John 16: 12-13

Genesis 2: 4-7, 10-14, 24: 32-33

Revelation 22: 16-17, 20

JMcK  There is a great deal of scope in these scriptures that will arrest our attention, but I wondered if the Lord would use this occasion to awaken us freshly to the distinction that belongs to the time in which we live.  What has impressed me is that the presence of the Spirit is key to the reaching of divine objectives.  Now I hope that these scriptures will yield in that context.  I would like if we could get a view of the Spirit’s presence from the divine standpoint, not exactly as meeting need on our part, or as simply power to get through a scene that is marked by difficulty and pressure, but that we should get an impression of what His presence means from the divine viewpoint. 

      This verse in John 16 is key to our enquiry, “But when he is come”.  That relates to the period in which we live and it gives its own distinction to it.  The other passages we have read form a framework to this enquiry.  In Genesis chapter 2 we have the reference to the moisture that was in the earth in view of God forming man.  It has often been said that Genesis 2 gives us the fulness of things, and I think the fulness of things in the divine programme must involve the presence of the Spirit.  Then we get the reference to the rivers, the river that rose in Eden, the great power of life that came forth from that place of divine delight in view of results on the earth.  The reference in Genesis 24 is familiar to us, “I will not eat until I have made known my business”.  I wonder how much we know of what the Spirit’s business is.  The grand conclusion of all is in Revelation 22, “the Spirit and the bride say, Come”, the closeness of that link evidencing the great conclusion of God’s ways in testimony in this present period, and the word, “Amen; come, Lord Jesus”. 

      So there is great scope.  We have read from Genesis, the beginning of the Bible, and we have read from Revelation at the end of it.  We are not able for detail, any of us, but if we can get an impression of the opportunity that the present time affords to come into the main stream of what God is doing, that is the opportunity we have today.  God is looking for persons who will be available to Him.

CKR  So what you are bringing forward underlies the greatness of the revelation of God in Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  That whole revelation has been to secure God’s aim and God’s objective in this dispensation, has it not?

JMcK  That is right, so that the Spirit could not come had the Lord Jesus not first come. 

NJH  “The Spirit of truth” is not only how He is introduced, but it is characteristic of that Person in the dispensation.

JMcK  Yes.  Mr Raven said that that is in contrast to the letter of truth, vol 5 p297.  The tendency is to hold things orthodoxly, understanding the elements of the truth and yet not being fully affected by them.  What God is looking for is that persons should have their eyes opened to the significance of the presence time.

NJH  The integrity and purity of the manhood of Christ has been continued by this Person.  Is that right?

JMcK  So that the background of what we are considering is the precious relationship between the Lord Jesus and those to whom He is speaking in John 16.  I think we should begin with that, because there is something distinctive about it.  There was an area of confidence.  Think of how much the Lord entrusted to the disciples during the time He was with them, and the close affectionate link that developed between Him and those that He had secured through His grace.  So in verse 12 He says, “I have yet many things to say to you, but ye cannot bear them now”.  I would like to get some help about that.  “Ye cannot bear them now”; the implication is that there were certain limitations that related to those days when the Lord Jesus was here in flesh and blood.  Those limitations have now been removed because Jesus, the Man who was speaking so confidingly and assuringly to His own at this point, is now in heaven.  He is now in circumstances of glory right outside the sphere of adversity, but in John 16 that is still future.

WMP  He had washed their feet, and spoken to them of the Father.  Do you think that would be in comparison to the scripture that you have read?

JMcK  Yes, I think the way He worked with these men is really wonderful.  He showed great patience with them and He showed great confidence in them.  John 15 is somewhat in my mind as I say that, because He says, “I have called you friends, for all things which I have heard of my Father I have made known to you”, v 15.  What a statement that is: “all things which I have heard of my Father I have made known to you”.  So they became the depository of this great wealth of what came from Christ.  Mr Raven says in his ministry that the disciples received far more from Christ than they actually brought into testimony, vol 5 p325.  They were richly furnished by their link with Jesus Himself.

