The judgement of commerce in the assembly (1965-1967)
THE JUDGEMENT OF COMMERCE IN THE ASSEMBLY
Extracts of ministry
James Taylor Jr
“Remember your leaders who have spoken to you the word of God;”(Hebrews 13: 7)
Extract from Letter of James Taylor Jr to A.J.G, 29 September 1965
“I do not consider that [W.B.H] is a new covenant minister and have reason to believe he is in a party with John Hales and A.F.G. and perhaps others in promoting a system of things that is at variance with the gospel. There is adequate proof that commerce is being brought into the assembly.”
Extract from letter of James Taylor Jr written from Endbach after visiting many localities, 12 November 1965
“. . . the damage done has been extensive, but much if not all can be healed, except the anguish, loss of sleep and interruption to the service of God.”
Extracts from three day meetings with James Taylor Jr, Detroit, 8-10 October 1965 (Vol 40)
Ques. “If any one love me, he will keep my word”. Is that committal to Christ in its fulness?
J.T.Jr. I would think so. It is love for Christ untarnished, nothing interfering with it. Love of money stands over against that. Of course, there is nothing wrong with the money, it is the love of it; but what are you going to do with that subject? It has been said that everybody loves it, and I suppose that is true. If you do not love money, I suppose you are not too natural, because everybody wants it. But the thing to see is how the cross deals with everything. The world is where money is. You say you do not like money, and then you talk about commerce! What do you call that? I call that deceit: ‘We do not want any money, we are not thinking about money’, then, commerce. We want to see the deceit in this thing.
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R.H. In some localities it has been thought that these things should be kept in the hands of one or two. That is not right, is it?
J.T.Jr. I do not think so. Of course if matters are put in the hands of two brothers for some purpose in the meeting, the meeting knows that and that is all right; but, where persons are doing things apart from the assembly, it is just setting aside the assembly.
R.H. What is current in relation to conflict should be known by the assembly, should it not?
J.T.Jr. Oh yes. Where it is an issue, it certainly should be known. Of course the priesthood would not want to spread evil of a corrupt character in the meeting; there is no need for it. But where it is an ecclesiastical issue, involving that the assembly itself would soon be out of the hands of Christ by the methods being pursued, that should be known, deceit having entered into the way it was being approached. That is what the apostle means at the end of 2 Corinthians, that Satan shows himself as an angel of light, and his ministers similarly.
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W.McK. Do you think that the commercial line of things in Ezekiel 28 in the prince of Tyre led to the pride that was manifest in him?
J.T.Jr. Yes, they would not give way. Mr L., is that right? Did they not do that to you? Were you not humiliated?
P.L. Yes. I have thought that your dear father’s prophetic ministry as to a rival line in those readings at Brisbane in 1947 should well be gone over by us, because prophetically he says that this will arise again, this rival line of things in the selection of what is territorial to rival what God raises up universally and spiritually. It was boasted, you will remember, in regard to the element that was voicing a rival ministry at that time that he was claimed in Australia to be a ‘son of the soil’. What soil? Do you not think that the isolation of the saints geographically, if it is not met spiritually by moving with the truth universally, lays them open to territorial rival selections?
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J.T.Jr. It was really against Christ. If you questioned these persons they probably would not admit that, but they probably did not know what they were doing. It would seem to me at times that they did not know what they were doing. That is possible, once the devil gets into you. He does; he puts the thought in first and then he gets in, and that is what happened with Judas. There is only one of him, but he is a pattern for other things that lead to apostasy. We want to be quickened ourselves, dear brethren, in this. We want to get the gain of this and be quickened. The Lord has come quickly. Has He come quickly into every one of us as to this?
D.C. Would not the great concern amongst us and the many confessions there have been be evidence of the Lord’s coming in and helping us?
J.T.Jr. I think so. The repentance was immediate in honest men and women. Repentance came in immediately as to the whole thing, and I believe it was a great deliverance.
T.L.S. Do you think that there were a good many sighs and cries going on?
J.T.Jr. Oh yes. Indeed, there were. An elderly sister told me that this is what she had been praying for and praying about. Therefore the priesthood kept the fire burning; the constant fire was always there in somebody who saw this thing as to what it was.
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P.L. Has not the issue really been another gospel, another Jesus?
J.T.Jr. It is another gospel, exactly.
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J.T.Jr. The threatening of the foundations has been the enemy’s line many times. So that was current in all the Galatian assemblies; the foundations were being threatened. That is seen in J.T.’s ministry and since, where you knew that if a certain line of compromise was followed the foundations would not exist any more. If this current line was followed, it would just mean that persons who are able in a natural sense are the ones to be recognised in the assembly.
P.L. Does not J.T. say in one of his earlier addresses that he did not think that the Lord Jesus ever would have become a successful merchant in the sense in which the world would regard it?
J.T.Jr. The Lord was a stranger, was He not? I think that every one of us as a christian would have to find that out, that you are really a stranger as you have to do with the world. It was a strange thing for Christ to be here, and it is a strange thing for a christian to be here. He does not fit. It says of the Lord that He did not fit: “The stone which the builders rejected”, Ps. 118: 22. The christian is the same.
