Volume 48

The Lord's Coming (3)

J. Taylor

Page: 309

2 Thessalonians 1:7 - 12; 2 Thessalonians 2:1 - 16;Romans 8:16 - 23; Romans 13:11 - 13

J.T. It has been intimated that our consideration of this subject should be constructive, not simply taking isolated passages for each occasion, but selecting them from the epistles in chronological sequence as nearly as known, so as to see how the truth of the Lord's coming developed in the minds of the apostles. We are now considering the writings of the apostle Paul, and how he treats of the subject in each epistle according to the understood bearing of the epistle; each having its own particular features of the truth. It is a very extensive subject and, of course, enters into the Old Testament as well as the New. Its place in the epistles is particularly important, because they are written directly to ourselves.

It has been already remarked that the Thessalonian epistles are first in order. It is to be noted that the second epistle to the Thessalonians contemplates that they were rather losing ground, and thus were somewhat exposed to error. They had been affected by false teachers, and had particularly lost ground as to hope. Our subject is intended to inspire hope in our souls. The first letters shows that these saints were marked by hope, but it is not alluded to as marking them in the second epistle. If we keep that in mind, we may be helped, for hope is hardly a feature that marks the saints. The Lord might help us as to it.

J.S. In what way would hope affect us?

J.T. It tends to detach us from this world and also to keep us from discouragement on account of conditions in it. Normally, Christians rejoice in hope.

W.R. Does not the epistle to Titus help us as to

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hope? The apostle says, "... awaiting the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all lawlessness, and purify to himself a peculiar people", Titus 2:13,14.

J.T. Yes, and Romans, too, the fundamental epistle as to the gospel, stresses hope, as we shall see. The apostle commends the Thessalonians so far; he says, "We ought to thank God always for you, brethren, even as it is meet, because your faith increases exceedingly, and the love of each one of you all towards one another abounds", 2 Thessalonians 1:3. They were not wanting in faith or in love, but they were lacking in hope, evidently, and this would be caused by some deflection which the enemy had effected. The suggestion was made to them, that the day of the Lord was present; and it was a question of what they were working out then; that, of course, would destroy hope.

A.R. Are you referring to verse 2 of chapter 2?

J.T. Yes. The evil teachers were saying that the day of the Lord was present, based, perhaps, on certain features of human sufferings connected with it, ignoring its positive blessings. Instructed saints would see how fallacious that is. And then they were undergoing persecution, and no doubt the enemy took occasion to suggest to them that such conditions marked the day of the Lord. So the first chapter is to show that the persecutions were really normal to Christians, and that it was intended to help them and make them worthy of the kingdom of God; persecution helps us as it is thus accepted. It is not the day of the Lord, but the day to prepare us for it; and tribulations, and persecutions help us. That is the point, the apostle makes. On the other hand the persecutors will be dealt with by the Lord when He comes. If it were His day. He would be dealing with these persecutors who afflicted the saints; He would be executing judgment upon them. The

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fact that they were allowed to carry on their persecution against the saints would show it was not the day of the Lord. The apostle says further, verse 6, "if at least it is a righteous thing with God to render tribulation to those that trouble you (2 Thessalonians 1:6)". It would be a righteous thing for God to do that, and He will do it. "And to you that are troubled repose with us", (that is, repose will be rendered to us; we will all be with the Lord at that time) "at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven, with the angels of his power, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who know not God, and those who do not obey the glad tidings of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall pay the penalty of everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his might, when he shall have come to be glorified in his saints, and wondered at in all that have believed, (for our testimony to you has been believed) in that day", verse 7 - 10. It is a remarkably well marked out thought. The enemy was deceiving them, that their persecutions were an evidence of the day of the Lord; whereas it was the very opposite; for when the day of the Lord is present, the persecutors will be punished with everlasting destruction, and they were not being punished as yet.

C.A.M. So that the "enduring constancy of hope"(1 Thessalonians 1:3) in the first part of the first epistle was not a hope that things would get better. The fact that the apostle says, that right down to the very end things will get worse, would seem to emphasise the importance of an enduring constancy.