RFW  Could you say more as to the force of the expression, “ye cannot bear them now”?

JMcK  Well, you can help us, but I think He is certainly conveying that He understood the pressure that was about to come on them, the sorrow of the fact that He would be taken from them, the reality of that.  Then the word, “ye cannot bear them”, also implies that they did not have the capacity that was needed to bear these things.  What do you say?

RFW  Yes, I was wondering about the matter of capacity.  I am wondering if you would help us as to how we are formed in that capacity.

JMcK  Well, I think it is a question of enlarged affections.  It also involves divine power.  The extended scale, if we can put it that way, of divine operations meant that subsequent to the time when the Lord Jesus was here on the earth there would come a period when another divine Person would be here, and the power of that would be felt by those in the scene of testimony.

CKR  The fact that He is a divine Person would make us worshipful as we realise that a Man has gone into heaven, but God is here in the Spirit, and that is in view of achieving God’s objectives in this glorious dispensation.

JMcK  And He is here powerfully.  John’s epistle says that, “He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself”. 1 John 5: 10.  Now, that is a significant reference to what the Spirit is here in the days in which we live.  I think we do not fully apprehend the distinction that belongs to these days.  I feel the need of being awakened to the reality of it.  The fact that the Spirit has now come means that we are on the way to the securing of the objectives that God had in His mind.

JCG  In chapter 14 the Lord says that the Spirit “will bring to your remembrance all the things that I have said to you”, v 26.  That would bring out the importance of the Lord’s ministry as a prime matter in view of the continuing through this dispensation, would it?

JMcK  So that the Spirit maintains, and it is helpful to see that, the full light of what was revealed in Christ, “he … will bring to your remembrance all the things that I have said to you”.  The testimony with which we are associated is at no disadvantage.  In fact, it is more richly furnished from the divine standpoint than the period when the Lord Jesus Himself stood upon the earth.

DBR  Does it bring out the absolute necessity of the leadership of the Spirit?

JMcK  Yes.  He says here, “he shall guide you into all the truth”.  Now, I think guidance “into” involves His presence, not only His power but His presence, and that is really what impresses me for this occasion.  He is present to help us.

DBR  “But when he is come” calls attention to the necessity of the Spirit’s presence and His leadership.  It is not merely ’guide you unto the truth’, but “into” it, into the very area into which only He Himself can lead us, do you think?

JMcK  I am sure that is right, so that the danger was that the disciples would be overpowered by the grief that marked the situation publicly.  Mr Darby comments that they might have been selfishly grieved at their own desolation, Notes and Comments, vol 7 p279.  Having companied with Jesus they might have been entirely absorbed by the outward side of their sorrow.  But the Lord says, ’There is something greater’, and that impresses me today, that there is something greater.  The Lord would not leave them without resource.  The rich furnishings and the power of that resource are what characterise these scriptures.

RG  Do you think when the Lord says to them earlier, “he abides with you, and shall be in you” (John 14: 17) it is a suggestion that here is a divine Person that is going to be in the disciples, who is going to promote a subjective answer to Christ Himself while we remain here?

JMcK  That is right.  So that, to quote Mr Darby again, he says as to the presence of God by the Spirit ’they had that which was abiding in the power of its revelation’, Notes and Comments, vol 7 p279.  The Spirit’s presence involves abiding power.  The extended time of this dispensation is something that we should think about.  The Lord Jesus was on the earth for just thirty-three and a half years, a brief period, a period of unique distinction, a period absolutely essential because in that period the great work of redemption of which we sung was effected.  It was effected by Christ.  But then, in God’s ways, what was to follow that was a period, and we know something about it, when a divine Person would be here, and here in the abiding power of His own revelation.