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J.T.Jr. That is all right. The Father is watching you. I think God watches us, and He sees if you are a diligent person. But if the stalls are empty, do you praise God anyway, or are you downcast because the stalls are empty? What are the farmers saying about that? Have they plenty on the farms? I think that God has delivered us. It is all right to have efficiency in business, but it is not right to say that God comes into things of this kind so that you are saying to yourself, ‘I will get my place in the meeting by being successful on the farm (or whatever you do). I have been successful here, so I will be successful in the meeting’. That is not right.
G.H. Ephesians is the very opposite. It begins from the height and then regulates everything down here, including your business.
G.H. It is spirituality first and then manhood, in whatever sense it is, as flowing out of that.
J.T.Jr. . . . If we get hold of these points, we will see that we cannot allow worldly principles to govern us. The spirit of the world should not be amongst us; it has no place here. The spirit of the world has no place in the assembly, and it has no place really in the family setting.
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J.T.Jr. I think so. Abraham, of course, might be brought forward as a man of wealth, and Boaz also, but these things have their spiritual application, that is all. God might help a man to have things materially; He can allow a man to have it, and then he becomes the steward of it. However he is the steward; it is not a collective stewardship. Do you follow? It is not a collective stewardship; you are the steward of what you have.
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J.T.Jr. That is right. That is a good business when you know it from Him. Well, we cannot condemn these men that are able in that field, but it is this idea of commerce coming into the assembly, and I think we have rejected it fully. We have dedicated ourselves to that, and we will have no more of it. You can see how commercial things would soon have you view yourself in such a way that you would think that that belongs to the assembly. That is, you are so successful in the commercial sense that you finally say to yourself, ‘This must bear on my position in the assembly’. How deceitful a thing can become!
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J.T.Jr. That is your consultant then. It is all right to apply right principles to anything in a material sense, apply them rightly. But when you turn and go into the assembly, that is just what the Lord put out in the early chapters of John. He says, ‘You are making my Father’s house a house of merchandise’. If you are reading John’s gospel, you must get that point first. There is no merchandise in God’s house—that is foreign to God!
P.L. In place of that have we in that chapter the Lord as the shrine of Deity—the temple and then the thought of His body? Are these not spiritual conceptions that alone assure growth with us?
J.T.Jr. I believe so. Therefore, if John’s ministry is appealed to, that is what is there immediately: the Father’s house is not for merchandise. In the other gospels it comes in more or less at the end, and I expect that is what has happened, it has come in at the end. Here you have been ministering all this time and the Lord comes along and says, ‘Get that out of here, that stuff; you ought to have known better then to have that in the house!’ It is at the end of the synoptic gospels and not the beginning, because in the synoptic gospels the Lord in a certain sense is trusting us: He says, ‘You go on with the truth’, but it would bring in with the truth this line that He is going to say anyway, ‘Get it out of here’.
W.McK. So do we want to arrive at the result Zechariah speaks about at the very end of his prophecy: “And in that day there shall be no more a Canaanite in the house of Jehovah of hosts”, Zech. 14: 21?
J.T.Jr. The Canaanite had no place in Israel in that sense at all. The Canaanite is a merchant, and he has no place in the assembly.
J.W.B. It is very striking that in John 12, when the body of Christ is in evidence in the anointing, Judas refers to the money.
J.T.Jr. Yes. He knew the price of the ointment, too. He knew the price he would get for it. It is a commercial element.
P.L. Is all this seen in Nehemiah, answering to our day—the attempt of Tyre to intrude on the sabbath in Jerusalem and Nehemiah’s determination to keep it out? Is there not a danger of all that attaches to God’s rest and portion in the saints being invaded by this commercial element?
J.T.Jr. . . . So we have Adonijah rising up and drawing persons after him in a system that would finally do away with the thoughts of God and sonship. That is one of the things the devil is at, amongst others: to do away with the great truth of sonship. We have Adonijah’s relation with David (he was David’s son), and he was evidently born after Absalom, so it is really a rising up of Absalom again, that kind of thing. It says that he was attractive. All that is to show the organization which the devil works in . . .
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J.T.Jr. . . . We looked up what was said at Dorking in that reading regarding what the Lord did: He lifted up His eyes to heaven, and so on. You could not condemn that. That is an allusion to what Christ did, but to relate that to what any brother would do, as making something of it, I do not think is right. What the Lord did in a physical sense in raising His eyes and other things is in this passage. He rose from supper, for example, and laid aside His garments, and He took them again; and then we have the very facts of the matter here that Peter made a sign and that the Lord is seen as supporting John on His bosom. Those are literal things, but having a spiritual reference in the Spirit’s time and not a literal reference. We want to be on the Lord’s breast and in His bosom, but it is not literal, it is spiritual.
W.T.P. In Acts 26 Paul stretched out his hand and answered in his defence. What do we understand by that action?
J.T.Jr. We do not understand anything by it. You put your hand out like that, what does it mean? Does it mean anything? Look, there it is.
W.T.P. Why is it put in the Scripture for us?
J.T.Jr. I suppose Paul’s way of doing things would come into that. We often use gestures, but they do not mean anything. It is the spiritual thing that you might perhaps get out of Paul raising his hand as indicating power. It was not the same as what they would do.
T.L.S. Do you look at John in the bosom and on the breast of Jesus as suggestive of the spiritual side of things?
