Volume 5

Headship and Other Subjects (Indianapolis 1913)

The Hope Of Christ's Appearing And Its Effects

J. Taylor

Page: 257


B.T.F. Would, you say just a word or two as to the different effects on the saints of the thought of the rapture and the thought of the appearing?

J.T. I think the expectation of the rapture would have the effect of leading to the desire to be to the Lord's pleasure, and to please God. The effect of the appearing would be to turn us aside from the present order of things, because the appearing has to do with the existing order of things in the world; the appearing of the Lord has reference to that.

J.L.J. We get that set forth in Enoch and in Noah. Enoch was for the pleasure of God, and Noah condemned the world.

J.T. So that the coming of the Lord has reference to the condemnation of the world which has to be set aside.

R.S.S. And for that reason the thought of responsibility is often brought in in connection with the appearing.

J.T. I think so.

R.S.S. The thought of responsibility does not attach to the rapture exactly. It is rather that they were to "comfort one another with these words" (@1Thessalonians:4:18); it is affection.

J.T. But in connection with the appearing it is responsibility. As, for instance, the scripture we had this morning: "To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints". (@1Thessalonians:3:13)

W.B-s. Then again in 2 Peter: "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner

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of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?" (@2Peter:3:11)

J.T. Yes. The appearing or coming of our Lord Jesus Christ raises the question as to the conditions here; that is, it is a question of God's governmental interference. Peter, for instance, takes up the question of the thread of God's government and traces it from the angelic period, as we may call it, right on to the end of time, and he shows that, wherever evil raises its head, and however long God may have borne with it, in time God dealt with it.

R.S.S. Are you referring to the first or the second coming?

J.T. Both; but the second is more especially in reference to the result in the end; in time the judgment of God finds out the sinner. It is inexorable. It is sure to reach the sinner, and so the present order of things will, when the man of sin appears, be shown to be utterly lawless and opposed to God. Then the Lord will appear. The coming of the Lord is in that way dependent on certain conditions in the world. For instance, God said to Abraham that the iniquity of the Amorite was not yet full; and so in Daniel, transgression had not yet come to the full; when it should come to the full, the opposer and oppressor of the people would appear, and then the Lord will stand up against him. That is to say, God acts in judgment when there is some overt act of evil against Him, and not till then. Now that was true in the case of Jerusalem. God bore in grace with the crucifixion of Christ but when the Spirit was despised and refused, then Jerusalem is overthrown; and so it will be when Christianity is openly set aside, God will intervene in judgment. Therefore the point that the apostle emphasises in his second letter to the Thessalonians is, that that day will not be till the apostasy, till the man of sin, appears, the wicked one, who sets

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himself in the temple of God and asserts himself to be God; but the Lord will consume him with the spirit of His mouth and destroy him with the brightness of His coming.

R.S.S. So that in view of all this there is a moral necessity for the Lord to come.

J.T. That is it. Conditions here make it imperative. Therefore, I believe, Christians should not ignore conditions in the world.

A.R.S. What do you mean by that? Do you mean you should take up these conditions?

J.T. No; but I think we should not be indifferent to them. The book of Revelation was written for Christians, for us; and it gives us an account of things that are about to happen, and of things that have reference to what happens in the world.

A.R.S. The word for us is to be overcomers and not to allow ourselves to be influenced by the conditions of things around us. Is that what you mean by taking account of them?

J.T. We take account of the principles of evil that are at work and stand apart from them. In Revelation it is said, "Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things written in it; for the time is near". (@Revelation:1:3) I think that is a very decided appeal to every Christian's heart.

A.F.M. In the character of bondmen.