NJH  The presence of the Spirit must involve enlargement in the souls of the saints, is that right?  You have expressions like “the inner man” in Ephesians, 3: 16.  There is something involved that the Spirit has increasing room in the souls of the saints.

JMcK  Yes, and for the development of what God had in His mind, it required that a divine Person should come, “when he is come”.  Other scriptures speak of Him as being sent, other scriptures speak of Him as coming forth from with the Father.  This scripture speaks of “when he is come”.  Now, the power of that is something that I would like to lay hold of me.  He is come with a purpose and He is come as fully furnished divinely to reach divine objectives.  You see, what we have at the end of Genesis 2 is the man and the woman.  Divine objectives come clearly into view, but what precedes that in a typical sense in that passage is the coming of the Spirit.

JDG   “Whatsoever he shall hear he shall speak”.  Where would the source of that hearing be?

JMcK  I suppose the Father, but what do you have in mind?

JDG  I thought it was what is taking place still in heaven where Christ and the Father are.  Although He is here on earth, He still has access to hear what is proceeding there.

JMcK  That is right, so that the freshness of it impresses you, does it not?  “Whatsoever he shall hear he shall speak”.  He has not come simply with an agenda, and He has certainly not come simply to overcome what is adverse.  He has come in the light of what God’s thoughts are and with supreme power to bring them to completion.

JDG  That still continues, does it not?

JMcK  It still continues.  It is a great encouragement to me to see that that is so.  It would be very easy to be overcome by the situation publicly in Christendom, would it not?

JCG  You are raising a very sensitive matter.  “He shall guide you into all the truth”; would that help in relation to our enquiries especially and also the prophetic word coming amongst us in the practical way of making way for one another and being sensitive to the lead the Spirit may give in all our meetings.

JMcK  That is right.  He would guide us into areas that are totally familiar to Him.  On our side, of course, it calls for a spirit of subjection, but I think to see that He is here for this purpose would release us from what is of man and cause us to be more committed in our energies to what is of God.  Do we live in relation to these things?  You know, it is the greatest possible thing that a divine Person should actually be here related immediately to the scene of testimony.

DBR  Do you think it could be described as a key position that the Spirit is occupying, for the whole dispensation?  Our faith needs to be in that.

JMcK  Exactly, so that if we really were stirred by that I think the testimony of God would become a paramount thing with us.  For many of us it is too incidental in our lives.  If this seized us, we would realise the greatness of what God Himself was doing and would commit ourselves more wholeheartedly to it.  His presence is key; therefore it was necessary that the Lord should go away.

DBR  Well, we feel the breakdown but if we have the faith of this we will not be hindered by it.  Would that be so?

JMcK  Absolutely so.  So that the Spirit has come, and the power and effectiveness of His service is something that we should be enlarged in our faith about.

CKR  The service of the Spirit now is focussed on function.  Is one evidence of that the opening up of the Scriptures, guiding you into all the truth, but the letter of the Scripture gets completely eclipsed by the Spirit energising the mind and affections and moral fibre of the believer so that God’s objectives are clearly touched on and looked on, and we are blessed by it in the Scriptures?

JMcK  Yes, I think so.  So that the whole scope of the Scriptures should be in our minds.  We have read from Genesis 2.  Now, Genesis 1, to a large extent, goes over the same ground, the elements of what God does creatorially are all there; but when we come to chapter 2, as we have been taught, there is a fulness and a closeness of relationship between God and what He is doing that is not there previously.  Now, we are in such a time, and if we take the moisture and the rivers as typical of the presence of this glorious Person, then we can see that God had in mind that the Spirit should come before the intrusion of evil.  Chapter 3 brings the fall.  Chapter 3 brings the whole matter of man’s failure in responsibility fully into focus, but prior to that God had in mind that the Spirit should come.  What He had in mind is the furnishing of His own means to reach His own objectives.

CKR  “Man became a living soul”; so the believer becomes a living soul in the grasping of all that could be said to be flowing out of the garden - the whole universal work of the truth.

