"A Candlestick of Pure
Gold: of Beaten Work" Exodus 25:31
"The Testimony of Jesus" Revelation 1:9
Previous issue | This was the last issue
|November -- December, 1971
||Vol. 49, No. 6
39, Honor Oak Road,
London, SE23 3SH.
As we go to press for this last issue in this form, we look back with
the deepest gratitude to God for all his enablement over the past
Our testimony is that help has been received from God to fulfil this
ministry (Colossians 4:7) in its various aspects and to Him be all the
glory and all the praise.
As we look forward to the future, for we feel we are moving under His
guidance as our brother Mr. Foster takes over the editorship, we do so
trusting the One who is the same yesterday, today and for ever. In
these days of such positive enemy activity we remind ourselves of the
word in Daniel: "The people that know their God shall be strong and do
With confidence then in Him we face the future and believe we shall
again prove the sufficiency of the Lord who reigneth.
Yours, by His grace, F. Austin-Sparks
26A Lower Bristol Road,
I am grateful to the Witness and Testimony Literature Trustees for this
opportunity of introducing to you the new magazine which you will
receive in January 1972.
As you have been told, it has been thought right to discontinue the use
of the title A Witness and A Testimony, so I will edit a new
bi-monthly which will be called Toward The Mark.
This will be devoted to the same spiritual aims as the paper which for
so many years you have known and appreciated, and will contain
contributions from those of us whose initials are already familiar to
you. It will also contain messages extracted from the many manuscripts
which Mr. Austin-Sparks bequeathed to us. It will continue to be sent
to you unless you write us to the contrary.
As before, the magazine will have no subscription, but will be entirely
supported by the gifts of appreciative readers, and they should be sent
to the office [109/110] at 39 Honor Oak Road. I
shall not continue to print a list of such gifts; the donors will
receive a personal acknowledgement.
Although the name of the magazine and some of its details may be
different, I have no intention of introducing new features just for the
sake of novelty. A list of Witness and Testimony literature
will still be provided. The office work, including the dispatch of the
magazine and all other literature, will continue to be carried on by
our secretary, Miss Ruth Read, from the same address: 39 Honor Oak
Road, London SE23 3SH. Please remember her in your prayers.
The editorial work will be done from my new home, 26A Lower Bristol
Road, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, and I hope that you will write to me
there if you think that I can help you in any way.
When my wife and I realized that the Lord was calling us to relinquish
our pastoral work at the Honor Oak Christian Fellowship Centre and move
away to Somerset, we had no idea of what the future would hold for us,
least of all that the Lord would call me to take up this editorial
work. We now realize, however, that our exercise and decision were all
a part of the Lord's skilful planning, and rejoice at the prospect of
continuing to serve His people in this way.
We count on your prayers.
Yours sincerely in our Lord Jesus, Harry Foster
THE REVELATION OF THE FATHER
Reading: John 16:1 - 17:26
I WANT you just to pass your eye over that prayer again -- "He said,
Father ... O Father ... I come to thee. Holy Father, keep them ... As
thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee ... Father, that which thou hast
given me ... O righteous Father."
"I manifested thy name ... I made known ... thy name", and, quite
evidently, from this chapter and from the whole of this Gospel, the
name which the Lord Jesus manifested and made known was "Father".
That may not impress us as it would have done those in His own time,
for, with the Lord Jesus, there came in a revelation of God which was
nothing less than revolutionary. Go back to the Old Testament and look
at the manifestation of God in the names and titles which are given to
Him there. They are many, wonderful, very great and very glorious, but
they are usually very remote, and put Him in a place of holy and awful
isolation. He is there the one who is unapproachable in Himself, and
whose presence always created fear, even terror. If there was anything
approximating to the coming near of God, even in those strange forms of
manifestation called the 'theophanies,' when in the first place those
visited thought it was a man and then afterwards realized it was the
Lord, the people cried out in fear and terror. And the Lord said even
to Moses, who was such an honoured, choice, faithful, devoted servant:
"Man shall not see me and live" (Exodus 33.20). When a man wrestled
with Jacob and subsequently departed, Jacob cried: "I have seen God
face to face, and my life is preserved" (Genesis 32:30). To him that
was a most wonderful thing! Of course, he had met the veiled deity --
the veiled God had come in man form -- but, even so, Jacob recognized
that it was the Lord, and the wonderful thing was that his life
remained whole in him.
When the Lord Jesus came into this world He brought an altogether
revolutionary revelation of God, and the one word which was on His lips
more than any other was 'Father' -- 'My Father', 'The Father'.
This seventeenth chapter of John's Gospel is, as you can see, the
culmination and summation of all that has gone before of the life of
the Lord Jesus and the manifestation of the Son of God with all His
works and words. The end has come, for you will notice that the next
chapter begins: "When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with
his disciples over the brook Kidron, where there was a garden." Then
the final scenes of his earthly life were enacted and the cross
followed. So this prayer is the gathering up of everything by Jesus. He
is gathering up the very purpose for which He came into this world, the
meaning of all His teaching and His works, the meaning of His having
been here in this world, and He is putting it into one marvellous word,
or name: 'Father.' He is saying: 'I have done what I came for. I came
to manifest Thy name.' Note the way in which He puts it. He did
not come to give people a doctrine, a truth or a teaching about the
Fatherhood of God, as a theme or subject. He said. 'I manifested', or,
for [110/111] our purpose you could use the
word: I demonstrated'. There is all the difference between a lecturer
and a demonstrator! To 'manifest' is very practical; it is more than
words or teaching, for it is showing in a living way the thing that you
are desiring to have grasped and understood.
And so this matter of the Father God was manifested in a Person. The
Person Himself was the manifestation. When you look at Him, listen to
Him, watch Him, there is one deduction that you can draw, should and
must draw: 'That is just what God is like.'
Whether it be with the little children, and His hands of blessing upon
them, drawing them to Himself; or any of the many things that He did in
healings, in comfortings, in restorings; or in any of the wonderful
things that He said in parables, our conclusion should be: 'That is
what God is like!' It is an expression of God as Father, and the Lord
Jesus Himself is the manifestation of the Father.
Now, open that out and go right back to the beginning of history as the
Bible gives it to us, and this conception is inherent in the very
beginning. What was the conception with which the Bible opened, when
God had completed His creative activities and got His man and the man's
wife? It was a family. The family conception was there right at
the very beginning, and in God's mind it was to be a family of His own
children. He wanted a family of children 'after His own image and
likeness', like Himself, and His heart was set upon this. There, at the
beginning, He says: "Be fruitful, and multiply" (Genesis 1:22), and
behind that is God's intention to have a family.
Do you notice that in the second phase of the Bible, that which we call
the Patriarchs, it is the family which is the dominant, characteristic
feature? 'Patriarch' is a Bible word, as you know, but do you know what
it means? It just means 'the head of the family'. Perhaps you have not
thought of that when considering Noah, Moses and Abraham and calling
them by this high-sounding name 'the Patriarchs'! But right through
that long and very rich phase of the development of history in the
Bible there lies, deeply embedded, this idea of the family. And in the
patriarchal families it was not only the father who was the head of the
household. The eldest son was also the priest of the family, in union
with the father. Fathers and sons were the divine idea, and if you like
to make it singular you can, for you are looking right ahead to John 17!
And when you move still further on in Bible history and come to that
section of the Old Testament which has to do with the kings, the
monarchy, have you been impressed with the fact that, when that phase
reaches its highest point in David and Solomon, the very conception and
idea of monarchy, of government, of dominion, of reign, of a kingdom,
lies with the father and son, David and Solomon? That was the peak of
the monarchy. And if you look both into the Old Testament account and
into the New Testament references to it, you will find that those words
spoken by the Lord to David about his son, Solomon: "I will be his
father, and he shall be my son" (2 Samuel 7:14), are taken up in the
letter to the Hebrews and applied to the Lord Jesus. So God was looking
through David and through Solomon -- not
just at them -- to His own eternal thought of the family.
You come to the next and final section of the Old Testament, the
Prophets. And what is the cry of the Prophets? For in this section
there is a cry, a sob, a groan, an anguish, a travail, and, for the
most part, that is the spirit of the Prophets. They are burdened, men
with a burden, a cry, a heartache, men who are expressing a travail.
Listen again to Isaiah 53!
But what is it all about? God has lost His family! The family of Israel
has been broken up and disintegrated. It has gone away from God and
from His house. God is deprived of that thing for which He first of all
created men, and then inculcated into the whole of His dealings with
them. In the Prophets God is seen to be in a state of disappointment
and sorrow. Listen to Hosea, for instance. There is a cry of deep
anguish in that prophet's heart, and it all focuses upon this family
Well, that has covered a lot of history, and there is more in it than
that, but that is enough to show what was in God's heart, what His
heart had been set upon, what He had hidden, in a way, in His dealings
with men and in His constitution of things. This was a hidden desire
and purpose in the heart of God.
Then the Son of God comes. Now you go through your New Testament and
tabulate the number of times 'Father' and 'Son' occur in connection
with God and the Lord Jesus. And then go on to the next step and
tabulate the number of times that the Lord's people are referred to as
His children, His sons, or as in a family relationship to Himself --
'begotten of God', 'born of God', and so on. It is very full and rich.
