Volume 48

The Lord's Coming (4)

J. Taylor

Page: 334

1 Corinthians 1:4 - 9; 1 Corinthians 4:1 - 5; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 1 Corinthians 11:26; 1 Corinthians 15:20 - 28; 2 Corinthians 5:1 - 10

J.T. The connection in which the Lord's coming is referred to in each of these scriptures is to be noted. In the first chapter, it is in relation to the enrichment of the assembly in the way of knowledge and gift; in chapter 4, it is in relation to the ministers; in chapter 5, it is in regard to assembly discipline; in chapter 11, to the Lord's supper; in chapter 15 it stands related to the truth of resurrection; and in the passage read in the second epistle, it is linked with the dissolution of the bodies of the saints. So that we have a wide range of truth connected with our subject, bearing on the assembly viewed as in the local position.

The first point to be considered, is how we are furnished. The apostle said, "I thank my God always about you, in respect of the grace of God given to you in Christ Jesus; that in everything ye have been enriched in him, in all word of doctrine, and all knowledge(according as the testimony of the Christ has been confirmed in you), so that ye come short in no gift, awaiting the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall also confirm you to the end, unimpeachable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ", chapter 1:4 - 8. This is an allusion to the history of an assembly -- it may be any assembly of God -- and the viewpoint is the confirmation of the saints in what is furnished in Christ as they await the day of His revelation. So that it is the history of an assembly right through until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The present is the time of the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ. The revelation will take place when the time of testimony is over; in that sense, in Christ's

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day. The apostle has in mind that the assembly should go through as it began -- unimpeachable -- and confirmation is needed for that. And then there is the faithfulness of God in view of all this, as it says, "God is faithful by whom ye have been called into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord", verse 9. That is the present position.

W.R. Is not the fidelity of the assembly proved in local assemblies during the Lord's absence?

J.T. Quite so; it is the local assembly that is in mind here. It is well to go back to the beginnings of any meeting; the meeting in which any one of us may be. What were the beginnings, and how are we going on, and what have we in view? Have we the day of Christ in mind in all that is going on?

C.A.M. How do you apply this word "confirm" at the present time -- confirmation in the local setting?

J.T. Usually, as to what comes in as the foundation is laid. The true foundation being laid, it should give character to the structure. It is reliable material, so that in chapter 3, the apostle calls attention to the building. He laid the foundation. They were God's building, which is a very dignified thought. He had laid the foundation, "But" he says, "let each see how he builds upon it", 1 Corinthians 3:10; and in connection with that, if he builds wood, hay, and stubble, that would not stand the test of the fire, and hence only he goes through. He loses everything except himself -- "but he shall be saved, but so as through the fire", 1 Corinthians 3:15; all else is burned up, and it is connected, too, with the day: "for the day shall declare it", 1 Corinthians 3:13. It is a voice to us, as to what we are putting into the building; that is, primarily, the meeting in which we are located.

A.R. Is it right to abstractly regard a locality as the apostle speaks of Corinth: "in everything ye have been enriched in him, in all word of doctrine, and all knowledge", chapter 1:5?

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J.T. Yes; that is the abstract view. It is not that every one in Corinth was characterised by that, but in principle the assembly could be so spoken of; God had confirmed the testimony of Christ there.

J.S. Does gift play a large part in the maintenance of the testimony?

J.T. It does; that is the idea. They came behind in no gift; the opening statements of the epistle are remarkable, seeing the apostle is going to deal with very serious evil conditions among them.

W.B-w. We get the testimony of our Lord elsewhere, and the testimony of God , and here the testimony of Christ . What is the difference?

J.T. I think the Christ is generally the one who does things for God -- the One who does all God's will, according to Psalm 89. Paul had worked amongst them according to the principle of the anointing, and the assembly is alluded to in chapter 12:12 as "the Christ", so that it was for them to maintain that. What was being done was Christ's work. It was the testimony of Christ. It was Paul's work, but Christ had spoken to him in a vision and said, "I am with thee, and no one shall set upon thee to injure thee; because I have much people in this city", (Acts 18:10). He stayed there eighteen months and showed what Christ's work was -- God confirming it. In Ephesians, Christ is said to be dwelling in our hearts by faith; meaning the One who operates for God. Of course, it includes the anointing, but it particularly suggests the One who operates -- who does things.

A.B.P. Do the details given in relation to the heavenly city help us in working things out locally, in view of that day?

J.T. Yes. You want to make things fit with that. You have that in your mind. John brings the city in, in view of the latter days; our own times. Paul also speaks of it, "Jerusalem above ... which is our mother", (Galatians 4:26).

