Volume 5

Headship and Other Subjects (Indianapolis 1913)

Translation What Fits Man For It Morally

J. Taylor

Page: 232


J.T. I think it may be well for us to consider what it is that is to be translated before we come to the actual question of translation.

R.S.S. It is only what is of God in us that will go to heaven.

J.T. Yes. I think the second epistle to the Corinthians helps us as to what it is that goes up.

R.S.S. Do you mean chapter 5?

J.T. Yes. "If any one be in Christ, there is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold all things have become new: and all things are of the God who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ". (@2Corinthians:5:17,18) And then Paul says later on, "I know a man in Christ ... caught up to the third heaven"; (@2Corinthians:12:2) referring to what took place fourteen years before. It is a man in Christ; it is such an one as that who is translated.

B.T.F. That involves deliverance, does it not?

J.T. Yes, and it involves new creation.

J.L.J. Would that also involve the new body as in @2Corinthians:5:1?

J.T. Yes.

J.D. Will you open out a little the thought of the "man in Christ"?

J.T. The transference of the soul from Adam to Christ is of all-importance to understand. The apostle begins the subject here by stating that when he thought of God he was beside himself. He was in an ecstasy but if he was sober it was on account of the saints here; that is to say, as far as his affections and desires went he was content to be always out of ordinary reckonings; his joys were all bound up

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with God; so that if he were "sober" and came back to ordinary conditions here it was only on account of the saints, because they were here. If we are sober it is for your sakes, he says, that we are sober. And then he goes on to say, "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again". (@2Corinthians:5:14,15) That is to say, he gives us the benefit of his judgment as to things here, as to the import and the bearing of the death of Christ; and it involved that all had died.

S.T. What is the meaning of the word sober there?

J.T. It signifies that he is in ordinary conditions of life in flesh and blood here in contrast to being in an ecstasy, where he was outside of the ordinary conditions. Taking account of the saints is the only reason why he came back to these conditions, because the saints were in them. It was needful for their sakes. Of course, with most of us it is different. People have families and the like, and they have to come back for the sake of their families, but in Paul's case it was only because of the saints that he came back.

R.S.S. "I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you". (@Philippians:1:23,24) That is the scripture you refer to.

J.T. No; but it supports what we are speaking of. This scripture says he was beside himself in regard of God; in that his life and joy lay. It all lay in connection with God; but he adds, "whether we be sober, it is for your cause". (@2Corinthians:5:14) He was thinking of them.

J.D. Chapter 12 would be the other side; a man in Christ taken up.

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A.F.M. What you have been saying is characteristic of "a man in Christ".

J.T. That is how the apostle opens the subject, and then he goes on to say, "We thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again". (@2Corinthians:5:14,15)

A.F.M. How do we become men in Christ?

J.T. I was going to seek to point out that progress to the realisation of it is seen in a judgment such as Paul had formed. He formed a judgment as to things here in the light of the death of Christ, that if He died for all, then all had died.

R.S.S. And in that way man in Adam is terminated, and that makes room for man in Christ.

J.T. That is it. So, "though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more". So he says, "If any one be in Christ, there is a new creation". (@2Corinthians:5:16,17) That is clear. If all were dead in Adam, it is clear that new creation is essential.

R.S.S. Is all this in a moral sense?

J.T. Yes. Men are not actually dead, of course, any more than they were when God said, "The end of all flesh is come before me". (@Genesis:6:13) It did not actually come for one hundred and twenty years afterwards, but it was true morally.

W.G.R. He said to Adam, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shall surely die". (@Genesis:2:17)

J.T. "In the day". Quite so; he was as good as dead when he ate of the tree; and so @Genesis:5 is to show that although men lived a long time, nine hundred and sixty-nine years, for instance, yet they died.

R.S.S. "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shall surely die". (@Genesis:2:17) Was it not that the seeds of death began to work in him from that moment?

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J.T. Death followed sin as a penalty. There would be literal dissolution, of course, but when Adam sinned he died in God's account. God does not count a matter of years. It is that that order of being has been terminated judicially.

R.S.S. A day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day. That would apply in Adam's case.

J.T. What is seventy years to God? Nearly all those living now will have died ordinarily in that time.

