Life-Study of Leviticusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The meal offering is not common food for common people. The meal offering is food only for the priests. All New Testament believers are priests. Thus, the meal offering is for those in the church life who are God’s actual and practical priests today.
Leviticus 6:14 says, “This is the law of the meal offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before Jehovah in front of the altar.” The meal offering being offered before Jehovah signifies that the meal offering is offered to God in His presence. The meal offering being offered in front of the altar signifies that the meal offering is offered in relation to the redemption of Christ on the cross. The altar is a type of the cross. In the Old Testament there is the altar, but in the New Testament there is the cross. “In front of the altar” therefore means in relation to the redemption of Christ on the cross. The meal offering is offered to God in His presence, but it must be offered in relation to the redemption of Christ on the cross.
Leviticus 6:16 says, “The remainder of it Aaron and his sons shall eat; it shall be eaten unleavened in a holy place; they shall eat it in the court of the tent of meeting.” This verse speaks of the portion of the meal offering which was for Aaron and his sons, that is, the portion which is for the priests in their priestly service.
Eating the priests’ portion of the meal offering in a holy place signifies that we enjoy Christ as our meal offering (life supply for our service) without sin. The word holy here indicates that the enjoyment of the meal offering must be without sin.
Eating the meal offering in a holy place also signifies that we enjoy Christ in a separated, sanctified realm. We can take Christ as our meal offering, as our daily life supply, only in a holy place. A holy place is a sanctified realm.
The priests’ portion of the meal offering was eaten in the court of the tent of meeting. The tent of meeting typifies the church. Therefore, eating the meal offering in the court of the tent of meeting signifies enjoying Christ in the sphere of the church. Outside the sphere of the church, there is no meal offering for us. The meal offering can be applied only in the sphere of the church life. We can enjoy Christ as our meal offering for our priestly service only within the circle of the church life. Our enjoyment of Christ as the meal offering must be holy, it must be in a sanctified realm, and it must be in the sphere of the church life.
Christ is our meal offering that we may serve God as priests. However, many real believers today are priests of God in name but not in actuality. In their daily life, they are not priests of God.
To be a priest one does not need to be a full-timer. We became priests by our regeneration. Having been regenerated, we should now live a life as God’s priests, serving God. You may serve God as a priest even though you have a full-time job. We may be engaged in different kinds of proper employment, but we can still do our work in the sense of being priests to God. For example, a brother who is a physician may carry out his medical practice as a priestly service, preaching the gospel to unbelievers to bring them to Christ and ministering life to believers. If we all behaved as priests in this way, serving God in His gospel, in His mercy, in His grace, and in His life, this would be the best way to preach the gospel.
However, the actual situation among believers is the opposite. More than half of the people in the United States may be Christians, but it is rare to hear of anyone preaching the gospel in their place of employment. Many believers live like worldlings, like common people, not like priests. What a shame! Since we are priests, we need to ask ourselves about our gospel preaching.
According to my study of the New Testament, the first thing we should do as God’s priests is to preach the gospel and bring the sinners to God as offerings. This is what Paul did; his preaching of the gospel was a priestly service (Rom. 15:16). In his priestly service he offered the Gentiles to God. Do we have some saved sinners whom we can offer to God?
The book of Leviticus is altogether concerned with the priests. Nearly every chapter concerns the life, living, need, and supply of the priests and all the other things related to them. If we are not priests in actuality, we are not qualified to enter into this book. Therefore, I am deeply burdened to beg you to come back to your heavenly calling as priests of God. The first duty of our priestly service must be to bring sinners to present to God as offerings.
Paul said that he was saved to be an example to all the believers (1 Tim. 1:16). He was the believers’ pattern, and his first duty was to gain sinners and offer them to God as offerings. His work of preaching was the real New Testament priestly service. Surely Paul knew what it meant to have Christ as his meal offering for his priestly service. But the meal offering may not be as real to us as it was to Paul, because only to a small degree is our life actually the life of a priest. How sad it would be if we only talked about the priestly service but were not actually in it!
In these days while I am considering the book of Leviticus, my heart is weeping. The more I read and study this book, the more my heart is weeping. Among us there is little that would cause us to be joyful. We are talking about the priestly food, but who are the priests, and where are they? In this message I am burdened to stress this one point—the book of Leviticus is for the priests.
Regarding the priestly service, we need to consider our situation and ask ourselves where we are. The prophet Haggai charged the people of Israel to consider their ways (Hag. 1:5-11). We all need to reconsider our way. What kind of believers are we? Are we priestly believers or common believers?
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