Christian Priesthood Defined
Spiritual Sacrifice of Prophecy
Lesson 7 of 11
What is a spiritual sacrifice? Spiritual sacrifices are spiritual worship. We talked about how Jesus Christ established a new priesthood in Himself, how believers are to function as priests at the spiritual altar of Jesus Christ, and how God values Jesus Christ (not Moses). Therefore, Jesus Christ is the acceptable sacrifices that we offer to God. This is the Second Covenant Priesthood.
We’ll now carry your understanding forward to make the connection between Jesus’ priesthood, His knowledge, and the sacrifices of prophecy that we offer to God in His name.
We recall that apostle Peter wrote, “You also as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5)” and that Levi also wrote, “And in His priesthood the Gentiles shall be multiplied in knowledge upon the earth, and enlightened through the grace of the Lord. In His priesthood shall sin come to an end, and the lawless shall cease to do evil”, Testament of Levi 5:13-16,25. God established a connection between the knowledge of Jesus, His priesthood, and our activity of faith.
There are those who have voiced apprehension about serving God with “knowledge” because they fear their faith will be reduced to dry and lifeless theology. Others voice fear about strange “Gnostic” revelations received from another spirit. First of all, dead faith is a result of removing the Headship of Christ from the church, replacing Jesus’ Law of Grace and Truth with the Law of Moses, replacing the priesthood of Jesus Christ with the priesthood of the flesh, and replacing the record of Jesus Christ with the precept of scripture.
Under those conditions the Spirit of God does not confirm faith and the human will has to work hard with aspiration and principle in order to craft a Jesus of its own imagination. From that platform many false revelations have emerged from ministers who desire has been to steer the church in the direction of their own vision (aspiration). Those are Gnostic experiences that remove faith from Jesus’ government, His truth, and His Spirit.
1Samuel 2:3 reads, “The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.” What does that mean when the scriptures say that the Lord is a God of knowledge? It means that God uses knowledge to counsel the heart in righteousness, to give direction for faith, and to nourish the heart. You need knowledge to both serve and please God.
Satan works with imagery, but God works with the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Satan’s imagery works with the rhythm of the flesh to yoke man with the cares of this world, but God’s knowledge works with the rhythm of His Spirit to tether the soul to His covenant
God has authorized the Spirit to work with the knowledge of Jesus Christ to preserve faith. God set a pattern for the Spirit to work with when He laid truth in Christ. Speaking this to the people, the apostles set a pattern for the expression of their faith before God. God saw the image of His Son in their faith and accepted their faith as perfect in His sight. You, too, can have perfect faith and learn how to reciprocate to God His knowledge, how to offer to God the doxologies of Jesus Christ that please Him. By His knowledge God weighs our actions that show whether or not we love Him.
The exercise of the will with the knowledge of Christ is profitable for faith. This means that God set value on the knowledge of His kingdom, and He works with those facts (truth) to bring the soul into equity with Him. To understand this we are going to look at three things Jesus said: (1) that He is truth, (2) that we would worship Him in truth, and (3) that the Spirit makes truth living.
Jesus is truth:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
We worship God in truth:
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)
The Spirit makes truth living:
It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)
Jesus explained how God set the grounds for our worship in Him—in His truth, and how that worship is made living by His Spirit. This also speaks of three things: how Jesus Christ is the doxology of our faith, how we worship God with the truth of Jesus Christ, and how the Spirit enters into our faith to make it living.
As previously stated, the truth of Jesus is the knowledge God has authorized for the Spirit to work with to preserve faith in confirmation of Jesus Christ. As the Isaiah prophesied, “By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many” (Isaiah 53:11). The church is built upon Christ, the Rock of our faith. He is the pillar of truth as Paul wrote, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).
As priests, believers offer to God spiritual sacrifices of praise by the utterance of His knowledge, which is also known as “prophecy.” Let us now look at those connections, beginning with words the apostle Paul wrote:
For you may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. (1Corinthians 14:31)
God established the spiritual tool of prophesy as a means for us to reciprocate the knowledge of Christ back to Him; as it is written in the book of Revelation:
And they overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony. (Revelation 12:11)
For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10)
God planned for us to worship Him by knowledge, rather than by instinct, and to grow by the doxologies of our faith as apostle Peter brought out, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Our offering of His knowledge back to Him is acceptable to God being sanctified by the Holy Ghost; in other words, the Spirit of God enters into the knowledge to bring life to the soul, even as Jesus said, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).
When we talk about the confirmation of Christ through the utterance of His truth, we are not talking about “quoting” or “confessing” scripture; rather we are referring to the fulfillment of that which the prophet Joel spoke by the mouth of the Lord, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams ” And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy” (Joel 2:29, Acts 2:17-18). True prophecy is a confirmation of Jesus Christ.
The Spirit confirms this utterance by providing the fullness of Christ for our experience, for the tongue is a sovereignty that God grants; as apostle James wrote:
5. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the TONGUE among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
7. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8. But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
Every beast follows the rhythm of its own nature. Man, observing the patterns of the animal in its own habitat, learns by observation how to tame the beast. The nature of man is as the beast in following the rhythm of his own signature. Man observes the pattern of this animal as well and learns by observation how to tame the beastly nature. However, man is not really in conflict with himself, he is in conflict with the kingdom of God, and therefore, the beastly nature cannot be subdued through observation, but must be subdued by the tools of Christ.
You cannot serve God by your passions, for the kingdom of the flesh cannot glorify God’s kingdom of light. As well, the kingdom of God cannot glorify the flesh. The flesh walks by the course of nature, as a beast, following the rhythm of its own signature.
By the record of Christ we follow a new rhythm, that which is of the Spirit, and by our doxologies our tongue reciprocates what the soul carries. The soul that carries the knowledge of Christ speaks the same in prophecy. Thus, prophecy is a tool of the second covenant by which God tames the nature of man by the virtues of Christ.