Christian Priesthood Defined
The Priesthood Functions at the Altar
Lesson 5 of 11
We are first going to look at what it means to be “called” and “chosen” of God and then make a connection that to the altar and function of the priesthood. Abraham was called out among all people, and God made of him the great nation of Israel. We read about that in Genesis 12:1-3:
1. Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
God did bless Abram and he became a great nation. From Abraham came Isaac and from Isaac came Israel and from Israel came the 12 tribes, the nation of Israel. Out of that called nation, Levi was chosen to function in his priestly duties at an altar where he served God.
However, God, through His servant Moses, spoke of a “kingdom of priests” saying, “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation,” (Exodus 19:5, 6). We know that not all of Israel functioned as priests, but only the tribe of Levi was chosen. Moses was prophesying of the Second Covenant church and a new priesthood in Jesus Christ. We are that kingdom of priests.
Did you know that all believers today are called out and separated from all other people to come into covenant with God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Ever believer is chosen to be priests, to function at an altar to serve God.
The priesthood of Levi centered upon offering the sacrifices of blood in the temple. But Jesus Christ set a pattern for a new priesthood. The New Covenant priesthood centers upon the knowledge of His redemption for which He shed His own blood.
While the sacrifices of the Old Testament were given by God through Moses and confirmed the revelation that pointed toward Jesus Christ, the sacrifices of the New Testament no longer point toward Him, but confirm Him.
How can a priesthood be centered on offering of knowledge rather than the offering of blood? We will review that meaning again in this lesson. Jesus IS the Word of God made flesh as the Bible says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” John 1:1. Jesus spoke of Himself being the living Word of God in John 6:63 when He said, “The words that I speak unto you are Spirit and they are life.” He said, “I am the bread of life. . .I am the living bread. . .and you are to live by every word that proceeds out of My mouth!” (John 6:48,51; Matthew 4:4).
God wants us to testify of Jesus Christ. Each utterance (prophecy) is a spiritual sacrifice of knowledge. Where do we find the testimony of Jesus Christ? Do we draw from the gospels and quote the scriptures about how He cleansed the lepers, healed the sick, and raised the dead? Do we prophesy about how He will do this for us too? No.
The testimony of Jesus Christ is in each of the 12 Elements of the Gospel. We testify of Jesus Christ, His grace, faith, righteousness, justification, sanctification, holiness, peace, rest, charity, truth, regeneration, and the renewing of the mind. As we testify of Christ through His record the Spirit gives life to the soul and the healing and circumcision of the heart takes place. “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy,” (Revelation 19:10).
Body ministry is in the priesthood. As we function as priests at the altar of Christ, offering spiritual sacrifices to God, the Law of Grace and Truth is in operation. Grace is being multiplied through each member and to each member.
The Flesh is a Big Problem
The flesh is a big problem—It is barrier to faith. The Lord spoke through His prophet Hosea saying, “The Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land,” (Hosea 4:1). The Lord says the same to the church today, that He has a controversy with the church because there is no truth nor knowledge in the church. They have forgotten the 12 Elements of the Gospel.
We need knowledge and instruction to identify Jesus Christ. We need knowledge and instruction to identify the things we are being released from and to identify the covenant God is joining our faith to. We need instruction to make the connection between the altar of Christ and our spiritual priesthood.
We need knowledge and instruction to experience a living relationship with God, to remove the old man and cleanse the carnal mind. For God to release us from the works of the flesh He has to bring us back to Himself. He has to be the substance of our life. When we offer to God the knowledge of His Son, He gives substance to our soul, He satisfies us with the substance of His kingdom.
Apostle Peter spoke of the priesthood of believers and our spiritual sacrifices in 1 Peter 2:5,9, "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."
We fulfill God’s command to live by every word of God by offering spiritual sacrifices of His knowledge. God then fulfills His word to create new life in us through Jesus Christ. You will gain more understanding of your spiritual priesthood and how to offer spiritual sacrifices to God in the course “Priesthood and Prophecy”. This lesson points to the value and purpose of the altar of Christ. For worship to take place at an altar we need to first construct an altar.
By using the knowledge of His covenant we function in His priesthood confirming the Son by His sacrifice.
The Truth washes the feet and heals the bruise that you may serve God in holiness.
Those of the priesthood have conquered with Christ—and there are no idols in the chambers of their heart. Those that put on Christ, put on the robes of His priesthood, laboring at the altar of holiness.