we look back at chapter 30 of Genesis, the birth of the tribes and all the vicissitudes of those days, all the sorrow that lay across the history, that ultimately, the word would be as to Israel and Jacob, "What hath God wrought!" We are now in the time of God's work, dear brethren, and it is proceeding, let nobody think it is not, for it is steadily proceeding.

And we come down to our own times, I mean to the New Testament times, and therefore I read from Luke. In one way Luke is the most encouraging of all because his thought in the gospel is to present grace, and to show that God goes on in spite of any wickedness that can be asserted, or sought to be proved. We must not be in a hurry or ill at ease to prove evil. So the Lord tells the disciples that repentance and remission of sins are to be preached "among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem", that is a wonderful thing in Luke, when you think of the wickedness of the race, right up to the present time, what wickedness, and how it is increasing, and yet these words stand, repentance and remission of sins preached to "all the nations beginning at Jerusalem". So that we have much latitude in whatever we may be engaged in in our little meetings, our little preachings, on Sunday evenings, and our Bible readings in country places, big cities too, at times very feeble, yet the work of God goes on in power in them, we may be sure of that, because they are based on right principles. God has a great regard for principle, He will pass over much in a certain way in order to confirm and commend right principles. And so, as I said, Luke is more encouraging in one sense than any other of the evangelists, because he asserts grace and he asserts it in the sense of reigning: the idea

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of reigning is in the Scriptures, the reign of grace is emphatic, there is no thought of any modification at all. If we are to think of grace we ought to think of it and learn to bathe ourselves in it because it is grace, "by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God", these are the wonderful words of Ephesians. And they fit now as they did at the beginning. And so Luke, as I said, would stress the idea of grace, "and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all the nations beginning at Jerusalem"; these were the Lord's own words. The very acme of the position in Luke is in chapter 15. We can never go too often to that chapter; and one might say, it should be a well-beaten track, the track of Luke 15, as we call it, to the prodigal. Sometimes we use the word 'prodigality', and no doubt it is in Luke 15, where we get the magnificence of grace, the magnanimity of it. How it fits wherever there is a poor sinner, one who has found it out what he is and, you might say, he knows it, for the work of God has brought him to it. I am not speaking now of the thought of forgiveness by the Father, I am speaking of the work of the Spirit in the new birth, one of the greatest things to keep in mind, the new birth, the underlying great fact that is current, souls being brought into being in the sense of the new birth, born again, born, we may say, throughout; it is a total matter, and hence is the foundation of the whole structure of Christianity. We are to learn to delight in that. It may not be the full thought, but I am speaking now of the idea that the Lord propounded to Nicodemus, a poor pupil indeed, although a master in Israel, the teacher in Israel, he was a very poor learner. It is hard to say much about such a man, but he was a long time, you know, coming to the truth. He and Joseph of Arimathaea came together. I would say that Joseph would have the lead, I

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would give him the lead, I would not give Nicodemus the lead, he was a slow learner. One deplores the idea of slow learning of what is so essential to our very being, to our very salvation, to our heavenly glory. I just abhor the thought in myself, of being slow in these matters. And I regard Nicodemus as a poor learner and there are a great many at the present time, and yet it is the time of learning, and the time -- the learning time -- is fast running out; we cannot afford to be slow about it, but look into the matter and get all the truth. The word is "He shall guide you into all the truth", the blessed Spirit of God is here to do that for every one of us. And so John 3 comes into the lessons of the testimony in a peculiar way, it shines, and the Lord passes on to speak of His being in heaven Himself. Although He was here on earth talking to a slow learner in Israel, a Pharisee, and yet one born anew unquestionably, but how patient the Lord was with him, and we may say, Well, why did He say anything about being in heaven, if Nicodemus was not learning rapidly? Well, the Lord says, "the Son of man which is in heaven" as if He would give the whole idea to Nicodemus and let him take it home and think over it, the whole matter, "the Son of man which is in heaven", that is what He says, as far as I can see, in the hearing of Nicodemus. Whether he ever came to it I cannot say, undoubtedly he did, I would say that. And Joseph of Arimathaea possibly, too; they are both seen together in John 19; Mary Magdalene comes in after them. Was she a slow learner? I do not think so. She was rather dense at the beginning, but she learns rapidly, as soon as the Lord said, "Mary", the sound of His voice announcing her name, the name meaning much, she turned and said, "Rabboni". Let us think of these things, dear brethren, and learn to say 'Rabboni' if we can say it truthfully. And what it means is that she

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had reached the right teacher, no doubt she had learned from others but she is now saying, All that I am learning is from this blessed Man. She had heard His voice, and He had called her "Mary" and she replied "Rabboni". It is the very heart of John's gospel as regards instruction. Mary is the idea, I would say, in a sister, in one that learns quickly, not slowly or carelessly or as if it were not urgent, but immediately, she learned immediately. The Lord was "Rabboni" to her, and He is the only one that should be Rabboni to any of us. How many have other teachers! And I have ventured to come down to the New Testament in the line of blessing, beginning with the superficiality of Jacob, because that is the truth as to him, and yet the root was there and Isaac knew it was there. He came to it, he came to it by his smell, "the smell of my son", he says, but he also said, "Come near, now ... my son". The Lord would say that to us, that we are not to be known at a distance in these matters, we are to be known nearby. It is the time for learning and the Lord is coming near to us and has come near to us all these years, I know it well; hundreds of times many of us here know that the Lord has been near to us at the teaching time, and we have gone out as it were at such times with a sense that we have learnt, as Paul himself said, "I have learned" -- that is the idea -- "in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content"; it is a great bit of learning that, to be content, but then if you learn that in nearness to Christ you will learn a lot more. And so it was that Paul said, "most gladly therefore"; he accepted his infirmity that the power of the Christ should rest upon him. He could see the Lord's meaning in that extraordinary situation, he asked the Lord three times to remove the thorn, and he ceased, he did not ask Him four times. We have to learn from that, too; the Lord Jesus did not ask His Father four

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times to take away the cup, He asked Him three times, we are to learn that, to learn when to stop, that is to say, we discern that the thing must stand in the government of God, a certain thing must stand because we need it for education, lest something else might happen. God is meticulous and He is saying to us, do not ask Me a fourth time. He said to Moses once, Do not say anything to Me about that again; Jehovah said that to Moses. We have to learn to be restful when we have the clear intimation that the government of God requires certain conditions in any one of us, to bow to it and we become learners, otherwise we would fail in our education. And coming down to the New Testament in Luke, I ventured to limit myself to the verses read in the last chapter of Luke, because they present the Lord not on mount Olivet, but at Bethany, and that the Lord led them out as far as that, He was not working beyond that, He would presently move on, but He was not moving on yet, He is now going up to heaven, and He lifted up His hands and blessed the disciples, and He was separated from them. We may say, Well, "separated from them", that does not look just good; well, that is as far as things have gone, we have to learn in part and we have to learn why the Lord led them out as far as to Bethany and was separated from them. We have to learn what that means. Why the separation; why the stopping at Bethany? Well, something has to be done yet, and it took a good time to inaugurate Christianity in the fullest sense, because you can hardly think of Christianity being fully inaugurated without Paul. I should not like to think of him eliminated from the inauguration, I should like to have him included, the Lord was carrying on, of course, carrying on Himself. He had gone to the right hand of God, Mark says, but still Paul was in His mind. And so He says, "he is an elect vessel unto me". He met him on

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the way to Damascus, not in Palestine, there is much going on in Palestine now, it is the very centre of things, I might say, politically, but Syria used to have a great place and did in the beginning of Christianity, but Palestine is more in mind, and the Lord met Paul (Saul of Tarsus) on the way to Damascus; that is in Syria, and we have to see about that, see why the Lord waited till he came near Damascus, until He spoke to him, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me" He said that in Syria. And so the thought of Paul must not be eliminated from the inaugural time of Christianity. I am not saying that it is so now, I am also not saying that we cannot say that Christianity began at the second of Acts, because in a certain sense we can say it began there, with the coming of the Spirit. The Lord waited forty days, and then ten days, and then He sent the Spirit, we must learn something of those fifty days, why the Lord waited for those, but He did, and then the Spirit came.

But then there is more than that. And so I read from Luke because the Lord has in His mind that He should lead them out as far as Bethany. The idea of leading is not to be overlooked because it enters into Christianity, and especially in order that we may understand why Judaism was abandoned. The Lord led them out as far as to Bethany, and there is much added, "He lifted up his hands, and blessed them", but "He was separated from them". There must be something for us in that, because the dispensation involves more than that, it is not separation from Christ, it is union with Christ. Israel never came into union with Christ, and never will, it is the assembly that has that part. And therefore the great need of learning the truth of the assembly. And so the Lord blessed them, He lifted up His hands and blessed them, and was separated from them. The thought implied in those words extends back to all these points that I have already

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mentioned, but especially to Numbers 6, that is to say, where the Nazarite comes in, involving separation, not from Christ but from the world and all the like of it, which, alas, many of us perhaps have been very slow learning. So Numbers 6 tells us about the Nazarite, which speaks of Christ, of course, but at the same time is applicable to us, to the assembly. The word there in verse 23 is for the priest, not only Aaron but Aaron and his sons, meaning that the assembly or the persons who form it are in mind in Numbers 6:50 that we know, or should know, the lesson of Nazariteship, and how to keep ourselves from the world. These thoughts run back to that, and the Lord undoubtedly conveyed to the disciples that they were to be blessers themselves, as we are to be now. We are all to be blessers, "bless, and curse not", we are told. We are to learn how to bless, to eulogise the precious cup in which we drink to call to mind the Lord Jesus Who is absent from us; "the cup of blessing which we bless". He is absent, they were to understand what He meant that they were to remain in Jerusalem, in Judaism; and God would show to us in this that He was wonderfully patient with the Jews. That time has ceased now, but it was once a great matter with God -- His patience with the Jews. It was more than ever Paul could express and yet Paul says that he could have wished that he was accursed from Christ for his brethren's sake. He said that he could have wished that, showing the depths of his feelings. One feels how little one realises what Israel was to God, and how He felt it having to give them up. He has given them up for ourselves, because God has now taken on the nations, the Gentiles, carrying on His thoughts in ourselves, a very great fact, and we are not slow, I can say, thank God, at least many are not slow to lay hold of what our privileges are. But then the Lord at that time,

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in Luke 24, had in His mind the separation, the distance that would be maintained by God in His ways with His earthly people. And so there was a separation, He was separated from them, and then they went into the temple, they went to Jerusalem, and went to the temple, not to the upper room yet, meaning that God's patience with the Jews is still maintained, it was a current matter. And so we are told that they went into the temple and they "were continually in the temple" (notice in the temple) "praising and blessing God", but in the temple meant distance, but God is patient and ready to help in being near His people, according to His eternal counsels, He was ready to help for the moment. And He did, He waited for Paul to bring in all that had to be said about it, and the renunciation by God of the Jewish claims and the setting up of the assembly service, the service of God; the gospel and the service of God in a general way -- the heavenly service of God, that has come in, it has come in through Paul. I am only touching it because the time has just gone. But I hope the brethren will just seize what I am seeking to say, that this matter of separation was tolerated by God, and the Lord Jesus was able to bless His people, in spite of that separation. But now union has come in, of course it had come in by the Spirit, at the same time the teaching of it had not come in, it required Paul, and that is what I have been saying, the importance of keeping in mind the truth involved in Paul, of whom the Lord says, "an elect vessel unto me", to bring out all this wonderful truth about Christ and the assembly. And so the last chapter of Luke is the continuation of the blessing of Abraham, as it is called, that the blessing of Abraham should arrive at the Gentiles; it has arrived at us, and we have received the Spirit and are in union with Christ, all that is now available and has been. But the question is whether we have gone

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in for it and understand it, whether we understand union, because Paul is the one that the Lord was pleased to take up and to give him the ministry of the mystery of the assembly, and that involves union. And so I stop there, I only intended just to bring out the continuance of blessing, beginning, as I said, with the blessing of Abraham through Isaac descending on Jacob, and in the New Testament the blessing with which the Lord Jesus blessed His disciples and was parted from them ascending up to heaven, knowing that all is well. They could understand that all was well, nothing could fail, but still God is patient, it is one of the greatest things to keep in mind the patience and longsuffering of God, so that we may know Him through it, and learn through it. And thus I leave the matter, dear brethren, hoping that we will all come in to these matters that are so essential.

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Isaiah 38:9 - 20; Acts 20:4 - 12

J.T. The thought is life in connection with the service of God. There is much that can be deduced from the Scriptures as to life, but in view of brevity and conciseness these scriptures were chosen, because of the subject in mind, that is the service of God.

Hezekiah is one who knew much of the service of God, as seen especially in this chapter in Isaiah; while of the boy, Eutychus, we know nothing except what we have in Acts 20. He is seen, however, in the same service, connected with it, that is of the Lord's supper, which stands at the beginning of the service of God. Paul evidently discoursed at great length as to this very matter, because the brethren had come together to break bread; instead of this there was this long discourse, and the breaking of bread did not take place till the next day. Much was needed to be said, but we are not told what Paul said, at least not here; he must have said a good deal, and the spiritual inference is, at least, that he spoke of the Lord's supper, and that what he said was prophetic in view of the much controversy that has entered into the Lord's supper throughout the dispensation. And therefore, it seems right there should be this long discourse, and the conversation that followed.

We need constantly to speak of the Lord's supper, and invariably we find some difficulty as to it. Hezekiah's remarks are clear enough, that he had the service of God in his mind. Verse 9 reads, "The writing of Hezekiah, king of Judah, when he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness"; it would have in mind what was needed for the service

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of God; instead of peace he had "bitterness upon bitterness; but thou hast in love delivered my soul from the pit of destruction; for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. For not Sheol shall praise thee, nor death celebrate thee; they that go down into the pit do not hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I this day the father to the children shall make known thy truth. Jehovah was purposed to save me. -- And we will play upon my stringed instruments all the days of our life" (that is, he brings others into the matter, the "we will play" and "the days of our life") "in the house of Jehovah" (verses 17 - 20).

A.H. Do the difficulties dissolve if we are maintained in life?

J.T. Yes; that is a good way to put it, and if we can search the Scriptures, too, we see what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11. Yet we find (and I myself have often noticed it) continually that the brethren are asking why the new covenant is mentioned, and many other such questions, whereas accurate enquiry into the Scriptures would help us to see why they are mentioned.

A.H. There is Paul's word, "Think of what I say" (2 Timothy 2:7); do we lack through not listening to Paul?

J.T. I think so, for in any locality where we have a company of Christians walking in the truth and the light of the temple, we can enquire there.

Rem. So Hezekiah says, "the father to the children shall make known thy truth", Isaiah 38:19.

J.T. Yes, and especially the children are to be kept in mind, "the father to the children shall make known thy truth". So that the young should not be dark as to the Lord's supper, because the fathers should know. The Lord made a special request as to it, and it should be a special matter with parents, that all should know it.

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Ques. Will you say a word as to the new covenant?

J.T. You have been a long time in fellowship; why do you ask?

Rem. Yes; many years; but I want to know.

J.T. Well, why is it not looked into temple-wise, "Do ye not know that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16)? I am not meaning to be short with you; we should always "be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and chanting with your heart to the Lord", Ephesians 5:18, 19.

A.H. Enquiry in the temple should help us to value what is in the local setting.

J.T. Yes, quite; such questions have been asked a hundred times as far as I know, but why not enquire of the brethren, or the nearest brother?

Ques. Would the Bereans be an example, "receiving the word with all readiness of mind, daily searching the scriptures if these things were so", Acts 17:11?

J.T. Just that; it appears that Paul had one with him in Acts 20, and he would be the first to be able to answer a question.

Then we began with Hezekiah and it is thought that we should get all we can at the present time. Hezekiah is a brother (excuse the word) who should give us much instruction as having been to the gates of death; and now he speaks of the father making known the truth, and so we should get some instruction from him.

E.S.H. Would we seek to acquire quality by experience, in death, and in living, in the power of resurrection life?

J.T. Yes, and his life is lengthened to the very end, and hence he is a brother who should help us in the service of God. He says, "The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I this day"; and then "the

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father to the children shall make known thy truth"; he was doing it himself.

F.I. Would this refer to our taking part in the Supper, and in referring to the new covenant? He says, "Jehovah was purposed to save me. -- And we will play upon my stringed instruments all the days of our life, in the house of Jehovah"; it is all in relation to the Supper, and to our part in the service of God.

J.T. Just so; and to see how things are placed in Acts 20 where they assembled to break bread, which is the beginning of the service; "my stringed instruments" is the high level of the service, past the Supper, the Ephesian level. To bring that into the New Testament is right; we must remember the apostle's teaching, and especially when a question has to be looked into most carefully. The higher levels come in after the Lord's supper, and involve the Lord's relation to His assembly as His spouse, then as His brethren, then as the sons of God; they are all on the high levels, "upon my stringed instruments". It is "we will play upon my stringed instruments all the days of our life, in the house of Jehovah".

Rem. He is concerned to get the gain himself, and others with him.

J.T. Yes, just so. It is like the man in Luke 11 who asked the Lord to teach them, not him, to pray.

Ques. Does Hezekiah show us the advantage of going in the way of discipline?

J.T. We are all brought up in discipline; Enoch was the great one, for his name means 'disciplined'; it is to help us to know how to behave in the house of God.

Ques. Would Enoch represent the teaching of the new covenant?

J.T. Just so, but being the "seventh from Adam",

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he stands for more than the new covenant; "the seventh" is the full thought of spirituality.

Ques. Do we get the full thought of the new covenant in the cup?

J.T. Why did you ask as to the new covenant?

Rem. Because Paul refers to it, not only in 1 Corinthians 11, but also in 2 Corinthians 3, especially the thought of the spirit of the new covenant.

J.T. It is just that. It is the spirit of the new covenant. We do not get it in the higher levels of the truth, as in Colossians and Ephesians.

Ques. Would the thought of joy enter into the spirit of the new covenant?

J.T. Into the spirit of it; yes.

Ques. Would it go further than that?

J.T. The higher levels in the New Testament go further. Paul's higher service is in the prison, showing the need of lying fallow in the atmosphere of God; it is not the initial thing, as the new covenant suggests, but to us it is a question of God's sabbath; "on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed", Exodus 31:17.

Rem. Peter's imprisonment in Acts would refer to new covenant conditions, but Paul and Silas to Ephesian conditions.

Ques. Would Habakkuk referring to his feet being like "hinds' feet", and to his "stringed instruments" show that he was at home in these higher realms?

J.T. It was not only his mind but his feet.

P.L. He has power to leap in the agility of love.

Ques. Would we be learning under the Father's discipline to "be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live". Hebrews 12:9?

J.T. Very good; "But no chastening at the time seems to be matter of joy, but of grief; but afterwards yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those exercised by it" (verse 11), so that we are trained

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in that matter to the end that we might be in the service of God, "all the days of our life".

Ques. Would Paul have these things in mind in 1 Corinthians 11:30, "On this account many among you are weak and infirm, and a good many are fallen asleep"

J.T. Yes; it is linked up with their behaviour at the Lord's supper.

Ques. Would Enoch be supported in his discipline by the conscious knowledge that he pleased God?

J.T. Just so; that was before his translation.

Ques. Is there a difference between the stringed instruments and the notes? "My stringed instruments" involve the song; it goes up in sounds.

J.T. There is a difference, especially when you transfer the history to yourself. It is like Paul and Silas at Philippi; it is heavenly music.

Ques. Is it as we touch the higher levels that the service of God commences?

J.T. It is the discipline that yields the right kind of sound: "All my springs are in thee" (Psalm 87:7); that is where the sounds come from.

Ques. Would "my stringed instruments" link on with the service of song under David?

J.T. David is the sweet psalmist of Israel. It says in 1 Chronicles 23:5, they "praised Jehovah with the instruments which I made (said David,) to praise therewith". It is what each one is in the hands of the Lord.

Ques. Is life in view in discipline?

J.T. Yes; it is a question of the assembly, "the whole body, fitted together, and connected by every joint of supply", of what is developed in Ephesians 4, namely the joints and bands; Ephesians 4:16.

Rem. In Hebrews 12 it is sons who are disciplined.

J.T. If not "then are ye bastards, and not sons" (Hebrews 12:8); Paul, in writing the epistle to the Hebrews, would have the full thought before him. The salvation

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of God sent to the nations would involve all that. The house of God is viewed in its completeness, yet as increasing "to a holy temple in the Lord" (Ephesians 2:21); so it grows, and without the learning time, how would we come out then?

Ques. In Hezekiah's recovery do we get suggestions of the embrace of Jehovah through Isaiah, and in the boy, Eutychus; is he in the good of Paul's embrace?

J.T. Let us look at the boy; as it is said, "the father to the children shall make known thy truth". Eutychus begins to learn; from now on he is beginning to become a comfort to the brethren.

Ques. Is life the atmosphere in which the service of God proceeds?

J.T. Yes; so we have the place that John has in the service; the truth of life is his great theme. The exercise as to the service began fifty or sixty years ago, and it still goes on, bringing God into His service mediatorially, through Christ and the saints. Teaching is the great feature in John, linking with life; it begins with the two disciples of John that followed Jesus, and ends with Mary of Magdala; she is typical of the assembly.

Ques. Would "the third story" be typical of the height of Paul's ministry?

J.T. Well, we might question where the disciples were when they came down from the mount of Olives, and went up to the upper chamber, and the like movements carried forward into the Lord's supper; whether going up or coming down, we have to understand that Paul takes us up to heaven and John brings us down.

Ques. Would there be any significance in verse 5, in those who went on before and waited for Paul?

J.T. The Lord waited for him; the dispensation was not properly inaugurated before Paul came. He

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was an elect vessel, and the Lord's full thought did not come in till then.

Rem. I meant in verse 5 were they preparatory, as in the new covenant reference, and Paul's ministry comes in on top.

J.T. Just exactly that. These persons awaited him, there were seven of them; it would refer not only to the men personally, but to their local settings, but that they were in Paul's company at that time, and they awaited him, "And there accompanied him as far as Asia, Sopater son of Pyrrhus, a Berean; and of Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus, and Gaius and Timotheus of Derbe, and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus. These going before waited for us in Troas"; the 'us' would indicate Luke was there, and others like him. It means that the Lord waited for Paul, too; and so it is now we need to wait on the Lord ourselves.

Ques. Were all these seven Gentiles?

J.T. Yes; for we are really in Ephesians in this chapter; it is the great chapter of love.

Ques. In chapter 13: 13 we have the reference to "Paul and his company"; is it to make us characteristically of Paul's company?

J.T. Yes, but not on official lines; it would tend to be partisan to do that; it was on moral lines.

Rem. So we are all to be characterised by life in the service.

J.T. Yes, and all that precedes shows that. Believers were first called Christians at Antioch (Acts 11:26), the great formative work was going on in Acts 13 in that city, and the five servants mentioned there; then the fasting, then the Holy Spirit comes forward and says, "Separate me now Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them" then the saints let them go; so the full position of the conversion of the nations is on the way, together

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with the Jewish system, typically seen in Elymas, smitten with blindness.

Rem. It reaches its climax at Ephesus, in chapter 19, where the "seven sons of Sceva, Jewish high priest, who were doing this" fled out of the house "naked and wounded"; they would stand in contrast with these seven sons of Paul, in Acts 20.

J.T. Yes; just so.

Ques. Was Eutychus, falling asleep, not capable of singing like Hezekiah?

J.T. Well, what can you say? There was no lack of light in the upper chamber; young people come in, and one is glad for this, but how much do they take on in assembly service? He was evidently watching out of the window-opening. But now, as restored, he becomes a comfort to them, and divine things could be made known to him.

Ques. What would be meant by his life being in him?

J.T. We get the son of the woman in 1 Kings 17 where Elijah was maintained, and it helps to compare that boy with Eutychus. His soul had left him; an Old Testament way of putting it; but here Paul says "his life is in him", the heat of Paul's arms enfolding him could not bring it life was in him, back again; the element of life was in him.

Rem. So he is fully recovered, "they brought away the boy alive".

J.T. It reminds one of the instrument that the Lord had in Paul, of whom Peter says, "our beloved brother Paul", 2 Peter 3:15.

Ques. Was there something additional in the long speaking until daybreak?

J.T. Well, yes; it is for us to understand. "Paul descending fell upon him"; he did not fall like the boy, or like Satan. It is a heavenly idea.

Ques. Would Paul's thought be to open up the truth here?

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J.T. Yes, searching for it as hidden treasure, not in creeds and the like; it needs searching out.

Ques. Would this upper room be like the "large upper room" in Luke 22:12?

J.T. Yes, and in Acts 1, too.

Ques. Would we expect the boy to develop and grow?

J.T. Just that; it is what is potential.

Rem. It would be well worth while going down to get that.