J.T. Exactly. "Hope maketh not ashamed (Romans 5:5)". The truth of Romans builds it up in our souls, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us; that is what sustains the constancy of endurance.

W.R. There is a verse in Isaiah 13 that may help in connection with persecutions: "Behold, the day of

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Jehovah cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the earth desolate; and he will destroy the sinners thereof out of it ... and I will punish the world for evil, and the wicked for their iniquity", Isaiah 13:9 - 11.

J.T. That agrees with this. So that saints are not thinking the day of the Lord is present because they are suffering. It is the righteous judgment of God to make us more suitable for the kingdom. This righteous judgment will culminate when God will render tribulation to them that troubled the Thessalonians, and when the saints should have repose, with the apostle "at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven".

P.A.R. To say the day of the Lord is present would really rob it of all its glory. The day will be marked by manifest power and glory. It is not the case at the present time.

J.T. It is man's day now in that sense; he carries on his riotous ways, persecution, or whatever he wills to do. All that will be terminated when the day of the Lord is here.

C.H.H. Does not the prophet Joel correspond? He speaks of the day of the Lord being at hand and of the affliction the people go through, and he calls them to return, saying, "Blow the trumpet in Zion", Joel 2:1; and then, "turn to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning", Joel 2:12.

J.T. It would have the same bearing. The apostle's remarks in the passage before us would direct the Thessalonians to the Lord so that they would not be occupied with the persecution beyond the fact that it was allowed in a disciplinary way to help the saints -- also as a privilege -- but the penalty of the persecutors would come in due course and it would be awful -- everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power. It is sorrowful that we are

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so liable to take on false thoughts; the devil takes advantage of certain circumstances. The apostle said, "when we were with you, we told you beforehand we are about to be in tribulation", (1 Thessalonians 3:4). And so the Lord, when with the disciples, told them about His resurrection and all that accompanied it, and yet the best of them, such ass Mary Magdalene, were looking for Him dead , when, according to His word. He should have been alive! How often circumstances occasion the enemy an opportunity to create unbelief and confusion in our hearts!

C.A.M. I suppose the message from John the baptist would show that, and inasmuch as he was the one who announced the coming of the Lord, Satan would use the fact that he was in prison to darken him.

J.T. It was the circumstances -- the prison. He would not have fallen into unbelief, I am sure, had he not been incarcerated. Thus circumstances often occasion the enemy an opportunity to baffle and discourage us. In Romans we see we are to put on the armour of light. This protects us against the influence of darkness.

A.N.W. In these epistles Paul treats of the two sides of the Lord's coming. In chapter 2:1 of this epistle he begs them, "by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him".

J.T. The word "by" is noteworthy; he uses the event to urge them to stedfastness; it would be that the full thought of the Lord's coming should be in their hearts. It pours contempt on what the false teachers were saying, and would fortify their hearts against all darkening thoughts. The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is the denial of the lie that the day of the Lord had come; and only gross falsehood could suggest that the saints, including the Thessalonians, were gathered together to Him.

W.B-w. When dealing with persecutors, the apostle calls the Lord's coming "the revelation of the Lord

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Jesus from heaven", verse 7. Is there some special significance in the word "revelation" when it is a question of dealing with the persecutors?

J.T. The word conveys that what had been hidden or veiled, is now uncovered; sometimes to certain ones, but in this connection it will be manifest generally. "Whom heaven indeed must receive", Peter says, (Acts 3:21); "and a cloud received him out of their -- sight", (Acts 1:9). The revelation referred to here means that all the clouds and veils are to be removed. He is to be manifested; "every eye shall see him", (Revelation 1:7). The book of Revelation opens up the significance of the word as used here.

W.B-w. This refers, then, to the time when He shall come out on a white horse as portrayed in Revelation 19?

J.T. It is wonderfully depicted in Revelation 19. There is no doubt about it. It is visible to every eye. As seen in that chapter He battles with sin in its most powerful development in men.