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It is a question of taking character from our mother, and the faithfulness of God is to be noted here. It is a very comforting word. It is found three times in the two epistles. It says, "God is faithful, by whom ye have been called into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord", verse 9. Our position in the fellowship is assured; we can rely upon the faithfulness of God in it. The faithfulness of God is a great principle running through Scripture, especially in Jacob's history. It was to him that the thought of the house of God was revealed, so it peculiarly fits into the order of the assembly.

W.B-w. Does the matter of faithfulness fit in with the word "confirm you to the end, unimpeachable"? God is faithful, but the saints at Corinth were unfaithful.

J.T. To meet the responsibilities conveyed in the two epistles, you need to draw on the faithfulness of God. Jacob was going down into Egypt and no doubt serious questions would arise in his mind, especially as to how he could meet conditions there. How can conditions in Corinth or New York be met, the opposition being great? Well, this thought of faithfulness fits, and so Jehovah appeared to Jacob and said, "I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down to Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation. I will go down with thee to Egypt, and I will also certainly bring thee up", (Genesis 46:3,4); meaning that every promise of His is Yea and Amen in Christ. That is what you get in the second epistle to the Corinthians. When the time comes for it, God will show that, for recovery already began to set in amongst them. Jacob was in a position now to understand what God meant by saying He was the God of his father. It is not Abraham, but Isaac . Abraham was the depository of the promises, but Isaac had their confirmation. Christ, risen and glorified, is the Amen of every promise of God. That is an immense thing to have in our souls.

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J.S. Jacob went down to Egypt in the light of the God of resurrection.

J.T. Exactly, That is, that whatever might happen in Egypt, God's promises would all go through. That is a principle.

C.A.M. Does not this show that where things are wrong in a local company, the positive position according to God is to be in mind at the outset?

J.T. I think so. It is the fellowship of God's Son; the fellowship of Christ's death in chapter 10; the fellowship of the Spirit in 2 Corinthians 13:14. Here it is the dignity of the fellowship; that you have a sense of the dignity of what you are called into. Some one may say, I am withdrawing from fellowship. What does it mean, but withdrawing from the greatest thing on earth? Where is he going? Is it simply optional with one to do that? No, it is not; he will have to answer to God for it. It is, in principle , apostasy.

A.N.W. In regard of unfaithfulness, would you make a little clearer how we can look for unimpeachability in that day?

J.T. Well, the faithfulness of God known in your soul helps you greatly. In result you say, "kept guarded by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time", (1 Peter 1:5). On the one hand God does it, but still you are doing it. You have the great thought here of the dignity of the position, and that the local company is to be unimpeachable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not only each one individually, but the whole assembly. Places enter into the divine records, not only persons, but assemblies; and the towns in which they are located, and the countries also. Everything is kept in mind in the divine record. How is New York going to stand in that day, the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, when everything is going to be manifested? The apostle is speaking of the assembly from the divine standpoint; what his

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work had been; the apostle having been there for eighteen months. I am sure he did not leave until he saw the truth worked out in some sense subjectively, in the saints there. From the divine side they had an excellent start. He stayed there longer than in any other place except Ephesus; of course, not counting his imprisonment at Rome.

A.R. Does not the government of God take account of a believer, and his conduct, in view of that day? Here, however, it is in connection with a locality.

J.T. Yes, each of us will be responsible in his measure in relation to his local position. I think that is important for each of us to see. And then, each city in which God has set a testimony is responsible, too, but that is another matter; and so each country. The Lord says, "Woe to thee, Chorazin! woe to thee Bethsaida!"(Matthew 11:21). The whole of Achaia is referred to in 2 Corinthians 1:1, for instance; and in our chapter it says, "the assembly of God which is in Corinth, ... with all that in every place", 1 Corinthians 1:2. Wherever God sets an assembly, there is correlative responsibility in the place, because of the testimony rendered to it, for the Lord shows that testimony to them. The Lord will be able to point in His day to what light there had been here or in any town or city where there had been a gathering.

F.H.L. Is there not a great appeal to the Corinthians in the way the apostle presents here what was effected among them, including the temple of God as in chapter 3?