JMcK  That is right, so that there is a close link.  It says, “and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”.  There is a close relation here between God and His creatures that can only fully be realised in this time of the Spirit.

NMcK  When the Lord was here on earth and operating by the Spirit and making the Father known, the full revelation of God was known there in Christ, was it not?  The truth was there in Christ if God was to be known.  Does the Spirit continue that, God being made known to the believer and He would open these things up as being the Spirit of truth?

JMcK  That is right, so that the Spirit comes and connects us with that, does He not?  The Spirit’s coming must be connected with what went previously.  He becomes a witness in the believer, as John’s epistle also tells us, that the Son of God is come, “And we know that the Son of God has come”, 1 John 5: 20.  There is divine certainty in the soul of the believer, the result of the Spirit here as a witness.  He witnesses to the greatness of Christ.  Mr Raven says that the Spirit could not witness to anybody short of a divine Person (vol 16 p15), and He witnesses to the greatness of Christ, so that what was here in Jesus is not lost.  It is carried forward, the bringing to remembrance of all that was there previously.  Nothing is lost.

NMcK  So as to these rivers that flow out, the thought is that God should be fully made known in the whole creation, the whole universe really.  The Spirit’s operation has the revelation of God in mind that has come in in Christ.

JMcK  That is right so that in the presence of opposition you remember this, that God is here Himself to carry what is precious to Himself through to a glorious conclusion.  So, what if the world is against us, what if the church publicly is against us if we are in the light of the fact that a divine Person is working towards His own objectives?  Are we aware of that?

RG-y  When the Lord was here it says of the Spirit, “And ye know him”.  They had already seen Him in that sense in the Lord Himself, but then He points out, “when he is come”, that is the Spirit.  Are you suggesting that there is a distinctive character alongside this present dispensation which echoes Christ, and that is of the character of the Spirit’s work?

JMcK  I thought that.  Do you think that is just?

RG-y  Yes, indeed.  So the Lord had to say to some during His time here, “Ye know not of what spirit ye are” (Luke 9: 55), but then there is a character to this present dispensation which is distinctive.

JMcK  So that if we think of the typical scripture, Elisha asks for a double portion of the spirit of Elijah, 2 Kings 2: 9.  Now we are in the time of what is full in that sense.  The work of Christ has been accomplished, His time on the earth has been completed, and now the time of the Spirit, to use that expression, is an opportunity from the divine standpoint for the moving forward to the realisation of what God Himself has in His mind.  Now we have been brought into that dispensation.  It should stimulate us.

DCB  We often speak about divine pleasure in the thirty-three and a half years of the Lord’s life here that you have spoken of, but what you are suggesting brings before us  divine pleasure in this time and dispensation.  You made reference to heaven’s view of the Spirit’s presence.

JMcK  Well, I think it helps us to get that view.  From the beginning God had in His mind that Christ would come, and His work on earth was completed.  I would say, from the beginning also God had in mind that the Spirit would come, because what was in Jesus here is now maintained in the presence of a divine Person who is fully equal to every divine objective.  What He has in mind in this time is the securing of the assembly.

JDG  Could you help us further as to your thought as to the mist which “moistened the whole surface of the ground”?

JMcK  Well, I cannot say much, you can help us, but it says interestingly that  “Jehovah Elohim had not caused it to rain on the earth”.  Now Mr Taylor points out that if there had been rain, the source of it would have been heaven, but over against that, what is stressed here is that the earth is sufficient in itself, vol 38 p148.  There is a suggestion that the Spirit of God as on the earth is sufficient for what God had in His mind and the material made available under the divine hand is spoken of as being moistened.

JDG  I thought that, in a scene where sin had not come in, the object was that the whole creation involving man really is workable for the formation of what delights God’s heart.

JMcK  So that the earth became pliable because of this moisture.  I think it helps me anyway to see that God has in His mind that the Spirit was essential to the reaching of His own objectives.

