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Book messages «Holy Word for Morning Revival, The: Topics for New Believers, Vol. 1»
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My readings

  Week 7 — Day 1

Scripture reading

  Lev. 25:55  For the children of Israel are My servants; they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; I am Jehovah your God.

  Rom. 12:1, 2, 11  I exhort you therefore, brothers, through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice…which is your reasonable service. …Be transformed by the renewing of the mind. …Be burning in spirit, serving the Lord.

Serving the Lord

Who are the servants of God?

  Who are the servants of God?…The Bible tells us that all of God’s redeemed ones are servants of God. Every child of God is a servant of God. In Leviticus 25:55 God says, “For the children of Israel are My servants; they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; I am Jehovah your God.” This tells us clearly that as long as a person was an Israelite and was brought out of Egypt, he was a servant of God. Not only were Moses and Joshua the servants of God, but all the Israelites who were led out of Egypt were the servants of God as well. As long as we are saved and as long as we are children of God, we are servants of God. We need two kinds of understanding about the blood of the Lord, and we need two kinds of knowledge about the Lord Himself. The blood of the Lord Jesus washes away our sins. At the same time, His blood also purchases us. The Lord Jesus is our Savior. At the same time, He is also our Lord. We have to see that Jesus is our Lord and we are His servants; we are purchased by His blood.184

The motive of serving the Lord

  When a believer receives the life of God, he has the disposition to serve God; his nature wants to serve God.185 The more [he] receives grace and is led by the Lord, the more he is delighted to serve the Lord. A saved person wishes to serve the Lord, not out of others’ encouragement or compelling, but out of an inward motive. This motive is his love for the Lord. His love for the Lord constrains him and impels him to serve the Lord. [Exodus 21:5] describes a slave in the Old Testament who, due to his love for his master, would not go out free at the end of his days of slavery; he would rather be a slave to serve his beloved master. This typifies the New Testament believer who should love the Lord and serve Him in the same manner.186

  Exodus 21:6 speaks of the slave being brought to the door or to the doorpost. In ancient times slaves were to stand by the doorpost waiting for the master’s orders. Instead of doing anything on their own, they were to act only according to the word of the master. Today our position as slaves of Christ should also be at the doorpost. Furthermore, in 21:6 we are told that the master bored his slave’s ear through with an awl. This indicates that the slave’s ear was opened to listen to the master.

  As those who believe in Christ, we all must be His slaves. We should say, “O Lord, I love You. Even if I have the freedom to go out, I do not want to leave. I love You, I love Your church, and I love Your children.” On the one hand, we may testify of how enjoyable and glorious the church life is. On the other hand, in the church life we all must become slaves.187

  [Moreover, in Romans 12:1], the apostle Paul exhorts us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to serve God. His exhorting us is through the compassions of God, proving that God’s compassions, which are out of God’s love, should be our motive in serving God, stirring us up to love God and to serve Him.

Serving the Lord with our whole being

  Our entire being is of three parts: spirit, soul, and body [1 Thes. 5:23]. To serve the Lord with our whole being means that the spirit, soul, and body all participate in the service of the Lord. First, we must present our bodies to the Lord [Rom. 12:1]; second, the mind, the main part of our soul, must be renewed and transformed [v. 2]; third, our spirit must be burning [v. 11].188

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 7 — Day 2

Scripture reading

  Rom. 12:1  …Present your bodies a living sacrifice… which is your reasonable service.

  5  So we who are many are one Body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

  7  Or service, let us be faithful in that service…

  11  …Be burning in spirit, serving the Lord.

Only a heavenly vision of the Body being able to bring us into the genuine service of the Lord

  God’s intention in the whole universe is to gain a Body for Christ.…When we come to the matter of serving the Lord, we all need to be very clear that we need the Body, and we need a heavenly vision concerning the Body. May the Lord grant us all such a vision that will bring us into a full realization that we need to be in the reality of the Body, even that we cannot serve without the Body, and, in fact, that we cannot live, we cannot exist spiritually in life, outside the Body. Only by such a heavenly vision of the Body can we be brought into the genuine service of the Lord.