J.B. The import of death morally is distance from God.

J.T. It is a penalty. Of course actual dissolution occurs, but from God's point of view that is a detail.

J.L.J. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive". (@1Corinthians:15:22) That is the thought.

J.T. In Adam all die. That is a statement. When it occurs is a matter of no account, though it does occur.

W.B-s. "Dying thou shall die". That is the marginal reading. That is, death will take place.

J.T. There was the inauguration of the reign of death directly Adam sinned, and death reigned from Adam to Moses, not simply when Adam died, but from the moment he sinned. In "dying thou shall die". The reign of death set in then, and it reigned from Adam to Moses. If it did not actually occur in many till they lived to be nine hundred years, nevertheless it was there.

G.A.T. I suppose Abel was the first to come under its power.

J.T. That is remarkable. The first to die literally is, we may say, a child of God, a believer.

S.T. In what is said of the judgment-seat in the beginning of this, @2Corinthians:5, do we have the bringing of that first order to an end to make room for new creation?

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J.T. I think the judgment formed by the apostle leads to that; the necessity for new creation is obvious.

J.B. If God brings in life it must be by new creation.

J.T. It must be so in our case. God must act as at the beginning. "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts" (@2Corinthians:4:6) so in new creation God begins over again.

W.B-s. Though death was the judgment of God, the first death literally was by the power of evil. Abel was killed by his brother, who was of that wicked one.

J.T. Satan took up death afterwards. He acquired the power of death. He used it against God; by it he kept the people of God in terror; but I think we have to regard it as primarily introduced by God as a penalty, in order to see its full significance. Satan took it up afterwards, so the apostle alludes to him as having the might of death.

S.T. Is that what the Lord Jesus destroyed in going into death and bearing the judgment of God?

J.T. Yes.

A.F.M. Would you say that death is separation from God?

J.T. It is.

A.F.M. When Adam sinned, God was dethroned in Adam's heart, and morally Adam was gone.

J.T. But we must always add, I think, the thought of dissolution as a penalty. That is, man is terminated judicially. The order of life in which he was set is broken up.

J.D. Do you think "in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shall surely die" (@Genesis:2:17) involves what is moral, or does it mean simply the dissolution of the body here?

J.T. The penalty of death is on him; when it takes place historically is comparatively of no account.

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J.S. As to the thought of "a man in Christ". I suppose at a certain moment the world pronounced the man who was caught up to be dead.

J.T. He did not know himself whether he was in the body, or out of it.

W.B-s. How do you regard the second death?

J.T. That is the lake of fire. When God does a thing twice it is done permanently. There is no longer any hope. Terrible prospect!

W.B-s. It is the portion of those who have not their names in the book of life.

W.C.R. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

J.T. Death has become an enemy of man. I think it is very clear that it became an enemy because it was first used against Abel. Satan seized it and turned it against God's people; but primarily it came in as a penalty on man for sin.

G.A.T. Is God using it to check sin? He shortened man's days, as you were saying.

J.T. I have no doubt that the flaming sword of the cherubim was that. It is an allusion to death. It turned every way. Death has no preferences, all come under it. The sword was in order to keep the way of the tree of life. It would be monstrous if men were allowed to live eternally in sin. The result would be beyond expression.

W.C.R. Adam was put out of the garden that he might not partake of the tree of life and live for ever.

J.T. Death had become an enemy, as we have been saying. Satan turned it to account against God's people, and it has been an enemy ever since. But it came in consequent upon sin, and it was a divine penalty.

W.G.R. I suppose during the world to come death will exist in some sense, but at the close it will be destroyed and will exist no more.

J.T. Yes. The idea of death is disposed of for ever. It is never revived.

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J.D. Going back to our chapter, you opened up the reading by saying we might consider what is translated. Do you look at the rapture as the moral result of the totality of the work of God?

J.T. Yes. God translates what pleases Him.

J.D. I think so. I have thought of the rapture in a more limited way; that is, the activity of the Lord on the line of mercy; but your thought is good, because it makes us consider as to whether we are on the line of God's work and purpose.

J.T. There is no moral ground for God translating what is not for His pleasure. It is right to translate the assembly because it is for God's pleasure.