J.T. Now look at chapter 19:10: "And I fell before his feet to do him homage. And he says to me, see thou do it not. I am thy fellow-bondman, and the fellow-bondman of thy brethren who have the testimony of Jesus". (@Revelation:19:10) I think you have there, in a sense the inner circle of all this prophetic scene. There are those who are the brethren of John and they have the testimony of Jesus. We ought to seek to belong to that circle, to the brethren of John, and

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those who have the testimony of Jesus; for the "spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus". (@Revelation:19:10)

J.L.J. Do you mean that all the Spirit's work seen in the Old Testament was set forth in what came out in Jesus down here?

J.T. All that the prophetic word deals with, these evil principles; they all work out in some way, against Jesus. Then, on the other hand, there are the divine principles of which the prophetic word treats, these work out in the support of Jesus in connection with Jerusalem. Hence the key to all prophetic testimony is love for Jesus. If we love Jesus we can take it up with pleasure and it is food for our souls. What would you say?

J.D. I think that is right.

W.B-s. Does "prophecy" cover the Old Testament, or is it principally what we have in this book of Revelation?

J.T. The book of Revelation supposes all that preceded it. You could not fully understand it without understanding the Old Testament prophets.

W.B-s. It is generally said to be more in line with Daniel.

J.T. I think you will find in it allusions here and there to the whole field of prophecy, and in order to understand it you must understand the Old Testament.

A.F.M. It becomes an incentive to us to read the Old Testament.

J.D. I suppose it is a book of issues in connection with divine ways.

J.T. Quite so, a book of results: the working out in result of all the principles that had been before manifested by God; and, indeed, of the evil principles as well.

W.L.P. I suppose we should be intelligent as to all these principles by becoming familiar with the Scriptures.

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J.T. You will find allusions to Genesis in Revelation; for instance, "that old serpent". That supposes that you know Genesis.

J.B. Sodom and Egypt also.

J.T. Quite so; "the great city, which is called spiritually Sodom and Egypt". (@Revelation:11:8)

W.L.P. If we were in the spirit of this book what is going on in the world would not disturb us.

J.T. We see in it the end. It has an establishing effect as well as a separating effect, because you know the end of everything. You know the result of every principle that is at work.

A.F.M. I do not want to divert from this, but I should like some further reference to 2 Peter in connection with sin as away from God and sin in the presence of God. Would it have a bearing on what we have had in connection with the world system?

J.T. Peter treats of sin working in the presence of God. Jude treats of sin more as manifesting departure from God. Jude is apostasy; that is, departing from God, although the other character of sin is seen in Jude also. Sin has the two effects, that of evil working before God, and of departing from God, which is apostasy. For instance, in one part of the epistle you see evil men creeping in; that is to act before God in order to corrupt the saints before God; and then in John you see them going out. In both principles it is apostasy, only apostasy is more strictly falling away, whereas sin in its most daring form is seen acting in the presence of God, and that is what will mark the man of sin. He sits in the temple of God; he does not go away. He comes boldly to the temple of God and sits there as God. That is the height of iniquity. Then God strikes. Peter treats more of sin working in the profession of Christianity, whereas Jude speaks of

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the angels who left their first estate. Peter simply says that they sinned.

A.F.M. That is very striking. Now it is in that condition of things that we have to move today. It has not yet risen to a head.

J.T. No, not yet. The mystery of iniquity works, and it is important that we should see what it is that is working.

A.F.M. What is the mystery of iniquity?

J.T. I suppose it refers to spiritual corruption in the professing Christian system.

J.D. Do you distinguish it from that which is imperial, and does not exactly belong to what is inside that which has the profession of God? You are referring now to what is inside the sphere of the profession of God.

J.T. The old empire was covered up under a Christian name, and it is in that connection that the mystery lies. The wickedness of the old empire has not diminished at all, but it has simply been covered up under a Christian garb; but it will work out in the end under imperial form, and then it ceases to be a mystery.

B.T.F. Are not the things spoken of in Revelation after chapter 3 all in the future? We can only see the principles of these things at work now.

J.T. I am not prepared to say they are all in the future. For instance, John, speaking of the beast, says that one of his heads then existed, and I have no doubt the seventh head of the beast has come and gone since, @Revelation:17:10. However, in the main, they do refer to what is in the future.