  Strictly speaking, in the New Testament the service is not touched clearly and definitely until Romans 12. In this chapter both the words service and serving are used. In Romans 12:1 Paul exhorts us to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing to God, which is our most reasonable service. In verse 7 he mentions the service, and in verse 11 he speaks of serving the Lord as a slave. It is not until Romans 12 that the matter of service is so definitely revealed to us. From this chapter we can realize that, as Christians, our service to the Lord must be in the Body. The Christian service is not something individual; it is something corporate. The Christian service is something of the Body, in the Body, with the Body, and for the Body.189

Service in the Body

  Every believer is a member of the Body, a part of the Body. An individual is not the Body. A member of the Body cannot function without the Body. The hand is good, quite useful, but if it is cut off from the body, it becomes not only dead, but also ugly, terrible, and even terrifying.…Today many Christians are detached, separated from the reality of the Body. It is as if they are disembodied members.… How could they serve the Lord? How could we serve the Lord without being built up together as members of the Body? It is impossible.…But if we do have a sincere heart to serve the Lord, we need to realize that the service is in the Body.190

  What does being a member mean? It means that all of our work and living are based on the Body; the Body is the unit of operation. When my hands work, it is not my hands that are working, but my body that is working. When my feet walk, it is not my feet that are walking, but my body that is walking. Every move of the members has the Body as its unit of operation. What one member does is what the whole Body does.…Nothing that the members do is for themselves. Everything that the members do is for the Body. Every move of the members is based on the Body, not on the members. We are happy if God puts us in the first place, and equally happy even if He puts us in the last place. Only the ones who do not see the Body can be proud, and only they can be jealous of others.

  The meaning of serving the Body of Christ is to receive life from the Head for the supply of the Body. It is to transmit the life that is in the Head to the church. When the eyes see, the body sees. The eyes supply the body with their seeing; this is what it means to serve as members. The hands cannot detect the smell of an object; it takes the nose to serve the body with its smelling function. Smell is the specific ministry of the nose. The ears serve the body with their hearing. Hearing is the specific ministry of the ears. The result of the work of every ministry is the growth of the stature of the Body. In other words, it is the Body gaining more of Christ. The ministry of the members is the ministry of Christ to the church; it is to dispense Christ to others.191

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 7 — Day 3

Scripture reading

  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…

  Rev. 1:6  And made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father…

The service of the priesthood

  In the Christian life there are always two aspects, the matter of life and the matter of service.…The proper Christian service is a matter of life, and it is in the Body. Such a spiritual service is presented as the priesthood in 1 Peter 2:5.…According to the spiritual reality, the priesthood is the building up of the priests, the coordination, the cooperation of all the priests. Not one of the priests serves individually, but all serve in coordination.192

  It is a great matter that we, who were once sinners, sons of disobedience,…are now priests of God serving Him. As to our person, we are sons of God. As to our spiritual occupation, we are priests of God (Rev. 1:6; 5:10). Some of us may be teachers, doctors, or lawyers, but our real occupation is that of priests.…Since we are priests, we should be serving the Lord all day long in whatever we do.193

  What does it mean to serve God? Today’s Christians would answer that to serve God is to work for God. This answer is wrong! To say that a priest is a person who serves God is right, but to say that to serve God is merely to do something for God is wrong.

  To realize what a priest is, we must first see God’s eternal plan. God is a God of purpose. He has a purpose which He wants to accomplish. According to the revelation of the Scriptures, God has a plan to work Himself into a group of people, that He might be their life, and that they might become His expression.

  God has no intention of calling us to do something for Him. His intention is that we answer His call by opening ourselves to Him and saying, “Lord, here I am, not ready to work for You, but ready to be filled and possessed by You, and to be one with You.”…Then He will do something through us. Whatever He does through us will flow out of Himself. This is the real service which God is seeking today.194

Holy Priests and royal priests

  We are the holy priesthood [1 Pet. 2:5] on the one hand, and the royal priesthood [v. 9] on the other hand. In the Old Testament types there are two different orders of priests, the order of Aaron and the order of Melchisedec. The order of Aaron is the holy order. To be holy is to be separated from the common things, the worldly things, unto the Lord.…To be holy simply means to be sanctified, and to be sanctified simply means to be separated from the common things unto the divine things. This is the holy order, the holy priesthood. The order of Melchisedec is the royal order. Melchisedec was a king, and he was a kingly priest.