J.T. It is from the divine side; in a sense, abstract, yet there must have been some concrete expression of it; but this indicates how Corinth was furnished, and what was effected there. Chapter 3 takes up what we put into the building, and whether we are going into the day of Christ with nothing but ourselves to our credit; saved, so as by fire ; just belonging to such a

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class in that day. Then in chapter 4, the apostle speaks of himself and every minister with him; that the One who examines them is the Lord, and the examination will come to light when the Lord comes; that is, there are certain things that we must leave until the Lord comes; as it says in verse 5, "So that do not judge anything before the time, until the Lord shall come". That does not mean that we do not judge things for which the present is the time of judgment, such as evil amongst us; we must deal with that at once, but to judge the motives of a servant, for instance, would not be in order, for the Lord examines him, and we have to wait until the Lord shall come. These are special ministers. The passage reads, "Let a man so account of us as servants of Christ", verse 1. The word "servants" is huperetes in the original, and means "appointed servants". (Three words are translated "servant" -- doulos , a slave, bondman; diakonos , a person who acts or waits in service; and huperetes , as here, which is always used for an official servant. -- J.N.D., foot-note.) These were special men that God was putting forward, and people were apt to be critical of them. Of course, they have to answer, as other brothers, for their conduct and service, but they are often the butt of unfair criticism, as Paul was at Corinth. That is what he is dealing with, so he says, "Let a man so account of us as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God"; it is apparent that he is speaking of what is special. And then he goes on in verse 2, "Here, further, it is sought in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But for me it is the very smallest matter that I be examined of you or of man's day". The poor conditions in Corinth led to their decline to man's way of judging; for instance, they said, "his presence in the body weak, and his speech naught",(2 Corinthians 10:10). That is "man's day". The apostle poured contempt on it. Think of such a servant as

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Paul, through whom so many were converted in that city, and some one in that meeting saying that his speech was contemptible and his bodily presence weak!

It is that sort of thing that he had in mind when he went on to say, in verse 3, "Nor do I even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing in myself; but I am not justified by this: but he that examines me is the Lord. So that do not judge anything before the time, until the Lord shall come, who shall also both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and shall make manifest the counsels of hearts; and then shall each have his praise from God", verse 3 - 5. That is an important matter, and particularly as regards those who are in public service. Of course, if there are things that are wrong, they must be dealt with, but if it is a question of a servant's motives, leave it with the Lord, for "to his own master he stands or falls", (Romans 14:4). The Lord is jealous as to His servants. Jehovah said to Aaron and Miriam, "Why then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?" (Numbers 12:8).

A.N.W. The verse in 1 Corinthians 10:15 says, "I speak as to intelligent persons: do ye judge what I say",. We are called upon to do that, are we not?

J.T. Quite so: the Bereans did that as to Paul's ministry among them. The question here is of judging him as they judged him at Corinth. As I said, if there is anything wrong, the servant is a brother like others. The Lord would protect His servants from unfair attacks.

J.T.Jr. Does the Lord do that of Himself in regard to His servants, as He did with Moses? When a servant is attacked unfairly, the Lord protects him. The servant does not do it himself.

J.T. That is good. Moses was not complaining about the attack of Miriam and Aaron. The Lord took it in hand; not that Moses did not feel it. The Lord looked

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after His servant. Paul, like Moses, was special. The Corinthians were like children examining their father -- that sort of thing; "For if ye should have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers", (1 Corinthians 4:15); and he was their father. This is on even a wider basis than that. It is this kind of servant that is in mind; an appointed servant. Of course, you would not attach that to everyone now, but you keep the thought in your mind how the Lord puts certain ones forward and holds them responsible; therefore they are specially cared for by Him.

J.S. So the first verse of this chapter would give us the light governing the position relative to the servant: "Let a man so account of us as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God".

J.T. That is good; you look at one who is helping the saints and take right account of him; do not idolise him, but take right account of him according to what the Lord has made him.

W.B-w. Was there not a worse condition later, according to the closing chapters of the second epistle? Then there were those who "sinned before, and have not repented (2 Corinthians 12:21)". There seems to have been a good number of them.

J.T. I was alluding to that; one of those men said, "but his presence in the body weak, and his speech naught(2 Corinthians 10:10)". But Paul says, "such as we are in word by letters when absent, such also present in deed", (2 Corinthians 10:11). The time had come for him to speak of those things: "and having in readiness to avenge all disobedience when your obedience shall have been fulfilled", (2 Corinthians 10:6). He is going to deal with all these men, but He has in mind to protect and preserve the saints.