W.G.R. Enoch and Elijah were translated.

J.T. We were saying that death was an enemy. It became an enemy directly it was introduced, and the proof of that is that Cain, who is the type of Antichrist, slew his brother. That is to say, Satan took advantage of the presence of death to use it against God's people, and so all down the line the great weapon that Satan used against God's people was death.

W.G.R. Would the thought that Enoch was translated, being "the seventh from Adam", indicate that God did not allow death its full sway over man?

J.T. That is the point. Cain used it. Then in chapter 5 we have Seth -- one appointed instead of Abel. That is what Seth's name signifies. That is in type, Christ in figure set up, and that in regard of the line of life. Now death reigned on the one hand, and the proof of that was that all these men recorded in @Genesis:5 died with one exception, and that one exception proves that death was not absolute, that God had intervened and wrested, as it were, the power from Satan. He reserved to Himself the right to relieve one man of death. Satan could not use it against Enoch.

L.T.E. The secret being that "he pleased God".

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J.T. Quite so. He had wonderful light for that day; he prophesied, saying that he saw the Lord coming with ten thousands of His saints. That was a proof that all would not die, that death was not going to rule universally, because if the Lord is coming with ten thousands of His saints, they are to be relieved of death. He saw that and that is God's victory. Enoch is a type of the assembly. While death reigns today, we have the testimony that in our case it does not reign. There are those over whom it does not reign, and this is seen in Enoch.

W.L.P. Is it not significant that there were two caught up that way, Enoch and Elijah?

R.S.S. Enoch was sensible that he pleased God.

J.T. Before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. That is what we want to get at. I think we want to have that testimony, because that always precedes translation.

R.S.S. So that if you have the sense in your soul that you please God, you have the assurance that you will be translated, whether you die or live.

J.T. It is not a question of getting out of the trouble, as our brother has suggested, but of being for God's pleasure. Paul might have got out of the trouble easily. The Lord would have taken him, but he deliberately chose to remain here.

R.S.S. He could have been taken out of suffering if he had asked the Lord to take him, like Elijah.

J.T. He came back to ordinary life and conditions of his own choice, but it was because of the saints, because they were here.

R.S.S. "More needful for you".

J.T. I do not think any one who understands levitical service, involving what the saints are to Christ, would wish to be removed, to get out of the circumstances. He would wish, because of the saints, to be where the saints are till they go. When

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they go he wants to go, so Paul was willing to come back to ordinary circumstances here for their sakes.

W.L.P. The fear of death is removed.

J.T. That is it. If we have the testimony that we please God, death does not reign over us. Dissolution may occur, but that is not death. Death is a penalty. We fall asleep through Jesus.

R.S.S. What does that mean, "through Jesus"?

J.T. I think it refers to its being through His instrumentality. He puts us to sleep.

G.A.T. Do you get the idea in Lazarus?

J.T. You do not get the idea of the Lord putting him to sleep. The Lord knew that death had come upon him, but with us the Lord puts us to sleep.

R.S.S. Like a nurse.

J.T. His love is in it.

W.L.P. Does that do away with the penalty?

J.T. The penalty is done away with for us. We do not regard death as a penalty. I often ask souls if they fear death.

L.T.F. "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints". (@Psalm:116:15)

R.S.S. In Christ's resurrection and victory He wrenched the sword out of Satan's hand as David did out of Goliath's hand; and the sword that was against us in the hands of our enemy is now in the hands of our best Friend.

W.B-s. So death is our friend, instead of our enemy.

J.T. It is ours. It is our property. What a triumph!

R.M.L. In what sense do we say that death is ours?

J.T. In whatever sense you wish to use it. You use death against yourself, and not against anybody else. The latter is Satan's work.

R.S.S. And there is no sword like it. David said of Goliath's sword, "There is none like that; give

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it me". (@1Samuel:21:9) And I suppose in the way in which you speak of it now there is nothing like it.

J.T. If you wish to use it against yourself it is a tremendous help.

A.F.M. Would you distinguish between death morally and physically? You were saying you ask souls if they are afraid of death.