  When we as a Body go to the Lord and remain in His presence, we are the holy priests, the holy, separated ones before God. After we pray and are burdened by the Lord and equipped with the heavenly authority, we come out of the presence of the Lord to the people, serving them, even ministering the Lord to them. At that time we are the kingly priests, the royal priests, the heavenly ones with the heavenly authority as heavenly kings to minister the Lord to others.…The priests of the order of Aaron always bring the need of the people to God. They are holy. But a priest of the order of Melchisedec brings something from God to supply others, to meet the need of others. This is the kingly priesthood.

  The coordination, the separation, and the authority — these three are the qualifications, the equipment we need to minister, [to serve].…We need the reality of the Body, we need the holy priesthood, and we need the royal priesthood.195

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 7 — Day 4

Scripture reading

  Luke 2:10  …For behold, I announce to you good news of great joy, which will be for all the people.

  Acts 5:42  …Every day…they did not cease teaching and announcing the gospel of Jesus as the Christ.

  Rom. 15:16  That I might be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, a laboring priest of the gospel of God, in order that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable.…

Preaching the gospel

  Every saved person, having believed in the Lord, must preach the gospel and delights to preach the gospel. The life of God in us, which we have received, is such a life. The more we preach the gospel, the more this life is released, and we will grow in this life accordingly.

The definition of the gospel

  The gospel is the glad tidings and the good news of great joy, which God asked His servants to announce to men.196 [Moreover], the gospel is Christ, who is the very embodiment of the processed Triune God, reaching us as the consummated Spirit, who is the consummation of the Triune God for our enjoyment. According to the truth, [the gospel is the entire divine revelation of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. God’s New Testament economy is the gospel.] Christians are used to saying that there are four Gospels: [Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John], but Paul told us that the entire book of Romans is the gospel of God (1:1, 15). It includes the preaching of God, the condemnation of God upon fallen man, and the Body life, including the local churches in chapter sixteen. Have you ever received such a broad view of the definition of the gospel? Personally, the gospel is a wonderful person,197 the most wonderful person in the whole universe. He is an unlimited, all-inclusive, and all-extensive person. In Ephesians 1 we are told that this all-inclusive and extensive person fills all in all in the universe (v. 23). The measurement of the universe has no end. No one can tell how big the universe is or how many things are in it. But Ephesians 1:23 tells us that Christ is the One who fills all in all. Such a person is the center of the gospel of God. The gospel is concerning Jesus Christ the God-man; hence, Jesus Christ the God-man is the center of the good news and the glad tidings of God to men.198 Of course, forgiveness, salvation, etc. are included in the gospel, but they are not the central point. The gospel of God concerns the person of the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord. This wonderful person has two natures — the divine nature and the human nature, divinity and humanity.199

God’s New Testament priesthood of the gospel

  In order to carry out [the God-ordained way], God’s New Testament priesthood of the gospel, we have to take care of four steps: [begetting, nourishing, perfecting, and prophesying]. Each step is a must. The first step is to get sinners saved to make them members of the living Christ. In other words, we have to preach the gospel as New Testament priests.200 In the Old Testament, the priests offered cattle sacrifices as types of Christ.201 The main sacrifices that a New Testament priest offers to God are not his praises or good works. The main sacrifices he offers to God are living persons, sinners who have been regenerated [begotten of God] to become members of the living Christ (1 Pet. 2:5; Rom. 15:16).202 The second step is to nourish and cherish the newborn babes in Christ in home meetings as nursing mothers (1 Thes. 2:7).203 The third step is to bring these new ones into the group meetings. The group meetings will have the fellowship, the interceding, the mutual care, the shepherding, and the mutual teaching. This will spontaneously perfect [equip, supply the functions of] these new ones, carrying out the perfecting of the saints revealed in Ephesians 4:11-12. The fourth step, as a result of such perfecting, is to usher these ones into prophesying. In other words, we have to perfect them to such an extent and to such a level that they can speak for the Lord and speak forth the Lord to minister and dispense Christ into others…for building up the organic Body of Christ.204

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 7 — Day 5

Scripture reading

  Rom. 1:14-15  I am debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to foolish; so, for my part, I am ready to announce the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

The God-ordained way carried out by vital groups

  We saw that [the] God-ordained way revealed in the Scriptures is of four steps: [begetting, nourishing, perfecting, and prophesying].…To take the God-ordained way is by these four steps, but how do we carry them out?…The way to carry out these four steps is by the vital groups.205 The vital groups should be composed of people who are overcomers.206 This is the reason that the groups are called the “vital groups.”207 With all the four steps of the God-ordained way mentioned above, we need to pay the price.

