"A Candlestick of Pure Gold: of Beaten Work" Exodus 25:31

"The Testimony of Jesus"
Revelation 1:9

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March -- April, 1970 Vol. 48, No. 2




I SUPPOSE it is true that most of the Lord' servants would acknowledge their indebtedness to some men of God whose influence had been a help to them. I gladly make this confession in quite a number of instances. In the earlier days of my ministry, when there was a true heart-hunger for God's fullest and best for my life, I was greatly inspired and helped by the life and ministry of such greatly-used servants of God as Dr. A. J. Gordon (of Boston), Dr. A. T. Pierson (of Philadelphia originally), Dr. A. B. Simpson (Founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance), Dr. F. B. Meyer, Dr. Campbell Morgan, and others. In my earliest days of ministry a little book came into my hand with some messages by Dr. A. J. Gordon. I have forgotten its title and have quite lost trace of it. But it opened my eyes to a new level of spiritual life, and was like the door into a spiritual world of which I knew very little. When in Boston in 1925 (my first visit to that country) I made a point of visiting the church (Clarendon) where Dr. Gordon fulfilled his main life-work. I was deeply disappointed at finding nothing that spoke of my dear spiritual benefactor, but I pursued him in his books, which I found in Philadelphia. Among these books, and connected with his volume on the Lord's Coming Again, I found his 'dream' -- 'How Christ Came to Church'. I am giving the substance of that 'dream' here, with its larger context and purpose. Here it is:

"Not that I attach any importance to dreams or ever have done so. Of the hundreds which have come in the night season I cannot remember one which has proved to have had any prophetic significance either for good or ill. As a rule, moreover, dreams are incongruous rather than serious, a jumble of impossible conditions in which persons and things utterly remote and unconnected are brought together in a single scene. But the one which I now describe was unlike any other within my remembrance in that it was so orderly in its movement, so consistent in its parts, and so fitly framed together as a whole. I recognize it only as a dream; and yet I confess that the impression of it was so vivid that in spite of myself memory brings it back to me again and again, as though it were an actual occurrence in my personal history.

"And yet why should it be told or deliberately [25/26] committed to print? 'I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord', says the apostle. His was undeniably a real, divinely given, and supernatural vision. But from the ecstasy of it, wherein he was caught up into paradise and heard unspeakable words, he immediately lets himself down to the common level of discipleship. 'Yet of myself I will not glory but in my infirmities.' God help us to keep to this good confession evermore, and if perchance any unusual lesson is taught even 'in visions of the night when deep sleep falleth on men' let us not set ourselves up as the Lord's favourites to whom He has granted especial court privileges in the kingdom of heaven. No, the dream is not repeated as though it were credentials of peculiar saintship, or as though by it God had favoured me with a supernatural revelation; but because it contains a simple and obvious lesson, out of which the entire book which we are now writing has been evolved.

"It was Saturday night, when wearied from the work of preparing Sunday's sermon, that I fell asleep and the dream came. I was in the pulpit before a full congregation, just ready to begin my sermon, when a stranger entered and passed slowly up the left aisle of the church looking first to the one side and then to the other as though silently asking with his eyes that some one would give him a seat. He had proceeded nearly half-way up the aisle when a gentleman stepped out and offered him a place in his pew, which was quietly accepted. Excepting the face and features of the stranger, everything in the scene is distinctly remembered -- the number of the pew, the Christian man who offered its hospitality, the exact seat which was occupied. Only the countenance of the visitor could never be recalled. That his face wore a peculiarly serious look, as of one who had known some great sorrow, is clearly impressed on my mind. His bearing, too, was exceedingly humble, his dress poor and plain, and from the beginning to the end of the service he gave the most respectful attention to the preacher. Immediately as I began my sermon my attention became riveted on this hearer. If I would avert my eyes from him for a moment they would instinctively return to him, so that he held my attention rather than I held his till the discourse was ended.

"To myself I said constantly: 'Who can that stranger be?' and then I mentally resolved to find out by going to him and making his acquaintance as soon as the service should be over. But after the benediction had been given the departing congregation filed into the aisles and before I could reach him the visitor had left the house. The gentleman with whom he had sat remained behind, however; and approaching him with great eagerness I asked: 'Can you tell me who that stranger was who sat in your pew this morning?' In the most matter-of-course way he replied: 'Why, do you not know that man? It was Jesus of Nazareth.' With a sense of the keenest disappointment I said: 'My dear sir, why did you let Him go without introducing me to Him? I was so desirous to speak with Him.' And with the same nonchalant air the gentleman replied: 'Oh, do not be troubled. He has been here today, and no doubt He will come again.'

"And now came an indescribable rush of emotion. As when a strong current is suddenly checked, the stream rolls back upon itself and is choked in its own foam, so the intense curiosity which had been going out toward the mysterious hearer now returned upon the preacher: and the Lord Himself 'whose I am and whom I serve' had been listening to me today. What was I saying? Was I preaching on some popular theme in order to catch the ear of the public? Well, thank God, it was of Himself I was speaking. However imperfectly done, it was Christ and Him crucified whom I was holding up this morning. But in what spirit did I preach? Was it 'Christ crucified preached in a crucified style'? Or did the preacher magnify himself while exalting Christ? So anxious and painful did these questionings become that I was about to ask the brother with whom He had sat if the Lord had said anything to him concerning the sermon, but a sense of propriety and self-respect at once checked the suggestion. Then immediately other questions began with equal vehemence to crowd into the mind. 'What did He think of our sanctuary, its gothic arches, its stained windows its costly and powerful organ? How was He impressed with the music and the order of the worship?' It did not seem at the moment as though I could ever again care or have the smallest curiosity as to what men might say of preaching, worship, or church, if I could only know that He had not been displeased, that He would not withhold His feet from coming again because He had been grieved at what He might have seen or heard.

"We speak of 'a momentous occasion'. This though in sleep, was recognized as such by the dreamer -- a lifetime, almost an eternity of interest crowded into a single solemn moment. One present for an hour who could tell me all I have so longed to know, who could point out [26/27] to me the imperfections of my service; who could reveal to me my real self, to whom, perhaps I am most a stranger; who could correct the errors in our worship to which long usage and accepted tradition may have rendered us insensible. While I had been preaching for a half-hour He had been here and listening who could have told me all this and infinitely more -- and my eyes had been holden that I knew Him not; and now He had gone. 'Yet a little while I am with you and then I go unto him that sent me.'

"One thought, however, lingered in my mind with something of comfort and more of awe. 'He has been here today, and no doubt He will Come again '; and mentally repeating these words as one regretfully meditating on a vanished vision, 'I awoke, and it was a dream'. No, it was not a dream. It was a vision of the deepest reality, a miniature of an actual ministry, verifying the statement often repeated that sometimes we are most awake toward God when we are asleep toward the world."

That is the 'dream' and its effect on Dr. Gordon as inspiring him to write on "He will come again". But what of the larger context? Firstly, its effect upon myself. The effect has been to make me always -- in leading any service -- keep as high and reverent a level as possible. To maintain a dignity, respect, and 'good taste' worthy of such an honourable presence as that of our Lord. The result is that anything 'cheap', undignified 'loose', in leadership is very abhorrent to me, although I trust that I am not haughty and superior. This leads to my real purpose in writing in this way.

In another place in this little paper we have had to dwell upon the very low behaviour of some Christians in the Church at Corinth. It is a picture of behaviour -- especially in the Assembly -- which is so very unworthy of Christ and would seem to imply an almost total loss of the sense of His presence. Do you not feel, dear friends, that there is a lot of room for a recovered sense of reverence and dignity in our gatherings? Should this be artificial, induced by dim light, soft music, stained glass windows, and solemn procession? Our Lord -- the glorious Son of God, Creator of all things, exalted above all dignities in the universe, destined to be the sovereign Ruler of the universe -- has said: "Wheresoever two or three are gathered in my name, there I am." "There I am!" Oh, how much there is that results from not realizing His presence! The noisy chatter before and immediately after 'worship'(?). I dare not list the things which would not be if there was a due respect for His presence. Dr. Gordon may have spoken of Him as "Jesus of Nazareth", and referred to His lowly appearance, but when he realized who had been present he was almost devastated with shame and self-confusion. 'Jesus of Nazareth here, watching, listening, feeling'?'

What respect have we for Him? Are we such victims of our natural senses, our eyesight, that because we do not see Him in the flesh, we are without spiritual sensibility? When we ask Him to be present do we really realize who it is that we invite? What would we do if we knew that some very high dignitary in this world was coming amongst us?

I am sure that we should derive much more blessing from His presence if we were more "in the Spirit" of that presence. But, not only on one day in the week, and when we 'go to church', but we ask for His presence always. This is my word of appeal. - T. Austin-Sparks.


Editor's Note. The book with this title has been out of print for some time, but we are frequently being asked for it. There are some difficulties in reprinting at present. We have several waiting to go to the printers, but the Lord will have to facilitate in the matter. We do feel that this book, The Battle for Life, has a vital message for our time, and we have therefore decided to reproduce it in A Witness and a Testimony. This will, of course, take some considerable time, so we shall keep in mind the reprinting of the whole book as soon as it is possible. Notice of this will be given well ahead. There are some slight alterations and additions in its form as here. [27/28]

Chapter 1


Reading: Revelation 1:1-20; 2:1.

BY way of a brief introductory word let us focus your attention upon what we feel to be the Lord's concern with His people at this time.

In the second and third chapters of the Book of the Revelation we have the Lord's survey of the seven churches. As those eyes that are as a flame of fire peer into the inner spiritual state and lay bare the condition -- analyse, dissect, separate, place on the two sides of debit and credit, and form and pass their final verdict -- we see one thing to be at issue with regard to them all. There may be particular differences in them; the aspects may vary; the elements may be very different: yet when all has been surveyed and gathered together it is to establish but one fact, namely, the presence or absence of that which, from the Lord's standpoint, constitutes justification in the continuance of the Lord's full committal to anything which claims to represent Him. The issue for every one of these churches was whether, under the Lord's permission, they could remain as true witnesses, and whether they could continue as really representing Him. The Lord had them before Him -- shall we say, had them in His hand -- and was determining whether He could keep them or whether He would have to put them away; whether He would have to "remove the lampstand out of its place" (Revelation 2:5), or whether it could abide with His full approval. So that the question was clearly one of continuing in relation to the Lord's intended purpose or of losing its position. We have seen bodies cross the sky at night, coming from afar, gaining in brilliance, it seemed, as they came nearer, flashing on their way, and then disappearing altogether from view in the darkness of the night. Here are "stars" brought in by the eternal counsels of God, flashing in with the glory of His grace, some of them to cease to fulfil those counsels.