RFW  So Paul says, “But we have received ... the Spirit which is of God, that we may know the things which have been freely given to us of God”, 1 Cor 2: 12.  The presence of the Spirit is never questioned in any of the epistles, is it?

JMcK  That is right, and another verse that comes to mind is that “he has given to us of his Spirit”, 1 John 4: 13.  That is a very intimate reference, is it not?  It indicates that the things that affect God affect us too.  “But a mist went up from the earth, and moistened the whole surface of the ground”.  It is not a question of what came down, it is rather what was here, and God uses what was here to reach His own objectives as to the forming of man.

JSp  How do you view the operations of the Spirit in new birth in relation to what you are saying? 

JMcK  Well, you can help us, but that would bring out His sovereignty, would it not?  His glory is not in any sense reduced by the position into which He has come.  Say what you have in mind.

JSp  I am thinking of the preparation, moistening the surface of the ground.  There is inward preparation for all that is coming from heaven.  Would that all be involved in it, do you think? 

JMcK  I think so, so that the power of God is seen in it, the sovereignty of God is seen in it, and there is the freedom of that sovereignty to move in relation to what He has in mind.  I think we think far too much about the meeting of opposition.  God can do that.  He is supreme anyway.  He can dismiss the opposition.  What is greater than that, and what relates to our present opportunity, is that God is reaching what pleases Him.

NJH  It goes on to say that man was made of this ground.  It is the divine objective.  I was thinking of Gideon’s experience as to the dew upon the fleece and then the dew upon the ground round about, Judg 6: 36-40.  It was the same dew, was it not?  It speaks of the same spirit that was in Christ.  That is a glorious matter, is it not?

JMcK  Well the breathing into them in John 20, I suppose, would relate to that; that is, it was anticipative.  He says, “Receive the Holy Spirit”, John 20: 22.  Now we know that the Spirit did not actually come until Pentecost - John 7 makes that clear, “for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified”, (v 39) - but the character of the thing and the demonstration of this closeness of link between God and His creature is shown.

RG  Do you think that John 17 demonstrates that the moistening had taken place and formation had taken place, but in John 20 when He breathed into them and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit”, then the living character of what He had in mind was coming into evidence?

JMcK  I think so.  So that that whole section in John’s gospel is a fruitful field, is it not?  The Lord is not addressing men generally.  He is addressing those who already have a close link with Him and we are in an area of divine confidence.  What a privilege to belong to such a place.

RG  The character of the Man that spoke to them at that point was to be represented again in persons that were to remain here.  Is that right?

JMcK  Exactly right.  So that these are the kind of persons that would extend the testimony of God.  It gives you some confirmation of what others have said that the Spirit’s dispensation is the greatest.  Now we might hesitate about that because you might think that the time when Jesus was here must have been unequalled, and it was in a sense.  A Man on the earth in whom sin was not, the fulfilment of all that the oblation sets forth, a Man for God’s pleasure, ’the hand that struck the chord found all in tune’, JND Synopsis vol 1 p118.  It was matchless really, but there was something that was to come subsequently that in result was to be greater.

JCG  Is it represented in the gold?  The first river surrounded “the whole land of Havilah, where the gold is”.  That really is what the Spirit is producing of assembly character in the present time, is it?

JMcK  These rivers are very interesting.  There is the idea of what surrounds and then there is the idea of what goes forward.  The teaching we have had, the brethren are familiar with it, is that the idea of surrounding is bringing to light what is of God at the beginning, it links with Acts 1; the gold coming to light, the result of the service of Christ.  Then the going forward relates to Paul’s ministry, the great energy that marked the apostle of the Gentiles, an area from which what was God’s objective would come.

TDB  Could you say more about the thought of breath, for Him to impart the living breath?  The thought of power you have referred to quite a bit is linked with what you have been speaking of.  I wondered about the thought of breath; that is what makes the testimony a living thing.

