We praise and thank the Lord for giving us the blood of the covenant to enable us to serve the living God, and we want to allow the fire that comes from God to burn in us and on us in our service to Him.
Without the blood of Christ freshly applied to our being, we are not qualified to serve God; also, we cannot serve God with any natural or artificial fire – we can serve Him only with the fire that comes from God.
God saved us to serve Him; He delivered us from the world and He’s continually delivering us from its usurpation so that we may see a revelation of who He is and of His heart’s desire and thus serve Him governed by this vision.
In serving God the first thing we need to do is realize that God doesn’t need our help, our effort, or our zeal; what He desires is that we first partake of Him, feast to Him and with Him, and allow Him to come into our being to fill us and satisfy us.
Christ came as the fulfillment and replacement of all the offerings that God requires, and now we can offer Him to God and we can eat His flesh and drink His blood, for He has become our feast which we must keep all the days of our Christian life.
As we feast on the Lord, He is leading us up on a high mountain to see a vision of who God is and what is His heart’s desire; God is light, love, holy, and righteous, and our living must match His being, and His heart’s desire is to have a dwelling place on earth.
When we have a clear sky between us and the Lord in our fellowship with Him, we will see a clear vision God and of His building, and we will realize that God desires to have a people who walk according to His statutes and who build Him a dwelling place.
Seeing a vision of God and of His heart’s desire will impress us and govern us in our service to Him; our service to God will then be according to the pattern on the mountain.
God came in Christ to reveal Himself to us, and Christ revealed the secret of God’s economy to His holy apostles; now the teaching of the apostles is God’s revelation, and it is the rock on which the church is built.
The foundation of the apostles and prophets is the revelation they received regarding Christ and the church for the building of the church, and our work and service to God has to be according to this teaching, according to the “pattern on the mountain”.
The Blood of the Covenant Enables the Believers to Serve the Living and True God
When it comes to serving God, we don’t just “show up” and say, I’m here, ready to serve. There must be first an expiation, a preparation for us fallen sinners to be able to serve the living and true God. There needs to be blood shed so that we may be qualified to serve God.
Moses took the blood of the offerings and sprinkled it on the people of Israel, saying, Here is the blood of the covenant, which Jehovah has made with you in accordance with all these words (see Exo. 24:8).
The blood of the sacrifice offered by the priests typifies the blood of Christ for redemption, cleansing, and forgiveness of sins. This blood is the blood of the covenant, and based on the merit of this blood, we can come and serve God.
The blood of the covenant has made it possible for God’s people, as fallen and sinful persons who have been redeemed, forgiven, and cleansed, to enter into God’s presence and remain there to be infused with Him (see Exo. 24:9-18; 34:28-29; Lev. 16:11-16; cf. Heb. 10:19-20; Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:7).
The blood of Christ has redeemed us, washed and cleansed us of our sins, and given us forgiveness of sins; we daily need to apply the blood of Christ, and especially so as we serve the Lord.
In Exodus 24:6 and 8 the blood from the sacrifices offered on the altar (v. 5), typifying the blood of Christ, was for redemption and for the forgiveness and cleansing of sins….This blood also enacted the covenant between God and His people. Hence, the blood is referred to here as “the blood of the covenant.” The blood made it possible for God’s people, as fallen and sinful persons who had been redeemed, forgiven, and cleansed, to enter into God’s presence, that is, into God Himself, and remain there to be infused with Him and thereby be constituted pillars as a living testimony, a living portrait, of what God is. (Exo. 24:8, footnote 2, Recovery Version Bible)
We are sinners and sinful people, and our very nature is sin, but through regeneration we have received God’s life and have the blood of Christ applied to us to qualify us to serve the living God. Our God is living!
If we were to serve dead idols or something else, we don’t need the washing and cleansing of the blood, and we can serve without a purified conscience. But to serve the living and true God we need a blood-washed and blood-cleansed conscience, because we are coming in the presence of a holy God.