We have only to mention it for a great deal just to come back to us and
break upon us!
We said that the Son of God came from the Father: "I came forth from
the Father" (John 16:27). And why? For one thing, to take up all that
history from the creation, through the Patriarchs, [111/112]
through the monarchy, through the prophets, and gather to Himself the
realization of this thing for His Father, in order to satisfy His
Father. Dear friends, if you want to know what the Lord Jesus meant,
and what it means where we are concerned when He said: "I came to do
Thy will", it is this about which we are talking. The will of God is
the family of God in which He is truly Father God, and His Son is truly
the Son, the eldest Son, "The firstborn among many
brethren" (Romans 8:29). Do you pray to know the will of God? Do you
ask to know what God's will is? Well, of course, you may apply that to
all sorts of things, but you must remember that the will of God is very
comprehensive and specific, and is just this that we are talking about.
The Son came, not only to speak of the Father, but to manifest the
Father, so that He could say: "He that hath seen me hath seen the
Father" (John 14:9). 'There is no further need for you to say "Shew us
the Father"' (John 14:8). "I manifested thy name ... I kept them in thy
name." And, as we have seen, in this chapter alone He calls Him
'Father' six times -- "O righteous Father ... Holy Father."
The Lord Jesus has come to give in His own Person the revelation of God
as Father, and to redeem unto God His family. Those wonderful words in
the early part of the Letter to the Hebrews: "He is not ashamed to call
them brethren ... I and the children which God hath given me ...
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling" (Hebrews
2:11, 13; 3.1) are the fruit of His redeeming activity.
Dear friends, it is a good thing to be redeemed, to have what
redemption means in the sense of sins forgiven, deliverance from
bondage, security unto eternal life, and all those blessings. But do we
sufficiently recognize that it is a family He has come to
redeem, and that we are redeemed as a family? We may be redeemed
individually, but God's thought, and Christ's thought, was to redeem a
What is a family? Now, if you friends have a family, how happy and
pleased would you be if every one of your children was a unit in
himself or herself, living an independent life without any concern or
consideration or interest in any other member of the family? Just so
many isolated units in one place could not be called a home! Would you
be happy about it if they all went off and never had any concern for
the other members, but were just individuals? Well, they might be
children of the same parents, but, if that was the situation, the
parents would feel that the real meaning of parenthood had been lost.
How God must feel about anything and everything that is other than a
family concept and a family spirit amongst His people!
We hear so much about the Church, the churches and the local
assemblies. Indeed, we can get very tired of that, for it can be so
technical. But what is God's thought in companies of His people in any
place? That they should be a representation of the family where His
Fatherhood is the dominant thing, where His Son has the place that He
ought to have, and where all are a unit. "I pray ... that they may all
be one" (John 17:20-21). How? 'As Thou, Father, and I are one.'
The Father is revealing Himself in the Son and the Son is manifesting
Himself in the Father. What perfect oneness there is between those two!
"That they may be one, even as we are one."
The prayer of the Lord Jesus, right at the end, as He went to the
Cross, was for the family. He went to the Cross to redeem the family,
that out of His death and resurrection many sons should be born.
And there are not lacking some indications that there was a very real
answer to His prayer at the beginning. You would never call those
twelve disciples a family before Calvary! I should say: 'The Lord
deliver us from families if that is one!' There was quarrelling,
envying, striving and jealousy of one another. But look afterwards:
"But Peter, standing up with the eleven " (Acts 2:14). And
there is that wonderful second chapter of Acts when they "were all
together in one place ... they had all things common ... and not one of
them said that aught of the things which he possessed was his own"
(Acts 2:1, 4:32).
Well, we have reached something of the family when the Holy Spirit
brings Christ into His place, and God is Father over all. Paul had some
conception of this. You know that in his letter to the Ephesians he
prayed to the Father "from whom every family in heaven and on earth is
So the Lord Jesus came, firstly to secure unto the Father the
satisfaction of His eternal desire, the realization of His own ambition
of heart, to redeem unto God a family; and not to leave it there, but
to bring that family to reign, to govern in the eternal kingdom. It is
to be the governmental family of the ages to come. The means by which
He is going to govern this world in the coming ages is by this family
elevated to His throne. The far greater and more glorious counterpart
of David and Solomon is the Father and Son. And then, to use another
phrase from the Letter to the Hebrews, "many sons" whom He has brought
We cannot just say these things without reminding [112/113]
ourselves that the realization of this, both on the part of the Lord
Jesus and on our part, if the Father is to find His satisfaction, is a
costly thing. It is by way of travail. There is no family without
travail. God has put it in the very constitution of this creation that
the family is by way of travail, of suffering. In a word, someone has
to be prepared to lay down their life for the family, and the Lord
Jesus did it. And, dear friends, we are not going to have anything like
this amongst the Lord's people unless we are prepared to suffer for it,
to lay down our lives for it, to set aside all our own personal
interests for it, really to put up with a lot, that we might bring to
the Father that upon which His heart is so much set. It is the way of
travail, of sacrifice, of suffering. For this His Body was broken, that
we might share that Body as one family. For this His Blood was shed,
that we might, in drinking His blood -- in other words, His outpoured
life -- share as a family that one life.
So we come back and close where we began, with His prayer. What a cry
it is! What an appeal it is! Shall we say: what an agony it is!
'Father, the world has not known, but these have known ... Father, as
Thou and I are one ... that they may be one.'
Have you been all the time poised and adjusted, asking: 'Is the Lord
saying something to me? Somewhere, somehow, I have violated this family
spirit, family disposition, and grieved the Spirit of God, who is the
Spirit of the family.' Is there something that He is saying to you and
to me? How does this apply to us? Is it just a lovely Bible theme? God
forbid! It was a prayer with Him, so let us make it a prayer, and a
prayer that will have a very practical aspect, for sometimes we can go
a long way towards answering our own prayers. And this matter is not all
to be left with the Lord. He has done His part! - T. A-S.
"LOOSE HIM, AND LET HIM GO"
Reading: John 11:38-44
IT is that last verse that we shall be considering especially:
"He that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with
graveclothes; and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith
unto them, Loose him and let him go."
I would just like to place alongside of that a fragment from the tenth
"I came that they may have life, and may have it
abundantly" (John 10:10).
We have said more than once that we are here in the presence of God
manifested in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, His Son, and,
being in the presence of God, we are being made aware of God's mind
concerning man. What Jesus says is the expression of the mind of God
THE FULLNESS OF THE GOSPEL BY JOHN
I think that you have learned that what is written in this whole Gospel
by John is more than an earthly story, or a collection of sayings and
doings on the part of Jesus Christ. There is in every one of those
sayings and doings, and in every part of the story, a setting forth in
one way or another of some eternal and unfathomable truth because it
comes from God. God is unfathomable, unsearchable, incomprehensible,
profound beyond our understanding. He has a depth and a fullness never,
never to be exhausted, either in time or in eternity, and anything that
emanates from God in word or deed carries with it that significance. It
is not just human language. These are not just the words and works of a
man. Every fragment contains the profound depth of God, and this
chapter, which is marked out in the organization of the matter for our
convenience as chapter eleven, is a wonderful example of what we have
just said. Every bit of it goes far beyond the thing that is said or
done. It is so comprehensive, so far-reaching, so full of depth and
meaning. I have been reading the Gospel by John, and, of course, this
chapter, for over sixty years, and I have spoken on it many times, but
I am still in the presence of that which is far beyond me. I am not
just giving you something that has been said before. The whole Gospel
is always divulging that which we have not seen or known
before. Now that does not mean that you have never seen what I am going
to say at this time, but what I am saying is that there is a fullness
here, and that, whatever and however much you have seen, there is more
yet that God means in the fragments of this chapter.
We are always wrestling with our limitations both to understand and
grasp, and certainly to utter what is herein contained. Some of us are
very poor [113/114] at this business, and we
know it. A little grandson of mine heard I was going to America and he
asked his mother: 'What is Grandpa going to America for?' She said:
'Well, to preach.' He said: 'To preach? He is not very good at that, is
he?' And Grandpa fully agrees! So now you know what you have to put up
with! Well, that is just how we feel when we come into the presence of
the divine stature of God's words.
I think you all realize something of the vastness of this chapter, but
I trust that we shall yet see a little more, though by no means the
fullness of what is in the passage which we have just read, and
especially the fragment in verse 44.
THE ASPECTS OF THE GOSPEL BY JOHN
Now, before we come to that, let me just say this word that is
necessary, I think, and leads up to it. We must recognize the aspects
of this Gospel. First of all, it is a backward aspect. That is, John
wrote this Gospel long years after all that is in it was completed. The
whole thing was finished, as to the actuality of the content of this
record, and the Lord Jesus had left this earth. All that is here lay in
the past when John wrote it. It was something completed as to history.
John was writing it from that standpoint, with the backward aspect. But
you will notice that the Gospel itself is written on the forward
aspect. That is, it was all written in the light of the day that was to
come. Jesus is here saying repeatedly: "In that day ... in that day ...
when ... when ..." and that relates to the day of the advent of the
Holy Spirit. "When He is come ... in that day." This Gospel was written
for a coming day, and we are living in that day, that is, in the
dispensation of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was making it perfectly clear
that what He was saying and doing in the flesh related to that day
which was yet to be, the day when the Holy Spirit inaugurated the
present dispensation. This Gospel, therefore, is written to us
precisely because we live in that day.