J.T.Jr. Yes, I think so. It is a spiritual thing to be in the bosom of Christ. It is not a corporeal thing. We need to get hold of the truth of Christ at the present time as He is known, that there are persons who are in His bosom and there are persons who can lean on His breast. So we get the great spiritual thought in these things and get delivered from the literal, because the literal has probably had a lot to do with the present crisis. We want to be free of idiosyncrasies. That is a long word, and I learned it long ago, but my vocabulary is not very extensive. It is an interesting thing how extensive J.T.’s vocabulary was, but he was not a college man.
A.W.B. This matter of feet-washing was one thing that was greatly lacking when this current matter got a hold on us.
J.T.Jr. That is right. . . .
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J.T.Jr. Just so. We look for that now, “Who turned the rock”. This thing has been pretty rocky, and yet it had the character of peace as a kind of front to it. It has really been deceit, philosophy and vain deceit (Col. 2: 8).
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J.T.Jr. Yes, I think that is right. What really has happened is an attempt to show that persons were circumcised and yet to bring the world in. The world has been brought in to the assembly. Circumcision was said to be there, but it was not so, wherever these worldly things were brought in in the way of a lead. The world was brought right into the assembly.
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T.L.S. What do you make of the fact that this is not just one locality, this is an area?
J.T.Jr. An area may be affected by this leaven, a whole area affected by it, and the tentacles of this current thing reach everywhere, really, through this subtle idea of commerce, which in itself is all right. Be a righteous person, but just leave it there. To make it work in a collective sense and affect the meeting by it is what the enemy was at; to bring the whole thing under control in a position that really was displacing Christ. What you need to do is get isolated so that you get a right judgement: “and no longer live, I, but Christ lives in me”, Gal. 2: 20.
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J.T.Jr. That is, your relations are directly with the Father and the Son, and not with the literal setting up of a man down here in which you relate everything to him. That is just a human organization.
J.T.Jr. So we are not going to help anybody into the world. Are we all dedicated to that? (There was a general ‘Amen’). We are going to help them into the spiritual inheritance. . . .
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T.L.S. You must have the right pillars. In Galatians it speaks of three pillars; you would have to have the right ones.
J.T.Jr. Peter, James and John?
J.T.Jr. Yes. That is the inner circle, one of them anyway. It is all right if you want to get in there. But this inner circle that works secretly, and decides secretly about everything—that is how the devil imitates. He imitates what God does; he never does anything original. He is not an originator.
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J.T.Jr. Very quick. It shows, I suppose, what Paul says to the Galatians, that he wondered that they changed so quickly. Let us get the gain of this through these meetings. Let us not change so quickly from what is spiritual to what is material.
LORD’S DAY READING
J.T.Jr. Well, we should be keeping small. I do not think we should be making a show of ourselves; a humble man would not do that. We have been tending to large things materially, and perhaps otherwise, and no doubt the Lord is saying to us that we had better just get back to this straight street.
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J.T.Jr. . . . The authority lies in the Spirit of God; the Spirit of God is in persons. The Spirit of God has raised up a standard against this flood. It has been a flood, and it was affecting every meeting you could think of.
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J.T.Jr. Yes, so that you do not bring in part of the truth and then a trade. That is what was being done. The truth was being stated, but then a trade was brought into it.
Extracts from Reading in Croydon with James Taylor Jr, 21 October 1965
Ques. Why is it we did not reach for our weapons?
J.T.Jr. Were you lazy, or were you afraid, or what? I do not think you were lazy, I think maybe you were frightened – slavish fear. . . .
Ques. And you would say that we do not subject ourselves to some one brother?
J.T.Jr. That is another mediator, and there is not any. There is one mediator, it says, of God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. It is not according to the pattern, if you direct everything to one brother. He is coming in between you and Christ, and that is not the revelation of God.
Ques. Why did some of us fall for this?
J.T.Jr. I think you should answer that question.
Rem. I think it was fear of man.
J.T.Jr. Fear of man, yes.
Rem. I would think, speaking from experience, fear of consequences.
J.T.Jr. Fear of getting beaten?
Rem. No, fear of being put out of fellowship and your family left behind.
J.T.Jr. That is a beating. You beat them before the judgment-seat, and nobody cared. (See Acts 18: 16, 17).
Rem. David had to say in relation to certain weapons that were offered to him, ‘I cannot go in these, for I have not proved them’. Perhaps we have not proved the weapons ourselves.
J.T.Jr. I think you have to slay the giant in yourself. This bigness that has been preached is just Philistine.
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J.T.Jr. That is right, and therefore the local assembly is very much in the Lord’s mind. He is very jealous of any interference; we do not want to be independent assemblies, but we do want to be in the position locally directly with Christ with no interference, because a lot of this has been interference with local administration.
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J.T.Jr. . . . The interference in the local setting has aroused the Lord’s anger. We should know the Glanton issue, even though we were not born at the time. It is very important for us to know what the issue was at Glanton; it was interference in a local assembly, and we can see it coming in another way, because that is what the enemy has done; he has brought it in another way, to interfere with local assemblies in their administration.
Ques. Is any interference with local administration really a challenge to the Lord’s rights in that assembly?