B.T.F. The thought has been expressed that, in regard to the rapture, the indication of it would be found in the affection of the saints.

J.T. I think that the internal condition of the assembly is the best guide as to the event of the Lord's coming; I mean the rapture. But I think

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we have to take account of external conditions, although the actual conditions that involve the coming of the Lord will not appear till the assembly is removed.

R.S.S. As to the effect on the saints today of the truths of the rapture and of the appearing, do you not think that what we have been dwelling upon and showing, namely, that God is going to take account of the existing things in the world and publicly to judge and set them aside, would have an exceedingly purifying effect on the saints? If He is going to judge the world, then if we are to be with Him, our skirts must be clear, just as it says in Corinthians: "Know ye not that we shall judge angels?" (@1Corinthians:6:3) It is put on that ground. They are taken to task for their conduct in view of the fact that the time would come when they should judge angels; on that account they should be characterised themselves by pure hands.

W.C.R. He "that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure". (@1John:3:3)

J.T. In the book of Revelation you will find many thoughts having a practical bearing upon ourselves. For instance, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins". (@Revelation:18:4) That has a direct voice to Christians. I refer to that to show that we must not conclude that all that follows chapter 3 has no direct bearing on ourselves, because the whole book is written to Christians. And then we have, "Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them". (@Revelation:14:13) I mean expressions like these have a bearing on ourselves, and there are many such.

R.S.S. And then again the catching up of the Man child, the rapture is included in that. That was a thing that had already taken place.

J.T. In the same chapter you have war in heaven,

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and Michael and his angels fighting with the dragon, and the dragon is cast out of heaven. That has reference to us, because it is to make room for the assembly. In fact, the assembly is included in the Man child, in a sense.

J.D. Would you judge that we are in the days when the principles of the last beast are working?

J.T. I am sure of it.

J.D. It is not so much a question of the days when the power is there, but we know the principles that form the power of the man, his working.

J.T. I am sure the spirit of centralisation and unionism is that, in whatever form it takes, whether wealth or labour. Now the mystery of iniquity has taken an ecclesiastical form; that is to say, all the evil of the old empire is there and God has His eye upon it for judgment. The beast is taken account of from its first appearance. The whole history of the empire is before God in the Revelation. God does not simply deal with the last feature of it, but the whole is seen and the judgment is upon the beast. Now all the evil of the old empire has taken an ecclesiastical form. It is covered up in an ecclesiastical form, but then it is not covered up to God. Its history is before God, so that we shall find the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, and His apostles and prophets are found therein. The Roman Catholic church did not put the apostles to death, but the beast, the empire did, and so the responsibility remains with the Romish system; the whole responsibility of the empire remains and God deals with it in toto in its last form.

J.D. That gives the Roman Catholic church an awful character.

J.T. It does, but that is the truth. I believe the mystery refers to the fact that it now assumes to act in the name of Christ.

J.D. So that the harlot rides the beast. The

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principles that are found in the beast are in the ecclesiastical system.

J.T. And all these wicked principles are to take form publicly. That is, the veil, the ecclesiastical garb, is thrown off, and they begin to work in imperial form again. We have had a prelude to it in the French empire. They threw off the ecclesiastical system, but not the evil; the wickedness remained.

A.F.M. It shows that the principles of evil remain.

J.T. Yes. Now the word to Philadelphia is, "I also will keep thee out of the hour of trial". (@Revelation:3:10) It will come on all earth dwellers, not simply on those who have actual part in the mystery of iniquity, but on all earth dwellers. Those that despise the heavenly position come in for the judgment.

J.D. Imperial and ecclesiastical power will form the final apostasy. It never before so struck my mind. Then God comes in in Christ.

R.S.S. Is not the ecclesiastical power destroyed by the imperial power?