You, perhaps, are asking: 'Why is he saying this? It is simple and
obvious. We know it.' Well, do we? I have said all that in order that
we might recognize that this verse 44 belongs to us. It was written for
us. In the day in which we live, this very dispensation day, this verse
belongs to us.
One other word about that. The backward aspect of this Gospel, written
after it was all actually accomplished in history, was the objective
side, when everything was outward. All that Jesus was doing was
outward. His meanings were put into outward things, ways and means. The
day for which all that objective was done and said is the day of the
subjective, when it is taken from history without and made history
within, when it is no longer something just outside of us, but
something to be planted inside of us. That is the real meaning of the
coming of the Holy Spirit -- to lay hold of everything in the Scripture
which is there objectively and place it right within the centre of the
life of the believer, so that it becomes a part of the very inwardness
of the believer's life.
If we do not recognize these things we may miss our way in reading the
stories, and just think of them as wonderful stories of what Jesus did,
particularly this one of the raising of this man Lazarus from the dead.
It was done and recorded in order that it might become our inward
experience, a very part of our own being. That is the foundation upon
which we build what we have to say as to this whole Gospel.
CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE GOSPELS AND EPISTLES
May I add another word, which I hope will have some value to you? It is
always necessary, in the light of what we have said, and important to
take account of the correspondence between the Epistles in the New
Testament and the Gospels, because the Epistles are, after all, only
the subjective expression of the objective Gospels. How can I put that
to help you? Well, you read your Gospels. If you like, read this
chapter. There is the story, the account of what happened; all the
parts, the phases and the stages of it. That is very wonderful, but
when you come to the Epistles you are told what all that means. It is
there that you get the explanation for your own life of what is in the
Gospels. The Gospels will remain the history of two thousand years ago
until you come to see what God meant them to be in your own life, and
you find that out in the Epistles. Always read the Gospels in this
twofold way, and remember that this in the Gospels is explained
somewhere in the Epistles. Read the Epistles and you will say: 'This is
explaining what is in the Gospels.' So read your New Testament in that
way. We have to look at the Book of the Acts and the Epistles for the
real meaning of the Gospels, and before we can get the real inward
value of the Gospels.
Now we have said all that, we come to this verse in the eleventh
chapter of John: "He that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with
graveclothes; and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith
unto them, Loose him, and let him go." Do you know that you have the
vast amount of the remainder of the New Testament (after John) [114/115] that is exactly in keeping with that? It
tells you what that means for us. Here in this chapter is what it meant
for Lazarus and his sisters, but what did that mean in God's mind for
LIFE, BUT LIMITATION
First of all, it is possible for us to have life by the word of Jesus
Christ, resurrection life, divine life, that which is called eternal
life; it is possible for us to have that life by which we have been
brought from the death of our natural state into this newness of life
by the fiat of the Son of God, and yet be limited in every way while we
have it. Limited in ministry -- 'his hands bound'; limited in progress
-- 'his feet bound'; limited in understanding -- 'a napkin around his
head and over his eyes'. Those three things are three of the major
things in the teaching of the Apostles.
Let me repeat that, for it is so true, and it is true of multitudes
today. It is one of the problems in Christianity that, while through
simple response to the Word of the Lord Jesus, many have been born
again and are His people, are children of God and have divine life, it
is so possible -- and is actually so in numerous cases -- to be limited
in almost every way as to that life, and that life is so limited in
them. Here the symbolism is bound hand, bound foot and bound head. The
hands are the symbols of ministry, or fruitfulness of life, and are
there not many Christians whom believe in the Lord Jesus and have that
saving faith in Him, yet whose ministration and fruitfulness of life
are exceedingly limited, bound and tied up? Oh, how many Christians are
just tied up in this matter of real fruitfulness, real ministry -- and
when I use that word 'ministry' I am not just talking about platforms,
or Bible preaching, but the ministration of the Lord Jesus. In the next
chapter we read that Jesus came back to Bethany and they made Him a
feast. Martha served and Lazarus was one of those who sat at meat. It
would have been a poor lookout for that whole occasion if Lazarus had
been tied up in his grave clothes! But, no, he is able to share with
the others in this experience, and if you think I am trying to make
something of nothing, look again, because it was at that point that the
Jewish rulers took counsel to put Lazarus to death also, because by
reason of him many believed. That is what I meant by loosed
hands, ministry, fruitfulness: "By reason of him many of the Jews went
away, and believed on Jesus." Is it not true that multitudes of
Christians are not in that release of life where many believe because
of them? They remain isolated, tied up, bound. They are Christians, but
in the meaning of hands of fruitfulness, of service, of the
ministration of Christ, of the testimony of Jesus, they are still in
the grave clothes. And that is why Jesus said: "I came that they might
have life", but, more than that, "have it abundantly". And Lazarus had
the life, but not abundantly until he was loosed.
Now you get into the Epistles with that fragment only, and see how much
there is about the life of the believer being an effective life, a
fruitful life, and a responsible life, a life that is really producing
something. Indeed, we could say that one of the major purposes of all
the Letters that the Apostles wrote was to get these Christians (and
need I remind you again that more than ninety per cent of the New
Testament was written to Christians? That is impressive and
challenging!) who had the life to have it more abundantly, that is, to
be loosed in this matter of their newness of life.
Well, perhaps that is enough for the moment on that.
LIFE, BUT NO PROGRESS
And what is true of the meaning of the hands is true of the feet.
Lazarus was "bound hand and foot". Again, is it not true that many,
many Christians, born-again believers, are making no progress in the
spiritual life, are not going on? You meet them once, and three, six
and ten years afterwards they are just where they were when you first
met them. They have not gone on, for their feet are bound. They are not
going on, not making spiritual progress, not gaining ground, not
overtaking the course, not -- to use Paul's phrase -- "attaining". They
are in a state of spiritual stagnation, spiritual arrest. Their feet
are bound, and that is not God's idea. Jesus, God incarnate said:
'Loose him, and let him go. Release those feet that he may walk, that
he may run in the way of My commandments.' That is God's idea for us.
That is not only a statement of truth, but a challenge as to where we
LIFE, BUT NO SPIRITUAL SIGHT
What about this head, wrapped in a napkin about the eyes and about the
mouth? We mention the eyes in particular for our purpose at the moment.
Again, is it not true that there are many who are the Lord's people but
who are not really seeing more and more, and ever more of what He has
for them and through them? Many Christians see no further than their
hand before their eyes. It is a little world in which they live, a very
short [115/116] horizon of spiritual perception
and understanding, apprehension and spiritual knowledge. Their heads
are wrapped around and their eyes are covered over. They have life, but
that is all.
Having said these things, in order to indicate what we mean by the
great fullness that there is here, even in a verse, let us look at it
THE GRAVE TOUCH
Lazarus came forth and he had life, but at that moment when he came
forth he was still in contact with the grave. There was still that
about him which spoke of that sepulchre, and the limitations of that
sepulchre. Again, what are these limitations? Well, we come over to the
Epistles. I am not going right through them all, but I will give you
just enough to indicate what is meant.
LOOSING FROM THE NATURAL LIFE
If you turn to the first Letter to the Corinthians, and have any
knowledge of what is in that Letter, you will know what we mean by the
grave touch still upon born-again Christians. Paul opens that Letter by
addressing the Corinthians as "saints", which means those who are the
Lord's, but as he writes on and on an awful situation is unfolded, is
it not? They have life, but you cannot say that they have it
abundantly. The grave clothes are on them, that is, the grave touch is
still there, and in the first Letter to the Corinthians it is the grave
touch of the limitations of the natural life. They are Christians, yes,
but they are bound and limited by the ties of the natural life. That is
the word which the Apostle uses specifically: "The natural man
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God ... and he cannot know
them" (1 Corinthians 2:14). That is limitation, is it not? You proceed
into the Letter and you find that these people are behaving as worldly
people behave. In their behaviour, their conduct, their procedure, they
go on just exactly as do worldly people. Someone has done a wrong to
another believer, and apparently that happened in more than one case at
Corinth, and the result was that this believer against whom the wrong
was done thought this was criminal and should be set right in the court
of law in the world. So he hauled his fellow-believer before the judge
in the worldly court to get his rights. That is exactly what the world
does, and that is an instance of a whole handful of things that were
going on at Corinth. Some were worse than that. 'There are divisions
among you, and when there are divisions among you are ye not carnal?'
Not spiritual, but carnal.