The question concerning every instrumentality raised up by God in relation to His purpose is: How far can He go on with it? It is evident that there are things which do not justify Him in wholly supporting some instrumentalities which He originally raised up and used. These letters make those things clear.

In the first place, the fact that God originally raised up an instrumentality, that it came from Him and was His work initially, does not justify Him in keeping it indefinitely. That is made quite clear. We should take serious account of the fact that, because God raised up a thing, it does not mean that He must of necessity keep that thing right through unconditionally, that is, no matter what its state or character may be eventually or in the course of time. Further, the fact that an instrument has had a wonderful history of devotion to Him and has at some time been a very real and full expression of His grace and power, does not resolve itself into a claim upon Him, and He does not regard Himself as under any obligation to preserve it indefinitely. But we have to press the point still further. Because at any given time many commendable things are to be seen in an instrumentality, which the Lord Himself may praise -- and there may be not a few such things -- nevertheless, this record shows that even they do not justify God in preserving it in its former place; even the presence of such comparatively good things does not mean that He may never consider putting them out of their original place, or that He is bound to refrain from doing so. There are many things which continue to exist and serve a purpose, but have lost their place in their original value to the Lord.

That is a very thorough sifting of everything. It might be thought that if God raised up a thing, if it came in the first place from His own hand; if God had used it and blessed it; if it had shown the features and characteristics of His grace and His love; if that instrumentality still had in it many commendable things which God, looking with His eyes as a flame, could approve of, surely that is enough to argue for its continuance in the fullness of His blessing? You understand that we are speaking about instrumentalities. We are not speaking about souls. We are not dealing with the question of salvation, but with that of vocation.

What, then, justifies the Lord in preserving and going on with any such instrumentality? We must look to see what motivated Him when He brought it into being, what was in His mind and in His heart. We shall find all we need to know from the very description of the instrumentality itself. In the passage to which we have referred it is called a lampstand -- "seven golden lampstands" (R.V.M.). Our knowledge of the Word gives us much light upon what that means, and the Old Testament in particular comes at once to our help, for whether it be the candlestick in the Tabernacle, or the candlestick [28/29] all of gold shown to Zechariah (Zechariah 4:2), we know that in both cases there was represented the living expression of the Holy Spirit's energies. Take the candlestick all of gold. We remember the pattern of it, with its seven bowls and seven golden pipes; and the oil being emptied out from the living olive trees through the pipes into the bowls, to provide the resource for the light. It is a very complete, very comprehensive illustration, and it is something that is living. At one end there is a living fountain or spring. The prophet does not say that there were cisterns, tanks, some man-made receptacle of oil, but living trees, and oil being poured continually, ever fresh -- warm from the arteries of that living organism, as it were -- into the candlestick burning with its steady, undying light, a light which does not vary, which does not go out, which is maintained at full strength continually.


It is the testimony of an unfailing, undying, all-sufficient life; the testimony of a life which is not abstract, not something stored up, but something which is coming all the time from an inexhaustible stream, a mighty, glorious life. As the light burns, it is a constant declaration of victory, and that, a victory over death, which would seek to smother the flame. It burns in the midst of surrounding death, a continuous declaration that death has no power to quench it.

To come back to the Book of Revelation: What is it, and what is it that alone justifies God in maintaining any instrumentality in full relation to Himself and His purpose? It is not that the instrumentality has many good things. It is not that it had its origin with God. It is not that it has a great history, a great past, a good tradition. It is not that it has a name, a reputation, the name of its more glorious days. It is that there is today the same undying flame of Divine life in it, a testimony against the power of death all around. That is God's justification.

You notice that in relation to the seven golden lampstands there is reference to the seven Spirits of God, meaning spiritual fullness, and to Jesus Christ the Faithful Witness. He is identified with these lamps. He is in the midst of them, closely associated with them. They were called into being in order that they might be an abiding testimony to the Lord Himself as the Faithful Witness, the Living One, in the power of the Spirit of God.

When we come to analyse the state of these churches, we find that in five of them, at least, there is a variety of elements, each of which is an expression of something that is a contradiction to the Holy Spirit, a contradiction to the Spirit of Life. When such a thing is found amongst the Lord's people -- within the vessel, the instrument -- it constitutes an element of death and provides Satan with his foothold, and all unconsciously for the most part among those people the testimony is contradicted.

The point is this. Satan will resort to anything -- his methods and his means are numerous -- to get some foothold for death in a Divinely-constituted instrumentality, so that the thing becomes a contradiction right at its very centre. It has a name; it has good works; it has many things which even the Lord Himself cannot judge because they are good; but the vital thing by which alone the Lord can be justified in maintaining that instrumentality in its former position has been countered. It is not a question of what there once was of good and whether it still flourishes today, but rather: Has the Lord that central, basic, essential, indispensable thing for which He has ever raised up His instrumentalities, whether individuals or companies, and brought them into relationship with Himself, that for which He apprehended them, that which was intended to be their specific vocation? It is not a matter of its bulk, size, or earthly quantity, but its intrinsic quality.

Let us look again at the particular case in point (Rev. 2:1 et seq). The Lord is saying: "From whence thou hast fallen." "The first works." "Think again, reconsider, and change back" ("Repent"). "I will remove thy lampstand out of its place." To whom does He so address Himself? To Ephesus. Ephesus! Only thirty years before had Ephesus received that deposit of revelation above which there is nothing to excel in the New Testament, that wonderful disclosure of the eternal counsels and calling of God which came to bear the name 'Ephesians'. Oh, the tragedy of Ephesus! Time was when it could be said that, through her, "all Asia" was affected. Her intrinsic value registered over that wide area.

What did the Lord mean by removing her lampstand out of its place ? Not necessarily that by one stroke what was there would be wiped out or blotted out. Not a geographical removal or a literal extinction. Ephesus and its church went on for many years. But its essentially spiritual position in the "vocation wherewith it was called" was lost. It became something else. It may have grown numerically. It might have been accepted in Ephesus. Its "good works" may have remained and been many. But its spiritual measure, intrinsic virtue, [29/30] and resources for the Church beyond its locality were lost. "Its place " spiritually could be removed without its temporal and material location being touched. Is this not the sad history of so many things which had a beginning and went on in spiritual power and spontaneous effectiveness for some years, but eventually lost their spiritual place and position in the "whole counsel of God"? In many cases, both of individual and personal and of collective ministries, we have to say: 'They have lost out;' 'they do not correspond to their beginning.' Many places which once were centres of far-reaching influence, while still existing, only do so on an earlier tradition. Many ministries under which we felt the Divine impact have -- with the extra tragic factor of insensibility to the fact -- lost that Divine unction. Is it expansion without commensurate spiritual resource? Is it popularity and acceptance which has robbed of the sense of crisis and urgency? Has the vision faded because of success or adversity? Have elements of contradiction found a loophole somewhere and worked like secret leaven to corrupt? Whatever it might be, there it is, and such a thing is on record in the Word of God as a warning for all time that this is the peril which besets anything which God raised up as a lamp of true testimony. Some of us inwardly weep as, in our own lifetime, we have seen this tragedy in servants of God, in movements and instrumentalities which have lost out. Spiritual pride is a major and certain cause of such disaster. When the 'Institution', 'Mission', 'Centre', or any thing becomes the object of talk and gratification, and it is not the Lord in growing fullness, then the days of the Lord's full committal to it are numbered.

We have all been apprehended of Jesus Christ, and there has been a purpose behind that apprehending. We have not been apprehended just to be saved. Our salvation is but basic and introductory to something very much more. The Lord gathers His own together to form them into a corporate vessel of Divine purpose. He raises up such instrumentalities from time to time; but whether it be individuals or whether it be companies, one constant danger is that the 'essential thing' in the Divine thought in raising it up, in apprehending that vessel, should somehow be lost while many other things may continue.


One inclusive thing arises from this survey of the churches. It is that the Lord deals with every life or vessel in the light of His specific purpose for it, and not of its general usefulness. These chapters would never have been written if the Lord were simply taking this view: 'Well, this vessel is not wholly bad; there is much yet of value here; it has not altogether gone away from Me; therefore I must look after it and support it, preserve it, and commit Myself wholly to it;' but the Lord is not doing that. We may be thankful to the Lord for anything that there is in this world which is good and is of Himself, and as we ourselves go into it we are grateful that the Lord should have any witness in a world like this; but, oh, so far as His own people are concerned, so far as the Church is concerned, that never satisfies Him. Of that we may be quite sure.

Why are we saying this? Because so many people say: 'Well, you know, you are trying to get something so perfect! Why not be satisfied with what is commendable about the Church today? Take it as it is! Accept it and be thankful that there are so many who belong to the Lord and bear His name in a world like this!' I find that this record does not allow of that. God knows that we are grateful that there are believers in this world, be they but poor ones. You cannot go abroad in a world like this and see its state, its Godlessness, its sinfulness, without being thankful to find even a very poor specimen of a believer who has some love in his heart for the Lord. You are thankful for the smallest thing that speaks of Him. Oh, but when you come to see God's purpose, when you see that what He has designed for His Church is the occasion of His call, His choosing in Christ, you can never be satisfied with nominalism, or with general goodness.

When you come to a word like this you find it taking you right on -- if you like to call it 'extreme' you may -- right on to the end. It tells you quite plainly that whether there be a great past, a great history of Divine blessing and usefulness, a great reputation for good works, and many good things still obtaining, none of these things is an adequate justification for the Lord to commit Himself wholly to that vessel, for He has some reservations. He must have questions unless the purpose for which that vessel was raised up is being fulfilled. None of the New Testament Letters would have been written if the Lord was satisfied with the merely nominal. There has never been anything perfect but the serious matter is that of our attitude to "not having yet attained". Paul said: "I am not yet perfect, but ...", and very much hung upon that "but". These churches in Revelation had accepted their imperfect condition. [30/31]


For what was the Church raised up? I do not believe that the Lord originally thought of having a general Church, and then a special one within it; a general mass of believers, and then a company called 'overcomers' in the midst. That has never been the design of God. It is what we might call an emergency state of things, and is essential because of general failure. It seems to me that the very word 'overcomers' presupposes that there is failure somewhere. The Lord's purpose for all His Church, as a vessel -- which nevertheless may only be realized in a few -- is that it should maintain the testimony of a life which has conquered death, and will conquer death right to the end. It is a life question.

