GENERAL SUBJECT: Crystallization-Study of Number (1)
<< WEEK 3 >>
The Service of the Priests and the Levites for God's Move
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Scripture Reading: Num. 3:1-39; 4:1-33
Ⅰ Numbers is a book of service, and chapters 3 and 4 cover the holy service:
A In Numbers we have a full type of the church service; the service in Numbers is a picture of the church service (3:1-39; 4:1-33; Rom. 12:5-8, 11).
B The service is holy because it takes care of the Tabernacle of the Testimony of God (Num. 3:7-8; 4:4-16).
C The basic principle of the holy service is that it is without confusion because it is based on life; everything in the holy service is under the divine administration, and thus it is in good order (3:7).
Ⅱ The holy service was carried out by the priests and the Levites (vv. 3, 6, 9-10):
A The priests were the anointed ones who served God directly (v. 3):
1 The priests were to camp before the tabernacle, on the east, toward the sunrise; they guarded the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, and anyone who wanted to serve God had to pass through the priests (v. 38).
2 The priests were to keep the charge of the sanctuary, the tabernacle with the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies (vv. 32, 38):
a The word charge refers to responsibility (vv. 7, 32, 38).
b For the priests to keep the charge of the sanctuary meant that they were responsible for the entire sanctuary and everything related to it.
B The Levites were not priests directly but were the serving ones of the priesthood (vv. 9, 12, 17):
1 In the priesthood, the ministry of the priests, there were many business affairs that required the service of the Levites (vv. 25-37).
2 The service of the Levites was to take care of the Tent of Meeting—the Tabernacle of the Testimony—which is a type of Christ and the church (18:1-4, 6):
a In taking care of the tabernacle and its contents, the Levites did not serve God directly; rather, they served the priesthood and the priests, who served God directly (3:9, 12, 17).
b The priests were to keep the charge of the sanctuary and the altar, and the Levites served under the priests in caring for the sanctuary and the altar (18:5-6).
C The Tabernacle of the Testimony with all its furnishings and the altar, to which the priests ministered, are types of Christ in all His rich aspects, whom the New Testament believers minister to others (3:25-26, 31, 36-37; Eph. 3:8; 2 Cor. 3:3; 1 Tim. 4:6):
1 The altar, signifying the cross (Heb. 13:10), refers to Christ's redemption, and the tabernacle refers to Christ as the embodiment of God (Col. 2:9), through whom God dwells among men (John 1:14) and through whom men can enter into God to enjoy all that He is (14:2, 6, 20).
2 The ministry of the priests and the Levites always supplies people with the riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8):
a To minister is to serve, and to serve is to supply people by ministering to them (2 Cor. 4:1; 3:3, 6, 8; 1 Pet. 4:10-11).
b The New Testament believers serve others the cross of Christ for redemption (1 Cor. 1:23; 2:2) and the riches of Christ for the life supply (Eph. 3:8; Col. 1:27-28).
Ⅲ The holy service portrayed in Numbers is not for a Christ who is inactive but for a Christ who is very active; in His activity, in His move, we must match Him (4:1-33):
A The priests and the Levites had certain duties in the tabernacle's setting out, in its going forward:
1 The priests appointed the Levites to do their service (vv. 19, 27-28, 33):
a The Levites did their service not according to their way but under the direction of the anointed priests.
b This indicates that we, the New Testament priests serving God, should not act according to our own idea but under the direction of the anointed view, that is, under the direction of the Spirit who anoints us (3:3; Exo. 28:41).
2 The priests took care of the primary things, the important things, and the Kohathites (Levites) took care of some of the secondary things (Num. 4:5-14):
a To take care of the furnishings of the sanctuary is to take care of the primary things.
b The priests took care of the Ark; this is to take care of Christ directly and to minister Christ (vv. 5-6).
c The Kohathites carried the furnishings of the sanctuary (vv. 2-4, 15, 17-20, 34-37); to do this today is to speak concerning the church as the expansion of Christ.