J.T.Jr. In that assembly, because He has been set aside. That is, perhaps, one thing we all have to come to at this time, that the local assembly is in direct relation to Christ, and we have no right whatever to interfere in it. If we come here to minister, that is good; minister the truth, but do not interfere with the local administration. It is not that you would not avail yourself of all the help you can. Paul would represent that. They had written to him and he wrote to them back; that is all right, but Paul very wisely stayed away from Corinth. That is a clue. The gift of government is seen in Paul; he had it, so you watch what Paul did. He did not get to Corinth, he stayed away from it.
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J.T.Jr. . . . but this matter is a very important matter, and let us get out of it through this conflict that the local assembly is in direct relation to Christ. Do not let anybody interfere with it.
Ques. Would we tell a brother who was interfering with it what he was doing and tell him to stop?
J.T.Jr. Tell him to go home, certainly, if he is interfering with your local matters. It is all right for him to give you advice if he wants to, if he has got it – if he is interfering, he probably does not have it anyway. These experts have been exposed.
Ques. Does Galatians help in relation to what you have said, where the apostle writes: “when I saw that they do not walk straightforwardly, according to the truth of the glad tidings”? He goes on to say, “but knowing that a man is not justified on the principle of works of law (nor) but by the faith of Jesus Christ”, Gal. 2: 14, 16. Does that show that there has been departure from the foundations of the gospel?
J.T.Jr. I would think so. It is a different gospel. If you mix up the gospel with commerce, that is a different gospel; that is the words of scripture. We have called it a rival ministry; that is just the same as saying it is a different gospel. It says, “Ye ran well, who has stopped you”, “who has bewitched you?”. All these things we had at Horsham a few years ago; the truth was brought to us at that time as to the foundations being threatened by compromise ministry – it is being threatened this time by the introduction of commerce into the assembly.
Rem. It is very humiliating to feel that the compromise ministry was near in date to those Horsham meetings and yet it is the very thing that has caught up with us again.
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J.T.Jr. I do not think that I have ever brought commerce into ministry. I can never find it in anything that is written.
Rem. My experience was that the more I read the books the worse I got, until I stopped reading the green books, because I felt I lacked spirituality. I could not marry up what I was reading with what I was obliged to do.
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J.T.Jr. They said the word ‘essential’ was a gimmick, an American gimmick. It is just the spirit of Ishmael, it was mockery, that was all. The more this thing comes out the worse it is, and it shows how far the devil got. We want to see what the devil was at, and what he used on the way is not so much the point; the point is what the devil was at in this thing. It was really to overthrow all the ministry we have had, leading into the truth of Christ and the assembly.
Ques. It was purported to have raised up the level of things on the provisional side, but, in effect, did it not tend to bring down the level of what was distinctive?
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Ques. Some have recently taken up more education. They had stopped and got a job and, in view of what has come out recently, they went back to get better degrees. What would you say about that?
J.T.Jr. I did not say it; I am not saying it; I have never said it. You read my books I do not call them my books, but read them. I never said it and J.T. never said it. He said it was dangerous, and what has been embarked on is dangerous for young men.
Rem. What we are finding is that they are not out to so many meetings.
J.T.Jr. The time was given up to these things and when they got to the meetings they were worn out and went to sleep. The leaders did, so I heard. They did not say these things when I was present either. That is the iniquity of this thing; they did not say a thing about it when they were in my house or otherwise.
Rem. The question is, how much the love of the truth has marked us. You speak about the books and the present ministry.
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Rem. I remember getting a letter from you once; you said, Keep small. I suppose you are still of the same opinion.
J.T.Jr. Yes. It is all right for people to make money; make as much as you want. I have said that. I do not mind how much money people make, but I have said, ‘Keep small’; but money usually makes you big. Money inflates you, so the best thing is to be just content; piety with contentment is great gain. But be righteous with regard to the world. You work righteously, and I think the successful man knows when to stop. At five o’ clock go home, and go to your wife if you have one, and the best thing is to get one if you have not got one. Go and look at her and enjoy your home, and then go to the meeting. This thing about working all night, and sisters working and getting worn out, is not the divine economy, this is not the spirit of the new covenant. The spirit of the new covenant is wisdom. So the Lord refers to the day in which we can work.
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Ques. You really meant it when you spoke about getting home and coming out to the meetings from that sphere?
J.T.Jr. Yes, I certainly did. It is right that you should go home and be with your family. Of course emergencies come up; we know that, we are not speaking of that, but you want to enjoy what the household is and your home is the nearest thing there is to the assembly.
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Ques. Would you even allow a man to retire?
J.T.Jr. I am retired, but I thank God I have some work, and it is good work. You never get over sixty in the meeting. That is the Old Testament; at sixty they retired, so we never get over sixty, never retire in the things of God. In your business you retire as soon as you can, get out of it, get to the work that counts, that is working for Christ. “The Work and the Workmen” is a good book to read, J.T., 1927 (Vol. 89 – New Series, Vol. 27). He retired when he was about fifty-one or fifty-two. He started me up in business, but he was finished. He said, ‘You have to work now; I am not going to do it; I do not want to make any more money’. That is not the spirit of commerce.
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J.T.Jr. O, it is a caste system. You go up by degrees in the caste system. You are successful in business, therefore you would make a good man in the meeting; that is just another gospel, a different gospel. It was gaining great weight evidently, and I would say that I did not know what they were doing; I had full confidence in those men. Commerce by itself is all right, but when you bring it into the assembly – I never knew they were doing that, nobody told me that. . . .