JMcK  That is right.  Well, what the Lord says in John 10 might relate to it.  He says, “I am come that they might have life, and might have it abundantly”, John 10: 10.  I think life abundantly relates to the time of the Spirit, and it involves not simply life in Christ but life in the saints.  The closeness of it, the intimacy of divine feelings in it in view of the reaching of the fulness of what God has in His mind, is what impresses me.  You see, God could have acted in power at a distance.  He is almighty, but it would not have reached the same character of result as God drawing near in Christ and in the Spirit, breathing into the nostrils of the creature in whom He is operating.  There is an intimacy of confiding affection developed in that that ultimately will be responsive to the God who has acted to bring it all about.

JAB  Are these rivers then something along the lines of the verse after the one you read in John 16, “he shall receive of mine and shall announce it to you”, v 14?  There is that which is flowing from heaven.  These rivers came from the one source here and they represent what you have been saying, but we can experience this.  We can experience it now in this meeting, can we not?

JMcK  So that the abundance of it is what impresses you.  It is figurative language because it is before sin came in and it suggests that divine power is equal to the reaching of its own ends before there is any diversion. 

JAB  So that we should be exercised to touch this and to bathe our souls in it, do you think?  The plenitude of divine supply and life by the Spirit is always flowing from that source above and it is available to us here, as you said, despite the limitations, and we can touch it within our souls and be expanded in response to God, is that right?

JMcK  I think so.  That word you use, ’plenitude’, is very suggestive.  It is divine power.  We are occupied so much with what is of man and conscious of our own incapacity, but we need to get the divine view and to see these rivers.  A river rose in Eden; then it was divided and became four heads, a powerful, fruit-bearing influence.  We are in the presence of it.  Let us be awakened to these things and therefore more assured in the testimony in which we are.  What is of man vaunts itself.  It extends itself to view and seeks to divert the saints in relation to it, whereas what is of God has its own character and it has its own unique power and that is what will bring results.

DMC  There is a reference in the Psalms which says, “Though ye have lain among the sheepfolds, ye shall be as wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with green gold”, Psalm 68: 13.  Is that something of what we should expand into, the glory of what the Spirit can bring, with the divine qualification behind it, do you think?

JMcK  Yes, “lain among the sheepfolds”, I suppose, is to be feeling as to the public position, but then to have “wings of a dove” is to be able to rise above it.  That helps us because divine power is unaffected by men’s failure.

CKR  The four rivers give us the whole scope of the way the truth is going to develop in the hands of the Spirit.  Then in Genesis 24 we have a focussed result in an individual and assembly features are now developed in Rebecca.

JMcK  Yes, and we have that interesting expression used by the servant, “my business”.  What is the business of the Spirit? 

NJH  The rivers surrounded Philippi (Acts 16: 13), did they not?  The women were sitting by the river, but there was a force in power in the energy of what the Spirit was pursuing that came into their hearts.  Is that right?

JMcK  Yes, quite so, and the Spirit does not change His objectives according to the conditions that He meets.  His objective remains.  The beginning of Genesis 24 is the oath (v 9), is it not?  It is a very solemn undertaking.

DBR  Do you think “my business” would be governed by divine Persons, the counsels of God?  There has never been any period when the Spirit has been diverted from that.

JMcK  There could never be any diversion from it and never any lowering of the standards of what the result might be.  So that the swearing of the oath, “Beware that thou bring not my son thither again” (v 6) is a solemn matter.  The kind of result that God has in His mind was declared at the beginning.

WMP  It is like the language of verse 9 is it not, he “swore unto him concerning that matter”?.

JMcK  That is right.

WMP  “That matter” has continued and will continue until the time of what you have read in Revelation 22.

JMcK  That is right.  Well, we should see that God has reached what He had in His mind.