Well, gather up the whole of that Letter and it is a terrible story of
those who are the Lord's and who have the life just behaving as other
people do, living in the way that the world does. You find the women
behaving as worldly women did in their dress, in their demeanour, in
their behaviour, and even in the assembly. I do not want to pick out
the women particularly, but I am indicating that there is the spirit of
the world amongst believers in Corinth, and (read the Letter again in
the light of this) that is keeping them still in this bondage, in this
limitation of their spiritual life. It is grave clothes, and you are
not surprised that at Corinth the world is not feeling the impact of
their testimony, that the church at Corinth is not counting in the
world, because the world has got into the church, and into its members
individually. In this sense the grave clothes are still on them, by
reason of the limitations which come upon the spiritual life when the
natural takes charge and governs, controls and directs. It is terrible
spiritual limitation. There is life, yes, but not 'life abundantly'. Do
you see what I mean? Their testimony is bound. There is still something
of the grave, and that Letter to the Corinthians was written in the
same spirit and with the same idea, intention and object as the Lord
had when He said: "Loose him and let him go." Paul is striving to get
these Corinthians loosed as Christians loosed, liberated, set free into
the fullness of the life which they had.
LOOSING FROM TRADITION AND LEGALISM
We pass from Corinthians into Galatians, and no one who knows that
Letter will dispute the statement that here you are in touch with the
grave very truly. You know all that the Letter to the Galatians is
about, and you know the two prominent words- Liberty -- "Stand fast
therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not
entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Galatians 4:1 -- A.V.) --
and sonship. Not servanthood, nor slavery, but sonship; the liberty of
sons. They are the two great words of that Letter, but what are the
grave bands there in Galatia? They are the grave bands of tradition, of
legalism, and all such things. You know, dear friends, it is very easy
to get tied up with these grave clothes! The persistent peril through
the ages of Christianity is to crystallize itself into something set,
something fixed. You have some light, some revelation, something of the
immensity of truth, just a fragment of it, and it is not long before [116/117] you begin to form that into a set system and
make it the limit, saying that this is what people must believe, they
must come within this horizon, and they must behave like this. It
becomes a system again: 'You must ... you must not!', and there is no
difference between that and the Old Testament 'Thou shalt ... thou
shalt not!' Christianity has fallen into that peril, and is continually
doing it, circumscribing the great revelation, making Christ smaller
than He is, crystallizing truth into something fixed and set: 'This is
how ...', and the meaning of that is: 'This is the ultimate.'
Now you notice that when the Spirit did come, as we have the record in
the Book of the Acts, the one thing that these old Jewish disciples
experienced was a marvellous emancipation from that bondage of Judaism;
and how the Holy Spirit was working all along against any fixed
barriers! Peter will argue that he is a Jew, born, bred and
died-in-the-wool, and that never has anything unclean entered his
mouth, according to Leviticus chapter 11. All right, Peter. You are
just putting your interpretation upon the Scriptures, and you are
putting your limits upon what Christ has done by His Cross, and so he
is told: "What God hath cleansed make not thou common" (Acts 10:15).
The Holy Spirit reacted to Peter's traditionalism, legalism, limitation
and bondage, and made him go and do what he would never have done
otherwise. Again and again, right to his death, the words of the Lord
Jesus to him, in the last chapter of this Gospel, were made good: "When
thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou
wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy
hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou
wouldest not" (John 21:18). That principle was being applied over
Cornelius and his house, and Caesarea and the Gentiles. He was made to
go whither he would not. He was saying: 'No, Lord', and the Lord was
saying: 'Yes, Peter'. "Whither thou wouldest not" is heaven's reaction
to this legalistic limitation, these grave clothes on an Apostle. And
that was not the only battle that Peter had, but we will not stay with
Then John says that when the Lord Jesus said those words to Peter He
was signifying "by what manner of death he should glorify God".
Years afterwards Peter wrote: "Knowing that the putting off of my
tabernacle cometh swiftly, even as our Lord Jesus Christ signified unto
me" (2 Peter 1:14). We do not know the manner of his death, but
tradition says that Peter was crucified. Only Jews could be crucified
by Gentiles, for Gentiles dared not crucify one of their own. So Peter
went that way, but because Paul had Roman citizenship they could not
crucify him, so they beheaded him. Peter was selected for the same kind
of death as His Lord's, and he knew it for he said: "As our Lord Jesus
Christ signified unto me." He was girded by another and carried the way
he would not choose to go, but the way of the Spirit is the way that
goes against our limitations, our grave clothes, and takes us along
ways of which we would never have thought. Indeed, our theology would
not accept that way, our doctrine might be against it, our tradition
would forbid it, but the Holy Spirit says: 'This is the way. Loose him,
and let him go.' That is Galatians, is it not? I said that we need the
Epistles to explain the Gospels, and just one verse in the Gospel by
John contains all this!
LOOSING UNTO FULL SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE
I close with one other thing. Look into the Letter to the Ephesians,
and you, having come through the loosing of the hands in Corinth, and
the loosing of the feet in Galatia to walk in the Spirit and stand fast
in liberty, now move to the head. In Ephesians Paul takes the napkin
from the head and does it thoroughly. Ephesians has to do with the
napkin around the head. What do we mean? Well, Paul hardly begins that
Letter before he says: 'I bow my knees unto the Father of glory, that
He would grant unto you Ephesian Christians that you should have the
whole counsel of God given to you, to grant unto you a spirit
of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, Christ, that the eyes
of your heart be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His
calling, the riches of His inheritance in the saints, the exceeding
greatness of His power to usward who believe.' 'That you may know
... the eyes of your heart being enlightened' -- there is the napkin
off the head! This Letter to the Ephesians is a wonderful revelation as
to the eyes of the heart being unveiled, unbound, as to the greatness
of our calling and vocation, as to the immensity of that for which we
have been brought into union with His Son. How great it is! Beyond all
our grasping, dear friends. Believe me, it is no exaggeration, and Paul
says: "that you may know ".
There is one little prefix missing in our translation which is the key
to the whole thing. The Apostle says: 'That you may know ... that you
may know', and in the New Testament we have that word given to us in
part and in whole. It is not given to us in our translation, but it is
just this: Knowing, in itself, is applied to our beginning [117/118] knowledge of the Lord. To quote John again:
"And this is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true
God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ" (John 17:3). That
is the entering into life, the receiving of divine life but when Paul
speaks here about 'knowing', he is using a compound Greek word which we
do not have in our translation. It is 'epignosis ', full
knowledge. 'You know', he says to these Ephesians, 'that in the space
of two years I ceased not to preach unto you the whole counsel of God.'
They knew, and on that initial knowledge they had come to the Lord, but
now he is praying, at the end of his life from his prison: 'that you
may come unto full knowledge.' It is more than life; it is life
abundant. It is more than seeing; it is seeing with a great range of
divine purpose and meaning for our calling and our having life.
Will you tell me that all Christians are like that? Are there not many
around whose heads there is a napkin, which obscures their spiritual
vision, limits their spiritual sight, and narrows down the range of
their comprehension of the great purpose of their calling? Real
revelation, dear friends, is not just information. It is liberation. To
see fully, and more fully, is to be released.
We have often said about this man Paul that there was nothing on earth
or in hell, or in a combination of both, that would have changed the
rabid, fanatical Pharisee into the greatest friend that ever Jesus
Christ had except light from heaven. Nothing could have done it -- but
light from heaven did it. The napkin was taken off and the man was set
free to walk up and down in the greatness of Jesus Christ.
I think we can see that that one verse in the whole of John's Gospel
contains the Bible. Is it not true that God's mind for man, God's
thought for His people, is: 'Loose him. He has got life, but loose him
and let him go!'? "I came that they may have life, and may have it
abundantly." - T. A-S.
FOR BOYS AND GIRLS
A MATTER OF IDENTITY
THE ship was called Ormara, though it is many years now since I
sailed in her, and I fear that long ago she has gone to the breaker's
yard. I had sailed on quite a number of ships before her, but there was
something different about this one. You couldn't miss it; as soon as
you arrived alongside it hit you in the eye! On the side of the ship
was painted a very, very large Union Jack.
Now all ships fly their national flag when going in and out of port, or
when they meet warships, but this one had the national flag painted
permanently on the side. There was a very good reason for this. This
ship was trading between the Middle East and Japan, which meant that
every few months she had to pass through the Formosa Straits. That is
the stretch of water between mainland China and Formosa, the
no-man's-land between Communist and Nationalist Chinese.
Warships and planes in those parts sometimes shot first and asked
questions afterwards, so, just to make sure that they knew to whom we
belonged, the flag was painted on the side for all to see.
Just after this experience I flew home for some leave. There I heard a
preacher speak about people who had little Bibles that they hid away in
their pockets. Now that is exactly the sort of Bible I had. The
preacher said that we should have a big Bible so that it was easy to
read, and people could see us carrying it to church.
The very next day I went out and bought a big black Bible. Now, it
wasn't too bad carrying a Bible in the streets of Edinburgh, for on
Sunday morning many people could be seen doing this. After a while,
though, I flew back to India to join another ship. Oh dear! No one
carried a Bible through the Bombay docks on a Sunday morning.
On that first Sunday morning as I got ready to go to church I looked at
the two Bibles. The little one to slip into my pocket and not be
noticed, or the other one which would identify me as someone different?
As I stood there wonderings the words of a hymn ran through my mind:
"I'm not ashamed to own my Lord or to defend His cause." I knew what I
had to do, so picking up the big Bible I set off down the gangway
humming the tune of the hymn.
The Custom's Officer at the bottom of the gangway gave me a searching
look, and I almost thought he was going to speak. When I returned from
church he did speak. "I see you carry a Bible. Are you a Christian?" We
soon found that we were brothers in Christ, and there began a
friendship [118/119] which went on for years
whenever he had to board my ship. His heart was cheered to find an
officer on a ship who stood for Jesus Christ.
The following day an engineer on the ship spoke to me. "I saw you go
ashore yesterday with a Bible. Did you go to church?" He told me that
he had wanted to go to church but had been frightened about what other
officers might say. From then on we were able to go to church together.
He was encouraged because he found he didn't have to stand for Jesus
"Supposing," I said to myself, "I had chosen the little Bible, and so
hidden my identity, what a loss there would have been to me and to
others." It is not only ships that need to show at all times to whom
they belong. And for me it had been so simple. Just carrying a Bible.
There is a much more important reason, too, for showing to whom you
belong. Jesus said: "Everyone therefore who shall confess me before
men, him will I also confess before my Father which is in heaven. But
whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my
Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32-33). - G. S.
Reading: Matthew 13.1-9, 11, 14-15, 19, 23, 51
YOU will probably note that one word occurs in all these varied verses
-- the word 'understanding' in its different forms. I have recently
been very much impressed with the necessity for spiritual understanding.
This parable is, I expect, as familiar to you as any of the parables of
the Lord Jesus, and you know that it has its setting in what are called
'the parables of the kingdom', that is, in our Lord's teaching
concerning the kingdom of Heaven. However, we have to see it in a
larger setting, for this book which goes by Matthew's name does make
the definitions very clear as to the differences between the Kingdom of
Heaven and the other kingdom. Indeed, this book sees this contrast
being drawn, pressed and forced to the point of ultimate destiny. There
were the two kingdoms: that kingdom in which the Jews were naturally,
and the Kingdom of Heaven to which the Lord Jesus was calling men and
women. Through this book you find those two kingdoms in very strong
contrast and opposition, so that the Jewish rulers, teachers and
leaders are found to be increasingly antagonistic to the Kingdom of
Heaven until the issue is pressed at last in the crucifixion of the
Lord Jesus, that issue being the destinies which are here in view and
involved, the destiny of those in the Kingdom of Heaven and the destiny
of all others who are not in that Kingdom.
The Lord Jesus, in His teaching concerning the Kingdom of Heaven, is
working on a selective line, for He is drawing out from the other
kingdom a people for the Kingdom of Heaven, those who will enter and be
born into that Kingdom. He speaks on the one side of "an evil and
adulterous generation" (Matthew 12:39), which is the other kingdom, and
then, on the other side, He speaks of "the sons of the kingdom"
(Matthew 13.38), and that is so different.
Now right in that setting stands this most familiar of all parables,
that which we call 'The Parable of the Sower'.
It is tremendously impressive that the Lord Jesus makes this whole
issue turn upon one thing. This immense issue of the two kingdoms, the
two destinies, the two courses, the two kinds of people, turns upon
this one thing of spiritual understanding. It is worth looking again at
these verses which we have read:
"By hearing ye shall hear, and shall in no wise understand ...
Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their
ears, and understand with their heart ... When anyone heareth
the word of the kingdom and understandeth it not, then cometh the evil
one ... And he that was sown upon the good ground, this is he that
heareth the word, and understandeth it ... Have ye understood
all these things?"
Before we can go further, we must see that there are three realms to be
recognized as realms of relationship between us and God.
First, there is the realm of the unsearchableness and inscrutability of
God and His ways. He cannot be understood, He is past finding out, and
altogether defeats the last attempts of the wisest of this world to
explain Him. That is a true realm recognized in the Scriptures.
Then there is another realm in which we are [119/120]
called upon to obey and go on with the Lord in blind faith, and without
any explanations from Him. Sometimes, we would say, He will not
explain Himself. He just calls on us to go on believing Him without any
kind of understanding or explanation. We know we have to go on, but
that is all we do know. We do not know why we must take a certain
course beyond that the Lord has said that we must. We have to wait.
That is another realm that is clearly recognized in the word of God.
But there is a third realm -- and these are not contradictory -- and
that is the realm of education and instruction unto spiritual
intelligence, and understanding, and the Word of God makes a lot of
When this struck me as I was reading this parable, I was led off, and
finally turned up my concordance. I was greatly impressed with the
place that this word 'understanding' has! It occupies several columns,
going right through the Bible, and there are many different
connections. There is far too much for us even to glance at now, but
how important and valuable understanding is! What a lot really does
hang upon spiritual understanding and intelligence! How essential it is
for the Lord's people, in a day of crisis and perplexity, difficulty
and confusion, to have somewhere, by some means, spiritual
understanding! It was a great thing in Israel's history that the men of
Issachar had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to
do" (1 Chronicles 12:32). I am sure that strikes a chord in us! Oh,
that there was such a capacity, such a faculty and such a ministry
amongst us in these days of confusion and perplexity -- that there were
those who had "understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to
do"! It is saving in such times if there is that gift!
Think of those men on the Emmaus road. What a position and a state they
were in! Their world had collapsed and everything had gone -- until He
opened their eyes and they understood the scriptures. A new world was
recovered instantly, and a new hope and prospect were saved by
Oh, the tremendous value and importance of spiritual understanding!
However, let us be quite clear as to what it is and what it is not.
Of course, it is not worldly wisdom and acute, natural, intellectual
acumen. In this Gospel by Matthew the people who are most in evidence
are the teachers and rulers of Israel, the scribes and Pharisees, the
people who knew it all and gave the interpretation and explanation of
everything. They are in the forefront of the scene on the stage here,
but later Paul said about them that theirs was the wisdom of men, not
the wisdom of God, "which none of the rulers of this world knoweth: for
had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory" (1
Corinthians 2:8). It was the wisdom of this world that crucified the
Son of God. So spiritual understanding is not that!
It is not that we have a great and wonderful religious tradition with
all the oracles handed down to us, and we stand possessed of the great
inheritance of religion. That is not spiritual understanding! It is
quite evident that you can have all that and still go wrong. There was
a man in the New Testament who said that he had everything along that
line, and yet he was the most vehement antagonist of Jesus of Nazareth
and all who were of that way. He pursued them unto distant cities,
haled men and women to prison -- yet he was a man with the largest
tradition. So spiritual understanding is not that!
Further, it is not a wealth of truth and Christian teaching. Again, it
is possible to have that and not have spiritual understanding.
What is it, then? To begin with, it is the combination of two things.
First of all, it is the result of the direct action of the Spirit of
God upon the spirit of man. By nature our spirit is in death, and the
Spirit of God acts to raise it from the dead and bring it into life.
And it is our spirit which is the organ of spiritual understanding. If
we are normal we have a natural understanding, but by nature we do not
possess this faculty, this organ of spiritual understanding. It is
dead, or dormant, until the Spirit of God acts upon it, and than we are
aware that we have a new faculty -- a faculty of discrimination. We
know from that moment, without being told anything about it, what we
should do and what we should not do, what is right and what is wrong.
It is a new faculty, but that faculty is indwelt and actuated by the
Spirit of God, and is not acting independently. "The Spirit himself
beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God" (Romans
Therefore the combination of these two things, the resurrection into
life of our own spirit and becoming indwelt by the spirit of God,
constitutes the organ and function of spiritual understanding. It
begins in simple ways, but education in the Christian life proceeds
upon that basis, and that alone.
There is a link formed by this action of the Holy Spirit between
knowledge and conscience. Note that, for it is a very important thing.
There is a link between knowledge and conscience, which is a new
conscience or consciousness. That explains the tragedy of many
Christian lives. They have a lot of knowledge [120/121]
without any conscience about it. It is not a knowledge which produces a
consciousness of life, and so there is inconsistency and contradiction.
They know the teaching, the doctrine, the truth and what the Word of
God says, but there is no deep exercise in their hearts that gives
them, on the one side, a bad time for any inconsistency and, on the
other side, great joy in realizing that they are being well-pleasing
unto the Lord. This link, you see, is 'what is meant by spiritual
understanding. 'I know that that is mere knowledge,
information, or truth, but I understand when the thing affects
me, when it touches my life, and when it brings me up short on
matters.' That is spiritual understanding.
You see, in this chapter all those people received the Word. They
received the ministry of the sower and the seed, but with three parts
of them it came to nothing in the end. They had the word, they had the
sower as much as anyone, and they had Christ. He was present, and they
had the word of the Lord. All the potentialities of the Lord's
presence, His work and His Word were with them and were there for
everyone. It was not that He gave more lavishly to some than to others.
They all had the same possibilities, but only a fourth part showed
anything for it, and the Lord said: 'There is one reason only. The
three classes failed in the end because they had no spiritual
understanding. They had the word, the Lord and everything, but they
might just as well have never had them for all the value that accrued.
The one class showed a return, greater measures, because they had
spiritual understanding.' What did it mean? Well, surely it just meant
that these people laid the word to heart. They discerned and recognized
something of the significance, the meaning, the importance and the
destiny that were bound up with the word.
Dear friends, these are not the words, nor is this just teaching. The
Lord Jesus was not just broadcasting ideas and saying: 'You can take it
or leave it.' There is something here that is going to affect us in
relation to the ultimate issue of the Kingdom of Heaven.