The Lord Jesus is constituted the great Witness upon the ground of the power of God which was exercised in Him when He was raised from the dead. Remember that the testimony of Jesus is always related to His being raised from the dead; that is, that He lives by a power which has conquered death. He is the Life on that ground, on that basis, in that sense, and those whom the New Testament approves as witnesses to Jesus are not those who talk the truth about Him, but are witnesses of His resurrection -- that is, of course, in a spiritual way -- witnesses to Christ as risen. The New Testament's testimony of Jesus is that God raised Him from the dead and that He is alive for evermore. That is the essence of the testimony. Thus the whole question resolves itself into one of testimony in life a testimony of life. It is not a testimony of doctrine in the first place, but a testimony of life. Is the flame burning as at the beginning, witnessing that Jesus lives and is triumphant, even over the dark, deadly background of this world? That is the question for the Lord's people; the question for your life and for mine, and for every collective instrumentality.

As we proceed we shall see a great deal of what that means. For the moment we simply focus our thoughts upon the issue. I have no doubt in my heart as to what the issue of our time is. I trust that in this matter we may rightly claim to be of the tribe of Issachar, so to speak, to know what the time is saying and what Israel ought to do. I have not the slightest shadow of a doubt but that the issue of our day, of this hour in the Church's history is, more than ever, the issue of life and death in a spiritual sense. Are you not more and more experiencing that awful sapping of your very vitality, that draining of your life, that exhausting of your energy, perhaps especially in relation to prayer? Is it not true that it often requires a supreme effort to pray, and to get through when you have started to pray? You need energizing from a source other than that of your own natural energies in this matter, and that increasingly so. There is a strange, deep, terrible sapping of vitality, mental and physical vitality as well as spiritual. Spiritual people, at least, know something of that. And lying at the back of it is the final conflict of this age. It is the spiritual issue of life and death.

The Lord would say to us something about that at this time, and we have to direct our eyes in the way of the Lord's thought to the great issue which is at stake for His people. I trust that we shall know that He is not only making us aware of it and not only warning us about the perils of it, but that He comes mightily to our aid and shows us what is on our side in the battle.

(To be continued)


[Poul Madsen]

"Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, was this grace given that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the plan of salvation which from the beginning has been hid in God who created all things by Jesus Christ; to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in the heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, corresponding to the eternal purpose which he fulfilled in Christ Jesus our Lord: in whom we have boldness and access in confidence by faith in Him. Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which are your glory" (Ephesians 3:8-13).

LAST time we said that the word of the Cross is the power of God, provided it is spoken with the voice of the Lord, that is, in the spirit of the Cross.

If anyone contested that this statement was untrue and accused me in Court of lying, then I would call Paul as a witness and easily win my case! [31/32]


The Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ made a tremendous change in Paul himself. He had been full of pride, especially spiritual pride. Then he saw a man die and he heard the word of the Cross spoken in the spirit of the Cross, for Stephen said: "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge" (Acts 7:60). Paul's conscience was pricked, and from then onward he came under the power of the Cross; and the result was, as I have said, tremendous. He calls himself "less than the least of all saints", and this was not pious hypocrisy. Sometimes we just play at being humble, but Paul did not. When he said: "I am less than the least of all saints", it was no exaggeration, for he meant it. The power of the Cross deals a death-blow to our pride.

In his pride Paul had considered the heathens as dogs. Now he had received grace to preach among them "the unsearchable riches of Christ". Many of us have a hidden contempt for certain people, but if we have been exposed to the power of the Cross we will be ready to serve anyone anywhere. You remember the story of the woman who came to Jesus and asked Him to heal her daughter, and He answered: "It is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs", but she said: "Yea, Lord: even the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs" (Mark 7:27-28). The best heathens would have been grateful for crumbs, but Paul gave them the unsearchable riches of Christ! When you have been exposed to the power of the Cross of the Lord you give to those whom you formerly despised much more than they themselves expect. Have you experienced in your own life this tremendous change from old to new?


Paul experienced this tremendous change, but he also had a tremendous work to do: preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ. This, and not just preaching the so-called 'simple Gospel', is evangelization. You will never find the 'simple Gospel' in the New Testament, and if you make the Gospel more simple than it is there, you water it down to nothing. I believe that there is not one word of the Lord Jesus which we have fully understood, and if we try to make the Gospel understandable for the natural man, then we misinterpret it. The Gospel is profound, and what we consider the most simple statement can never be understood by the natural man.

Paul did not try to make the Gospel understandable. He proclaimed the unsearchable riches of Christ; and because he did not try to do the Holy Spirit's work, the Holy Spirit could make the power of the Cross felt among the heathen when Paul preached. Many were saved, and then Paul began his essential work.

I think it was Oswald Chambers who said that it is hard work to bring a man to salvation, but it is one hundred times harder to make him a disciple. Paul was not only an evangelist, but also a teacher, and if you have been exposed to the power of the Cross you feel a real responsibility for the Lord's people. Therefore Paul, as the Danish translation says: "Enlightened them about the plan of salvation which from the beginning of the world had been hid in God as a secret." And that is hard work! It is a tremendous job and can only be done by a man who has experienced the tremendous power of the word of the Cross.


So after the tremendous change and the tremendous job, we have also a tremendous purpose, which was that the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to principalities and powers through the Church. Sometimes, when I have read these verses, I have thought: 'Paul, you were a fool! It is much more important that the manifold wisdom of God should be made known through the Church to men! If you had aimed at that, Paul, you could have rejoiced in having something to point to, something to show men as the result of your work. Principalities and powers are in the unseen world, but you should have shown men a wonderful Church, full of the wisdom of the Lord, a Church that would make people wonder and fall down in adoration!' Out of a hundred workers for the Lord, ninety-nine would do as I have just suggested. When people come to me and ask: 'How many are you in Copenhagen?' I would be happy if I could say: 'Twenty thousand; and we have elders, deacons, a modern office, a publishing company, twenty-five thousand subscribers and the most modern church building that you have ever seen. We have experienced the Lord in a wonderful way, and we have done a wonderful work for the Lord. Come along and see! This is the power of the Cross! Paul is a bit old-fashioned. He thinks only of unseen powers, but we are men of reality. We have something to point to. Oh, and I forgot to tell you that we have two hundred missionaries on the mission-field, and the offerings for the mission-field this year have topped all others years.' Would all that not be the work of the Cross? Could anyone come and say that this was not the work of the Cross? Well, perhaps ninety-nine out of a hundred would agree with me, and only some odd people [32/33] here and there would not be quite satisfied. They would ask me some questions in which perhaps I would not be very interested!

I shall not enlarge on this, because I have seen too many great things to be impressed. I am not quite convinced that principalities and powers are impressed with church buildings, with numbers, with deacons or with elders. Perhaps they have more to do with reality than men of today. They can penetrate through all these things into the hearts of men, and they can see how much there is of the wisdom and power of the Lord in us. And the more this dawns upon you, the less you can seek to create or organize the church by human means. The more you realize this, the more you lean on the Cross of the Lord, and on the power of that Cross. A man who has been exposed to the power of the Cross himself can never lay his hand upon the church and organize it along his own lines. He has a tremendous job, and that is, to suffer for the Church, and, by spiritual means, to help the Lord's children to see .

This, as far as I understand it, is in our days the great difficulty in and among the Lord's servants. There are some who are being exposed to the Cross in such a way that they work along Paul's lines, but they are the exceptions. Most say that it does not lead to any real result, and they believe in themselves more than in the power of His Cross.

Now I am in Court and Paul is my witness. He has brought much good evidence: a profound change in myself, a profound change in my conception of other men, a profound conception of the work to be done, a profound conception of the meaning of the Church, a profound conception of the calling of the Church, and all as a result of the power of the Cross. Then, as final evidence, Paul says: 'Only such a profound change in him and in his conceptions of men, in his intentions, in his understanding of the Church, corresponds to the profound work of our Lord Jesus on His Cross. There He cried: "It is finished!" The Lord is not in need of human strength, wisdom and effort, for what He has done is sufficient.' If you now say to Paul: 'All this is too big for me!' he would answer: 'I have not said this to paralyse you. No, God fulfilled His purpose in Christ Jesus our Lord: in Him we have boldness and access in confidence by faith in Him.'

Our calling is great, but we are not paralysed. We have boldness and confidence through faith in our Lord Jesus. We enter into the holiest of holies through faith in Him, and in that place there is no room for human energy or fleshly wisdom at all. With confidence we look into the face of our Lord and say: 'We are Thine, O Lord. We have faith in Thee, O Lord. We have no faith in ourselves, Lord. We do not believe in our own wholeheartedness. We do not believe in our own dedication. Our faith is in Thee, and in Thee alone. And now we identify ourselves with Thee, and whatever the price may be, we shall not go back to our own ways and our own ideas. Use us as Thou dost want. We will take up our cross daily, follow Thee and obey Thee, whatever the cost may be.' Then the Lord has a free hand and He builds His Church, not to display it before carnal men that they should admire it, but in truth and reality, so that even principalities and powers may recognize that this is of God.

It can be done, and it shall be done! - P M.



[Harry Foster]

ERNEST was puzzled. He was also sad. He had been to a Memorial Service for his grandfather and there he had heard read a chapter from the New Testament which spoke about believers being "caught up" to be with the Lord at the Second Coming.

It had not been a sad service, for everyone seemed so certain that they could look forward to seeing Grandfather again when they were all caught up. Ernest was sad, however, because he was not at all sure that he would be among them, and he was puzzled for he could not understand how God would know for certain whom to call up to join that happy reunion and whom to leave behind.

He continued to wonder about this for some days, and then a big change happened which occupied all his thoughts. He and his parents went to live with his grandmother, who was now left all alone in her big house and wanted them to share the home with her. First of all there was the [33/34] excitement of the move and then, of course, there were many new and interesting things in Grandmother's house -- 'gadgets' his father called them. In this respect perhaps it was the bathroom which was the most interesting.

Take the soap, for instance! Instead of lying rather wet on the washhand basin, it just hung on a sort of arm or bracket which was fixed on the wall tiles just above. Perhaps it was not true to say that it hung, for, as a matter of fact, you just put the soap up against and underneath the arm and there it stuck. Ernest did not normally like washing very much, but now he was always ready to wash his hands just for the joy of seeing if the soap stayed put. And it always did!

