Can anyone serve God? It seems like they cannot, even though people believe to serve him. The Christians say, “I am a servant of God”. Paul, though, says, “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; NEITHER IS HE SERVED BY HUMAN HANDS, as though He needed anything” (Acts 17:24-25). Paul makes it clear that Christians serve Jesus Christ. “Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus” (Phil.1:1). “…knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (Col.3:24). Whoever serves Jesus is indirectly serving God, for Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). No one can directly serve God, without the mediation of Christ, because of sin. In order to serve God we have to be delivered from sin. “But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life” (Rom.6:22). Carnal and sinful man cannot serve God. In order to serve God man has to be born again and be a new creature in Christ. Nevertheless, without Jesus, this new creature cannot serve God, for Jesus is the door to the Father. Paul said, “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of Christ” (1 Cor.11:3). Paul is revealing three things:
1. God is not the head of men—Christ is—because man cannot serve God directly, but through Jesus, indirectly.
2. Christ is not the head of women: man is the head of the woman. Therefore, women do not directly serve God, but they serve him through man (husband, father, or pastor). In the sequence, Paul states that the woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her own head, which is the husband, father, or pastor (1 Cor.11:5).
3. Finally, God is the head of Christ, that is, Jesus is the servant of the true and live God, and serves him, and this is why Christ has never sinned (1 Peter 2:21-22). John describes Jesus’ service with the following words, “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do” (John 17:3-4).
I find a totally different picture in the Old Testament than that in the New Testament. Moses served Jehovah for forty years, since the deliverance from Egypt through the plagues that Jehovah sent by Moses, until the moment of entering Canaan (Josh.1:2; Deut.34:5). Moses little knew about Jesus, though (Heb.7:12-14). The churches sing in their hymns that they are going to enter into the celestial Canaan. If Canaan is a picture of heaven, Moses will not enter into it, as we read in Deut.1:34-37; 4:21. Jesus said that whatever is loosened on earth will be loosened in heaven (Matt.18:18). Jehovah was the one condemning Moses; this is not our stand. The prophet Samuel served Jehovah in the temple from childhood (1 Sam.2:11; 7:15-17). But Samuel did not know Jesus, and served Jehovah without being born again!!!
Salomon served Jehovah (1Chr.28:9). He was loved of Jehovah (2 Sam.12:24). Jehovah predestined him (1 Kings 8:17-21). He was adopted as a son to Jehovah (1 Chr.28:6). Jehovah chose his name, too (1 Chr.22:9-10). Even then Solomon was a lascivious and carnal man, for he had 700 women and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3). They were all an abomination to Jehovah, for they were idolaters and impure (1 Kings 11:1-2). This host of sensuality corrupted Solomon, which became the greatest idolater in the history of Israel. This man served Jehovah, and built a temple for him. Solomon did not know Jesus Christ. Christ was never the head of Solomon, but Jehovah was, against 1 Cor.11:3.
The Levite priests served in the temple, for Jehovah chose them for this glorious ministry (Num.1:47-53). They were separated, purified, and consecrated to the service of the temple unto Jehovah (Num. 8:5-14). The Levites belonged to Jehovah. How could Jehovah be the head of the Levites if they did not knew Christ? In the letter to the Hebrews we read, “For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests” (Heb.7:12-14). We can read in these verses that the Levites did not serve Jesus. Jesus, therefore, was not their head. But they served Jehovah, and were all Jehovah’s private possession, without passing by the hands of Jesus (John 1:12-13). The works of Jehovah in the Old Testament do not match the work of the Father in the New Testament. Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent” (John 6:29).
Jehovah was not served by Salomon, David, Gideon, Samson and the Levites alone, but strangers served him as well. The Assyrians, an abominable, corrupted people, served him (Is.8:7-8; 10:12-15). The Chaldeans also served Jehovah, for he called Nebuchadnezzar servant. “And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant” (Jer.27:6). And he says why he did it, “I have made the earth, the men, and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to THE ONE WHO IS PLEASING IN MY SIGHT” (v.5). Was Nebuchadnezzar pleasing in the eyes of Jehovah? Nebuchadnezzar did not turn to Jesus Christ, and he was not born again. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Judah, burnt the temple of God, and destroyed Jerusalem, and was, even then, pleasing in the eyes of Jehovah? (2 Chr.36:17-20).
Nebuchadnezzar, the ungodly and perverse, served Jehovah. The Father is not served by human hands, though, and never will. The Christians who are born of the Holy Spirit, these ones, serve Jesus Christ. But they never serve the Father of Jesus. The conclusion we can draw is that Jehovah penetrated in the project of God, blinded the prophets of the Old Testament, and also the people of Israel, so that they did not see that they were being deceived. The true Christians, though, know that the Father has never revealed himself to men, except through Jesus, who said: “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Phillip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9). Jesus continued to say to the religious men of his time, “You know neither Me, nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also” (John 8:19).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira