1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

...the glorified saints, as a whole, are described in the Apocalypse as "those who have come out of great tribulation." The tribulation

"tries and purifies and makes white, even to the time of the end" (Dan. xi. 35).

In our day we may not have it in the intense form in which the saints of the first century were subjected to it. Nevertheless, if we are true saints, we are not without our true share of purifying tribulation. We cannot be in the true "waiting" position without tasting tribulation in various ways. It is mild, perhaps, but slow and long-continued, and therefore burdensome to flesh and blood - perhaps more so than the tragic suffering to which first century believers were subjected.

It is testified of the Lord Jesus that

"for the joy set before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame."

We must transfer this endurance to ourselves, though our suffering and our shame be less than his. We keep up under it and persevere, and not without a reason. There is "joy" ahead - great joy, such as has not entered into the heart of man to conceive.

What nobler or more desirable prospect could be set us than the prospect of being admitted to the multitudinous community of men made perfect through suffering, who will stand revealed from the dust by resurrection in the day of the Lord's manifestation from heaven with his mighty angels?

- men redeemed from the weakness that environed them in the days of their flesh; men changed from the mortal to the immortal; men, once lowly and wayworn pilgrims, now surrounded by a vast and rejoicing congregation of their own class; men, once of no esteem and spoken against, suddenly elevated from the lowest situation to the high places of the earth, and surrounded with glory and honour at the hands of the choicest of mankind and the most honourable of angels; men who had once laboriously to follow the ways of righteousness in obscurity and amid the embarrassments of poverty and lowly circumstances, now placed in circumstances of unspeakable affluence.

Men trodden down and despised in the days of their faith, now in the endless day of their "sight," wielding the iron rod of irresistible authority throughout the world; men strong, beautiful, glorious, wise, immortal, once disowned by the common herd of mankind, but now honoured with the recognition and fellowship of the Son of God?

No wonder there rises from that wonderful assembly a song like the roar of many waters and mighty thunderings, ascribing praise and thanksgiving to him whose wisdom and patience have achieved so grand a climax through ages of suffering. Oh, what are the longest of our waitings, the severest of our trials, in the light of that glorious day! We can fervently join with Paul and say,

"The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us."

Patience, brethren, patience. The night will surely end; the morning will come at last.

Bro Roberts - Refreshment

3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage [kleros], but being ensamples to the flock.

"The Clergy."

-This is what is called "God's heritage" in the common version (1 Pet 5: 3), but God is not in the original, so the Revised Version renders it "the charge." The Greek word properly enough rendered either "heritage," "lot," or "charge," is kleros the very term from which we get the English word "clergy."

In the apostolic use of this term, therefore, the phrase "the Kleros" or "the clergy" was not used to designate the shepherds or overseers, but those over whom they had charge - the whole congregation."

The Christadelphian, Apr 1888

"The Flock."

This is a collective description that agrees with the fact that Christ is the "chief Shepherd," and that the elders of the apostolic assemblies were regarded as under-shepherds; therefore it was said to them "feed the flock," and again, that they were not to be "lords" but "ensamples to the flock" (Jam. 5:2-4).

"Flock," therefore, suggests divine tending, leading, and feeding, as illustrated in the case of Israel, who are frequently referred to in the same terms.

The Christadelphian, Apr 1888

4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

The shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep.

This primarily refers to Christ himself, who offered himself a sacrifice of "sweet smelling savour" to Him who required this declaration of His righteousness, "that he might be just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus" (Rom. iii.).

But it is true of all shepherd-men who have received the truth in the love of it, and estimate the work of Christ as their sweetest occupation and their highest honour. There is "a chief shepherd" (1 Pet. v. 4), viz., "that great shepherd of the sheep," our Lord Jesus, who was "brought again from the dead through the blood of the everlasting covenant" (Heb. xiii. 20).

This implies under-shepherds, namely, the apostles and all who enter into their work in the line of things indicated to Timothy in the words of Paul:

 "The things that thou hast heard of me, among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. ii. 2).

Men of this qualification are the true "successors of the apostles," and they have been found wherever faithful men of ability have received and espoused the faith of Christ with the ardent appreciation and disinterested aims of the apostles. They require no hiring to look after the sheep, and when the wolf of danger in any shape presents itself, they sally forth with clubs to beat off the beast at the peril of their lives.

Nazareth Revisited Ch 29.

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

...the apostle refers to the ministers of the laws who were exceedingly persecuting and hostile to Christ[adelphians].

The word for "adversary" in this place, is αντιδικους antidikos, from αντι, against, and δικη, a cause or suit at law; hence, it signifies an opponent in a lawsuit. So Herodian, lib. 7. cap. 17, has αντιδικουρ ευπραγμασιν αγοραιος, adversaries in lawsuits. It occurs in this sense in Matt. 5:25; Luke 12:58; 18:3.

The devil-power, or public prosecutor was "the accuser of the brethren" before the tribunals, at which such men as Festus, Felix, Pliny, &c., presided.

The priests of the deserted temples and their emissaries, were like roaring lions, prowling about, seeking some one to destroy in course of law, which was very severe against the Christ[adelphians]. It was a conspiracy of the spiritual and temporal rulers of the habitable, who, as Ezekiel says of a similar class of "prophets" in Israel,

"like a roaring lion ravening the prey, devoured souls"

-(Ezek. 22:25; also 19:9, for a scriptural definition of a "roaring lion" in the sense of a political power.)

That the persecuting elements combined were the devil in the case, is evident from the apostle exhorting his brethren to stand out against their adversary at law, energised by the knowledge that the sufferings they were enduring were the common lot of all their brethren.

These sufferings were the persecutions inflicted upon them by their public adversary, the Roman government, through the constituted authorities of the State. This was the power from which all the sufferings of the Christians inhabiting the territory of Daniel's fourth beast, emanated.

It was their false accuser in the sight of God, though they were justly condemned as "atheists," and "the enemies of mankind," in the sight of men. The power sought to make them apostatise from the faith; in this it was "the devil," and failing in this, it cast some of them into prison; others to the wild beasts of the amphitheatres; some it sent to the mines; others it banished; and multitudes it slaughtered with fire and sword; and in this it most was fitly surnamed "the satan," that is the enemy.

A BIBLE DICTIONARY - Begun But Never Finished - Bro THOMAS

The Christadelphian, Aug 1872