The Basis of Genuine Service is Knowing the Cross to Allow the Divine Fire to Burn in us

The basis of genuine service is knowing the cross and placing ourselves on the cross in order to be gained by God and to allow the divine fire to burn within us; this produces service (Lev. 6:13; Rom. 12:11). Witness LeeSo many people today “serve God” but without the divine fire and without knowing the cross; some serve God as a proffession, others serve Him from time to time, while even others serve Him as a duty, outwardly.

But the service that God desires to receive from us is simply our placing ourselves on the altar so that He as the divine fire would come in to burn us, motivate us, and energize us for His service.

In the New Testament the service that the early disciples offered to God was initiated by the divine fire descending upon them as they offered themselves up to God as a corporate burnt offering through prayer.

Whatever the disciples did after the descending of the divine fire was completely different from what they did before, because it was God as fire speaking through them, saving others, raising up churches, and spreading the kingdom of God.

As believers in Christ we are all serving ones, those who serve God in spirit, and while we may not have the physical manifestation of the divine fire descending upon us as the disciples did, we need to have the spiritual experience of the divine fire coming into us and burning us for God’s service.

If we just offer ourselves to God, love Him, and are willing to forsake everything for God and place ourselves in His hand in order to be broken and burnt, God as the divine fire will come in, burn us, and burn in us to energize us and empower us to serve Him by Himself as the power.

May we really see the kind of service that God desires to have, and may we be those who serve God with the fire that comes from Him, so that our service would be the issue of this fire burning within us.

May we realize that only God coming into us as fire is the One qualified to serve God, and only Christ as the Spirit burning and operating in us is pleasing to God and can offer God in us the service that He desires.

The Basis of Genuine Service is Knowing the Cross to Allow the Divine Fire to Burn in us

The saints who pray and apply the death of the cross will receive grace from God, and His holy fire will burn within them. Such saints do not care for themselves or set their mind on themselves but care only to satisfy God’s desire. Their work will be the issue of God moving through man. Their work will be a sweet smelling fragrance to God. Witness LeeThe basis of our service is the divine fire descending upon our offering and consecration to God; the fire from the heavens doesn’t come on the ground or on some persons but on the altar. When the sacrifice is laid on the altar, the fire descends.

The altar signifies the cross of Christ; if there’s no altar, no sacrifice, there’s no fire. At the end of His earthly journey, the Lord Jesus went to the cross as the sin offering and as the burnt offering; His disciples also went with Him on the cross, experiencing the cross of Christ in spirit.

Later, the 120 disciples and saints were praying for ten days in the upper room; they were on the cross with Christ Jesus, experiencing the reality of the altar and offering themselves to God for His purpose; the result was that fire came from heavens, burned the sacrifice, and produced a powerful service.

The Lord Jesus brought His disciples with Him to the cross to offer them to God, and the fire came to consume them and burn in them; this began their service. The altar of burnt offering is the cross of Christ, and the fire is the Spirit (see Gal. 2:20; Acts 2:3).

The Spirit has descended and is burning through the cross as the altar of burnt offering. Any person who is willing to touch the cross, that is, to receive the cross by applying the death of Christ, will be gained by God. Then the fire on the altar of burnt offering, that is, the Spirit, will burn in him until it produces a service. All genuine service comes out of such a burning. (Witness Lee, The Service for Building Up the House God, pp. 24-25)

The basis of genuine service is our knowing the cross and placing ourselves on the cross in order to be gained by God to allow the divine fire to burn within us – this will produce service that is pleasing to God, genuine service to God (Lev. 6:13; Rom. 12:11).

We have to know the cross; serving the Lord is not cheap or easy, there is a price to pay. We all are facing a lot of challenges in our human life, but to serve the Lord is even more costly; we cannot have our feet in two boats – the “easy and comfortable life” and the life of serving the Lord. We need to serve the Lord by taking the way of sacrifice, the way of the altar.

If we take the way of compromise to get “the best of the both worlds”, at the same time desiring to have a good career and future and also serve in the church, you will have no altar, the cross will not be present, and the divine fire cannot come.

The fire comes from God only when there’s the altar, the sacrifice. The basis of our service is NOT human initiation, promotion, discussion, or motivation, but knowing the cross and placing ourselves on the cross so that we may be gained by God and for His fire to burn within us.

Such a service that comes from the divine fire burning upon our sacrifice is the burning of incense in the Holy Place, is accepted by God, brings man to God, and joins God to man and heaven to earth.

When we allow the cross to operate in our being to burn us and produce the service, we have a work that is out of God, passes through God, and goes back to God; such work comes from God to man, brings man to touch God, and brings God to pass through man.

If we are those who pray and apply the death of the cross to our being, we will receive grace from God,a nd His holy fire will burn within us; we will then no longer care for ourselves or set our mind on ourselves but we will care only for God’s desire, and our work will be the issue of God moving through us.

