A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD Print E-mail

“A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD”

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

October 25, 2016, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

“The subject of the Priesthood, like many of the themes of Scripture, is inexhaustible.  It scintillates as the twinkling stars of the heavens with glories which many have not yet beheld.  Let us put our eye to the telescope of the Holy Spirit, and allow this subject to be brought nearer to our spiritual vision for, in so doing, we shall behold more of the grandeur and inexpressibleness of the “High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.’” (C. W. Slemming)

 

The Day of the Lord is dawning and the Lord is revealing the hearts of men.  The lid is coming off everything in the Day of the Lord.

 

1 Cor. 3:13¨”Every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”

 

Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest after the order of Melchisedec has entered into the Holy of Holies to make atonement for us.  The Word made flesh tore down the wall of separation as He made atonement for Jew and Gentile.  There will be a people who will go beyond the veil in the 7th month (perfection) to sit down with their overcoming Great High Priest. 

 

It will be well to differentiate between three terms as we continue this study:

 

  1. Priests
  2. High Priests
  3. Great High Priest

 

  1. The Priests were the members of the Aaronic family.  The only claim for this office was son-ship.  Their works was to minister in holy things.
  2. Aaron was the first High Priest.  Only one high priest held office at a time; yet according to Josephus, something more than eighty men officiated in this capacity between Aaron and Jesus Chris.  The only reason for the change being death.  This the Apostle tells us in Heb. 7:23: “And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death.”  A changing priesthood meant an imperfect priesthood, so came the need of a
  3. Great High Priest.  This is One and One only.  He is the Lord Jesus Christ.  He came not of the Aaron order, not even of the tribe of Levi.  He was a priest after the order of Melchisedec.  He inherited His Priesthood from no one---He passed it on to none.  He remains, He supersedes all others by reason of His endless life, and therefore, changeless ministry.

 

The Aaronic priesthood continued until the death of Christ in the days of Caiaphas, the High Priest.  Then it ended, for Christ passed within the veil and sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high as the Great High Priest and took upon Himself the ministry of intercession for the whole Church of God.

 

These things were written for our learning.”  Ro. 15:4

 

While the Aaronic priesthood was God-ordained and sufficient for the times, it was by no means perfect because it was functioned by men who knew sin and, therefore, were subjected to death.  When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His son, made of a woman, made under the law.” (Gal. 4:4).

 

The Apostle in the Book of Hebrews takes up the subject of Melchisedec and shows him to be a more perfect priest than any of the Aaronic family, finally declaring that Christ was not only after the order of Melchisedec but that He superseded all, for He opened a “new and living way” by His Death so that we could “draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith.”

 

Melchizedek, King of Salem brought forth bread and wine to Abram.  He was the priest of the Most High God.  He blessed Abram, and said, blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth.  Blessed be the Most High God, which has delivered your enemies into your hand.” 

 

Melchizedek was a King and a priest.   Salem is the ancient name for Jerusalem. 

 

The Heavenly Jerusalem, Zion is the Church (Heb. 12: 22-24).  The Refiner now comes to measure the breadth and length of His priesthood.

 

We are all called to be priests unto God.  Paul says:  I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called, with all lowliness and meekness with long-suffering, fore-bearing one another in love.”

 

  How wide are we?  What is the measure of our mercy and forgiveness, our commitment to others?  How long are we?  Who will we embrace with long-suffering, fore-bearing with one another; and how far will we walk with them?

 

“…God has from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth; Whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught whether by word, or our epistle.” (2 Thess. 2: 13-15)

 

The Refiner’s fire is God Himself, the Word in the mouth of His servants the prophets.  Draw near to the fire.  God is in the furnace with His chosen.  There is a formation taking place in the flames. 

 

Brothers we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain that is, his body.  Since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”  (Heb. 10: 19-22)

 

My righteous one will live by faith, and if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.  We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” (Heb. 10: 38-39)

 

The historical background of the epistle to the Hebrews reveals dilemma and conflict.  Because of persecution, many of the Hebrew Christians were committing one of two evils:  they were either going back altogether to Judaism, or they were trying to put new wine into old wineskins by mixing law with grace.

 

This is not a day to draw back.  It is a day to draw near.

 

God took away the Old Covenant with violence, even the violence of the cross!  He then established the New Covenant as Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by his resurrection from the dead (Ro. 1:4).  His violent death and glorious resurrection are the basis of the New Testament in His blood.

 

The New Covenant of Jeremiah 31: 31-34 and Hebrews 8 is the New Testament, pure and simple.  Jesus was the Sacrifice, once and for all!

 

Jesus is the last Word on the subject!  There won’t be another covenant, priesthood, another anything.  Jesus is better than Moses, Aaron, Joshua and the angels.  His promises, His priesthood, His blood, are better.  Everything about Jesus in that epistle is “better,” literally “nobler or stronger.”  Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  His death and resurrection changed the priesthood and the order of the testaments permanently.  His king-priest ministry after the order (manner, similitude) of Melchisedec is immutable. 

 

1 Pet. 2: 9-10:  You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a 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.”

 

The primary function of the Priest is to minister unto the Lord (or worship). 

 

Jesus the Priest is the Son of God in worship.

Jesus the Priest is the Son of Man in intercession.

Jesus the Priest in worship is the Tree of Life.

Jesus the Priest in intercession is the River of Life.