J.T. She is actually destroyed by the beast, according to the testimony of @Revelation:17, and 18. A great millstone is cast into the sea, and it is said, "Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all". (@Revelation:18:21) But the empire remains and the beast and the false prophet and the kings of the earth come up against Jerusalem. That is chapter 19, and then it is that the Lord appears.

J.D. The empire has nothing that is of God about it.

J.T. It appears in its naked character at the end.

J.B. As to the ecclesiastical system; the evil power is all there, only covered up, but it will yet come out.

J.T. Yes, it is covered, up in the ecclesiastical system of Rome. If you take account of the different

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nations, they have not been specially opposed to God. Wherever there has been opposition to the testimony, it has been at the instigation of the mysterious system. It is the mystery of iniquity that has instigated every great attack against the testimony, not the nations as such; and that only shows that the great centre of evil against God is in that system.

G.A.T. Would you say that the Devil has it labelled with the name of Christ now?

J.T. That is why the system has a name written on it, "Mystery", @Revelation:17:5. All the evil that was against the apostles and prophets is now against the testimony, but under the Lord's name.

J.B. The rulers at the present time seem to be seeking the support of ecclesiastical power.

W.B-s. Do we not get a picture of all this in @Ezekiel:8, where the abominations are seen repeated three times, and these things are done in the dark?

J.T. It is mysterious, that is it; but then it finds agents to carry out its designs, and the violence with which the opposition to the testimony of God has been carried has been terrible.

W.B-s. Will not Jerusalem, in a time to come, be the seat of iniquity when the abomination is set up?

J.T. Jerusalem will be re-established in unbelief, and they will make a covenant with this awful western power to shelter themselves, but Isaiah says the refuge of lies shall be carried away in the flood. But then God has laid "in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste". (@Isaiah:28:16) That is where the remnant will find a refuge.

B.T.F. We are speaking of the forces of evil now when the Spirit is gone. What will there be in testimony at that time?

J.T. The testimony will then centre in Jerusalem. We see this from @Isaiah:28 and other scriptures.

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The faith of the remnant will recognise the purpose of God in regard of Jerusalem. It is not any longer a testimony to the heavenly truth or to those that have despised the heavenly calling; there is no more hope for them. People say, Will not the people that inhabit these countries where the gospel has been, have another opportunity? They will not; those that dwell on the earth, those that despise the heavenly calling which the gospel announces, come under judgment, because they received not the love of the truth.

B.T.F. Are you thinking of them individually or nationally?

J.T. Both. There is no hope for any one who despises the gospel.

W.B-s. What is the gospel of the kingdom?

J.T. That goes out to the nations; not, I judge, to the Western nations, but to those who have not heard.

A.A.T. Like China and Japan?

W.B-s. There is another gospel, the everlasting gospel; to whom is that preached?

J.T. I think it refers to God's creatorial rights simply, @Revelation:14:6, 7.

L.T.F. "Come out of her, my people". (@Revelation:18:4) How does that work out?

J.T. If you belong to any human system, either Babylon or one of her daughters, you must come out; all these Protestant systems have grown out of her. They are simply human organisations. The voice to come out of her has that bearing, that if I am found in any organisation that is not of God, I must come out of it.

A.F.M. In regard to our position, the point is to bring before us the importance of viewing things as they are according to God, so that we are separate in heart from human systems, as the godly remnant

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by-and-by will be separate from all that is around them and looking for the Lord to come.

J.T. Quite so. However, they will be at this disadvantage, they will not have the Holy Spirit. They will have to go through the fearful oppression of the beast, coupled with the unbelief of the nation at large; "the many", as Daniel puts it; that is to say, the mass are in unbelief, and they make a covenant with this wicked power, so that we can understand how terrible it will be for the true saints. But then the book of Revelation shows where they will be. They are seen on mount Zion with the Lamb. They are seen as sealed in chapter 7 and formed in affection for Christ in chapter 14, so they are with Him. They are there in testimony in the faith of their souls. The Songs of degrees show that mount Zion is the great thought before them.

