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Jan 1999 - Editorial

Lawrie Burrows

In June of last year our esteemed brother Lawrie Burrows of Kingston upon Thames, indicated that in view of indifferent health he desired to retire from the editorate of Needed Truth. He had been an editor since January 1973; having previously been an editor of our companion magazine Bible Studies since 1963. He brought an erudite mind and a profound knowledge of the Scriptures to the task, and was also well versed in authorities on English usage. Editors and readers would wish to thank our brother for the labour he has expended and the resulting benefits. We remember thankfully that the Lord Himself will suitably reward Lawrie's dedicated services.

Plans for 1999

Our plans for 1999 include, God willing, a series of articles Lovers of God's House. The opening article comments on the treatment of this subject by many Christian writers who have tended to miss the significance of this distinctive Bible truth. Development of the theme in Scripture will then be traced through the early glimpses given to some of the Patriarchs prior to the written revelation of Scripture. That God desired a dwelling place on earth was made clear to Israel after they had been redeemed from Egypt and entered into a covenant relationship with Him at Sinai. God said:

...let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them (Ex. 25:8).

The pattern of the Tabernacle was committed to Moses, who oversaw its construction to the minutest detail. He is described by the writer to the Hebrews as 'faithful... in all God's house' (3:2 margin). David was an ardent lover of God's house, as evidenced in his psalms and the institution of the service of song. The donation of his personal wealth facilitated the construction of the Temple by his son Solomon.

This year there will also be a series entitled New Testament Churches of God. This month's article deals with the use of the Greek work ekklesia translated church in the New Testament. An important distinction is drawn between the Church which is Christ's Body and local centres of worship and witness which are scripturally designated 'churches of God'. Later articles will deal with the planting and growth of the Jerusalem Church, which provides a clear pattern of church constitution and practice. The scattering of disciples following the death of Stephen, followed by the missionary enterprise of Paul and his companions, led to churches of God being planted in many parts of the Roman world.

FOCUS

The centrespread will continue to FOCUS the Word of God on current world issues, offering a Christian perspective. Attention will also be drawn to certain cults which falsely claim scriptural support for their beliefs.