Preaching by Deryck Noakes at Winchester, England


Preaching at Winchester, England
Lord’s Day, 18 May 1969
Deryck Noakes

John 19 : 23-24

The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took his clothes, and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and the body-coat; but the body-coat was seamless, woven through the whole from the top.

They said therefore to one another, Let us not rend it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the scripture might be fulfilled which says, They parted my garments among themselves, and on my vesture they cast lots. The soldiers therefore did these things.

John 20 : 21-23 (…to them)

[Jesus] said therefore again to them, Peace [be] to you: as the Father sent me forth, I also send you.

And having said this, he breathed into [them], and says to them, Receive [the] Holy Spirit:

whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted to them;…

Every true lover of Christ does not read this section of scripture easily. Jesus was crucified. In one sense, every true lover would recoil from reading it – that such things as these happened to Christ!

What I want to speak about then is nakedness and clothing – nakedness and clothing. He was crucified naked. They took His clothes and made four parts. The four parts, as we have been taught, is how the truth has been divided in Protestantism. It has been divided – one sect has got this and another sect has got that; but it is derogatory to Christ that they have got it. How solemn that is! The Person, really, is humiliated through what they have got. Then the vesture: they did not divide that. The body-coat was seamless – that is really Catholicism. That church has got all the forms of the truth – the whole thing. They took it, but they have not got Christ.

Then we would come nearer home in regard to these things, and understand what the Lord would say to us in this meeting, that it is not the sects now, but it’s us. Whether you have the truth, at all – in part or in whole – it is derogatory to Christ if it is without Him. This is the burden of the moment – that you have got Christ. It says that the soldiers crucified Him. You may be in these meetings and you might be taking in the truth in some form, but if you do not have Christ, you are really crucifying Him in this sense – exposing Him, leaving Him out of it, and taking what He gives, taking what He wears; because Christ wears wonderful garments. His garments were righteous here, righteous throughout.

The garments of Christ would have brought out what He was amongst men. That is what they took, and many people like to take that: what Christ was amongst men. They like to clothe themselves with that – “Gentle Jesus, meek and mild.” They sing that, and it is true, too; but they like to clothe themselves with that without having the Man. Currently, the great test amongst men is not how Christ was amongst men; the great test amongst men is whether they will have Christ Himself.

We will not be then callous or indifferent in regard to Him. There were never crueller men, I think, than those soldiers. They were skilled in the art of being cruel. Maybe there are some people like that in this room, too, that are skilled in the art of being cruel. Maybe you are skilled in that art – skilled – of being unfeeling. You treat your husband like that; you treat the ministers like that – isn’t that true? Isn’t that true, you women; isn’t that true? You are callous to him; you are callous to the ministers; you are callous to the Lord. That is what it means. You do not mind taking anything from Him, but will not have Him. Isn’t that so? Isn’t that true? Am I getting at a conscience here? Yes, I think I am; and I hope you are putting this on a tape, too – are you? It is on the tape, and you send it to John Mason and tell him to put it in, without any amendments. Tell him to put this in – what I’m saying now too – into that book. And what I’m saying is this: it is absolute callousness to take the truth without taking Christ. That is what they did: they crucified Him, they rejected Him; but would take His clothes. How can you wear the clothes of Christ without having Him? And they did not like Him – they hated Him. I hope there is no soul in this room that hates Christ, in His present appearings. You say, ‘I’m keeping that thing,’ or, ‘I’m keeping that thing,’ or you might say, ‘I know all the truth, and I’m keeping that’ – and you leave Christ naked, in that sense. Well, I appeal to every heart here not to do that, but to be converted; that you might be converted from your stoniness to understand that there is a Man, a blessed Man. Why should I then go on with this thing? – because the glad tidings are the point. But this is necessary, in any case.

But let us get to chapter 20. He says, ‘Whosoever sins are forgiven, they are forgiven.’ Isn’t that wonderful? There is the clothing there. He says, ‘You will be clothed with power from on high’ (Luke 24:49). This is inward, of course: He breathed into them and said, “Receive Holy Spirit.” That is the glad tidings today, brethren. Do not be too worried about sins, because He can forgive any sin – just get to that. It says He breathed into them and said, “Receive Holy Spirit; whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted.” Look how rich you are; look what a program you can set on here! That is the ‘happiness department,’ if ever there was one! Any sin that comes up, you can forgive it. So I did not read the second part – it is that you can forgive it. That is how Christ would be. He was like that, and He will be like that to anyone that receives Him. You know where the breath came from – it came out of the Person, not out of the clothes. The Lord is “a quickening spirit,” 1 Cor. 15:45. The breath came out of the Person, and if you have only the truth and you do not have the Person, you will not be quickened. The whole truth cannot quicken you. As I said earlier, Rome is a sign to us of that. They have all the forms, in a sense – all the ritual. The Lord’s supper – the mass is really that. The baptism – they have it, intact; and other things, too. They have it intact; and they have added to it. They have the whole thing, but they do not have this: “the last Adam a quickening spirit.” Oh, no! You can have it only by moving to Christ and getting Him yourself.

Well, I trust this word gets through. I trust it gets through to you women here, and that you get more feeling, and that you get out of your selfishness, and answer to your man – answer to him, and answer to the ministers; because you need a man. You need one – you need a man to answer to. You need to see that something will come from man that you do not have, and you could not have, without man. The ones that are not married, of course, have a much easier job, because they just go to Christ direct; that is all they do. You do not have to go through your man – you can go direct. So you are losing nothing. You have the greatest things if you are not married; you are losing nothing.

But, dear brethren, let us be convicted in this meeting. As I said, every soul that loves Christ would shrink from what is in these scriptures; and yet we must go to them, because here is the essence of everything: that there is a Man that lost everything, that we might be clothed. “Clothed with power from on high” is outward, in a sense; “breathed into them” is inward. There the thing is – both ways you have it, so that we can be in this ‘happiness department’ with forgiveness of sins. If there is any sin worrying you, He says, ‘Whosoever sins are forgiven – forgiven! It does not matter what you have done – forgiven!’ Don’t you like that?! Don’t you like it? Forgiven – that’s finished. He breathed into them and said, “Receive Holy Spirit.” It is not in the makeup of man to do that. That is a divine thing – that you can do that. It is what is imparted to men that is divine, that you get that attitude to things, that you can forgive men their sins. ‘Whosoever sins are forgiven – forgiven.’ It is finished. So we can rejoice in that; and we get that, I think, only by what comes out of the Person.

So these meetings are to that end, that we might have to do with Christ – past every minister, past what every minister says – which is the clothes, in a sense. He would show you how Christ is attired; he would show you how Christ moved. He may be able to show you these things, but to go past all those things, and not take that without taking the Man . . . and the Man, in this sense, is overpowering – you understand that. The only way you can get in is by complete submission. “He breathed into them” – that is overpowering. ‘He breathed into them, and said, Receive Holy Spirit.’ That means there was no other spirit there, no demons there – they were filled with the Holy Spirit. May these things be so. In His name.

Originally published by The Bible and Ministry Depot, 101 Heugh Road, Walmer, Port Elizabeth, South Africa


This preaching was part of three-day meetings in Winchester with Deryck Noakes in May 1969. In December 1970, under influence and without going by principles, Winchester repudiated these three-day meetings, including this preaching. For further details regarding this matter, see the April 2015 letter to persons in Winchester from Gavin Eales and Jadon Allen.

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