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Ques. One of the things that was said as to this matter of working harder and making more money was in view of building meeting rooms. Is that quite in keeping with the character of the dispensation being a day of small things? We want to keep as much out of the public eye as possible, do we not?
J.T.Jr. I think so. So the tabernacle was a humble system; it was not an elaborate state of things, it was a humble state of things. The temple, which is alluded to here, of course, is future actually; it is a temple of great display. But this is not a time of display; this is a time for a humble presentation to the world of what the gospel is. There is nothing wrong in money; it is the love of money, and it is in the power of money where the evil lies. The Lord does not need your money anyway, He does not ask anybody for any money. He says, “If I were hungry, I would not tell thee”, Ps. 50: 12. He does not need anything. We do not need much. Why do you want an elaborate meeting room? We should be humble.
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J.T.Jr. . . . Now the thing is whether the young people understand what has happened. Do they? Or were they attracted by these heroes? Because young people are apt to be attracted by heroes; so we want our young people to understand what has happened.
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J.T.Jr. . . . We should pray that the brethren are all delivered from the spirit of commerce in the assembly.
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Ques. Why is there such a similarity to Thyatira in all this?
J.T.Jr. I think God demonstrates to us what happens publicly, or what will happen publicly. It is demonstrated amongst us, as with Ahab, Jezebel urging him on. The Lord has demonstrated to us what will take place, or has taken place, in the full sense in the profession.
Ques. Is the subtlety seen in the fact that this idea of commerce and work, and so on, was put on the ground of righteousness?
J.T.Jr. Yes. It sounded very good. It is all right for a commercial system, but it has no place in the assembly. . . .
Extracts from Reading in Ilford with James Taylor Jr, 22 October 1965 (Vol 41)
H.W. So what the enemy has been trying to do is to submerge what is the prerogative of any locality with an organisation which really wants to get every locality under its control, and displace the place that Christ should have.
J.T.Jr. We always want to see what the enemy is at. Get behind persons to see what the devil is at. Of course it is a sorrowful matter to be an instrument in Satan’s hands, but we want to look behind that and see what the devil is at. What he is at, as I see it, is the setting aside of local responsibility, the intimidation of the saints, and the humiliation of the ministers. You find what he is at and then the next thing is how you meet it. Every battle is really a question of Christ and the enemy. No persons are really the issue, it is Christ and the enemy. . . .
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J.B.W. Why is it we fall for these things so easily, and what is going to prevent us falling for this sort of thing again?
J.T.Jr. That is a serious question. I would say you have allowed somebody to get between yourself and Christ.
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H.W. This matter of corrupting the temple of God is a very serious thing.
J.T.Jr. Really bringing commerce into the temple was corrupting it.
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M.C. Is that why Paul is a tent-maker in Corinth with Aquila and Priscilla to give the standard of building?
J.T.Jr. A very humble business, and they did not say how much they made, or how they divided it up, or any fees; they said nothing about it. The great thing here was a man and his wife who provided for Paul, and Paul could work along with them, a most simple thing. That is the beginning of Corinth really.
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F.A.C. In that scripture the injunction is to the spiritual, as if they have to keep their eyes open as to what is going on.
J.T.Jr. And we do, too; we need to be alerted all the time as to what is spiritual, not to be alerted to run out of the meeting as soon as you can, back to your work to make some more money, not to be alerted to get back to your home as soon as you can.
C.I. Would you say just another word as to how we clear ourselves locally regarding the matter you raised just now? I think you had it on your mind that we should in each of our localities examine ourselves in regard to matters as they are standing and the issue at the present moment in which we are all involved in some way. Would you enlarge on that for us?
J.T.Jr. Every local meeting should know what has happened in it. Therefore when it comes to their knowledge, as it says in the Old Testament: “if his sin . . . come to his knowledge” (Lev. 4: 23), so, it has come to your knowledge now that bringing commerce into the meeting is not right, the assembly clears itself, and repudiates anything that happened in the meeting of that character. And any brother that has been teaching it elsewhere would acknowledge that that is not right, not according to the building, the plan. It is bringing the world into the meeting.
C.I. Is it of such serious import that it would demand normally an assembly meeting, or would it be otherwise?
J.T.Jr. It is best to go into assembly, I think. After you have properly searched it out, bring the assembly into it, because the Lord loves the assembly. I think the point in this chapter is that the assembly became more and more to the Corinthians as they listened to Paul. It is as well for us to declare ourselves in any case, that we do not go with this line of bringing the world into the meeting, bringing commerce into the meeting—we reject it entirely.
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A.McL. Another thing is that married sisters have been encouraged to work at home.
J.T.Jr. They do enough work at home. I think they do. You come home and you want your wife to be free. She is making your dinner for you—that is enough anyway!
. . .
J.W. Are we to learn and value more “the assembly in their house” (1 Cor. 16: 19) as presented in Corinthians?
J.T.Jr. That is right too—“the assembly in their house”, so we do not want things in the house that are not in accord with the assembly.
E.T.H. That is how it ends; “Aquila and Priscilla, with the assembly in their house”.