No doubt, all, with those who had not repented, were present when the first letter was read, but the apostle wisely avoids direct reference to the opposers

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until the saints, generally, were ready for it. The party leaders might have become more powerful if they were then attacked by Paul. He is very wise in that. He would set the brethren generally right before he attacks these special ones, and here in the first epistle he does not name anybody, but himself and Apollos and Cephas. He says, "these things, brethren, I have transferred ... to myself and Apollos",(1 Corinthians 4:6) instead of naming local leaders. We have to be careful that we do not force saints into the hands of local leaders who in times of crisis would seek to control them. It is wisdom to get the saints right first. We have to wait . God is patient in dealing with evil. The apostle, in this first epistle is not naming anybody who is attacking him. It is a general thought. He says, I have transferred it to myself and Apollos. They were not the leaders in Corinth; local men were the leaders, but they were misleading the saints. In chapter 5 the apostle deals with an outstanding sin, such as was not even named among the Gentiles; he selects it to bring out the great principle of assembly discipline. The apostle says, "that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus", 1 Corinthians 5:5. But the Corinthians are to have this man with themselves, as restored, as the second epistle shows. Everything in these passages is linked on with Christ's day. How are we going to stand there? What are we doing now? We may be doing what we think is right and what others think is right, but notwithstanding, we may not be doing right. How will all this stand "in the day of the Lord Jesus"?

J.S. The sequel shows that this man was recovered before Christ's day.

J.T. It was a very great triumph. The Corinthians were slow to recognise his self-judgment; but still there it was, and the apostle tells them to confirm their love to him. They are going to carry him through, as it were, until Christ's day.

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A.B.P. To what extent can we do that? In a case where discipline may be necessary, how do we carry the person?

J.T. In our hearts and in our prayers, and in priestly service generally. The types help us greatly as to feeling in a priestly way; visiting and looking upon the person. Leviticus 13 and 14 are especially written for that purpose.

Ques. If there is not a quick recovery, does that reflect on us?

J.T. Well it may . Perhaps we are wanting in priestly ability. The type calls for the priest to go out to the man. The priest visits and revisits him, and when the time of his cleansing has arrived, the priest goes out to him. They are both outside the camp . Really, by extension of the type, it is like Christ and the thief on the cross; both are outside the camp. And the Lord took the thief to paradise; that is. He carried him through, but He could never do it without dying for him. They were both outside the camp -- "Wherefore also Jesus, that he might sanctify the people by his own blood, suffered without the gate", (Hebrews 13:12). The Lord took the thief to paradise; He died for him. The priest goes outside, we are told, in the type, to see the man that is to be cleansed, and then he orders what is to be done.

C.A.M. The securing of the thief on the cross, I suppose, was the result of the service of the great Priest. What he said about the Lord suggests that the man had an offering to bring.

J.T. Quite so; in principle, he spoke of His perfect humanity. He was really ministering to the Lord in what he said. He spoke of Him: "this man has done nothing amiss", And then he spoke to Him: "Remember me. Lord, when thou comest in thy kingdom", (Luke 23:42); and the Lord took him right through. He says, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise", (Luke 23:43).

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I think that enters into the discipline meeting; we are to carry the sinner through, that is our object.

J.S. The moment he testified of the Lord, saying, "but this man has done nothing amiss (Luke 23:42)", light flooded his soul. Then he adds, "Remember me. Lord, when thou comest in thy kingdom (Luke 23:42)".

J.T. Well, he judged the position rightly and thoroughly; he took the guilt home to himself, and thus the light shone into his soul from the dying Saviour beside him. They were both outside the camp. The Lord was suffering personal wrong, but then, He was suffering vicariously ; otherwise. He could not take the thief to paradise. I believe that is the way we take account of the leper, as to how we deal with him, taking the thing in our spirits, as it were; the Lord did that. He took the whole weight of that thief's guilt upon Himself.

W.B-w. The Lord was unique in holiness and purity, but in Leviticus the priest has to wash himself afterwards.

J.T. That is to show what the thing is that he is dealing with. Of course, the Lord touched the leper without being defiled in His person. He could do that, but on the cross. He took sin in its entirety upon Himself and dealt with it vicariously, and came out of the grave without it. So the thief is in paradise entirely according to God.

A.R. Would you explain, a little more fully, this verse about the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ?

J.T. Well, the flesh cannot go into paradise, nor can it stand in the day of the Lord Jesus. The Lord dealt with it on the cross vicariously, but it has to be dealt with in me , and normally it is dealt with in me when I put to death the deeds of the body. "But if Christ be in you, the body is dead on account of sin", (Romans 8:10), and "but if, by the Spirit, ye put to death

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the deeds of the body, ye shall live", (Romans 8:13). We put to death the deeds of the body, by the Spirit. That is our side of judging. This man had not done it, and was delivered over to Satan, and Satan has to do it. What he should have done by the power of the Spirit, Satan has to do, and evidently did. The book of Job helps in this.

J.T.Jr. In Leviticus 14, we have the log of oil introduced. It seems to indicate that was lacking, before, in the man; as though room has not been made for the Spirit.

