Hebrew Roots/Holy Priesthood/The Corporate Priesthood
The Priesthood of Every Believer
The new covenant is the original covenant which Yahweh attempted to instigate with His people at Sinai in Exodus 19: 5-6, which they failed to enter. The resultant Levitical priesthood serves as a pattern in type for the spiritual priesthood which Y'shua re-established in the Melchizedek/Patriarchal order.
The present order is a kingdom of functioning priests "a kingdom of priests" (Revelation 5:10), where every believer exercises the role of a priest in some capacity.
"To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us a kingdom of priests to His God and Father, ... " (Revelation 1: 5-6) We are saved into the kingdom as a priest being born of the same Spirit as our Great High Priest, Y'shua the Messiah.
"He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit" (1 Corinthians 6:17)
We are being built into a spiritual house (a corporate temple) of living stones which will be completed and known as the New Jerusalem in the new heavens and the new earth. (1 Peter 2: 5; Revelation 21:1-3)
Within that spiritual house each priest ministers according to the ability which he is given to build up that structure for it to grow into that holy temple in Yahweh. 1 Peter 4:10-11
The foundation has been laid upon the apostles of the new covenant and the prophets of the old, Y'shua the Messiah being the chief cornerstone, to which everything else is aligned so as to be a dwelling place for God by His Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22) This spiritual house is growing as every priest functions in the measure of anointing and the ministry which he has been given to cause it to mature into the likeness of Y'shua, Who is the image of the invisible God (Ephesians 4:16). For which purpose He also gave specific gifts to men who He anointed for that purpose. Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Corinthians 3:9-11
He created a new Israel of God (Galatians 6:16), made up of those who are born of God and are Abraham’s offspring and heirs according to the promise by faith. Every one of these is a priest unto God!
Now it is not by descent from natural birth that one is an Israelite, but it is by spiritual birth into the nation/kingdom of Israel. God made every spiritual son of Abraham a priest. At last, God's original plan is realised and every believer is a priest, and together they comprise a nation/kingdom of priests.
- God’s people were no longer to be a kingdom with priests, but a kingdom of priests.
- They were not to be a congregation with ministers, but a congregation of ministers.
Every believer a priest! Every believer a minister!
Every priest of God has a divine right as a minister of God to serve the King of kings as His loyal subjects. This is the restoration of the original order where all were to be of equal rank insofar as liberty, privilege, and relationship to God were concerned.
Although there are differences in ministries and different callings, all are brethren, called to serve Yahweh God firstly, and functioning as His priest, to one another.
The kingdom of priests is likened to a spiritual body of which Messiah is the head (Ephesians 1:22-23). The Spirit of the Father flows through each member of His spiritual Body distributing the ministry within that Body of Messiah as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:11-13). Just as the Father is no respecter of persons so also His priesthood are to have equal care one for another. 1 Corinthians 12:20-26
Serving In The Priesthood
"You shall be called the priests of Yahweh; people will speak of you as ministers of our God." Isaiah 61: 6 And we are those priests, ministers, or servants of our God of whom the prophets spoke, wherever and in whatever circumstances He has placed us. We have been "made priests unto our God" Revelation 5:10
That is what we have become - it is what we are by inheritance! Being a priest was always by inheritance and not by vocation. In the Levitical order, a non-Levite could not become a priest. Someone born into the priesthood could fail to function in their calling as a priest, but it could only be entered into by genetic inheritance.
So also with the Melchizedek order of priesthood. We are born into it through spiritual rebirth. We can fail to take up our calling and function in it, but that does not negate the fact that we are priests. So, whatever one is called to do, whether like some of the Levites that did the menial tasks, or others that had an apparently more honoured position, all have the same status of priesthood and the determining factor for honour is one's faithfulness to the task given. The greatest honour will be to hear the Master say in that Day, "Well done, you good and faithful servant". From the elders and the fivefold ministries, to the widow who could only give a "mite", the commendation will be on the degree of faithfulness to what has been given to them. And, "to whom much is given, much will be required". Luke 12:48
See also the parable of the talents - Matthew 25:14-29 and Y'shua's commendation in verse 21.
So it is not what we do, but how we do it, and the spirit in which it is done. A servant which is "good" as well as faithful, is one which has performed the service by the ability which Yahweh God gives, out of a willing heart, showing forth the nature of the One whom he represents. Galatians 5:22-25
"Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God", as His faithful servants. I Corinthians 10:31. "For we are his workmanship, created in Messiah Y'shua unto good works, which Yahweh has before ordained that we should walk in them"" Ephesians 2:10.
The Nature of Our Priesthood
The 'temple' in which we serve is spiritual in nature. It is a 'temple' of living stones where each has a capacity to minister/serve within that structure and dispense the divine enabling and power of the Spirit according to what has been given to him.