B In order to see how Christ moves on earth, we should look at the move of the tabernacle (vv. 5, 25, 31-32):
1 The tabernacle moved on the shoulders of the descendants of the three sons of Levi (Josh. 3:11, 13-15, 17).
2 The Lord moves through our bearing the Ark, the furnishings of the sanctuary, and the Tent of Meeting (vv. 3, 11, 13-15).
C The principle in God's New Testament economy is that God needs man to match Him in His move on earth (Matt. 28:18-20):
1 Without man, God can do nothing; in His New Testament economy, God does nothing without man (Acts 1:8; 13:1-3).
2 God must have man to match Him, to be one with Him, to coordinate with Him; this is the basic principle of God's New Testament economy (Ezek. 1:15-21; 1 Cor. 6:17).
3 Christ is moving today throughout the earth, and He is moving with those who are one with Him (Acts 1:8; John 15:4-5, 16):
a We are today's sons of Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
b Christ, the embodiment of God for His expansion, moves through those who love Him (S.S. 7:11-12; Rev. 2:4-5).
Ⅳ In the Old Testament there was a distinction between the priests and the Levites; in the New Testament there is only one class, that of the priests (Rom. 15:16; 1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10):
A In addition to carrying out their own duties in the setting out of the tabernacle, the priests appointed the Levites to do their service (Num. 4:5-14, 19, 27-28, 33).
B What the Levites did in the Old Testament in type, the believers as the New Testament priests should also do in reality (1 Pet. 2:5, 9):
1 The fact that the service of the Levites was under the supervision of the priests indicates that when the New Testament priests do the outward Levitical work, they must do it under the supervision of the inward, spiritual view of the New Testament priesthood (Rev. 1:6; 5:10).
2 The Levitical service should never be separated from the priestly view; the outward service must become a spiritual activity that ministers life to others (Rom. 12:4-13; 15:16; 1 Pet. 2:5, 9; 4:10-11).
3 We need to learn to do outward things under the inward view of the priesthood.
4 While we are taking care of outward, practical matters, we should be ministering life to others; if we do this, our Levitical service is under the view and supervision of the priesthood (1 John 1:2-3; 2:25; 5:11-16).
C When a person serves God, there needs to be both the priestly work and the Levitical work (Rom. 1:9; 15:16):
1 On the one hand, we partake of the spiritual service; on the other hand, we should also take care of the practical affairs.
2 Before any kind of service, we must first serve as priests in the Lord's presence; all service must be priestly.
Ⅴ In Hebrew the word service in Numbers 4:3, 23, 30, 35, 39, and 43 is warfare, indicating military service:
A The holy service of the priests and the Levites involved warfare.
B As priests of the gospel of God, we should consider ourselves warriors (Rom. 15:16):
1 While we are preaching, teaching, edifying others, and building up the Body of Christ, we are fighting (Eph. 3:8; 4:12, 16; 6:10-12).
2 The New Testament priests are warriors, and our priestly service is a fighting (Rev. 5:10; 19:11-14).
C All the spiritual work that we are doing for God, whatever form it may take, as long as it touches the things of the spiritual realm, is in nature a warfare (2 Cor. 10:3-5):
1 Preaching the gospel, edifying the saints, administrating the church, and praying are all a kind of warfare (Eph. 1:17-18; 3:8, 14-19; 4:12; 6:10-12).
2 If our eyes have been opened by the Lord, we will see that the nature of our work in serving the Lord is that of warfare.
Ⅵ A reward, or compensation, was given to Aaron and his sons as the priests and to the serving Levites (Num. 18:8-32):
A The priests and the Levites had no portion other than Christ; Christ was their house, inheritance, land, clothing, food, and everything (v. 31).
B Today, in the New Testament, the Levitical service is combined with the priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5, 9):
1 There is no difference between the priests and the servants of the priests; the believers in Christ are both the priests and the serving Levites.
2 The only reward, the only compensation, for our priestly and Levitical service is Christ (Matt. 25:23; 2 Tim. 4:8; Rev. 3:20-21).
 