J.T. Well, Paul knew that he would be the product of his resuscitating power, "they brought away the boy alive, and were no little comforted".

Ques. What is the significance of the sailing"away from Philippi" (verse 6)?

J.T. "These going before waited for us in Troas; but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and we came to them to Troas in five days, where we spent seven days". This is about the personnel at Troas, and what happened there.

Ques. The word in verse 7 is affecting, "Paul ... about to depart on the morrow".

J.T. Just so, it is a moving time, like Jacob going to Egypt to meet Joseph in Genesis 46; and so it is now to be on the move till the day breaks.

A.M. Are we reminded in the long speaking till daybreak of the Lord's word to Peter about John, "If I will that he abide until I come, what is that to thee Follow thou me", John 21:22?

J.T. Yes, it is conversational and the brethren are happy and not disgruntled; the long speaking would convey the thought of conversing over things mutually, the thought of communion.

A.H. So would "until daybreak"refer prophetically to the present period, with an ear to hear what the Spirit says?

J.T. Just so.

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F.S. Are we to be affected by Paul's action in embracing the boy?

J.T. Yes, it is like Luke 15, "covered him with kisses"; or kissing caressingly; it would be in perfect order there.

Ques. Would Paul's action indicate the need for teaching and practical care?

J.T. Yes, it suggests all the nursing of the sucklings, and the care; all that promotes life. It involves development of intelligence, too; Paul shows that the mind can be trained best; it is the surest faculty in dealing with the truth; but the affections are needed or we shall be hard. The feet are needed, too, and the hands, in good works; the whole man is required.

Ques. What is implied by, "they ... were no little comforted"?

J.T. We love the thought of development, of what is begun in him. The Lord, in Luke's gospel, is seen in full manhood, "Jesus himself was beginning to be about thirty years old"; after He was baptised, He was beginning His course. But even at twelve years old He was occupied in His Father's business; it is the perfect beauty of the Lord in every phase of life; He was lovable to heaven and to His mother, though she did not miss Him that day's journey.

Ques. Would certainty mark Paul's service as compared with the vagueness that often marks us?

J.T. These are great matters; I am impressed with that. The Lord would be telling us here how it is a question of life developing; so it enters into Luke's account of the Lord, in His beginnings, His size, so to speak, for they sought for Him, before they found Him, and His mother says, "Child", but He was beyond all their thoughts.

Ques. Would David in his youth in Psalm 132, and Josiah's youthful service while still in his teens, both be on this line?

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J.T. Very helpful; 'in his teens', but Josiah's affections were right.

Rem. So heaven speaks approvingly of his youth.

J.T. Yes.

Ques. Would the reference in Mark 5:41, to the child raised by the hand, be similar?

J.T. That is a simple case in point, "And having laid hold of the hand of the child, he says to her, Talitha koumi, which is interpreted, Damsel, I say to thee, Arise". Before that we must read verse 39, "And entering in he says to them, Why do ye make a tumult and weep? the child has not died, but sleeps". It is like what Paul says, "his life is in him"; in Mark it says, "And they derided him", but what the Lord said was the truth; so He adds the words, "Talitha koumi, which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say to thee, Arise"; it was like Paul's service to Eutychus; so it adds, "And immediately the damsel arose and walked, for she was twelve years old". And finally, "he desired that something should be given her to eat". The sustaining of life raises the question as to whether parents know what to give their children.

Rem. Hence the statement in 3 John 4, "I have no greater joy than these things that I hear of my children walking in the truth".

Ques. Why does it say"he desired that something should be given her to eat"?

J.T. The Lord's servants are to help; all our readings are to serve a good bowl of milk. The Lord would place the responsibility on all.

Ques. Would we look for a listening ear like Lydia's?

J.T. Yes, very good.

Ques. Is it in your mind in the beginning of this meeting that we lack in understanding the Pauline setting of the Supper; we are really asleep?

J.T. Yes; very good.

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Ques. Some of us, you mean, go back to the gospels; we should go to Paul, and wait for Paul?

J.T. Yes, Lydia's heart was opened by the Lord, and all ended for her in the things that Paul said, which is what I said at the beginning. All that Paul said was pure gold as to the Supper. The mention of the memorial in connection with the cup only occurs there, as given by Paul.

Ques. Would the discernment of the Lord as to the damsel, that she had not died, but slept, be like Paul and Eutychus, "his life is in him"?

J.T. Very good, and so as children come up for their places in the fellowship, there is not only what they say to their parents, but what do they know of reproach at school?

Ques. Why were there seven in Paul's company, and yet Luke was clearly with Paul all the way (verses 4, 5)?

J.T. Luke's presence is referred to in verse 5, they "waited for us at Troas".

Rem. So Luke was a fellow-traveller with Paul.

Rem. They really travelled with the Lord; the ways are opening up for travelling with Paul and his company now.

J.T. Yes; these seven accompanying him show the great place that Paul was acquiring on moral grounds. "Paul and his company" are mentioned first as having been sent forth from Antioch in chapter 13: 13, but he is now advancing on moral lines; he is becoming more influential with the brethren.

Ques. Does his expression in Ephesians 3:5, "To me, less than the least of all saints" indicate that he was always on moral lines?

J.T. It shows how far he had gone down.

Rem. The Philippians were to be in the gain of it, the going down line.

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Rem. "They brought away the boy alive"; they took possession of him for the inheritance.

J.T. Just so; he is not mentioned again, but we can be sure he will be mentioned in heaven.

Rem. Verse 37 speaks of them all "falling upon the neck of Paul", and of ardently kissing him; they would be on moral lines, too.

J.T. Yes; it is the love chapter of the book; the epistle to the Ephesians fits into it. If conditions are living we can go all the way in the service from glory to glory; the bride and the place she occupies in the service; and then the sons of God.

Rem. The measurement of the worshippers in Revelation 11:1 would be on moral lines.

J.T. "And there was given to me a reed like a staff, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship in it. And the court which is without the temple cast out, and measure it not". The court is left out; it is defiled.

Ques. What would be implied in the measurements of the worshippers?

J.T. Just to show what the service of God is; the worshippers are bound to be taken account of; and then the altar, and the temple; and the court not to be measured. The mere profession is to be left out. The temple is according to 1 Corinthians, and those who worship in it by the Spirit of God. They are the ones that heaven is occupied with now.

Rem. "No little comforted" is like "The living, the living, he shall praise thee", in Isaiah 38.

J.T. It is a great word; it is like 2 Corinthians 1:3, the "God of all encouragement".

Ques. Must you not have comfort of mind and heart for the working out of the mystery according to Colossians?

J.T. Just so.

Ques. Are we always to recognise divine order?

J.T. You can work out the place it holds in the

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Revelation, and transfer it into the Pauline epistles. There it is the beginning of things in Christianity.

Ques. Would Ephesians 5:19 be like this, "speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and chanting with your heart to the Lord"; it would be the spiritual order in the service first; then "giving thanks at all times for all things to him who is God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" would bring in order in our approach at all times, too?

J.T. Good; it is placed there as to genuine Christian experience; but what you say is good.

Ques. The seven sons of Paul here coming to light would be over against the seven sons of Sceva who fled naked, and would this have in mind the public vindication in glory soon of the Pauline assembly?

J.T. We all should study what is said by Paul as to the assembly. He says, "I fill up that which is behind of the tribulations of Christ in my flesh, for his body, which is the assembly" (Colossians 1:24); Paul is not in the foundations; in Revelation 21 he is really in the centre of the holy city.

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Psalm 87

J.T. It will be understood that whatever is said as to this Psalm will have the New Testament in mind. This implies that Zion is a principle or system, and therefore becomes a standard for other items in the divine realm, so that the habitations of Jacob are to be thought of in that way. If it is a meeting night, we might think that we should get on as well at home, in the habitations of Jacob; but the meetings imply Zion, and our own houses are not that.

Ques. Would the mention of Zion in Romans 11:26 and in Hebrews 12:22 be linked with the assembly?

J.T. Yes, I was thinking of that, for the level is higher there than in the habitations of Jacob however surrounded one may be with books and ministry, or with friendly intercourse, Zion is on a higher level. "Glorious things are spoken of thee", things are thus brought down to the city. We are said to "have come to mount Zion; and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; and to myriads of angels, the universal gathering; and to the assembly of the firstborn who are registered in heaven; and to God, judge of all; and to the spirits of just men made perfect; and to Jesus, mediator of a new covenant; and to the blood of sprinkling, speaking better than Abel". So that the 'ands' mark out the subjects in the passage; it all opens out into the city, the "heavenly Jerusalem"; it is an ascending elevation.

Ques. Is the sovereignty of mercy in Zion in view in Psalm 78:67, 68, "And he rejected the tent of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim, but

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chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which lie loved"?

J.T. 'Rejection' by comparison implies the difference between one's own house, and what is in the mind of God in Christianity, a very wide area.

Rem. So verse 69 says, "And he built his sanctuary like the heights".

Ques. Is there a contrast implied between piety and spirituality?

J.T. Piety is connected with one's own house, and Zion is on a higher level, and hence the use that can be made of it, how wide the area is! In the references to Rahab and Philistia, and to the one born in Zion, and then to the counting, bringing in a special one, "Jehovah will count, when he inscribeth the peoples, This man was born there", the brethren will have in their minds that this psalm will lead us to Christ, and that He should be distinguished.

Rem. "This man was born there" in verse 4, would that be productive of all the great nations and work out in the man of sin, but the travail of the saints, in Christ as brought forth?

J.T. The centre of all the counting is Christ.

Rem. In 2 Samuel 5:7, 10, Zion is connected with David becoming continually greater.

J.T. I was thinking of that, and also where does the counting begin there?

Rem. "But David took the stronghold of Zion, which is the city of David. And David said on that day, Whoever smites the Jebusites and gets up to the watercourse, and the lame and the blind hated of David's soul ... ! Therefore they say, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house. So David dwelt in the stronghold, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from the Millo and inward. And David became continually greater; and Jehovah the God of hosts was with him". It was all counted in relation to Christ.

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J.T. Hence we have the remarkable counting in Revelation 14:1 of the one hundred and forty-four thousand, "standing upon mount Zion". And there is the description of them, their virgin character.

Rem. Here in the psalm it is individual, "This one and that one".

J.T. And the one counted in verse 6, "This man was born there", seems to be special; "this one and that one" is mutual, perhaps; but when Jehovah counts, we come to the centre of all the counting. The One Who is the centre of all counting is Christ, and in relation to Him we get the "great crowd, which no one could number ... before the Lamb" (Revelation 7:9), one great result. The tribes spoken of in verses 4 - 8 must be the centre of all in connection with Christ. In Revelation 14, the hundred and forty-four thousand "follow the Lamb wheresoever it goes" (verse 4); a lead is given to them.

Rem. They sing a new song in Revelation 14, and there are singers in Psalm 87:7. They learn the song in Revelation.

J.T. There is a very near link with the heavenly and the earthly in view of the millennial day. They are with the Lamb on mount Zion, in the divine realm. We have graded glories in the divine realm.

Ques. We are to be affected by these thoughts in relation to the coming meetings?

J.T. There are others later that we are looking for.

Rem. It says in Psalm 50:2, "Out of Zion ... God hath shined forth".

J.T. Just so.

Rem. We should be like the sons of Korah, subjects of sovereign mercy.

J.T. Yes; the sovereignty of mercy! We are apt to be democratic, that is the clay mixed with the iron. We must learn what the divine realm is; all must centre in Christ.

Ques. In verse 5 of the psalm we have "This one

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and that one was born in her"; would that mean the sovereign work of God? But "This man was born there" in verses 4 and 6 is different.

J.T. The idea of quality enters into our present position. The assembly is nearest to Deity in the whole realm. What is sovereign is seen in the assembly.

Ques. Is that confirmed in Psalm 48:2, "Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King"; it would bring us to that thought, the nearest to Deity? The first verse of Psalm 87 would confirm this, "His foundation is in the mountains of holiness".

J.T. Yes; it is a question of the quality of what He has founded in it, that is, the earth. So it says (Psalm 48:8), "the city of our God: God doth establish it for ever". We must be ready for quality, and that would develop in the assembly.

Ques. Would the overcomers of Hebrews 11, especially verse 32, "Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jephthah, and David and Samuel, and of the prophets", be like "this one and that one" here?

J.T. That all fits in with what we are saying.

Rem. So Romans 16 fits in, with the worthies of Hebrews 11, into this psalm.

J.T. The quality in Romans 16 is very evident; there are over twenty of the names there, I think. It shows what there may be.

Rem. Over against the thought of mass-production.

J.T. Very good. The world system brings in machinery instead of men.

Rem. "That we may present every man perfect in Christ" (Colossians 1:28) would apply.

J.T. Yes, over against mass-production, as our brother said.

Rem. So it emphasises each individual person.

J.T. Quite; so that every one in Acts 1 is named;

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"the crowd of names who were together was about a hundred and twenty"; none were viewed there promiscuously; they would all shine because of the quality that was there.

Ques. Would the census of Luke 2:1 contrast with the quality in Mary and Elizabeth, Simeon and Anna?

J.T. How quickly heaven is brought into that, for the angel was there by the shepherds, "and the glory of the Lord shone around them"; they were there looking after their sheep, and if we do that we shall find those who have quality. There we have the "multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good pleasure in men"; in Luke 19:38 the good pleasure is really in heaven, not in men on earth. So that we come to the pleasure that heaven has in these reckonings.

Ques. Is quality seen in the flock?

J.T. Yes.

Rem. "He calls his own sheep by name", John 10:3.

J.T. Very good.

Ques. "O city of God"; what does that mean?

J.T. It is a reference by itself. Those that speak of these things, the prophets, are known; and "I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon among them that know me". Also we have what the four monarchies will develop into; it is antichrist; the "city of God", however, is a system, over against human politics.

Rem. The saints' holy intercourse and conversation over the glories of this city of God is set off against the terrible things prevailing in the world.

J.T. Yes; "our commonwealth has its existence in the heavens", as Paul says; Philippians 3:20. What we are to be conformed to, "into conformity to his body of glory", a marvellous thought; as we are to be

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conformed to that, all thought of this world's politics goes.

Ques. Is Paul a model of the highest quality? Is the testimony to be graced with such, perhaps set out in one and another?

J.T. So we have Paul saying, "Stretching out to the things before, I pursue, looking towards the goal, for the prize of the calling on high of God in Christ Jesus", Philippians 3:13, 14.

Rem. Yes, I was thinking of Paul and others as "those walking thus as you have us for a model", Philippians 3:17.

J.T. It suggests what we get in Ephesians 3:3, that at least there is one person who knows. He sets himself out in a parenthetic way; so Ephesians 3 is full knowledge. The Ephesians were to understand that no one was equal to him, on earth or in heaven, except divine Persons Themselves. He sets forth in himself the zeal and energy we should have for what is attainable at the present time. It leads us to the acme of things in the divine realm; "whereto we have attained, let us walk in the same steps" (Philippians 3:16); the standard is very, very high.

Ques. Is there progress seen in the references in the Psalm to the foundation, then to the gates, and so on, all reaching a climax at the end in the springs?

J.T. Very good; "All my springs are in thee"; it is a principle of importance set out in the psalm; it is what we "have come to", and is by divine education. We have it through the Lord personally in Luke. He sent out the seventy in chapter 10, and afterwards they "returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us through thy name. And he said to them, I beheld Satan as lightning falling out of heaven". But, He says to them, "rejoice that your names are written in the heavens" (verses 17 - 20). It is quality really, and is an allusion to the Levites; it is "the assembly of the firstborn

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who are registered in heaven" (Hebrews 12:23); it is a plural word, involving "firstborn ones". The assembly has the unique place in the whole realm in quality and dignity.

Ques. Would "All my springs are in thee" involve having the spirit of praise as one contemplates what there is?

J.T. One often feels oneself so poor in the matter of 'springs'; it is an automatic thought, springing and liberty, like Paul and Silas at Philippi, the spring was there in spite of the pressure.

Ques. Is not Luke 15 full of heavenly springs? It ends with "music and dancing".

J.T. Yes; it is the divine agility running to meet the prodigal, and then there is the caressing; there is no fatigue from the running!

Ques. Would "All my springs are in thee" be referred to by Paul in "our mother"

J.T. You mean "Jerusalem above is free, which is our mother", Galatians 4:26. The dignity is given by the Father, but the inward quality of spring is in the mother.

Rem. You mean in the assembly.

J.T. Yes; the reference was to Galatians 4, and to Sarah and Hagar; and the apostle links the matter on to "Jerusalem above ... our mother", and the energy of spring is like Achsah, and like Rebecca springing off the camel when she saw Isaac; so that we are brought into the realm of springing in the mother; that is Galatians.

Ques. Would they correspond with the wave-offerings and the heave-offerings?

J.T. The one is horizontal, and the other is vertical.

Ques. Are these things marked by what is festive?

J.T. Yes; "Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God"; not military expressions, nor mass production, but what is inward.

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Rem. It is spiritual emotions like Psalm 102:14, "thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour her dust".

J.T. Yes.

Ques. Does all this involve the masculine side?

J.T. Yes; "having marked us out beforehand for adoption" (that is, sonship) "through Jesus Christ to himself", Ephesians 1:5.

Ques. Does verse 4 of the psalm suggest the nations coming into blessing?

J.T. I would think not. What we have said shows they were going in the opposite direction, "I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon among them that know me; behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia: this man was born there". These do not show heavenly qualities. They are like Russia in Ezekiel 38, "I am against thee, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal", who are over against "the land of unwalled villages" (Ezekiel 38:3, 11), where God will work. This is an Egyptian idea, and a Babylonish idea, and shows that there will be a great combination of nations in the last days, over against what He is doing today.

Rem. These are rivals to the glorious city.

J.T. Just so.

Ques. Would the name of the "Most High" be for distinction?

J.T. Yes, it is a millennial thought.

Rem. So we are elevated into our own society!

J.T. Very good indeed. We are brought back to what we started with: Christians, in a town, with Bibles in our hands.

Ques. Would we particularly appreciate the sovereignty of mercy?

J.T. Yes, indeed. For why should I be here?

Rem. It is like the sons of Korah.

J.T. Yes, as noted in the authorship of this psalm.

Ques. Is the "all-various wisdom of God" made

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known now in this way; Ephesians 3:10? "Through the assembly" suggests individual quality.

J.T. Very good. It is the "all-various wisdom of God"; what He used at the outset; wisdom was there then, and is now seen in the assembly.

Ques. Would it be connected with Joseph's "Vest of many colours", Genesis 37:3?

J.T. Very good.

Ques. Why does it say, "Jehovah loveth the gates of Zion"?

J.T. It is the superiority of it; "all the habitations of Jacob" points to ease and to looking after the children; but Zion is still current, and we are to be concerned that our names are there.

Ques. Where would our springs be?

J.T. We may think they are in Christ. Well, but they are in the assembly, too. What a realm we are in! We come to potentiality later; where the possibilities are; and where the pleasures are; and where our spirits are.

Ques. Would that be our native air?

J.T. Yes.

Rem. The longer we go on, the more we love Zion.

Ques. Does the epistle to the Hebrews indicate how God loves Zion?

J.T. The Lord makes His own selection, as in the Revelation, and Paul is the same as to the Hebrews; how he hangs his thoughts on certain points; the sayings of the saints are used to hang his thoughts of Christ on, as in chapter 1; and then it is called 'The book of the opened heavens'; it has in view the Christian Jews at the beginning of this dispensation.

Rem. "Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling", Hebrews 3:1.

J.T. Yes.

Ques. "The gates of Zion" would stress the thought of the activities of sovereign mercy?

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J.T. Yes, over against Ephesians 1, where love is seen at home; but in chapter 2 love is seen in the realm of opposition, yet acting for us there.

Ques. Do 'gates' involve accessibility?

J.T. Hence the word to the persons "that wash their robes, that they may have right to the tree of life, and that they should go in by the gates into the city", Revelation 22:14. In chapter 21 we have twelve angels at the gates, and "names inscribed, which are those of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel" (verse 12). It is a matter of what the angels are, and the sons of Israel are.

Rem. "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise", Psalm 100:4. The gates are connected with the service of God.

J.T. So also we have in Psalm 24:7, "Lift up your heads, ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in".

Rem. It is a city that is not devoted to what is militant, but given over to music and dancing, and what is festal.

J.T. Yes; so that "He that dwelleth in the heavens shall laugh", Psalm 2:4. In Ezekiel 38 you have the lawless volumes of armies coming from "the uttermost north" (verse 6); but they and their armaments are burnt and destroyed; God does not give His people any defenders, He Himself is their defence.

Rem. So "God is known in her palaces as a high fortress", Psalm 48:3.

J.T. It is just that. In our little meetings (though they are a good few!) someone comes in and "falling upon his face, he will do homage to God, reporting that God is indeed amongst you", 1 Corinthians 14:25. There is moral greatness on those lines.

Rem. It says, "the secrets of his heart are manifested".

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J.T. God can reveal the state of a man like that; the man finds out that God is there.

Ques. Does sovereign mercy underlie the purpose of God?

J.T. Well, it is no matter of chance. Each one has an appointed place.

Rem. In John 17:12 the Lord says, "not one of them has perished, but the son of perdition", that is Judas.

J.T. The Lord says in John 10:3,"he calls his own sheep by name"; all are counted, in that sense.

Ques. Do we enjoy it more as we see that we are all five hundred pence debtors?

J.T. Yes. You are referring to Luke 7. So we also get the account of the centurion who loved his servant in that chapter.

Rem. All the sons of Korah would feel that they were that.

J.T. So the titles to the Psalms show that they are not just put there by the translators.

Rem. This Psalm begins in setting forth what God is in His nature.

J.T. Hence in 2 Timothy 2:19 we have "the firm foundation of God stands", and here, "His foundation is in the mountains of holiness" (verse 1).

Rem. There is much that is 'spoken' or 'said' in the Psalm. So in verse 3, "Glorious things are spoken of thee"; in verse 4, "I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon among them that know me"; and in verse 5, "And of Zion it shall be said". It is all the conversational side, and issues in praise.

J.T. Just so; it is not the Athenian side, where they "spent their time in nothing else than to tell and to hear the news" (Acts 17:21); it is holy conversation, as John says (2 John 12), "to speak mouth to mouth", that is, not at a distance.

Ques. Do the 'gates' refer to the deliberations of the saints?

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J.T. You are thinking of Ruth 4, where Boaz goes up to the gate, and calls on the elders to sit there.

Ques. Is there a touch of mercy at the end of 2 Timothy 2, "in meekness setting right those who oppose" (verse 25)?

J.T. Mercy is part of the city's administration; it is being like God.

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Hebrews 12:22 - 24

J.T. The writer of this epistle speaks of much that was intended to encourage the Hebrew Christians of the time in which it was written, and it is thought that this section will furnish much to show how those Christians were taken account of and provided for, pointing out to them what they had come to; not in the sense of their being carried, as Jehovah said earlier, that He had borne them on eagles' wings and brought them to Himself, but in the sense of coming to the things in their minds and in their affections. Perhaps but few in that day would understand the things mentioned, but they are spoken of abstractly, as indeed much truth has to be spoken of today. Things are spoken of abstractly, but nevertheless they exist, and they are enumerated briefly in the verses read, spoken of as over against what Israel came to in the wilderness of Sinai. "Ye have come", it says (verse 22), "to mount Zion; and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; and to myriads of angels, the universal gathering; and to the assembly of the firstborn who are registered in heaven; and to God, judge of all; and to the spirits of just men made perfect; and to Jesus, mediator of a new covenant; and to the blood of sprinkling, speaking better than Abel". The mind may enquire why the next verse should be found immediately, "See that ye refuse not him that speaks. For if those did not escape who had refused him who uttered the oracles on earth, much more we who turn away from him who does so from heaven: whose voice then shook the earth; but now he has promised, saying, Yet once will I shake not only the earth, but also the heaven. But this Yet once, signifies the

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removing of what is shaken, as being made, that what is not shaken may remain". Clearly the saints were on shallow ground in their souls, although they had plenty to speak of mentally, otherwise it would not be needed to warn them as to the impending judgment of God. Another thing is that the Spirit does not speak of Himself in these verses, He speaks of things; then He comes to persons, and God Himself, and Jesus, but He opens with the thought of things to which they had come, indicating that, as in the beginning of Acts, a system of things was in mind. We have the suggestion here in verse 22, mount Zion, and then the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and then myriads of angels, the universal gathering. So that what we have here corresponds in a sense with the system we are in, that is to say, Christianity; it is a system of things, and not a 'one-man' matter, save that it is Christ's matter, and it is God's matter, and the Spirit's matter, but it never can be a 'one-man' matter in the sense of creatures. It is a question of the Holy Spirit, according to the Acts, the blessed Spirit having come in, into the system. It would be a question of what the Spirit would effect in it, a wide thought, so that those of us who are in it, are in it in view of all that it involves, with great opportunities. So that what is there is opened up to us; and what we may be in it, the Spirit will make us, He will do all possible, but it is a question of what we may be in it, not what others can make us, what we are ourselves. I am only making these few remarks to indicate what is in mind. There are many here who can help us, and it is a time for helping, and mutual feeling, too.

