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Oct 1999 - Editorial

Perhaps very soon service in God's house will end when our Lord returns to the air for the Church, which is His Body. The service of many has ended in death as did the apostle Paul's who wrote, 'I have fought ...I have finished... I have kept the faith' (2 Tim. 4:7). Today we have the exhilarating prospect of our lives being terminated, not in death but in victory through the second coming of our glorious Lord, as outlined in another Maran atha meditation.

Hezekiah also served lovingly in God's house. Ron Hickling's article points out valuable lessons for us from the way Hezekiah demonstrated in his twenties his appreciation of God's house by first removing wrong practices, sanctifying the Levites and cleansing 'the house of the LORD' (2 Chr. 29: 12-16). He set up again principles of divine service in place of human substitutes. He restored the burnt offering to its rightful place and when it 'began, the song of the LORD began also' (29:27). The Passover was kept, but in the second month after taking counsel because there were not sufficient numbers of sanctified priests (30:2,3). The New Testament expression of a spiritual house in the first century AD also ceased due to departure from the divine pattern. To God's praise and glory this was restored over one hundred years ago as outlined in the article. Doctrinal dangers remain today, and also the possibility of losing our appreciation of a separated position unto the Lord.

The Person whom the Father sent into the world is the One who matters in regard to divine service. Love for God and His house must centre in His Son who is over it (Heb. 3:6), and not in the likeableness or social attractiveness of persons in any church of God. The aim must be to uphold the principles of divine service regarding God's house (1 Tim. 3:15,16); learning also to 'know the mystery of God, even Christ, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden' (John 17:3; Col. 2:2,3).

Focus centres on the importance of principles from the Word of God which are of supreme consequence to disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Certain departures from these principles are clearly illustrated by reference to a recent high-profile event in the Roman Catholic Church. However brilliant and admired a leader may be, he is on the wrong path if his theological principles do not accord with Scripture.