RG  What you have been setting on is seen in Antioch.  There were those there and then it says, “And as they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me now Barnabas and Saul”; then it says, “They therefore, having been sent forth by the Holy Spirit ...” (Acts 13: 2,4), and there is the securing through the ministry of Paul and others at that time what would be pleasurable to the heart of Christ eternally, do you think?

JMcK  So that the Spirit is here having His own prerogative.  His glory is not diminished by the circumstances into which He has come but He is here powerfully on God’s behalf.  I would like to be more alert as to what God is doing.  I think it would help us; it would free us in our affections and our lives would change.  Perhaps we would get deliverance a little bit more from what is material if we saw that divine Persons have an objective, and the prerogative with the Spirit is to reach that in its fulness.  Others have said that fulness relates to the present time.

DBR  Have you some feeling, if that is the right word, of the urgency of the Spirit at the present moment?  We are at the end of the dispensation; and “he said, I will not eat until I have made known my business”.  There is a certain urgency.  I wondered if we need to be a little more sensitive to the feelings of the Holy Spirit at the present time.

JMcK  Yes.  Well, the point later in the chapter is well known to us, that there should not be any delay.  The suggestion was that there might be a certain limited delay, but I think the word ’urgency’ is appropriate.  There is not to be any delay in reaching what God has in His mind.

JDG  She says, “I will go”, v 58.  That was immediate.  That “I will go” was looking forward to Revelation 22.

JMcK  And that meant that she relinquished present connections for greater relationships.  The whole principle of the assembly is that she is entirely for Christ.

JDG  To enjoy union with Isaac, she had to go.

JMcK  She had to go, and that should be just as definite as the Spirit’s committal.  So the result in Revelation 22 is very beautiful, often referred to, “the Spirit and the bride say, Come”.  It is the greatest title that the Spirit has, “the Spirit”.

RG  Mr Taylor said about this verse that this is the nearest that the assembly comes to deity, vol 64 p452.  Is that not wonderful?

JMcK  It is most attractive.  The closeness of relationship was proved, you might say, over against a background of such difficulty, and yet God’s objective reached in full measure.  So the word is, “Amen” - or, “Even so”, as the Authorised Version says - “come, Lord Jesus”.  The grand climax of the Spirit’s working will be the availability of the assembly to Christ.

RG-y  Do you think the way that we respond to the Holy Spirit after the Supper and after the time of union has a bearing on what you are saying now?  I am simply enquiring as to the suitability, and I think it is right, that we should have some impression of the greatness of the Spirit’s work and Person, and we speak of that in the light of union with Christ.  Have you any thought as to that?

JMcK  Well, I think the Lord’s prompting enters into it, does it not?  How precious, if we can speak that way, how precious the service of the Spirit is to Christ.  If indeed this is His great objective that the assembly should be for Christ, how precious that must be to the heart of the Man whose affections will be fully answered to.

DBR  You mentioned the thought of the fulness of the divine objective a few times.  Do you think we really need to understand that the work of the Holy Spirit will be every bit as perfect as the work of Christ?

JMcK  That is right.  I think many of us would be satisfied with an outline of these things.  God is not satisfied with that.  These disciples, you know, would have been satisfied to keep the Lord on the earth and to have extended that period of precious confidence that we have referred to, but it would not have suited Him because what He was looking for was a greater result.  And that greater result was to come as a result of a divine Person having again moved into the scene of testimony and brought it about.

RG  I would like to ask you if the bride here is, “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”, Gen 2: 23. 

JMcK  It must be.  Why do you say that?

RG  I was thinking about the perfection, “the Spirit and the bride”.  The Spirit has operated, as you have been saying, but now there is that that the Lord can look at and He says, ’This is myself over again’.  It is “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”’, do you think? 

JMcK  Yes, so that His affections will be satisfied in result, but it involved that a divine Person must come.  “But when he is come”, let us hold on to that impression, “when he is come”.  It gives distinction to the present time and it should quicken our affections to be more available to the divine initiative that will reach what God has in mind. 


28th November 2009