Rem. In view of what you are saying, it is "ye are come" -- a present thing.

J.T. A very good remark.

Ques. In what way have we come to mount Zion?

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J.T. Well, it refers to a principle, not to a person.

C.R.W. I was wondering if you could open out a little as to what the scope of mount Zion is.

J.T. That is a big order, but we can get some little idea. "Jehovah loveth the gates of Zion, more than all the habitations of Jacob"; we have already alluded to that, and the writer here clearly intends that those to whom he wrote should understand. They were Hebrew Christians, and it was a well-known thought in the Old Testament, beginning with David, opening up great thoughts, and constantly alluded to in the Psalms and the prophets, and so it is now transferred into Christianity.

C.R.W. Does mount Zion more or less cover the three items following it in the passage?

J.T. Just so; there is something in that, but mount Zion is taken by itself. The punctuation would show that mount Zion is the first item, and then the second item is the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; the third item is myriads of angels, the universal gathering, and then following on that the assembly of the firstborn, who are registered in heaven; and then God; and then the spirits of just men made perfect; and then Jesus, and the blood of sprinkling. I think what is alluded to here refers to Christianity. The language is somewhat Jewish, really, yet the terms refer now to Christianity, but in view of the millennium it will have its place, too, according to what it used to be in great measure, but in Christianity all has its own setting, the terms have to be understood in the light of Christianity. We are dealing with Christianity, and Paul, the writer, is speaking to those whom he has addressed as Christians; he is endeavouring to bring them in their spirits and minds into Christianity, to deliver them from Judaism. But the book of Revelation shows that it will come up again; we read of the Lamb, and a hundred and forty-four

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thousand being with Him on mount Zion, and that they should follow Him wherever He goes, showing that it would be a millennial situation, which we are now almost looking for; we are the heavenly side of it, but still, we are looking for it, we are to have part in it, "the world to come, whereof we speak".

J.S.E. Is that why in Revelation 14 the name of His Father is referred to as in the foreheads of that number, to which you have drawn our attention, as showing that love enters in the fullest possible way into the thought of mount Zion? It says, "having his name and the name of his Father written upon their foreheads". Does not mount Zion appear as the mountain which God Himself chose because He loved it? Would these saints have their minds turned back on that principle, that they had come to something which is marked off as being peculiarly loved by God?

J.T. Well, quite so; so long as you restrict it to its Old Testament and apocalyptic settings, but not the Christian setting.

Ques. Does the fact that the writer says, "ye have come" credit the saints with having left Judaism?

J.T. I think abstractly that is the idea, and that is the force of the abstract, in using terms that are not really understood or laid hold of, and yet have application, as, for instance, in 1 Corinthians 5, "Purge out the old leaven", it says, "according as ye are unleavened", that is, abstractly we are unleavened as being Christians and having the Holy Spirit. It is a question of understanding what in itself may be abstract and what application it may have to us.

Ques. Are you suggesting that mount Zion has a spiritual significance more particularly?

J.T. Yes, exactly. These terms are brought into Christianity; the writer is, so to say, giving them a

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Christian significance as he does many other things, such as "the new covenant".

E.A.K. Is there the thought of moral elevation connected with this in the light of the word in the Psalm, "beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion"?

J.T. Yes. You are stressing elevation.

S.McC. You seem to be guarding the bringing in of the Old Testament setting and the setting in the Apocalypse. Have you in mind that in Christianity there is a distinctive setting?

J.T. Yes, what I would call Pauline. Although Paul was writing this epistle undoubtedly, he is aiming at bringing Jewish Christians into Christianity fully. He had to do with it, because it was through him and Barnabas that the thought was brought in. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. Paul had to do with that; he and Barnabas had been labouring at Antioch for a year, so that Christianity had become a real thing; it was not something simply that had come out of Judaism, but it had its own entity, its own character, and that is the position of it today.

L.P.M. Is that why the two references to what is heavenly enter into this? The heavenly note makes it distinctive, it is "heavenly Jerusalem" and those "who are registered in heaven", heaven having a peculiar part in the matter.

J.T. I suppose it is the highest elevation you can get, short of an uncreated condition. The Son of God Himself enters into an uncreated condition; He goes beyond all the heavens; we cannot measure that at all, and to make that simply heaven will not do, either; it is too much for that. So that the word 'heavenly' here refers to what in itself is Christian. The Galatian epistle says Jerusalem above is our mother, but she is said to be "above" there, not 'heavenly', although it is the same Jerusalem, but

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it is "Jerusalem above", but here it is "heavenly Jerusalem", so as to lead the Jewish Christians into the idea of Christianity; their idea of Jerusalem is being transferred to Christianity, to the assembly; the assembly is the heavenly Jerusalem, as the result will prove.

Rem. Does Mount Sinai refer to a demand made upon the people which they could not fulfil, but now God has reached this point in Zion which is the place of His own sovereign choice and provision, and we have come to that?

J.T. Quite so; if you keep in your mind that you are talking about Christianity, and the Spirit of God here, because Paul is aiming at that, only he is gradually coming to it, presently he will be writing the epistle to the Ephesians.

Rem. So it is the system that is operating here; although it has a heavenly character, it is here, is it?

J.T. Just so; it has a heavenly character. It had an earthly character with them, that is, Jewish believers of old; it was on earth, but now the idea has been transferred to heaven, and presently we will have an epistle to the Ephesians, in its full sense, "blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ".

S.McC. Might I ask why the Spirit is not formally alluded to here? God and Jesus are referred to, but not the Spirit.

J.T. It is, I think, somewhat like the epistle to the Colossians. What He effects is in mind; that is to say, the writer here is endeavouring to lead the Jewish believers into spiritual tangibleness instead of earthly tangibleness, to understand what mount Zion meant, and other such things that they were accustomed to, to lead them into the thing spiritually, using the same names but presently he may use some other names, if needed.

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Rem. So that the whole system involves the substantial work of the Spirit in the saints?

J.T. I would think so. As much as to say, if Peter or John were present when this epistle was read, someone would say, 'Well, what does he mean by these terms?' Peter and John could tell them; they would undoubtedly allude to Pentecost, and what followed subsequently in the Acts. Peter himself alludes to certain things that Paul had said that were hard to be understood; but he did not say that of himself, he could explain, I am sure, any of Paul's letters himself, and we have got to come to Paul, that is the idea. Peter would convey that to the hearers, you have got to come to Paul. His letters are Scripture, he would say, you have to come to it. Of course, Peter's letters are Scripture, too, but they were more Jewish, they were for the circumcision.

L.P.M. Would you say that this thought of the divine system is peculiar to Paul as unfolding it?

J.T. He is the one who had the thing. No doubt you could tell us the things that are said to be his peculiar administration.

L.P.M. I was thinking as to the necessity of our laying hold of this thought of a divine system established here. Is that vital in regard to the truth?

J.T. I think it would be vital, more clearly so as soon as we come to see what the administrations were that Paul had under him. Peter had his own, too; he had an administration, the keys of the kingdom of the heavens were given to him. I would just remark on one or two things that are clear in Colossians. Paul, writing to the Colossians, says, in Colossians 1:23, "and not moved away from the hope of the glad tidings, which ye have heard, which have been proclaimed in the whole creation which is under heaven, of which I Paul became minister". That is one administrative sphere under him. Then he goes on, "Now, I rejoice in sufferings for you, and I fill

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up that which is behind of the tribulations of Christ in my flesh, for his body, which is the assembly; of which I became minister", that is another, "according to the dispensation of God which is given me towards you to complete the word of God", that is another thing. That great matter is under his hand, and if we read it all, the thing will become clearer, "the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but has now been made manifest to his saints; to whom God would make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the nations, which is Christ in you the hope of glory"; that is another thing, "Christ in you the hope of glory: whom we announce, admonishing every man, and teaching every man, in all wisdom, to the end that we may present every man perfect in Christ. Whereunto also I toil, combating according to his working, which works in me in power". Well, if Peter were to be asked about these headings in our chapter, from Paul's letter, undoubtedly he would unfold something of the things that were under Paul's hand, his special administrative area or areas, so that the Jewish Christians should come into Christianity, and Peter probably might say to them, Why do you not come right over, all the way, into Christianity, because Paul, Barnabas and I had to do with it? Paul would say, Barnabas and I had to do with it, and after our ministry in Antioch the believers were first called Christians. The word 'called' there has a significance beyond the ordinary word, meaning it is a word that is to stand in all time, in view of the dispensation proceeding.

P.L. Peter makes it very engaging, he says, "our beloved brother Paul", suggesting, I suppose, what possibilities there were in that realm of love as against the straitened and legal and lifeless condition.

J.T. If then we suppose that Paul himself came in, and Peter and John were conversing, and several

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others of the apostles, how quickly the whole matter would be illuminated, the people would begin to see that there was a new dispensation, and all the other dispensations entered into it.

H.W. Had you in mind that the Hebrews apprehending these various features, would be helped to enter into the truth that comes out in the second chapter of this epistle, the thought of the One who was bringing many sons to glory, and the Sanctifier and sanctified all of one ? Would this be a necessary foundation in their souls?

J.T. Very good. In the first chapter it is really a question of unfolding the glory of Christ personally. God had spoken by the prophets, and now He has spoken in Son, and then the writer proceeds to unfold the glories of Christ, but they are largely taken from the Psalms, that is to say, from sayings of the Old Testament saints. God is honouring the saints to bring out the glories of Christ through their sayings, and then Christianity is brought in in chapter 2, where it is said that "He that sanctifies and those sanctified are all of one". The word 'sanctification' was well known in Israel, but now it is to be known in Christianity. It is a fine word in Christianity. "He that sanctifies and those sanctified are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren", that is one of the loftiest truths that we can get in Christianity, and it is mentioned in this letter to the Hebrew Christians, so as to make them Christians in the true sense of the word.

H.W. So that they would come into the gain of the thought of brethren, and of sons, in the truth of the assembly?

J.T. Quite so; the word 'brethren' was known in the Old Testament, but now it is acquiring a new glory in these phrases in Hebrews 2.

Ques. Are these things in Hebrews 12 what is

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referred to in chapter 6, the things that belong to full growth?

J.T. I would say that, the things that belong to full growth. He had already dealt largely with them under other terms, in chapters 2, 3 and 4, when he works out the great priestly thoughts, and chapters 5 and 6, and so forth, but they are brought under these heads in this chapter so as to simplify them and make them concise, I would say.

S.McC. Do you mean that we have in these expressions, mount Zion, and the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem, a compression of the teaching of all that has gone before in the epistle?

J.T. I would think so; that is Paul's ministry. I have no doubt that the whole of Paul's ministry could be worked into the epistle to the Hebrews, not perhaps the full sense of the epistle to the Ephesians but in some sense.

L.P.M. Had you in mind that we must understand the principle of Paul's ministry in order to understand the system that exists?

J.T. Just so; and especially I would use the word 'principle'. Taking the principle involved in mount Zion which would be unfolded in the earlier epistles, it would be a question of sovereignty, the sovereign mercy of God, because what is in mind now is to bring out Christianity, not to enlarge simply on what is in the Old Testament; using it, of course, but to bring out Christianity in its own proper distinction, its own terminology, too, to establish the terminology that is proper to it.

H.W. These statements would stimulate enquiry as to what they involve, what is the thought behind them?

J.T. What a fine opening up there would be, if we took it up in that way. Now in the early days of the present revival they had meetings in Dublin on

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prophecy. They kept on looking into prophecy, and ultimately the prophetic map was worked out, and it became intelligible, and the prophetic map becomes intelligible in working out Christianity; Paul's journeyings and his ministry enter into those inquiries. These are all feasible and easily worked out if we are subject, the Spirit of God ready to help us in it, so that we might be really Christians.

H.W. I should like to ask whether this statement ye are come might be illustrated by some of us from the Antipodes saying, We have come to London, although we may not know yet very much about it. Is that the position?

J.T. Very good. Most of us know a little about it. It is better worked out in an illustrative way, as applied to the American Commonwealth, where you have no monarchy, but you have great stress laid on law and principles; what is called the Constitution of the United States. If a person, a European -- as millions did during the past fifty years -- goes to America, well, in the schools they are told that the American Constitution is the greatest there is, and the best there is, and so forth, and then you would be told something about the Congress and about the President and so forth, one could enumerate many things, but what has just been said is enough to show that the word 'Zion' is really a principle; the American system is involved in the Constitution, and so it is with the heavenly system, that we have come into out of all the nations, through the gospel. We can take up the constitution of Christianity, for really it means what the assembly is, because the assembly is the centralisation of everything in our system; everything is centred there.

Ques. Would mount Zion be a kind of overall thought, covering the whole constitutional matter and then the various items specified to be there?

J.T. Well, quite so; the word 'overall' is good, I

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would say; and then the working of the thing out in detail under certain terms, intelligible terms.

E.S.H. Is the principle of mount Zion in Romans 9, "I have loved Jacob" and "the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he had before prepared for glory"?

J.T. Quite so; for the Christian apostles were all Jews, the twelve apostles were all Jews, brought out of Judaism, but brought under the tuition of Christ. The Lord Jesus had Christianity in mind when He taught them, when He brought them up. They were wonderfully instructed, and they would understand the terms, the Old Testament terms, and hence were readily employed by the Spirit of God in dealing with New Testament things. So that the saints, after the Lord Jesus went up, went to the temple, and in the temple they were "praising and blessing God", where they would use the Old Testament terms, but the Spirit of God allowed that, and gradually worked the thing out into Christian terms, heavenly terms.

Rem. So that you get the apex of everything in this dispensation in Paul?

J.T. That is what I would say. That is a good way of putting it.

Ques. Why does this come at the end of the epistle and not at the beginning?

J.T. I think because it is so concise, because the earlier part of the epistle will help you to open up these terms.

Rem. When Ruth came to Bethlehem she knew little about it, but she really had come to God, "Under whose wings thou art come to trust".

J.T. Quite so. She became an apt learner, too.

Ques. Would the service of the Father in the chapter help us to enter into the thoughts that you expressed, the thought of discipline being used in connection with speaking?

J.T. Enoch would be a model for all learners in

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the antediluvian times. The ends of the dispensations have come on us, and we ought to take up these dispensations and see what they mean, and I would say that Enoch is the one for the antediluvian dispensation. And then we come down to Abraham, Moses, Joshua, and to David and the prophets, so that we get the ideas in each of the dispensations; they will be opened up to us, and we become familiar with them by the terms, because all tend toward our own dispensation, it is the end of everything for learning. So that Enoch was the seventh from Adam, that is he would know everything, so to say, from Adam down to himself.

P.L. All the rivers run into the sea yet the sea is not full, is that it?

J.T. Quite so.

C.R.W. Would you say that the thought of "the living God" is one that goes through all dispensations?

J.T. That is good, because that is what we get here immediately, "the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem". Heavenly Jerusalem is just an expansion of the thought of the "city of the living God" because it carries forward into Christianity; then as you see in the book of Revelation, heavenly Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven "as a bride adorned for her husband". So it is the assembly, and therefore we move on from "the living God", which is a term well known in the Old Testament, but now it is applied, it is linked on to heaven, to a heavenly Jerusalem, a new thought altogether, a spiritual Jerusalem, a heavenly thing. And then the next thing is the myriads of angels, the universal gathering, which would refer, I suppose, to those whom God in His operational workings would employ, we have come to that, "myriads of angels", an immense thought, and then "the assembly of the firstborn who are registered in heaven".

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Ques. Do you get an impression of the universality of the system in the items mentioned?

J.T. I think "the universal gathering" carries that with it. So that I would say in brief, that Zion is the principle governing the whole system. The city is the political centre, and then the "myriads of angels" would correspond with Congress or Parliament, and then the "assembly of the firstborn" is a question of quality, society, the society we have, and then God Himself, that there is no pagan element in it at all, it is God, the whole system is under God, it is His own, and that He is judge of all, there is a true judgment of everything. And then "the spirits of just men made perfect" would be the kind of people, not angels but men, the order of men in the place. And then you have the Lord Himself, the "mediator of a new covenant". The word 'new' here is fresh, a fresh covenant. It is not old laws put together and an enormous multitude of them, but freshness, conciseness, too, the sayings of the Lord -- for instance, the saying of the Lord Jesus, "It is more blessed to give than to receive".

S.McC. Would Paul's ministry again help us as to this expression "the city of the living God" inasmuch as he particularly sets out the features of church administration and church government?

J.T. Very good, church government, how we are to behave ourselves in the house of God,"the assembly of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth".

L.P.M. Have you a word to say on the "blood of sprinkling"? It is mentioned last.

J.T. I would say the speaking character of it, it is "better than Abel", and yet it is not belittling Abel, but what is spoken is better, the blood of Jesus.

Ques. What is the force of sprinkling here?

E.A.K. Would it indicate the foundation of the system that you are speaking of, in it we would apprehend, would we not, that there will be nothing

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in the universe of bliss that is not founded on the blood of Christ?

J.T. And the speaking of it, how much was said in the sacrificial books, but how much more could be said of every feast, of every offering time, what volumes! It says of the Lord Jesus as to His works that "the world itself could not contain the books that should be written", and what volumes could be written about the blood of the Old Testament, but it is all concisely expressed in the blood of Jesus. Things are brought down to a minimum in volume in that sense, but emphasising the quality of the blood.

Rem. Would it be the title of divine ownership, "the blood of sprinkling"? Moses sprinkled the book and all the people.

J.T. Very good.

Rem. So that what would be involved is not the blessing that would flow to the people so much as what would be secured in them for God?

J.T. Yes, just so. I think the speaking is beautiful, especially in Exodus 24, already alluded to, where we get the elevated position in the Old Testament, and that beginning with chapter 19, where we get that they have been brought to God, on the mount and the law given there. The people did not want to hear any more, they were afraid, but the blood of sprinkling is a thought that can easily be conveyed in teaching. So that Exodus 24 is to bring out the quality of things in view of the tabernacle, the very best things must come into the tabernacle because it is a question of the assembly in type, and the very best things must be in it, and so they are in it.

Rem. So the pattern is given on the mount.

J.T. Just so, and things are above, it is the elevated position. Moses himself went to that limit, that exaltation, suggestive of where Paul went, as far as the third heaven. Moses was to go up, Joshua was to go, too, but that was only an accompaniment

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or an element with him, but the real idea is the mediator, and how high he went, whereas Aaron and his sons and the seventy elders were on a lower level. Exodus 24 is to bring out the level of the Old Testament, but it is typical, and entering into what we are speaking of here in this chapter.

S.McC. It is interesting in that way how Peter brings forward the quality into Christianity, when he speaks of the "sanctification of the Spirit, unto the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ".

J.T. That is a beautiful reference, as entering into the idea of sprinkling.

C.R.W. Would it give us a deep sense of the holiness of the place into which we have been brought, at the same time a sense of the love that lay behind the blood?

J.T. Love must be in it, quite so.

L.P.M. Would the sense of vastness enter into the thought of sprinkling, because what is sprinkled covers a vast area, does it not, in principle, in the sprinkling of the whole tabernacle system?

J.T. Hence the millennium, I suppose, will be on that principle and then a new heaven and a new earth after that. The prophets show that the principle of the new heavens and the new earth is in the millennium, but strictly the thing itself is beyond that, wherein righteousness dwells. But the millennium is a wide area, it is to show what God can do with man in flesh just as he is, but with the added thought of redemption, that is to say, of the new birth. The new birth in its millennial signification is to bring out what God can do with persons in flesh and blood, that is what the millennium will be, and then there will be evidently a winding up so that we come to a new heavens and a new earth; the state of things that is according to God where all things are of God.

S.McC. If the covenant has no official place in Christianity, in the light of Paul's ministry, why does

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the writer say here, "and to Jesus, mediator of a new covenant"?

J.T. I would say because he is speaking to Jewish Christians, the very best things are coming over into Christianity; it was for them to understand it.

Ques. Would Jesus, presented in that light, eclipse the greatest in Judaism?

J.T. Quite so.

Rem. So that emphasis is laid on the person rather the office.

J.T. Quite so. This question of the new covenant is constantly coming up, but it is a question of Judaism and how patient God was with it, and having it in His mind to revert to it again, He is not discarding it, it is to be reverted to, and the terms will have their own proper place in it. In the meantime they are applied to Christianity, and they are used in their own force, but we do not get them where we have elevated spirituality such as Ephesians and Colossians, and that ought to weigh with us, God intends to have Christianity on its own footing, in its own grandeur and distinctiveness. And if God is pleased to use old terms and give them a certain force for young Christians and the like, good and well, God has a right to do that, especially because presently He is going to revert to Judaism.

Rem. Is it to be noted that the scripture here speaks of a new covenant rather than the new covenant, and the word, as you have already pointed out, is not the usual word but that which means new in the sense of fresh and youthful?

J.T. That is very touching, I think, that it is that word in view of what we have been saying, that God is very tender about Jewish things; and as to Paul himself, nobody could be more tender as regards Jewish things, "I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ" for their sakes. How could he do it? Well, how can God do it, how can God go on

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with it and use these terms? Because they are beloved for the fathers' sakes, God has never given up His thoughts about them, and His promises to the fathers. He is going to work them out, and we shall have part in the heavenly side of it in due time, and we shall not be afraid of it, either, because the names of the sons of Israel are inscribed on the gates of the heavenly city.

L.R. Do you link the love of God at all with this reference to the new covenant?

J.T. Well, by extension, perhaps, but in a certain sense by reduction, because John brings out the love of God and Paul brings out the love of God, and Peter brings out the love of God, in such a way that we want to get at its full meaning, and its full force. But if we wish to have it connected with the new covenant there is no difficulty according to what we have been saying because we will presently be in the heavenly side of the divine system and we will not be ashamed of the new covenant then certainly, but it is not made with us, it is made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

Rem. We really have something better.

J.T. We have, and it looks as if God has reserved some better thing for us; why do we not keep up to the things that He has reserved for us? Better things.

L.P.M. What you said about Colossians and Ephesians should greatly help us in our consideration of the matter as not entering into those two epistles, they being a setting out of Christianity in its fulness.

J.O.S. Does it correspond at all with what the Lord says in Luke 10 when He stressed that they should rejoice that their names are written in heaven, and then you get all things being delivered to Me of My Father and then He says, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see"?

J.T. Just so, that helps because it differentiates

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what belongs to us, "rather rejoice because names are written in heaven", that is a good connection.

E.A.K. Would the fact that Jesus is the "mediator of a new covenant" be a distinctive glory of Christ that would come before our hearts in connection with the spirit of the covenant?

J.T. Just so; because the spirit of it is brought into our dispensation, not the letter but the spirit, as the apostle says; it certainly is a glory of Christ, as you say. But the things that Israel will have in the millennium will not be equal to our things, they will have an ordinary temple and many other such things.

P.L. "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; but the glory of kings is to search out a thing". Is this condensed epitome, so to speak, to stimulate search and enquiry as distinct from the diffused character of Judaism?

J.T. The glory of kings to search things out, that is the Lord if you make Him the king, He is doing it all for us, is that what you mean?

P.L. I was thinking, too, of the saints, the very way the subject here, so vast, is condensed, but capable of infinite expansion to arrest and to stimulate enquiry and research.

J.T. So the Lord says to Nathanael, "Thou shalt see greater things than these".