J.T. They are inseparably bound up together. Men are all dead morally, as we have been saying, but when man comes to dissolution he is forced to think of the great beyond that he is going into without knowing what it is; and, I believe, that as dissolution draws near, the sting is felt; it cannot be defined, but it is there The consciousness of sin is the accompanying sting that the unsaved man feels at dissolution. His conscience may be lulled to sleep until then, but as he draws near to dissolution the sting is felt, he has to do with God.

A.R.S. What do you mean by using death against yourself?

J.T. It is alluded to in the epistles, "Put to death therefore your members which are upon the earth", (@Colossians:3:5) for instance.

R.S.S. As our brother was drawing attention to the other night in @Colossians:3.

J.T. And Paul says, "I, through law, have died to law, that I may live to God". (@Galatians:2:19)

S.T. In Peter's case, when he wanted to follow the Lord Jesus, he did not understand what death meant in the aspect in which the Lord was going to take it up, and the Lord says to him, "thou canst not follow me now". (@John:13:36)

J.T. Peter, had no idea of what was involved in the Lord's position. He could not drink the Lord's cup.

W.B-s. Is not the unclothing referred to in @2Corinthians:5:4, dying, passing out of this scene, the dissolution of the body?

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J.T. Yes. I do not think that a desire to be unclothed is quite the right one, although Paul did say he had a desire to depart and be with Christ; but I think that strictly speaking the right desire is to be "clothed upon". "Not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life". (@2Corinthians:5:4)

R.S.S. That is, that we might not be in the disembodied state, but have our resurrection bodies.

A.A.T. Is that what we have before us in @1Thessalonians:4 -- translation?

J.T. Yes; both resurrection and translation are seen in the chapter.

J.B. I suppose we have to look at both in the light of the place the Lord now occupies, the place of all authority and power, having obtained the victory over death. In that way we regard the death of the saints as being put to sleep by Him.

J.T. He says that He has the keys of death and hades.

W.L.P. Is the apostle using death against himself when he says, "I am crucified with Christ"? (@Galatians:2:20)

J.T. He states the fact that he was crucified with Christ.

W.L.P. Is that why we can use death against ourselves?

J.T. We are entitled to do so. You are not entitled to commit suicide, but to use death morally against yourself.

G.A.T. Till you do you will not know much about the "man in Christ".

J.T. Exactly; so he says, "I am crucified with Christ, and no longer live, I, but Christ lives in me". (@Galatians:2:20)

R.S.S. Crucifixion is more than death. I account myself as a worthless thing: "the world is crucified to me, and I to the world". (@Galatians:6:14) The world accounts me a worthless thing, and I account the world a worthless thing, and that is the way I get rid of myself.

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A.F.M. You do not wish to revive a thing you deem worthy of crucifixion.

J.T. As the apostle goes on here, he opens up to us how essential is the idea of new creation, because if all are dead, there is nothing for God, and so He must produce something. He says we do not know Christ after the flesh, but in a new condition, and if any one is in Christ there must be new creation.

R.S.S. And how does that agree with the way in which we know the Lord in His pathway down here? We know Him after the flesh in that way.

J.T. But then you cannot become acquainted with Him in that condition, because He is not in it now.

R.S.S. You mean He is not in it personally now.

J.T. You know the Lord now not as He was, but as He is; it is impossible to know Him as He was.

R.S.S. But knowing Him as He is, you can go back to what He was in flesh and blood condition.

A.F.M. That is the manna.

J.T. What He was is now a matter of remembrance.

R.S.S. And he says, "though we have known Christ after the flesh", (@2Corinthians:5:16) referring to such as Peter and John, but even they knew Him in another way then.

J.T. Just so.

J.L.J. You spoke of an entirely new order in resurrection. How would that go with @Revelation:3, Christ as the beginning of the creation of God?

J.T. He is not a part of the creation, but the beginning of it. I suppose He sets forth the idea in Himself in the gospels. We are being brought up to that standard.

J.B. The beginning of the creation of God is hardly new creation.

J.T. The Lord takes precedence. Everything is

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to take character from Him, that is the idea of being "the beginning".

R.S.S. That it finds its "beginning" in Him.

J.T. So that even as to the old, which will be taken up in the millennium, the Lord will impart a new character to it.

