Page 5 - March 2017 - Truth & Tidings
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thou in the things which thou hast learned      Spirit of God, continued steadfastly in the
…“ (2Tim 3:14).                                 apostles’ teaching. They, like believers to-
                                                day, had three enemies to contend with: the
  The fourth essential is: “They continued      world around them, the flesh within them,
steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” or       and the devil following them. This soon
teachings. This is the truth revealed to        became apparent when the sin of covetous-
the apostles during their time with their       ness appeared. In Acts 5:1-11, Ananias and
Lord in His teachings prior to the cross.       his wife, Sapphira, lied to the Holy Spirit.
This essential constrains us to appreci-        They gave part of the price of the sale of
ate why God gave the epistles. With the         their property, kept back some, and gave
completed canon of Scripture, sign gifts        the balance as though it were the whole
(tongues, prophecies, etc. which proved it      amount. Both experienced sudden death
to be God’s work) ceased. “But when that        when they confessed to this act. The result
which is perfect (neuter tense, referring to    was “great fear came upon all the church,
the completed Scriptures) is come, then         and upon as many as heard these things”
that which is in part shall be done away”       (vv5, 11). Solomon, in several proverbs,
(1Cor 13:10). This is a fulfillment of the      speaks concerning the reverential fear of
great truth spoken by our Lord in John          God. When this fear is lacking, the enemy
chapters 14 and 16: “But the Comforter …        takes advantage, and worldliness and the
will teach you all things,” referring to the    desires of the flesh enter. A casual attitude
epistles. “He will bring all things to your     in our desires and our walk is seen. Our
remembrance,” referring to the gospels.         outward appearance should be a manifes-
Furthermore we read in John 16:13-14,           tation of inward reality.
“When He, the Spirit of truth is come …
He will guide you into all truth.” “He will       The Holy Ghost makes overseers (Acts
shew you things to come.”                       20:28). Their work as shepherds is to “feed
                                                the flock of God.” As overseers, these
  This refers to the “Revelation of the Lord    men watch over the flock. With spiritual
Jesus.” “He shall glorify me … [and] shew       maturity, they are referred to as “elders.”
it unto you.” Consequently, we can see that     These holy, Spirit-given men are to “be
the triune God would teach them and lead        examples to the flock” and lead them into
them in the pattern He had desired them to      spiritual pastures. Peter, who preached
follow. He would lead them by His Spirit,       the gospel when many souls were saved
through his apostles, for His own honor         in Acts 2, wrote later in 1 Peter 5:1-4 “The
and glory. Thankfully, the Word of God          elders … feed the flock of God … taking
gives us this clear instruction for gathering.  the oversight thereof … of a ready mind;
                                                neither as being lords over God’s heritage,
  This local church, perfect in its pattern     but being ensamples to the little flock. And
and composed of believers in Christ,            when the Chief Shepherd shall appear
would be subject to the same attitudes          [they] shall receive a crown of glory that
and treatment as He received prior to the       fadeth not away.” We thank God for the
cross. The practice of an assembly depends      faithful shepherds who labor as they lead
on the spiritual development of believers.      the people of God. A crown of glory awaits
(We would desire that our practice was          them in that day of reward for all work that
as spiritual as the pattern given by our        was done for Him.
Lord.) This company, individually and
collectively indwelt and guided by the

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