Morning Nourishment
  Num. 3:6-7 Bring the tribe of Levi near and set them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister to him. And they shall keep his charge and the charge of the whole assembly before the Tent of Meeting to do the service of the tabernacle.

  In Numbers we have a full type of the church service. I hope that the Lord would open our eyes to see that, comparatively speaking, in the church service we have been somewhat loose. With respect to spiritual principles, we have not been so serious, strict, and right. Our making mistakes unconsciously could be the reason that we have missed much of God's blessing. In serving God, we should not be loose but should be serious. We all, especially the young ones, need to learn the spiritual regulations and spiritual laws regarding the service of God. (Life-study of Numbers, p. 99)
Today's Reading
  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 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.

  Numbers 3 has much to say about the persons and their duties. We need to dwell on this because it actually concerns us and our duties.

  First, we will consider the duties of the priests and then the duties of the Levites. The priests are the anointed ones who serve God directly.

  [In Numbers 3:38a] we see that the priests were to camp before the tabernacle, on the east, toward the sunrise. The priests were actually gate guards, guarding the entrance to the tabernacle. Anyone who wanted to serve God had to first pass through the priests.

  The priesthood today is no longer a household matter as it was with Aaron; the priesthood is universal. Nevertheless, the principle remains the same. Not everyone can pass through the gate guard to reach the Ark within the veil. Those who want to do this must first pass through the priesthood. Once a believer has passed through the priesthood which guards the tabernacle, he has the right to enter into the tabernacle, pass through the second veil, and reach the Ark, where God meets with His people.

  The priesthood today is universal. This means that every believer is a priest and should serve as a priest. However, not every believer actually functions as a priest.

  The priests were to keep the charge of the sanctuary (vv. 38b, 32). The sanctuary was the tabernacle with its two sections, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. The word charge refers to responsibility. For the priests to keep the charge of the sanctuary meant that they were responsible for the entire sanctuary and everything related to it. If anything was damaged or stolen, the priests were responsible. (Life-study of Numbers, pp. 25-28)

  Further Reading: CWWL, 1977, vol. 2, "All Ages for the Lord's Testimony," ch. 1; CWWL, 1966, vol. 1, "The Priesthood," ch. 2
 


Morning Nourishment
  2 Cor. 3:6 Who has also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant, ministers not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

  Eph. 3:8 To me, less than the least of all saints, was this grace given to announce to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel.

  The Levites were not priests directly but were the serving ones of the priesthood. This means that they served the priesthood. In the priesthood, or in the ministry of the priests, there were many business affairs that required the service of the Levites. The Levites, therefore, were a tribe separated to these business affairs. As such a separated tribe, the Levites were not given a portion of the good land. However, God ordained that cities with their suburbs should be given to them. (Life-study of Numbers, p. 329)
Today's Reading
  The service of the Levites was to take care of the Tent of Meeting, the Tabernacle of the Testimony, which is a type of Christ and the church (Num. 18:1a, 2a, 3-4, 6). In taking care of the tabernacle and its contents, the Levites did not serve God directly; rather, they served the priesthood and the priests, who served God directly.

  The Levites were a gift to Aaron and his sons, a gift that had been given to God (v. 6b). God wanted all the firstborn of the children of Israel to do the service. Eventually, God used the Levites to replace them. The children of Israel gave their firstborn to God as a gift, and these were replaced by the Levites. God then gave the Levites, who had been given to Him, as a gift to the priests.

  The Levites were to join Aaron and his sons and minister to them. For the Levites to minister to the priests meant that they served the priests.

  In English the word priesthood is sometimes used to denote a body of priests, that is, a number of priests who have been grouped together. This word is also used to denote the service of the priests, and this is mainly the meaning here in Numbers 18.

  The priests were to keep the charge of the sanctuary, the tabernacle, and of the altar (v. 5). The whole tabernacle was the sanctuary. In the Bible the word sanctuary is used in a very ambiguous way; it may refer to the Holy Place, to the Holy of Holies, or to both. The sanctuary typifies Christ and also the church. The altar, which was outside the sanctuary, signifies the cross of Christ. Therefore, the sanctuary and the altar typify Christ with the church and His cross.

  The Levites served under the priests in caring for the sanctuary and the altar. For instance, when the children of Israel were commanded to move, the Levites packed and carried the tabernacle and all its furnishings. When the people arrived at a particular place, the Levites set up the tabernacle and everything related to it.