A.F.M. Was Adam the beginning of the old creation?

J.T. No, I think he was simply the head; he was part of it. God did not begin with him. After having brought in the creation, He brought in Adam. Adam was head in the sense that he was imbued with wisdom to give names to the lower animals, and the name he gave to each described what each was. So when he comes to Eve he knows how to name her, and in that way he shows his qualifications to be head. He was not the beginning of the creation. Christ is that.

R.S.S. After Adam fell was he still regarded as head?

J.T. I think not. I do not think that a man who is dead can be head. God could not hold him as head any longer. God begins to work on the line of Christ after Adam dies, so that faith comes to light: the seed of the woman is introduced, and if the seed of the woman is to bruise the serpent's head, it is clear that Adam is superseded.

R.S.S. And from that moment till the Lord came, the race was without a head.

J.T. Except that faith laid hold of Christ. The position was there, and faith would admit of no other but Christ; and when He appears in resurrection the position is there and He takes it up.

J.B. Is not faith the foundation of pleasing God?

J.T. Quite so. Without faith it is impossible to please God. But where can you get that faith? It must be the fruit of God's work in us. It is not in nature.

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E.H.T. Faith is the gift of God.

J.D. I think it would help us if you would say a word on the moral make up of a man in Christ.

J.T. I think it helps us to understand him if we consider his judgment of things. I referred to these few verses in @2Corinthians:5 to show the judgment of a man in Christ as to things here. He has formed a judgment and his judgment expresses what he is. Well, then, having told us what his judgment is as to things here, he tells us how he takes account of Christ, and that is as He is now.

R.S.S. I see you make a great point of @2Corinthians:5:14: "because we thus judge". He does not say "because I thus judge". He is speaking for the saints viewed normally. It is the judgment you form. I think we should try to get hold of that. This is what largely forms men in Christ.

A.F.M. A babe in Christ has not capacity for that.

J.T. No.

E.H.T. That is the reason the Corinthians were not up to it. They had the mind of Christ, but they were not using their judgment.

J.T. No, or they would not have allowed so many big men at Corinth. They would measure every man by Christ.

J.S. Did it take fourteen years to mature in the apostle before he could express it in the way he does here?

J.T. I am not prepared to say that. He alludes to the fourteen years to show that it was not a common occurrence. It was a special occurrence. It occurred in his life at least fourteen years before he spoke of it.

J.S. Would you say that was the highest appreciation he had of things and of the Lord?

J.T. I think the Spirit enables us to lay hold of the idea of "a man in Christ". The apostle did not

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need to be translated, to go into paradise, to prove what it was. He simply states it was such a man as that who was caught up to paradise, as much as to say, those translated are such as that. I know a man in Christ. He does not say, I was caught up. He speaks so as to imply, what is the order of man to be caught up.

B.T.F. Do you think it goes beyond the enjoyment of proper Christian privilege?

J.T. I think it was special in his case, because he connects it with visions and revelations. He heard unutterable things, not lawful for a man to utter.

B.T.F. I mean, that "a man in Christ" would be one in the enjoyment of proper Christian privilege.

J.T. Quite so. Paul's special privilege is not necessary in order that the idea should be taken in. The enjoyment of a man in Christ is open to all Christians, but it depends on new creation.

R.S.S. Was Paul's catching up abnormal, and what was the purpose of it? What had God in view in connection with this wonderful circumstance?

J.T. I think it was to establish him in connection with his great mission, that he might have every possible advantage in his ministry.

R.S.S. Just as the Lord took up the three men to the mount of transfiguration. What would the bearing be, as far as we are concerned, of his being caught up to the third heaven?

J.T. We learn from it what the order of man is that is to be caught up. It is a "man in Christ".

R.S.S. Is there any experience in our souls that answers to it in any way?

J.T. The nearest approach to it would be ecstasy, which he alludes to in @2Corinthians:5. But that does not go as far as being caught up to the third heaven. That was Paul's privilege only and it occurred apparently but once in his life.