Praise the Lord for the redeeming blood of Christ, which has released us from our sins! By the blood of Christ we are gathered and called from all tribes, tongues, and nations to be a kingdom of priests and serve God.
The blood of Christ brings us into God’s presence to serve Him, and our merit to stand before God and serve Him is only the blood of Christ, the blood of the covenant.
Lord Jesus, cleanse us and wash us with Your precious blood. We come before You not based on our merit but based on the blood of the covenant which You have shed for us. We are fallen and sinful persons who have been redeemed, forgiven, and cleansed, and now we have access into God’s presence through the blood of Christ to remain there and be infused with Him! Lord, by Your blood we come to You to serve You as our living God. We apply the blood of the covenant so that we may come into God’s presence and serve Him!
Serving God with the Divine Fire who has come to Indwell us and Burn in us
One day, when Moses went to the back of the wilderness, being discontent with his present situation, he saw a thornbush burning (which is a common sight in those places) but the thornbush was not consumed; it was as if the fire was resting on the bush but was not using the bush as its fuel (see Exo. 3:2-4).
Then a voice called to Moses from the midst of the burning thornbush saying, I am the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob. This fire burning out of the midst of the thornbush was the Triune God, the God of resurrection; the Lord Jesus, when speaking of resurrection, mentioned this story and said, God is not the God of the dead but of the living (Matt. 22:31-32).
The God who calls us to serve Him is not the God of the dead but the God of resurrection who has come to indwell us as the divine fire. As those who have been gained by God and are being used by Him, we are but a thornbush according to our old and natural man, but there’s a fire burning in us: God has come to us in the fire.
Just as the thornbush was not consumed by the fire burning within it in Exodus, so today God doesn’t use us (with our ability, capability, and zeal) as a fuel: He simply rests upon us as a “seat”, and He burns within us and upon us in our service to God.
God’s fire of glory needs to be expressed through us, a thornbush, in order for God to gain the service that He desires from us. God will not use our capabilities or abilities to “strengthen the fire” or to “make it brighter”; rather, the brightness of the fire comes from the fire itself, for the fire is merely resting on us.
Our purpose is simply to express the divine fire in our service to God. The source of the fire is God Himself; He comes to us, calls us, burns in us, and burns upon us to be expressed through us and dwell among us, and it is by this divine fire that we should serve God.
We shouldn’t try to “start our own fire”, which the Bible also calls “strange fire”, and we shouldn’t serve God by any other fire except the divine fire. We need to serve God by the divine fire who has come to indwell us and burn in us.
Lord Jesus, thank You for coming into us as the divine fire to burn in us and upon us in our service to God. Oh Lord, as those who have been gained and are being used by God, we are a thornbush according to our natural man, but we have the divine fire burning in us! Hallelujah, the Triune God of resurrection has come into us to burn in us as the divine fire in our service to God! Amen! Lord, be the source, the initiator, the motivator, and the fuel for our service to You in spirit!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Minoru C. for this week, and portions from, The Operation of God and the Anointing, pp. 82-85 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Exodus (part 4, 2016 Summer Training), week 3 / msg. 3, Serving God.
- Hymns on this topic:
# For remission of our sins / Thou hast shed Thy cleansing blood. / Which for us has fully met / All the righteous claims of God. / Thou hast washed us from our sins / In Thy pow’rful purging blood; / And our conscience purged by it, / Thus to serve the living God. (Hymns #224)
# In the wilderness for God! / Just a common bush aflame! / Thus may I be, blessed Lord, / For the glory of Thy Name. / Just a common bush to be, / Something in which God can dwell, / Something thru which God can speak, / Something thru which God can tell. (Hymns #352)
# My power is faint and low / Till I have learned to serve: / It wants the needed fire to glow, / It wants the breeze to nerve; / It cannot drive the world / Until itself be driven; / Its flag can only be unfurled / When Thou shalt breathe from heaven. (Hymns #422)
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