A.L.B. Priscilla was probably helping in her husband’s business. It says, ‘they’, does it not? So you would not exactly preclude a wife from working in the house if it was necessary for any purpose?
J.T.Jr. I think they were just starting. You do not want to object too much when people get married, what they might do, but I do not think that Aquila and Priscilla would keep up that all the time in the house. I believe the idea of the assembly in the house would preclude that.
Extract from Reading in London with James Taylor Jr, 23 October 1965 (Vol 41)
J.T.Jr. Yes. You could not lead a quiet and tranquil life if you did not make time to get to God, and read the Scriptures and the ministry.
A.T. That condition amongst the saints would be an atmosphere that would be suitable for the preaching of the glad tidings?
J.T.Jr. Yes, because you need to be tranquil if you are to minister and, therefore, you can leave your work and go home. You expect to find the place tranquil, not full of business; your wife is ready for you and you are ready for her and your children, and that is tranquil; from there you go to the meeting. You are glad to get free of business; you want to get out of it.
Extracts from Reading in Kirkcaldy with James Taylor Jr, 28 October 1965 (Vol 41)
J.T.Jr. . . . What the enemy was at was to destroy the truth that these three leaders brought to us.
. . .
J.E.M. It would appear that this has been the most desperate bid of the enemy to overthrow the recovery to the truth that we have had so far.
J.T.Jr. That is right. Then there is another thing that we should perhaps see in it, that what happens publicly, what will happen publicly, in the rise of the man of sin, is demonstrated to those who nominally are in the recovery. It is demonstrated in the introduction of the natural man into the things of God.
The man of sin is a natural man, and he will be a man of great powers; he will have tremendous influence of power over men. That is what the antichrist will be. He shows himself as God, sits down and says he is so. There is a demonstration of that natural line of things in this thing that has happened; any pushing forward of natural ability in the assembly is just what the man of sin is.
. . .
J.T.Jr. . . . the brethren have been frightened through this thing. The fear was the fear of man. The next time, let us die for the truth, stand up against what is not of Christ.
. . .
B.A. Your father said years ago that the Spirit was the power for everything and the Scriptures were the test for everything.
J.T.Jr. You can read up what he says on this very issue, as to commerce. He is very definite in how he treats of it.
Extract from Reading in Copenhagen with James Taylor Jr, 1 November 1965 (Vol 41)
H.R. So are the laws of the kingdom the bond to hold us right?
J.T.Jr. I do not understand why some brethren went along with this commerce.
E.P. I think we feel very humble that we have allowed it.
Extracts from an address in Glasgow by James Taylor Jr, 2 November 1965 (Vol 41)
J.T.Jr. . . . That is the way to keep other vineyards, shepherd the sheep. Do not try and penetrate into them; that is Emmanuel’s land. God will not have you penetrating into Emmanuel’s land; that is His right. Every person is God’s right. Do not penetrate or search into persons’ affairs. Being busy-bodies is not christianity. . . .
. . . The enemy sought to humiliate and reduce the ministers amongst us, and to get rid of them. That was his aim, to get rid of the assembly locally and get rid of the ministers too—humiliate them. . . . It is a wonderful time for God because He is seeing that, in spite of the cyclone, whatever you may call it, there was a work of God. There was love for Christ, and that has stood the contrary winds. The Lord was asleep on the pillow, but He knows, and He woke up. He awoke up out of sleep and smote them in the hinder part. That is where He would smite those who would take away what belongs to Him. What belongs to Christ is the local assembly, and the enemy would take it away from Him. What belongs to Christ is the ministers and the enemy would reduce them by humiliation. . . .
There is much more in this book and there is much more in headship too that we can proceed in as we are here together tonight, in this great city where God has maintained His truth for all these years. He is not going to have it swept away by what the devil is at. You discern what he is at and you meet that. The Spirit of God has raised a standard against him.
Extracts from Reading in Belfast with James Taylor Jr, 3 November 1965 (Vol 41)
J.T.Jr. Quite so. The enemy tried to bring in the law again just dressed up a little differently. Satan has a lot of costumes, so look out for the next one! He changes himself into an angel of light and his ministers transform themselves as ministers of righteousness. We want then to get back to the local assembly. When anybody interferes in it you know what to tell him. You ought to know what to tell him without being rude. There has been enough rudeness around, I should think.
A.S.H. Somebody from another assembly, you mean?
J.T.Jr. Yes. It is what has been happening, so that you would not need a local assembly! You would have a substitution of another centre of operations from which Christ would be shut out.
. . .
J.M. All this is basically helpful, I feel, in view of what we have been through. If we are married to One who is risen from the dead, business interests do not count there. Commercialism has no place in that at all.
J.T.Jr. You do not need anything there but Christ. That is all you need. He does not need anybody’s money. He needs us. That is what He wants. You might say the Lord has a need. He needs us, He needs our affections. I think that is what the Spirit produces. Of course, the Spirit is not viewed exactly as active in the believer in Romans 7 but still the suggestion is there and He is alongside of us, urging us on to Christ.
J.G. “I do not seek yours, but you,” 2 Cor. 12: 14.
J.T.Jr. Yes. He would know that they needed material things but he wanted them. He would speak about material things, but he did not seek all their bank accounts and balance sheets! He did not ask for those. He says, ‘I want you’.