A seriousness of attitude is the beginning of understanding. It is put
like this in the Old Testament: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning
of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10). What is the fear of the Lord? It is taking
Him and His word really seriously. Anything that comes from the Lord is
of tremendous consequence, and that is the beginning of spiritual
Now look at the parable and you see what are the values of spiritual
Spiritual understanding means that that which comes from the Lord finds
a place for itself in us. There is a receptivity in the heart. In the
first scattering of the seed the birds of the air found it an easy prey
because of lack of receptivity. It just stayed on the outside, on the
surface, and did not enter in at all. And so it was stolen. Spiritual
understanding means that we draw the word in, take it in and apply
ourselves to it. There is a receptivity about us.
In the next place, spiritual understanding means an endurance of and
through what the Lord gives. The life of the seed on the rocky ground
was short, so the history of that bit of the work of God was very
short-lived. There was no real endurance. Spiritual understanding is
the basis and the means of the spiritual endurance of the work of God
in our hearts and in our lives. That is very clear and, I think, very
simple. It is so possible, as we know, to hear it all and, in a way,
know it all. Then, when the real test is applied, things begin to get
difficult, the sun rises with scorching heat, and we get into the
fires, the adversities and the suffering, all our knowledge means
nothing. All that we have heard and all that has come to us just stands
for nothing, and our spiritual history goes. I am afraid that is how it
is with many -- there is no endurance through the scorching sun and the
Then, what about this that fell among thorns? "And the thorns grew up,
and choked them." Spiritual understanding has a wonderful power to set
up in us a resistance to this world and its fires, but there was no
resistance here. The thorns sprang up and choked the seed. They were
not challenged and subdued. The Lord's explanation shows that there was
no resistance because there was no spiritual understanding, no real
Give me men and women, however simple according to the standards of
this life, who have spiritual insight, spiritual discernment, spiritual
judgment, spiritual sensitiveness and spiritual aliveness to the things
of God! There is a wonderful resistance in those lives when other
things come along with their appeal -- the thorns, the cares and the
pleasures which come along to spoil and overpower the work of God --
and this resistance is because of spiritual understanding. You meet
people like that, but you also see people driven away from the Lord by
adversity or by prosperity. When you ask yourself why that is you have
to say: 'Well, the root of the matter was evidently not in them. They
had the things, but not the meaning of them. They really did
not understand where they were and what it all meant.'
Spiritual understanding means depth, and that brings us to the fourth
class. Everything depends upon our having depth.
Oh, for more of this spiritual understanding that [121/122]
has these results! First a receptivity, which means that we embrace the
truth. Then an endurance against all adversity and temptation. Then a
resistance to everything that comes to us which is not true or right,
and finally a depth that lays hold and reproduces.
Now, spiritual understanding is shown quite clearly in the Word to be
essential to a sound beginning in the Christian life. Why is it that
such a large proportion of those who seem to make a good beginning do
not go on? They fall away and you cannot find them after a little
while. Why? Because they did not have a beginning in understanding what
all this is about, what it means, what it implies and what it involves.
It was an appeal on the outside, perhaps a very powerful one and so
they made their answer, but where are they after a little while?
Spiritual understanding, says the Lord Jesus here, is the answer to
that. Be very sure that your converts understand! Do not be satisfied
with any light and superficial spiritual catch phrases, but seek to get
them truly grounded in the Word of God and rooted in obedience to
that Word .
The unproductive soils, by their very contrast, illustrate for us the
essentials of a spirit of understanding. The opposite of the hardened
ground is the heart which is ready to receive with meekness the seed
which is sown in it. Always the Lord requires of His children that they
have a teachable spirit. Those who are self-assured and independent
give little opportunity for the Word to do its cleansing and
transforming work. So the first requisite for an understanding heart is
simple dependence and a genuine humility, with a willingness to abandon
one's own conceits in order to allow God to do His own work of
correcting and reshaping according to His will.
Then there is the stony ground, the opposite of which is surely a heart
softened and broken under the hand of God. This is not natural to any
of us, for even the weakest nature can be strong and stubborn in its
unwillingness to submit to the inward working of the Word. Even though
the experience may be painful to the flesh, it is essential that our
own strength and self-esteem should be set aside to make room for God.
Without such experiences of being broken down and opened up by the
working of the Cross it is not possible to become spiritually sensitive
to the will of God.
Finally, it is essential to be single-minded if we are really to
understand the ways of God. Whether the "thorns" be ugly or whether
they be seemingly beautiful, if they are rivals to God's speaking then
they must not be tolerated. Spiritual understanding means the ruthless
setting aside of lesser things in order to make room for God. The man
who is truly taught of God is the man who makes it his daily exercise
and delight to give absolute priority to the hearing and obeying of the
voice of God.
We need to pray that among the children of God there may be an increase
of spiritual understanding in the knowledge of Him, and we need to
remind ourselves that the essentials to such an understanding are
humility, brokenness and singleness of heart. - T. A-S.
"Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory, through
our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast,
unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye
know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians
"THANKS!" "Victory!" The Apostle has been dealing with the most
formidable enemies of human hope and confidence. It is as though he had
called out these giants, arrayed them, and dealt very effectively with
every one, immobilizing them by the Cross of Christ.
The first one to be so dealt with is the formidable colossus of
condemnation -- the law. No man could ever stand up to that vaunting
force. It had challenged every generation, and always rendered men
casualties and defeated. Indeed, in the sovereignty of God one purpose
of its existence was to expose the weakness and impotence of man in his
unregenerate state. But grace , the grace of God, in Christ
Jesus, manifested in fullness in Christ crucified and risen, has slain
the law's power of condemnation, and has risen over that prostrate form
with this exultant shout: "Thanks!" "Victory!" "Through our Lord Jesus
The strength of the law was sin and this monster son of that "Goliath"
was the next to be dealt with in this tremendous chapter.
What a force is sin! Every conceivable recourse has been made to
neutralize it: ceremonial righteousness; [122/123]
psychological justification; philosophical reasoning; fatalistic
evasion; sublimation and ideological make-believe; to say nothing of
the agonies of struggle and striving. But sin remains victor of the
field. Do what you may, and call it what you will, it scorns all
efforts to put it off. Until Christ came and He was "made unto us from
God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption"; the "Lamb of
God which taketh away the sin of the world" ... "Made sin for us (in
our stead) that we might be made the righteousness of God through faith
in him". "By his Cross he triumphed", and over that grave the
triumphant cry breaks forth: "Thanks!" "Victory!" "Through our Lord
The law, sin, and the consummation of both -- death! What an enemy!
What a power! In its own realm it is final, and hope is silent. It is
the refuge (?) of the hopeless and abandoned. And yet, it is not
numbed; it has a 'sting', and, inasmuch as it is an 'enemy', it is a
We will not enlarge upon this parent of sorrow, loneliness,
disappointment and desolation. Neither can it be dismissed by that
philosophy which says -- to man in general -- "there is no
But, says the Apostle, "death is swallowed up in victory"! "O death,
where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?" It assailed the
incorruptible Son of God, and He turned and plucked its sting from it.
He, by dying, destroyed death for ever for all who put their faith in
Him. Over death He conquered by His resurrection; for "now is Christ
risen from the dead", the trumpet has sounded -- "Thanks!" "Victory!"
"Through our Lord Jesus Christ!"
The Apostle does not stop there. He adds an inspiring, heartening word
of assurance for all who "labour" in "the work of the Lord". "Wherefore
" ... 'Be not disconcerted by condemnation, by your own consciousness
of fault or imperfection; by the persistent thrusts of the accuser; by
the shortness of tenure to finish the work; by the disappointments
which time brings. Because of this universal triumph of the One for
whom you labour, "Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding ...
inasmuch as you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."'
"Thanks be to God!" "Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" - T. A-S.
THE GLORY OF GOD
3. THE FATHER OF GLORY ... THE LORD OF GLORY ...
THE SPIRIT OF GLORY
IN pursuing the matter which has been before us, I want to call to your
remembrance three fragments of the Word:
"For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the
Lord Jesus which is among you, and which ye shew toward all the saints,
cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give
unto you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him"
"My brethren, hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons" (James 2:1).
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery
trial among you, which cometh upon you to prove you, as though a
strange thing happened unto you: but insomuch as ye are partakers of
Christ's sufferings, rejoice, that at the revelation of his glory also
ye may rejoice with exceeding joy. If ye are reproached for the name of
Christ, blessed are ye; because the Spirit of glory and the Spirit of
God resteth upon you" (1 Peter 4:12-14).
May I just remind you that we have been occupied with the truth that
the end of all God's works is glory. We have defined glory as being the
expression of God's full and final satisfaction, God giving out from
Himself His pleasure, His delight, and, like a heavenly contagion,
those who come within its range and its reach are very conscious that
He is pleased and satisfied. In one place He is called "the blessed
God" (1 Timothy 1:11), but the original says 'the happy God'. You know
that if you go into the presence of people who are really happy you are
affected and infected by their happiness. It is possible to go amongst
people who are heartily laughing, and you begin to laugh, not knowing
what you are laughing at! The atmosphere influences you. Now, if God is
happy, satisfied, well pleased and delighted, and you come within touch
of Him, you catch something from Him and feel that happiness. That is
exactly the meaning [123/124] of glory: God
being completely contented with a situation, or with a life, or with a
person, and if you should happen to be that person you just take from
Him something of His contentment and satisfaction. It is a glorious
sense of contentedness, of satisfaction, of blessedness.
