Page 5 - March 2018 - Truth & Tidings
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be on public display. Currently, angels are   the pre-eminence,” and, in the case of itin-
        the only spectators (1Cor 11:10, KJV).  erant preachers received by the assembly,
          The fruit and fragrance an assembly   he “casteth them out of the church.” The
        produces is for Christ alone. It is a walled   flesh also intrudes when immorality raises
        garden, barred and locked so that only   its head in an assembly. Discipline becomes
        bride and groom have access. The propri-  necessary to maintain the holiness of God’s
        etorial claims of Christ are witnessed when   house. The wall of separation needs to be
        the metaphor changes and Christ is seen in   retained.
        the midst of the seven golden lampstands
        of the Apocalypse. These churches are His   The Devil’s Inroads
        and He assesses them: “I know thy works.”   In the early days of the church, Ananias
        Its Protection                       and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit when
                                             they reneged on a promise they had made
          The wall is not only to mark ownership   before God. “But Peter said, Ananias why
        of the property and to give privacy to bride   hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the
        and groom, but it is also intended to keep   Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the
        out what is harmful to the garden. The   price of the land” (Acts 5:3, KJV). The Devil
        garden of God’s assembly needs the wall   has been exceptionally busy breaking up
        of separation around it. Elders need to be   Christian marriages and homes. He has
        warned, as Paul warned the Ephesian el-  caused divisions in assemblies where per-
        ders, of dangers from without and within.   sonalities, rather than principles, have been
        The assembly needs protection from the   fought over. He is also partnering with
        world’s influence, the flesh’s intrusion and   the flesh in these instances. In partnership
        the Devil’s inroads.                 with the world, he is promoting legislation
        The World’s Influence                that is contrary to the teaching of the Bible
          James reminds us that “friendship of the   and recent laws will impact the testimony
                                             of assemblies if the Lord does not return
        world is enmity with God.” Such are adul-  soon. The wall of separation needs to be
        terers and adulteresses. We profess to be   maintained. “Young men … ye are strong,
        married to Christ, but flirt with the world.   and the Word of God abideth in you, and
        John wrote, “If any man love the world the   ye have overcome the wicked one” (1John
        love of the Father is not in him.” Worldly
        influences must be resisted. We are to love   2:13, KJV).
        the Father and obey the will of God. The   Chapter 4 is the first chapter to use the
        wall of separation must be maintained.  expression, “my sister, my spouse.” It is
                                             suggested that the relationship of the bride
        The Flesh’s Intrusion                and bridegroom before marriage is like that

           How readily the flesh will intrude even   of brother and sister, indicating the purity
        into our holiest moments. Unholy thoughts   of the connection. “My spouse,” however,
        invade our prayer time. When preaching,   indicates the promise of intimacy once the
        believers tell you how good you have been   wedding has taken place. The expression
        and you flush with pride. The flesh may   occurs three times in chapter four and once
        also show itself in less subtle ways. Re-  in chapter five.
        member Diotrephes, “who loveth to have                     - To be continued

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