Now the subject in chapter 2 is the antichrist, or "the man of sin", as he is called; and the Lord's coming has him in mind. The apostle explains another side of the matter; that the man of sin will not come until there be an apostasy; that is another guide for the Thessalonians, and a guide for us, too. So that whilst the Lord from the outset intimated He would come quickly, this must be considered with other scriptural facts, including the fulfilment of certain events, such as we have here, before the word "quickly" applies. That is guarded in the apostle's remark: "Let not any one deceive you in any manner, because it will not be unless the apostasy have first come, and the man of sin have been revealed, the son of perdition", verse 3. These are two negative guides for us: the apostasy, which has now existed for centuries, but not yet completed, and the man of sin, who consequently has not

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yet been revealed. In regard to him, we are exposed to deception -- this one and that one may be pointed out by some as antichrist. But the apostle puts us on our guard, giving us a life -- size picture of him. There has been no one exactly like him. He "opposes and exalts himself on high against all called God, or object of veneration; so that he himself sits down in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God", verse 4. And then the apostle goes on, "Do ye not remember that, being yet with you, I said these things to you? And now ye know that which restrains, that he should be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness already works; only there is he who restrains now until he be gone, and then the lawless one shall be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus shall consume with the breath of his mouth, and shall annul by the appearing of his coming", verses 5 - 8. There have been men who prefigure the man of sin and some exist now, and he who sits in the Vatican bears some of his features.

W.B-w. It is a question of persecution in chapter 1; it is a question of deception in this chapter -- "Let not any one deceive you", verse 3.

J.T. Quite so; the persecution was the basis that the enemy used for the deception, but the apostle bring in another side of the position as to the day of the Lord, that it would not come until there had been the apostasy, and the appearance of the man of sin. Revelation 19 shows the coming of Christ out of heaven in military power and glory, and the destruction of the man of sin -- false prophet -- takes place.

J.S. Is the spread of apostasy necessary for the introduction of the antichrist?

J.T. That is what is stated here. "The mystery of lawlessness already works", showing it had already begun. It was no question of the revelation of apostasy, but of the man of sin. It is to him the word "revelation" applies in this passage. The apostasy began in the

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apostle's time and it has worked ever since, and that is the point we are to notice; it is increasing every day.

J.S. We see the work of evil running on concurrently with the work of God.

Ques. What temple is referred to in verse 4?

J.T. It is the temple of God. The word corresponds to the holiest; it is not the word used for the external buildings, but for the inner shrine of the temple, and that he sits down there is very solemn. It is a general thought. In Christianity, it is the saints, but it runs on to a coming day, too. It is a very remarkable thing that the two sons of perdition are referred to as having access to the inner temple. That is, Judas, who is called the son of perdition, and the man of sin are both spoken of as in the temple in the inner sense. That is a very remarkable thing! It cannot be in a spiritual way in the true sense, but by taking up a position like that, he is in the very place of God.

A.Pf. The man of sin is of a religious character.

J.T. That is right. Here he is seen in the temple of God. He is fully identified with the political power of his day, but he sits down in that which is called the temple of God. The papal office foreshadows this and hence prepares men's minds for it, but it does not go the whole way.

A.N.W. What do you mean by Judas being in the holiest?

J.T. That is what is stated. The money he received for the betrayal of Christ was cast down in the temple; and it is the inner temple that is alluded to, as if that dreadful bargain with the murderers of Christ was made there.

A.C. Is it not remarkable that the antichrist is entitled the "man of sin" in this setting?

J.T. The idea is that he is the embodiment of sin. It is the result of Satan working from the time he got in when Adam fell. Sin entered into the world through

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one man. That is one thing, but that it should be embodied in a man is a terrible thing. Religion affords the enemy a greater weapon than politics for deceptive purposes, and our chapter has deception in view; "signs and wonders of falsehood, and in all deceit of unrighteousness", verse 9.

A.R. Would you say, from chapter 2:7, that antichrist will not come until the Spirit of God has gone? It says, "He who restrains now until he be gone".