At least, it always had done until that morning when his grandmother was ill. She was not very ill, but still she had to stay in bed, so that meant that Mother took water, soap and towels into her bedroom for her. So when Ernest came to the bathroom there was no soap. That is to say that there was none in the right place, but there was another tablet on the ledge by the bath, so he used that.

The trouble came when he placed it on the special bracket. It fell with a clatter into the handbasin. That is funny, thought Ernest. It has never done that before. He tried again, pressing the soap against the metal arm, but still it did not stick, but fell once more down into the basin. This was one more problem for Ernest! It was the same kind of soap and the same colour, and yet it would not stay up but fell whenever he let it go.

As a matter of fact, this was a very similar problem to the one he had thought so much about, as he found when he told his father about it. By this time Grandmother was settled and the soap back in the bathroom, so his father told him to fetch both tablets. This he did, and still they looked the same.

"Turn them over," Father said, and when Ernest did this he found that the first tablet had a small metal disc on it, while the other had none. "That is what makes the difference, Ernest," his father explained, "and that is what makes it possible for the soap not to fall. Not that the disc has any power! Oh, no, that is just an ordinary bit of steel. The power is in the magnet which is at the end of that bracket. The magnet has the power, but it needs the metal disc to use it."

Ernest was beginning to understand. He knew enough about magnets to realize that they have the power to attract and to hold iron, and although he had never thought about it before, he saw that soap without iron was no use for this purpose. He asked his father if the soap had to be specially made with this steel cap, but his father showed him how it could be removed and fitted into the other cake of soap. Having pressed the disc into the other piece of soap he gave it to Ernest, saying: "Now go up to the bathroom and try that." The boy hurried upstairs, and to his delight he found that the second tablet of soap was now firmly held by the bracket. It did not fall as before.

Father had known about Ernest's problems concerning being "caught up", so he took the opportunity to explain by means of the two pieces of soap how one could be taken and the other left. "Outwardly," he told Ernest, "one cannot always be sure who is a true Christian and who is not, but inwardly there is no difficulty. The true Christians have Christ in their heart, whereas the others, however nice they may be as persons, are just like that second piece of soap. They have nothing in them which can respond to the upward tug of the magnet of God's love. They will be left behind, for they have never asked the Lord Jesus to come into their lives."

This left Ernest very thoughtful, but then he had an idea. "Father," he said, "it was not too late to change that second piece of soap, was it?" "No," answered his father, "it was not too late, and nor is it too late for you to change. It will make all the difference if you open your heart for the Saviour to come in and live in you."

Now Ernest has no problems about being ready for the Coming of the Lord. With the Lord Jesus in his heart he knows that the great magnet of God's love will not let him fall. Of course, there was a big difference between what happened to the soap and what happened to him. With the soap it was only an outward extra, but with a human life it is an inward change which decides our future. The right explanation is in Colossians 1:27: "Christ IN you, the hope of glory." - H. F. [34/35]


[Harry Foster]

"If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:15-17).

"But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you" (John 14:26-27).

"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall bear witness of me, and ye also shall bear witness" (John 15:26-27).

Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I go, I will send him unto you" (John 16:7).

THERE are many variations of this word "Comforter", such as 'Advocate', 'Helper', 'Counsellor'. They all seem inadequate, but probably the best is this old one, "Comforter", provided we do not think of that in terms of mere pacifying or soothing influence, but realize the true meaning of the English word, which is to bring strength. The Lord Jesus was speaking to His disciples of a day that was to be "when the Comforter is come", and assuring them that He was not coming as a mere power to help them, nor as an influence to bless them, nor as a substitute merely for Christ in an outward way, but the purpose of His coming was that Christ was, by this means, to minister and to communicate in an inward way His own very life to them. He was coming, but not as they had known Him before. They had only known Him as the world had known Him, though perhaps in a more intimate way and on more intimate terms, but they knew Him by the same means -- by their senses, their eyes, their ears, and so on. But now the Lord Jesus was saying: 'I am coming to you in a way that the world does not know and cannot know, for it is an inward way. That is a Divine expediency.' "It is expedient for you ..." In other words, this is one of the great 'musts' of the Bible.

We are familiar with some of them. "Ye must be born again" (John 3:7). "Neither is there any other name under heaven ... wherein we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). "Through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22). And this is equally emphatic. We must know the inward power of Christ's life by the Holy Spirit.

"When the Comforter is come ..." This was a challenge to the disciples. If you read chapters 14, 15 and 16 of John, which are so very familiar to us, you will find that the disciples, when the Lord spoke to them, were all in a muddle; they were perplexed; they could not understand. The Lord was talking about something which was quite beyond their experience and they did not know what He meant. That, of course, was particularly owing to the day in which they lived, for they were pre-Pentecost and could not know. Nevertheless, the challenge comes to us that, for many practical purposes, we may be in the same condition, so I want to say a little about the coming of the Comforter as an essentially inward work in the very innermost heart of our being, for the Lord says that 'must be'. If we are to reach any worthwhile spiritual goal we must be born again, and equally we must know that the Comforter has come. The outward experiences of Christ are not sufficient, for to a large extent they are devoid of power. So the whole challenge to us is -- as it was to the disciples -- whether our experiences are largely of that superficial character, or whether they are inward.


We take first the matter of teaching -- "He shall teach you all things". Sometimes we are rather proud of the teaching which we have had, for it has been good teaching, Bible teaching, spiritual teaching, deep teaching. Well, the disciples had it all, for they had the best. They had over three years of the best teaching that any man ever had, for it came from the lips of the Lord Himself. Sometimes for us the value of the word is lost because we take too much note of the one who speaks it, and we reject the Lord's word because of the messenger. We are quite wrong to do that, because the truth is still the truth, whoever speaks it. While those who speak it need to be very much before the Lord that they should not be contradictions of what they say, we must remember that the truth is still the truth. We cannot avoid it, and we cannot excuse ourselves by the faults of the one who speaks it. But that cannot be said about the Lord! Every Divine utterance that came from those lips was not only the truth, but it was [35/36] altogether confirmed and expressed in the life of the One who spoke it. What a teacher! And what teaching! And yet, at the end of it all, were they any better for it? It is very difficult to say. Was there any real expression of what they had learned in their lives? It is hard to find. The very best teaching over years, received in all sincerity, is powerless until it becomes an inward experience.

Now the Lord Jesus says: 'There is a new day coming when all that you have heard from Me shall become vital truth inside you.' "He shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you." Do you think the disciples had forgotten what the Lord said? I do not, for they were men of at least average intelligence, and it is quite clear from the Gospels that the Lord repeated again and again the most important of His utterances. So I am sure they had not forgotten what the Lord said. Why, then, does He say: 'The Spirit will bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you'? Well, it works like this. We might know what the Bible teaches about love from beginning to end and could give an exposition on it with all its different points, but in the midst of our daily life be suddenly brought into a situation where our own impetuosity or lack of love is going to find expression. It is then that the Spirit warns us and 'brings to our remembrance' -- not for intellectual purposes, but for practical purposes, and, unless He does that, what is the use of all that teaching? Do you think the world would have been any better for these disciples if there had not been a Pentecost? I do not, and yet, in the letter, they knew as much the day before Pentecost as they knew the day after. Oh, the difference between the outward impact of teaching, and the vital reminder and application of that teaching in the inward man!

"When the Comforter is come ..." We must not base our doctrine on the Comforter coming on the day of Pentecost, or on any doctrine that is mere doctrine. The challenge as to whether the Comforter is come is found in whether the teaching is in us, whether it is working and whether it is finding expression, for the Lord says that when He comes that will be His work -- "He shall guide you into all the truth" (John 16:13).


But more than the teaching, we must think of the power of influence. What a wonderful power there is in the influential atmosphere of a good and godly person! How much we affect people, not by what the Lord knows we are inside, but by what they get from us, or what they see in us! I think all of us would be checked up daily, almost hourly, if we realized that, while the first thing is our own life with the Lord, we must always be remembering how we are influencing and impressing others. There is a great power for good about the loving, holy, true life of one with whom we have close contact. Well, the disciples had plenty of that! Day and night for a very long time they had the best influence that any men have ever had, and they enjoyed it and were helped by it, but in the end it did not make a lasting change in their character. When the influence was taken away they had lost the secret of their living. The Lord was going, and they wondered how they could then continue in the life which they had been living. So, while it is true that the influence that we bear on others is of great importance, it is equally true that, in the last issue, mere influence is not enough, for it is external, superficial, and depends upon the realized, conscious presence of the other person. We are challenged in that very matter, for there are many things we would never say nor do in the presence of other people whom we respect, and yet we say and do them when we are absent from those people -- as though the Lord were not with us. We would not like to hurt or grieve loved ones, or those whom we honour. The Apostle says: "Grieve not the Holy Spirit" (Ephesians 4:30).

When the disciples came to know the transformation, the change, from that which had been outward, wonderful though it was, to that which was inward, they came into the experience of which the Lord spoke when He said: "In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you" (John 14:20). To know, not in mere doctrine, but in vital spiritual consciousness, is better than the influence of a godly life! "Ye shall know that ... I (am) in you." No wonder that the Lord said: "It is expedient for you that I go away", for they might have had twenty or thirty years with Him instead of three and imagined that, because their lives were made more sweet and valuable and acceptable in an outward way because of His influence, they were Christians, and they would not have been. Christians are not made from the outside. "In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you" -- that is how Christians are made.


Then there is the matter of service. None of the sermons of the disciples before Pentecost are [36/37] recorded. I am rather sorry, for it would be interesting to know what they preached and how they preached it. We do not know, but I question whether, in actual phraseology and words they would have been found faulty. I imagine that, to a large extent, they repeated the lessons which Jesus had taught them, and preached the messages which they had heard from His lips, but what we do know for certain is that when the Lord was with them only in an outward way, their service was largely powerless. It had little energy or ability to effect any really vital purpose. Yes, they served the Lord for three years. Do not think that they started their service for the Lord on the day of Pentecost! They served Him during those three years, but everything was in an outward way. They were repeating what they had heard someone else say; they were conveying the lessons that they had learned in an outward way, but they were doing their best to serve the Lord. We must never imagine that the disciples were anything less than wholehearted, devoted lovers of the Lord through all His earthly ministry, but there was not much to show for the service at the end of the three years because, as we have been saying, all this knowledge of Christ, which was superficial, lacked power.

