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Where Two or Three Are Gathered

Our fellowship is based upon our special relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
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In Matthew 18:20, Jesus says: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” The context in Matthew 18 is not that of the memorial service, but the principle is there, and we often use the verse about the breaking of bread, and rightly so.

The basis of our fellowship is, as Jesus says, “In my name.” In other words, our fellowship is based upon our special relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a fellowship that is more than friendship because meeting in the name of Jesus Christ will lead us on to greater and higher things through God’s mercy and grace.

John writes concerning the disbelief of Thomas at the resurrection of Jesus: “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed,” and then goes on to write: “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:29, 31).

The importance of our fellowship is emphasized in Acts 2, where the writer records the words of Peter to the Jews: “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ.” (v. 38). Then verse 42 tells us the basis of our fellowship and the order upon which it is based.

First: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine,” and, upon the basis of understanding the truth of God’s teaching, they and we have true “fellowship” when we break bread and drink wine in remembrance of the Lord Jesus, while at the same time engaging in prayers of praise and thankfulness.

While we might be just one, two, or three, the Lord Jesus is with us, just as he was with the two on the road to Emmaus. We read, “While they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.” (Luke 24:15). It is the same sequence we find in Acts 2.

First, Jesus taught them the truth about his death and resurrection. Until they knew the truth of the Old Testament prophecies, they called Jesus a stranger. Then, based on their new understanding, they shared fellowship together, wanting Jesus to abide with them and share a meal that involved breaking bread. When Jesus later ascended to heaven, we read that the disciples: “were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.” (Luke 24:53). Note verse 47, where preaching was to be “in his name.”

There was another occasion when two people were walking together and were joined by another. On this occasion, it was in the Garden of Eden. Here were Adam and Eve, made from one flesh. Instead of obeying God’s teaching, they decided to seek knowledge on their own terms—the knowledge of good and evil. The one who had joined them was precisely the opposite of the Lord Jesus. It was the serpent.

As they ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, their eyes were opened. But instead of their hearts burning within them, they hid themselves in fear from the presence of the LORD. Because they were afraid, they desired to avoid fellowship with God. And then, they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. Instead of joy, there would be sorrow, hard work, and death. That’s where false teaching got them. They lost fellowship with God.

What was their mistake? Partly, it was about who was in their midst. For those on the road to Emmaus, it was the Lord Jesus. For Adam and Eve, it was the serpent.

Let’s look at the care Jesus has for each of us.  Revelation 1 shows a picture of the Lord Jesus amid seven golden candlesticks. In verse 16, Jesus has seven stars in his right hand; in verse 20, these are described as the angels of the seven ecclesias. Despite Jesus being involved with the members of the ecclesias, when John falls at the feet of Jesus as dead, it was the right hand of Jesus who attended to his needs, telling him, “Fear not.”  (Rev 1:17).

In the letters to the seven ecclesias, there are blessings for those who overcome.

The Ephesians were promised the fellowship of sharing the fruit of the Tree of Life, a reversal of the error of Adam and Eve. (Rev 2:7).

For those at Pergamos, it was partaking of the hidden manna and having a new name (Rev 2:17).

For those at Sardis, it was to have their name confessed before God by the Lord Jesus (Rev 3:5). So not only are we associated with the Lord Jesus through his name, but also that he knows our names and will be pleased to bring us to the attention of our heavenly Father if we overcome.

Those at Philadelphia were promised to have the name of God written upon them, and that they will abide in the temple of God, being part of it. (Rev 3:12)

Finally, those of Laodicea were invited to open the door and let Jesus into their lives and share a meal with him and he with them. Just as Jesus overcame and is seated with his Father in His throne, so will those who overcome have total fellowship by sitting with Jesus at his throne.

We then see the great blessings God has bestowed upon us through His Word of truth. Through the fellowship we share with brothers and sisters worldwide and by the provision of His Son, who can save us from our sins, we are brought into a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, who will return as King in God’s kingdom.

Whatever our circumstances, we must try to overcome them, bearing the name of the Lord Jesus and enjoying the fellowship of our brethren and sisters. We look forward to the return of Jesus when the saints from all ages will be joined together in eternal fellowship in the Kingdom of God.

David Gore,
Rochdale Ecclesia, UK

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