In order for us to overcome the principle of Babylon and return to the orthodoxy of the church, we need to daily take Christ as our burnt offering; this will cause us to be reduced to ashes, which are treasured by God and are becoming the New Jerusalem, even though the world despises them.
The result of the burnt offering is ashes; in the eyes of the world, ashes are nothing, even despised, but in God’s eyes, these ashes are a sweet fragrance to Him, and He has high regard for these ashes; actually, these ashes become the New Jerusalem! Wow!
As those who see that the principle of Babylon operates in us, and in ourselves we cannot deal with it or overcome it, we need to practice daily to take Christ as our burnt offering.
Only Christ is the One whose living and life was perfect and absolutely for God and His satisfaction, and He is such a life in us to enable us, God’s people, to have such a living.
In ourselves we are halfway, full of compromise, and not at all absolute for the Lord; but when we take Christ as our burnt offering, He in us can live a life that is the repetition of the life He lived when He was on earth.
We need to lay our hands on Christ as our burnt offering; when we identified with Him through prayer with the exercise of our spirit, we and Him become one. In this union in spirit, all our weaknesses, defects, and faults are taken on by Christ, and all His virtues become ours.
How can we have such an experience? It is by exercising our spirit through the proper prayer so that we may be one with the Lord in an experiential way.
When we lay our hands on Christ through prayer, He as the life-giving Spirit will immediately move and work within our being to live a life that is a repetition of the life that Christ lived on earth, the life of the burnt offering.
Such a life is pleasing to God; such a life is a sweet fragrance to God the Father, and such a life satisfies God.
It is by living such a life that we can overcome the principle of Babylon, and we can build up the church as the Body of Christ, for the Lord to have His corporate expression on earth. We need to daily take Christ as our burnt offering and experience Him in such a way so that He may gain His corporate expression!
We are Reduced to Ashes to become the New Jerusalem in Resurrection through Transformation!
The burnt offering with all its details and implications is very significant.
For example, the burnt offering was supposed to be kept burning on the hearth of the altar until the morning this signifies that a burnt offering should remain in the place of burning through the dark night of this age until the morning, until the Lord Jesus comes again (Lev. 6:9; 2 Pet. 1:19).
We need to take Christ as our burnt offering again and again every day until the Lord comes back.
The result of the burnt offering, unlike the other offerings, is simply ashes; these ashes are a sign of God’s acceptance of the offering (Lev. 6:10). God ordained that the priest would have linen garment to offer the burnt offering; this signifies that fineness, purity, and cleanness are needed in handling the ashes.
Then, God ordained that the priest would change his garments and carry the ashes outside the camp (v. 11), signifying that the handling of the ashes of the burnt offering was done in a stately manner.
In the eyes of the world, being burnt and reduced to ashes means that you’re terminated, and there’s no more use for you; but in the eyes of God, He treasures these ashes.
These ashes were put beside the altar toward the east, the side of the sunrise, as an allusion to resurrection. Ashes indicate that the result of Christ’s death – which brings us to an end – is that we become ashes (Gal. 2:20).
However, the ashes are not the end, for Christ’s death brings in resurrection (see Rom. 6:3-5; 2 Cor. 4:10-12; Phil. 3:10-11). Yes, we are becoming ashes, but this is just the beginning: after death terminates us, we enter into resurrection, and in resurrection we are brought into the transformation of the Triune God (see Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 3:18).
In resurrection we as ashes are being transformed to become precious materials – gold, pearl, and precious stones – for the building of the New Jerusalem! Wow! God has a high regard for the ashes, for eventually the ashes will become the New Jerusalem!
Our experience of Christ as the burnt offering brings us to be reduced to ashes – we are becoming ashes, and in resurrection we are being transformed to become the precious materials for the building of the New Jerusalem! Wow!
Our destiny is to become ashes, and being ashes is our glorious future, for ashes become transformed into precious materials! This is so mysterious and yet so wonderful!
If we want to serve the Lord and are serious with Him regarding experiencing Him as the burnt offering, we will experience hardships, and there will be no future for us on earth; however, we will become constituents of the New Jerusalem, the city of God!
As we experience Christ as the burnt offering, we become ashes; this means we become a nobody, and our trust in ourselves is gone, but the result of being a burnt offering carries out God’s New Testament economy!