Now the Lord Jesus said: "When the Comforter is come ... he shall bear witness of me, and ye also shall bear witness." That is not even saying: 'You will be witnesses and the Holy Spirit will back up what you say', though that might be true, but He puts it the other way round. 'The Spirit is working, the Spirit is busy, the Spirit has taken up the matter of the service of God, and you will find that you are sharing it with Him. You will be brought into it by Him, and the effect of it will be this: "When (the Comforter) is come, (he) will convict the world of sin" (John 16:7-8)' "When the Comforter is come" -- but not to the world. The spirit of God has always been in the world. We must not pray for the Spirit of God to fall like an influence on people, convicting them of sin, (though sometimes He may do that), for that is not what the Lord said. He said: 'I am sending the Spirit to you , who have lacked conviction when you have spoken, whose words have been so powerless, and whose service has been so ineffective. I am sending the Spirit to you, and when He comes the world will be convicted of sin and of righteousness and of judgment.' And it works like that! It searches all our hearts when we realize how often our lives lack the tang of that conviction, and how our words fail to do what Peter's did at Pentecost -- pierce men to their heart.


How transient, how unsatisfactory, were all the disciples' experiences of blessedness! But when the Lord Jesus spoke of the day when the Holy Spirit should come, He coupled with that promise the promise of His peace. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth" John 14:27). They had known peace in company with the Lord Jesus, but in its essence it had been the kind of peace that the world gives. You remember, for instance, the terrible storm they were in, and how the Lord Jesus, by His presence in the boat, calmed the storm and brought a great peace to them. They did not need to be disciples to experience that peace! In fact, there were other ships round about that got the blessing of it. They had known the peace of realizing, when they were hungry, that it was not their concern, but the Lord's, for He would provide them with food. There were many ways in which, in outward experiences, they knew peace by the fact that the Lord Jesus was among them.

It was the same with joy. He turned the water into wine. He gave them happy, joyful experiences, but the joy did not last. When the Lord spoke these words to them they were gloomy and depressed, and He had to upbraid them, chide them, but at the same time He brought them a word of promise. He said: 'This is the sorrow of travail, but it will give place to the joy of realization, and that joy is a joy that the world cannot give you, and a joy that the world cannot take away from you. Even though I go "your joy no one taketh from you".'

Oh, the blessedness of Christ when known, not by the outward tokens of His favour but by the inward witness of the Holy Ghost! Has the Comforter come to you like that? That is the challenge all the time!


There is the matter of unity, too. Even the Lord Jesus was incapable of establishing real unity when He was found just in the midst of His disciples! That sounds a terrible thing to say, for it seems as though He was ineffective -- but He is ineffective as long as He is only outside of us. That is why He said: 'I must go away, because here, while I am in the midst of you, and you are all gathered around Me, you are not really united, and you cannot be united. It was foretold as long ago as Zechariah's time that when the Shepherd was smitten, the flock would be scattered (Zechariah [37/38] 13:7). So long as you all keep your eyes on Me you have at least a method of living, and you get on together -- though not very well. But take Me away and you are disintegrated -- and God means you to be disintegrated.' This is a Divine exposure of the inadequacy of any other unity than the unity of the Spirit. Unity, after all, is a matter of confidence -- I think the whole crux of unity is found in that word 'confidence'. One disciple would say: 'Well, of course, I have confidence in the Lord, but I have not got confidence in this man.' James might say: 'I have confidence in John, but I have doubts about Peter.' So it was impossible for them to be united. They would each say: 'Yes, I have confidence in the Lord, but I have no confidence in my brother.' That is a very common state of affairs! What is the Lord's answer to it? As far as I can see, the answer was given in these words when the Lord Jesus said: "When the Comforter is come". Chapter 17, which expresses His great prayer for unity, is not the prayer that is to remind us to try and get on with one another, but the prayer to the Father that this great thing might be realized and that unity might be achieved by Christ dwelling in His people. John has no confidence in what he sees of Peter, but after Pentecost he finds that there is something of the Lord in Peter, and He has confidence in the Lord. As long as this band of men have the common factor of Christ within, they must be patient, they must have love, and they must devote all their prayers and efforts to the strengthening of that bond, and trust the Lord to deal with the much that is not of that character.

That is in us all. We see it perhaps more glaringly in one than in another, and it may be present in larger measure in some than in others, but if we look at that disuniting, disintegrating factor of what we are, unity is impossible. Christ is robbed, the devil is pleased, the world is stumbled, and we find ourselves more and more isolated. Think what would have happened if there had been no Pentecost! Each one of those disciples would have lost confidence more and more in the others, and they would have become more and more separated each from the other until in the end the ones who were so conscious of faults in others would find themselves isolated and separated. That is how it works out. It is spiritual death to us to live on the ground of what we are, or what anyone is in the flesh.

The secret of unity is to know that the Comforter has come. It is a challenge to us all that others should not find so much of that other element in us, but that what Christ is should have the greater part, should be the predominant, governing influence in our lives. The more that is so, the more unity is possible, and the more power there will be about the unity. But it is not a question of greater or lesser unity. It is a question of no unity because things are outward, or of unity because Christ is within.

"When the Comforter is come ..." It is a challenge to us all as to whether the Comforter has come, as to how much opportunity He has, as to whether we perchance have quenched Him, or are quenching Him -- or, to use that far more intimate term, whether we have grieved Him, or are grieving Him, for He is a Person. Is Christ within? Let us praise the blessed Name of the Lord who was ready to go away in order that He might come, and who has come to our hearts to fill them with himself! - H. F.



WE have seen that, in the Letters to the Corinthians, the Christians are spiritually in the position corresponding to that of Israel in the wilderness. That means that we have to see how Christ is applied to that situation. Every part of the New Testament, i.e. every book, brings Christ into view in some particular way or aspect in relation to some particular situation because the whole of the New Testament is comprehended by the mission, the meaning, and the message of Jesus Christ. We have seen that the position of believers in Corinth corresponding to Israel in the wilderness means that they were positionally out of the kingdom of darkness; baptized into Christ; in the good of the passover lamb -- flesh and blood; on the ground of justification by faith. Positionally they were in the Kingdom of heaven and on supernatural ground. All this was true by reason of sovereign grace. But now, all that was objective and what was positional had to be made inward and their condition; [38/39] that is, it had to be made their own spiritual state. Many were the inconsistencies and contradictions between position and condition, and God could not accept that. Hence the serious warning drawn from the tragedy of Israel -- the disaster in the wilderness in failure to "go on" to the purpose of salvation. In our last message we put our finger upon one real cause of the disaster, and this will have to be kept in view as we proceed into these Letters. In the Corinthian letters we shall find Christians at the point where Israel were at Sinai, and two things will stand out among others, or one thing in two aspects. Those two things are


A moment's reflection will at once bring to mind how very much those two things were the very substance of the mission, meaning and message of Jesus Christ, and, moreover, the governing principles of the whole New Testament.

With Israel in the wilderness these two thing related respectively to the Tent of Testimony and the ordering of progress. They are both in the later chapters of the Book of Exodus through the Book of Numbers. The Tent of the Testimony, or the Tabernacle, was central and in view for all to see. The tribes were so arranged as to face the Tabernacle on all sides and from all directions. From the door of the Tabernacle the silver trumpets sounded, to be heard by all the people in connection with all order and movement.

The principles were seeing and hearing; the seeing eye, and the hearing ear. Put together they represent the Lord Jesus as central and supreme, and the Holy Spirit as God's voice concerning Him. Sit back with those facts and think of the Corinthian letters in their light. So, we come to


in relation to spiritual order and progress in a Corinthian situation.

The place of Christ

We must step back and join the Apostle when he was contemplating his letter to Corinth, after he had received the information about the situation there.

The Apostle had known about Corinth before his first visit five years earlier. Morally it was the worst city in the world, and such was the situation there that this courageous servant of God said that he was with them then "in much fear and trembling." However, out of the 400,000 population, a company had turned to the Lord and they represented the "Church of God in Corinth". But during the five years of the Apostle's absence there had been this grievous spiritual decline which we find described in this letter. Indeed, it was a decline for in the later part of the letter (chapter 15) the Apostle reminds them of "the Gospel which was [then] preached to them, and which they believed". What a Gospel! Knowing what he was going into at Corinth he had made a very definite and firm resolve: it was "to know nothing among you but Jesus Christ, and him crucified". He says here that he laid the Foundation, which was Christ. In five years they had built upon that foundation almost everything but Christ. Hence, he returns to the Foundation and is brokenheartedly ("with many tears") starting all over again. They had sent him a letter in which they asked for his mind on eleven matters, and the very fact of their not knowing what was right or wrong on such elementary matters shows how they had lost sight of Christ and the mind of the Spirit. The letter is largely an answer to the questions, but what we are taking particular note of is his approach to the whole tragic situation. We have said that he returned to his original premise -- "Jesus Christ, and him crucified". In no Letter is the name of Christ so continuously introduced. It occurs no less than nine times in the first nine verses. Throughout the entire Letter, in every particular and problem, it is as though the Apostle was challenging as to how that, and that, and that corresponded to the Foundation, to Christ. That certainly, whatever he said, was his standpoint. Was it the divisions and partisanships? The challenge is: "Is Christ divided?" Those unhappy and deplorable conditions, he says, are due to immaturity, a baby measure, and the immaturity is not growing up into Christ. The spiritual eye was blinded to Christ by being occupied with other objects. Even Paul, Apollos, and Peter -- he says -- were between them and Christ. Paul positively refused to allow his own or any other man's name to justify a party or sect ! The names mentioned probably represented a personality complex; or an aspect of truth complex; or a particular, temperamental, traditional, or positional complex; but, whatever it was, its effect or tendency was to obscure Christ, and Paul would have none of it. The irony of the situation was that there was a party which would not join the other sects because they were superior and claimed: "We are of Christ." That sounds good, does it not? But Paul is not having that, either, because it [39/40] embodied the party spirit as much as any other. Paul is against the spirit of things!

We may observe that many things which started out well and good have in time become more marked by their spirit than by Christ. You meet the superior mentality that 'we are the people' and 'they are not of us'. This is as big an abomination as any pronounced sectarianism. It is not that we say that we are of Christ, but how much of Christ and the Spirit of Christ is evident in us? The plummet, or plumb-line, by which the straightness or crookedness is determined is Christ.

So Paul brings Christ alongside of all the eleven questions presented to him in the letter from Corinth. The question of marriage, of nonmarriage; of sex; of mixed marriages; of dress -- head-covering of women and men; of behaviour in the assembly and at the Lord's Table; of meats offered to idols; of 'tongues' and prophesying', etc. While saying some things as from the Lord, and others as his own Christian judgment, in effect he is raising one question over all and making it the final criterion: 'How does this accord with Christ?'

