Life-Study of Numbersby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we will begin to consider the holy service, which is covered in chapters three and four of Numbers.
The holy service is altogether with the Levites. Thus, the tribe of Levi is not for fighting but for the holy service. The service is holy because it takes care of the tabernacle of the testimony of God.
The tabernacle of the testimony with all its furnishings and the altar, to which the priests minister, are types of Christ in all His rich aspects, whom the New Testament believers minister. The tabernacle is the tent, and the altar, located in the outer court, is where the sacrifices were offered to God. The altar refers to Christ's redemption, and the tabernacle refers to Christ as the embodiment of God, through whom God dwells among men and through whom men can enter into God to enjoy all that He is.
To minister is to serve, and to serve is to supply people by ministering to them, just as a waiter supplies people with food. The ministry of the priests and the Levites always supplies people with the riches of Christ. The cross of Christ is for redemption, and the riches of Christ are for supply. Today we, the New Testament believers, serve others with the cross of Christ for redemption and the riches of Christ for the life supply.
In Hebrew the word service in 4:3, 35, 39, 43 is warfare, indicating the military service. Hence, even the holy service of the priests and the Levites was in the warfare. Today as priests of the gospel of God, we should consider ourselves warriors. While we are preaching, teaching, edifying others, and building up the Body of Christ, we are fighting. The New Testament priests are warriors, and our priestly service is a fighting.
The priestly service, the holy service, depends on fighting. This is illustrated in 1 Samuel 4.
The basic principle of the holy service is that it is without confusion; it is based on life. Everything in the holy service is in good order and is under the divine ordination.
Because the holy service is based on life, the service is without confusion. We may use the human body as an illustration. Confusion in the human body is a sign of sickness. Because the body is of life, it cannot tolerate confusion. Likewise, in the Body of Christ as God's army, which is altogether a matter of life, there must be good coordination.
The priesthood is an organism, and it can be properly practiced only in the organic Body of Christ, not in organized Christianity. An organization can go on even when there is much trouble, but the Body of Christ is bothered when only a little trouble is present. Therefore, we must avoid confusion. The best way to deal with confusion is to avoid it. If we avoid confusion, we will avoid much trouble.
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