So the end of everything that is really of God is that wonderful power
of His own personal pleasure. I think there is nothing in all the
universe so blessed as to have a sense that the Lord is well pleased.
It must have been a great day for Abraham, a wonderful, inexpressible
day, when God called him His friend, and for Daniel, too, when the
messenger of God said: "Oh Daniel, thou man greatly beloved". What do
you want more than that from God? That is glory, is it not? Well, God
is working toward that in all His works in the universe, in the
creation and in the redeemed.
You will have noticed from the three passages that we read that the
triune God, the three Persons of the Trinity, are personally related to
glory. First, the Father of glory; secondly, the Lord Jesus, the Lord
of glory; and thirdly, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of glory. Each
member of the Godhead takes character from this word 'glory', and each
Person of the Trinity is supremely concerned with glory. That opens up
a very large door, but I shall not go very far through that door just
now. I will just mention that you can follow through the Bible how God,
as Father, the first Person of the Trinity, is always concerned about
glory; how the Lord Jesus, the second Person in the Trinity, is always
working on the line of glory; and then how the Holy Spirit all the way
along is operating toward glory, with glory as the governing concern. I
leave that, for it is a long, long line of very blessed revelation. The
point for me just now is that the Godhead is united, is one in this
thing. The three are united concerning glory, and their interest is one
interest. As we have already said, it is their priority. So the
priority of the triune God is glory.
All I am going to do now is to say a little word about each of these
designations -- the Father of glory, the Lord of glory and the Spirit
of glory -- and may the Lord give us something in our hearts from our
THE FATHER OF GLORY
What does that mean? Well, it means that God is the source of glory,
and that glory emanates from Him. The principle of fatherhood is that
the father is the source, the beginning and the projector, so all that
really emanates from God has, as its very purpose and destiny, glory.
We are children of God, and the very object and purpose of our being
His children in His mind is that we should come to glory, that is, that
we should be brought to that position where at last -- oh, wonderful
thought! too wonderful to grasp! -- God says: 'I am perfectly satisfied
and content.' Can you imagine God saying that about you? Can you
believe that the all-mighty, eternal, perfect, holy, great God could
look down upon us and say: 'I am well pleased. Enter thou into the joy
of thy Lord, into the very satisfaction of My Father heart.'? It is too
much for us to grasp just now, is it not? But that is the meaning of
His Fatherhood. He has begotten us, brought us into being as His
children, is responsible for our coming into being as His children, has
taken responsibility for us as His children, and all with this one
object of bringing us along the line, along the way, to the end, which
is an entering into that unspeakable awareness that He has nothing
whatever against us, but is satisfied to the last possible degree.
Whatever comes out from God, whether it is children or His creation,
comes out as destined for that glory of His perfect satisfaction.
Things are like that at the end of the Bible. There is a state of
glory, a glorious condition, which means the outgoing, the emanation of
God's own perfect satisfaction. Paul puts it in this way: "Foreordained
to be conformed to the image of his Son" (Romans 9:29). What is that?
His Son! -- "My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased"
(Matthew 3.17). And we are to be conformed to that! We are to inherit
God's own attitude toward His Son, to come into that position and
condition that His Son occupies of the perfect satisfaction of the
You see, His Father-dealings with us are along that line. "My son,
regard not lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art
reproved of him; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth" (Hebrews
12:4). What is the chastening all about? "All chastening seemeth for
the present to be not joyous, but grievous; yet afterward it yieldeth
peaceable fruit unto them that have been exercised thereby, even the
fruit of righteousness" (Hebrews 12:11). What is righteousness? It is
that complete peace in the heart that God's sense of rightness is
THE LORD OF GLORY
"Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory" is what James calls Him, and
it is a wonderful thing that James, His own brother in the flesh,
should say that of Him! There was a time when James did not believe on
Him. "For even his [124/125] brethren did not
believe on him" (John 7:5), was what was said about James formerly. Of
course, we have a fairly shrewd idea of why that was. In those early
days James and the other brothers of Jesus were a bit worldly and they
had an eye to business, to success, to popular acceptance, and they
wished especially to stand well with the authorities. That is
worldliness, is it not? It is the spirit of the world to wish to stand
well with the authorities. This older Brother of theirs was taking a
course that was getting Him into trouble with the people who had it in
their power to take everything away from Him, and they belonged to His
family, which meant that they would suffer because He had taken that
line. Well, we will leave that, but I think it is a fairly true
judgment of that statement: "Even his brethren did not believe on him."
They could not accept the way that He was taking, for it was not going
to bring popularity.
Now here is this brother of His, these many years afterward, calling
Him "the Lord of glory". Something has happened! James is saying that
his own Brother is "the Lord of glory"! Once he did not believe in Him,
but now he calls Him "the Lord of glory". That is indeed a wonderful
thing! But what did he mean, and what does it mean to call Him "the
Lord of glory"?
Well, you know, if anyone is a lord, he has everything under his
control. If you should be a 'lord', then things are under your control
and in your power. You dictate how these things are going to work out.
Yes, you are lord in this situation and, indeed, in all situations.
Jesus is Lord, and as Lord of glory He is in a position of mastery.
Peter, who at one time denied Him vehemently later said: "He is Lord of
all" (Acts 10:36). A big thing has happened in Peter, too, as well as
in James. Indeed, it had happened in all of them, for they all called
Him "Lord". We know from the very context of Peter's words that he was
at that time having to recognize the absolute mastery of the Lord
Jesus. Peter was arguing a bit. It was very strange that he should have
been arguing with the Lord Jesus at that time "Not so, Lord, for I have
never eaten anything that is common and unclean", but he had to succumb
to the mastery of the Lord Jesus, and he did. Then he said: "He is Lord
of all", meaning that He was in charge both of Peter and of every
situation, and, being in charge, this situation was going to work out
to the end that He intended. So, when James says "the Lord of glory",
it means that the Lord Jesus is in charge of everything to make it work
out for glory.
You have only to read through the book of the Acts of the Apostles, as
it is called, and as you go through you see the Lord of glory holding
the situations. Yes, in phase after phase, and stage after stage. We
need only lift out one or two examples.
Peter is in prison, with his feet in the stocks and four quarternions
of soldiers to guard him, and the inner and outer doors of the prison
tightly closed. Herod has made very sure that that man is not
going to escape! This looks a somewhat difficult proposition, does it
not? I doubt whether it would have been possible for any man to have
liberated Peter that night. At any rate, all the forces of this world
are determined that he should not escape. He is the key man, the
strategic man in this new movement, so he must be kept safe. All right,
do all you can and all you wish. Take every precaution, every measure,
to make everything secure. But the Lord of glory has other ways, and so
an angel comes and smites Peter, who is asleep.
It is rather wonderful that when the Lord of glory is in charge you can
go to sleep, even in situations where you are going to be brought out
for execution tomorrow! You are in a condemned cell, and you know that
tomorrow you are going the same way as the other James and be executed,
but you just go to sleep right through the night. Well, it needs the
Lord of glory to make you do that, so that you can say: 'The Lord has
this thing in hand, so I am going to sleep.'
I remember a man who was here in the West in the wild days of long ago.
He was travelling and came to a shack, which was in a perilous place
where bears were roaming about. He was very tired after travelling all
day, but he found that he could not get into the shack. He could only
rest under the awning outside, so he lay down there. He belonged to the
Lord and before he settled down he read a Psalm: "He that keepeth
Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." He said: 'Well, Lord, it is no
use the two of us keeping awake. If You say You are keeping awake all
night, I am going to sleep!' And so he went off to sleep and had a good
night. That is trusting the Lord!
Peter went to sleep and the angel smote him, struck off his chains and
fetters, and said: 'Rise up and follow me.' They left the guards, the
cell and the chains, and went out through the first door, then through
the next, until they came to the outer gates, which opened of their own
accord, and Peter was landed out in the open. This circumstance, so
apparently adverse and impossible, was in the hands of the Lord of
glory. And what [125/126] about the glory? We
have Peter's Letters, written years afterwards, and they are wonderful
Letters, are they not? His was a wonderful life, and so much wealth has
come to us through Peter's ministry in these Letters. Yes, there was
glory, and Jesus is the Lord of glory.
One more thing from that Book of the Acts. We are in Philippi. Paul and
Silas have arrived, because the Lord has sent them there. 'They had
assayed to go into Asia, but were forbidden of the Holy Ghost, and they
assayed to go into Bithynia but the Spirit of Jesus suffered them not.'