J.T. Quite so; he was not judging himself - putting to death the deeds of the body. And so in Corinth; the sin was most flagrant. The flesh was allowed full range.

A.Pf. Would you put Ananias and Sapphira in the same class -- delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh?

J.T. Well, they died in their sin. I believe they were Christians, for they got a burial . Ecclesiastes speaks about no burial: "If a man beget a hundred sons, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, but his soul be not filled with good, and also he have no burial, I say an untimely birth is better than he", Ecclesiastes 6:3. It seems to me that the burial of these two by the young men waiting there to do it, indicates they were honoured in spite of their guilt. They died in their sin, of course. The daughters of Zelophehad said of their father, "but he died in his own sin", (Numbers 27:3). Ananias and Sapphira died in their sin, in collusion with one another, it is true, but I should say they were saved in the sense of "so as by fire".

A.N.W. Does an assembly action necessarily do what was done in 1 Corinthians 5 -- commit one to Satan - or is that apostolic? In the second letter he says, "Sufficient to such a one is this rebuke which has been inflicted by the many", 2 Corinthians 2:6. Is that our side?

J.T. The former is connected with Paul, and linking

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it on with other scriptures, I should say it is apostolic action. He speaks of delivering others to Satan, but he is bringing the Corinthians into it here. "This rebuke" refers to the way that they looked at the sin. It was "by the many"; it was their action, although evidently some did not go with it. The saints generally felt indignant about the sin. The proper responsibility of the saints is stated, I think, in the last verse, "Remove the wicked person from amongst yourselves", 1 Corinthians 5:13. The assembly must not have such a person in its midst. In Numbers 5, the leper is to be put outside the camp; whatever happens, that must take place at once: "Remove the wicked person from amongst yourselves (1 Corinthians 5:13)". We can hardly say that withdrawing from a person is delivering him to Satan, but still that sort of thing goes on. God looks after that side of the matter.

J.T.Jr. Leaven is alluded to in order that we might see how quickly it will spread: "a little leaven leavens the whole lump", 1 Corinthians 5:6. If the thing is not dealt with, does it not spread and involve all?

J.T. That is what is stated; it "leavens the whole lump". In Corinthians, the evil is licentiousness, but in Galatians, it is legality , showing that one is equally as bad as the other.

Now the next link in our subject is in chapter 11. Of course, there are other references to that day, such as judging angels and judging the world, but we cannot look at all these scriptures, but the one in chapter 11 is of peculiar importance; it affects us every Lord's day, for it refers to the Lord's supper: "ye announce the death of the Lord, until he come", verse 26. That is our outlook as we recognise His rights, and it cannot but draw out the enmity of the world, as responsible for His death. They may not show it, because religious sentiment modifies their feelings, but the opposition is still there. "The great city" is "spiritually Sodom and

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Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified", (Revelation 11:8). What a great thing it is that in this city there are those that carry on in this way until the Lord comes. The Lord's coming is thus kept freshly before us.

C.H.H. In Leviticus 14:1 it is said that the leper was to be brought to the priest, before it is said that the priest was to go outside the camp to him.

J.T. Well, that would be in the sense of testimony. The thing is brought to you, and then going out to where he is, is the principle that there is identification with that position . The Lord Himself suffered outside the camp. It is only to enlarge upon the position of the Priest as seen in Christ as entering into death.

C.H.H. Would that involve a distinct work in the one under discipline, which would be brought to the attention of the priest?

J.T. That is the idea -- that recovery is taking place. Chapter 13 shows that that has been going on, but chapter 14 contemplates that the man outside the camp is healed of the leprosy, and now the priest goes out to him. There is testimony as to his state and progress, and now the priest goes out to him. Death takes place outside; the bird is killed there.

C.H.H. Concerning the inspection, does the type warrant that we should go out to one who is judged as a leper? Does it give liberty for anyone to visit such, apart from a particular testimony that there is healing?

J.T. No one should visit such except as a characteristic priest. If I visit on social lines I do harm. People do that, ignoring the judgment, and visit on mere personal or social lines, and you might say link with them, which practice is very wrong and damaging. Leviticus 14, verses 1 - 4, says: "This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: he shall be brought unto the priest, and the priest shall go out of the camp; and when the priest looketh, and behold, the sore of leprosy is healed in the leper, then shall the priest command ...".

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The priest finally decides the matter. He is outside the camp, but the time of the cleansing of the leper has come, for the whole previous chapter shows how that comes about. Bringing him to the priest would mean that the priest is acquainted with his progress, but then it finally says, "And when the priest looketh, and behold, the sore of leprosy is healed in the leper",(Leviticus 14:3); that means he has reached the final judgment of it.