A.A.T. They are the godly Jews.

G.A.T. Would you say that in @John:10 the Lord goes into this system and leads His people out of it?

J.T. Yes; the conditions that will arise in the last days around Jerusalem will be something similar to what the Lord found there; an unbelieving state, but God working in their midst, and souls becoming exercised and gathering up the mind of God from the Scriptures that refer to their position. God is going to make Jerusalem a centre, and therefore Jerusalem will be the great thought in their souls. Now Daniel speaks of these as "the wise", and he says, "the wise shall understand"; but he says, "none of the wicked shall understand". (@Daniel:12:10) The great mass will be wicked and will have no understanding about the things of God. But that only adds to the sufferings, of the faithful ones.

J.D. That is applicable today.

J.T. In the principle of it.

E.H.T. What about "thou sufferest that woman Jezebel"? (@Revelation:2:20)

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J.T. That is the responsible angel at Thyatira; they allowed her, and the Lord says He had this against them. We should feel the existence of Jezebel, such awful wickedness in that which bears the name of Christ.

J.L.J. All the evil you are speaking of is working in the midst of the assembly in an outward sense.

J.T. Every believer ought to feel that.

W.B-s. Jezebel assumed to have the mind of God.

J.T. She called herself a prophetess.

G.A.T. Do you think Moses had the idea when he went outside the camp and called the people out?

J.T. Quite so: "Come out of her, my people". (@Revelation:18:4) Our salvation from her is to leave the system.

J.D. In @Daniel:9 a very wicked prince is described: "the people of the prince that shall come". (@Daniel:9:26) Is that the "man of sin" alluded to in Thessalonians?

J.T. Yes. There is a Western and an Eastern prince. We get the Western in chapter 7 and the Eastern in chapter 8. I think the Western prince is described in Thessalonians.

J.D. That supports what you said as to what the Lord found when He was here; the same conditions prevail at the end.

R.S.S. May we have a little on the other side now: "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory"? (@Colossians:3:4) I was only thinking of that side of things, that this is really what engages the heart of God's people. Our dear brother, Mr. Raven, said, when dying, that he was looking forward to coming out with the Lord in the day of His appearing. It was peculiarly interesting and beautiful, and it showed how he was looking forward to the Lord's appearing.

B.M.L. When told that a sister whom he had known well had gone, he said, 'I do not say gone.

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I say she has gone in, to come out with Him when He appears'.

S.T. Did not the apostle Paul have that in view? Speaking to Timothy of his departure, he says, "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing". (@2Timothy:4:8)

J.T. Yes. That is the point. It is those that love His appearing. That is to say, the coming of the Lord involves His peculiar glory, the period that He looks forward to, and we love it; we enter into His own thoughts as to it.

E.O.E. What is the difference between Jesus as the "bright and morning star" and as the "root and the offspring of David"?

J.T. I think that passage raises the whole question of the assembly's intelligence. The Lord announces Himself according to what He is personally, and the assembly understands it. She understands what the "root and the offspring of David" involves, and she understands what the "bright and morning star" involves. He does not stop to explain, it is assumed that she knows, and she does know. She says, "Come". The One whom she desires to come is the One whom she understands in relation to the whole purpose of God. He is apprehended in relation to the purpose of God. The root and offspring of David really involves that He is God. He is David's Root, but He is also David's Heir, David's Son, and the assembly knows that. Now the leaders of Israel did not know that. The Lord put that same question to them and they could not answer Him. The assembly understands it by the Spirit; the assembly is brought to know Christ. You remember the Lord's question to which I allude?

