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A priest is someone who draws near to God, first, to minister worship to Him, then second, to represent Him to others. Originally God's intention was for all Israelites to fill this sacred role. After they left Egypt, He gave the promise (hinged to its condition):
"Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." (Exodus 19:5-6)
Unfortunately, in the very next chapter, when the visitation took place on Mount Sinai and God spoke the Ten Commandments, instead of drawing near , the Israelites drew back-pleading with Moses to access the Most High in their behalf. Later on, when he was in the mountain receiving further instructions for forty days, they coerced Aaron to make a false idol, a golden calf-brazenly breaking the commandments they had just heard. That fateful day only the tribe of Levi stood with Moses-and the priesthood passed to them for centuries.
Then the Messiah came and offered himself as the supreme sacrifice for our sins. Everything changed then for the better. Through the blood He shed, all believers can now have "boldness to enter the Holiest"-in other words, we can all function as priests. Therefore, let us all "draw near with a true heart. . ." (Heb. 10:19, 22).
Thank God, in this era, the priesthood is no longer reserved for only a few who achieve a higher-than-normal degree of consecration. All sons and daughters of God have inherited this right to enter the presence of God, to commune with Him, to receive His revealed wisdom and then, to share the Word of God with others. Filling this role is not just a futuristic hope; Revelation 1:5-6 states in the past tense, "He has made us kings and priests."
Two of the most powerful "priesthood" verses in the New Testament are found in the writings of Peter:
You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)
So children of God are commissioned in this era to present to the Creator, not bloody animal sacrifices on a brass altar, but "spiritual sacrifices" on the altar of their regenerated hearts:
The second "priest" passage from Peter's writings adds a new dimension altogether:
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 Peter 2:9)
Though the idea of a "priesthood" speaks of serving with meekness, the word "royal" implies ruling with authority. So New Covenant priests are empowered to reign over the flesh, over the devil and his demons, and over all the negative aspects of living in this world. Then after it's all over, we will actually "reign on the earth" in the age to come (Revelation 20:6). Hallelujah!
TO STUDY THE REVELATION OF 52 MORE NAMES AND TITLES OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD, GET YOUR COPY OF MIKE SHREVE'S NEWEST BOOK, "WHO AM I? DYNAMIC DECLARATIONS OF WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST"!A three hours series on "The Priesthood of the Believer" is also availble on DVD. Click here for more infromation on the DVD.
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