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The Seven Churches

This is the second of four articles examining the Seven churches expositionally and practically. The Lord Jesus, the One in the midst of the seven lamp stands, is seen in all His glory. The lamp stands are interpreted for us in 1:20 as the seven churches. The Lord Jesus is in the central place, the place of concern, cognizance and control.

He views the various churches and sees them as they really are from heaven’s perspective. He looks to commend what can be commended and also adds words of condemnation and correction where needed. The Lord gives a call to hear and also offers compensation to those who belong to Him.

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Fools

I remember the case of a young man who married a moneyless girl and then sailed for Australia, taking with him his bride and what little money he could scrape together; it was only about £600. When the two families heard that he had used his capital in buying some land in an out of the way place, they said he ought to be shut up in a lunatic asylum. But there was gold in that piece of land, and when, some years later, I met him in London, he was very rich; and the relatives had given up talking about lunatic asylums.

The Christian is a follower of Him who likened Himself to a man that parts with all that he has in order to buy a field, because he knows there is treasure hidden in it. The Christian acts in the present with a view to the future. For he knows while the things which are seen are temporal, the things which are not seen are eternal.

– an excerpt from The Way by Sir Robert Anderson

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Some Thoughts on Congregational Singing

Some time ago I was asked to write an article about singing in the church. Before I do, let me quickly give you some personal background, so you will know from what perspective I am writing. I became Christian at age 19, and for the first 20 years after my salvation attended a lively non-denominational church, where I also functioned as piano/bass player, choir director, and where at times I would lead congregational singing. Most songs we sang were contemporary choruses, many of which contained much scripture. From there my family moved on to a more traditional church, where the majority of the songs consisted of hymns, many written during the 18th and 19thcenturies. Here I also directed a choir, and have been frequently involved in worship and song-leading.

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Paradox

When Thou hast mastered me,

Then shall I be victor;

When Thou hast enslaved me,

Then shall I be free.

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Isaiah 53:4-6 – God’s Servant Will Be Smitten – Part 3 of 5

In a coming day the Lord will gather the people of Israel to Himself, the scales will be removed from their eyes, they will look upon Him Whom they pierced, and then, God says, “You shall know that I am the Lord, when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways nor according to your corrupt doings, O house of Israel” (Ezekiel 20:44). The language of this third stanza in Isaiah 53 no doubt expresses what they will feel in that day. But it describes the attitude of all believers in the Lord Jesus towards Him.

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Editorial: He Shall Glorify Me!

The evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit is that He glorifies Christ. This is useful to know particularly when we observe something in spiritual things and wonder if the Lord is really in it or not. If Christ is glorified, it is an indication the Holy Spirit has been at work.

There have been many things that have been attributed to the Holy Spirit which are not His work. Sometimes emotions can be stirred and it is presumed to be the Spirit moving. But mere stirring of emotions are not the Spirit’s chief objective. He comes to glorify Christ. It is true that emotions may be stirred if this hasoccurred,butitisnotthe main goal.

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Christian Fellowship – Words that Promote Fellowship

Then they that feared the Lord spoke often to one another; and the Lord hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name” (Malachi 3:16)

Over four hundred years later the risen Christ asked two of His followers, “What manner of communications are these that you have?” (Luke 24:17). It is a question we sometimes need to ask ourselves. By offering hospitality, providing physical assistance and sharing financially, we show fellowship with other believers. Such things give evidence of the genuineness of our love and care. However it is only how we speak when with them that shows whether we know the joy to be found in conversational fellowship. That is the subject of this article.

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The Glories of Christ – His Pre-Incarnate Glories

In the early chapters of the book of Revelation, the apostle John emphasizes the critical importance of having their focus directed upon the glorified Christ. In Revelation chapter one the Lord is seen in all of His awesome glory in the midst of the golden candlesticks – the seven churches. When we come to chapters two and three, the apostle John looks into each of the seven churches in turn, and without exception, he shows that the panacea for all of their ills, or the source of encouragement midst their trials, can only be found in a fresh focus on the glorified Christ. Undoubtedly this is the much needed, highest priority, in the assemblies today, and with this in mind, we will consider the glory of Christ in three different aspects.

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