Would that we always, in all things, so challenged the practical matters of our life in a world like this! Not what the world does or thinks; not what is current in the world, or even with some Christians, but is this well-pleasing and honouring to Christ? Not even: 'Is there any wrong in it?' But -- positively -- is it governed by love of Christ?

So, as with Israel in the wilderness, Christ has the central place and is always in view.

But that is only one half of the matter. The other half is


[The place of the Holy Spirit]

Trumpets have an interesting place in the Bible, from the first in Numbers x to the "last trump" of 1 Corinthians 15:52.

In the wilderness their function was to sound "an alarm", to call to battle, to call to a feast (the Feast of Trumpets), to order the camp for journeying, etc. When all is said about them, a trumpet presupposes an ear to hear. It has no meaning or sense if there is no hearing. Hence, it is unprofitable for the Lord to speak unless there is a hearing ear. The Word of God repeatedly unites these two. "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear" -- but what? "What the Spirit saith unto the churches." The trumpet-sound then is the voice of the Spirit. This was from the door of the Tent of Testimony, that is, with Christ as the governing meaning. Order amongst the Lord's people, individually and collectively. Progress toward the goal and inheritance. To warn of dangers, and to stir to battle. All this is a matter of hearing the voice of the Spirit. If we bring the principle over to Corinthians we shall -- or ought to -- be impressed with how large a place the Holy Spirit has in these Letters. Very soon in the first Letter we come on the principle which is an absolutely basic truth, and which runs right through the entire New Testament. This goes right to the heart of the Corinthian situation, as it does to every situation which is one of spiritual declension and weakness. We could fill a whole book with this one truth, because the New Testament has so much show about it. But we can here do no more than indicate it. Right here, then, early in the first Letter to the Corinthians (chapter 2:6-16), it is


The fuller truth is that Christ may be -- or may have been -- presented in great fullness and yet not understood. The Tabernacle was there complete for all Israel to see, but it was a thing, a sacred thing, and it was known that God was with it, but it was not understood. It was a comprehensive representation, but what it all meant was not understood. The Holy Spirit was present, but the people's minds were not illuminated. It could hardly be said that the "things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard (note, eye and ear) nor hath it entered into the heart of man" had really become a dynamic revelation to those Christians. "The Spirit searcheth the deep things of God", but things were pathetically shallow and superficial at Corinth. No one who was hearing the voice of the Spirit in an inward way could possibly behave as they were behaving. I have to confess that it is one of my greatest perplexities how a true Christian can behave, look, and go on so long without the Holy Spirit so speaking in them that changes in conduct, appearance, and habits are spontaneously made without anyone else saying anything. I have to ask: 'Where is the Holy Spirit in them?' Here I just must say some relevant things which -- although enlarging this message somewhat -- are very appropriate to our times. We are in a time in this dispensation when deceiving spirits are invading this earth to such an extent that -- to use our Lord's own words -- "if it were possible the very elect would be deceived" (Matthew 24:24).

It should be clearly understood that the most outstanding and definite form of deception is the simulation of the Holy Spirit. The Christian is so utterly dependent upon the Holy Spirit for everything, [40/41] especially in the knowledge of Christ that to simulate Him (the Holy Spirit) is the master-stroke of evil spirits. The true Spirit is assailed by false spirits, and chiefly so by imitation. Their imitation will often, or usually, be thought to be something very spiritual. There is a false spirituality. Its most subtle form is to push secondary spiritual things up into a primary place and exaggerate them so that they are believed to be all-important! You have it here in 1 Corinthians, and the Apostle labours to correct this because of its perils. See what he says about the graded importance of gifts. To these poor deluded Corinthians certain gifts of a display, and spectacular kind were the height of spirituality. This opened the door wide to the false in many ways. The sum of all deception is the projecting, assertion, and intensity of natural (soul) force. Deception came into this world through the soul of Eve, and Satan's link with humanity is just there. This is basic to Paul's strong corrective teaching, and in the first part of this first Letter he lays this as the foundation of all that follows. His warning corrective about women asserting themselves vocally and in other ways in Church life and matters, and his -- to some people -- strange talk about "covering" and "the angels" has a far more sinister implication than will be regarded.

Another form which deception takes is (and perhaps you will find it hard to believe it) superiority to the Word of God. Yes! It is possible to be so 'spiritual' as to blatantly violate the plain Word of God on the plea: "I felt led", "The Lord showed me", and so on. A man can neglect his plain duty as laid down in Scripture to wife and family, and eventually lose all influence with them and their respect because he is so 'spiritual'. We say this in particular reference to the Christian family. A wife can be so 'spiritual' as to violate the plain injunction: "Wives, be in subjection to your own husbands." He may not be so 'spiritual' as you think he ought to be, but the Lord will honour the wife who, with the Cross in her own soul, honours His Word. The Word of God says that if a man does not work he should not eat. It is possible to be so 'spiritual' as to spend many hours, and even months of life doing nothing of any vital account. These are only examples of superiority to the Word of God; there are many more, and much worse.

The projecting of soul-life will most certainly result in deception, and the fruit of deception is just this: many psychic experiences, such as 'voices', apparitions, coincidences, which just go so far as to seem of God and then abort and nothing comes of them. They leave a trail of unfinished, incomplete and disappointing 'experiences'. Satan can lead the intensely soulish person 'up the garden', as we say.

Now all this is in the Corinthian Letters and explains Israel's tragedy in the wilderness. Why did a journey of nine days develop into forty years and then end in tragedy? This Letter tells us, and Hebrews 4:12 (with context) puts it concisely and precisely! The soul-life asserted itself against or over the truly spiritual.

I expect that I shall get into a lot of hot water for saying some of these things, but things are in a very serious condition in these times and we must be faithful. I confess that the more I have got into these Corinthian Letters the more desperate I have felt the situation to be, and the more impelled to seek the explanation.

Well, we have not finished yet, but, dear readers, do you not now see why the Apostle said: "Nothing ... but Jesus Christ, and him crucified" -- "Christ -- crucified"? The Cross is the solution!

Back, for a moment, to where we started. We said that the silver trumpets were the voice of the Holy Spirit, and that a hearing ear is essential to hear "what the Spirit saith". And then we have gone on to raise questions about hearing. But do note, please, how we have related the hearing. We said that first Christ has to be seen by the spiritual eye. The Spirit only speaks about Christ! Then we said that order, movement, waiting, or going, when and where, were consistent with Christ in character, nature, and holiness. And the great altar was at the door through which the way of the voice of the trumpets was heard.

(To be continued)



AT the commencement of these messages we made one statement which was to cover all that follows. That declaration was that the New Testament is built upon the ground of the Old Testament; that is, that what God was doing in a temporal and earthly way then, He is doing in a heavenly and spiritual way now. There is no change in His purpose, nor in His principles: the change is in His method. His one purpose is to take out of the nations a people for His name (Acts 15:14). [41/42] In this part of the world's history God is working to secure out of the nations a new spiritual Israel (Galatians 6:16 and the whole context of 1 Peter 2:4-10 -- note verse 10). He is constituting this spiritual Israel upon the principles of the old Israel. That first Israel failed Him, violated all His spiritual principles and broke His covenant (Hebrews 8:9). (Note the whole nature and purpose of the Letter to the Hebrews!) This is the nation to which Christ referred when He said to 'official' Israel: "The kingdom of heaven shall be taken away from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof", i.e. the fruits of the Kingdom of heaven, a phrase which always related to the Gospel to all the nations. This is a nation out of all the nations.

I am fully aware that there is a large body of Bible students standing at my elbow -- so to speak -- feverishly wanting to challenge me regarding the future of the Jewish nation with all the questions about Palestine and present developments there. This whole matter has divided Bible teachers and their respective followers into two main schools. Dr. Schofield leads the one school, i.e. the "Suspended Kingdom" school with a definite future for the Jewish nation. Dr. Campbell Morgan (preeminent as a Bible teacher in his generation) categorically denied the future for Israel (as such) teaching. We refuse to be drawn into a contention for either view. What we are saying with emphasis is that for this dispensation, "upon whom the ends of the ages are come" (1 Corinthians 10:11), "Once at the end of the ages ..." (Hebrews 9:26), the earthly Israel is in rejection, and the new heavenly Israel -- the Church -- is in the forefront of God's work. Touch this earth and world in any way and you touch confusion frustration, and death! So we say with Nehemiah: "I am doing a great work so that I cannot come down."

No one will think for a moment that what we have said implies that we have no concern for the Jews. Jews are to contribute as much to the New Israel as are the Gentiles, but not as Jews or Gentiles, but a New Creation. We are as much concerned for the salvation of Jews as we are for anybody!

Let us proceed with the matter immediately on hand. We are now going to be occupied with


There are few things in the Old Testament which are given a greater place than the emancipation of Israel from Egypt, and the New Testament makes it very clear that God is taking His new Israel out of the nations on exactly the same principles as those on which He took out the old Israel. If this is not clear to you, then you must read your New Testament again in the light of what I have just said. All I can do is to put my finger upon some of those spiritual principles of emancipation; but if the old Israel's emancipation was a tremendous thing, as we shall see as we go on, the emancipation of the new spiritual Israel is still greater. That means that to be a true child of God is a far greater thing than being a Jew of Israel.

Well, as you see, we are in the early chapters of the book of Exodus, and perhaps later on we shall move into the book of Numbers.

Now for some of these spiritual principles.

1. The emancipation of Israel from Egypt had a spiritual background.

How did God Himself sum up that emancipation? He comprehended the whole thing in one statement in Exodus 12:12: "Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements."

It was not Pharaoh in the first place, for he was only an instrument; nor was it the Egyptians in the first place, for they were but the victims. It was the gods of the Egyptians. Behind Pharaoh and behind the Egyptians there was an evil spiritual system -- and there is one verse in the New Testament which tells us all about that: "... principalities ... powers ... world-rulers of this darkness ... spiritual hosts of wickedness" (Ephesians 6:12). Those were all the gods of the Egyptians, set over against the one God of Israel, and the contest was not between God, or Moses, and the Egyptians, but between God and the gods of the Egyptians.