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1 Corinthians 12:31; Acts 8:5 - 7, 26 - 40

The link in the scriptures read is in "the way of more surpassing excellence", and it is the way of love. It has the corresponding effect, that is, of love, in the person of whom I read in Acts, the evangelist Philip (though he is not called that here). So that what I shall be speaking of will touch on evangelisation; indeed it is the only touch, for what is in mind is that the spirit of evangelisation is love, and that Philip had love, as the sequel shows. It had already become evident that he had it, otherwise he would hardly have been given the work of a deacon, for without this spirit of love it would be difficult for a deacon to serve, for it involves the poor, and Paul speaks of not forgetting the poor, and I am sure that was true of him in all his services. This matter of love and serving the poor comes into the matter of the collection for the saints, that is, they are dignified ones, even if poor; and so it was he spoke of a collection, a special collection, and Philip would not be behind in that, and so he developed into an evangelist, he is called that in Acts 21:8. As I said, he had love, and the best evidence of it is that he became a deacon. Christianity at the outset became a community, anyone doubting this had better read Acts 2:42 - 47. It is said there that they "had all things common", and later, in Acts 4:32, that "not one said that anything of what he possessed was his own, but all things were common to them"; they were unselfish, and the unselfishness of love as seen in Christianity was seen in them. They had love, and it was seen in Jerusalem at Pentecost, and in the days that followed; they had no banking account, I need hardly say! For the

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matter actually was in the hands of the apostles; it was a communal affair, not a one-man affair; it was recognised by Paul, by God Himself and by Christ, indeed by the blessed Trinity. The work grew, I want to stress that, and the basis of Christianity is the Spirit of God; for when the Lord went up He received from the Father the Spirit of truth, and He indwelt the saints; "they were all together in one place", and the Spirit came down in the form of "parted tongues, as of fire, and it sat upon each one of them" (Acts 2:1 - 3), that is the one hundred and twenty, "the crowd of names", each one remaining identifiable, and then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. There was no rivalry, and when things arose, such as the matter of appointments, or the matter of the poor, they were settled. The apostles said in Acts 6:2, "It is not right that we, leaving the word of God, should serve tables", that is things were properly named. Seven deacons were appointed; it was a communal matter, yet a selective one also; the principle of selection was there, showing how the community developed, and they appointed seven, not twelve, showing that there was a variety of thoughts in the community; the thought of seven, of seven men, chosen to serve the tables; they were called deacons; it was the lowest official you could find in the community. The development of the community is in mind; the idea of the body of Christ had not yet been introduced, but the assembly was there -- though it is doubtful whether it is really there in word in Acts 2:47. The word 'together' describes them, and so it is in this town; it is different, it is true, but they move inwardly together; that is the moving principle all the time. Peter and John, especially Peter, were the very cream of what was there; so we can call these two chapters, 'Peter and John chapters'. They were there in affection, though in a sense they were there officially.

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This leads me to the matter of love and how it came down in the deacons, and how they began to work and were led into the most exalted services, far beyond what they were officially, not that heaven does not provide officials; it does! Even Christ is an official name. That love was expressed in them in a remarkable way is evident, for they obtained "for themselves a good degree", 1 Timothy 3:13. We need not fear any prominence that anyone may acquire; heaven will see to it that each will get what he deserves. So Philip became an evangelist; and Stephen a martyr, the first assembly martyr. They obtained for themselves a good degree. So what is in my mind in this connection began with Stephen, and now I come to Philip, not the apostle but the evangelist. There is nothing said as to his deacon-work; he was full of the Holy Spirit, and all he did he did well surely, even caring for the poor, the lowest rung in the ladder; he did well also at his evangelical work, at least, he did in the main; but we need to pay attention to a fact which may be true of a Paul, a Peter, or a Philip. All I am going to ask you is why did not Philip's converts get the Holy Spirit? I am not going to answer it myself. Why was it he was not approved in his service? The community grows; people are what they are; if the Holy Spirit is helping, let us be careful what we say, for it is the community -- I use that word now, at this stage -- the word 'assembly' comes later. The matter goes on; Peter went on, Stephen, Philip, all went on, a wonderful outline of the testimony in these days! It should be read constantly; it is so full of spiritual history, beginning with the God of glory; what a start!

But then we have Philip; and again I ask, 'Why is it that his converts did not get the Holy Spirit'? And so if there is anyone here maybe without the Spirit, why has he not the Spirit? Philip had converts to support his evangelical ministry,

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but still they did not get the Holy Spirit; he had many converts in this town of Samaria; and then a man comes into the company of converts saying that "himself was some great one", and thus the converts included Simon Magus. He certainly never was truly with them, for he was "in the gall of bitterness, and bond of unrighteousness" as Peter says to him. God is particular to whom He gives the Spirit. Simon Magus offered money to the apostles if only they would give him the power to give the Holy Spirit, as he had seen them do to the Samaritans, for Peter and John, having been sent by the assembly at Jerusalem, "prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit", and later, "Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Spirit"; what a wonderful fact! But it is not said the Spirit was working in connection with what Philip did, and later, in verse 26 an angel spoke to him, "But the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, Rise up and go southward on the way which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza: the same is desert". He went to Samaria without commission, as far as we know. He had done something, though he had not discerned Simon Magus, and if things are wrong and missed, then they will not be overlooked finally. And so it was; he allowed Simon Magus to follow on. But Peter discerned him. The angel made no suggestion that Philip should have detected Simon Magus, not a word! But now he has the commission, "If any one thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him recognise the things that I write to you, that it is the Lord's commandment". All who serve must be under His commandment. This chapter becomes full for all who have the Lord's service before them you admire it; the evangelical service particularly. So Philip went down, "And the Spirit said to Philip, Approach and join this chariot". Now he is fully fledged in the service; it is not an angel any more.

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not Gabriel or Michael, it is the Holy Spirit that has taken him on "join this chariot"; we often use the word 'join'; here it means evangelical service for a person who needs to be evangelised. The Ethiopian is a great commissioner; he had been to Jerusalem; he had been to worship; did he mention Peter and John? There was evidence of the most wonderful work of heaven there, and yet he had missed it. How dense people are! Three thousand converted there in one day, and yet this distinguished man seemed to know nothing about it, just like the twelve men at Ephesus not knowing about the Holy Spirit; how dense indeed people are! Philip had to join this chariot; Peter was not sent; no, Philip must do this, because the Spirit has something to teach us; we are to see that Philip has developed into usefulness, so that the Holy Spirit deigns to say, "Approach and join this chariot", and he does it. What a place he was acquiring in heaven! No one can take that from him. He had four daughters who prophesied, too (Acts 21:9); that was no small thing; he had something to do with it! These women were not appointed prophetesses as Miriam was; but they "prophesied", they did the thing; the power was acquired by the Holy Spirit to prophesy. It is hard to find one today; there is no sister I know of; the brethren do it through the service of brothers. Yes, Philip had these four daughters, and in a later day they prophesied.

I might add now as to the final reference, that "the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip"; he was carried away, raptured, really; and he was raptured just as he came up out of the water, having baptised the eunuch. That is no coincidence; the Holy Spirit has a great matter on hand. But there is what the brethren do themselves, for it says, "those who shall have ministered well obtain for themselves a good degree" (1 Timothy 3:13); it is in each of our hands. That is what I want the brethren to see,

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and no one can take it away; there are moral reasons in what the person has acquired, what he has become; whom does he obtain his degree from? And it adds, "and much boldness in faith which is in Christ Jesus". So it is that Philip is raptured and Paul comes into it, as if Paul must come into this wonderful matter. Philip had just to be let into this history, and the brethren of this kind will be let into the current; they should know, and they do know, if they have assembly ears. It was according to God that he was at Caesarea, as it says in verse 40, for God was there before Philip was sent there. What a community it is, not needing to ask our leaders what they think, but things working out little by little; and one day he stands up and gives an address! God is going on with His work; "I am doing a great work", Nehemiah says, as he is called into it (Nehemiah 6:3), and Philip was in it, and later Paul was in it, too; how much he had to learn, and the Lord said of him, "I will shew to him how much he must suffer for my name" (Acts 9:16); how much he suffered in Jerusalem! But as to Philip, he advanced in the mind of heaven, and had his part in the service. And so I leave the dear brethren with the urgent desire that this matter of love may be with us, the way that is depicted in 1 Corinthians 13, the question of love as the way which is open to us; this "way of more surpassing excellence". Philip came in for it, and up to it, because he gave way to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and therefore to the way of love. He had four daughters, and he entertained the saints, especially Paul; and so it is today; the dignity of the assembly; this great thing is not to be made commonplace, but we are to make room for it. Paul is the final word as to this, but we have also the Philips, the Stephens, and the Apolloses, and we have also the direct works of God, "What hath God wrought!" (Numbers 23:23); let us make full room for it

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John 1:47 - 51; John 4:16 - 19; John 20:16, 17

J.T. It is well known that the gospel of John affords much instruction as to teaching, but what is in mind now is learning, and learning quickly, in Nathanael, the Samaritan woman, and Mary of Magdala. It will be well known that Nathanael appears early, in verse 45; he was then quite indifferent and doubtful. But after Philip says to him, "Come and see", it says in verse 47, "Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and says of him, Behold one truly an Israelite, in whom there is no guile. Nathanael says to him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said to him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and said to him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel". And then the Lord says, "Because I said to thee, I saw thee under the fig-tree, believest thou ? Thou shalt see greater things than these. And he says to him, Verily, verily, I say to you, Henceforth ye shall see the heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man". The Lord changes to the plural in verse 51, as if He assumes that Nathanael would share what light he was receiving with others, and so He says "ye" instead of 'thou'. The quick learning is in verse 49, "Nathanael answered and said to him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel".

Rem. You stress this thought of quick learning because of the shortness of the time.

J.T. I was thinking of that. We have the very words, "brethren, the time is short" or "straitened" (1 Corinthians 7:29), and we are to redeem the time (Ephesians 5:16); that is to buy it up, to learn

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well and quickly; and the shortness of the time suggests this, lest we be found without the proper teaching for the assembly or for heaven.

Rem. "Always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth", 2 Timothy 3:7.

J.T. I was thinking of that, and with all the extra meetings, especially fellowship meetings where we hear the word and meet each other, the question is how much more are we learning on each occasion? The Samaritan woman clearly learnt quickly, "Sir, I see that thou art a prophet"; so with Mary of Magdala, she says, "Rabboni" when He speaks to her: "Jesus says to her, Mary. She, turning round, says to him in Hebrew, Rabboni, which means, Teacher".

Ques. Does it involve wholehearted committal? Paul says to Timothy, "that thy progress may be manifest to all", 1 Timothy 4:15.

J.T. Very good.

Rem. We have two great thoughts here, the Son of God, and the King of Israel.

J.T. The former is the greater no doubt. The suggestion is that he quoted the scripture in Psalm 2:7, and it is all the more important to quote the scripture if you are learning, to put a name on what you have learnt! It is the scripture, not only what a brother says. We may take up a brother's remarks, but it is better to have one's own language, unless quoting from Scripture, then quote the scripture!

Ques. Was it the Lord's words to Nathanael in verse 48 reaching his heart, that brought out the quick answer?

J.T. It seems that is how the truth is meant. He was evidently lazily sitting under the fig-tree, with critical thoughts. Philip was in earnest. Jesus finds Philip, and Philip finds Nathanael; it was evidently a time of finding; it is so now, and the children of God are scattered abroad, and we have to

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find them. The idea of finding is very noticeable in John. Then Philip says, "We have found him of whom Moses wrote in the law, and the prophets, Jesus, the son of Joseph, who is from Nazareth", that is Philip had found Him, "Jesus". Not that the Lord was out of the way, or hidden, but that it fits in with this thought of finding in the scripture. He notifies the place where He is from, and then Nathanael retorts, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" It was a poor answer. Nazareth was a village or town and it needed research to find out what was really there. Then we have "Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him".

Ques. What would the fig-tree represent?

J.T. The millennium. It would speak of millennial conditions and earthly conditions here.

Ques. Would the reference to his having no guile show that there was a certain honesty about Nathanael?

J.T. There was virtue in it.

Rem. "An honest and good heart", Luke 8:15.

J.T. In Matthew 13 it says that Jesus "sat down by the sea" to say that. We should see how alertness comes into these matters, that the Lord saying what He did to Nathanael in verse 47 brings out what He meant to bring out, and there was something there to bring out!

Rem. The Lord discerns the kind of soil.

J.T. Yes.

Rem. And as having this honest and good heart Nathanael discerns who the Lord is.

J.T. He must have read the Scriptures; many Christians are very ignorant of the Scriptures.

Rem. Philip's testimony seems to have been on the line of Philippians 2:7, He "emptied himself, taking a bondman's form, taking his place in the likeness of men", but Nathanael's was quite different,

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"Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel".

J.T. So that His humanity is here, but His Sonship, too. It is Sonship in humanity.

Rem. Both references are to the Old Testament.

J.T. Yes, it is a very interesting thought. Jehovah says, "Thou art my Son I this day have begotten thee", @Psalm 2:7. It brings out how sonship is a matter of time.

Ques. Would the two on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24 be slow learners?

J.T. He reproved them for their lack of knowledge: "O senseless and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!" Luke 24:25. They should have known; they had been in His company.

Rem. It is not knowing just the letter of Scripture.

J.T. Well, Apollos was "mighty in the scriptures" (Acts 18:24), but he had to be taught. He was accurate as to the teaching of John the baptist. That was the point with Apollos; we are apt to quote scriptures erroneously.

Rem. Nathanael's heart was reached; he confessed what he knew.

J.T. Very interesting, that. We cannot, of course, say all we know, and brevity is a great matter in quoting the scripture. One is struck with the brevity in which things are quoted in Scripture: "Dost thou then know what thou art reading of?" Acts 8:30. Many outside quote the Scriptures very loosely; I do not mean the brethren!

Rem. Luke speaks of being "accurately acquainted", Luke 1:3.

J.T. Very good.

Rem. Daniel "understood by the books", Daniel 9:2.

J.T. A good way to arrive at prophecy, "by the books"; the moral basis of Daniel is that he understood.

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Ques. Is it the Berean spirit?

J.T. Quite so. Some of us have spoken of Paul's companions in travel in Acts 20; seven of them, the first was the Berean. The Berean searches the scripture daily; even with an apostle, we have to search what he says.

Rem. For quick learning a personal link is needed with the Lord Jesus. It says, "Samuel did not yet know Jehovah" (1 Samuel 3:7), but later on he knew Him, so it says, "all Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, knew that Samuel was established a prophet of Jehovah" (verse 20).

J.T. And another thing, Jehovah revealed something about the leading brother. Samuel had not yet known Jehovah, but He spoke several times by name to him, "Samuel, Samuel!" And then He spoke of Eli, as if Samuel was an elder in Israel, when he was only a boy! We must not close the doors of the care meeting to the young brothers; they may know what the elder ones do not, like the young man in the house of Nabal who helped Abigail; 1 Samuel 25:14. At one time the young brothers were shut out of the care meeting, but now it is not so. They thus become known as having some gift and knowledge. Elders were, and are yet the rulers of the house of God, but there are the young men as seen in Samuel; and then they can have part in the care meeting; Samuel learnt quickly and thus became useful in the service of God.

Rem. There is emphasis in the words of the Lord in Matthew 11:28, 29, "Come to me", and "learn from me".

J.T. Very good; it is not that we learn about Him, but from Him.

Rem. There are wonderful disclosures to those who will learn quickly.

J.T. Yes, it is just that. "Ye shall see", the Lord says to Nathanael, but He had said earlier to him,

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"Thou shalt see" in the singular, so that he was to learn to share the "greater things"with his brethren.

Rem. These greater things would involve "the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man".

J.T. Yes. "Verily, verily" occurs twenty-four times in John's gospel.

Rem. The truth is wider here than "the Son of God" and "the King of Israel".

J.T. We may apply it to ourselves, these greater things that the Lord will open up to us, "when he is come, the Spirit of truth, he shall guide you into all the truth", John 16:13.

Rem. There would be the consciousness of the Lord's own personal interest, as in Psalm 139.

J.T. That is very interesting; he says, "how precious are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!" So of the Spirit, "he shall guide you into all the truth", as we said.

Ques. How is this affected by our capacity for learning the fundamentals of the truth?

J.T. What was said of Samuel is a great help to us. He learnt very quickly. Jehovah revealed Himself to him, and he became Jehovah's confidant. If we disclose anything about an elder brother to a younger we have to be careful lest it is spread abroad. "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing" (Proverbs 25:2), and we should do this, unless it is useful. Jehovah did not conceal things about Eli's house. He revealed secrets about this man, this leading priest, and it was not misplaced but used with discretion.

Rem. Quick learning is used in the service of God as in Mary of Bethany in John 12.

J.T. Good. Young brothers, as taught by the Holy Spirit, add to the personnel to whom secrets may be made known. The Lord will reveal things to such. Nathanael is a remarkable illustration of what we are saying, of quick learning. Then the woman in

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John 4 was morally unfit for things. But the Lord knew the whole history, and before He disclosed anything to her, He shows her to herself, "Sir, I see that thou art a prophet", and goes on from that. The man in chapter 9 (we did not read it), "answered and said, A man called Jesus made mud and anointed mine eyes, and said to me, Go to Siloam and wash: and having gone and washed, I saw"; the "I saw" is historic. But then "The Pharisees therefore also again asked him how he received his sight. And he said to them, He put mud upon mine eyes, and I washed, and I see" (verse 15), this is not historic; the neighbours got the historic, but the Pharisees got the truth before their eyes, in the man saying "I see", he was standing there before them. It is a point of interest in the testimony; we can testify to a thing if we see it. We may have seen things historically, but are we seeing them now?

Rem. He was speaking from conscious knowledge.

J.T. Just so.

Rem. "This Jesus has God raised up, whereof all we are witnesses", Acts 2:32.

J.T. Yes, every preacher should be a witness to what he preaches.

Rem. This woman in John 4 was ready to discern who was there.

J.T. Yes; "Sir, I see", she says, "that thou art a prophet". All these are very practical things; things that we are to have transpiring amongst us. We are to be luminous and transparent.

Rem. No resistance to the truth, even unconsciously.

J.T. Yes, she got on well; she had discernment. She could see that He was a prophet because of what He had said to her, and then He calls her "Woman", after she had said, "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and ye say that in Jerusalem is the place where one must worship"; that was remarkable

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from an ordinary person. He had not called her 'woman' before, but it is as if she had testified to what was proper to her sex, proper discernment. Then the truth is coming out, and the Lord goes on, "the hour is coming when ye shall neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father". We might question speaking of worship to such a woman, but her light must have increased, for she sees now. She can hardly be called an idolator now when He spoke thus to her. "Ye worship ye know not what; we worship what we know, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for also the Father seeks such as his worshippers". Now He is telling her, too, that "God is a spirit; and they who worship him must worship him in spirit and truth".

Rem. He is taking her beyond the Jewish position.

J.T. Yes, indeed, because of what He said of her. She knew, and these enquiries we are making will illuminate the company because the body is full of light.

Rem. Like Nathanael without guile; that leads the way to being luminous.

J.T. Yes.

Rem. The men of the city say, "we have heard him ourselves".

J.T. She became an evangelist.

Rem. She was not fit to be sent as an evangelist when the Lord said, "Go, call thy husband".

J.T. Well, yes. But later she leaves her waterpot behind, she is the vessel, the Lord has a vessel now; Paul was a vessel. She understood that she was brought into the system, and that she was a usable vessel.

Rem. The waterpot was now herself.

J.T. Yes; for living water.

Rem. And to become a true worshipper.

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J.T. Yes; we can think so if we take liberties with the scriptures, but what we have said is true, that she is getting light, and it is beginning to shine from her. He could speak to her of worship because she would ultimately become a worshipper.

Rem. "God is a spirit"; what a wonderful truth to speak of to her.

J.T. One of the greatest you can get. Now she has something to say to the men; she is unabashed now, a vessel of light here; later she would be a vessel of living water.

Rem. Levitical instincts were developing in her.

J.T. Yes; she belongs to the divine system now.

Rem. She is under a new Head.

J.T. Well; I would say that the whole position is that; and that it is now a question of teaching; what she has taken in, and what she can still take in: "The woman says to him, I know that Messias is coming, who is called Christ; when he comes he will tell us all things. Jesus says to her, I who speak to thee am he. And upon this came his disciples, and wondered that he spoke with a woman; yet no one said, What seekest thou? or, Why speakest thou with her? The woman then left her waterpot and went away into the city, and says to the men, Come, see a man who told me all things I had ever done: is not he the Christ"

Rem. "He will tell us all things"; what a conception of Him!

J.T. I suppose we should conclude that she was fit for fellowship, and that you would see her later with the apostles in the upper room!

Rem. "To head up all things in the Christ", Ephesians 1:10.

J.T. Just so.

Rem. She would be fit for a part in the holy city, the great luminous vessel.

J.T. Yes; John presents what is in mind for the

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new world; gathering up for the universe of bliss.

Rem. He gives us a finished work.

J.T. That is another word proper to John, "I have completed the work which thou gayest me that I should do it", John 17:4. Then there is the matter that the woman is available for, "Come, see a man".

Ques. A good way to teach is to ask questions that carry their own answers; who could deny that He was the Christ? Do we all learn in this way?

J.T. Just so. It is the idea of confession, and it means that we are becoming transparent, "standing upon the glass sea", Revelation 15:2.

Ques. Could you say more as to a vessel of light, and especially as to the vessel of living water, seen in the woman?

J.T. He had said it to her, but where she really got light is seen in her discerning He was a prophet; she was a disreputable person, but "she says to the men, Come, see a man who told me all things I had ever done"; it is a luminous position, and things are spreading.

Rem. It is the way of liberty.

J.T. Yes, indeed. And now the disciples say, "Rabbi, eat. But he said to them, I have food to eat which ye do not know. The disciples therefore said to one another, Has any one brought him anything to eat? Jesus says to them, My food is that I should do the will of him that has sent me, and that I should finish his work". Now we have to confess that the disciples, the assumed disciples of Christ, those who belong to the system He is building up, that they do not know! One of them could have gone to buy the bread. There was no light in them, or their question, "Has any one brought him anything to eat?"

Rem. It shows how quickly we may drop.

J.T. Yes; we may become dark.

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Rem. Positionally right, but dark.

J.T. Well, they have not been learning; but this woman had been learning. We shall have to drop this precious subject and speak of Mary of Magdala; she is firstly called "Woman", but the Lord calls her by her name "Mary" later, and shows that He knows His own sheep by name; John 10:3. She says, "Rabboni", that is Teacher, for she is learning now. If asked where she got those things she would say, 'He is my Teacher'; and she was learning because she could hardly say that He was her Teacher if she had not learnt something. She had been to school to Him, so to speak.

Ques. What does her name imply?

J.T. It means 'Marah', so she is a person of bitter experiences.

Rem. It says, "She turning round"; is that John's way?

J.T. Yes; he also "turned back to see the voice" in Revelation 1:12. So Mary affords us much to contemplate, because she is a learner, and 'Rabboni' means she had learnt from Him, like the woman of John 4; she can carry a message; though the woman in John 4 was not given a message, but Mary of Magdala was; thus there is progress.

Rem. She understood the message.

J.T. Yes, she is quick to carry the message, "Mary of Magdala comes bringing word to the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had said these things to her"; she conveyed things accurately (not like the report among the disciples in John 21:23); it should characterise all our meetings.

Ques. Does the name she gives to the Lord show she is going to learn?

J.T. It means that she is learning, and also the fact that she can go to the disciples and say "that he had said these things to her". There is no question or doubt as to the fact that she was accurate.

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Rem. The Lord had taken account of all her exercises.

J.T. Yes.

Ques. Are we to see the Lord in these days?

J.T. I would say that, too. As to making up the missing apostle in Acts 1, the twelfth, he was to be one of those men "who have assembled with us all the time in which the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us"; Matthias was qualified by that, he had been there since John's baptism till He was received up. It shows we are living in times when we have seen the Lord, we discern Him; it is assembly teaching.

Ques. Is it to work out in testimony, so that we can humbly say that we have seen Him?

J.T. Yes; in Hebrews 2:9 it says, "but we see Jesus", and we have it now, in John 14:18, "I will not leave you orphans, I am coming to you"; it is an assembly thought, and enters into the moment; so that we can say that we have seen Him.

Ques. Does Mary represent right feminine feelings?

J.T. The feminine side here is of very great importance, though she did not say that she represented the assembly, but I think the thought is there, that she represents the assembly. He "came and stood in the midst"; it is known now, and gives character to the present teaching.

Rem. So the disciples can say, "We have seen the Lord" (verse 25).

J.T. Yes.

Ques. What is the difference in Luke's account? (Luke 24:36).

J.T. In that chapter they were perturbed; in Mark 16 they were not only trembling and excessively amazed, and grieved and weeping, but when He appeared to them He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart; all that will not do for assembly testimony. But today there are those

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who can say that they have seen Him in the assembly.

Rem. The word 'come' in each of these instances we have read of is an assembly word.

J.T. Yes; "Jesus came" in verse 19; it is His moving; we get to see Him in movement. In Luke's second treatise (Acts 1:3) it says, "he presented himself living"; that is the thought of attitude, but this is the thought of movement.

Ques. Does this involve the truth of Ephesians?

J.T. John 20 is parallel to Ephesian truth. So Paul "passed through the upper districts", Acts 19:1. It is just that.

