Life-Study of Leviticusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we will pay our attention to the issue, the result, of our priestly service. It is difficult to speak about the result of our priesthood because this issue is not something material but something spiritual, mysterious, heavenly, and divine. The issue of the New Testament priestly service is the appearing of God to us (v. 4), the appearing of God’s glory to us (vv. 6, 23b), the divine blessing (vv. 22-23), and the consuming fire (v. 24). Let us now consider each of these matters.
The appearing of God to us is related to our taking Christ as the offerings. As we confess our mistakes, failures, and wrongdoings, we spontaneously take Christ as our sin offering and trespass offering. This may lead us to take Him as our burnt offering. We may tell Him, “Lord Jesus, You are my burnt offering. I cannot be absolute for God, but You can. Now I take You, Lord, as my absoluteness for God.” This kind of prayer indicates that we desire to live Christ for God’s satisfaction. The sin offering and the burnt offering will then lead us to take Christ as the meal offering. We will offer the top portion to God as His food, and we will feed on Christ as our daily food, as our daily life supply. Furthermore, we will be brought into a sense of peace, into a tranquil situation, and enjoy Christ as our peace, rest, satisfaction, and comfort. As the issue of taking Christ as all these offerings, God’s presence will be with us. This is the appearing of God to us. We cannot see Him or touch Him in a physical way, but we have the sense that He has appeared to us. Unable to deny the sense that God has appeared to us, we will want to worship and adore Him, offering to Him our praise and thanksgiving. This is the experience of the appearing of God to us as the result of our priestly service. We should have such an experience not only early in the morning but also during the day.
We may experience God’s appearing to us in different situations. For example, we may enjoy God’s appearing while we are preaching the gospel. In our gospel preaching we may apply Christ as the offerings, and as a result we enjoy the appearing of God to us. Often we have this enjoyment in the church meetings. God may appear to us even as we are taking a walk.
Our New Testament priesthood issues in the enjoyment of God in His appearing. Usually God’s appearing will be tranquil and cause us to be silent. Sometimes God will sovereignly arrange our circumstances to match the tranquility of His appearing. At such times it seems that the entire universe is quiet and that we and God are alone. This tranquil appearing of God is the first result of our New Testament priestly service.
The second issue of the priestly service is the appearing of God’s glory to us. When we serve God in our spirit by enjoying Christ according to God’s regulations, we will enjoy God’s appearing, which is often followed by the appearing of God’s glory. God’s glory is God expressed. When God is expressed, that is glory.
When we serve God with Christ as the offerings according to God’s regulations and not according to our own choice, we will often enjoy the appearing of God’s glory. We will see God expressed in different ways. For example, when we enter the home of an unbeliever for the preaching of the gospel, we may sense God’s glory manifested in our speaking or in his expression or attitude toward us. Furthermore, we often enjoy God’s glory, His expression, in the church meetings. Perhaps a particular meeting is not very living, but then someone offers a living prayer, and the meeting is resurrected and revived. At such a time we may sense that God is expressed in glory.
In 2 Corinthians 3 Paul wrote concerning the glory of the Old Testament ministry and the glory of the New Testament ministry. “Now if the ministry of death, in letters engraved in stone, came in glory, so that the sons of Israel were not able to gaze at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, which was being done away, how shall not rather the ministry of the Spirit be in glory? For if the ministry of condemnation came in glory, much rather the ministry of righteousness abounds in glory” (vv. 7-9). With Moses, who had the Old Testament ministry of death and condemnation, there was a glory, a physical glory, on his face. We who have the ministry of the New Testament, of the Spirit and of righteousness, have a glory in life and in spirit.
The Christian meeting is wonderful and mysterious because it is related to God. The Lord Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst” (Matt. 18:20). We believe that the Lord is with us in every meeting, but He is present in different ways and, depending on our situation in the meetings, He causes us to have different kinds of senses regarding the meeting. For instance, on one occasion He may cause us to have a sense of deadness to indicate that our situation is wrong. On another occasion He may stir up everyone in the meeting, and all the attendants will have the sense that God is stirring them up. This kind of stirring up is altogether divine, and in it God appears to us in His glory, in His expression.
The appearing of God’s glory in the church meetings is related to our enjoyment of Christ as the offerings. If in a church of two hundred saints, sixty would enjoy Christ as the offerings all day, in the evening when they come together, the appearing of God and the very expression of God would be among them. Their coming together into the name of Christ is the expression of God. However, the situation would be the opposite if none of the saints enjoyed Christ as the offerings. Their coming together would not be the expression of God.
The atmosphere of the meetings indicates what we are with God. No one can pretend. The meeting is truly an exhibition of our Christian life, in particular, of the degree to which we enjoy Christ in our private daily life and in our family life. Our meeting is an exhibition of our actual enjoyment of Christ. If we enjoy Christ, the meeting will be an exhibition of the riches of Christ. If we do not enjoy Christ, there will not be an exhibition of the riches of Christ in the meeting. In this matter shouting and praising do not help, for the meeting is not under our control. The point here is that our experience of Christ affects the meetings; it especially affects, even determines, the atmosphere of the church meetings.
The atmosphere of the meetings is an indication of the appearing of God’s glory, and this appearing depends on the ministering of Christ as the offerings. When we minister Christ as the different offerings, we enjoy Him, and those to whom we minister also enjoy Him. This will affect the atmosphere of the meetings because it will issue in the appearing of God’s glory to us.
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