The Third Loft Teaching from Acts 20

Acts 20  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 7
In the opening verses of this chapter we see the faithful care of God over the Apostle Paul in his travels in the work of the Lord. When the Lord is at work in any place, the enemy always gets busy and those who oppose the truth the most are those who are the most religious. It was Paul's own brethren in the flesh (the Jews) who persecuted him the most. How very deeply the Apostle felt what he wrote to those in Macedonia:
“For ye, brethren, became followers of the
churches of God which in Judea are in Christ
Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of
your own countrymen, even as they have of
the Jews: who both killed the Lord Jesus, and
their own prophets, and have persecuted us;
and they please not God, and are contrary to
all men: forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles
that they might be saved, to fill up their sins
always: for the wrath is come upon them to
We, too, have the same faithful God to rest in and to care for us in our own individual lives and in our time of service for the Lord.
When we come to verse 6 of our chapter, we notice a very interesting thing. The Apostle Paul is joined in his journey up to Jerusalem by Luke and perhaps others, for the author now says we instead of he. Together now are apostles and prophets. Compare this with Eph. 2:2020And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (Ephesians 2:20).
In verses 7 through 12 we believe that the Spirit of God is giving us a brief prophecy of the testimony during this day of grace, and especially in connection with the Lord's Supper. In these few verses it is helpful if we think of Paul as representing Paul's doctrine, and the young man, Eutychus, as representing Church testimony and what befell it. If we want to see the Church in its beauty, we must either look at it in its beginning or ending. In chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the Acts, how very bright was the Church's testimony when they were all together and had all things common. So also we see a very bright picture in verses 7 and 8. All is in order and we see that already it had become a custom for the disciples to come together to break bread upon the first day of the week, the resurrection day, that which speaks of the new order of things. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:1717Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Also they are met together in an upper chamber. This would indeed remind us that the Church's true position is heavenly, above the level of the world. In Luke chapter 22, there were two things that characterized the room where the Lord's Supper was instituted. It was a large room and an upper room. This is full of instruction for us. The Lord has room for all that will come and present themselves suitable to His own presence, and the place will be a place that is morally above the level of the world.
In the early days of the history of the Church here on earth, Paul's doctrine was known and practically followed for a brief period. This was a bright testimony made so by individual Christians being together; so also in verse 8 there were many lights together, and in the proper place.
In every case in which God has tested man, he has soon fallen from the exalted place in which he had been put. The case here of the Church in her high and favored position is no different. We see this typified in Eutychus' falling asleep and falling from the third loft and being apparently lifeless. As soon as the apostles and New Testament prophets were gone from this scene, the precious truths given through the Apostle Paul were lost sight of. A deep sleep fell upon the Church and the result was a fall down to the level of the world and death as to the testimony. "They all slumbered and slept." (See Matt. 25:1-131Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 25:1‑13).) "Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead." Rev. 3:11And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. (Revelation 3:1).
The Word of God lives and abides. "Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven." Psa. 119:8989LAMED. For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89). After many centuries of darkness as to the testimony of the Church here on earth, God again brought out into the light Paul's doctrine to be known and practiced. The result was life as to the testimony and a raising up from the world's level to the same high place it had occupied before. Through the work of the Spirit of God, the mystery of Christ and the Church, the truth of the rapture, the Lord's Supper, and many other precious truths, long lost, were again brought to light. In about the year 1827 a few humble Christians met together simply in the Name of the Lord Jesus and began to break bread on the ground of the truth of the one body. To these God has given much precious ministry to enjoy and to hold till the Lord comes.
“Till the day break" pictures to us the Lord's coming when that day of glory dawns for the believer. All this is the fulfillment of Acts 20:1111When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. (Acts 20:11) and to us it is a great comfort just as those in the upper room were comforted in verse 12. "Wherefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thess. 4:1818Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:18). The comfort is the truth of resurrection.
To see the Church in her beauty in the future, we look at the glorious description in Rev. 21 verses 9 to 27. She is pictured as "descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God." Ed.