R.S.S. "If David then call him Lord, how is he his son" (@Matthew:22:45)

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J.T. How could He be both David's son and David's Lord? One has noticed how frequently the question of the Lord's Person is raised amongst the saints, and I think it is very important that it should be, because it maintains amongst us a true intelligence as to His Person, which is most essential, for if we lose sight of His Person, the power of Christianity is gone. In @Revelation:22:16, He says, "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify these things to you in the assemblies". Here He does not speak to the angel of the assemblies, but to the assemblies themselves. It is no longer the assemblies representatives, but the assemblies themselves, showing greater nearness. He says, "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify these things to you in the assemblies". And then He announces Himself, "I am the root and offspring of David, the bright and morning star". The bright and morning star has reference to the period before the day. It is Christ known now. Would you not say that?

J.D. I think so. Do you look for brightened affections in the saints before they are able to say "Come"?

J.T. As we go on to the end, the sphere may be more limited, but I think the light becomes clearer.

J.D. Affection asks for the appearing not in the way of relief, but as bringing in Christ as the centre of divine counsels. The assembly can connect Him with the central part of the divine counsels in connection with prophecy.

J.T. The more the purpose of God is seen, the clearer the light.

G.A.T. Which should be most before the saints now, the appearing or the rapture?

J.T. I think the appearing is the great goal. The saints "love his appearing". The great burden in Scripture is the appearing; the rapture is blessed, but it is not so much spoken of; it is brought in in

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the way of comfort in an elementary epistle, in @1Thessalonians:4.

B.T.F. What does the word "Come" especially refer to?

J.T. I think it is the expression of the assembly's affections for Christ.

B.T.F. For the rapture?

J.T. No, for the Bridegroom to come to enter into His glory. The import of the titles in which He announces Himself is in the mind of the Spirit and the bride.

B.T.F. That is, that the whole scene of glory has been pictured out to the assembly and the desire of the Spirit and the bride is that all that scene of glory should appear.

J.T. Or rather that He, should appear and enter into it.

R.S.S. The breaking of bread is in view of the Lord's coming. It is not the rapture but the appearing.

J.T. The appearing is before us.

R.S.S. It is exceedingly important that our souls should get hold of that. If it were the rapture it would simply be for our comfort, but if it is the appearing it involves the glory of Christ.

J.T. I do not know that there is much to say beyond that. I do not exclude the rapture, but I think the appearing is prominent; it is the testimony of the assembly that the Lord has been put to death, but that He is to appear.

R.S.S. From the fact that the breaking of bread will cease when the rapture takes place there is the natural tendency to connect it with that, but it surely goes beyond that.

J.B. Is it not important that it is to the assemblies that the Lord testifies that He is the root and offspring of David; it is not to Israel but to the assemblies.

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J.T. It would help us greatly, if we took it in, that the book of Revelation is for the assembly.

G.A.T. Does the church say He is the chiefest among ten thousand? (@SongofSongs:5:10).

J.T. That describes the exercises of the remnant of Israel. You can use it as an analogy to the assembly's affection.

O.J.O. Would you not say His coming is in view of the place He has by right, which the saints are holding for Him?

J.T. We are testifying that whilst the world has put Him to death, we are committed to that death as our fellowship, but it is "till he come". We have no part nor lot in what the world has done. Our fellowship is a condemnation of the world, and it is in view of the Lord's appearing when our fellowship in this sense will cease.

O.J.O. He will then get His right place here.

J.T. His rights have reference to the whole creation.

R.S.S. You announce the Lord's death till He come. It does not say to whom it is announced.

J.T. We commit ourselves to the Lord's death as a sign of our fellowship, but then the world put Him to death, therefore the issue is between the fellowship and the world. The issue that is between us and the world is the occasion of the judgment in the future; and we are on the Lord's side.

A.F.M. The assembly, then, holds a place for Christ in testimony till He comes back.

J.T. It is well to see that.

J.D. The fellowship is approved of God.

G.A.T. Noah building the ark condemned the world.

J.T. Our fellowship is equivalent to that. Baptism too, is a judgment of the world.

