PRACTICAL, NOT DOCTRINAL, PRIESTS
Suppose we are the people of Israel and we are having a feast in the tent of meeting. There must be some who are the presenters, and surely some should be the priests. In the Old Testament times some were priests and some were people, but today in the church all are priests. But this can be merely doctrinal and not practical. In doctrine we all are priests, but in practice perhaps only two out of ten are the actual priests. There are some who are just like the common people of Israel, because in the church meeting they do not function. I am afraid that too many attend the meeting with the desire and expectation to get something. They listen to the message and the testimonies, but they never realize that they must serve in the meeting as a functioning priest.
But there are a number of brothers and sisters who do put their shoulder under the ark of the meetings of the church. They pray and are burdened for the meetings all day long, and when the time comes for the meeting, they are more and more burdened. Therefore, when they come to the meeting, they come to bear something, not just with the expectation to get something. When the meeting seems to be going down, they immediately exercise their spirit to pray that the Lord will uplift the meeting. They are ministering by bearing the responsibility; so they are the active priesthood. Whenever there is an offering in the meeting, these dear ones surely will enjoy the breast as the priesthood. They will enjoy the loving, tender part.
Then from among the active serving ones who are the actual priesthood, there might be two or three who are ministering as I am doing now. I am the present serving one, burning the fat to the Lord. I am the one who sprinkles the blood on the altar. Therefore, I have the right to enjoy the breast, the shoulder, and the extra pieces of the different cakes. I have the right to enjoy the wave offering and the heave offering. As a member of the priesthood, I enjoy the wave breast, and as a serving one, I can also enjoy the heave shoulder and the heave cakes. The more you serve, the more you enjoy. The less you serve, the less you enjoy. If you are not in the actual priesthood, you are just one among the people, and you miss the right to enjoy the wave breast. And, of course, if you are not presently serving, you have no right to enjoy the heave shoulder and the heave cakes.
So we all must be the attendants presenting something in the meeting. We all must bring something as a peace offering to the feast of the church. There is no way that we can borrow an offering from others. What we bring depends entirely upon our experience and appreciation of Christ in our daily life. Day by day, hour after hour, we must spend much time on Christ that we may have a real harvest of Christ. Then when we come to the meeting, we will have something of Christ to present to God as a peace offering. The hidden part is for God’s satisfaction; the loving part is for the stronger ones; the strengthening part is for the serving ones; and the major part is for all the clean ones. If we all will be faithful in this way, how rich and uplifting our meetings will be, and how different they will be from today’s Christian meetings. I do look to the Lord that all the meetings in the local churches will be like this.
(Christ as the Reality, Chapter 19, by Witness Lee)