21 Sep 2013 Service – Dr A.R Bernard
6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Rev 1:6
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Pet 2:9
Looking more in-depth…
4 John to the seven assemblies (churches) that are in Asia: May grace (God’s unmerited favor) be granted to you and spiritual peace (the peace of Christ’s kingdom) from Him Who is and Who was and Who is to come, and from the seven Spirits [the sevenfold Holy Spirit] before His throne,
5 And from Jesus Christ the faithful and trustworthy Witness, the Firstborn of the dead [first to be brought back to life] and the Prince (Ruler) of the kings of the earth. To Him Who ever loves us and has once [for all] loosed and freed us from our sins by His own blood,
6 And formed us into a kingdom (a royal race), priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the power and the majesty and the dominion throughout the ages and forever and ever. Amen (so be it).
Rev 1:4-6 AMP – He was responsible for the spirituality of the household!
Some other examples in the Old Testament..
-Noah and Abraham built an altar and offered sacrifices
-Job offering sacrifices for his family
The Levitical Priesthood traces through the three sons of Levi whose names are Gershon/Gershom (Gershonites/Gershomites), Kohath (Kohathites) and Merari (Merarites).
A special place for the sons of Aaron: The Tabernacle began at Mt. Sinai in 1440 BC and it was at that time that special duties were given to each of the three lines of priests but only the sons of Aaron could offer animal sacrifices or incense.
Levites seem to be assigned and located in every city, not just the 48 Levitical cities. This would indicate that each city, whether large or small, had a recognized Levite in charge of that city: “Now if a Levite comes from any of your towns throughout Israel where he resides, and comes whenever he desires to the place which the LORD chooses, then he shall serve in the name of the LORD his God, like all his fellow Levites who stand there before the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 18:6-7)
High priests were appointed for life by Moses, but at the time of Jesus were appointed annually by the Romans. This is why we have multiple high priests at the trial of Jesus (Annas and Caiaphas). Annas was High Priest from 6-15 AD. Then from 16-30 AD Caiaphas was High Priest. In 60-63 AD, Annanias was the high priest who tried Paul in Acts 23:2.
The priesthood continued down to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD when it became physically extinct, but it was rendered spiritually extinct at the death of Christ being replaced by the priesthood of believers in Christ. With the temples destroyed, the tradition is the priests was gone.
Today, every Christian is a priest and Christ is our high priest. We now become priests unto God. We are to be separated and holy. The moment you are born again, you become a new testament priest. You are a royal priesthood. The body of Christ is a Kingdom of priests and Kings.
No one but the priest had direct access to God. And the higher priest had access to the Holy of holies.
When Jesus died, the veil separating the holy of holies was torn, from the top! Through His ultimate sacrifice, the way to His father, was now open, and all who believe in the Father now have access to Him!
Your greatest privilege as a believer is not the abundant life; that is a by-product. It is your access to God!
The priesthood is based on sacrifice. His duty was to offer sacrifice or to be involved in the process of sacrifice. As new testament priests, We too are responsible for sacrifices. We don’t sacrifice animals anymore, but there is a four fold sacrifice we give.
#1. We offer our bodies as a living sacrifice unto God
How? By being Holy and acceptable unto God.
12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Rom 12:1
In the Old Testament, they could not bring an animal with blemish. These bodies represent our priestly sacrifice to God.
#2. We offer the sacrifice of praise
Praise is part of our priestly duties!
Sometimes when you don’t feel like praising him after a rough week, hence it is a sacrifice in doing so.
#3.Sacrifice of our substance
Our offerings and tithes; And we do it through the church. Not only to God, but to any brother or sister that is in need. That is how the body sustains itself.
#4. Sacrifice of our service
Service to the church, the Kingdom, those in need, humanity…Do it as unto God, not unto man.
Priests don’t come to get, they come to give. And while they are giving, they get!
While they serve the glory of God will come to fill them up!
You have a responsibility to pray and fast during the week, so you don’t come to church broken down. You come here strengthened because you discipline yourself throughout the week. Don’t live a double sided life during the weekdays, and only perform your priestly duties during church.
Do not place your spiritual and priestly responsibilities on the church, that is your responsibility!
The priest is also responsible for intercession! Using his privilege of having access to God, to intercede in behalf of those in need, ministries, people, etc.
Additional References: Levitical Priesthood