A.R.S. What is the meaning of the verse, "unto them that look for him shall he appear". (@Hebrews:9:28) Does that

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give the idea that all of His people will look for Him?

J.T. There is really an appeal in that as to whether we are looking for Him. It is futile to talk about the Lord's coming unless we are looking for Him. "What I say unto you I say unto all. Watch". (@Mark:13:37)

A.F.M. I should like you to enlarge on the expression "I come quickly". It is often applied in connection with Philadelphia.

J.T. I think it is intended to encourage the heart of the overcomer. The book of Revelation contemplates that there are fearful difficulties to be overcome, and the Lord at every opportunity encourages the heart of the overcomer. Now "behold, I come quickly" is intended for that.

A.F.M. Once that word is given you could not think of its being in vain, so that what is in Philadelphia is maintained to the end, and is seen at the end in power.

J.T. It is very encouraging to see that the assembly is seen at the end, and seen in the bridal character.

A.B.S. What does that mean? It looks there as if the Spirit and the bride were in unison.

J.T. That is what it means. They had been out of accord. We would all have to admit that, but the effect of the Lord's gracious dealings with us, and of His ministry to us, is to bring us into accord with the Spirit. "The Spirit and the bride say, Come".

A.F.M. That is very striking.

A.A.T. Will that be so practically?

J.T. Unquestionably. It is not a question of the number, but the character and state.

J.D. It is like Rebekah putting her veil on. The moral grandeur of the man had appealed to her at the end of the wilderness journey.

R.S.S. Is that true today?

J.T. I think in measure it is since the midnight

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cry has gone forth. The virgins have gone forth to meet the Bridegroom, and in principle it has existed ever since.

E.H.T. It is wholly a question of affection.

J.T. But it is intelligent affection. The bride knows who the Person is.

J.A.R. Is the blessing pronounced in chapter 1, for reading this book given as encouragement, because we thus know what will be the result of all things?

J.T. I think so. It is the one book in Scripture in regard of which a premium is offered for reading it.

A.R.S. It is strange that so very few have taken advantage of the premium.

A.F.M. It is the service of the bondman; see chapter 1 and 19:10.

R.S.S. What does that mean?

J.T. "Bondman" sets forth the character in which the servants are taken up in the book. We are all entitled to that position. You would not like to exclude any true believer from it. Any one who loves Jesus is a bondman of Jesus, but we have to answer to the character. And there is a great end for bondmen in view of the conditions that are found in the book, so the angel is one of them. "I am thy fellow-bondman, and the fellow-bondman of thy brethren who have the testimony of Jesus". (@Revelation:19:10) I think we should all covet to be in that circle.

A.F.M. The testimony of Jesus is the bond.

J.T. It is a wonderful circle to be in, a circle of bondmen, and brethren of John, who have the testimony of Jesus.

J.D. Morally.

J.T. Yes; John says, "your brother and fellow-partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and patience, in Jesus". (@Revelation:1:9)

E.H.T. That aspect remains, does it not?

J.T. Yes. It is one thing to be a brother in

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Christ, it is another thing to be a brother of John's; one who is suffering for the kingdom.

W.G.B. You were saying last night that we should do well to consider the gospel of John. Why?

J.T. I think it produces a worshipping spirit, because it impresses you with the greatness of the Person, and it shows you what we are as to dignity. Then the reading of Revelation has the effect of separating you from the world and bringing you into sympathy with Jesus. It is very touching the way John presents Jesus in the book of Revelation. He is the suffering One. John's gospel sets forth His personal dignity. He is, not the sufferer there. He is supreme over everything, so that your heart becomes drawn out to Him in adoration. But the Revelation draws you out in sympathy. You want to be in sympathy with the One who suffered. He is in the midst of the throne as the Lamb. A lamb has no power of defence. The Lord accepts that position and it draws out our sympathies.

R.S.S. Why is He spoken of as the Lamb in connection with the exercise of great power?