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W.C.R. Do we not get a parallel passage in connection with Peter: "In an ecstasy I saw a vision"? (@Acts:11:5)

J.T. As to @2Corinthians:5, you do. I do not think that was very uncommon among the earlier Christians. Peter alluded to ecstasy, and John said he was in the Spirit on the Lord's day. It seems as if it were not anything very unusual, but being caught up into the third heaven was.

J.B. Would you say that occurred to John in @Revelation:4? A door was opened and a voice said, "Come up hither".

J.T. That is all vision.

J.H.C. What is the thought in connection with unspeakable things?

J.T. Things that are unutterable. God did not empower him to utter these unspeakable things, therefore we may conclude that they are not things that have reference to the church. The things that the apostle had in reference to the church were all by the Spirit, and he did not need to be caught up to get them. As the three disciples were established in the coming and power of our Lord Jesus Christ by the transfiguration so Paul would be confirmed by this experience.

W.G.R. Peter got added light in his vision.

A.R.S. Is there any difference between a man in Christ and being in Christ, as in @Romans:8:1?

J.T. The latter defines the position of the believer, but when you think of a man in Christ, the man is before you more.

A.R.S. Is that the man that is acceptable to God?

R.S.S. But both involve new creation.

J.T. Romans is the position and the character, whereas Corinthians is the man that is in the position. He is not only set free by the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, but he is a subject of new creation.

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J.L.J. Then there is that in every believer that answers to a man in Christ?

J.T. I think so. Every true believer is a subject of divine work. Every one who has the Spirit.

J.B. Is it not the normal characteristic of the believer?

W.L.P. What does the translation in @2Corinthians:5 show? It is not the same as the thought of Thessalonians. It only shows that nothing goes but what is created anew.

J.T. That is why I referred to 2 Corinthians, because it indicates what goes up.

W.L.P. But in Thessalonians we have the body.

J.T. Thessalonians does not go so far.

W.B-s. In Corinthians you get the moral aspect, but in Thessalonians the affections are brought in; "comfort one another".

J.T. Thessalonians is elementary. I turned to Corinthians because it indicates what it is that is to be translated, and Thessalonians does not develop that side. It was written to young believers who were sorrowing about their departed ones; they had not gone on very far.

A.McB. So that if we are in the good of 2 Corinthians, Thessalonians is very simple.

J.T. Only you can take it up on higher ground than that on which the apostle sets it forth.

B.T.F. Would you not say a man in Christ is translated?

J.T. Translation is of the whole company, the assembly. But it is composed of such as these, men in Christ.

B.T.F. Is not the climax of new creation seen when the saints are changed on earth, @1Corinthians:15:51? It is a changed company that is caught up.

J.T. Quite so. But then new creation has reference to us before the body is changed. The word in @Romans:8:11, for the changed body is

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quickened. Quickening is not simply that it is made new, but made to live.

A.F.M. As to the tabernacle, referred to in Corinthians, the point is that Christians are now like the tabernacle of old, greater inside than outside. It is a question of the work of God in us.

J.T. That is what we are now. The assembly is greater internally than externally. Now in 2 Corinthians the apostle changes from the thought of tabernacle to that of house. "For we know that if our earthly tabernacle house be destroyed, we have a building from God, a house [not tabernacle house] not made with hands, eternal in the heavens". (@2Corinthians:5:1) That is to say, the body we shall appear in is viewed as a "house", and in that sense we shall have neighbours. Each will have his own "house", and in that way will form part of the city. The neighbour idea will continue.

A.F.M. You were saying last year that the city depends on the covenant.

J.T. And it is formed of such persons as the covenant produces. The apostle treats of the spirit of the covenant. Paul was formed in the spirit of the covenant; he was in that way internally equal to the city. He was formed by the spirit of the covenant; all he lacked was the house in which to live, "which is from heaven". Now think of a city formed of men like Paul living in houses "not made with hands, eternal in the heavens". (@2Corinthians:5:1)

R.S.S. You speak of the body in which they will appear, and that it accords with the thought of a city.