W.G. Is there any significance in the fact that the Lord allowed this thing to continue so long?
J.T.Jr. Well, to get what it was fully blown out, I suppose. He brought it all out and then hit it. That is what He did.
Extracts from Reading in Gothenburg with James Taylor Jr, 4 November 1965 (Vol 41)
J.T.Jr. . . . We know what a dictator does—he insists on his own will, relying on his own power by natural means and natural ability.
. . .
J.T.Jr. Natural ability is developed by education and human endeavour.
Rem. Paul wrote to the Galations, “Who has bewitched you?” Gal. 3: 1
J.T.Jr. Treachery is in it. The man of sin bewitches people and the Galatian assemblies had been deceived by this means; natural ability was attractive to them.
Rem. That was because it is appealing to the flesh and to the natural mind.
J.T.Jr. The fact was that the whole trend was to build up and revive the old man which, fully developed, becomes the man of sin, full of natural ability and deception.
Rem. Paul had great natural ability derived from his education and learning, but he never used it.
J.T.Jr. Yes, he had great natural ability, but the light from heaven struck him down and from then on God could take him up.
. . .
J.T.Jr. Forgiven persons are justified for another world. Paul was not justified in order to become a big business man. You are justified for another world where you will not need commerce or money.
. . .
Rem. There was a tendency to think that there existed a certain class of persons to whom others did not reach up; but such an idea would be inconsistent with the thought of reconciliation.
J.T.Jr. God is no respecter of persons, young or old. It was not right to say that the older brethren were not up to these things.
. . .
Ques. Was it not in the main the older brethren that were the least affected by the enemy’s work during the past months? They were more grounded in the epistle to the Romans.
J.T.Jr. Yes; but some of the elder brethren could feel reasonably secure and encouraged because they had been able to contribute a lot of money to the system, so they had nothing to fear. It was a deceptive system.
Extracts from Readings in Västboås with James Taylor Jr, 5 November 1965 (Vol 41)
R.W. Does it link with the Supper, calling the Lord to mind? We begin that way.
J.T.Jr. It is a great thing for the mind to remember Christ. We identify our mind with the Spirit. There are different measures of mind in the physical sense.
A.W. They must be filled to the brim.
J.T.Jr. Yes, they must not be filled with commerce. Some people’s minds are brilliant, but that is natural.
. . .
J.T.Jr. The unction, I think, is a feminine thought, and that is why so many sisters did not go with it. Some sisters did so, but they were all worn out, working day and night. What brethren should do is to put the facts where they belong. If you witness to suffering, you put it where it belongs. Brethren have been humiliated publicly—that ought to be put where it belongs. The assembly is not a sphere to humiliate people. It is where God will honour His work.
. . .
J.T.Jr. “Stranger” is an important word. The Lord was a stranger amongst the Jews; He was a stranger in the world, and that is what He means us to be. That is really what we have dealt with in the compromise ministry; it was friendship with the world.
Å.Å. Does that mean smallness in an outward sense? “Who hath despised the day of small things?” Zech. 4: 10.
J.T.Jr. The Lord did not fit, and a christian does not fit. If you find yourself getting on too well with men, it will run into friendship.
E.P. Your father said in that address, Christ as Turning Point and Model, that he did not think the Lord could have been a successful merchant and that He could not have taken command of an army (Ministry by J. Taylor, N.S. Vol. 1, p. 74).
J.T.Jr. That is interesting.
A.D. It says in Hebrews 11 that the world was not worthy of these persons.
J.T.Jr. It is well to see too that we prosper as our soul prospers. God trusts money to people that are true, but when you make the money an idol—that is the evil.
E.P. The epistle of James is a very severe epistle. At times you would hardly think he was writing to the brethren.
A.D. He addresses the rich ones who are oppressive. You mentioned in Gothenburg that the rich ones can give gifts, so that it blinds the eye. It needs special power to overcome all this.
J.T.Jr. It is a mercy we do not have many rich.
Extracts from Readings in Siegen with James Taylor Jr, 9-10 November 1965 (Vol 41)
H.B. That should fill us with fear. We have had this sorrowful experience that men have not been controlled by the Spirit. They have been travelling merchant-men, who made the spirit of commerce equal to the Spirit of God, and that has been corrected.
J.T.Jr. Satan was in Peter in Matthew 16.
. . .
A.W. Then it says in Hebrews, “Consider how great this personage was”, Heb. 7: 4. Would that lead to worship?
J.T.Jr. I think so. So, if you are absorbed in the world, it soon becomes an object and controls your life. What the enemy was at recently was that our minds should be occupied with the world.
H.H.S. John the baptist was absorbed by Christ when he said, “Behold the Lamb of God”, John 1: 36.
J.T.Jr. The issue for us is to see whether we have done this. Have we worshipped Him?
G.S. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”, Exod. 20: 3. We have been glorifying some brothers even more than the Lord.
H.B. We would be in a right state if we were actually new skins.
J.T.Jr. New skins and new bottles—they do not break. This whole thing smashed up, but the saints have not collapsed. We have Christ before us, not man.
. . .
J.T.Jr. Sanctification is through sufferings, so He suffered. How can we get on with the world? The world has no place for the christian; he is to be a stranger there. So, if you get too friendly in business, you had better be careful: “friendship with the world is enmity with God”, Jas. 4: 4.