  "I give you the priesthood as a service of gift" (v. 7b). The priesthood, as the highest service rendered by God's people to God, was a great gift given by God to Aaron and his sons. This was the reason Korah was ambitious to seek it (16:10).

  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. (Life-study of Numbers, pp. 189-190, 25-26)

  Further Reading: Life-study of Numbers, msg. 4; Truth Lessons—Level Three, vol. 2, lsns. 21-22
 


Morning Nourishment
  John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and I set you that you should go forth and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give you.

  Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

  The priests and the Levites had certain duties in the tabernacle's setting out. To set out is to go forward. Thus, what is covered in the holy service is not for a Christ who is inactive but for a Christ who is very active. In His activity we must match Him. (Life-study of Numbers, p. 33)
Today's Reading
  The Levites did their service not according to their way but under the direction of the anointed priests. This indicates that we, the New Testament priests serving God, should not act according to our own idea but under the direction of the anointed view, that is, under the direction of the very Spirit who anoints us.

  The priests took care of the primary things, the most important things, and the Kohathites took care of some of the secondary things. To take care of the furnishings of the sanctuary is to take care of the primary things. The priests took care of the Ark. This is to take care of Christ directly and to minister Christ. The Kohathites carried the furnishings of the sanctuary (Num. 4:2-4, 15, 17-20, 34-37). To do this today is to speak concerning the church as the expansion of Christ.

  In His New Testament economy, God does nothing without man. Man must be one with God, match God, and be bound together with God. "He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit" (1 Cor. 6:17). This implies that in the New Testament God's economy has bound man together with God. God is willing to be bound to man, for He cannot move without man. Now God moves not only with man but also within man. This is why God never preaches the gospel directly to anyone; instead, He preaches the gospel through man.

  Christ is moving today throughout the earth. "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). To be Christ's witnesses is to be His testimony, and to be His testimony is to be His portrait. If we are Christ's testimony, His portrait, people will see Him wherever we go....All gospel preachers are actually witnesses, portraits, of Christ.

  We need to see how the Lord moves today. He moves within us. We are today's Gershonites, Kohathites, and sons of Merari. In order to see how Christ moves on earth, we should look at the move of the tabernacle. The tabernacle moved on the shoulders of the descendants of the three sons of Levi. This moving was in a very good sequence, with no confusion. Only Aaron and his sons could look at the holy things and touch them. The Levites could look at them and touch them only after they had been packed and covered. The layman had no right at all to touch the holy things.

  From the foregoing we can realize that not everyone is able to bring the Lord's recovery from one country to another. By the Lord's mercy, I can testify that when I came to the United States, I brought the Ark with all the furnishings of the sanctuary. I also brought the Tent of Meeting, which is the enlargement of Christ, the church. The Lord moves through our bearing the Ark, the furnishings of the sanctuary, and the Tent of Meeting.

  Christ, the embodiment of God for His expansion, moves through those who love Him. If we do not move, He cannot move. Rather, He is bound and even imprisoned within us. If we do not move, we become a prison to the Lord. (Life-study of Numbers, pp. 36-37, 33-35)

  Further Reading: Life-study of Numbers, msg. 5; CWWL, 1950-1951, vol. 2, "Serving according to Revelation," ch. 2
 


Morning Nourishment
  1 Pet. 2:5 You yourselves also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

  9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people acquired for a possession, so that you may tell out the virtues of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

  In the Old Testament, God could move by Himself, without man. For instance, when God created the heavens and the earth, there was no need of man to match Him. But the New Testament begins with the divine incarnation. This set up the principle for God's New Testament economy, which is that God needs man to match Him. Without man, God can do nothing. In the Old Testament, God could do many things without man. In the New Testament, God has given Himself to be bound together with man....In the New Testament, God must have man to match Him, to be one with Him, to coordinate with Him. This is the basic principle of God's New Testament economy. (Life-study of Numbers, p. 33)
Today's Reading
  The duties in the tabernacle's setting out involve both the priests and the Levites. In the Old Testament there is a distinction between the priests and the Levites. However, in the New Testament there is only one class, that of the priests, which includes the Levites. Hence, what the Levites did in the Old Testament, we, the New Testament priests, should also do.

