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His Songbirds

God has many of them. Their song is not limited to the open sky. The two in our story performed in a prison. It was a special night. Instead of ribaldry, groanings, complaints, cursings, which could be common to the place, the air was filled with the sweetness of a duet. The prisoners listened, we are told (Acts 16:25). Earlier they heard prayers; now it was the singing of hymns. There was a hush. God's mysterious ways were being enacted; His wonders were yet to be performed.

This would rank as one of the most unusual nights of history. The sound of music had been preceded by pleading voices in prayer. Drama after drama would unfold as the night wore on. From the sound of music we graduate to the crashing and crumbling noises associated with an earthquake. The singing ceased; the prison was shaken to its foundations. Panic inevitably followed, but the calm voices of the two singers, who were also the praying duo, encouraged, 'Do thyself no harm: for we are all here' (Acts 16:28). The jailer, shocked and shaken, fell at the feet of God's two intercessors, Paul and Silas. His heart had been touched; his coarse, sinful life of cruelty, anger, probably swept over him as a wave, bringing conviction to his soul. Gently he escorted the two singers to a place of safety. 'what must I do to be saved?' was his urgent plea. Back came the swift answer, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house' (v.31). They did.

Heaven's inhabitants would be witnesses of this startling event on earth. The recording angel would cheerfully record in heaven the names of the jailer, his wife and children old enough to understand, and perhaps some of the prison inmates. But the story does not end there. The saved jailer and his family not only became children of God by virtue of the new birth, but disciples of the Lord Jesus. They were baptized, immersed in water as the Lord commanded in Matthew 28:19. No doubt they were added to the Church of God in Philippi. They would be fellow saints with Lydia, the seller of purple, and those who lived in her house. As saved and baptized disciples they became living stones built together with those like-minded to form a spiritual house for God (1 Pet. 2:5).

Some of the other churches of God forming the spiritual house would be in the cities of Jerusalem and Corinth, for example, and the province of Galatia. Such a spiritual house exists today, a truth distinct from that of the Church of the Body of Christ. For further enlightenment please read Acts 2 vv. 41, 42 regarding the Church of God planted in Jerusalem, and 1 Peter 2 vv. 1-10, which unfolds the truth of the spiritual house, the holy nation, and the holy and royal priesthood. Paul, Silas, Peter, James, John, and many others were upholders of these truths in their day, and these same truths are practised in our day and their affirmation is found in the pages of this magazine on a regular basis.