J.T. There are two things spoken of as restraining in verses 7 and 8: "For the mystery of lawlessness already works; only there is he who restrains now until he be gone, and then the lawless one shall be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus shall consume with the breath of his mouth, and shall annul by the appearing of his coming". Earlier, we have that which hinders: "And now ye know that which restrains, that he should be revealed in his own time", verse 6. The Thessalonians were taught by the apostle about this; but in verse 7 he speaks about the mystery of lawlessness, and in this connection says, "he who restrains". The mystery of lawlessness had begun then, and there was a Person restraining it. Where has it been all these centuries? It is for the spiritual to understand. I think Satan has been working on religious lines all this time, in a certain setting; and there is the suggestion that the man of sin, when he appears, will have access to its innermost workings. No doubt there will be collaboration and a readiness to give way to him. He will have the upper hand and will have everything opened up to him in the centre of the system that we are alluding to. I believe this is what is in mind, in the statement that he sits down in the temple of God. That sort of thing has existed in part from the very outset. Later, it developed more formally and openly -- a man sitting down assuming to be God in some sense, not formal apostasy, for the Scriptures and Christ are verbally owned, but still the

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thing is there. Thus, the pretensions of the man of sin will not be a novelty, but an increase of what exists; because the mystery of lawlessness has been working. Our scripture contemplates the culmination of it.

A.R. The presence of the saints would mean that which restrains; and he which restrains refers to the Spirit?

J.T. Well, it is well to keep the thing less fixed in one's mind. The stress is on the word "restrain", whether it be ordered government, or whatever it be that restrains, but "he", I suppose, would point to the Spirit; and the revival of the truth of the Holy Spirit in the assembly in the latter days surely is intended by God to expose all this, to show us what this chapter means.

C.A.M. Do you think that is why the Holy Spirit presents the truth of the temple -- temple light - which is often realised at the present moment?

J.T. That is an important remark, because we have more of the temple in the book of Revelation than in any other book, and obviously it is to meet what is before us here, so that we might understand the whole position and know how to move in relation to it.

J.S. Does it show, too, that lawlessness will run its course until the man of sin sets himself down in the temple of God showing himself that he is God?

J.T. Yes; as is said in Genesis, "For the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full", Genesis 15:16. The Lord is allowing wickedness to develop in one way and another until it comes to finality in the man of sin. The book of Revelation teaches us that there is a trinity of evil; but here, one person is referred to, similarly as we speak of God. God is a Trinity, and so the completion of Satan's working is a trinity; a most solemn fact to consider; and it is all around us now.

C.N. You were stressing the word "hope". Is not the rapture the climax of the Christians' hope here?

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J.T. Well, the coming of the Lord is more properly our hope -- rather Himself and all that attaches to His coming. All this is public; the rapture is included, but it is private; the assembly is thus with Him, so as to come into display with Him. The rapture is formally presented in the first epistle, and is alluded to in verse 1 of our chapter. It is treated of by itself for a special reason, but it contemplates the appearing with Christ in glory. Allusion to the Lord's coming is usually to the public side, and it runs right through scripture. Here we have the word "appearing". It says, "whom the Lord Jesus shall consume with the breath of his mouth, and shall annul by the appearing of his coming". And then we have the antichrist coming; "whose coming is according to the working of Satan in all power and signs and wonders of falsehood, and in all deceit of unrighteousness to them that perish", verses 9,10. Thus, there are the two comings; the coming of antichrist and his destruction at the coming of the Lord Jesus. They are direct opposites. The Lord will annul him by the appearing of His coming.

C.H.H. Is there a moral order in Revelation 11,12 and 13? The temple is seen open in heaven in chapter 11; then in chapter 12 the male child is caught up to heaven, and in chapter 13 we have the revelation of the two beasts. Is that in line with what you were saying about the temple being prominent in that book?

J.T. Yes; the position is thus made clear. The Lord has revived the truth of the temple -- more recently particularly -- and it enables us to know the truth, so that we are to be assured of what we say. We should speak only in the sense of inquiry, unless we are assured of it. So that the sure way to know the truth is to inquire in His temple, and the Lord is helping us to do that, I think. One can speak with a measure of authority as he inquires in the temple. "If any one speak -- as oracles of God", (1 Peter 4:11). We are not to be guessing at things

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or questioning all the time, but we say what we know, and that is in virtue of the Holy Spirit, so that the apostle says, "Do ye not know that ye are the temple of God?" (1 Corinthians 3:16).

J.H.E. The Lord said to Nicodemus, "We speak that which we know, and we bear witness of that which we have seen", (John 3:11).