  [In Numbers 4:19b] we see that the service of the Kohathites was under the assigning of Aaron and his sons. This indicates that in the Old Testament there are two classes—the priests and the Levites. But in the New Testament these two classes are one. We today are both priests and Levites. When we as priests do the Levitical work, we must be under the supervision of our priestly view. For example, arranging chairs in the meeting hall is not a spiritual work but a Levitical service. But this Levitical service should be carried out under the inward, spiritual view of the priesthood. If the arranging of chairs is done in this way, the serving ones will pray for the church and for those who will sit on the chairs. The principle is the same with knocking on people's doors for the purpose of preaching the gospel. The Levitical service of door-knocking should be carried out under the supervision of the priestly view. Then those who visit people with the gospel in this way will have much prayer. They may pray, "Lord, while I am knocking on this person's door, I ask You to knock on his heart."

  Today we should not separate the Levitical service from the priestly view. Any kind of outward activity must be carried out under the supervision of the inward, spiritual view of the priesthood.

  We need to learn to do outward things under the inward view of the priesthood. For instance, the way work is done in the church business office should be very different from the way in a bank....All the service in the church business office should be done under the heavenly view and supervision of the priests. Then whatever we do in the church business office will become a spiritual activity and will minister life to others. While we are caring for business matters, we should minister life to others. If we do this, our Levitical service is under the view and supervision of the priesthood. (Life-study of Numbers, pp. 35, 37-38)

  When a person serves God, there is the priestly work on the one hand, and there is the Levitical work on the other hand. Both should be accomplished. On the one hand, you participate in the spiritual service, and on the other hand, you should also take care of the practical affairs....These things occupy a great part of Christian work. This category of things is what everyone in the church must properly learn before God. (Further Talks on the Church Life, p. 135)

  Further Reading: CWWL, 1966, vol. 1, "The Priesthood and God's Building," ch. 11; Watchman Nee, Further Talks on the Church Life, ch. 5
 


Morning Nourishment
  2 Cor. 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly but powerful before God for the overthrowing of strongholds, as we overthrow reasonings and every high thing rising up against the knowledge of God, and take captive every thought unto the obedience of Christ.

  Our service to the Lord must be a kind of priestly service. The priests in the Old Testament were not only priests but also the army, so the army was a priestly army. Priests not only stand before God, ministering unto Him, but they also fight the battle. The army of the Lord is a priestly army. This means that if we are not priests, we can never fight the battle for the Lord. We must be a priesthood in order to fight the battle for God. (CWWL, 1966, vol. 1, "The Priesthood," p. 468)
Today's Reading
  As priests, we must give ourselves to prayer and spend time in the presence of the Lord. This is the priestly ministry.

  Before all kinds of service, we must first serve as priests in the Lord's presence. If we are elders, we must be priestly elders. If we are deacons or deaconesses, we must first be priests. Without being priests, we can never be good brothers or good sisters in the church. But even this is not all. We must be priestly husbands, priestly wives, and priestly parents. We have to be priestly in all things.

  The army must be priestly; the apostle must be priestly; the evangelist must be priestly; the minister of the word must be priestly; the elder and deacon must be priestly; the brothers and sisters must be priestly; and the husbands, wives, parents, and children must be priestly. This simply means that in the Lord's service we must first open ourselves to the Lord and spend time in His presence. This will enable Him to fill, saturate, and even swallow us up so that we may be one with Him. Then He will be our content, and we will be His expression. He will be able to say something through us and to express something from within us, whether we are fighting the battle, preaching the gospel, teaching the word, or serving as elders or deacons. Whatever we are will be a channel for the Lord to flow out. This must be our way of living, our way of work, and our way of service. (CWWL, 1966, vol. 1, "The Priesthood," p. 469)

  In Hebrew the word service in Numbers 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. (Life-study of Numbers, p. 26)

