THE SERVICE OF THE BODY BEING THE SERVICE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT PRIESTS
Being Built Up into a Priesthood in Which Everyone Participates and Coordinates in Service
The Body service that the Lord is after is the service of the New Testament priests. Peter told us in 1 Peter 2:5 through 9 that we are the living stones to be built up as the house of God and become a holy and royal priesthood. This built up priesthood is one in which everyone participates and coordinates in service, where we tell out together the virtues of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. This is the Body preaching the gospel for the offering up of spiritual sacrifices. According to Peter’s word, we the New Testament priests are to be transformed into living stones in the hand of God and are being built into a “hood.’’ This building requires some time. It cannot be produced overnight. For us to preach the gospel, we must first be built up. Once we are built up, we become a “hood’’; and when this “hood’’ preaches the gospel, it is the Body preaching the gospel. Here everyone preaches the gospel, yet no one preaches individualistically. Rather, everyone has a part, and at the same time all coordinate together.
Some have thought that it is an easy thing to change from the old way to the new way. Actually, this is not true. But it is true that this is the way to serve with the priesthood. Just wait and see; in another ten years it will be A.D. 2000. I believe that by then not only you and I will be preaching the gospel by visiting people, but also a lot of other Christians will be doing so. They will all take this new way. Now, in places overseas, especially in the United States, the glimmer of the new way has gradually begun to appear. Many Christians know that to depend on spiritual giants does not work any longer. These Christians are constantly improving their methods. Unless it is the whole Body moving, and moving in coordination, the Lord’s gospel will have no way on earth today. This is the reason that we have to change the system. However, we should not be impatient, and we should not try to be hasty. Such things cannot be done hastily. There is the need to labor and to be patient.
Since coming back this time and seeing your meetings here, I feel confident about your practice of the new way. I also have seen a few good testimonies in the United States. In the San Gabriel Valley, near Anaheim, two churches were raised up within the last two years; one is in Monterey Park, and the other is in San Gabriel. The former began with about thirty people. Now after two years, they have increased to about a hundred and fifty. The rate of increase has been quite fast. This is the result of practicing the new way. The latter church began with about fifteen people. Now in the Chinese-speaking meetings, they have over fifty people. In the English-speaking meetings, they have over thirty people. They do not have big gospel campaigns, and they do not have spiritual giants. All of them are ordinary saints. Every one of them is working there. If you asked them to change back to the old way, to have one man speaking and all the rest listening, they would be unwilling to do so. This is because in the new way, in the Body of Christ, everyone is serving and everyone is organic.
I have recently discovered that whoever opposes the new way and attacks me or my ministry becomes dead within. But whoever practices the new way and receives my ministry becomes living. Life is from God and death is from the Devil, who has the power of death. Whoever accepts the new way becomes overcoming and rejoicing, and whoever opposes the new way becomes sad and dead. This shows us where the living God is and where the death-reigning Devil is. I know that Satan hates me. It is because I have been commissioned by the Lord. This commission is not just the release of His word. Since 1984 I have been very clear that the Lord wants me to change the old way and to promote the new way that the Body of Christ may be recovered. Because of this, Satan and all the demons have risen up to launch their attacks.
Hence, we all have to see clearly that what the Lord wants and desires is the Body service. The Body service is the service of the New Testament priests. When all the saints are the New Testament priests and are built up into a priesthood with everyone participating and coordinating to serve together, we will have a healthy Body service.
Their Duty Being the Preaching of the Gospel to Save Sinners, Making Them Sacrifices for the Building Up of the Body of Christ, the House of God
According to the revelation of the Bible, the main work of the New Testament priests of the gospel is the saving of the repentant sinners and the offering of them as sacrifices to God. These sacrifices are the material for the building up of the Body of Christ, the house of God. Hence, what we are doing here today is not merely the preaching of the gospel to save sinners, but the offering up of the saved ones as sacrifices to God. Once they are offered up, they become materials for the building up of the Body of Christ. Hence, the New Testament gospel begins with the preaching of the gospel for the saving of sinners and continues unto the completion of the building up of the Body of Christ. This is the duty of the New Testament priests of the gospel (Rom. 15:16; 1 Pet. 2:9b, 5b; Eph. 4:11-12).
(The Oneness and the One Accord according to the Lord's Aspiration and the Body Life and Service according to His Pleasure, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)