J.T. Because the city is composed of houses from heaven, and he says, "He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God". (@2Corinthians:5:5) We are formed for that. God "also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit". (@2Corinthians:5:5)

J.L.J. The thought of house appears more than

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once in this scripture. How would that go with @1Corinthians:15, where it is said, "we shall all be changed"? (@1Corinthians:15:51)

J.T. At Corinth some were ignorant of God and of the resurrection, so the apostle is led to elaborate on the subject, and he shows that "it is sown a natural body" and "raised a spiritual body". (@1Corinthians:15:44) The point was to justify God as to the truth of resurrection. He says, "God gives to it a body as he has pleased". (@1Corinthians:15:38) Those who do not fall asleep will also be changed.

J.L.J. It seems to me that in 2 Corinthians the body comes out of heaven, and in I Corinthians it comes out of the grave. Will the body come out of heaven into the grave and then be raised?

J.T. We have to be careful as to that, because the identity of each person must be preserved. I have no doubt that what is said of the patriarchs as to burial would show that they were in the light of the power of God, according to the revelation He made of Himself to Abraham. It was in view of this that a burying-place was purchased. They desired to be buried in Machpelah, and I believe they had in mind that their identity should be preserved. The person is identified in his body. Scripture speaks of the burial of the person, not his body simply, and the resurrection of the person. Christ died, was buried, and rose again. So also as to the saints. Stephen committed his spirit to the Lord, and yet it is said, "devout men carried Stephen to his burial"; (@Acts:8:2) not his body simply. Joseph had, by his faith, light as to the resurrection of the saints and the changing of the living ones. I do not say he had much intelligence in regard to it, but by faith men go beyond their intelligence, and in reality Joseph foresaw what the apostle treats of in 1 Thessalonians, that the living saints would be changed and the sleeping ones raised. He gave commandment concerning

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his bones. In @1Corinthians:15 the objections, "How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?" (@1Corinthians:15:35) had to be met. The answer involves God's pleasure and power. "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body". (@1Corinthians:15:44) In 2 Corinthians the subject is treated of from the side of normal Christian desire and expectation. The outer is ultimately to be in every way equal to the inner man.

J.H.G. What is the difference between translation and resurrection?

J.T. Resurrection necessarily goes before translation, so we have it here, "that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air"; so resurrection takes place before translation.

J.H.G. Was Enoch not translated instead of being raised?

J.T. He had not died. Resurrection is for those who die.

W.G.R. The apostle says here that we shall not all sleep, indicating there will be some alive when the Lord translates them.

J.B. Translation does not enter into the thought of @1Corinthians:15.

J.T. It is resurrection there and change. I think the victory of God is in the resurrection. It is in the resurrection of Christ and the saints. Translation is a matter of God's love and pleasure.

R.S.S. That is evident, because the conflict was here and thus the victory is here.

W.B-s. What is the thought of the shout in Thessalonians, and the voice of the archangel, and then the Lord descending?

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J.T. The word, I think, is "assembling shout", as if to convey that the thought of the assembly is there. There is an assembling voice now on earth. The Lord's voice brings us together. What a wonderful thing it will be when the assembling shout is heard, and it penetrates the realm of death so that the whole assembly, as I understand it, is brought together finally upon the earth and caught up collectively.

R.S.S. "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout". Then as to the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. What will their significance be?

J.T. I suppose the archangel's voice suggests the character of the voice. It is not, I apprehend, that the archangel is there, but rather the authority in which the Lord speaks, supreme authority.

W.B-s. Does it not increase in force by ending with the trump of God?

J.T. The bringing God in is all very interesting. First you have the assembling shout, that is the Lord's relation to the assembly, and there is the authority that is in His voice. Then archangel voice is its character: it is not the archangel, but "archangel's voice"; the kind of voice; and then the trump of God; the latter gives God His place.

E.H.T. I had thought that the shout was more of joy here; is this new creation caught up? There was joy in connection with the first creation: the sons of God shouted for joy.

J.T. I think the archangel is the symbol of authority, and the "trump of God" is God getting His place, the God who raises the dead.

R.S.S. And, furthermore, it not only embraces the assembly, it will embrace every believer from the foundation of the world.

A.F.M. Do you not think the archangel's voice refers to the dead and the trump of God to the

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living? The assembling shout is general, applying to both. The trumpet was blown to call the assembly together in Israel.

J.T. But I think the trump of God is for the dead. The dead in Christ shall rise first. I think God's voice has to be heard. It is due to God as such that His voice shall raise the dead.