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Luke 1:39 - 56; Luke 3:21, 22

J.T. Our inquiry at this time, it will be seen, will relate in the main to two sisters. Already it has been remarked that the word 'man' as presented in Scripture covers both man and woman. What we have said about sisters, especially those who are mothers, will largely afford the background of what should be before us, hence both Mary and Elizabeth come into view, particularly Mary. We read of the angel's conversation with her and her holy submission and faith, for the word is, "blessed is she that has believed". So that sisters are in view in what may come before us, and they are clearly believing sisters, exhibiting not only the maternal side but the intelligent side of priesthood; Mary shines in this. The question often arises as to why sisters have so little part verbally in the service of God, but it is clear that in earlier days women had much part in the service of God, including prophecy. We read of four young women, daughters of Philip, who have a great place in that sense because it is said they prophesied, not simply that they were prophetesses but they actually served in prophecy; so what should come before us now ought to include the prophetic side of service in sisters. But the maternal side is also in view because the Spirit of God is pleased to furnish us with these wonderful scriptures that have been read, the sisters in mind being affected maternally. It is most affecting, sobering, and hallowing that the Spirit of God should say so much to us about such women, especially Mary, who has the chief place in this sense, being the Lord's own mother. This fact, of course, enters into what comes earlier in the chapter as to what preceded the incarnation and what holy and

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affecting facts are recorded, facts that require in us all, especially sisters, a priestly state and holiness of mind for otherwise we are not capable of dealing with the matter at all. Both Mary and Elizabeth rise to great spiritual eminence on these lines. The wonderment is why there should be so much said on the maternal side in the facts recorded.

Ques. Is it not a lovely suggestion that the sisters are not to be excluded from this idea of bondmanship? We have Mary taking that place, one in which love and affection have a great place.

J.T. Yes, verse 38 says, "Mary said, Behold the bondmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to thy word". Then the angel departed from her, as if she could be left in her maternal and womanly glory. She hears much from the angel Gabriel, but he leaves her. So that we can see how the design of the Spirit is to affect us in the very verbal construction of the text of the scriptures relating to this matter.

Ques. I wondered whether the matter of bondmaidship became in her the spring which put her in right relationship to another sister. Mary rose up as though there were an inner spring there in the acceptance of bondmaidship.

J.T. Rising up alludes to movement, bringing together those two women, but it was in elevated territory, the hill country. She went into the hill country with haste showing the urgency of the matter in her mind; there was nothing dilatory about her for it involved travelling some distance and that into an elevated region. Indeed the territory involved affords the suggestion of elevation whereas ordinary conversation among men and women on the subject involved would lead somewhat downward. So much is made of birth and family and the like, ordinarily tending to lead us downward to the level of men and human circumstances, whereas the facts here contemplate elevation which is not simply

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physical but moral. The hill country would imply that we are led away to a region suitable for holy matters to be dealt with.

R.W.S. Over against Matthew's gospel where Joseph plays such a large part, are these sisters left to work things out by themselves, as it were, to show the proper dignity of the maternal side?

J.T. Well, it is remarkable how the male side, the paternal side, is left out or minimised in the facts, the matter being left largely in the scriptures read to two women and they in maternal relations. I am sure it must be for all of us, especially our sisters, to accustom ourselves to holy conversation. As it is said, "What ought ye to be in holy conversation and godliness ... ?" So that in dealing with these matters we are not dragged down to the level of mere nature but led up, for she rose up and went into the hill country to Elizabeth. She was related to her after the flesh but the level of their conversation was much above that, it was on a heavenly line, the elevated line of the hill country.

E.A.K. Mary said, "be it to me according to thy word". Is that important?

J.T. Just so; there is entire submission, in contrast to Zacharias. And it is "according to thy word", not simply 'according to thy commandment'. The use of the phrase "thy word" conveys a suggestion of the divine mind, what is in God's mind that may be conveyed.

J.R.H.Jr. Is the spirit of inquiry evident earlier in this sister when she says, "How shall this be?"

J.T. Quite so, it is right there should be that inquiry, and not simply obedience. It is like obedience, but it is intelligent inquiry, implying that the incarnation of Christ is entirely beyond mere nature. It is supernatural, that is to say it is a divine transaction, and Mary has an intelligent part in it.

Ques. What is involved in salutation?

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J.T. I suppose that would suggest courtesy. Peter enjoins courtesy between us, but holy courtesy, not mere human courtesy.

E.L. Would the song of Hannah be in line with what you have in mind?

J.T. Yes, we are coming on to that because there is a great relation between them; indeed the suggestion comes up as to whether persons who have part in the things of God may not imitate each other, and do, even to the use of words, because there is remarkable similarity in Mary's contribution here to the service of God and Hannah's. Indeed their circumstances are somewhat alike, and so Mary's word is, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour". That is to say, she distinguishes between soul and spirit. The Spirit of God does so in Hebrews, showing how the inwards of the worshipper are brought into evidence. We often speak of calling on all that is within us to worship, but the inwards are brought into evidence here peculiarly in what Mary says.

A.R. Why is it we are so defective in regard to the service of God? This word is noteworthy, speaking of her soul and spirit.

J.T. It is very noteworthy and it may be we do not follow enough the way of those who wrote Scripture. We are to follow things up, and so the Lord in directing John how to write the book of Revelation gives the order in which it is to be written, involving the wording of it. So that we are to be careful about words, actual phraseology divinely used, and to see that we imitate it.

W.F.K. Are Mary's words prophetic or priestly?

J.T. They are priestly. We are dealing with the priestly side of our subject.

C.N. Does the idea of the city of Judah enter into your thought on this?

J.T. Well, it is not without importance that Judah

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is mentioned because Judah means 'praise', which would be priestly, so that it is not without significance that it is brought in here. We should pay attention to the actual words of Gabriel on this wonderful subject, indicating what would happen, and then the effect on Mary and how maternal she is, how true she is to the instincts of her sex in that sense, but how elevated, dignified and holy. The whole subject is lifted into the realm of holiness, and it should be expected because it is a question of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and He Himself is alluded to as "the holy thing also which shall be born".

G.McP. Would the conversation of Mary show the dignity that is attached to priesthood?

J.T. I think it would. The priestly element is seen in all the facts recorded in the chapter. What we are saying now is not simply that we might have the actual truth before us but that we might all be affected by it in a holy way and see how we can deal with such tender and delicate matters in a holy way.

E.A.K. These truths cannot be held historically, they must be held spiritually. Would you say Christendom is greatly exposed at Christmas time as being in a low state?

J.T. Quite so; you can see how all this is desecrated. We are to be lifted out of what people are engaged with; what is in mind is to deal with things in a holy way.

G.McP. I was wondering about Psalm 48, "Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion". This chapter would set forth the beauty and dignity of the incarnation.

J.T. Quite so; "the joy of the whole earth", too, is involved in that.

A.B. Would the priestly state be seen in Mary when she says, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour"? She speaks of the magnification of the Lord over against the low

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estate of His bondmaid, indicating a right state in relation to the service.

J.T. Although it was a low estate it was priestly.

S.J.H. When you spoke of how we are to affect each other were you thinking of the way Mary's salutation affects Elizabeth? She rises to it and responds inwardly.

J.T. I believe the Lord would direct our view to what we are saying so that the facts of the incarnation might be more before us, because we are dealing with priesthood. We have to take in all the facts; they are not mere incidents "... the holy thing also which shall be born shall be called Son of God". The expression "holy thing" is remarkable; instead of 'holy child' it says "holy thing", meaning that He was substantially holy. Children of godly parents are holy, as Paul says, but only in a relative sense, not substantially holy, whereas the Lord Jesus was substantially holy.

E.A.K. Does all that you are speaking of enter into His name given prophetically, "his name is called Wonderful"? Moses says, "Let me now turn aside and see this great sight". All that enters into the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ.

J.T. Quite so. The shepherds are like Moses in what they say. It says in Luke 2:15, "And it came to pass, as the angels departed from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, Let us make our way then now as far as Bethlehem, and let us see this thing that is come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. And they came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger; and having seen it they made known about the country the thing which had been said to them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at the things said to them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things in her mind, pondering them in her heart". So that we can

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see how Mary is ready in all these phases to take into her heart and mind what was calculated to make her even more priestly.

T.S. Just what difference do you make in the two kinds of speaking: "Mary said" and Elizabeth "cried out with a loud voice"?

J.T. It says, "Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried out with a loud voice". The phrase, "Mary said", indicates sobriety and balance, but the cry is also to be noted. The Lord Himself uses it, and it points to the effect of light on the soul that causes wonderment. In fact, it is a remarkable thing that the chief servant of Abraham who sought a bride for Isaac wondered at her at one point as if the idea of wonderment is right, intelligible, and holy too, in the things of God.

W.F.K. It says that Elizabeth was filled with the Spirit. Does a sister need to be spiritual to be priestly?

J.T. That is the thought to have in mind, especially now that we are speaking of sisters and how the priestly side should not be left to the brothers, because the divine record shows that sisters in the early days were characteristically priestly and even prophetic.

Rem. I notice that this is in the house. In regard to the daughters of Philip they prophesied, I take it, in their father's house. Is that a service that can be rendered by sisters in homes?

J.T. That is a good suggestion. They are seemingly mentioned to add to what Philip had begun, because in his case he was not simply a gifted evangelist but he evidently took things up of himself. The work was there and he would take it up and in taking it up he would qualify in the service, because clearly he advanced in qualification in his service according to Acts 8, and then later we are told that he had four daughters, virgins, who prophesied.

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The facts of chapter 8 would indicate that there was some defect in Philip because he did not discern Simon Magus, nor did his converts get the Holy Spirit at first. He was guided by an angel but it would seem as if he was advancing in his soul, and so he is guided later by the Spirit of God and not only guided but raptured by Him, one of the most remarkable things that is said.

E.A.K. Is there not an advance on Elizabeth in Mary's speaking in the way in which she brings in God Himself and so magnifies Him, alluding to Him as "the Mighty One"? You were speaking of the thought of advancing.

J.T. I think there is in this sense that she is attributing mightiness to God. Gabriel's name would signify mightiness because the word 'El' is part of the name. The word 'El' applied to God means power, and I think Mary is advancing in herself in that she is not now occupied with Gabriel, although she heard his message of instruction, but she is occupied with God. She speaks of what God did to her, alluding to the wonderful power that operated in the incarnation.

A.R. She says, "holy is his name".

J.T. Just so; but the relation between the Mighty One and Gabriel is striking because power is the thought in Gabriel, but in her mind now there is power in God. Gabriel could not effect the incarnation, although angels in a bad sense had to do with the female side of the human race, but there is no suggestion that Gabriel had anything to do with the incarnation; it was an act of God. So any suggestion that the fatherhood of Christ is other than God is a matter of great importance; I mean to say, any question as to the fatherhood of Christ or saying that the human nature in which He had part simply came from His mother; no doubt it did in a certain sense, but the fatherhood came from God, so that what

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Christ was as incarnate is mysterious. It is mystery; it cannot be said that it is simply a matter of His mother or that He derived His humanity from her. It is mysterious because the Person, "the holy thing" that was born, is the Son of God. The fatherhood was of God, and we cannot say that what He was as Man was wholly from His mother because His Father is God.

V.H.C. Is that why it says in the Authorised Version, verse 35, "that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God", whereas the Darby Translation does not say, "of thee", inferring that all was from God?

J.T. Well, these are the literal words of the Spirit of God covering this matter and "of thee" would not affect it in that sense. It is a question of what is born, not so much that He is born of Mary but that He is born, He becomes incarnate through birth. He is called Son of God immediately, as if God would claim Him so as to prevent any assertion that the whole matter of human nature was from the mother.

Ques. There seems to be a point where Mary breaks down later, in chapter 2: 48: "why hast thou dealt thus with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee distressed". The Lord corrects her by saying, "my Father's business". That enters into it, does it not?

J.T. That is important to keep in mind. In that chapter Mary is allowed to drop from the proper level and the explanation would be that she evidently did not miss the Lord from the company and she did not take care of Him properly, although Matthew would say she took care of Him very well. She is regarded in Matthew as in charge of Him, and Joseph was to take the little Child and Its mother. But after the visit in Jerusalem she apparently was not careful of Him because she went a day without knowing the Lord was not in the company, and the Lord had to

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assert Himself, speaking of "my Father's business". It is just what we are speaking of, that the incarnation implies that God is His Father; He is Son of God.

A.R. Then He did not derive anything from Mary at all?

J.T. Not in a moral sense, only in a physical sense; but we have to touch the subject with care because she was necessary in the matter.

W.F.K. Would the words "shall be" show that He was not Son of God before?

J.T. Well, we know how much has been said in recent times about eternal sonship; it is not scriptural because sonship is in time. He is born in time.

Rem. The fact that He says "my Father" at the age of twelve would indicate that He was consciously in sonship.

J.T. Just so. Sonship is there; the Person is there.

J.K.P. Do the words of Elizabeth give some indication as to what you are saying? She could speak of the fruit of the womb before birth had actually taken place as though to indicate that this matter was going through because it was all of God.

J.T. Yes, she is intelligent in that sense. I think it is of immense importance that the brethren should be entirely cognisant of the facts that are recorded in Luke in view of priesthood and the Lord's own Person. Great is the mystery of piety. It is not all mystery, but it is mystery because although we can say certain things with certainty, I think we discern as we are with God that mystery is attached to it and holiness is attached to it "... the mystery of piety is great", and what we have been saying enters into that greatness.

A.S.B. Mary's salutation is to Elizabeth, is it not?

J.T. Yes; and then John the baptist before he is born, the babe, has part in what we are speaking of, not intelligently but still a part, a mysterious

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part, because it is stated more than once here. "And it came to pass, as Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried out with a loud voice and said, Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leaped with joy in my womb". So that John the baptist has a part in this matter under God and it is really wonderful. You have Zacharias' part, Mary's part, Elizabeth's part, and John the baptist's part, an unborn child; it is a question of the sound in the ear with these women, that is to say, the sound of Mary's voice in the ears of Elizabeth. So we are in the presence of mystery but at the same time in the presence of what really involves the assembly, and how sound enters into it. How real the formation of the assembly is!

J.L.P. Would the conversation of these two women fit in with what Peter says about holy women and their holy conversation?

J.T. Just so.

E.A.K. Would you say this was the commencement of the joy of John the baptist as alluded to in John 3, "but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices in heart because of the voice of the bridegroom: this my joy then is fulfilled"?

J.T. Very good. So that the joy of John the baptist is a peculiar element in the service of God. He is a prophet but the joy occasioned by the voice from the Lord's mouth filled him. It is really wonderful for our souls to consider as entering into the matter we are now engaged with and it should tend to make us more spiritual and more holy in dealing with matters.

J.R.H.Jr. Would it encourage us to bring even

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young children under the sound of holy conversation?

J.T. Quite so. We have already spoken of the importance of bringing up children rightly. It was remarked that John was a short time under the notice of his father while he was dumb, and so we see the importance in bringing up children of what they are brought into touch with even in their earliest youth, and how they should be followed up. It was so with John the baptist; you may be sure that under God he was followed up. He was in the deserts and was not allowed to come under the influence of this world.

A.P.T. Hannah brought Samuel a coat every year. Do you think that baptism is not enough, we have to follow it up?

J.T. Just so. She followed him up and brought a little coat every year. That is to say she would mark his growth every year; there would be increase, and it would be so with John the baptist in a moral sense.

G.McP. In your reference to the assembly is it in mind that the features seen in these two sisters should be infused into the assembly?

J.T. Well, that is so. What came out in John, even as unborn, would enter into their part in the assembly, that is, in its constitution. Union is the matter to have in mind, for the assembly is united to Christ which involves the thought of one flesh. The idea is not simply unity but union; there should be unity, of course, but union is the great matter; it was mentioned at Eve's formation.

A.R. Would you explain the difference between union and unity?

J.T. Unity is a responsibility put on us in Philippians and Corinthians, involving speaking the same thing and being of the same mind, but it is to bring out that what becomes the assembly in union with Christ is already united. The ordinary ministry of the word ought to bring about unity practically

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among us so that we should be fit for union, because union implies that we belong to Him. "... They shall be one flesh", it says; it is the idea of having part with Christ in that sense.

J.R.H. John was a remarkable child in that he was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb. What would you say about that?

J.T. Now you are bringing up the matter of what was in him as born. The idea of his birth would necessarily come into what he would be as born, and the Spirit would have part in him thus, but we have certain facts stated about him before he was born and these are the most wonderful things. Next to Christ, I believe that John is the most wonderful child, in that he was moved before he was born.

J.R.H. Would there be any link with the fact that Zacharias addressed him in verse 76?

J.T. I suppose that John as born and thus actually a being, can be addressed, but you can hardly think of his being addressed before, although he was moved before birth by the Spirit. He is a responsible being as born, that is the only way we can look at it; we must attach the idea of responsibility to a person not as unborn, but as born. Jesus said that there was none 'born' of women greater than he, so that we should attach his importance in the testimony and in the service to him as born.

E.A.K. Was it in your mind a little earlier that kinship precedes union? You were referring to the thought of unity which brings in the idea of brethren. Are not brethren according to the divine mind characterised by unity, but then when you come to the assembly is there the deeper thought of union?

J.T. Well, there is. There is no other family in union save the assembly. Psalm 133 says, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"but that is not union. Israel will never know union nor will any other family, the

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only family that has part in union with Christ is the assembly.

A.R. Do you think we have to understand the idea of kinship first?

J.T. I think so. That is the way it is presented in Genesis 2, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh". That is not simply unity but union, and so it is that the bride that was secured for Isaac was kindred to him.

G.McP. Does the principle of John 17 enter into your earlier remarks about the assembly? The Lord said in His prayer, "that they may be one as we". Does that suggest the idea of union?

J.T. That would not be union, because we are not in union with God. It is a mysterious thing, "but I speak as to Christ, and as to the assembly".

We have now reluctantly to leave this wonderful subject of Luke 1, especially Mary's contribution to the service of God. She says, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he has looked upon the low estate of his bondmaid; for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For the Mighty One has done to me great things, and holy is his name; and his mercy is to generations and generations to them that fear him. He has wrought strength with his arm; he has scattered haughty ones in the thought of their heart. He has put down rulers from thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent away the rich empty. He has helped Israel his servant, in order to remember mercy (as he spoke to our fathers,) to Abraham and to his seed for ever. And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her house". That is, she is left by Gabriel and she goes to Elizabeth and spends three months with her there in the hill country and then returns to her house, as if she would fulfil the great

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mission she had of bearing Christ. Then the verses in chapter 3 are just to bring out the fact of the Lord's baptism by the Holy Spirit: "And it came to pass, all the people having been baptised, and Jesus having been baptised and praying, that the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form as a dove upon him; and a voice came out of heaven, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I have found my delight". That is to say, Sonship was announced by the Father. Christ was Son of God, proclaimed to be Son of God at His birth. It had been said to Mary, "the holy thing also which shall be born shall be called Son of God", but now it is the Father, the Voice from heaven, calling Him Son of God. It is another Voice, and it should be a fitting close for our session that we now arrive at the Person in whom the acts of God, in view of priesthood, are seen. He is Priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedec.

J.R.H. This is the only gospel that speaks of the Lord praying when He was baptised. Would that emphasise the priestly feature?

J.T. I thought we would come to that in chapter 11, but it enters into this chapter that the Lord is seen praying when the Spirit descends upon Him; and it is very significant as to the place prayer has in our subject.

A.P.T. Hebrews 5 says, after speaking of what the Son went through, "addressed by God as high priest according to the order of Melchisedec". When would that take place?

J.T. That allusion is, of course, to Psalm 110. The writer of the Hebrews simply alludes to the Psalm and the Psalm asserts that God addresses Him as High Priest according to the order of Melchisedec.

A.P.T. I just wanted to know its historical setting, because it seems to follow on after the Lord's

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suffering and becoming perfected, Author of eternal salvation.

J.T. It is to bring out the greatness of our High Priest; so the word is, "Now consider how great this personage was". There are many things stated of Him in Hebrews, and one of them is this quotation from Psalm 110, indicating that He is addressed by God. He is addressed by God in Luke 3:22 but what is referred to in Hebrews is what God said beforehand, that is to say, the Psalms were written long before Christ was born and He is addressed before by God as Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. The link is with Genesis 14; Melchisedec was a priest that came out to bless Abram and the lesser is blessed by the greater, so that it is all to bring out the greatness of Christ.

G.McP. Does verse 22 bring out His greatness, "the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form as a dove upon him; and a voice came out of heaven, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I have found my delight"? The word 'beloved' is added.

J.T. Just so, it is the Father's voice. It greatly enters into what we had this morning as to what preceded the appearance of this great Priest, showing how God had been moving and what had been said in all the previous generations, and bringing out what God could identify Himself with in the time of imperfection; because the law made nothing perfect, but still there was something there that God could identify Himself with.

J.W. Is that why the apostle Paul says, "but when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, come of woman, come under law, that he might redeem those under law, that we might receive sonship", Galatians 4:4, 5? Would that be a delivering thought?

J.T. That bears out what we are saying, because

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the time of sonship had come. There had been a time when sonship could not apply, the people of God were minors, but God identified Himself with them in some sense. It was a time of imperfection but now we come to a time of perfection. Galatians speaks of sonship as having come, and not only for Christ but for us in the Spirit of sonship, for it says, "because ye are sons", showing that the principle can be applied to us, "because ye are sons".

F.C. Why does Luke say that the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form as a dove?

J.T. I think to bring out the distinction that attaches to Christ. He is the One who baptises with the Holy Spirit, but the Spirit coming in bodily form applies only to Him. The totality of the Spirit is what is meant, yet the word 'bodily' is really mysterious. John could say it, and he says he saw and bare record that this is the Son of God. He could see what happened because the idea was that there was a bodily form, but descending as a dove.

V.H.C. Why is Matthew's gospel different from Luke's? In Matthew it says, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight", but in Luke it says, "Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I have found my delight". Would it really be for God in Luke, you might say, and in Matthew for public testimony?

J.T. Well, it is just a question of the person addressed. The Lord Jesus is addressed personally by the Father in Luke, whereas the verse in Matthew is in the third person; only you can see there is something very beautiful in that He is addressed by the Father personally as His beloved Son. It is a question of His personal dignity and glory.

A.B. Is this a fulfilment of the prophetic word in Psalm 2, "Thou art my Son; I this day have begotten thee"?

J.T. Well, the Psalmist could not rise fully to the

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heights of what we are dealing with. The Psalm refers to sonship in time, and sonship is in time anyway, only that the Psalm just links the word 'day' with it, whereas "Thou art my beloved Son" leaves the thought of day out, making the idea of sonship of more importance.

Ques. Is there a suggestion of pattern in this, the next move on the part of the Lord being into the wilderness? It seems that one of the functions of priesthood is to keep out everything unholy and tainted by sin, and it is a wonderful thing to have an inward sense of sonship and delight to God in meeting these things.

J.T. I think that is good and it brings out the necessity for priesthood in our service on the first day of the week. All outside is unholy, and there is a power in the Spirit to keep out all that is unsuitable to the service as we are gathered together.

A.E.H. The Lord is seen going into the wilderness led by the Spirit, and these suggestions are made to Him by the devil; though He, of course, is intrinsically holy and I wondered if there was a pattern for us in it.

J.T. I am sure that is so. We have part in service and part in sonship and the power of priesthood enables us to maintain that. So Paul says, "For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God, and boast in Christ Jesus, and do not trust in flesh". That is what marks real Christians.

F.C. Would Paul's movement into Arabia have some correspondence with this? How priestly he was!

J.T. Just so. That would be akin to what we said about John the baptist dwelling in the desert. I suppose Paul did it deliberately to be in the solitude and presence of God Himself.

NOTE - Reading No 2 of this series is missing. It has not been possible to trace its whereabouts.

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Luke 2:25 - 52

J.T. There is another feature needed to be brought forward in order to understand the facts relative to the imperfect time, that is the time of law, leading up to the perfect time which is sonship in Christ and the assembly; and so it is thought that we should read about Simeon and Anna as important in the service in the time of law, but very near to the time of perfection. We cannot stress too much the idea of what is perfect, absolutely conforming to God and His will and pleasure, in contrast to that which, although in measure pleasing God and being of Him, is imperfect. There can be no doubt that many nominal believers are in the imperfect class, some of them not possessing the Holy Spirit, and hence they are uncertain and indefinite in their outlook and movements, and not of the assembly actually although subjects in measure of God's work. So that what is to be stressed in that regard is perfection, involving the incarnation and the work of Christ in redemption, the ascension and the gift of the Spirit -- these are the great facts of perfection, the great facts of the present dispensation. And so in view of all this it is thought that we should look at this scripture in Luke 2 as leading up to and almost at the conclusion of the imperfect time; indeed, arriving at Him who is perfect, Christ, of whom it says in Hebrews, "God ... at the end of these days has spoken to us in the person of the Son". That is, the perfect Speaker, God Himself, is speaking, so we have arrived at the time of perfect speaking. Things are disclosed; the Son being the final Speaker, the final word is with Him. It is thought, too, that Simeon

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and Anna may be taken to represent the closing moments of the imperfect time, the time of law, and to introduce (inclusive of John the baptist) the time of perfection, the time of Christ. They arrive at the forty-two generations marked as reaching Christ, as seen in Matthew, they were "unto the Christ". Of Simeon it is said, "there was a man in Jerusalem". That is to be noted, the person and where he is; it says, "whose name was Simeon; and this man was just and pious, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him". It was not the time of the Spirit but this fact marks what we have been saying, showing how God intervenes in time to bring in what is always perfect. The period alluded to is just before the perfect time had arrived, the time of sonship, and so it is said that "it was divinely communicated to him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death before he should see the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and as the parents brought in the child Jesus that they might do for him according to the custom of the law, he received him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now thou lettest thy bondman go, according to thy word, in peace; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation".