J.T. The Lord said that, and, of course. He was the temple, but the principle we are speaking of is there.

J.T.Jr. The chapter already alluded to in John's epistle speaks of the way we are to know the thing; "From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error", 1 John 4:6. Is that not important whenever crises arise, to know the spirit of truth?

J.T. Not only what is said, but the spirit behind it.

J.T.Jr. You feel either the thing is right, or it is wrong.

W.B-w. The question of the love of the truth is brought in here. It says, "because they have not received the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this reason God sends to them a working of error", verse 11. Is this working of error going on all around us today? They have refused the love of the truth that they might be saved.

J.T. A very important word -- "the love of the truth". One has often ventured to say it is even a greater thing than the love of the brethren. John makes a great deal of it in his epistles: people doing truth and walking in truth; and then in his gospel he says, "But when he is come, the Spirit of truth, he shall guide you into all the truth", John 16:13. He quotes the Lord as saying the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth.

A.R. What did you say about the love of the brethren?

J.T. I was venturing to say that one thinks that love of the truth is morally greater than loving the brethren, although they go together, but I believe love of the truth comes first in order. The truth has the first place in a moral sense; the truth precedes even the brethren.

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The Lord Jesus is Himself the truth, and the Holy Spirit as spoken of here is the truth, which facts, of themselves, show how great the thought is. And we have in the truth the means of detecting and correcting all that is not truth.

F.H.L. It is remarkable that the Lord said before Pilate, "I have come into the world, that I might bear witness to the truth", (John 18:37).

A.N.W. I suppose your reference to love of the truth would be confirmed in Peter's reference to adding to brotherly love.

J.T. Well, quite so. Love according to God involves the truth; it would correct any undue personal links, which are very baneful amongst us; brethren having personal links with each other -- personal understandings -- offer a handle to the enemy, who works on those lines.

A.R. Would you say that even after the assembly is gone, it will appear that evil never gets out of divine control. It says here, "And for this reason God sends to them a working of error", verse 11. The thing is seen as under divine control.

J.T. It is one of the most solemn things, that He sends it to them, that they should believe a lie because they have not believed the truth. It says in Revelation 22:11, "Let him that does unrighteously do unrighteously still". That is a remarkable thing, as much as to say, if there is continuance in unrighteousness, God will leave it at that; it is a most solemn thing! But then, He sends the working of error that they might believe a lie. The gospel, on the other hand, is the word of truth, which saints normally believe.

We might now scan the verses referred to in Romans. There, it is a question of the creature in relation to the Lord's coming. "For the anxious looking out of the creature expects the revelation of the sons of God: for the creature has been made subject to vanity, not of its

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will, but by reason of him who has subjected the same, in hope that the creature itself also shall be set free from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans together and travails in pain together until now. And not only that, but even we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, we also ourselves groan in ourselves, awaiting adoption, that is the redemption of our body", Romans 8:19 - 23.

I thought it might be well to touch that, just to show how the idea of deliverance of the creature, involved in the Lord's coming, is introduced in the great gospel epistle. Paul said that the gospel was proclaimed in the whole creation, showing that the creation is in God's mind. It is not now a question of the antichrist, but of the bondage brought in through sin; and how this great day we are looking for means deliverance for the creature "into the liberty of the glory of the children of God". Our part in it is as sons of God: the liberty is that of the glory of the children of God. The culmination of the truth here is in sonship. "Awaiting adoption, that is the redemption of our body". Our bodies are to be changed and in accord with the full thought of God; not only that we are sons now, according to verse 14, but our bodies are to be according to that; they are to be changed -- conformed to Christ's body of glory.

J.S. So that we have a far wider thought here in Romans than in the epistle to the Galatians.

J.T. Yes; redemption here is the change of our bodies -- sonship -- which we await. Many of us are suffering in body, and many are dying; well, what a truth this is! The adoption is really sonship; it is the same word that is translated sonship; the redemption of our bodies implies that. The creation began with the thought of it, according to His own word in Job. "The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy", Job 38:7. So that we come into this in a literal

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way, for the word "adoption" is applied to the redemption of our bodies.

J.S. So that this is undoing all that came in as a result of the fall.

