Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD—Isa. 52: 11.
The Divine method seems to be to make a clear separation between the servants of God and the servants of evil. The privilege of testifying for God or being ambassadors for the Truth is a favor reserved for the Lord's own people. He seeketh not the evil one nor the fallen demons nor evil men or women to be heralds of the good tidings. The Lord's people should note this matter carefully and resent the services of any who do not give evidences of being in heart union with the Lord. "Unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to… take my covenant into thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee?" (Psa. 50: 16, 17).
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The vessels used by the typical priests in their ministries in the tabernacle and temple represent the Biblical doctrines, precepts, promises, exhortations, prophecies, histories and types, which are used in ministrations for teaching, refutative, cleansing and character-developing purposes, combined with Bible passages. To bear these vessels would signify to minister with them. Cleanliness from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit is becoming to God's people in their ministrations. Therefore, they should daily wash themselves with the water of the Truth contained in the Bible. This will purify them for their service and fit them properly to administer the Word.
Parallel passages: Num. 4: 1-20; 18: 1-7; Ezra 1: 7-11; Ezek. 3: 4; Matt. 10: 5-16, 38, 39; 2Cor. 7: 1; 1Tim. 1: 18-20; 3; 4; 5: 21, 22; 2Tim. 2: 21-26; 3: 1-14; 4: 1-5.
Questions: Has the cleansing work gone on this week? How? What hindered or helped therein? What did it effect?
Mal. 3: 3
"TIS sweet to feel that He who tries
The silver takes His seat
Beside the fire that purifies,
Lest too intense a heat—
Raised to consume the base alloy—
The precious metals, too, destroy.
'Tis good to think how well He knows
The silver's power to bear
The ordeal through which it goes;
And that with skill and care
He'll take it from the fire when fit,
With His own hand to polish it.
'Tis blessedness to know that
He The piece He hath begun
Will not forsake till He can see—
To prove the work well done—
His image, by its brightness known,
Reflecting glory like His own.
But ah! how much of earthly mould,
Dark relics of the mine,
Lost from the ore, must He behold—
How long must He refine,
Ere in the silver He can trace
The first faint semblance of His face!
Thou great Refiner! sit Thou by,
Thy promise to fulfil!
Moved by Thy hand, beneath Thine eye,
And melted at Thy will,
O may Thy work forever shine,
Reflecting beauty pure as Thine!
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