I may not take the time to go into detail, but the Egyptians worshipped the River Nile. There was the god of the Nile -- so God turned the River Nile into blood. The Egyptians worshipped frogs. The frog was as sacred in Egypt as the cow is in India. These just indicate that God was getting behind things and was dealing with a great spiritual system. The emancipation of Israel was emancipation from a spiritual system -- and that is true of the emancipation of every believer from this world's system. This world is governed by a spiritual system which is behind it, and every man and woman is in bondage to that system. The Word of God says that "the whole world lieth in the evil one" (1 John 5:19), and if you do not believe that of yourself then I would suggest that you try to get out of this world system. You would find that your emancipation is a much bigger thing than you think!

So the emancipation of Israel and the Church is [42/43] from a spiritual background of a very powerful system, and redemption is a tremendous thing.

2. The emancipation of Israel was an exhibition of ultimate strength.

Of course, God could have just wiped out Egypt with one word. He who spoke the word and the creation came into being could have spoken and Egypt would have been dismissed from history; but God was teaching men a great lesson. He was not teaching Himself. He was teaching, first of all, this principle in Egypt, and was teaching something to Israel, the old and the new, the nations and the devil.

Here we have, then, an exhibition of final power. God is slowly but steadily drawing out the power of this evil system, exhausting all the power of the evil principalities. Each one of these ten judgments is an increase upon the one that went before. God is saying: 'If you resist Me on that, very well, have some more!', and you notice that in the tenth judgment He has gone far beyond all the ten powers in Egypt. "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (1 Corinthians 15:26). That is the full and final power against God, but the "power of His resurrection" is "the exceeding greatness of His power", and it exceeds all power in this universe.

Dear friends, have we really understood the greatness of our salvation? Have we really appreciated what it means to be a member of this new Israel? What was the great note of the Apostles as they went over the world? Men and devils killed the Prince of Life! They did the last thing that they could do, extended themselves to the last act of their power. There was nothing more that they could do, but the shout of the Apostles everywhere is: 'God raised Him! You killed Him, but God raised Him!' This is something beyond all the power or evil spirits and men and it is a principle upon which God is constituting His new Israel. No wonder that the Apostle Paul, who had seen this, cried: 'Oh, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection! If the fellowship of His sufferings will result in that, all right!' It was an exhibition of ultimate strength, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail.

3. The emancipation of Israel was an expression of the virtue of the Blood of the Lamb.

You know Exodus 12 in which the Passover lambs are slain, but I wonder if you have recognized where the Passover lambs were slain! There was no temple, no tabernacle and no altar, so where were the lambs slain? They were slain on the threshold of every house, and the blood of the lamb was sprinkled on the two side posts and on the lintel. What have you there? A circle of blood -- a national circumcision. The nation was circumcised that night, and circumcision was the sign of the covenant, the sign that the people were God's people. They were in a covenant of blood with God, and that is a covenant of life. The Egyptians were not under that covenant. Their first-born died that night, but Israel lived and they went out through this circle of blood -- the mighty virtue of the blood of the lamb.

Well, all Christians know about that! Our Christian life begins there, with the mighty virtue of the Blood of Jesus, and it will end there. The fullness of God's new Israel, taken out of every nation and kindred and tongue! What are they singing in glory? "Worthy is the Lamb that hath been slain!" (Revelation 5:12). Oh, the mighty virtue of the Blood of the Lamb! Do you not thank the Lord for that every time you pray? I can never pray without remembering the precious Blood, for it is the way out of death into life.

4. The presence of Israel in Egypt was an expression of the menace the elect is to this world.

This battle in Egypt revealed a very wonderful thing -- what a menace the elect is to this world. The presence of Israel in Egypt was like a thorn in the side of the Egyptians, and every day poor Pharaoh was feeling that thorn in his flesh. He would say: 'There is a people in my realm who are a threat to my kingdom. I killed all their male babies and now they have become six hundred thousand men, without women and children. What am I going to do with these people? If they go on like this I will have no place left for myself, for they will take the kingdom of this world.' Have your minds leapt over into the New Testament? 'What can I do with these people? I will give them as hard a time as I can and do everything that I can to make them serve my interests.' Can you see the work of the devil in this present age? Is the prince of this world making it as hard as he can for the people of God? Is his mind set upon making them serve his interests? That is the nature of the battle, and you only have to leap right over into the wilderness with the Lord Jesus during the forty days and forty nights. The prince of this world came to Him personally and tried to get Him to compromise, to accept the kingdoms of this world on his terms. "All this will I give Thee if Thou wilt worship me." 'If You will serve my interests I will give You a prize!' And behind his words there was this: 'If You don't, woe betide You! There will be a Cross for You! And I will rally all my principalities [43/44] and powers and concentrate them upon You on that Cross.' The Lord Jesus gained the victory in that battle! The devil did his worst, but what is the verdict of the Word of God? Read it again in the letter to the Colossians: "(He) stripped off from himself the principalities and the powers and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in his cross."

Dear friends, this applies to the new Israel. It applies to us here. We, as the Lord's people in this world, are a menace to Satan, a menace and a threat to his kingdom, and he knows that unless he destroys us we are going to take the kingdom -- and, praise God, we are! "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). But what a big word: "Fear not"!

Well, there are four mighty principles. We could, of course, spend hours on every one of them, but "what seest thou?" Are you getting some light? Are you seeing that Satan will do everything in his power to keep you from breaking away from his kingdom? If you are still in spiritual bondage, do not put it down to secondary causes. Do not say: 'Well, it is because of so-and-so ... it is because of my husband ... it is because of my wife', or it might be a thousand and one other things. You go right to the root cause of it! If you are in spiritual bondage and darkness, it is the prince of this world who has put you in prison, and you will have to appeal to the victory won on Calvary by the Lord Jesus, and take your position by faith in the virtue of the Blood of Jesus.

If you are a true child of God, if you have come out of bondage, are you seeing now why the devil tries to give you such a bad time? Do you see why he will make it as hard as he can for you? The explanation is that he is afraid of you! Yes, Satan is afraid of the true Church. He is not afraid of the imitation church, of the false Israel, but he is afraid of the elect, and he does not give them an easy time.


Well, the people are out of their bondage in Egypt and are out unto the Lord. What about it? They are in a new place, a place that they have never been in before. They are not accustomed to anything in this place. They are in another world which is altogether different from the one in which they have been living. Yes, they have a real joy in being out and sing the song of redemption: "I am redeemed, O praise the Lord!"

But what kind of a world is this into which they -- and we -- have come?

We are strangers in this world! What is it that Peter is saying? "I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims ..." (1 Peter 2:11). Somehow we do not seem to belong here, and we have to learn everything all over again. Well, in Egypt we could at least see where our bread was coming from. It may not have been everything that we would like, but every time we needed food there was at least something to see. We knew that at a certain time someone would sound a trumpet and call out: 'Come to the cookhouse!' We could see things in Egypt! Things were such that we could handle them, and we did know that our meals would be provided at the right time, but what kind of a life is this? We cannot see anything here. We just do not know what is going to happen out here! We are absolutely dependent upon supernatural power. This is a most unnatural life! Well, from time to time, God works a miracle. We have a very wonderful experience of Him, and then it is as though He goes away and leaves us, and this unnatural life goes on.

Do you know what I am talking about? Is that true to the Christian life?

We have come into a new place, and in this place God has to be everything. We have to prove Him every day, and we are tested by the very place into which we have come. We say: 'We are going out with the Lord.' All right -- but do you know what that means? It is going out to the Lord, and to the Lord only. Out in this new place we seem to be suspended between heaven and earth. What is the meaning of this new place? Well, all our natural abilities and facilities are useless. I have more than once flown over that wilderness in the days of flying boats which did not go very high, and from six thousand feet I could see everything in the wilderness; and I came to one conclusion: it would be a hopeless thing to bring a plough into that, or to sow corn in that! That would soon break any farmer's heart! Fancy living in that for forty years! Only God Almighty could keep you alive in that! So it was for these people -- but what did this new place mean?


First of all, it was the place where their motives were tested. What is the motive that has brought you to this place? Did you come out to the Lord in your own interests, or for the Lord? If your motive was a 'self' motive, you are going to die [44/45] out here, but if it really was for the Lord, only He will carry you through this.


The second thing about the new place was that it was the probation for a life of the power of the Holy Spirit. The book of Joshua is the book of the power of the Holy Spirit, and shows that you will never come into that power if you have selfish, personal motives. Your spiritual circumcision is going to be tested here: Is it all of the Lord, or is there something of myself?

In the New Testament there are two books which are set right in this new place, and in them you have Christians between Egypt and the land; and it is all a question of motive.

In the first letter to the Corinthians the Christians are with Israel in the wilderness. Their motives are being tested, and in chapter ten Israel's failure in the wilderness is used as a warning to Christians.

Then there is the letter to the Hebrews. There was a time when Israel in the wilderness said: 'Let us go back into Egypt! Things are too difficult for us this way.' Stephen said in Acts 7: "(They) turned back in their hearts unto Egypt". You see, their hearts were not truly circumcised. In the letter to the Hebrews, those Hebrew Christians who were having a difficult time, were inclined to go back, and Israel's example is taken as a very solemn warning, and the writer says: "They (Israel) were not able to enter in because of unbelief" (Hebrews 3:19). But the word in the letter to the Hebrews again and again is: "Let us go on!" "Let us ... let us ... let us ..." "Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, that no man fall after the same example of disobedience" (4:11). This world is a great power, and that power is set against our going on to God's full purpose. First it will do all that it can to keep us from coming out to God, and then it will exercise its power to turn us back. But there is another power, what Paul calls: "the power that worketh in us" (Ephesians 3:20), and that is a secret and hidden power. You want to feel it, but you do not feel it. What is the evidence of that power? How do you know that there is a power working in you which is greater than all the power of this world? How do I know? I have sometimes thought that the devil has almost exhausted all his schemes to get me back to the old place! I say that very carefully -- but how do I know that there is a greater power? Because, after all that the devil has done, and after over sixty years of being out with the Lord, I am still going on! Not by might, not by human strength, and not because of anything in us; we are "kept by the power of God", and we know that power because today we are still out with the Lord. That is a tremendous thing, because of all that has been against.

"What seest thou?" Are you getting a little light? I hope this will explain quite a lot!

