As Unknown and yet Well Known

John Heading, Aberystwyth

Category: Exposition

The blessed request of the lord to 'feed my sheep' continues to be heard by all those called by Him to 'feed the church of God'. As the risen Lord, He calls and equips many to serve in this field; in various ways they work out their calling from the Lord by seeking the edification of the saints. Some ministers of the Word, by the very nature of their work, become well known amongst the Lord's people; others who are called to teach in the quietness of their own homes as Aquila and Priscilla in Acts 18. 26, are known by few, yet their service is just as valuable to the Lord since it is directed by Himself. The Lord's servants should always recognize the distinction between the eternal and the temporal, 2 Cor. 4.18, and that the 'earthly house of this tabernacle' is subject to the pressing demands of the onward progress of time. Hence, whereas true service is treasure laid up in heaven and thus has eternal value, yet the individual labourers arc subject to variation here below as they wait for the Lord's return. Thus the new co-editor, in recognizing the call from God through his fellow-brethren in these labours, feels himself largely unknown to his readers, but this can imply no restriction to the edifying work and power of the Holy Spirit. John 10. 14. But our best knowledge of Him must be placed side-by-side with the verse
The higher mysteries of Thy fame
The creature's grasp transcend; The Father only Thy blest name Of Son can comprehend.
It is therefore proper that servants of God today should meditate upon this principle of true service. Reward and greatness come from God and not from man; they are not even sought after by the labourer who rather seeks the Lord's glory. As such, he can afford to serve unnoticed and to work unseen. As far as the world is concerned, the servant serves without the camp, bearing His reproach. Within the assembly, Paul took the position of being the 'least of the apostles', 1 Cor. 15. 9. After Paul's conversion and preparation by the Lord in Arabia, his service started in Syria, Cilicia and Antioch, although he 'was unknown by face unto the churches of Judea which were in Christ', Gal. 1. 22. These churches only heard reports of Paul's labours, and as such glorified God, v. 24, because of the service of the one unknown. Afterwards he became known by face to the brethren in Jerusalem, Gal. 2. 1, on account of his moving amongst them.
But the blessedness of true service comes from the quiet realization that all - both servant and service - is known to the Lord. He knows His own sheep, John 10.14, and calls them by name as He leads them out; the seal that the foundation of God is sure is 'the Lord knowethi them that are his', 2 Tim. 2. 19. In Hebrews 2. 11-13, He owns those who are His own children and who are the sons and daughters of the Father, 2 Cor. 6. 18. Indeed it is true that the servant is 'well known' in his service, and here we can rest. We may, of course, also be known by our brethren, by the few or by the many, but this is really a matter of fellowship in service and can be approved only provided the principle just outlined is before the heart.
The new co-editor would desire to move along this path as far as many readers are concerned. Moreover, the many readers blessed over the years are mainly unknown to him, but they may be assured that the policy of providing edifying food for the people of God to meet the present need will continue and even be developed under the good hand of God.

There are 9 articles in
ISSUE (1962, Volume 13 Issue 4)

Alfred George Anstice

Christ and Eternal Life in the Gospel of John

Shall we know each other in Heaven?

Josiah - the Young Reformer

New Testament Word Studies - Parakoe, Apeitheia


The Privilege of the Believer


As Unknown and yet Well Known

This article is not part of a series

There are 66 articles by this author

The Merchants and the Children

The King and the Multitudes

Fruitfulness and Repentance

Communicating Spiritual Things by Spiritual Means

Service with Tears

Acts, A Study in New Testament Christianity

Divine Assessment and Witness

Epaphras, a Faithful Minister of Christ

Paul’s Charge to Timothy, The First Epistle to Timothy

Prophecy and the Present Age

Groupings Amongst Men

The Rapture and Subsequent Events

Summary of Daniel and Revelation

The Four Kingdom Amongst Men

Apostasy and Its End

How I was called to Salvation and Service - Introduction

Divine Involvement in Assembly Service

Types and Shadows in the Epistle to the Hebrews

Understanding 1 & 2 Chronicles - The House of God and its Service

Do You Pray for the Lord’s Servants?

Greater Than

Conversion, Baptism and Service

The Lordship of Christ in the Local Assembly

Luke’s Life of Christ

The Lordship of Christ in the Local Assembly (Part 2)

Prayer, Power, Plenitude, 1. 15 to 2. 10

Position, Privilege, Peace, 2. 11-22

Prisoner, Promise, Preaching, Prayer, Eph. 3. 1-21

Practical: Prophets, Pastors, Perfecting, 4. 1-16

Practical Conduct - Part 1: 4. 17-32

Practical Conduct - Part 2: 5. 1-20

Personal Relationships in the Family, 5. 21 to 6. 9

Power, Protection, Prayer, 6. 10-24

Parents and Children

Daily Bible Readings

The Seven - Thousand Year Miracle (Part 1)

What the Bible Teaches Vol. 6 John

The Seven - Thousand Year Miracle (Part 2)

The Maturity of Writer and Readers

Giving and Keeping

Purpose, Predestination, Pleasure, Praise, 1. 1-14


As Unknown and yet Well Known

The Beauty of the Assembly

The Holy Assembly


Zion (2)

Are You a Trustee?

The Lord's Titles


The Mount of Transfiguration

Genealogy of the Priests

Both Small and Great

Book Reviews

The Unity of the Godhead

Book Reviews


Book Review

Letters of Commendation - Additional Notes

How Amiable Are Thy Tabernacles

Twenty-One Years Ago

They Continued Steadfastly

Book Review

Matthew 21 - The Context of the Chapter

The Vineyard and the Stone

Parable of the Wedding Feast - Matthew 22. 1-14