Ques. Would that be seen in Paul telling the Corinthians to again receive the man put away?

J.T. Quite so; he judged the thing and evidently knew the time of cleansing had come. He is acquainting them with it. In Leviticus 14 the leper is brought to the priest, which would mean that the priest is made acquainted with his progress; but then before judging as to him, the priest goes outside the camp, meaning that the man is still outside ; and then he commands . When "the sore of leprosy is healed in the leper, then shall the priest command (Leviticus 14:3,4)". He then proceeds with the mode of cleansing.

P.A.R. Is healing entirely the work of God?

J.T. It is, but the man's self-judgment goes with it. And the priest helps, through the application of the divine directions for cleansing.

W.B-w. The leprosy is named , according to Leviticus 13.

J.T. Yes; you have it in its different phases, too. The priest goes to visit the man, and finally proclaims that he is a leper, and the man goes outside the camp and says. Unclean, unclean. He is not excusing himself. He avows everything as it is . Then chapter 14 is a new commandment from Jehovah; that is to say, when all enquiry is over, the work of grace having proceeded, and the leprosy healed, he now has to be cleansed . Healed leprosy is not enough. He has to see the bearing of all that has happened , then to be restored to his

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place inside, to resume his privileges in communion with God and His people. The healing is by the Lord, but it is in connection with the self-judgment of the leper. In the antitype there is appropriation of the death of Christ for cleansing. "Blessed are they that wash their robes", (Revelation 22:14). Leviticus 14 is the cleansing. It is a new commandment; it says, "And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying. This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing", Leviticus 14:1.

C.H.H. Numbers 5 requires that every leper and unclean person be put out of the camp.

J.T. The point in Numbers 5 is that the camp is holy and it must not be made unholy by anything. The wicked person must be removed; put him outside, "being such", as the apostle says. That is due to God in His house, but then the healing and the process of cleansing come after that. The person in question being our brother, restorative love becomes active, both in God and in the saints.

C.H.H. What would correspond to the tarrying until one is restored, like in the case of Miriam?

J.T. That is really a dispensational thought, in Numbers 12. There has been an interruption in the testimony relative to Israel on account of the persistent guilt of the Jews being fastened on them judicially. The journey will be resumed as the nation is again owned of God. At the same time, there is the thought that you do not want to go on without your brother or sister; we want them cleansed and with us. I believe this enters into these two epistles; that the Corinthians were not to leave this man behind them.

J.T.Jr. The fact that they were slow to deal with the sin, and also slow to recover the man, would show that priesthood was not wholly functioning at Corinth.

J.T. Yes. The first epistle contemplates the absence of priesthood. The apostle says, "And ye are puffed up, and ye have not rather mourned", 1 Corinthians 5:2. Priestly

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sensibilities would at east lead them to mourn because of such wickedness amongst them.

Now we may go on to the thought of resurrection, as connected with our subject. It is an immense thought. Chapter 15 connects the coming of the Lord with the resurrection: "But each in his own rank; the first-fruits, Christ; then those that are the Christ's at hi coming", verse 23. The word rank is important. There is this remarkable parenthesis, for the verses read form a parenthesis, which runs on to the final eternal position, so that we are let in here, in our subject, to the greatest possible things -- "that God may be all in all", verse 28.

C.A.M. So that in a sense, in this passage, there is really no space between the glorious triumph of resurrection and eternity itself?

J.T. That is how it is treated: "But each in his own rank; the first-fruits, Christ; then those that are the Christ's at his coming", verse 23. That is one thing. "Then the end, when he gives up the kingdom to him who is God and Father; when he shall have annulled all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign until he put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that is annulled is death. For he has put all things in subjection under his feet. But when he says that all things are put in subjection, it is evident that it is except him who put all things in subjection to him. But when all things shall have been brought into subjection to him, then the Son also himself shall be placed in subjection to him who put all things in subjection to him, that God may be all in all", verses 24 - 28. That is one of the most wonderful scriptures we have.

J.S. Although the subject opens with the statement: "Then the end", what follows is the way to it, is it not?

J.T. Yes. And then the last verse read is the great end in view: "that God may be all in all", verse 28. The details of the millennium -- the earthly side -- are

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passed over. The resurrection of the saints, then caught up, 1 Thessalonians 4, to be with Christ at His coming, is the second thought; and then the end. So that it is the heavenly side that is contemplated here. The truth as regards the Jews and the millennium is left out.

Ques. Would it be right to say that the mediatorial position of Christ will be given up?