Then, wondering what all that meant -- 'Why are we not allowed to go
this way or that?' -- Paul, in a vision, saw a man of Macedonia and
heard him say: "Come over into Macedonia, and help us." "And," said
Luke, "concluding that God had called us for to preach the gospel unto
them" (Acts 16:10), they set sail, arrived in Philippi, quite sure that
the Lord had sent them there -- and the next thing they knew was that
they were in a dungeon with their feet fast in stocks and their backs
bleeding after thorough lashing. Now what do you make of this? What are
you going to do about it? It seems an absolute contradiction, and that
a big mistake has been made. Are they saying: 'We have got into
confusion over our guidance'? No! Not a bit. In that condition they are
singing and praising God at midnight. The Lord of glory has the
situation in hand, and that is proved before the morning. There is the
earthquake, the prisoners are released, the jailer and his house saved
and baptized, and the church in Philippi established. The jailor and
his family were amongst the first members and I do not believe his
family were infants! It says: "They spake the word of the Lord unto
them", and you do not put a little innocent baby in a chair and preach
the gospel to it, or teach it the things of Christ. They were
intelligent and old enough to understand the teaching and preaching of
Paul, and to accept it, so they were all baptized as responsible
persons. They were amongst the first members of that church; and we
have that beautiful Letter from Paul's own prison, written years
afterwards, when he was in Rome. We would not sacrifice that Letter to
the Philippians for anything, would we? It is very precious. There is
the Lord of glory, you see. It is the Book of the Acts of the Holy
Spirit, the acts of the Lord of glory, for He is in charge. I wish we
could always believe that when we are in prisons, tied up, with things
all against us, and we are having a difficult time! If we could always
just say: 'The Lord is the Lord of glory. He has charge of this and the
end is going to be glory'! Well, it works out that way, even though He
has to say to us afterward: "O ye of little faith! Wherefore didst thou
doubt?" Although we, under the trial, sometimes feel that there is
nothing of glory in the situation, or in our condition, in the end He
is faithful, and we find that glory is the end of His strange ways. He
is the Lord of glory. which means that He controls everything with
glory in view.
THE SPIRIT OF GLORY
Peter calls the Holy Spirit "the Spirit of glory". Now the context is
necessary as the background of that title of the Holy Spirit. If you
read this first Letter of Peter's you will see that it is very largely
about the sufferings of the Lord's people to whom he is writing. It
says that he is writing "to the elect who are sojourners of the
Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father". Then he opens up on
this matter of the sufferings of these people: "Think it not strange
concerning the fiery trial among you, which cometh upon thou to prove
you, as though a strange thing happened unto you."
There is a lot about the sufferings of the Lord's people in this Letter
of Peter's, and when he has mentioned the sufferings there are two
things that he links with them: first grace, and then glory, grace
issuing in glory. It is very helpful to notice how Peter speaks of
grace, but, unfortunately, in our translation there are places where
the word is changed, and the word 'acceptable' is used. In chapter 2:19
and 20 we read: "For this is acceptable , if for conscience
toward God a man endureth griefs, suffering wrongfully. For what glory
is it, if, when ye sin, and are buffeted for it, ye shall take it
patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye shall take it
patiently, this is acceptable with God." But in putting this
right we have something very rich: "For this is grace, if for
conscience toward God a man endureth griefs, suffering wrongfully. For
what glory is it, if, when ye sin, and are buffeted for it, he shall
take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye shall
take it patiently, this is grace with God" (R.V. margin).
Grace, then glory. In chapter 5:10 Peter says: "And the God of all
grace, who called you unto his eternal glory in Christ, after that ye
have suffered a little while, shall himself perfect, stablish,
strengthen you." 'Through the suffering of this little while there will
be grace sufficient to make us triumphant.' Grace triumphant in
suffering, and that means glory.
We sometimes sing: [126/127]
Jesus, Thy life is mine,
Dwell evermore in me;
And let me see
That nothing can untwine
Thy life from mine.
Thy fullest gift, O Lord,
Now at Thy word I claim,
Through Thy dear name,
And touch the rapturous chord
Of praise forth-poured.
That came from the bed of an invalid! It is something, is it not? Well,
that is what Peter is talking about -- the sufferings, the fiery trial,
and then he says: 'Grace in that means glory.' The Spirit of glory.
The Lord help us! We can say these things, and I say them carefully,
guardedly, for we can be so put to the test on things that we say. The
Spirit of glory can take hold of the things which could destroy us, and
could be our undoing if we had the wrong reaction to them, and turn
them to glory. This suffering, this reaction, this trial can mean
glory. Paul said: "And by reason of the exceeding greatness of the
revelation -- wherefore, that I should not be exalted overmuch, there
was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet
me, that I should not be exalted overmuch. Concerning this thing I
besought the Lord thrice" (and when Paul sought the Lord you may take
it that he did so very thoroughly, and when he did it three times you
may be sure that Paul put himself right into it!). "And he hath said
unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my power is made perfect
in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my
weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (2 Corinthians
The Spirit of glory can take hold of our trials, and will do so, if we
trust Him, and turn the dark things, the hard things, the painful
things, into glory. That is, in those things He will lead us to find
God's pleasure, God's satisfaction, God's 'Well done!', and what more
glorious thing could we desire than that we should hear Him say: 'Well
done, good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.'?
The Father of glory, the Lord of glory and the Spirit of glory. The
Lord place this word in our hearts! - T. A-S.
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DAILY THOUGHTS ON BIBLE CHARACTERS
A New Book of Daily Readings, by Harry Foster
Published by VICTORY PRESS. Stiff cover 95p; Paperback 45p.
Obtainable at Evangelical Bookshops
Readers in the U.S.A. can obtain this book from:
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1971 BOUND VOLUME
The bound volume of the 1971 issues of A Witness and A Testimony
with light blue art paper cover will be available by the end of the
year. Price 25p ($0.70) per copy, plus postage.
THE MOTTO CARD FOR 1972
The wording of the new motto card is:
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD (Psalm 23.1)
In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength (Isaiah 30.15)
Details of prices were given in the September/October issue.
"He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
Printed in Great Britain by Billing and
Sons Limited, Guildford and London [128/ibc]
[Inside back cover]
WITNESS AND TESTIMONY LITERATURE
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
|THE STEWARDSHIP OF THE MYSTERY
| Vol. 1 ALL THINGS IN CHRIST
| Vol. 2
||(Art Paper covers)
|FOUR GREATNESSES OF DIVINE REVELATION
|WHAT IS MAN?
|THE ON-HIGH CALLING or COMPANIONS
| OF CHRIST AND OF A HEAVENLY CALLING
|DISCIPLESHIP IN THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST
|GOD'S REACTIONS TO MAN'S DEFECTIONS
|WE BEHELD HIS GLORY
| Vol. 1
||(Art Paper covers)
| Vol. 2
||(Art Paper covers)
|RIVERS OF LIVING WATER
|THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PAUL
|FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS OF THE
| CHRISTIAN LIFE
|THE CITY WHICH HATH FOUNDATIONS
|THE RECOVERING OF THE LORD'S
| TESTIMONY IN FULLNESS
|THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST
|THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF SERVICE
|THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHRIST
|IN TOUCH WITH THE THRONE
| (Some Considerations on the
|THE CENTRALITY AND SUPREMACY OF
| THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
|THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE CROSS, THE CHURCH,
| AND THE COMING AGAIN OF THE LORD
|HIS GREAT LOVE
|UNION WITH CHRIST
|THE MORE EXCELLENT MINISTRY
| (Incorporating Union with Christ
| The Ministry of Elijah and Stewardship)
|CHRIST -- ALL, AND IN ALL
|CHRIST IN HEAVEN AND CHRIST WITHIN
|"I WILL OVERTURN"
|THE SUPREME VOCATION
||or 30np per dozen
|A GOOD WARFARE
||or 30np per dozen
|WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN?
||or 30np per dozen
|THE BLOOD, THE CROSS AND THE
| NAME OF THE LORD JESUS
|THE ARM OF THE LORD
|CHRIST OUR LIFE
||Free of charge
|By H. Foster (Booklet)
|THE REALITY OF GOD'S HOUSE
|By Various Authors
| (Each volume contains a number of
separate messages )
|THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY
| The three volumes, when ordered
|For Boys and Girls
|By G. Paterson
|GOSPEL MESSAGES FROM THE ANTARCTIC
| (170-page cloth-bound book.
|By H. Foster
| (All with illustrated art paper
|READY FOR THE KING (48 pp. Illus.)
|ON WINGS OF FAITH (52 pp. Illus.)
|BURIED TREASURE (48 pp. Illus.)
|OPENING IRON GATES (40 pages)
A WITNESS AND A TESTIMONY
The six issues of the magazine, bound together, to form a volume with
light blue art paper cover, are available for the following years:
1968, 1969, 1970. Price per volume (1 year): 25np ($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 20 per cent.
Orders totalling more than £1 -- please add 10 percent.
To the U.S.A.: Please add 12 cents in the dollar.
Orders for literature and requests for "A Witness and A Testimony"
should be addressed to:
WITNESS AND TESTIMONY LITERATURE TRUST,
39 Honor Oak Road, London, S.E.23, England.
Telephone: 01-699 5216/4339
Witness and Testimony literature can also be obtained from:
|Ministry of Life,
|Box 74, Rt 2,
||1505 South Westmoreland Avenue,
|Indiana 46120, U.S.A.
||California 90006, U.S.A.
|Convocation Literature Sales,
||Evangelical Literature Service,
|1370 Ray Street,
||(Mr. Donald J. David),
||158 Purasawalkam High Road,
|Virginia 23502, U.S.A.
||Madras, 7, India.