J.T. And making things infinitely greater than they could have been in the physical creation as it is now. "The glory of the children of God", (Romans 8:21), implies "the revelation of the sons of God", wonderful prospect as to our bodies! We are all groaning more or less; and if some, being young, are not groaning now, they will be in a few years if left here below. What a wonderful thing, then, this is -- the deliverance of our bodies -- under the head of redemption and sonship!

J.T.Jr. So that there is no further scope for sin's law to operate. It says, at the end of Romans 7: "So then I myself with the mind serve God's law; but with the flesh sin's law", Romans 7:25. There is a complete change, and sin's law has no further place to operate.

J.T. Just so. In the earlier part of the chapter we have, "on account of the Spirit which dwells in you". Then, in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, it says, "we , the living who remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds". Quickening will take place on account of His Spirit in us; but it goes beyond that to the resurrection of those that are in their graves, which is referred to here as the redemption of the body.

A.R. Would you explain verse 21 as regards the creature being set free from the bondage of corruption?

J.T. Well, it is the general abstract condition of the creature on account of sin having come in; being subjected to bondage. It is commensurate with Romans, because the gospel, in God's mind, includes the creation; not only man, but, according to what He said to Jonah, cattle also; even the cattle are clothed with sackcloth -- a very touching thing. Then Paul says of the glad tidings: "which have been proclaimed in the whole creation which is under heaven", Colossians 1;23. I think

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we have narrowed ourselves in the gospel a little bit, confining it to men. Directly, of course, it does apply to men, and men only; but, as seen in the scripture quoted, in the thought of God it applies in a sense to the whole creation. The creature itself will be delivered from the bondage of corruption. The glory of the children of God is our glory, and the creation comes into that. Well, in one sense it should come into it now, if I own a cow or a horse, or if I have children or servants, they should come into the liberty of what I am enjoying myself.

J.S. So that the animals of the creation, now living in fear of one another, will come into holy liberty. That is a remarkable thought, is it not?

J.T. Quite so; what a change it will be! "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb", (Isaiah 11:6). It is affecting to think of such a change as God will bring about in His creation.

J.S. Would that mean that carnivorous creatures will cease?

J.T. Evidently. It does not seem that there were any before the flood; it is clear that in the liberty of the glory of the children of God there will be a great change from the present carnivorous and ferocious conditions. Isaiah 11:5 - 9 is very clear as to this. The lower creatures are coming into it; but there should be that testimony now, that all that comes under our influence tastes something of the liberty of the children of God.

P.A.R. One of the things that is to mark the sabbath is, "thou shalt not do any work, thou, ... nor thine ox, nor thine ass", (Deuteronomy 5:14).

J.T. That enters into it. If a man is spiritual, he will have all that is under him in this liberty; because he is already in the enjoyment of the privileges of the children of God.

A.R. Is the basis of it the death of Christ?

J.T. Quite so. That is what Romans lays down; it is

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the foundational epistle and it goes as wide as the whole creation.

C.A.M. Is that the way to understand the expression "joint heirs with Christ"? If you do not view it as the whole vast creation you cannot understand it.

J.T. Yes; your heart is stimulated if you take this in. See the present effect of it; it should influence everything that comes under the Christian's hand. He had said, "And if children, heirs also: heirs of God, and Christ's joint heirs; if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed to us", verse 17,18. And then he proceeds with this subject of the creature and the glory of the children of God.

A.R. Would Noah's ark and the creatures in it under Noah's care be the same idea as creation being held in the hearts of the saints today?

J.T. They all came unto Noah ; but it is Noah in a family setting really, and that I think links up with what we have been saying about the children of God. There were eight persons in the ark -- Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives; and it is in the ark, in that setting, that the animals come to Noah. It is the family setting in which Christ would be attractive, and all should be illuminated by that -- all that I have to do with should be illuminated by family relations, involving the glory of the children of God.

W.B-w. They are called the sons of God in verse 19, as in "revelation", and then in verse 21, reference is made to the liberty of the children of God.

J.T. The same persons are referred to. "For the anxious looking out of the creature expects the revelation of the sons of God". It is perhaps an unspoken expectation; it is abstract; we cannot say in whom the expectation is concrete, but it is there.

