In the first century, the Body of Christ was in its childhood, made up of babes … but when the Body becomes a Man “a Perfect Man” – as represented by the “Son of Man in the midst of the Seven Lightstands with the Seven Stars in his right hand”, in the post-resurrectional state of holiness, then there are no childish things found with it. Then every saint of the body will be in accord, seeing face to face, or eye to eye. The Sevenfold Ecclesia, as the Perfect Man, will be the Seven-Branched Golden Lightstand of the Earth. How brilliant then will be the illumination of the world; the whole earth will indeed be enlightened by the glory. Eureka, Volume 1 pages 164-166.

There is a sense in which the words of Revelation 1:13, quoted above, must have a present, as well as a future application. In a present sense the Lord Jesus Christ walks in the midst of the Lampstands, when the spirit of Christ is seen there, and those who manifest that spirit of Christ now, will constitute the multitudinous Son of Man of Revelation 1 in the day when that Body is revealed in the earth, possessing spirit nature itself.

Paul, in writing to the Ephesians, instructs them that they should “endeavour (that is, ‘be diligent’) to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:4).

What is the “Unity of the Spirit”?

 It is the unity of the Spirit because it is the Spirit’s unity, that is, the unity that God has brought into being (John Carter – The Letter to the Ephesians). It can only be attained when all members of the Body of Christ are acutely aware of their individual need to regularly absorb the Spirit’s thinking, from the Spirit Word. Then, and only then, will the spirit of Christ be seen in the midst of the Lampstands in a new way of living, based on a new way of thinking, based on the Spirit Word. The Apostle Paul defines these terms in Romans 8:9 when he says: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his”(Romans 8:9).

 In this passage Paul uses the word “Spirit” in three different aspects:-

  • the Word of God (“the spirit of God”)
  • the new mode of thinking, (“the spirit of Christ”)
  • the new mode of living (“in the spirit”)

 The keeping of this unity is not an easy matter by any means. In the first instance it entails the preservation of the doctrines of the Truth as found in the Scriptures and expounded by faithful brethren who have been the latter day pioneers in our community. It is incumbent upon us to not merely maintain these standards of doctrine but also to see the outworking of them in the Body.

How does this apply to us?

 The ecclesias in South Australia have benefited greatly from the work of earlier brethren who laboured to establish the Truth through the medium of Gospel preaching, “cottage classes”, special efforts and the establishment of ecclesias in Adelaide and surrounding country areas. “Other men have laboured and we have entered into their labours” (John 4:38). It therefore behoves us to continue the reaping process that we may gather more fruit unto life eternal, “that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together(John 4:36). When the spirit of Christ exists in a community there is true unity of the Spirit: then, and only then, can we truly “rejoice together”.

There is much in the world that causes us to be saddened and disheartened, but our ecclesial environment should be seen as a spiritual haven where we can be refreshed and where, in our fellowship together, our “joy may be full” (1 John 1:4 ). It is imperative that we preserve a united atmosphere in which our ecclesias can function and interact together, our young people can develop in the Truth, our children in the family and Sunday school can grow and prosper and our Gospel proclamation witness may ring forth with one voice to this generation. But, as we have seen, it must be the correct kind of unity: not just an absence of strife or contention, but the “unity of the spirit”, based upon the correct understanding of the Word and the expositions of the faithful pioneers of our movement.

How can we foster this unity?

 So that we may strengthen the bonds of the Truth among us, it has been felt desirable to produce this publication as a means of drawing our ecclesias even more closely together in the true unity of the Spirit. Communication is the essence of any relationship and the Body of Christ is no exception. A healthy familiarity with the activities of all ecclesias amongst whom we find ourselves and, above all, a restatement and affirmation of the things “most surely believed among us” will greatly assist in maintaining that precious unity with which we have been blessed and will help to ensure that the spirit of Christ is that one mind that directs our decisions and standards in ecclesial life. “THE LAMPSTAND” has therefore been designed as a bimonthly periodical specifically for the Adelaide and country areas of this State, addressing the particular needs of our ecclesias and providing information and ideas with specially selected articles relating to the circumstances facing brethren and sisters in many aspects of our daily walk.

Accordingly, in this opening issue, we have included articles directed at exposition (Habakkuk), exhortation (Judgment), instruction (family Bible study), encouragement (prophetic signs of our Lord’s return), guidance (family life in the Lord) as well as reflective verse and other helpful articles. In addition, there are included interesting and informative details of ecclesial activities, fraternal news and forthcoming events in our community.

We pray that, with our Heavenly Father’s blessing, and the goodwill of brethren and sisters, these pages may be of assistance in preparing a people to be part of that One Body who will meet the Lord with joy at his coming and receive an abundant entrance into the Kingdom.