The Nature of Service and the Marks of a Servant
"The end of all things is at hand" (1 Peter 4:7)
I think it unnecessary to stress the fact that not only by reason of time, but also by the clear evidence of world developments, the above words from Peter's letter are obviously very much nearer fulfillment than when they were written. We have only to contemplate some actual, present possibilities, which could develop any day and issue in a very full fulfillment of the end of all things. In a word, there is no doubt that "the end of all things is at hand," that the turn of the dispensation is near. The great transition from what has obtained during this dispensation to what will obtain in the next is approaching rapidly. If that is true, if we are impressed with that, we should look to the Word of God to see if it has anything to say to us as to what the Lord will do at such a time; and we are not left without very clear information as to the nature of things at an end-time and as to what God rings forward as His supreme work at such a time. Here, in the end-time represented by Simeon and Anna and a company in Jerusalem, we have been seeing something of those abiding spiritual features of such a time.
Our particular point now is the matter of service and the servant, putting it in that order because it is the service to be fulfilled which explains God's dealing with you in certain ways until you know what He wants to do with you; or, to put that in another way, the Lord's dealings with us are prophetic of what He is going to do through us and by us.
The Service - The Bringing In of Christ in Fullness
Here was Simeon. The service explained the man, for, as we have so far seen, the service to be fulfilled by Simeon was the bringing in of Christ in fullness. Up to that time Christ had been made known in a fragmentary way, by divers portions, in divers ways, here a little and there a little. It had been a progressive development of that which pointed to or symbolized Christ. But now the end of those times had come - of signs and symbols and parts and diversities. Now had arrived the full, the whole, the complete Christ, the Lord Himself; and Simeon was closely related to the bringing in, and the presenting to the future, of Christ, the embodiment of God's fullness. That was the principle of his service, the thing for which God had reserved him and kept him alive; and when there is a service like that to be fulfilled, the bringing in of Christ essentially - not typically, symbolically or partially but essentially and fully - the course of the servant will be no ordinary, easygoing course. The history will not be simple. It will seem to be very complex, very bewildering, very stressful. There will be all the things in existence which would put the instrument out of commission.
(continued with # 15 - (The Servant - Prepared through Pressure)