J.B. Are not all these connected with the Lord Himself? He comes with assembling shout and the trump of God.

J.T. It all comes through Him but God is there. God is acting as well as the Lord viewed as Man in His own relation to the assembly.

O.J.O. It shows the power of God in raising them.

J.T. I was saying Joseph's faith is the faith that believes in the power of God to raise the saints. So it says, "if we believe that Jesus died and rose again". That is the basis of faith for ourselves. It is very interesting that this was a distinct revelation for the Thessalonians.

W.B-s. Will you tell us something about the blowing of trumpets, @Leviticus:23? Does it refer to the "last trump" in @1Corinthians:15?

J.T. The blowing of trumpets has allusion to Israel. It is to awaken them in the last days. It awakens them to their responsibility to God, and following on that you get the day of atonement when they afflict their souls.

R.S.S. Was not this revelation given to Paul to meet the question that might naturally arise through the closing words of the previous chapter: "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) How is He going to come with all His saints? Was it not given in order to explain how His saints are with Him so as to come with Him?

J.T. It does explain it, at any rate, but I think

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it was given to meet their difficulties with regard to their departed ones. The coming of the Lord was a general truth known to the Thessalonians from the outset.

J.S. Would those that are asleep in Jesus retain in that disembodied state the joy of the highest appreciation that they reached of the Lord here?

J.T. I do not know that we are entitled to say anything on that. It is an intermediate kind of state, and there is joy and blessedness there, but it is difficult to say much about it. What do you say?

R.S.S. We know Paul said it is "far better". Better than anything we have had here, but it is not the thing that God is engaged with. God is not specially engaged with people that have left the world, but rather with those that are still in it.

J.S. The contrast that I would bring would be @Luke:16. The rich man shows the other side.

J.T. There could be no doubt there is a great measure of capacity for enjoyment because the apostle says it is "far better".

B.T.F. I was going to ask you to say a word with regard to "even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him". Is it the spirits that God brings with Him, and then they are clothed upon?

J.T. No, I think not. God bringing them with Him looks on to the appearing. In the end of the previous chapter the Lord is referred to as coming with all His saints. Well, now, they might question as to those fallen asleep. Are they to come? Will God bring them with Him? This chapter is the answer to all that. God bringing them is bringing them out into display.

E.B-s. And that looks on to the appearing.

S.T. Can we connect the beginning of @John:14 with this?

J.T. I think so; only, as has been said, possibly

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this would embrace the Old Testament saints. What the Lord says in @John:14 is specially for the assembly.

W.B-s. How do you regard @Acts:1"shall so come in like manner"? (@Acts:1:11)

J.T. That is His coming back to Israel and the earth. "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven". (@Acts:1:11)

L.T.F. All Old Testament saints are regarded as dead in Christ, are they not?

J.T. Yes.

R.S.S. This aspect of the Lord's coming is of a private character, so far as the world is concerned.

J.B. The word "in Christ" is very important. "The dead in Christ". It is the key to the whole situation.

R.S.S. As to the sleeping saints, @1Thessalonians:4:14, the New Translation reads "through"; they sleep "through Jesus". But it is the dead in Christ. It is rather remarkable that wherever the Lord's people in death are spoken of, they are not spoken of as dead simply, but as the "dead in Christ", and that they are "asleep through Jesus"; there is always a qualifying term. Where "the rest of the dead" are spoken of the unjust are referred to.

J.B. I was thinking of those saints who have died in faith, that God regards them as being in Christ.

W.B-s. The trysting-place is that they meet the Lord in the air. Is that of a private character?

J.T. I think so; "and so shall we ever be with the Lord".

R.S.S. There is a beautiful thought we have not touched on, and that is, we are caught up together. You were speaking of "together" and its importance in @Acts:20"upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread". (@Acts:20:7) And here it indicates that there is the great re-union

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between those who have died and have been buried and those who are still living here. They are re-united before they go to heaven.

W.B-s. Is that the comfort He gives them?

J.T. Yes. Comfort would be that you have the living ones with you.

G.A.T. Would that answer the Lord's prayer in @John:17, that we shall be all one?