Comparative Thoughts On Godly Service
GOD'S SAINTS AND SERVANTS
Viewing of Old Testament and New Testament Service
By R. L. DeWitt
Some thoughts here to consider some works of service to God in all times, which speaks of God's callings to faithful ministry.
In the Bible Old Testament there were servants who faithfully served their masters, and some servants who walked with God alone and served Him. This seems to also be a picture of Godly "saints" today (those sanctified: meaning 'set apart by God' as "saved" for eternity) in this present "dispensation" ---meaning the ages of God's management (note Eph. 1:10; Col. 1:25). We see Christian believers in this present age who are humble, trust God, "hold fast" and speak of Him often as to witness and public testimony. They give of self to serve in many ways with various "spiritual gifts" (1 Cor. 12:1-11) ---and let us note also the simple gift of "helps" in I Cor. 12:28. There are some who minister faithfully to all they meet, and those with gift recognized in local assemblies; also some saints commended to be fulltime servants broadly in various ways, and sent forth in the world by Godly assemblies to minister everywhere.
There were full-time holy servants of God called and appointed in olden times, such as Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, etc. ---see also the Apostles in the Epistles; and so we note those today of some degree of gift who are recognized and commended by their local brethren to minister abroad: preaching, teaching, and building up the saints as they go (being responsible to their local Assembly). How precious it is to serve, which ALL saints can do in their walk wherever they are as a "holy" and "royal priesthood" (note 1 Peter 2 as to both APPROACHING God and REPRESENTING God everywhere).
There are some similarities we might compare today with those called by God to serve:
> Moses: called of God to know the mind of God to serve, liberate and teach all Israel, somewhat as faithful servants today who are recognised and commended forth generally by their local assemblies to minister worldwide ---not as "lord's over God's heritage" as appointed preachers (note order in 1 Pet. 5:1-6; Rev. 2:15). Faithful servants today are often sharing in the local assemblies in various ways, and some going forth somewhat as "...a voice crying in the wilderness" (see Matt. 3:1-3) to turn many in remote places to "...the Christ of God" (Luke 9:20).
> 'High Priest': representative of God in worship in the O.T Israelite religion from the beginning, and in spiritual discernments and all worship (who was often ignored; and corrupted men often got into that position); and in the Church today speaks of the LORD JESUS CHRIST "in the midst" of gathered saints (Matt. 18:20) as our HIGH PRIEST ---intercessor and leader to our Creator-God and Authority, as well as being Himself THE HOLY SACRIFICE on the Cross as the entry-way: "...the Door" ( John 10:9 ). He is our object in worship (John 12:27; John 14:6) ---being He who shows and speaks the Word and mind of our God ---one with His Father (see all of John 14);
> 'The Priesthood': Godly saints to represent God and lead in worship for the Israelites, and as spiritual servants among the people; and in the Church today are shown as ALL the "born again" believers in Christ (John 3) who are a "holy" and "royal priesthood" (1 Pet. 2). They can serve in many ways in assembly care and witness before all mankind, when moved by the Holy Spirit and God's holy "Word of Truth" ---our Bible. It is the privilege of all the true saints (sanctified ones by the indwelling and sealing of the Spirit), who are devoted to the Lord Jesus, the Christ of God. They have no titles or appointment, but serve by the Spirit of God ---often quietly in their supportive manner.
> 'Prophets': special servants of God in the OT with ordained powers to speak the words and execute the mind of God to Israel, and be God’s voice for instruction and admonition; and in the Church we find Prophets today of lesser degree who work to be defenders of the faith, and led of God to know and maintain God's testimony, His mind, and set forth the ways and purposes of God. They are as all SERVANTS, recognized by the gathered saints, rather than appointed by certain men as with a title and authority;
> 'Levites': faithful holy men in Israel to handle the holy things of God; and in the Church today might now be all those of the priesthood who have a special exercise of soul to participate, and also as Deacons who feel led to regularly act to serve in care of important things in the assembly, in various ways for the testimony there;
> 'Chief Men': leaders among all the tribes of Israel in all activities and in essential judgments; and in the local assemblies today might be as those esteemed Elders of the priesthood with much experience, who are recognized as Overseers who seek to maintain the scriptural testimony; and some notably as Pastors (shepherds); some as Teachers who are gifted in helpful presentations; and Evangelists gifted in Gospel work and preaching everywhere ---not with titles and high positions;
> 'Singers': those servants who seem to have also been mostly faithful in Israel beside singing praise, and being devoted shepherds to encourage and help in the works of the house of God (Neh. 11:22); and in the Church today some servants seem much the same in personal works in various ways, and prayer, and a faithful witness, and contributors in many supportive ways to minister to needs and encourage others;
> 'Scribes': beside keeping records in Israel they served in various ways in managing works, and today perhaps are also like the Deacons handling essential things;
> 'Porters': the attendants and helpers of the faith, and perhaps today are all those who care and are as 'watchmen' over things, and care for the good of the testimony, calling attention to various assembly matters.
Today among the gathered saints we need to be ready to serve for the honor and glory of God such as we can. Every "born again" believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is part of the priesthood (1Pet. 2: 5 & 9); and in a truly scriptural assembly we need to see how we can serve in "unity of the faith" worldwide (not as the various denominated sects invented of men). All brothers in Christ may not be moved to speaking forth, but all saints can pray and attend to practical things in the fellowship and be a testimony in the world with love and a "right spirit" (note Psalm 51:10).
ALL the gathered saints in a Bible-only fellowship need to embrace the truth of the "one body in Christ" worldwide, and understand the local assembly as part of the UNIVERSAL FELLOWSHIP as God has ordained for His Church. It is not about independent sects with man's innovations, as is so popular in this present day.
ALL such are as servants in the plural as Pastors (notable shepherds to encourage and help the saints); Teachers (gifted in comparing Scripture with Scripture for understandings of God's Word); Evangelists (with special gift to proclaim the Gospel message within and abroad. All gifts are given to various saints for services everyway; and without a title or appointment we all need to FEEL the need to serve for God's testimony however we can.
The gathered saints in a Bible-only fellowship should view their spiritual life as servants in a local assembly of the UNIVERSAL CHURCH, and as a testimony in various geographical places as servants of God (not as "lords over God's heritage" (1 Peter 5:3).
This is only a spiritual application here for meditation and perhaps some help. Ultimately we are all answerable to our God, and it all will be manifest for the saints at the "judgment seat of Christ" in Heaven. - R. DeWitt: Gd-B; 2012; add: 04/2018.