What we are doing is extraordinary and with an eternal value, but in the eyes of the worldly people today is just ashes, which are considered as nothing to them. But hallelujah, God has a high regard for these ashes, for eventually these ashes will become the New Jerusalem!
Lord Jesus, we want to experience You as our burnt offering every day until You return. May we not be afraid to be reduced to ashes, but may we rejoice that these ashes will become the New Jerusalem! Praise the Lord, as we are being reduced to ashes by experiencing the death of Christ, we enter in resurrection to be transformed into precious materials for the building of the New Jerusalem! Lord, give us the experiences we need that we may become intrinsic parts of the New Jerusalem, Your holy city!
Offering Ourselves to God as a Continual Burnt Offering to have Sweet Fellowship with Him
Regarding the burnt offering, God’s command is clear and simple: the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it, and it shall not go out (Lev. 6:12-13). The priest had to burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it, and the fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually – it shall not go out.
This fire was the fire that came from heavens, and our responsibility is to continually maintain this fire. The fire in our spirit came from heavens, and our responsibility is to maintain it and make sure it doesn’t go out.
The fact that the priest had to burn wood on the altar every morning signifies that we need to cooperate with God’s desire by adding more fuel to the holy fire to strengthen the burning for the receiving of the burnt offering as God’s food; and the morning signifies a new start for the burning (see Lev. 6:12-13; also Luke 12:49-50; Rom. 12:11; 2 Tim. 1:6-7).
Every morning we need to put ourselves on the altar; when we get up in the morning, we need to have a new start for the burning, and we need to add more fuel to the fire.
We need to take Christ as the reality of the burnt offering, the One who is absolute for God and His satisfaction. We need to tell the Lord,
Lord Jesus, I take You as the reality of the burnt offering; You are the One who is absolute for God and His satisfaction. Make my life a satisfaction to God today. I take You as my peace-offering for my fellowship with God. Thank You Lord for being my peace toward God and toward man. Give me peace continually in every way, and may Your peace guard my heart and thoughts in Christ Jesus.
When we take Christ as our burnt offering, immediately the fire goes up, and we become burning! The Lord Jesus came to cast a fire on earth – this is the impulse, the impelling force, of our spiritual life, which we have received at regeneration.
We need to be burning in spirit, that is, fan into flame the gift of God which is in us – our spirit.
As we offer ourselves to the Lord on the altar and lay our hands on Christ as our burnt offering. we have a foundation for the sweetness of the peace-offering, that is, we have sweet fellowship with God.
Offering ourselves to God as a continual burnt offering (see Rom. 12:1) is a foundation for our sweet fellowship with God, signified by the burning of the fat of the peace-offering (Lev. 6:12-13).
The burning of both the burnt offering and the peace-offering signifies that both our absoluteness for God and our enjoyment of the Triune God are a matter of burning.
We need to be burning in spirit for the recovery of the church, and we will be purified from the principle of Babylon and overcome it, only by taking Christ as our burnt offering every day, so that the church may be recovered back to God’s original intention.
Lord, we offer ourselves to You as a continual burnt offering in Christ so that we may have sweet fellowship with You and be purified from anything of the principle of Babylon. Lord, we want to fan our spirit into flame and be burning in spirit, serving the Lord. We take You, Lord, as our absoluteness, and we take You as our peace with God and with man. Cause us to be burning in spirit for the recovery of the church. May You have a pure recovery of the church in this age, so that You may gain what You are after!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Ed Marks for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Leviticus, msgs. 9-10, 23 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Recovery of the Church (2017 fall ITERO), week 3, The Degradation of the Church – the Principle of Babylon and the Way to Overcome it.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Lord, in me is all self-love, envy, anxiety / Lord, in me is only pride and no humility. / I’m not pure, Lord, or trusting, neither absolute / For Your purpose, I waver — I’m not resolute! / But dearest Lord, You’re all these things, all virtue’s in You, / So Lord I lay my hands on You in all I do. (Song on Christ as our burnt offering)
# Have Thine own way, Lord, / Have Thine own way; / Hold o’er my being / Absolute sway. / Fill with Thy Spirit / Till all shall see / Christ only, always, / Living in me. (Hymns #449)
# Lord we pray, preserve us faithful in the way / All our days, never to fall away. / By Your grace, keep us pursuing You, / Taking up the cross to follow You. / Consecrate we unreservedly, / Absolute for You entirely. / In our hearts, Lord, let the highways be / Unto Zion single-heartedly. (Song on following the Lord)
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