  Now we need to consider how we can be vital. First, we must have a time to contact the Lord. Then we will be enlightened by Him to see all our defects, mistakes, wrongdoings, shortcomings, trespasses, and transgressions. We should make a thorough confession to the Lord to have a thorough forgiveness and a thorough clearance of all these negative things before Him. Then we should ask the Lord to give us a companion with whom we can labor in the gospel. We should not say that we do not have the time. Everybody is busy. We have to redeem and budget our time. We should reserve two hours every week for contacting sinners by many ways.208 We may contact people by personal visiting, by telephone, and by written correspondence. There are many ways to contact people.209 Then we can get some saved and baptized to be our spiritual babes. We have to feed them, perfect them, and build them up to prophesy. We must pay the price to take the biblical way, the God-ordained way in the New Testament.210

Paying off our debt of the gospel

  As the members of the vital groups, we need to pay off our debt of the gospel.…Paul said in Romans 1 that he was a debtor to those who had not heard the gospel from him (vv. 14-15).211

  Thousands of people in our localities were chosen and predestinated by our Father God, but without any prayer, without any concern by God’s children for His chosen ones, He will not save anyone. He cannot save anyone until we pray. In principle, all of us have been saved through someone’s prayer. I was saved through my sister’s prayer.

  We do not need to pray long prayers.…The Lord desires to hear our genuine prayer, without our explanations and teachings. We should cry to the Lord in a simple and direct way for the salvation of all our relatives, one by one. This is the way to clear up our debt of the gospel with our relatives, our first circle of responsibility. Our neighbors should be considered as our second circle, and our classmates and colleagues as our third circle. The Lord told His disciples that they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem (the inner circle), in Judea (the second circle), in Samaria (the third circle), and to the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8).212

Preparing a record book

  In order to pray for people in a proper way, you should keep a record book.…You have to ask God specifically for a few names.…A few names will spontaneously come to your mind. You will have a feeling for them, and you will want them to be saved first.

  A record book should have the following columns: The first column should be a number; the second column, the date; and the third column, the name. This will remind us of the number we have assigned to a person and the date we began to pray for him. The fourth column should also be a date — the date when the person is saved.…One should persist and not give up once a name is in the book.…It is not certain when a person will be saved. Some are saved in a year, and some in two to three months. Perhaps one or two of them may prove to be very difficult, but in the end they will still be saved.213

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 7 — Day 6

Scripture reading

  Rom. 1:9  For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of His Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you always in my prayers.

  Acts 4:31  And when they had so besought,…they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

Much prayer needed

  For the preaching of the gospel we need much prayer ([Rom.] 1:9). We need to pray for souls and to pray for the gospel. In preaching the gospel, prayer is more needful than any kind of effort. If we are prayerless, we will be fruitless in the gospel preaching.214

  The Lord Jesus said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and him who comes to Me I shall by no means cast out” (John 6:37). According to Acts 2:47, the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. The first thing that we must do is ask God for people, asking Him to give men to the Lord Jesus and to add them to the church. In order for men to be saved, we need to ask God and implore Him. It is very difficult to deal with man’s heart. It is not easy for us to turn a heart toward the Lord. We must first go to God and pray for these people, asking God to bind the strong man (Luke 11:21-22). Afterwards, we can talk to them at length. We have to present these people one by one to the Lord and pray for them fervently before we can effectively lead them to Christ.215

Preaching the gospel by speaking the word

  Based upon our prayer, we need to speak….In order to speak, however, you need the proper material. In 1980 the Living Stream Ministry published Gospel Outlines, containing two hundred sixty-six outlines for gospel messages. These outlines cover God, man, the fall, Satan, redemption, justification, and many other topics. The outlines are quite detailed. This book will provide you with something to say.216 [In addition], the booklet we have published entitled The Mystery of Human Life really works. Thousands have been saved through this booklet.217 You should fill yourself up with all the materials related to the truth of the gospel.