  Since warfare exists between the kingdoms of God and Satan, all the spiritual work that we are doing for God, whatever form it may take, as long as it touches the things of the spiritual realm, is in nature a warfare. For example, preaching the gospel, according to Acts 26:18, is "to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God." This shows us that preaching the gospel is not only to open men's eyes and turn them from darkness to light but also to deliver them from the authority of Satan. Again, Colossians 1:13 says, "Who delivered us out of the authority of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love." To be delivered from the authority of darkness is to be delivered from the power of Satan or the kingdom of Satan. And to be transferred into the kingdom of the Son of God's love is to be transferred into the kingdom of God. Therefore, preaching the gospel is wholly a spiritual warfare to drive out the power of Satan in men and bring in the kingdom of God....When a person is saved, he first believes in the name of the Lord; second, he calls on the Lord's name; and third, he is in the name of the Lord; he belongs to the Lord's name. Hence, he is delivered from the power of Satan and belongs to the name of the Lord. (CWWL, 1953, vol. 3, "The Experience of Life," p. 522)

  Further Reading: CWWL, 1966, vol. 1, "The Priesthood," ch. 6; Truth Lessons—Level Three, vol. 2, pp. 112-116
 


Morning Nourishment
  2 Tim. 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight; I have finished the course; I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, with which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will recompense me in that day, and not only me but also all those who have loved His appearing.

  Once the name of the Lord is upon [a saved person], the authority of the Lord follows. Once the authority of the Lord comes upon him, Satan's authority is removed. Therefore, strictly speaking, preaching the gospel, bringing salvation to men, and leading them to the Lord is a kind of spiritual warfare.

  Edifying the saints is also a matter of spiritual warfare. To edify the saints is to deliver them from the rule of Satan, that is, from sins, the world, the flesh, and everything relating to the old creation, all of which are used by Satan to rule over man. Thus, they will be further delivered from the satanic power of darkness, they will know the name of the Lord more deeply, and they will allow the Lord to increase His reign in them and thereby let the kingdom of God come more fully upon them. (CWWL, 1953, vol. 3, pp. 522-523)
Today's Reading
  Second Corinthians 10:3-5 says, "Though we walk in flesh, we do not war according to flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly but powerful before God for the overthrowing of strongholds, as we overthrow reasonings and every high thing rising up against the knowledge of God, and take captive every thought unto the obedience of Christ." This word shows us that even after a Christian is saved, it is possible that a large portion of his mind and thoughts remains the stronghold of Satan, and many of his ideas and concepts still serve as the base usurped by Satan. Therefore, when the apostles edify the saints, their purpose is to cast down through warfare all the strongholds and bases of Satan in the saints and eventually bring their thoughts into captivity unto the obedience of Christ. Hence, edifying the saints is also a kind of spiritual warfare.

  Moreover, even administering the church is a warfare. The purpose of administering the church is to deliver the church out of the power of darkness, to let God gain the place of rule in the church, to let the name of God be exalted in the church, to let His will be done in the church, and to let the glory of God be increasingly manifested in the church. Hence, administering the church is also a kind of warfare.

  Even all our prayers, whether they be for ourselves, for our family, for the revival of the church, or for anything else, are for the purpose of delivering us out of the satanic power of darkness; hence, they are also a kind of warfare.

  If our eyes have been opened by the Lord, we will see that the nature of our work in serving the Lord is that of warfare. All our spiritual work, whether it be delivering men from sin, from the world, from illness, or from problems, has an ultimate goal: to rescue men out of the power of Satan and drive out the satanic power of darkness from within men so that men might be gained even more by God. Thus, God's name will be sanctified in men, God's kingdom will reach unto men, His will shall be done in men, and thereby His glory will be manifested upon men. Therefore, the nature of all this work is that of spiritual warfare. (CWWL, 1953, vol. 3, "The Experience of Life," pp. 523-524)

  A reward, or compensation, was given to Aaron and his sons as the priests...and to the serving Levites (Num. 18:8-32). This reward (v. 31) was altogether Christ. The priests and the Levites had no portion other than Christ. Christ was their house, their inheritance, their land, their clothing, their food, and their everything.

  Today, in the New Testament, the Levitical service is combined with the priesthood. There is no difference between the priests and the servants of the priests. This means that the believers in Christ are both the priests and the serving Levites. The only reward, the only compensation, for our priestly and Levitical service is Christ. (Life-study of Numbers, pp. 190-191)

  Further Reading: Life-study of Numbers, msgs. 26-27
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