J.T.Jr. Righteousness is the leader and it is right to look ahead, only do not be Philistines. We must be humble. We do not need to spend so much money on meeting-rooms. The Lord would not complain—He walked in the wilderness with them. Some of these meeting-rooms are too pretentious, too worldly. Righteousness is that you get the money and pay the bill. Reckoning is righteousness, too. We want the brethren to be peaceful, so that they can sleep in peace. Righteousness is the leader.
. . .
W.M.Sr. Could we possibly get into what is religious in having a building like the religious people?
J.T.Jr. It is only a question of being humble. You might say you want the meeting room as nice as your home, but you want to be humble about your home, too. The Lord would not complain if we have a place that is suitable for the brethren, especially when it has enough oxygen. . .
J.T.Jr. There has been a distance recently and the devil wanted to make it bigger. There was interference in the administration of other meetings. People had better mind their own business. They do not know how to keep their own vineyards, so they go to look after another one.
. . .
J.T.Jr. Each locality is to be clear. If any of this evil doctrine has been allowed, it would have to be judged by the assembly. We come into a right place. You see, it says “every one went to his home” (v. 53), but we must not do that. We want to get right. We want to get into the region of the Holy Spirit; that is where the Lord went and that is, so to speak, where He always is.
Extract from Reading in Endbach with James Taylor Jr, 11 November 1965 (Vol 41)
J.T.Jr. Benjamin was the manifestation, and Judah also, but not the others. Is that right?
H.B. I was also thinking of Joseph himself.
J.T.Jr. Yes, but he is the Lord. Benjamin is a manifestation, and Judah also, for he made a confession. There is that element amongst us, but we all want to be like that, confessing like Judah. Have we all made our confessions, and the assembly, too?
G.D. What do you mean?
J.T.Jr. Over this recent bringing in of commerce into the meeting. Has the assembly made confession?
D.B. We have had a care meeting. We have not had an assembly meeting here. It was in the care meeting when brothers confessed.
J.T.Jr. The care meeting is not an assembly meeting. The assembly then is recognised and the Lord sees that. That is Judah here; he confessed. Benjamin was not in it, and a lot of brethren were not in this, but Benjamin was in the confession.
K.P.Sr. In that meeting we all took our share in responsibility for what had happened.
J.T.Jr. But you did not go into assembly? You must do that, but I must not interfere! What the enemy was at was to destroy the local assembly and to humiliate the ministers.
W.Schr. Would we have to take into account that it was a system?
J.T.Jr. It was a system. The local assembly is what the Lord loves, and He loves to see it when it has got itself right.
Extracts from Readings in St. Etienne with James Taylor Jr, 15 November 1965 (Vol 41)
S.D. While you are speaking of local administration, I would like to ask a question as to recent exercises. Here, at St. Etienne, we had several meetings where matters of commerce or other things were introduced. At the end of one reading, we had a care meeting where several brothers confessed that they had been wrong, either because they had introduced this sort of thing or because they had said nothing when the matter was introduced and developed. But things were left there. Was that sufficient?
J.T.Jr. I think it is due to the Lord that the assembly should be brought into it, so that the assembly itself acknowledges its failure in regard to what was introduced. That would involve, I think, what the apostle says in 1 Corinthians 3 as to the fire dealing with the extraneous things. “Now if any one build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw, the work of each shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire shall try the work of each what it is,” 1 Cor. 3: 12, 13. The fire would consume the wood and the grass and the straw; that is the description of this line of things that was brought in. We do not wait for the judgment-seat, we deal with things now; so that the fire is really through the assembly judgment and clears the assembly of what has not been right.
S.D. Have the individuals alone been involved or do you think the assembly has been involved?
J.T.Jr. Both. Of course, there is a distinction between persons who are regarded as elders and ministers as over against the general thought of the saints, so that the elders would be largely related to the matter of protection, and they would do that individually, but then the assembly itself clears itself. There are those who are regarded as elders amongst us and they are mainly responsible to keep things right, but we are all responsible, including sisters.
S.D. Do you think that no one can say that he is not responsible?
J.T.Jr. No one could say that. Of course, while young people are fully in fellowship, you would not regard them in the same light; yet they might learn through the exercise. The young people—that is, those who are of age—were mainly in mind in what the enemy was at, because making money is attractive.
P.P. How can we discern that it is not human power but spiritual power?
J.T.Jr. By the unction, that is, the Spirit viewed in a feminine sense, I think. You have a feeling that is of the Spirit as to what is being ministered, so you have to decide: Is it human power, or is it the power of God?
M.P. Have we in some sense quenched the Spirit in not having discerned that it was not the power of the Spirit amongst us?
J.T.Jr. Yes. The Spirit was not free in us to resist.
Extracts from Reading in Airdrie with James Taylor Jr, 25 July 1967 (Vol 88)
J.T.Jr. . . . I have heard it said that there is a revival of the old system. What was that?
L.H. Would it relate to the assertion of natural ability?
J.T.Jr. That would be part of it. Commerce was one thing, an outstanding thing. But another thing with it was a kind of inspection of everybody’s affairs, hardness going along with it; people had to do things and expose things that they should not have had to do at all. Has that side been judged and departed from? Are the wounds of that healed? . . .
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