  There are many gospel truths in the Bible. The apostle Paul had a great deal to speak because the Old Testament was a rich source of light and truth to him. You have to learn the truth as Paul did. When you are equipped with the truth, you will be like a doctor who has a dispensary full of medicine. When you contact a young person, you will know what medicine he needs. The medicine is the word of the truth. However, do not wait until you know everything. Start speaking right away. There is a principle in the Bible that the more you speak, the more light you will receive.

  Before we speak, however, we have to pray. We must fulfill our priestly service by praying to bring people to the Lord. We should put them on our breast and shoulders (Exo. 28:29-30), bearing them in love and in power into the presence of the Lord. After we pray in this manner, we will be authorized and filled with the word. The word is our authority to go to the people as kings. We are both priests and kings (1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6).…Firstly, we bring sinners to the Lord, and then we bring the Lord to sinners. When we go to the Lord with sinners by praying, we are priests. When we come to sinners with the Lord by preaching, we are the kings.

  If you do not pray and speak the holy word from the Bible, your speaking will not have any weight.…Weighty speaking comes only from prayer and the use of the holy Word. You must be filled with prayer and the Word. Then you will be saturated with the Word. Eventually you will be the embodiment of the Word. Our being needs to be constituted and composed with the Word. The Word should be in every fiber of our being….The Word is the Spirit and the Word is life (John 6:63). Only the Spirit and life are powerful.218

  Enlightenment and inspiration:

  Week 7 — Hymn

Hymns, #912

  1. Christ to minister is service

  Both to God and others too,

  Christ, the surplus, e’er supplying,

  Off’ring Him as service true.


  Christ to minister is service

  Both to God and others too,

  Christ, the surplus, e’er supplying,

  Off’ring Him as service true.


  2. As the Israelites did offer

  From the surplus of their land,

  Thus some produce reaped of Jesus

  Must be in our serving hand.


  3. We on Christ, as land, must labor,

  Harvest Him for all our fare,

  Tasting Him to overflowing,

  Christ with others we may share.


  4. Holding Christ, as members growing,

  Each his function must observe;

  Christ receiving, Christ partaking,

  To His Body Christ we serve.


  5. Fellowship and testimony,

  Ministry and worship too,

  In all helps and ministrations

  Christ is all our service true.

Hymns, #913

  1. Serve and work within the Body,

  This the Lord doth signify;

  For His purpose is the Body,

  And with it we must comply.


  Serve and work within the Body,

  Never independently;

  As the members of the Body,

  Functioning relatedly.


  2. As the members we’ve been quickened

  Not as individuals free;

  We must always serve together,

  All related mutually.


  3. Living stones, we’re built together

  And a house for God must be,

  As the holy priesthood serving,

  In a blessed harmony.


  4. Thus we must be built together,

  In position minister;

  For the basis for our service

  Is the Body character.


  5. In our ministry and service,

  From the Body, our supply;

  If detached and isolated,

  Out of function we will die.


  6. ’Tis by serving in the Body

  Riches of the Head we share;

  ’Tis by functioning as members

  Christ’s full measure we will bear.


  7. To the Head fast holding ever,

  That we may together grow,

  From the Head supplies incoming

  Thru us to the Body flow.


  8. Lord, anew we give our bodies;

  9. May we be transformed to prove

  All Thy will, to know Thy Body,

  And therein to serve and move.

“Rise! Preach the gospel now!”

(tune: Hymns, #921)

  Rise! Preach the gospel now!

  Rescue the fallen!

  Lo, millions perishing, daily in pain!

  Quench not your heart of love,

  Count not possessions:

  Rise! Preach the gospel while moments remain!


  Rise! Preach the gospel now!

  Rescue the fallen!

  Your heart of love for them,

  Can you restrain?

“Bringing in the sheaves”

  1. Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness,

  Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve;

  Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping,

  We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves;


  Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,

  We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

  Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,

  We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.


  2. Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows,

  Fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze;

  By and by the harvest and the labor ended,

  We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves;


  3. Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master,

  Tho’ the loss sustained, our spirit often grieves;

  When our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome,

  We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves;

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