J.T. He becomes subject "that God may be all in all"; but I cannot say that the mediatorial position is given up, because we can only be in relation to God, even eternally, through the Mediator. We can never see God in His abstract essential Being. So we are dependent upon Christ's mediatorial service throughout. That is a matter to be looked into. It is a most important matter, too, because it might be assumed that when we are risen and glorified we can be with God directly as Christ has to do with Him. That is not so. We have always to depend upon Christ in our relations with God. God is said to dwell "in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen, nor is able to see", (1 Timothy 6:16); this does not weaken the thought of revelation, which is as real now as it will be throughout eternity, but refers to His abstract essential Being, which, as is said, is beyond the creature's power to see.

C.A.M. Verse 22 reads, "For as in the Adam all die, thus also in the Christ all shall be made alive". Are the heavenly saints only referred to here, or does that include Old Testament as well as New Testament saints?

J.T. The apostle is dealing with the heavenly saints; he is not stressing the heavenly, but still he says, "such as the heavenly one, such also the heavenly ones. And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall bear also the image of the heavenly one", (1 Corinthians 15:48,49). That is what he is leading up to, but we can hardly leave out any of the families of the redeemed from the statement: "in the Christ all shall be made

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alive". And "those that are the Christ's" would include the Old Testament saints.

A.N.W. Can such a statement as, "then the Son also himself shall be placed in subjection to him who put all things in subjection to him", be anything but mediatorial?

J.T. I think not. It is a mediatorial position. The economy goes on in that way. How can we be in relation with God? it is always through Christ: "For through him we have both access by one Spirit to the Father",(Ephesians 2:18). The apostle in 1 Corinthians 15 summarises things. We have the details elsewhere, but the passage reads, "For he must reign until he put all enemies under his feet". That is the mediatorial reign . What is called specifically, or officially, mediatorial will go on until He subdues everything; and of course that takes in the millennium, but it is summarised here very briefly, because the apostle has in his mind how the resurrection of the saints in our rank links up with the end . That is what he has in mind. This is a summary of what happens until God is all in all; so we are brought to the finish of things.

A.C. Why is subjection so much stressed here?

J.T. Because it is so much needed; at Corinth, especially so. It is always needed while we are in our present state; and even when a Christian is about to die. It is a most lovely thing to see a Christian die in faith . Hebrews 11 refers to those of whom it is said, "All these died in faith", Hebrews 11:13. Dying in active faith, like Jacob, is a peculiar testimony to the power of Christianity.

A.C. Is it not very touching that the Lord takes that subject position through the eternal day?

J.T. Quite so; that is how He will be eternally, but then you cannot limit Him to that. That is a truth, but then there are other things that are true also; He never

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ceases to be God. We must leave the inscrutable, while fully recognising it is there.

C.H.H. Does headship continue? I have in mind the passage in 1 Corinthians 11:3 "Christ is the head of every man",.

J.T. Quite so; that, however, bears more directly upon the present time, but still He is said to be "head over all things", (Ephesians 1:22); that continues.

W.B-w. In Colossians 3:11, it is said, "Christ is everything, and in all", chapter. Here, it says, "that God may be all in all". What is the difference?

J.T. Well, as I said, we have to make allowance for other scriptures, when we are dealing with a particular one. Whilst He is subject; whilst the Lord Jesus took the position of being a bondman, we must never assume that it covers the whole matter. It does not, because as to His Person He is God over all , Romans 9:5. It is well to keep that in mind, so that we may be balanced by the truth. It is the Son who is subject. It does not say who places Him in subjection -- I suppose it is Himself.

I was going to remark on the dying saints and the thought of victory; that we may now, in turning to chapter 5 of the second letter, link this on with it. The passage read deals with the dissolution of the saints, if it happen, and the state of the saints in view of that; that they are not really looking for it; they are looking to be "clothed, that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life", 2 Corinthians 5:4; but the attitude of mind, described, begins with verse 16 of chapter 4; "Wherefore we faint not; but if indeed our outward man is consumed, yet the inward is renewed day by day. For our momentary and light affliction works for us in surpassing measure an eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen; for the things that are seen are for a time, but those that are not seen eternal 2 Corinthians 4:16 - 18. For we

