If the testimony to a Scriptural way of gathering is to be preserved, then brethren who teach in the meetings and minister at conferences will need to show more diligence in presenting from the Word the truths and principles of Church position and order. Truths which would liberate children of God from the bondage of organised systems of religion, and would set forth our holy and blessed privileges as saints, should be willingly and freely given. Truth, however, must be presented with grace (John 1:14); and herein some have failed and truth has been evil spoken of. The noble apostle Paul declared, “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house”; and again, “I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).
Satan has been able to mar and distort, to a great extent, the divinely-given Church order and arrangement, so that Christendom to-day has become, in its religious systems, totally unlike the original apostolic manner. Though majorities have departed from primitive purity and simplicity, yet minorities (at times very small) have stuck to the Lord’s testimonies (Psa. 119: 31). This has been the case all down the centuries, and will be to the end. Because the Church, in its broad aspect, has failed to maintain a true testimony, and reformations have not come up to expectations; this is no justification whatever for ceasing to carry on and advocate Scriptural Church Principles, saying, “There can no longer be a collective testimony, for the Church is in pieces like a wrecked ship, and now every man for himself on bits of broken ecclesiastical wreckage, and God for us all!”
No, no! Divine principles are binding upon the saints unto the coming of the Lord, whatever may be the wreck and confusion around. Wherever are found but two or three believers, owning no gathering Name save the precious Name of God’s beloved Son, worshipping in spirit and in truth, seeking” to observe whatsoever is commanded in the Word; such will have His approving testimony, “Thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My Word, and hast not denied My Name” (Rev. 3:8).
Undoubtedly there is a Scriptural way of meeting for the people of God, and most certainly it is possible now. In all parts of the world are found to-day companies of saints endevouring to carry out, though often in weakness, Church order and arrangement as at the first, in realised fellowship with the Lord. In order to maintain this testimony that it die not, there requires to be an all-round ministry from the Scriptures, embracing foundation Church principles.