We who are born from above, are " living stones built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Y'shua the Messiah." (1 Peter 2: 5)
We are a part of the royal priesthood of all believers, no longer officiating with animal sacrifices but with spiritual sacrificial offerings from our lives, that are acceptable to God. The priesthood and the temple within which it functions, has changed from a natural order of things, to a spiritual. Y'shua said that "the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God (is) spirit, and those that worship Him must worship (Him) in spirit and in truth." Such worship is from the heart and is according to His Word. John 4:23,24.
Yahweh God has no pleasure in the outward performance of sacrificial acts which do not originate from a pure heart and/or which are contrary to His Word. David said, "You do not desire sacrifice, .. .. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart - These, O God You will not despise." Psalm 51:16-17; Isaiah 1:11-20
Every child of God is required first, before functioning in his priesthood, to present his own body as "a living sacrifice". Romans 12: 1-2 This requires a heart that is completely yielded and consecrated to the Father and His purposes, and anointed by the Spirit.
The instruction Yahweh gave to His fore-ordained priesthood, is to serve Him and love Him with all their heart in an unconditional passionate desire, and with all their mind and soul, and with all their strength - this is the highest form of worship. This love requires that we present our bodies (all that we are), as a living and holy sacrifice which is acceptable to our God.
The sacrifices then, which we offer, are that of our lives presented in worship before Yahweh God. Our words, our actions, everything which we do becomes an act of worship unto Him.
"Through Him therefore, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name" Hebrews 13:15. "Take words with you and return to Yahweh .. .. .. for we will offer to You the sacrifices of our lips" Hosea 14: 2-3
- Literally the Hebrew reads, "the calves of our lips". The Septuagint - "the fruit of our lips".
Instead of 'calves' to offer in sacrifice, we come with words - the fruit of our lips from a heart that is pure towards Him. With such sacrifices He is well pleased. Hebrews 13;15
The fruit of lips that acknowledge His name are the offering and incense of the Melchizedek/Davidic priesthood, as David said, "Let my prayer be counted as incense before You, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice" Psalm 141: 2. John, in the revelation saw "golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints". Revelation 5: 8
"But do not forget to do good works and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" Heb. 13:16
The Nature of Our Authority
Functioning in our role as a 'king' upon the earth has to do with having dominion on the earth. While functioning as a priest has to do with a restoration of our relationship with Yahweh God, functioning in our authority as kings relates to resuming our lost inheritance of dominion over the creation. He has made us kings and priests, and, "we shall reign on the earth" Revelation 5:10b.
Reigning with Messiah is based upon a coupling together of priesthood and kingship. The authority we exercise over His kingdom is primarily based upon serving it as a priest in relationship with Almighty God. It is His government over the earth with which we have been entrusted. Our qualification to rule will accord with that of our High Priest who became the Servant of all. He was a Servant-King, submitted to the will of His Father, as He said, "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me". John 6:38-39a
"You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whosoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whosoever desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" Mark 10:43-45
In doing this, He "made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond-servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name .. .. .. " Philippians 2: 7-9
His exaltation as King of kings came as a reward for His obedient and faithful service as our Mediator and Priest. "In all things He had to be made like His brethren that He might be a faithful and merciful high Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people." Hebrews 2:17
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Y'shua the Messiah .. .. " (Philippians 2: 5)
The exercise of our authority in the kingdom is based on service. We have authority to rule that which we give our life for, in service. We have no God-given authority apart from priestly service.
We also have Paul's example of being a servant of all, laboring in tears and prayers night and day for the flock which he was given to shepherd. (1 Corinthians 9:19; 2 Corinthians 6: 5; 11:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:8-9)
Those who are granted the privilege of ruling and reigning with Messiah have overcome their fleshly nature and laid down their lives in service for the kingdom. "Therefore are they before the throne of God and serve Him night and day in His temple." Revelation 7:15
The dominion, the power and the authority is given to the servants of the Most High God.
The Destiny of the Regal Priesthood
The corporate firstfruits company of priests functioning in His divine order are being prepared to undertake the exercise of their authority as kings in the earth.
In every word and every work we do in His Name, we are acting as His kingly priesthood and ministers of the new covenant in this present age, presenting Him and all that He is and does to mankind as faithful witnesses, His feet upon the earth, walking amongst men to minister to their need of a Saviour and a Deliverer from all that the fall has effected in them and caused to come upon them.
"A holy nation, a royal priesthood" -- a nation of king/priests of the Melchizedek order in spiritual communion and fellowship with their High Priest Y'shua, functioning under His command, and performing His will upon the earth. A priesthood of every believer, every living stone which comprises His spiritual temple, functioning according to the giftings and callings which He has given and placed upon their lives.
This is the prince which overcomes and reigns with the Almighty, destined for the government of the Millennial kingdom on earth!
This is the Israel of Yahweh God!