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know that if our earthly tabernacle house be destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this we groan, ardently desiring to have put on our house which is from heaven; if indeed being also clothed we shall not be found naked. For indeed we who are in the tabernacle groan, being burdened; while yet we do not wish to be unclothed, but clothed, that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now he that has wrought us for this very thing is God, who also has given to us the earnest of the Spirit". Now, the coming of the Lord is involved in our being clothed. It seems to me this passage ought to be taken into account very specially by us in view of possible dissolution; not that we are expecting it. Faith, characteristically, does not expect it. Faith looks for being clothed. The point is that we are looking at what is unseen. It is not merely the idea of looking for the Lord to come, and not expecting to die. That may be mere theory. Many speak thus, but on mere theory, without the corresponding feeling. The corresponding thought is that we are characteristically looking at what is not seen, which is eternal; so that, when the time of dissolution comes, we are ready. If we are ready, we die triumphantly, because it is only a moment until we have our house which is from heaven. We have been waiting for our house from heaven, but the Lord sees fit to allow death, and we are triumphant; it is a question of His will. I believe that is one of the most important things today. Many of the saints are growing old, and facing possible dissolution, and to have everything clear in our minds so that we die in faith, and thus die triumphantly, is most important.

W.B-w. In Hebrews 11:21,22, we are told what two of the Old Testament saints, who died in faith, were doing when they were dying: "By faith Jacob when dying blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshipped

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on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph when dying called to mind the going forth of the sons of Israel, and gave commandment concerning his bones",. Does that illustrate what you have in mind?

J.T. It does; and we may go on to Moses; how he looked at things; and many others. "All these died in faith", Hebrews 11:13. Some of them died more brightly than others, but still, that is the principle of how to go into death; it is in faith . It is as knowing that if our tabernacle be dissolved, "we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens". That is faith; you are occupied with what is unseen, which is a most important matter. It is looking at the things that are not seen, which are eternal. And then the apostle says further, in chapter 5, "Therefore we are always confident, and know that while present in the body we are absent from the Lord, (for we walk by faith, not by sight;), we are confident, I say, and pleased rather to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. Wherefore also we are zealous, whether present or absent, to be agreeable to him", verse 6 - 9. So that he would rather be absent from the body than continue on here, but still, his main thought is, not to die, but to be "clothed", to put on his "house which is from heaven". This includes what is taught as to resurrection in the first epistle, but the heavenly side of the truth is in mind.

J.S. Why does he say, "if our earthly tabernacle house be destroyed"?

J.T. That is as to physical condition; it is corruptible, but it is to be raised in power and glory, incorruptible; so the identity remains. The word "destroyed" refers to what is physical. In resurrection it takes up another condition altogether.

A.R. How do you look at something you do not see?

J.T. It is "the things that are not seen" (2 Corinthians 4:18); what you

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do not see, you hope for; it is what Christ is above and what is connected with Him. Christ is the centre of "that world". The Spirit enables you to look at it. It cannot be seen as other objects around you, but still it is equally real.

C.A.M. Would you say that while it is possible for a saint to die in a sense of triumph, inasmuch as every enemy is gone, this matter of being linked with what is unseen, in the second epistle, is something more wonderful, involving the purpose of God?

J.T. Yes; it is a great thing to die in faith, as we have said. To maintain this attitude of looking at unseen things is of immense importance. Seen things become less and less to you; you are in spirit in that world. The Spirit alone gives you power for this, to see that which is not seen by the natural eye.

R.W.S. Would Paul's reference to "being poured out", (2 Timothy 4:6), be anything like this?

J.T. That is the idea of a drink-offering, referring to what he was for God in laying himself out for service and now about to be martyred for the truth. He was fragrant to God. He says elsewhere, "But if also I am poured out as a libation", (Philippians 2:17). He could speak also of the time of his release having come and of having "finished the race". That is special, as also what Peter says, as to putting off his tabernacle. But both apostles wrote for the saints and their remarks are intended to help us as to the death of the saints. What is the attitude of our minds in view of possible death? We are to be already living in the unseen world, and as falling asleep we are "with Christ", to await the resurrection of our bodies. Our hymns help us as to the unseen. The Spirit of God alone can give us to look at the unseen things.

C.H.H. Scripture says, "we see Jesus ... crowned with glory and honour", (Hebrews 2:9).

J.T. That is the great general thought. It is in the

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book of the opened heavens . It is, in a way, the opening up of Stephen's vision; experience, on the principle of what we have here; we see by spiritual eyesight, and look at things that are not seen.

A.R. As writing these things, Paul is looking outside the physical body and he has an insight into something substantial in a spiritual sense; what there is in heaven, prepared for him.

J.T. Quite so; it is "our house which is from heaven". It is not that we go up there to get it. It is to convey the thought of our heavenly condition as raised. It is not let down like something visible, but it is the power of God in our resurrection that also effects this. That is illustrated in the first epistle; the power of God takes the saints out of their graves, but the heavenly side of this great truth is presented in the scripture before us in the second epistle. Hence the apostle says, "He that has wrought us for this very thing is God who also has given to us the earnest of the Spirit".