J.T. He has power, of course. He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He has power as having been through death, and having risen, to open the seals; but the Lamb is the Sufferer as far as men are concerned. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. As the Lamb He died.

R.S.S. I see that; but He is spoken of as a lamb in another case, which is rather difficult to understand. For instance, chapter 6, the power is spoken of as the wrath of the Lamb.

J.T. Men speak of things in that way. Chapter 6:15 - 17. The Person that has been in suffering comes out to execute wrath, of course; but then when He comes it is as "King of kings, and Lord of lords". (@Revelation:19:16) The nations think of the wrath as immediate, but they are mistaken.

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J.B. In the heavenly city, God and the Lamb are there. What about that?

J.T. The Lamb is invariably the position of the Lord here as a sufferer. The bride is the Lamb's wife. He who suffers reigns. The Lord presented in that way in the book of Revelation draws out the sympathies of the saints.

R.S.S. In that way it is like the Lord presented as Son of man. As Son of man He was the Sufferer and as Son of man He will reign. "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up". (@John:3:14)

J.T. So in chapter 14: "These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth". (@Revelation:14:4)

G.A.T. What of the Lion of the tribe of Judah?

J.T. That is Christ viewed in all His strength, but when He actually takes up the work of redemption, it is as a Lamb slain that He is seen in the midst of the throne. To open the seals He must take a Lamb's position and die.

E.H.T. Are the rewards in connection with the rapture or the appearing?

J.T. Rewards are in display.

E.H.T. "My reward is with me". (@Revelation:22:12)

J.T. He brings them all with Him, but they are public.

R.S.S. There is a scripture in that connection in @2Timothy:1 in regard to Onesiphorus. Paul desires that the Lord might show him mercy in that day. Why should mercy come in in that day? That is evidently the appearing, is it not?

J.T. It is a remarkable connection of mercy. I think what the apostle had in mind was that the Lord should reward him in view of that day. The Lord's mercy is displayed in that day in that man. As a matter of fact, if you are there it is a question of the mercy of the Lord.

E.H.T. I had a question in view in connection

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with Paul: "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing". (@2Timothy:4:8)

R.S.S. The appearing is the introduction to the kingdom.

J.T. @Revelation:19 presents the Lord coming out, but He comes out in regard of the evil that is here, He comes with all His imperial titles, King of kings, and Lord of lords; and the beast and the false prophet and the kings of the earth come up, and the Lord destroys them. The beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire alive, and the others are slain with the sword. The dragon gets all his titles, he is "that old serpent, the devil, and Satan", (@Revelation:20:2) and an angel takes him and binds him for a thousand years; and that makes room for the thrones to be set in chapter 20. "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years". (@Revelation:20:4) So that chapter 19 and the first paragraph of chapter 20 clears the scene. There are thrones, and they sit upon them, and judgment is given to them. That refers to the place of the saints of the present dispensation. Then the souls of those beheaded, on account of the testimony of Jesus, and the word of God, and those that had not worshipped the beast, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. That is to say, all those suffering under the beast after the assembly is removed, they also come in for a place in the reigning.

B.T.F. They do not come in as of the assembly.

J.T. But they have a place on the throne. "They

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lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years". (@Revelation:20:4) They are not omitted. The fact that they do not go up with the assembly does not debar them from reigning.

J.L.J. They come in in the first resurrection.

J.T. So it says, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years". (@Revelation:20:6) That is the great end reached. The remaining part of the book is a description of the city, and the last chapter is a sort of appendix. The great final adjustment is seen in chapter 20 and the opening of chapter 21.

A.F.M. Would not the passage you have referred to in chapter 20:6 take in the heavenly side of things, not the earthly? They have all passed through death.

J.T. The Revelation deals more with what occurs during the Lord's absence and the great result to those who have part in His rejection and sufferings, than with those who will inhabit the millennial world on earth.

A.F.M. The latter is just brought in incidentally.