Correspondence

Acts 19:39  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 7
4. F. F. G, Liverpool.—1. It is scriptural to call any gathering together an assembly. (See Acts 19:32, 39, 4132Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. (Acts 19:32)
39But if ye inquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly. (Acts 19:39)
41And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly. (Acts 19:41)
.) This heathen concourse of people could not have been called " the church," and this shows that the modern use of the word church is not the correct one. Thus also, believers gathered together, whether in Egypt or elsewhere, can be called " assemblies;" but strictly, not any one of them could be called "the assembly which is the body of Christ." If all believers in one place were gathered to Christ, as at the beginning, then they could be scripturally called the assembly of God in that place.
2. There is no necessary connection between the temple of Mal. 3:11Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:1) and 2 Thess. 2:44Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:4). The prophecy refers to the first coming of Christ to the temple then standing, and to John the Baptist. But owing to Israel's rejection of Jehovah, which was evidently Christ, it goes on to His second coming in judgment. Jesus did come to His temple, but was rejected. The period of the church, or assembly, is passed over, as in other prophecies, and runs on to the judgment and millennial blessing. Without the light of the New Testament we could not separate the first and the second coming, yet all is in the most perfect harmony. John came in the power of Elias.
3. There is no veil of the temple set up again in the millennial temple, but there are doors which take its place. (Ezek. xii. 3, 4, 23, 24.) Jehovah will again dwell with His people of Israel (Eze. 43:1-71Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: 2And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. 3And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. 4And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. 5So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house. 6And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. 7And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places. (Ezekiel 43:1‑7)), and great shall be the privileges of the prince of Israel. But the way into the most holy does not seem to be even open unto him. (Eze. 46:1-181Thus saith the Lord God; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. 2And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. 3Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the Lord in the sabbaths and in the new moons. 4And the burnt offering that the prince shall offer unto the Lord in the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish. 5And the meat offering shall be an ephah for a ram, and the meat offering for the lambs as he shall be able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah. 6And in the day of the new moon it shall be a young bullock without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram: they shall be without blemish. 7And he shall prepare a meat offering, an ephah for a bullock, and an ephah for a ram, and for the lambs according as his hand shall attain unto, and an hin of oil to an ephah. 8And when the prince shall enter, he shall go in by the way of the porch of that gate, and he shall go forth by the way thereof. 9But when the people of the land shall come before the Lord in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it. 10And the prince in the midst of them, when they go in, shall go in; and when they go forth, shall go forth. 11And in the feasts and in the solemnities the meat offering shall be an ephah to a bullock, and an ephah to a ram, and to the lambs as he is able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah. 12Now when the prince shall prepare a voluntary burnt offering or peace offerings voluntarily unto the Lord, one shall then open him the gate that looketh toward the east, and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, as he did on the sabbath day: then he shall go forth; and after his going forth one shall shut the gate. 13Thou shalt daily prepare a burnt offering unto the Lord of a lamb of the first year without blemish: thou shalt prepare it every morning. 14And thou shalt prepare a meat offering for it every morning, the sixth part of an ephah, and the third part of an hin of oil, to temper with the fine flour; a meat offering continually by a perpetual ordinance unto the Lord. 15Thus shall they prepare the lamb, and the meat offering, and the oil, every morning for a continual burnt offering. 16Thus saith the Lord God; If the prince give a gift unto any of his sons, the inheritance thereof shall be his sons'; it shall be their possession by inheritance. 17But if he give a gift of his inheritance to one of his servants, then it shall be his to the year of liberty; after it shall return to the prince: but his inheritance shall be his sons' for them. 18Moreover the prince shall not take of the people's inheritance by oppression, to thrust them out of their possession; but he shall give his sons inheritance out of his own possession: that my people be not scattered every man from his possession. (Ezekiel 46:1‑18).) The people or the land shall worship at the door. (Ver. 3.) Surely all this shows us the unspeakable privilege we have now, even to enter with boldness the holiest, by the blood of Jesus. (Heb. 10) Do we understand this?
4. There is no scripture instruction as to any particular time when we should break bread. It is as oft as ye do it, &c.
5. The difference between "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" may be stated thus. "Psalms" are the psalms of David and others, known as psalms; " hymns " are compositions of holy praise, suited for corporate worship; and songs of praise, or spiritual songs, are holy poetic compositions, more expressive of individual faith, and joy in the Lord, such as the song of Hannah at Shiloh. It is the will of God that believers should speak to themselves thus, " in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." (Eph. 5:1919Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (Ephesians 5:19).) " Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Col. 3:1616Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16).) May we never sing except it be to the Lord.
6. It is remarkable that there is little said as to the idolatry of Israel in Egypt. Exod. 32 would leave no doubt that they had been idolaters; but scripture is chiefly occupied with their idolatry, after they were a redeemed people from Egypt. What a lesson for us, who profess to have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
7. The helmet of salvation is the real certainty that we are saved eternally.
Your other questions do not seem to us to be for the profit of the readers of this magazine. And this is our object, not to be occupied with curious, or merely intellectual, questions. May the Lord graciously give food for the whole flock of God.
5. H.—" But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Cor. 2:1616For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16).) No doubt these words apply in a special way to the apostles. And it is a matter for great thankfulness that we have the very inspired words of those who had the mind of Christ. " The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual discerneth all things." Thus, though we have the very inspired words of God, yet the natural man is still in darkness, yea, is darkness. But it is evidently the privilege of every spiritual man to discern them.
Divisions, however, proved that these Corinthians were not spiritual, but natural, or carnal; which is the sad condition of Christendom at this day. These divisions prove that Christendom is not spiritual, and cannot say, with the apostle, we have the mind of Christ. There were no such divisions to rebuke at Philippi, hence the tender admonition: " Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Surely we are responsible earnestly to seek this.