Ques. Does the fact of the Holy Spirit apparently moving to us in His own divine prerogative suggest the readiness of divine Persons, as having come into the economy, to link on with any who may be ready for further developments?

J.T. That is what I was thinking, and how we may compare with this the nearness of the coming dispensation, because we are very near to it. But we are in the greatest dispensation now and when it changes there will be a drop publicly in the level of God's doings and ways; whereas now we are on the very top, as it were, at the very summit of things in which God is operating.

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A.R. Do Simeon and Anna represent what is perfect in themselves?

J.T. Well, in measure. Certainly Simeon is very near it because he is an example for us almost at any time, he dwelt in Jerusalem. It is not simply that he dwelt but that he was in Jerusalem; "and this man was just and pious, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him". He had communications from the Spirit so he was almost up to the time of perfection, the time of Christ. Similarly we see in John's writings, where John the baptist is speaking in chapter 3, that it is difficult to distinguish his words from the actual wording of the apostle himself, showing that John the baptist was very near Christianity.

W.F.K. Is there any reason why Simeon's genealogy is not given whereas Anna's is?

J.T. Well, I suppose it is noteworthy that he is called "a man", not 'a Jew', which is in accord with what we are saying, that he has practically arrived at the time of perfection. He is in Jerusalem where great things are about to be and where great things have already come about; the Lord says in John, "Thou shalt see greater things than these".

W.L. Would you say he was a greater man than Zacharias?

J.T. I would think so very decidedly. What is said of him shows how spiritual he is.

J.R.H. Would you say that morally and spiritually priesthood is touched in this man?

J.T. That is exactly what I was thinking, that he affords us an example of priesthood. First it is said of him that "it was divinely communicated to him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death before he should see the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple". And in keeping with that it is said that he took the Child in his arms and blessed God, that is priestly.

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S.J.H. When you emphasise that he was a man, do you imply that all his senses were fully developed?

J.T. Well, the Spirit of God uses that word of him, not calling him a certain man holding an office, like Zacharias or John the baptist, but just a man, and it is indicated that he was in communion with God.

A.B. Would the meaning of his name help us in that way, according to what Leah says in Genesis? 'Hearing' is the meaning of his name and he is in expectation, waiting on God.

J.T. That is good, because all these matters have a bearing backwards, showing how early God began with His thoughts. They bear as indicated on the beginning of things, and then they bear on the perfect state of things, too.

J.R.H. Do you think that it is possible for someone to have a revelation from God at the present time as to the coming of the Lord?

J.T. I do not think we need to expect that in any definite way, only a revival of ministry, especially of prophetic meetings which I would regard as epochal, extending back some twenty-five years now. The time of revival of prophetic ministry is taken up from the book of Samuel, the beginning of prophecy being in that book, although others spoke before; but Samuel marks off the time of prophetic ministry in the ways of God in the Old Testament. And that has now taken place in our own times, the idea having been revived of prophetic ministry according to 1 Corinthians 14 where the whole assembly comes together in one place and prophecy results, and a man comes into the Christian assembly and is convicted of all. The brethren are all affected but the man is convicted, and he falls down and worships God and says that God is among you of a truth. I think that having happened would indicate that the coming of the Lord is very near. Our spirits are

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affected by it although we may not have formal prophetic indications or prophecies.

Ques. Does it not seem that what is priestly, when it comes into expression sufficiently, has a distinctly prophetic touch about it? This man Simeon takes a Child into his arms and how much more he says about It than what is apparent, speaking of the salvation of the Lord before all the people! There is a prophetic touch in that, is there not?

J.T. Quite so, and what a beautiful indication of affection, taking the Child into his arms and saying things about Him! He might have left Him in His mother's arms; the magi did not take Him into their arms. I think it is a distinct mark of spirituality and affection, almost reaching on to our own times, that is to say, to the time of the Spirit. So "he came in the Spirit into the temple; and as the parents brought in the child Jesus that they might do for him according to the custom of the law, he received him into his arms". I doubt whether there is anything to equal this in Old Testament times because it concerns no less a Person than the Messiah Himself, the Christ. We have indications of the place that Jedidiah, or Solomon, had with Jehovah, but no child had such an affectionate reception as Jesus here.

Rem. It would seem that the peculiar affection that is developing among us now for the Lord Jesus would have a prophetic touch in it in that way, indicating that what stands related to the prophetic map may start to unroll any time.

J.T. It is a time of love, as we had it this morning. The Lord coming in was a movement of love, and He was affectionately received. The time of the assembly is a time of love, it is peculiarly so with Christ and the assembly. This man Simeon is marked by piety and expectation, awaiting the consolation of Israel; he is up to the mark, you might say, as to what God is doing, fully up to it and ready for it, especially in

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affection, in keeping with Anna, the feminine side of the position.

A.A.T. The Spirit calls him a man but he speaks of himself as a bondman. Is there anything in that?

J.T. Well, it is an expression that any one of us ought to be free to use, if we are that.

A.R. Is he not characteristically a man? He knows what to do and what to say. One finds we are tested in the assembly as to what to do and what to say.

J.T. Yes, we are tested. We thought of it this morning, how the mind God has given us enters into the service of the Lord's supper. The heart comes in in time, in its own place, but the mind is what is to mark us first, "the calling of me to mind" (see the Darby Translation note to "me" in 1 Corinthians 11:24). The expression "we have the mind of Christ" implies that we know what to do at any time.

G.McP. Is there some thought in relation to the last phrase of chapter 2: 14 which speaks of good pleasure in men? Would Simeon be the kind of man that would afford God good pleasure?

J.T. Yes.

E.A.K. Is the reference to the temple a matter that bears in any way upon the close of the dispensation? Special attention has been called to that lately in the prophetic word.

J.T. Yes, the temple of God is really part of the revival of the last days to which we have often alluded. "Do ye not know that ye are the temple of God?" It does not say that you should be but that you are that, the Spirit of God dwells in you. The indwelling of the Spirit implies the temple so that there ought to be spiritual communications, and all these communications would comport with the idea of the prophetic word as in Simeon.

F.C. Is Simeon particularly distinguished in this way as usable by the Spirit? The word is first communicated

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to him by the Holy Spirit which is direct communication as I would understand from the note in Matthew, and then he came in the power of the Spirit into the temple. Would he be an intensely spiritual man?

J.T. I think he is marked off in that way as nearer our own dispensation; and others, of course, would be in accord with that, but these two are singled out, Simeon and Anna. We had Zacharias yesterday, also Mary and Elizabeth, and they have their own distinction; but these two as regards formation, it seems to me, are on an even higher level.

R.W.S. Does Simeon have in mind, in speaking by the Spirit in verse 32, our dispensation and the coming one, "a light for revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel"?

J.T. That is what is predicated of the Child, "mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples; a light for revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel", which implies that the veil has been removed that lay on the face of all peoples, the time has come now for God to have to say to the Gentiles. The light is there for revelation, which means the idea of removing a veil so that you can see things that were not to be seen before; the Gentiles are coming into the view of God, the time has come for that, and hence the gospel is wrapped up in this.

J.R.H. Do you see in the fact that he put the revelation of the Gentiles before the glory of God's people Israel some indication of spiritual understanding beyond his time?

J.T. Just so, the Gentiles were getting priority, although the facts of the book of Acts would show that it was the Jew first. That is to say, God ordered it that in His consideration for His ancient people they should have first place and so Peter's first address is to them; he lifts up his voice and speaks to the

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men of Israel, but then he also speaks to all that hear. But the mind of God according to Simeon places the Gentiles in priority and on the principle of light. That was predicated of the Babe held in his arms, that He should be for a revelation of the Gentiles and for the glory of God's people Israel.

T.W. Would you say how it is that a little one in the kingdom is greater than such a one as Simeon?

J.T. That is said of John the baptist and it helps greatly in all we have been saying, because the greatest of the old dispensation is less than the least of the new, showing the extraordinary superiority of the present dispensation of the Spirit, the dispensation of sonship really.

A.P.T. In Acts 28 the apostle Paul in referring to the prophetic word in Isaiah speaks to the Jews and then says, "Be it known to you therefore, that this salvation of God has been sent to the nations", and the note in the Darby Translation to 'salvation' refers to this verse in Luke 2. It is remarkable that it is linked on in that way with the Gentiles; the note says, 'Rather "that which saves" than salvation itself: see Luke 2:30 ...'

J.T. And that word is, "mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples; a light for revelation of the Gentiles", Luke 2:30 - 32. So that Paul in turning away from the Jews at that particular time would say that that light, the salvation of God, was sent to the Gentiles and they would receive it. Therefore from that point onward the distinction is made as to the present period, the day of salvation, the accepted time, the day in which God is reconciling the world to Himself. All these things enter into this matter and bring out what we are, so that Simeon has peculiar light and he is in keeping with it, too, and near to the present dispensation.

V.H.C. How do you reconcile the word in Matthew by the Lord Jesus to the Canaanitish woman in

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which He said, "I have not been sent save to the lost sheep of Israel's house", with what Simeon says, "a light for revelation of the Gentiles"?

J.T. When the Lord spoke to the Canaanitish woman He was here in incarnation, He had not died and redemption had not been accomplished, so the position was that the Jew was first. But now redemption is accomplished and Christ is in heaven and the Spirit is given; what Simeon says is fully verified and the Gentiles have first place. So it is that we have the first place. As a matter of fact there is hardly a Jew in the testimony now; there may be many unseen, there are a few in evidence, but hardly more than that in the public testimony. Therefore it is the time of the Gentiles and it is spoken of in that way in Romans 11.

G.McP. Does that help us to understand the place the assembly has in the mind of God?

J.T. It does, and we need to get it more into our minds that we are in a most wonderful time. We are in it and have to do with it, we are not simply onlookers. The thing is a fact -- the presence of the Holy Spirit, the presence of the assembly, and the service of God -- these are all facts, Christianity is a fact.

A.R. There is no synagogue mentioned in connection with Philippi; that is the first idea we get of the Spirit of God moving toward Gentile territory, is it not?

J.T. Yes, the word was, "Pass over into Macedonia and help us". It is a time of the Gentiles.

A.E.L. Would Simeon have this unique place because of his spiritual desires and ambitions that he should not die before he should see the Lord's Christ, not because he was an Israelite exactly?

J.T. Well, I think he was thoroughly in the mind of God. You feel he was almost fit for the assembly, but he did not come into it, he died. In fact it was

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told him that he would die, "And it was divinely communicated to him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death before he should see the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple", so he was up to the mark in every respect.

E.A.K. You spoke in London about the Lord's return being more realistic to us and our not being theoretic about it. One desired to inquire whether it is a legitimate desire to have in our souls that we should be here when the Lord comes. Some of us no doubt will go to be with the Lord, but as a matter of individual exercise and communion with the Lord, as seen in Simeon, is it a legitimate desire to be alive to see the Lord?

J.T. I would think so. I think that would be quite in order, although there are modifications in a sense. The apostle says, I have a desire to depart to be with Christ; but at the same time he speaks of "all who love his appearing". That is to say, we ought to make more of the appearing than of His actual coming for us, because it is at the time of His appearing that He enters into all His rights and all the purpose of God concerning Him. Therefore it seems to me that the saints should be concerned about these actual facts that are mentioned, that Simeon is up-to-date, up to the very minute at that time in waiting for the Lord's Christ and not being ready to depart through death till he had seen Him. We, on the other hand, can speak of the Lord's coming, but in general what we are speaking of and what we should speak of is His appearing. It is a thing to be loved. I do not think the rapture is spoken of just in that way, it relates to those who love the Lord and His coming for us. But it is loving His appearing that is to be in our minds because so much enters into it for Christ, involving what He is looking for and thinking of.

R.W.S. In Revelation it says, "the Spirit and the

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bride say, Come". Does that refer to the rapture or the appearing?

J.T. I think that is the appearing, it is not the Lord coming for us but coming into His own rights.

Rem. In the scripture in 2 Timothy as to the appearing the state of the apostle almost seems to be linked with it; he anticipates the article of death and says he is already being poured out.

J.T. Yes, the time of his departure had arrived. I suppose he had communications from the Lord about it as Simeon did; we know from Philippians that he was pressed as to whether he should remain or depart. Paul, you might say, was outstanding as indicating the mind of God about the dispensation, but he said, "the time of my release is come". We cannot all say that. The apostle evidently had a clear indication that he was going to depart to be with Christ, going to die, to be martyred; so had Peter.

Ques. What would you say about Paul's wish to be clothed and not unclothed (2 Corinthians 5:4)?

J.T. That fits with what we are saying, for we are not to be unclothed but clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Therefore Philippians says, "who shall transform our body of humiliation into conformity to his body of glory". That is all that we look for.

W.F.K. What is "the consolation of Israel"?

J.T. That is whatever the prophetic word indicated as to the Christ. The consolation of Israel would be the Messiah, that which every heart looks for.

J.K.P. It says His father and mother wondered at the things said concerning Him. Am I right in suggesting that wonderment ceases when the perfect time arrives?

J.T. Well, we spoke yesterday of the time when Abraham's servant wondered at Rebecca, and of the

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time in Judges 13 when the angel did wondrously; and it is said of Christ that "his name is called Wonderful", all of which pointed to the coming of the Lord and how things that preceded caused wonderment. So we are thankful if anything happens in the way of conversions, and in the way of souls being turned back from unrighteousness, being restored and brought into blessing. We wonder at it and rejoice in it; the Lord often gives us something to rejoice in when perhaps we are dejected because of persons turning away.

R.W.S. Is there not some wonderment in the fact that in this wonderful day in which we are God is not only raising up persons but maintaining older persons, those who have served us well? He seems to be maintaining them throughout the world generally in vigour and spiritual power.

J.T. Very good. So Hezekiah may be taken as a devoted man in his day, and in his devotedness he puts forward a reason why something should be done in his case as to prolonging his days. He turned his face to the wall and wept, but God gave him reason to have hope, adding fifteen years to his life, and we may surely transfer that thought to ourselves. Moses' life was evidently lengthened, his eye was not dim at 120 nor his natural force abated; and we may look to the Lord, if it be needed to maintain anyone He may need by lengthening his life. There is really no reason why we should not ask for it; in fact we are encouraged to ask for things like that and the Lord would say to us, I want to give you encouragement, there is something especially pleasing to Me in what is going on. So it was that Paul's own life was evidently prolonged because it is said that he decided he should remain with the Philippians.

A.R. What you said last night about the assembly coming so close to Deity causes wonderment.

J.T. That is wonderful. Perhaps there is more to

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be looked into than we have thought as to the proximity to Deity. No one has seen God, although God would say of Moses that he had some immense privileges as compared to others; but the fact is stated that no one has seen God at any time. At the same time there is the only-begotten Son and He has declared Him. There are things the Son is doing, and "The Father loves the Son, and has given all things to be in his hand". He is with the assembly, with His people, and is doing things for us to cause gladness and wonderment. Perhaps we should have more of it if we only looked for it, as Paul says, "Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice", Philemon 4:4. One of the things to be exercised about is that we know very little about rejoicing.

C.N. Is there an advance of priesthood in Simeon over against Elizabeth and Mary inasmuch as their communications were by the angel, but of Simeon it says that the Holy Spirit communicated to him?

J.T. I would think so, although they come very near to our own dispensation, just as John the baptist does and, of course Mary and Elizabeth have a peculiar touch to them in the fact that they speak prophetically. Simeon does, too, but Mary and Elizabeth spoke prophetically in the hill country, and where we have that word I think there is something special.

J.R.H. Do you think that in Simeon's understanding and apprehension of the Lord he rose to the height of the angel's announcement in verse 11, "who is Christ the Lord"? The footnote in the Darby Translation to "Lord" in Luke 2:9 says, 'Jehovah'.

J.T. Just so. In a personal sense you cannot say much about angels because it is simply given to them to announce. There is no question with them of state or of what they are on moral lines, whereas when it comes to men and women the moral side comes in. God has peculiar pleasure in men, so

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wisdom says, "my delights were with the Sons of men", not angels.

J.R.H. Is there not a suggestion of Deity in what the angel announced, "Christ the Lord", whereas Simeon looked for the Lord's Christ? "... For today a Saviour has been born to you in David's city, who is Christ the Lord".

J.T. That would be only a prophetic announcement. Angels are sent out as ministers or servants on account of those who shall be heirs of salvation, and the services they render or the distinctions granted to them are not on moral lines; it is a question of God's purpose. But when you come to men, the peculiar pleasure of God is with them and great things may happen through them because of the order of being they represent. In fact Deity Itself has come into manhood. So angels have not the place we have; it says, "who was made some little inferior to angels on account of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour". That belongs to man, the angels are second to that.

E.A.K. Has special light come into Simeon's soul as a result of receiving the Child into his arms There seems to be a great range in his subsequent utterances.

J.T. It is wonderful, because the ark is in mind, which is, of course, the Lord in manhood; the ark represents Him. But at the same time He is spoken of here at the age of twelve in a peculiar way, because He has a place at that age that is most distinctive. It is in manhood that He has that place. And things are not being assigned to Him, as it were, because the Lord says, "did ye not know that I ought to be occupied in my Father's business?" which does not have in mind something the Father had given Him to do exactly, but that He should be occupied with it, a peculiar kind of voluntary service, as it were, that God could have peculiar pleasure in. Angels are

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not thus occupied, they are ministering servants.

W.F.K. Is Anna's long life recorded because she pleased the Lord?

J.T. I think it is recorded because of the moral importance that attaches to it. "And there was a prophetess, Anna, daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher, who was far advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, and herself a widow up to eighty-four years". Possibly that would bring her up to a hundred or more and God is attaching importance to her longevity; He does not do so in every case when people become very old, but in her case He did. It mentions that she lived with her husband and then other things are said which would mean that importance is attached to her life not simply because she was over eighty-four years of age. These things are not said of Simeon; I believe therefore that Anna has a special distinction, as though God would give variety to us in the sense of distinction.

W.F.K. Is serving night and day priestly service?

J.T. Just so.

J.R.H. Does she answer the description that Paul gives in Timothy of the widow indeed?

J.T. Well, it is worth while reading about her again. "And there was a prophetess", that is the first thing, this sister has that speciality; then her father is mentioned and that she is "of the tribe of Asher" whose foot was to be dipped in oil, and then that she "was far advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity". She was married evidently very young and then she was a widow up to eighty-four years; that either means her age or that she was a widow all those years, and it is probably the latter, which would bring her up to the age of about 106, showing that God is speaking to us of the importance of long life as being found in the way of righteousness. I believe

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that is what He is pointing out here. And then it says, "who did not depart from the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers", so that she is a woman of great value to the testimony of God.

T.S. It is interesting that the scripture breaks it down to hourly movements, "she coming up the same hour".

J.T. Showing that there are hours of importance. The word 'hour' often suggests what is critical and she might have missed this critical matter, but she did not. She came in at the great hour of the appearance of the Messiah, she was there at that hour when He was in the arms of Simeon, affectionately held there, and when things were spoken prophetically that pointed to His glory.

E.A.L. Up to this point in Luke, prior to the mention of Anna, there are five persons mentioned in peculiar relations to the Holy Spirit: John, Mary, Elizabeth, Zacharias, and then Simeon. The Holy Spirit is not mentioned in connection with Anna, but would we assume that she had the Holy Spirit?

J.T. Well, we can assume that, but she had other things. God says, I have distinctions of glory, there is one glory in the sun, another in the moon, and another in the stars. God loves to speak of them, and these are men and women that have their glories.

G.McP. Do the masculine features in Simeon and the feminine features in Anna find their counterpart now in the assembly?

J.T. Just so. Masculine and feminine features are to be seen in the assembly really as we are now in flesh and blood, but not in eternity, although there will be other features of the same persons. The persons who form the assembly will also be sons of God and brethren of Christ, but the general idea in the assembly is feminine.

Rem. The verse following the one you quoted from

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Deuteronomy in regard to the tribe of Asher says, "Iron and brass shall be thy bolts; and thy rest as thy days". I was thinking of the strength of the bond that held Anna in daily service and how in serving thus in a quiet mind she found in that service rest. It added to her life.

J.T. No doubt. God, speaking simply and reverentially, says, 'See what I have; see what these two are; see Elizabeth, see Mary, see Zacharias, and a host of others!' God would call attention to His people and how they glorify Him, and how they are glorified just as the stars. There is one glory of the sun, another of the moon, and another of the stars, "For star differs from star in glory", 1 Corinthians 15:41. It is the time of glory.

A.B. Moses says of Asher that he shall be blessed with sons, showing how great this sister is.

J.T. Quite so.

C.N. Would you say as regards the stars that we have five stars, three sisters and two brothers, Elizabeth, Mary, Anna, Simeon and John?

J.T. Well, quite so. Sometimes we have five brothers and only a few sisters and that is not so good because the sisters are glorious.

W.W.M. It says of Anna that she did not depart from the temple, and I believe the name Asher refers to happiness or blessedness. You have referred to the fact that we may not know enough about rejoicing, but it may be possibly because we do not know enough about not departing from the temple. Anna by not departing from the temple would evidently show that she had the happiness and enjoyment of divine things in such a way that it kept her there, and no doubt she was a happy sister.

J.T. Very good indeed. It is exhilarating to hear that, and to realise besides that she spoke of Him, that is of Christ; she was evangelistic to all those who

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looked for redemption. You might say we ought to go out and preach to the public, and, of course, we should, because the gospel is to all; but at the same time there is the idea of selection and Paul would stress that, too, that there is a man listening to the preaching and he believes, he is converted. He is outside and you do not know him, but presently he comes into the meeting where the brethren are, just as we have been saying about Corinth where a man comes in; he is judged of all and convicted and falls down and worships God and reports that God is among them. When a man is convicted he belongs to the counsels of God, he is not outside any more, we cannot say we do not know him. His place is inside because his name is engraved before the foundation of the world. That is what I think Anna would suggest to us because she made a selection, she spoke to those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. That is the kind of people she met with and spoke to, persons who were looking for redemption like Simeon himself.

A.P.T. Such persons make good assembly material.

J.T. Just so, we are dealing with assembly material now. In a general way the brethren are not called upon to go out to missionary work, our occupation in the main is with assembly material, potential or otherwise. We are going on with that and it is of value, the names of such are written in heaven before the foundation of the world. We are dealing with those people and they are worth dealing with.

Ques. Is that why she did not depart from the temple? Does that mean today that she would move in the circle of the saints?

J.T. Just so. It does not allude to the shrine but to the public buildings, and one might say she attends the meetings, because the meetings are public places to which anyone can come. If we know a person is

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looking for redemption he is one of us, and that gives him distinction at once.

B.H. Anna belongs to the tribe of Asher and it says of him, "let him dip his foot in oil". What does that teach us?

J.T. That Asher is a spiritual man. We are told if we live by the Spirit to walk by the Spirit, we are to be spiritual men in our walk.

E.A.K. Is there an intensity about Anna in the fact that night precedes day in her exercise? Those alterations in Scripture are interesting, like fasting coming before prayer. Was the matter very urgent with her in that way?

J.T. Very good. One is impressed in Scripture with day and night and night and day. It says that "day and night" shall not cease while the earth remains, yet in the beginning the evening preceded the morning. The evening and morning were one day, showing that the exercise of the evening or night precedes the morning; so, too, a horror of great darkness fell on Abraham but then a day of glory appeared.

G.McP. This thought of assembly material seems to be an excellent one in relation to Simeon in Jerusalem and Anna in the temple. Would it suggest the principle of being in the assembly and functioning?

J.T. Just so. How many of us do? We were saying that sisters do not speak in the assembly because Paul says, "I do not suffer a woman to teach nor to exercise authority over man", but at the same time a sister is a priest and functions too. That is the point that the Lord is laying on our hearts to speak of, that the sisters are not fulfilling their functions, whereas the Spirit of God would stress that it is brothers and sisters, men and women, Adam and Eve, etc. The two sexes are included in the word 'many' and God is pleased with man, and He looks for the sisters to fulfil their part. Anna represents

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one who does it because she is speaking to people. She has not got gift but she is speaking to people who look for redemption in Jerusalem, showing that she is concerned about Jerusalem; and moreover she does not depart from the temple. She would encourage all the brethren by her attention and presence in the prayer meeting and all meetings. The presence of the sisters is stimulating and encouraging to the brethren, and they have a priestly function as well.