Lord Jesus, make us those who pray and apply the death of the cross so that we may receive grace from God and have His holy fire burn within us. Oh Lord, here we are: we give ourselves to You for You to work in us, burn in us, and operate in us to produce in us the service that You desire to have from us. May our service be based on the fire on the altar and may our work be of God, through God, and to God, so that we may bring God to man and man to God through our service. Lord Jesus, we simply place ourselves on the altar for Your service!

Experiencing the Fire from the Altar to Build with Gold, Silver, and Precious Stones

1 Cor. 3:12-13 But if anyone builds upon the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, stubble, the work of each will become manifest; for the day will declare it, because it is revealed by fire, and the fire itself will prove each one’s work, of what sort it is.If we experience the fire from the altar, allowing the cross of Christ to operate in us and the Spirit to burn in us, our service to God and work in the church will be for the building up of the church with gold, silver, and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:12).

Gold refers to the divine life and nature, God’s divine nature and life; silver refers to Christ’s redemption and the principle of the cross; precious stones refer to God’s image, His expression. If we allow the divine fire to burn in us and are thus energized to serve God, our work will be full of the element of God, with the power of the cross, and it expresses God.

Only work that is produced through burning is of gold, silver, and precious stones; the work that is not produced through burning is of wood, grass, and stubble. The day will come when the work of each will be tested by fire; if our work is the issue of fire, our work will stand the test of fire. Witness LeeHowever, if we don’t experience the cross and we don’t allow the Spirit to burn in us and on us in our service to God, we will try to build up the church with wood, grass, and stubble. Wood refers to the nature of the natural man; grass refers to the man in the flesh, the work of the flesh; stubble refers to things growing out of earth, earthly things.

If we, because of our zeal, tradition, or need, do a lot of work without the divine fire, it will have the quality of wood, grass, and stubble, and it will be consumed. The test of our work is not man’s approval or appreciation but God’s fire; fire tests everything, and whether in this age or in the next, the fire of God’s judgement will test our being and our work.

If we allow the divine fire to judge us and our work today, our work will be fire-proof in that day and we will receive a reward. However, if in this age we serve God without the application of the divine fire, the day will come when the work of each will be tested by fire, and our work will be consumed – we will be saved, but as through fire (1 Cor. 3:12-13).

There are three kinds of burning as revealed in the Bible:

  1. With those who serve out of the fire of the burnt offering and allow the cross of Christ to operate in them and thus serve with the divine fire, when the fire comes and tests their work, their work will be proven to be gold, silver, and precious stones.
  2. With those who serve the Lord but the work is not out of the source of fire but they generate their own fire, their own zeal, and work with their own ability; they may do a lot of work today and many may appreciate their work, but in that day at the judgement seat of Christ their work will be consumed; they will be saved, but as through fire.
  3. With the unbelievers who reject the Lord, they will be cast into the lake of fire with the devil and his armies.

We need to see where are we and what are we doing today: are we serving with the fire from the altar, allowing the divine fire to test, judge, purify, motivate, initiate, and energize us for the work of God? Or are we doing a work with the human methods and common practices in society, with the natural man, the flesh, and the earthly things?

May we be those who are experiencing the fire from the altar of burnt offering so that our work today will be for the building up of the church with the processed Triune God enjoyed and experienced by us as gold, silver, and precious stones.

May we be those who receive a reward on that day from the Lord for our work out of and through and unto Him!

Lord Jesus, we want to be those who experience the fire from the altar so that we may build up the church with gold, silver, and precious stones. Save us from serving God merely out of zeal, tradition, need, or ability, and save us from serving in our natural man, in the flesh, or in earthly things. Oh Lord, may our work be full of the element of God, have the power of the cross, and express God! May we be those who experience the divine fire in this age so that we may receive the reward at the judgement seat of God!

References and Hymns on this Topic
  • Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother James Lee for this week, and The Service for Building Up the House of God, pp. 24-30 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Service for the Building up of the Church (2016 Spring ITERO), week 6 / msg. 6, The Basis of Service — the Fire from the Altar.
  • All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
  • Hymns on this topic:
    # Refining fire, go through my heart, / Illuminate my soul; / Scatter Thy life through every part, / And sanctify the whole, / And sanctify the whole. (Hymns #264)
    # God in tongues of fire descending, / Chosen vessels thus to fill / With the treasure never-ending, / Ever spent—unfailing still. / God’s own hand the vessel filling / From the glory far above, / Longing hearts forever stilling / With the riches of His love. (Hymns #589)
    # Fully surrendered—Lord, I would be, / Fully surrendered, dear Lord, to Thee. / All on the altar laid, / Surrender fully made, / Thou hast my ransom paid; / I yield to Thee. (Hymns #442)
Facebook Comments
About aGodMan

A God-man is a normal believer in Christ; the author of this article is one who is learning to be a normal Christian, a daily enjoyer of Christ, a living and functioning member in the Body of Christ. Amen, Lord, make us such ones for the building up of the Body of Christ!