(To be continued)


We acknowledge with gratitude the following gifts received during December 1969 and up to the 28th January, 1970:

Aberdare £2; Airdrie 10s.; Ashford £2; Balwyn, Vic. £9 18s. 4d; Barendrecht, Holland £14 18s.; Basle, Switzerland £1; Birmingham 10s., 10s.; Brighton £5; Bromley £5, £12; Buckingham 12s. 6d.; Burnley 5s.; Calgary, Alberta £1, £10; Canterbury £1, £1; Chicago, Illinois £1; Chirk £1 5s.; Clitheroe £5; Constantia, South Africa £3; Cornhill-on-Tweed 10s.; Cromer £10; Deal £1; Doncaster £3; Dublin £1; Dunning £1; Dunmow £1, £2; Eastbourne £1 14s. 8d.; Edinburgh £1; Fareham £1; Felixstowe £4; Filey £2 10s.; Gaoua, Upper Volta £2; Gateshead £5; Glasgow £1, £3, £1, £25, £20; Greenville, Tenn. £1; Greystones £5; Grimsby £1; Hamburg, Germany £1; Hamilton, New Zealand £1; Harrogate £1 17s.; Hastings £5; Hatch End £10; Herrenberg, Germany £2; Hornchurch 10s.; Hove £1, £1; Hull £1; Inverness £2 10s.; Islington, Ontario £9 14s.; Kenley £1; Kings Lynn £5; Llandrindod Wells £1, 12s.; London N.14 £3 10s., £2; S.E.12 10s.; S.E.13 £1; S.E.15 12s. 6d.; S.E.22 £1; S.E.23 £5, 6s., 10s., £1, 10s., £5, £1; S.W.1 £1; S.W.11 £1; S.W.18 £4 16s.; W.1 £5; Loughton £2; Lyminge 10s. 6d.; Newcastle-upon-Tyne £5; Newport £1 11s.; Northampton £2; Norwich £3; Nottingham 15s.; Oldham £1, £7 15s. 6d.; Orlando, Fla. £2 6s.; Pretoria, South Africa £5; Princetown £3; Rayleigh £2; Reading £2; Regina, Saskatchewan £1; Richmond 14s. 4d.; Rickmansworth £2, 12s. 6d.; Romford £1; St. Lambert, [45/46] Quebec £2; Sale £1; Sandown 10s., 10s.; Singapore £10; Soest, Holland £7 18s.; South Shields 10s., £1; Stockport 10s.; Tadworth £3; Taipei, Formosa £3; Tenterden 6s. 6d.; Toronto, Ontario £1; Westbury 5s.; Westcliff-on-Sea 10s.; West Wickham £3; Whitstable 10s.; Wigan £1; Worthing £1 5s.; York £3. Total: £333 0s. 4d.

Baton Rouge, La. $5; Bergenfield, N.J. $10; Birmingham, Ala. $10, $5, $5, $5; Buenos Aires, Argentina $10; Charlotte, N.C. $6; Collingswood, N.J. $15; Decatur, Ala. $3; Englewood Cliffs, N.J. $6.50; Ephrata, Wash. $5; Hebron, Maine $25; Hollis, N.Y. $25; Los Angeles, Calif. $3, $8; Martinez, Calif. $15, $15; Minneapolis, Minn. $5; Mobile, Ala. $5; Mt. Clemens, Mich. $15; Norfolk, Va. $20; North Augusta, S.C. $40; Omaha, Nebraska $13; Philadelphia, Pa. $5, $5; Richmond, Va. $5; San Bernardino, Calif. $5; Sarasota, Fla. $10; Scottsdale, Ariz. $50; Shawnee, Kansas $23.40; Shenandoah, Va. $2; Spring City, Tenn. $5; Sun City, Calif. $10; Waltham, Mass. $5; Wellesley, Mass. $15; Youngstown, Ohio $8.40. Total: $423.30.

Calgary, Alta. $50; Montreal, Quebec $2; Woodstock, Ont. $20. Total. C$72.00.

Gümligen, Switzerland Fcs. 40; St. Gallen, Switzerland Fcs. 20; Vevey, Switzerland Fcs. 17. Total: Sw.Fcs. 77.00.

Copenhagen, Denmark DKr. 50.00.
Stavern, Norway NKr. 20.00.


The Lord willing, we are hoping to have a further conference in Switzerland this year, but in a different location. We are glad to say that we have been able to book a large hotel at Hilterfingen on Lake Thun for the period:
Monday evening, 14th September, to
Monday morning, 21st September.

This is a little shorter than the conferences have been in other years, but we hope to compensate for this by having three sessions a day instead of two.

Further details and forms of application for accommodation (available in English, French and German) can be obtained by writing to:
The Conference Secretary,
Witness and Testimony Literature Trust,
39, Honor Oak Road,
London, S.E.23, England.

The Christian Fellowship Centre,
39 Honor Oak Road, London, S.E.32,
"Good Friday", 27th March, 1970,
at 11 a.m., 3.30 and 6.30 p.m.


A message entitled, THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE CROSS, THE CHURCH, AND THE COMING AGAIN OF THE LORD JESUS, by T. Austin-Sparks, is being printed in booklet form (size: 8-1/4" x 3-7/8") with an attractive art design on the cover.

Supplies of this booklet will be ready during March and orders for it may be placed immediately. Price: 2/- ($0.40) per copy, plus postage of 4d. (5 cents) on one copy. [46/47]


The books and booklets listed below can all be ordered by post from the addresses given at the end of the list. More detailed information about the literature is available on application to the Witness and Testimony office in London.

By T. Austin-Sparks    
   Vol. 1 ALL THINGS IN CHRIST   8/6 ($1.80)
   Vol. 2 (Cloth boards) 7/6 ($1.60)
  (Art paper covers) 6/- ($1.28)
WHAT IS MAN?   7/6 ($1.60)
  Vol. 2 5/- ($1.07)
WE BEHELD HIS GLORY (Vol. 1) (Cloth boards) 6/6 ($1.39)
  (Art paper covers) 5/- ($1.07)
WE BEHELD HIS GLORY (Vol. 2) (Cloth boards) 4/6 ($0.96)
  (Art paper covers) 3/6 ($0.75)
OUR WARFARE   4/6 ($0.96)
   CHRISTIAN LIFE   4/6 ($0.96)
   THE FINAL CRITERION   4/- ($0.85)
   TESTIMONY IN FULLNESS   3/9 ($0.80)
THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST   3/9 ($0.80)
   (Some Considerations on the Prayer-Life)   3/6 ($0.75)
   THE LORD JESUS CHRIST   2/9 ($0.58)
IN CHRIST   2/- ($0.42)
HIS GREAT LOVE   1/6 ($0.32)
UNION WITH CHRIST   1/6 ($0.32)
   (Incorporating Union with Christ in Consecration,    
   The Ministry of Elijah and Stewardship)    
CHRIST -- ALL, AND IN ALL   8d ($0.15)
"I WILL OVERTURN"   6d ($0.10)
THE SUPREME VOCATION 6d each ($0.10)
  or 5/- per dozen ($1.00)
A GOOD WARFARE 6d each ($0.10)
  or 5/- per dozen ($1.00)
WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN? 6d each ($0.10)
  or 5/- per dozen ($1.00)
6d ($0.10)
2d ($0.04)
CHRIST OUR LIFE   Free of charge
By H. Foster (Booklet)    
2d ($0.04)
By Various Authors    
   (Each volume contains a number of separate messages )

THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY Vol. 1 3/- ($0.64)

Vol. 2 3/3 ($0.69)

Vol. 3 3/6 ($0.75)
   The three volumes, when ordered together:   9/- ($1.92)
For Boys and Girls    
By G. Paterson    
   (170-page cloth-bound book. Illustrated)   5/- ($1.07)
By H. Foster    
   (All with illustrated art paper covers)    
READY FOR THE KING (48 pp. Illus.)   1/6 ($0.32)
ON WINGS OF FAITH (52 pp. Illus.)   2/- ($0.43)
BURIED TREASURE (48 pp. Illus.)   2/- ($0.43)
OPENING IRON GATES (40 pages)   2/3 ($0.47)
Published by SURE FOUNDATION (U.S.A.)    
By DeVern Fromke    



The six issues of the magazine, bound together, to form a volume with light blue art paper cover, are available for the following years: 1956, 1959, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969. Price per volume (1 year): 5/- ($0.70).

Certain back issues of the paper are also available and will be sent to those who desire them at cost of postage only. Please indicate the date of the issue(s) required.

POSTAGE AND PACKING: For postage and packing please add the following to the total amount of the books ordered:
Orders totalling less than £1 -- please add 2d in the shilling.
Orders totalling more than £1 -- please add 2/6 in the £.
To the U.S.A.: Please add 10 cents in the dollar.

Orders for literature and requests for "A Witness and A Testimony" should be addressed to:
39 Honor Oak Road, London, S.E.23, England.
Telephone: 01-699 5216/4339

Witness and Testimony literature can also be obtained from:

M.O.R.E., Westmoreland Chapel,
P.O. Box 68505, 1505 South Westmoreland Avenue,
Indianapolis, Los Angeles,
Indiana 46268, U.S.A. California 90006, U.S.A.
Convocation Literature Sales, Evangelical Literature Service,
1370 Ray Street, (Mr. Donald J. David),
Norfolk, 158 Purasawalkam High Road,
Virginia 23502, U.S.A. Madras, 7, India.


Printed in Great Britain by Billing and Sons Limited, Guildford and London [48/ibc]

[Inside back cover]


(translated from English)

By T. Austin-Sparks [By T. Austin-Sparks (continued)]
L'Alpha et l'Oméga Questions Fondamentales de la Vie Chrétienne
Béthanie Le Service de Dieu
Ce que Signifie Etre un Chrétien Son Grand Amour
Le Chandelier Tout en Or Un Témoin et un Témoignage
Les Choses de l'Esprit La Vie de l'Esprit
Christ notre Vie La Vocation Céleste
Christ -- tout, et en tous  
Le Dieu de l'Amen By H. Foster
L'Ecole de Christ L'Eglise que Dieu demande Aujourd'hui
En Contact avec le Trône La Prière de l'Eglise et l'Accroissement
Il faut qu'll Règne   Spirituel
Un Jeu de Patience La Réalité de la Maison de Dieu
La Loi de l'Esprit de Vie en Jésus-Christ  
La Maison Spirituelle de Dieu By Watchman Nee
La Place Centrale et la Suprématie du Etre Assis, Marcher, Tenir Ferme
  Seigneur Jésus-Christ Qu'en sera-t-il de cet Homme?
Quelques Principes de la Maison de Dieu La Vie Chrétienne Normale
Qu'est-ce que l'Homme?  
Qu'est-ce qu'un Chrétien?  

The above literature in French can be obtained from: Mr. J. C. Lienhard, 12 rue des Peupliers, 92 Bois-Colombes, France. Telephone: 242 93-32.

[Back cover is blank]

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