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Luke 4:1 - 32

J.T. Luke 3 leads us to Christ baptised, and it is said He was praying as He was baptised: "... and Jesus having been baptised and praying, ... the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form as a dove upon him; and a voice came out of heaven, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I have found my delight" (verses 21, 22). These two verses bring us to the Lord in full manhood, for verse 23 says, "And Jesus himself was beginning to be about thirty years old", and that is full levitical manhood, for it was at that age that the Levites entered on their full service. They began earlier as a sort of novitiate service, but "about thirty years" calls attention to the full levitical age; and so in view of divine service we have full manhood indicated involving physical strength. But when we come to chapter 4 it is said, "But Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness forty days, tempted of the devil". So that we have full manhood in Christ in chapter 3, and in chapter 4 He is active in it, returning as it is said from the Jordan where He was baptised and "led by the Spirit in the wilderness", not 'into' it but "in" it; that is, the wilderness position is accepted and He is moving in it, and being led in it.

All these are important thoughts for us, especially for the young brothers and sisters who would enter on the service of God. The service of the Levites was an onerous sort of thing involving physical strain, pre-figuring, of course, spiritual strain and energy; and so it is thought we should look at chapter 4 in the light of what has been said, as showing the Lord in active service in full manhood. All that divine

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activities had in mind in the types, in the priests and the Levites and other types, is now in full force and full exercise in Christ, and it is thought we should begin with this for the comparatively short time we have for this reading. Full manhood is in mind, not that which is in part; there is what is in part, but we are now dealing with full manhood.

A.R. The Lord was as great morally at the end of the forty days as He was at the beginning. Every day was in the power of the Spirit.

J.T. He was not only led into the wilderness, but led in it, the whole period was in it.

J.R.H. Why is it that Luke is the only one who uses this expression, "full of the Holy Spirit", both in the gospel and in the book of Acts? Paul uses the thought once in the words, "but be filled with the Spirit", Ephesians 5:18.

J.T. "Be filled" would allude to what is proper to Christians, or to creatures, whereas the Lord is not in the process of being filled. According to this passage He is "full of the Holy Spirit".

C.N. Does His reference to Isaiah's prophecy giving it a present application in the word 'To-day', prove what you say as to the full growth of manhood?

J.T. It illustrates that what was given at the time of law was connected with a time of imperfection; there was something of God in that period, but it was not a perfect time, therefore the scripture alluded to here could not be properly applied until now. So the Lord says, "To-day this scripture is fulfilled in your ears"; that is to say, we have arrived at the time of it.

W.F.K. Would being led by the Spirit be power for combat to defeat Satan?

J.T. The strong man was there, but the stronger than he is now here and takes away the armour in which he trusted; that is, He robs the devil of his armour and his weapons, and overthrows him and

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spoils his goods. Luke is to bring out the spoiling of the enemy's goods; what he had secured through his subtlety he is now robbed of; the gospel is robbing him of his prey.

W.L. Have you in mind that priestliness is to enter into levitical service here?

J.T. That is what is in mind exactly, because Malachi whom we have quoted several times at these readings says, "For the priest's lips should keep knowledge", (Malachi 2:7). Not only does the priest serve God, but his lips keep knowledge and we are to hear the law at his mouth; I think that is what comes out here in the Lord's remarks, the knowledge of that enters into what He says and has a great deal to do with the overthrow of the enemy. The Lord is shown here to be stronger than he.

A.B. Most of us become somewhat exhausted in exercises, but the Lord is not exhausted here in verse 14, "And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee". There is no depleting of the power that was there.

J.T. Very good. He was as strong at the end of forty days as at the beginning, although it is not to be overlooked that He had taken up real manhood, and that real manhood involves as here a Man in flesh and blood in the wilderness; it involves weariness and it involves strengthening, too, because an angel strengthened the Lord, as it says in one place. So that He was stronger than the devil but He was a real Man; tempted in all things as we are, sin apart. He exhibited real manhood in those circumstances.

W.L. Is it in this way that He is a perfect pattern for us?

J.T. That is the idea. Since He has risen from the dead and gone into heaven other things have happened. He is the Man of God's counsels. As out of death the Lord speaks of Himself as having "flesh and bones". Ordinary persons are not limited to flesh

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and bones, they have flesh and blood; but the Lord speaks of "flesh and bones as ye see me having", Luke 24:39. That is in resurrection, involving the taking on of a new condition; but we are engaged now with Christ in the days of His flesh when He suffered and felt things before God with strong crying and tears. He was "tempted in all things in like manner, sin apart", Hebrews 4:15.

A.P.T. Is eating and drinking connected with this subject? "The Son of man has come eating and drinking", Luke 7:34.

J.T. Quite so. When they attributed to Him that He was a glutton and a winebibber, John the baptist had alluded to the fact that He did not eat and drink.

S.J.H. Why does it not say that he hungered before the forty days were finished? Forty days is a long time.

J.T. The fact that it does say "he hungered" shows it is important that we should keep in mind the Lord's condition in flesh and blood. "... The days of his flesh" allude to the time we are dealing with and He is preserved through that period, hut Moses also was preserved for forty days and forty nights, and so was Elijah. It is possible in creatures, but it is seen here in the Lord and it is mentioned to bring out the real humanity that was there, such a humanity as He had taken, capable of being wearied and hungry, as if God would say, That is what I intended to bring out in Christ as Man.

W.M. Do you think the full thought of manhood is in Leviticus 2 where the meat-offering is referred to? It says, "And if thou present an oblation of thy first-fruits to Jehovah, thou shalt present as the oblation of thy first-fruits green ears of corn roasted in fire, corn beaten out of full ears" (Leviticus 2:14).

J.T. That is the full thought. The second offering treated of in the book of Leviticus is the meat-offering, to bring out the perfect humanity of Christ.

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A.R. The devil says, "If thou be Son of God", but He is now Man, and He answered as Man.

J.T. That is good, I am sure. We should note in our consideration of the passage His answer to the devil. He says, "It is written", quoting Scripture; that is the weapon that He uses, the weapon by which He overcomes the devil. That scripture says, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God"; but then He did live, He ate and drank.

E.A.K. Does this oblation involve the necessity of the death of the Lord Jesus? I was thinking of Hebrews 2:13, where Isaiah 8 is cited, "And again, Behold, I and the children which God has given me. 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".

J.T. That helps us in view of what we have been saying because it has in mind not only the overthrow of the devil in the wilderness but his complete annulment in the sense that he is deprived of power through death. We are dealing with the very thing you are just quoting; it is a question of the Lord being in "blood and flesh" and all that entered into that sin apart, because He could not be our Model save as partaking of the things the children are partakers of. He Himself took part in the same real manhood, that is, in the sense of flesh and blood.

A.L. In the several references to the devil here he is not called Satan. Why is his name not capitalised? Would that suggest no dignity in the presence of the Lord?

J.T. Just so. That suggests what we find in the earlier part of Scripture where the devil is alluded to as a serpent under the heading of cattle. He is humiliated and I suppose the Lord intended that; He is not dealing with him as a great being called

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Satan, which means antagonist of God, or opposed to God. Ezekiel treats of him in that way and he was regarded by God in that way; in fact Michael implies that he was a great being because it is said, "But Michael the archangel ... did not dare to bring a railing judgment against him, but said, The Lord rebuke thee", Jude 9. Michael being a military angel respected the dignity of Satan before he fell, although he was then a fallen being. But the Lord is not making much of that here and he is not great according to what we get in Genesis, he is just a serpent. The word 'Satan' is not mentioned in the early chapters of Genesis.

J.L. Would the reference in Ephesians 4 to the full grown man and then in Ephesians 6, "For the rest, brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the might of his strength. Put on the panoply of God, that ye may be able to stand against the artifices of the devil" bring before us how we might meet the enemy by putting on the whole armour of God?

J.T. That is good. Chapter 6 deals with the battle because Paul says, "our struggle is not against blood and flesh, but against principalities, against authorities, against the universal lords of this darkness, against spiritual power of wickedness in the heavenlies". What we have in Ephesians is the highest level of conflict; Satan did not take on flesh and blood, it is a spiritual being we wrestle with.

S.J.H. Is the Lord raising the question of manhood? He quotes the scripture intelligently in that way whereas Satan does not. People quote oftentimes without understanding, pitting one scripture against another, do they not?

J.T. The Lord is an example in everything here. I believe the devil distorts the scripture, he quotes in effect, not in actual words; and if the actual words are used, he does not quote all the scripture, nor does he quote it accurately, whereas the Lord does. Of

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course it is as a model for us that He does it, and the Berean brethren are models in that sense, because they searched the Scriptures daily as to whether the things that Paul had taught were so.

V.H.C. Does the wilderness bring out the entire dependence of the Lord on God?

J.T. That is the point of it, dependence on every word that proceeded from the mouth of God.

V.H. I was thinking of Psalm 16, "Preserve me, O God: for I trust in thee".

J.T. A beautiful sample of the Lord in dependence! Here we have Him in actual combat as David was in actual combat when he encountered the giant Goliath. We see how He does it and it is for us to follow, taking an example from Him.

J.R.H. Is this a perfect expression of what John says, "I write to you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one", (1 John 2:13), and "I have written to you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one" (1 John 2:14)?

J.T. Quite so. John is dealing with us as children, but dealing with us as a family and thus as graded, fathers, young men and little children. Therefore we are all in this matter, every one of us here today. We are in graded conditions as to age and God takes account of us according to our years; therefore we have to reckon in dealing with our brethren not only physical age but spiritual age, how long persons have been converted. John said more to the little children than to the fathers and young men, showing we must be very considerate of our young men and young women in view of their age.

W.R. I would like to ask if the verse in Romans 8 has any bearing on this chapter, "for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God".

J.T. That is a direct word for us, just as we have been saying about John's epistle; there is the idea

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of children of God and of sons of God. Children of God is what we are down here, and God is moving on those lines with us whether we are here as elder brethren and sisters, middle-aged brethren and sisters, or young men, or boys and girls. Eutychus is called a boy, showing how the Spirit of God comes down to the gradation in which we are seen and considerately speaks of us. Accordingly, as we understand we are considerate.

J.R.H. Would it be right to say the father feature in full manhood is seen with the Lord in that He is pure in atmosphere, no element of the world has any appeal to Him?

J.T. That is good. Now we may look at the temptations, because the point is just what you are saying. The first one deals with our circumstances, that is to say, what we have to count on for our livelihood physically; so it is said, "and in those days he did not eat anything, and when they were finished he hungered. And the devil said to him, If thou be Son of God, speak to this stone, that it become bread. And Jesus answered unto him saying, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God". A young man entering on his life in view of marital relations has to think of circumstances, of his salary and so forth and that is where the enemy tempts us. At first we are likely to be influenced, if not overcome, at least influenced, by these considerations. A man would say, for instance, that he would come fully out into the truth were it not that he had seven anchors hanging on him, meaning he had a wife and six children. Then too if one is not married but going to school or just beginning business, one's mind is on these things in view of a career. Again the devil knows it, and I believe the word for us here would be largely allied with John and with the gradations alluded to in the family. From the lowest in years this temptation is to be specially before us so that we

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may stand; and that we may take account of the fact that the word of God, the meetings, the ministry and all that order of things is more than salary or progress in business; because we are prone to think of the distinction we may acquire and how the distinction is accompanied by salary. The word for us is therefore what the Lord brings forward here, every word of God,'' not only the general thought of ministry but every word of God.

W.L. Has the word 'alone' any importance? "Man shall not live by bread alone".

J.T. Just so. There is recognition of what we were speaking about, the wherewithal of human life; the word 'alone' would be in recognition of that, but then the word 'every' is to be noted, "every word of God".

T.S. How briefly the situation is met!

J.T. You mean the Lord's quotation. There is a model in that way for us as to the use of words in our ministry; time is so scarce. Time is the scarcest thing we have, at least for some of us, and hence brevity is of great importance; and yet the truth should be stated.

A.A.T. Would this scripture help a brother who might be influenced by trade unions?

J.T. Very much; so it comes right home to us; you might say the issue of the moment is the enemy's effort through unionism, bearing on the saints almost universally.

S.J.H. "Every word" in that way is important. Some words come close home in certain circumstances, but we may not hear every word. "Every word" covers every circumstance.

J.T. "The mouth of God" is spoken of in this connection elsewhere.

A.R. Is there significance in that these words come from Deuteronomy?

J.T. They are all from Deuteronomy, not Exodus,

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nor Leviticus, but Deuteronomy, which sets out God in Moses. In that book it is not exactly put that the Lord spake unto Moses, but it is what Moses himself is saying. So here it is what our Moses is saying, a real Man in wilderness circumstances, because Deuteronomy is enunciated at the end of the wilderness.

W.F.K. Is Satan trying to deceive?

J.T. We have to take the order in which the devil is working here. The first temptation is the one we are speaking of; the next relates to the kingdoms of the habitable world, not the Jewish world but the habitable world. The devil shows them in a moment of time and says to the Lord, "I will give thee all this power, and their glory; for it is given up to me, and to whomsoever I will I give it. If therefore thou wilt do homage before me, all of it shall be thine. And Jesus answering him said, It is written, Thou shalt do homage to the Lord thy God, and him alone shalt thou serve" (verses 6 - 8). Now this is properly linked up with the four monarchies, that is to say, with the human race and man's glory, because these monarchies had acquired glory, and man in those circumstances, such as Alexander and other men who shone militarily, would aspire to a position like that. Of course military prowess and glory greatly appeal to the young and particularly now since we have been through two great wars. Although there is abhorrence of war yet there is a great idea of glory attaching to it and of what man can acquire in it by prowess and exploits. The enemy does not shrink from showing the Lord all the kingdoms of the habitable world; not the commercial world but the kingdoms, that in which there is power and glory. It is not the Jewish world but the Gentile world, because Luke is dealing with the gospel going out to the Gentiles. It is a question now of the brethren being free of all this kind of glory. Children take it up and we are to be against all that as seeing how the enemy is using this

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kind of glory to affect the youth. Therefore this second temptation is important. Matthew has in mind the Jewish position, but this is the Gentile position and therefore it is a realm of military glory and all that goes with it. We are to be free of it entirely.

W.L. Do you think these temptations are progressive?

J.T. I would say that. The glory of the world comes second and is especially in mind in Luke, but it comes third in Matthew. The temptations are progressive in the sense that we come from ordinary circumstances into worldly glory.

W.L. If one gave first place to material things would the devil not have a handle and lead him on to glory in relation to that?

J.T. That is what the danger is. If you are looking at Matthew from the Jewish point of view you would think of the temple first, whereas Luke is taking up the world and all that it affords to the youth. We have to consider the bearing of it on ourselves and the Lord is our Guide and Model.

Ques. Is the devil not a liar here in what he says to the Lord?

J.T. He does not quote Scripture properly and he does not state facts, because all these things are not given to him.

A.P.T. It is not wise to give our children miniature battle-ships and machine-guns.

J.T. I was thinking of how you see these things on the street so early in children's lives, how quickly the boys take them on. And we see even those brought up in the truth seeking a military or a naval place.

G.McP. Would you say something with regard to the truth of the Lord's Person being questioned in the first temptation and the Lord saying in the second temptation, "Thou shalt do homage to the Lord thy

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God"? Satan's first question relates to the title "Son of God".

J.T. The Lord's Person enters into that, quite so. One of the great issues amongst brethren during the past twenty or thirty years has been His Sonship, and the Lord is blessing us in the understanding of it. Satan is bringing it up here in saying, "If thou be Son of God", but the Lord's answer shows that His Sonship is in manhood. There was opposition to that at one time, persons saying that His Sonship was eternal in the Deity, whereas it is in Man. The Lord has in mind that if it be a question of His being Son of God it is as Man, it is in manhood.

H.P. I suppose if Satan had known the scripture properly he would have understood Daniel 7 in relation to the kingdoms of this world.

J.T. Very good. I would say that is to be noted because we have that thought, too, in Revelation, "The kingdom of the world of our Lord and of his Christ is come", (Revelation 11:15). That is the world to come of which we speak and the situation is as you say, these kingdoms have all yet to come. There will be great changes as to the nations or the kingdoms, but they are to be preserved, they are within God's rights. To whom He will He gives them but they are not given to Satan, even though they seem to be; God holds His hand on them and prevents him from having his entire sway. So it is after the millennium that he comes up "on the breadth of the earth" (Revelation 20:9), to take Jerusalem, meaning that there are no boundaries of nations but the whole earth is under his hand; he assumes that and he comes up "on the breadth of the earth", but he is immediately destroyed.

A.R. Why is the last temptation religious?

J.T. It comes in here third, but in Matthew it comes second, which bears out what we said, that young men are likely to be thinking of what wages

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they can get, whereas the word of God would direct them to the religious side of things, I mean what belongs to the assembly; that ought to be the first concern and the word of God would lead us to that.

-.M. Would you say a little about the Lord being full of the Holy Spirit and then in verse 5, "the devil leading him"?

J.T. The Spirit would not lead Him up there. God allowed Satan to do his worst. We began with the Spirit's leading, "But Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit ... was led by the Spirit in the wilderness", and then the point would be, What can Satan do? The question is, What can he do? He cannot succeed in what he has set out to do and that is because the Spirit has His place. Applying it to ourselves, if we believe in the Spirit, if we have the Spirit and are sealed by the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit and then we shall not be led by the devil in anything. But the Lord was allowed to be led here: "And the devil, leading him up into a high mountain, shewed him all the kingdoms of the habitable world in a moment of time". The Lord allowed that, but only to forestall what the enemy had in mind. The Lord was stronger than he and so overcame him by the word of truth. It is a word for every one of us, especially for young men.

E.A.K. Would the word be, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you", James 4:7?

J.T. Quite so. So that if the devil is allowed to lead the Lord up to the mountain that is just to bring about his downfall. Our wisdom is to resist him.

G.McP. Perfection of manhood and the truth of sonship are established in that Man.

J.T. The Lord is stressing that it is a question of Man, not of His deity here, but manhood.

A.A.T. It says, "shewed him all the kingdoms ... in a moment of time". Is that not a miracle?

J.T. Apparently it was; God allowed that.

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E.A.K. Do we see the Lord Jesus in the perfection of His manhood wielding the sword of the Spirit? Everything He said here conveyed to Satan that he was guilty.

J.T. That he was guilty! Yes. So that John would bring that out, he is a liar and the author of it.

R.W.S. The Lord Jesus must have had intense feelings in having to deal with the devil; but the feeling is not brought out here, but rather when he comes again, having left Him for a time.

J.T. In connection with the time when he comes to Him again we have the word, "for the ruler of the world comes, and in me he has nothing", John 14:30. It comes out at the cross that there was really nothing; although the devil was allowed to use these temptations there was really nothing at all in Christ to respond to them. It was to bring out that He was superior and greater, and so He overcame the strong man. The final test came at Gethsemane when Satan came back with his other weapon -- that is death. What will the Lord do then? And we may say, What shall we do in the swelling of the Jordan? Satan's weapon was death, and he sought to press it upon the Lord, but the Lord says, "in me he has nothing". He could do nothing with the Lord at the cross; the triumph had been won at Gethsemane. But here it is the actual circumstances in which any one of us may be placed, and we are to be guided by the word of God.

W.L. Would you say that Babylon is the heading up of these three features on the devil's side, showing how much he has succeeded in relation to man?

J.T. We have spoken of the four monarchies and Rome is the principal one, the strongest of them all really. It was under Rome that the Lord appeared Himself, and as our brother in his preaching last night called to our attention, Satan used Pilate. But the Lord overcame him, too, the same power appeared there.

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A.L. Do we see here Satan using the crowd in the synagogue at Nazareth to attempt to throw the Lord over the precipice? Satan said to the Lord, "cast thyself down" from the edge of the temple. Is there a link there?

J.T. There is a link in the whole position and the Lord proceeds to speak the truth. In verse 13 it says, "And the devil, having completed every temptation, departed from him for a time". We have touched on that, and then it says, "And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee; and a rumour went out into the whole surrounding country about him; and he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all". Then He came to Nazareth and it was a question there of the truth. The Lord was anointed; He is set out here not now simply as a Man with the word of God as His weapon, but as anointed. "And he came to Nazareth, where he was brought up; and he entered, according to his custom, into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Esaias was given to him; and having unrolled the book he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach glad tidings to the poor he has sent me to preach to captives deliverance, and to the blind sight, to send forth the crushed delivered, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord". Now this is a new position, the Lord is not in opposition to the devil exactly but is in active ministry as in anointed manhood. Well now, what will come out? "And having rolled up the book, when he had delivered it up to the attendant, he sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon him" (verse 20). He is the centre now because of the anointing; it is the power of the anointing in Him and that is our power, too: "Now he that establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God" (2 Corinthians 1:21); so we, too, come into the anointing. "And he began

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to say to them, To-day this scripture is fulfilled in your ears. And all bore witness to him, and wondered at the words of grace which were coming out of his mouth". It is a question of grace first and this again is our model. "And they said, Is not this the son of Joseph? And he said to them, Ye will surely say to me this parable, Physician, heal thyself; whatsoever we have heard has taken place in Capernaum do here also in thine own country. And he said, Verily I say to you, that no prophet is acceptable in his own country". Now He is dealing with truth. We have already touched on the anointing, but then He is dealing with truth in the anointing, and what will that effect ? It will bring out the bitterest opposition. It is the truth of God that brings out the devil's opposition, when the Lord is actually ministering as a true Levite, and it is a question of the truth.

C.N. Would you say that in this section you find the full expression of "the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and at his mouth they seek the law" as hearing the law from His mouth?

J.T. That is what I was thinking; therefore priesthood is not confined to service to God and our service in a general way, but has regard also to our lips and our knowledge because the priest unfolds things. I believe that is what Moses represents in Deuteronomy; he unfolded this law with the lips of the priest.

E.A.K. Is that the Deuteronomy idea of priests and Levites blended together?

J.T. Just so. The ark was borne by Levites and they are called priests, we are on that level now. But what I was endeavouring to show at the close is the effect of what the Lord says. He goes on, "But of a truth I say to you, There were many widows in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, so that a great famine came upon all the land, and to none of them was

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Elias sent but to Sarepta of Sidonia, to a woman that was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian". Now what is the result ? It is a question of the truth in the anointing, that is, in the ministry, and it says, "they were all filled with rage in the synagogue, hearing these things; and rising up they cast him forth out of the city, and led him up to the brow of the mountain upon which their city was built, so that they might throw him down the precipice". Notice the difference between Satan's leading Him up and now their leading Him up that they might throw Him down the precipice. "But he, passing through the midst of them, went his way, and descended to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbaths". You get a change of attitude as soon as you get the anointing and the ministry and the truth; what vicious opposition there is! And we do not need to be surprised.

J.L.P. Would you say that along with the power of the truth we have the discrediting of the Lord's Person? "Is not this the son of Joseph?"

J.T. Just so. The question of the truth of sonship is to be borne in mind because, as we have said, it is a question of manhood; the Lord's mind turned at once to manhood when Satan mentioned the Son of God: "If thou be Son of God ...". The Lord in effect said, 'That implies that I am a Man'. Sonship is in manhood, and Man is now known in sonship; the highest thought of manhood is in sonship.

E.A.K. Is manhood inseparable from suffering? So the great end of the devil was to divert the Lord from the path of suffering. Is that a word given to us today?

J.T. "I fill up that which is behind of the tribulations of Christ in my flesh, for his body, which is the assembly", Colossians 1:24.

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Luke 11:1 - 14

J.T. It is thought we should complete our inquiry in Luke by looking at chapter 11; not that there are not many other chapters and passages that speak of priesthood, but chapter 11 does so in a special way. The Lord is there seen as an example for us in prayer because it is said that He was praying in a certain place and that one of His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray. What is in mind is to show that the Lord not only accedes to the desire of the disciple that He should teach them to pray, but He also gives extended instruction covering the matter, showing the importance of prayer, and of urgent prayer, and how it reaches up to the great fact that the Father is alluded to as giving the Holy Spirit in answer to prayer: "how much rather shall the Father who is of heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" And then in the next paragraph we have the Lord dealing with the enemies that are working to hinder us in prayer. It is said, "And he was casting out a demon, and it was dumb", and then, it says, "the demon being gone out, the dumb man spoke. And the crowds wondered". So that the Lord in answering this brother's request, enlarges on the subject of prayer, and how effective it is, and how extensive it is, especially how extensive is the effect of it; and then that the enemy's attack as affecting a man's speech so that he could not pray is overcome, too. It is to be noted that the disciple did not ask the Lord to teach him to pray, he said, "Lord, teach us", meaning that we should not in any way be selfish in our prayers. In asking for what may be needed we include all the saints, we should extend to all. "Teach us to pray".

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W.L. That would include sisters, too?

J.T. Quite so. We have already had before us that all should come into whatever is good. So that our prayers, if we begin to pray individually or in regard to ourselves, should enlarge and include others.

A.R. Is there anything significant in the fact that it is in a certain place?