J.S. As to order, the sons must come in first.

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J.T. Quite so; that is what we begin with in the book of Job. Jehovah began with that.

P.A.R. Would the revelation of the sons of God correspond with the thought of the holy city coming down out of heaven to influence the earth?

J.T. Yes; coming down in their liberty, dignity, and intelligence.

W.B-w. Would you say a word about the redemption of the body? Does that mean that our bodies have not yet been redeemed?

J.T. Not redeemed from the effects of sin, because when one dies it is evident that the body is not redeemed in a practical sense. The person is, in his spirit, because it has gone to be with the Lord; but not the body.

W.B-w. But it does not affect the redemptive work of the cross in any way.

J.T. Redemption was fully effected in the death and resurrection of Christ, but the working out of it involves our resurrection; taking the body out of all the effects of sin. Here we are said to be awaiting adoption and that adoption means the redemption of our body. In this sense redemption is not yet completely effected, nor are we the sons of God in an absolute way until we are raised from the dead literally , or our bodies quickened, Romans 8:11; because our bodies are yet mortal. Redemption takes us into immortality; the body is raised in incorruptibility and immortality.

J.S. These bodies of ours are still in the groaning creation.

A.N.W. Does that link on with your further scripture at the end about our salvation being nearer?

J.T. Exactly; that fits with this epistle. The apostle is bringing in subjects in the epistle that belong to it, and it is a question of light -- armour is called the "armour of light" in this epistle. It is called the "armour of God" in Ephesians, but in Romans it refers to the saints as in the wilderness. In Ephesians we are said to

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be raised up and seated in the heavenlies; but the viewpoint here is that we are in the wilderness in our every-day employment and hence need the armour of light. Darkness presses in on every side, but we are to meet it with light; whatever assails, you meet it with light. And hence the word is, "This also, knowing the time, that it is already time that we should be aroused out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed", Romans 13:11. That is important; every moment brings us nearer to it. It is a question of time . From this point of view, the epistle says later on, "But the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly", Romans 16:20. And also, "The night is far spent, and the day is near; let us cast away therefore the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. As in the day, let us walk becomingly; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and lasciviousness, not in strife and emulation. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ", Romans 13:12 - 14. That is, put it on as a real profession, which can only be in the power of the Spirit. The idea is that you are covered with it; you are luminous. If persons come with dark thoughts, you are able to meet them with the armour of light. It is a military idea, for it is a matter of conflict.

A.R. Is all that the result of making room for the Spirit? The apostle speaks of the firstfruits of the Spirit in chapter 8. He also gives us in Galatians 5 what the fruits of the Spirit are.

J.T. Quite so; nine features of the fruit of the Spirit are given. Romans requires that for the support of the truth and then it greatly stresses hope , as we have already said. In chapter 15:13 we have, "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that ye should abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit Romans 15:13". I am convinced that hope is one of the scarcest things among the brethren. That is, we do not see much outside the current environment; but what is

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unseen is eternal. "What any one sees", says the apostle, "why he does hope also (Romans 8:24)?" We hope for that which we do not see.

W.B-w. What is the difference between putting on the armour of light and putting on the Lord Jesus Christ?

J.T. The latter brings Christ into His place as covering the whole position. The armour of light is the military thought. Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ is a full profession supported by the Spirit; whereas the ordinary Christian profession today is not that; there is profession, but generally no reality.

J.S. And in putting on the armour of light, it is not that we might shine but rather that the Lord Jesus may shine in us.

J.T. Well, exactly, and you cannot be cornered if you have on the armour of light, because you can meet, with light, whatever comes up; you know, as the apostle says here, "This also, knowing the time, that it is already time that we should be aroused out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed".

A.R. We may have been inclined to think of hope in relation to the rapture, but what you have said helps us to see that we are to think of Him in relation to another world; that helps to take us out of this one.

J.T. Hope relates to what is not seen; it is what is presented to faith . You not only believe it, but have certainty that the thing will come to pass.

Ques. Is our hope in proportion to our knowledge of the righteousness of God?

J.T. That is the foundation of all we are speaking of -- the righteousness of God. All these things are built up on that.