Issue No 1
Martin Cook – Word in a meeting for prophetic ministry, Tunbridge Wells, 17 August 2017
Numbers 29:1, 12-14, 32-36 Mark 8:6-9 Revelation 1:10-16, 20.
I desire, with the Lord’s help to say a little as to seven months, seven bullocks, seven loaves, seven baskets, seven lamps, seven stars, seven assemblies and seven overcomers. The thought of seven brings before us what is perfect, and what is maintained. I believe that at the moment there is so much that would cause us to be downhearted and discouraged. However, when we see things from the divine side, we see that things are being maintained.
The Seventh Month
The seventh month was the climax of the Jewish year. It was a time of blessing for God’s people, when the ingathering took place. It was also the time of sounding of the trumpets. This time can be likened to the period which commenced 185 years ago when beloved Mr Darby left the church. The trumpets sounded, and God spoke in a clear and distinctive way. ‘Wherefore come out from the midst of them, and be separate’ (2 Cor 6:17 KJV). Persons who were faithful to Christ stood aside from the professing church, and received unique and precious teaching – the truth of Christ and the assembly, the Head in heaven and the body here. What flowed was the enjoyment of eternal life and the understanding of the truth of the local assembly. One and another continued to minister in the first half of the 1900’s, opening up the truth of the sonship of Christ, the service of God and the worship to the Holy Spirit. It was truly a time of rich blessing amongst the people of God. God spoke clearly, many were affected, numerous localities were formed, and it was a time of great increase and blessing.
But in more recent years, we have seen reduction. This is what we have in Numbers 29. What started with thirteen bullocks, gradually reduced, but it never got to less than seven. I think that this is the point we have reached now. Let us lay hold of the fact, beloved brethren that some form of what is collective and honouring to the heart of Christ will remain until the end of the dispensation. I trust I shall be identified with it. As I said earlier, we never have less than seven bullocks. The supper is maintained: ‘For as often as ye shall eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye announce the death of the Lord, until he come’ (1 Cor 11:26). God is pleased in that which speaks to Him of Christ. He will not suffer the enemy to triumph.
Seven Loaves and Seven Baskets
I move on to the seven loaves and seven baskets. The seven loaves speak of the all-sufficiency of Christ to maintain what is pleasing to Himself in the scene of His rejection. What struck me was that after all had eaten and had been sufficed, there were seven baskets remaining. These were not hand baskets: the bible dictionary describes them as hampers. I think Mr Coates said it would probably have taken two or three people to carry them[*]. The Lord said in Matthew, ‘For where two or three are gathered together unto my name, there am I in the midst of them’(Matt 18:20). It struck me that where two or three are prepared to carry the basket, there is provision to carry on. After that great period of blessing amongst the Lord’s people of which we have spoken, things can be maintained. We could say that there is a hamper for every local assembly in Revelation. The Lord says that for each locality where His people are found, there will be the ability to continue: the overcomer will be found.
When you look at the seven assemblies, you say that you find admixture: not all is as it should be, but, thank God, the thought of seven assemblies goes through to the end. The Lord told John to bear testimony to ‘the things that are’ (Rev 1:19): the present circumstances, and how the Lord views them. He is walking in the midst of the seven golden lamps. Whatever the state of the church may be publicly, it continues to be a golden lamp from the divine viewpoint. The Lord knows what the state of each soul is in every gathering. Those eyes as a flame of fire take account of us. He wants us to be like one of the seven stars in His right hand.
The principle of overcoming goes through to the end. There is an overcomer in every local assembly – hopefully more than one. Indeed, there are enough overcomers to carry the basket, and maintain what is due to the Lord. The overcomers are feeding on Christ; they are feeding on the richness of what has been given in the ingathering. Let us thank God for the ministry that we have been given: we would have been so impoverished without it. We were reading in Haggai yesterday, ‘The word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, and my Spirit, remain among you: fear ye not’ (Hag 2:5). Think of what is available to maintain that which is available for the pleasure of Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, even in a day of reduction. Let us be found beloved, where the Lord has set us, seeking to carry what has been committed to us (typified in the basket), feeding on what is of Christ, and knowing that, as we seek to do so, He holds us in His right hand. He will maintain us for His pleasure till He comes.
May the Lord bless the word for His Name’s sake.
Note: Quotations from scripture are, unless otherwise indicated, from the Darby Translation 1890
Edited by: Daniel Roberts, Strood, Kent (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Revised by Martin Cook and checked by others,