J.T. It indicates that the thought of locality is in mind in the subject of prayer and of priesthood. So the epistle to the Corinthians speaks of what was at Corinth; it was addressed to the assembly of God in Corinth and to "all that in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both theirs and ours", the word 'place' being the connecting link.

W.F.K. Is prayer the chief service of the priest?

J.T. I would say that, only as we have had already, the priest's lips keep knowledge. How instructive Malachi is! He is a small or minor prophet, but how instructive he is as to locality and as to matters that bear on us in localities, especially in that word, "they that feared Jehovah spoke often one to another". Precious thought that in a city like this the brethren get together and speak often!

H.P. In the beginning of Acts they returned from the mount of Olives, a spiritual sphere. Would that link with prayer?

J.T. Very good. The Lord spent nights on the mount of Olives, and the inquiry for us is, Where was He? What was He doing? Undoubtedly He was in relation to His Father, and so these instructions come out here, "If therefore ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much rather shall the Father who is of heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" The mount of Olives is in the precincts of heaven, close to heaven, and if the Lord spent nights there it was undoubtedly to be with His Father.

C.N. In chapter 9:18 it says, "And it came to

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pass as he was praying alone, his disciples were with him", and what follows on that is the revelation to Peter as to who He was. Does that help in connection with what you are saying about chapter 11 leading up to the Spirit on the principle of asking?

J.T. Only there He is praying alone; it is a peculiar thing that the Lord, as far as I know, is not seen praying with His disciples; He is praying alone there whereas in chapter 11 He is seen praying in a certain place; it does not say 'alone', but it is evidently alone because the disciples remind Him that they need to learn how to pray. It was a good opportunity to ask the Lord to teach them to pray; it is an important thing to be taught how to pray.

W.W.M. Would it be right to say that this instruction would show that in being taught to pray the interests of God should be expressed before our own affairs? Do you think that is right?

J.T. I think that if you did pray about your own affairs and were praying in the Spirit He would not be content with that, He would lead you to pray about the interests of the Lord, to pray in a collective sense. It is a question of how our minds are formed and conditioned and made useful; and if they are occupied in prayer in that way, if they are available to us and if we are available to the Spirit, then we shall be enlarged in our scope.

Ques. Would it be right to look on this matter as in the light of Aaron and his sons?

J.T. I think so. Aaron according to Leviticus offered for his house, and the idea of the house of Aaron would extend in type to the assembly. Aaron offered a bullock for himself and his house, and he offered a goat for Israel. But the assembly is in mind in offering the bullock, and Aaron's house would of course include his daughters, not his sons alone, for the word 'man' covers both. There is no scape-bullock offered, but there is a scape-goat. The

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suggestion is that the bullock is for the house of the Lord's people as His house, so to speak, and for that there is no scape-bullock, but instead of that there is the Holy Spirit. And the Spirit is the answer to prayer really, as we get in this chapter, "how much rather shall the Father who is of heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

W.F.K. It needs faith for prayer; the assembly in the Acts was praying without faith for Peter's release.

J.T. Just so; they were praying without faith, but still the Lord answered them. Only we are to pray in faith, and that is what the Lord would teach us this afternoon, because this section of the chapter with all its instruction about prayer and what can be had from prayer involves faith.

W.F.K. Is there a link in that way with Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to His word? Does that promote prayer, and are such persons listened to in heaven?

J.T. In Mary's case, just as with the disciple in mind here, she is not concerned about herself alone. In chapter 9 the Lord was seen on the holy mount and certain things happened; the Father's voice was heard there and the One who was there was His beloved Son, and He was to be heard, for the Father said, "hear him". So Mary, not Martha, is sitting at the Lord's feet and hearing His word, because that was the order of the day. What happened on the mount was light for the moment and the person who profited by the light of the mount of Transfiguration was Mary; she was down below but she learned, she came into the order of the day, so to speak. The light that the mount of Transfiguration implied was that it was the moment for Christ to be heard; they were to listen to Him, to hear Him, and that was what Mary was doing. Hence if we put Mary with this disciple we can see that she is affected by

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the light that governed the moment, that Christ was the One to be listened to, not only in His prayer but in His ministry. If you hear any ministry, hear what He says; that idea would cover the whole position on the earth at that moment, and does still. Then what the disciple asked for here was that the Lord should teach them to pray and that is another principle, because it is in the plural conveying that the Lord is ready to teach all the saints to pray and we are to learn how to do it. We are to realise that the Lord is not only ministering the truth generally but that it is necessary for each of us, especially the young, to hear Him; to leave out all others to hear Him.

A.R. Is He the teaching Priest in Luke?

J.T. Quite so, that is just what He is.

J.R.H. You said that the Lord is never seen praying with His disciples. Why is that?

J.T. Do you remember that He ever did pray with His disciples?

J.R.H. I wondered what you had in mind.

J.T. I suppose it is as in other cases that in everything He must have pre-eminence, and especially in a service in which others have part. He must have His own platform and be by Himself in our minds, as in Psalm 45, "anointed ... with the oil of gladness above thy companions". It would enter in here for He is above us personally. The mystery of His Person enters into it and we recognise that there is something there that we do not have part in at all; that is, we have to leave Him to Himself and listen to what is said and how He prays, His wording; and then, too, what He says in ministry according to chapter 9. Mary is an example of one who does this.

W.R. Was Peter defective on the holy mount on that point?

J.T. Quite so, "let us make three tabernacles". What a poor thing that was and how different from what we are speaking of! Peter said, "let us make

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three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias". He is not making any more of Christ than he is of Moses and Elias, save that He is mentioned first, but that is not enough. He did not know what he was saying, and how many of us are guilty of that! He did not carry with him the idea of the Person he was dealing with and Whom Luke presents to us.

A.A.T. Anna was in the temple serving night and day. Is this where fasting comes in?

J.T. Fasting is important because it is self-denial. It shows how the position of prayer can be supplemented by fasting; not that we always need to add that thought, but it is to be found in the early examples that the praying and fasting went together. It is self-denial in depriving ourselves of what would hinder, whatever that might be. We have to learn what it might be, and fasting is one way to find out what hinders in prayer in view of relieving ourselves of it so that we may be unaffected and unhampered.

G.McP. Does the teaching imply that we take on the ministry as being productive of a spiritual state, so that we may learn to speak to divine Persons?

J.T. Yes; so that on the mount Peter did not know how to speak, he did not know what he was saying, that was the difficulty. He did not have understanding of the Person of the Lord Jesus. What a Person He is! Mary understood however, because she sat at His feet and listened to what He was saying. So the Spirit of God is not content with what Luke is able to tell us about Mary and Martha, He brings the subject over into John and puts Martha before Mary in a way; that is, she went out to meet the Lord and Mary did not, she sat still in the house. So it would seem as if the Spirit of God is not content with just what Luke gives us about the sisters. He would bring John in as indicating what a selection of ministers He

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has, and that He knows how to lay His hand on the brother who can present the thing better.

W.L. Do you feel that we need to be exercised individually in relation to this matter of prayer and being taught how to pray?

J.T. I do. But in connection with what I was saying about a brother who might do better, we have a good many brothers now who are able to serve the saints in a general way and we are thankful for it; but the Lord has a variety and knows them all, and the time may come when He will say, This matter needs someone special, and He will make His own selection. As regards Mary and Martha, Luke had spoken about them but John also had to speak about them; the Lord would have John speak about them, too, because there was more to be said than what Luke had said. Therefore let us all be ready, and if there is a special matter, let us be ready for it. John is presented in Scripture as a special man; Peter would have made him ordinary, saying, "What of this man?" Of course he was one of the twelve, but Peter would make him only just that. The Lord did not disclose to Peter that He was going to use John for certain matters, that he was a specialist, so to speak, but He says to Peter, "If I will that he abide until I come, what is that to thee" That is to say Peter was interfering unduly and the Lord would say, Do not stretch out your hand to touch another's line of things or to touch his responsibility; his responsibility is with Me. "If I will that he abide until I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me". And Peter was adjusted. The point is that we are to be followers of the Lord. Let the Lord have His specialists, because this matter of Mary and Martha was a special matter, and the Lord wanted more said about them than Luke gives us; and so we find that Martha was not so far behind Mary in result. The Lord would bring her up to date, that is what the

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Lord will do with us here, causing us to be thoroughly in what He is going on with. And so according to John, Martha was fairly well up to Mary, but Mary is the one who is distinguished in our passage.

A.B. Does Mary have moral stability in this chapter over against the distraction that marks Martha?

J.T. Yes, I think she does, and the Spirit of God is pleased to direct Luke as to her, putting Martha in a rather discreditable light. It was right that she should be in such a light at that time, but there was more to be said about her; and so it is with many of us, we may discredit a brother but there is more to be said about him, and we must wait to see what will come out.

A.A.T. Is the prayer in verse 2 a prayer that is not up to date? Is it intended for the Jews more than for Christians? I am referring to the Lord saying, "Father, thy name be hallowed". Is that Jewish?

J.T. It is, yet it is up to date so far, because the Lord adds a lot to it. If we consult Matthew we see that it is not up to his presentation; it is more intelligible from the Christian point of view than Matthew, but it is not the full thought for Christianity and it has a Jewish tinge about it. But the Lord does not leave it at that, and hence He says further, "Who among you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight and say to him", etc. This is not Jewish because the Lord is now thinking of us; He is thinking of Luke and in Luke's way and giving liberty to us such as Luke affords us. He brings up this matter in verse 5, "Who among you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight and say to him, Friend, let me have three loaves, since a friend of mine on a journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him; and he within answering should say, Do not disturb me; the door is already shut, and

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my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise up to give it thee?"Then there is a pause and the Lord says, "I say to you, Although he will not get up and give them to him because he is his friend, because of his shamelessness, at any rate, he will rise and give him as many as he wants". That word 'shamelessness' is not a Jewish word, it involves latitude, indicating that a man is not ashamed to keep on praying to the Lord for a certain thing and that he keeps doing so until he gets it. That is the liberty of Christianity.

A.A.T. So there are two thoughts, the Jewish side in connection with the word about the Father and then later on the matter of the Spirit connecting with our day.

J.T. Just so. And this disciple that asks Him to teach them to pray "even as John also taught his disciples", would not be much beyond the Jewish level. He is linking on with John, in fact he is comparing John with the Lord; he is not in the full light of the Person who is before him, and that is the difference between Judaism and Christianity. Judaism misses the truth of Christ's Person. The Lord sees that and He says enough to satisfy the inquiry of this Jewish disciple, but then He says in effect, I want to bring this brother into liberty. And so we have this wonderful account that the Lord gives to show the liberty of Christianity, the liberty of prayer that belongs to Christianity and the freeness of the answer, that the Father would even give the Spirit in answer to it! That is Christianity, not Judaism. How wonderful it is! The Spirit is so available to us that the Father is ready to give Him to us on the principle of prayer.

F.K.C. Paul answers to this, "For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom every family in the heavens and on earth is named, in order that he may give you according to the

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riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power by his Spirit in the inner man".

J.T. That is good, you are quoting from the highest chapter of our spiritual education, Ephesians 3. That is where Paul bows his knees to the Father and his mind is widened to every family in the heavens and on earth. That links on with what we are speaking of in Luke 11, Ephesians being full Christianity and especially as to spiritual education, because in that chapter Paul says to the Ephesians that he wanted them to know his knowledge of the mystery. They did not know what he knew, but he would say, What I have you can have, as far as I am concerned, and I am doing my best so that you may have it; because that is what he was doing in that wonderful chapter.

R.W.S. To whom does the word 'shamelessness' allude?

J.T. To the man who is outside asking. The one who is shameless is the man who is praying for something to give to his visitor. It is a question of neighbourliness and hospitality, and this man whose friend has come wants to give him something to entertain him; so he is putting his pride on one side and keeps on asking.

A.R. Isaiah 62:7 says, "give him no rest". "Ye that put Jehovah in remembrance, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish", and so on. I suppose that is the idea.

J.T. Quite so. Think of God suggesting that to us! And so in this gospel the Lord cites the importunate widow and how the judge accedes to her wish because she keeps on praying. It is to bring out the importance of urgent and continuous prayer.

R.W.S. So the reflection would be upon this man in having nothing in his house. Would it bear upon our localities? If there has been weakness and failure we should acknowledge it and keep on seeking God's face.

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J.T. Exactly; keep on with it. The Lord uses the remarkable word, 'shamelessness'; I am put into a position sometimes in which I am so anxious to get something from God that I keep on asking for it.

Ques. In Romans 8:26 Paul speaks to us of prayer: "And in like manner the Spirit joins also its help to our weakness; for we do not know what we should pray for as is fitting, but the Spirit itself makes intercession 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". Is that prayer in the Spirit?

J.T. Quite so. I am sure the brethren will all see the applicability of that scripture to what we are saying.

R.W.S. At this point I would like more help as to our meeting for prayer. Would an instructed person know which matters to refer to the Father and which matters to refer to the Lord Jesus?

J.T. That is an elevated inquiry and it bears on the whole position of Christianity, as to whether we can distinguish the divine Persons as They speak. It is not everyone who can, and perhaps no one now would assume that he can tell which Person is speaking to him, which divine Person is addressing him. I would think the Scriptures furnish indications as to what the divine Persons are likely to speak of. I should not attempt to give illustrations because the time would fail us, but the Scriptures are of help for us on that point and one illustration is that the Father judges no one. Therefore if there is something brought to you inwardly as to judgment related to dealing with persons for sin, I would not connect that with the Father but with the Son, because all judgment is given to the Son. There is such a thing as departmental positions in which divine Persons operate.

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A.P.T. Stephen speaks to the Lord Jesus in that department.

J.T. Just so, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit". Well, the Lord Himself said something like that to the Father, "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46), showing that that might be referred to either the Father or the Son. But if there is a point of judgment, the department to have in mind relates to the Son, judgment is in His hand because He is the Son of man.

A.P.T. Stephen says further, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge". Is that a matter of judgment? What you say is instructive because the Lord Jesus says "Father, forgive them", but Stephen says, Do not lay this sin to their charge. Is there some link with what you have in mind?

J.T. I can see a difference between what Stephen might say to the Son and what the Son would say to the Father; He would take more latitude than Stephen would. But Stephen deals with sin too in speaking to the Lord Jesus; He says, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge", and of course, when He says, "Lord", he means that he is in the place of judgment.

J.R.H.Jr. It says of the Lord that He "gave himself over into the hands of him who judges righteously", 1 Peter 2:23. We can scarcely do that.

J.T. No. There would be a difference between the way divine Persons speak to each other and the way we would speak; but the Father judges no one and therefore that would help us as to Who is speaking in anything that is being said to us in ministry.

A.A.T. You were encouraging us to keep on praying, but do we not need to have some intelligence about that? Paul besought the Lord three times to have the thorn in his flesh removed and then he had to stop.

J.T. I suppose he learned from the Lord's example.

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The Lord prayed three times to the Father and I suppose Paul followed that example. He asked the Lord three times to remove the thorn from him and then he asked no more, because the Lord replied, "My grace suffices thee", 2 Corinthians 12:9. That finished the matter, so Paul had to be content with that; there is no evidence that the thorn was removed.

A.R. We asked the Lord to stop the war. Was that right?

J.T. It was loosely that. At the same time there is such a thing as being intelligent as to the prayers we make and confining ourselves to three times if there is not evidence that anything is to be done.

E.A.K. Would the three refer to a three-fold cord? There are three specific things mentioned here in this scripture, the bread, the fish and the egg.

J.T. No doubt there is something in it but I should make it very subordinate to the main point, because the Lord is stressing here the idea of the continuing in prayer without specifying the number of times. Then the Lord is also leading up to the great matter of the Spirit, and that is what one would like to come to at this very minute, so that the brethren might get the full force of the teaching which ends in this remark that you allude to. The Lord says, "But of whom of you that is a father shall a son ask bread, and the father shall give him a stone? or also a fish, and instead of a fish shall give him a serpent? or if also he shall ask an egg, shall give him a scorpion?" The conclusion is, "If therefore ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much rather shall the Father who is of heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" This is one of the greatest things that can be said about prayer.

A.L. Would this man who prayed for the three loaves be desirous of serving others?

J.T. Yes, he was serving; he was in the position

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that marks the dispensation. Even the man with whom his children are in bed is not to be belittled, because he is taking care of his children and is urgent about them so that he is not willing to get up. But then the Lord is saying that even though he is urgent about his children he is amenable to the influence of prayer; he gets into the full thought of it, too, and has part, as it were, in the administration of things. He has something to administer, and his hesitancy is only a question of the position of his children and the time of night. The power of prayer leads to the dispensation being reached, and it culminates in the fact that the dispensation is equal to the Father giving the Holy Spirit to those that ask Him.

V.H.C. Are we to discriminate as to the One to whom we pray for certain things, the Lord or the Father, or to God?

J.T. We have to learn to do it.

V.H.C. And would the thought of the Holy Spirit being brought in here give us knowledge in that way? I have been exercised about that in connection with the different things we need.

J.T. It is a good exercise, and the gift of the Spirit is the great point in the dispensation; the Father gives the Spirit to those who ask Him, anyone asking the Holy Spirit of the Father will get It.

G.McP. Does the thought of prayer bring us into the realm of divine Persons? It would appear from your remarks in relation to assembly material that the assembly is nearest to divine Persons.

J.T. Just so, the assembly is nearest to divine Persons.

R.W.S. "... How much rather" -- it is beautiful! "... How much rather shall the Father who is of heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" There is no comparison to the heavenly Father.

J.T. It shows how far away mere nature is from these great matters we are dealing with and what is

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available as the consequence of prayer. What the Father will give in answer to prayer!

W.W.M. In 1 Corinthians 14 it says, "What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray also with the understanding; I will sing with the spirit, but I will sing also with the understanding". Your thought is that the greatest matter we could ask for is the Spirit; we might ask for the other things preceding that but we need the Spirit in order to be in the dispensation rightly.

J.T. The Spirit is the solution to everything, and He is here to stay, so to speak. He is the other Comforter, equal to the First, equal to the Lord, and the word 'Comforter' means that He is near you. He is with you and you can make requests of Him at any time; and He is not only ready to answer, but He is with you in the prayer because the Spirit adds Its help to our weakness, so that we should pray as we ought. And then another thing that you referred to in 1 Corinthians 14 is the thought of understanding: "I will pray with the spirit", but that is not enough; "but I will pray also with the understanding", so that we understand what we are praying for, we are intelligent.

T.W. If a young believer is conscious of having received the Holy Spirit, is it a right thing to ask for the renewal of the Spirit?

J.T. Having the Spirit would also involve that, for if you have Him you have Him. It is a question of state and of clearing your mind and affections of what hinders you, because there are hindering elements which grieve the Spirit and even quench Him; but all that has to be dealt with.

C.N. Linking on with verse 14 of our chapter?

J.T. That is right, because of the power the devil would have in this matter of prayer, even in a prayer meeting; as it is said in Job, the devil comes

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where the sons of God come, "and Satan came also among them". It is a solemn matter as to our prayer meetings, or if Satan is found at a meeting like this; we have to watch for that. And so here the Lord was casting out a demon and the fact that no one asked Him to do it would show that it was necessary. He was dealing with the matter. There is the Spirit, the wonderful gift of the Father, and over against that is what the devil is doing, what Satan is doing through a demon. A demon is a spirit, but a being the devil can use to attack the saints.

C.N. The man was dumb but afterward he speaks. I wondered if that would in any way convey the thought that the first speaking of one getting help from the Lord would be in the form of prayer.

J.T. If the devil is operating with a good many of our brothers in this city and they do not pray, they do not open their mouths in prayer, that is a serious matter. If a brother does not take part in prayer it may be the devil is hindering him. Maybe there is some practice, too, that he is not judging, and the devil gets in and operates so that he should not pray. In a prayer meeting the brothers ought to pray and the sisters ought to be thoroughly in the prayers; they are not supposed to speak but they are to be thoroughly in the prayers, and if they are priests they will be. The devil would seek to hinder them, too.

W.F.K. Is that how we resist the devil, in prayer?

J.T. Quite so. There may be some practice or some outlook or something I am craving about which I am not judging myself. Maybe the devil is using that to hinder me in prayer. The Lord sees that here and it says that "he was casting out a demon", not that He was intending to do it but that He was doing it. The thing is proceeding.

A.B. The man is mentioned after the demon has been dealt with.

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J.T. The man comes to light as having the power of speech. It says, "and it came to pass, the demon being gone out, the dumb man spoke". There is the same kind of thing in the first chapter as to Zacharias; he was dumb but he spoke, and he spoke beautifully in praise to God.

R.W.S. Is the operation of what is in a sister's heart in carrying an exercise expressed by a brother?

J.T. Just so. I have heard sisters say, What that brother said is what I had in my heart. And so Luke brings feelings into his instruction. The young man that the Lord raised at Nain sat up and began to speak, as if to say that is the point. It is a question of speaking and speaking aright, speaking in prayer and m praise, too, but in prayer particularly.

Rem. Acts 1 says, "These gave themselves all with one accord to continual prayer, with several women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren". I was thinking of the matter of prayer being linked up with the sisters.

J.T. Quite so, "several women"; they were there and Mary was there, and the Lord's brethren were there. All of the apostles were there except the one who was missing.

G.McP. Would Acts 16 illustrate how the sisters come into it? Women assembled "where it was the custom for prayer to be" by the river side, and then they were accompanied by Paul and Silas. I was thinking of how these sisters illustrate the priesthood in function.

J.T. Quite so, the women were carrying on prayer, reminding us of a sister who used to live in Estonia. She and a few other sisters met there in the capital of that country and there was only one brother in the meeting, as far as I remember, and he fell into bad conduct. This sister and the others, quite a few, disciplined him. They withdrew from him. That shows the place that sisters may have even if they do not speak in

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assembly. If the time comes when there is no brother, then they can speak, and they did. They disciplined that man and so the meeting went on for a while; though eventually the war ended it.

W.F.K. Like the elect lady?

J.T. It is the same idea, I am sure. Why should the Spirit of God use the expression, "the elect lady and her children"? Why should He say, "O Theophilus" and "most excellent Theophilus"? Why should He say that? There must be some reason why God does that. God signifies His people as they are worthy of it, and so it is with the elect lady and her children in 2 John. John brings in the matter of persons with whom we associate and with whom we speak. If they have not the doctrine we should not greet them, and the elect lady and her children would not do it because they loved the truth.

A.P.T. Martha and Mary are most active in John 11, apparently they have a great place in this setting; they seem to do all the talking.

J.T. That is in keeping with what we were saying moment ago, that the Lord has His servants in the house, a variety of them; certain of them are useful for certain things and He knows which ones He would call upon to do any particular work. So it is that Mary and Martha come into a great place in John, as if the Lord would give this illustration to Peter and say, That is what I meant when I said to you, "If I will that he abide until I come, what is that to thee?" John brings in these two women and they grace the whole position, and so did the elect lady and her children. John is the one who speaks of her, too.

E.A.K. You referred to the participle here in verse 14, seeming to stress that the casting out was proceeding. Does that carry forward the thought into this dispensation? Does the Lord have in mind that that kind of thing was going to continue?

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J.T. That is what I thought, that the Lord was doing it, "He was casting out a demon". It was not something He had done, but the thing was being demonstrated, He was showing how to do it.

B.H. In relation to these dumb brothers, if I may use the expression, I suppose it is a matter of prayer that will set them free, speaking to the Lord about the matter?

J.T. That is right. Our lesson would lead us to include anything like that that affects the testimony; include it in our prayers.

J.R.H. What would you say as to the expression, "the Father who is of heaven"?

J.T. It is not 'in heaven' so it is a question of what is characteristic, I think, whereas when the Lord says in John 3, "And no one has gone up into heaven save he who came down out of heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven", that refers to position. He could speak of Himself even while He was here, before He went up, as in heaven, which, I think, means that it is characteristically true of Christ that His place is heaven. But here it is not that, it is not the Father who is in heaven, but "of" it. It is a designation to indicate that the Father brings in the atmosphere of heaven, that He may proceed and come down, in a way, to earth and to us, for John says the Father and the Son come to us. He can do that. But being "of heaven" is characteristic, and if He comes to us, then that would mean that He characteristically brings heaven with Him. The influence of heaven comes with the Father in that sense and therefore it bears on Christianity.

E.A.K. Does the omission of the article before "Holy Spirit" indicate that that too is characteristic? "How much rather shall the Father who is of heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

J.T. That is just the character; and so the Lord says in John 20, "Receive the Holy Spirit". It is the

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character of the thing, not to call attention to the Spirit as a whole exactly. The Spirit as a whole came on Christ; He came in a bodily form on the Son. That was not simply in character but in entirety. The coming of the Holy Spirit upon Christ in the character of a dove is in its entirety. He is not given in measure to Christ; the whole of the Spirit is given to Him.