 

Dangerously filled with the Holy Ghost, we are standing on “Shigionoth” mixing our Praise and Prayers with the Word and Faith.  This army of the Lord is taking the battle to the gate.  We are facing Satan on his own turf, for we are fearless, aggressive and bold as lions.

 

We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” (Heb. 10:39).

 

The Priesthood has moved from the perspective of the future to the perspective of the present, from man’s point of view to God’s point of view, for He sees the end from the beginning. This is called the “Melchisedec Principle” because Jesus’ priesthood is ever present, now proceeding from the heart of our Ascended Lord.

 

 I have at least two teachings on Melchisedec on the website under Bible Studies from the Book of Hebrews.  My mission and message today is the priesthood is present.  “Now faith is…”  Faith doesn’t claim anything.  Real faith---God faith---possesses the land.  We can consider the many examples found in Matthew 13, where the King repeatedly said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is…” 

 

Jesus was crucified between two thieves:  the past and the future!

 

Matt. 27:38:  Then were two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand and another on the left.”

 

Luke 23: 39-43: “One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!’  But the other criminal rebuked him.  “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “Since you are under the same sentence?  We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.  But this man has done nothing wrong.”  Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

 

The first thief represents the past.  He was so hopelessly bound and condemned by his former life that he had no hope.  The second thief denotes the future, for he only had a future concept of the Kingdom.  The Man on the middle cross was the God of today!  He was the same God who sent Moses into Egypt, for Jesus affirmed again and again in John’s gospel, “I am…” 

 

The spirit of fear only works through the past and the future.  God, who is love, who lives in the ever-present now, can relate to neither.  Fear comes up from the past to accuse us because of previous mistakes.  It comes from the future to intimidate and harass. 

 

Jesus was crucified between two thieves.  The past is a thief.  The future is a thief.  To be totally futuristic in one’s outlook is to be deceived and robbed by the spirit of fear.  There is no future in the past, and the devil doesn’t care what we believe, so long as it pertains to the future.  There is something about a “now” priesthood that scares the hell out of him.

 

The mind of Christ is geared to the present.  He has appointed a day, in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained; and whereof he has given assurance unto all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.”

 

 

The Church under the Priesthood of Jesus Christ will mature and come to His measure in the Most Holy Place.

 

Eph. 4:13: “…until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

 

Our heavenly Aaron, Jesus Christ rent the veil, rose again, passed through the heavens, and was crowned with glory and honor.  The kingly oil of glad coronation cascaded over His head and now flows down upon His Body.  The love which enabled Him to open His heart to planet earth has been poured out (Ro. 5:5), empowering us to open ourselves to Him and to all those for whom he died.

 

Not only is this new order of priesthood accessible; its members are transparent.  There are no masks, no veneers, no facades, no put-ons, and no phonies.  Just real people.

 

The Priest in Zion is better than the priesthood of Sinai.  We mature from the blessing of healing to union with the Healer. Hos. 6: 1-3: “Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has smitten, and he will bind us up.  After two days will he revive us; in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.”

 

Jesus’ Name is above all other names!  The name for God that is always associated with Melchizedek and the priesthood of Jesus is El-Elyon, meaning, “the most high God,” the Possessor of heaven and earth.  It is time for the “Son of Man” to be glorified, for His priesthood to intercede for all men.  This Melchizedek order is a blessing order, just as the ancient priest blessed Abraham.  One is never out of order to bless others.

 

Gen. 14: 18-20:  Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine.  He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.  And blessed by God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand:  The Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”

 

Out of the heart are the issues of life.  Jesus came out of the bosom of the Father as the ministering Priest.  In relationship to the Father in Heaven, he is the Worshiper, the Son of God.  In relationship to all men in the earth, He is the Inter-Seeder, the Son of Man.  He is the Tree of Life and the River of Life.

 

If we are worshipers and intercessors, receiving and sowing the life of God, the Father requires nothing more. 

 

“Thou art My Son…” (Lk. 3:22)

 

“Thou art a Priest…” (Ps. 110:4) Heb. 5:6; 7:17; 7:2)

 

Those decrees were made before the foundation of the world.

 

Lev. 16:12: “He shall take a censer full of burning coals of the fire from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil.”

 

Both hands were full of incense.

 

Ps. 141: 1-2: “Lord I cry unto you; make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto you.  Let my prayer be set forth before you as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. 

 

Luke 1: 8-10:  “It came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.  The whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.”

 

Rev. 5:8: “When He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints.”

 

Rev. 8:3: “Another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.”

 

The Levitical record tells us there was a “morning” incense and an “evening” incense.  Burning the incense took place at the third hour (nine o’clock in the morning) and the ninth hour (three o’clock in the afternoon) of the day.

 

When examined in the light of the ministry of Jesus and the apostles, the Scriptures reveal that the “morning” incense was worship and the “evening” incense was intercession.  

 

On the tenth day of the seventh month (Feast Day of Atonement- subject of Hebrews 9-10) the High Priest went beyond the veil into the Holy of Holies, to offer the blood of bulls and goats for the sins of the priesthood and the people.  Both hands were full of incense…full of worship and intercession!  Today as God continues to cleanse His church, there is the longed-for unprecedented manifestation of worship and intercession in the Feast of Tabernacles in the Most Holy Place.

 

Who is willing to fill his left hand with worship and his right hand with intercession and go beyond the veil?  Who is willing to fill the heavens with praise and the earth wit prayer? Who is willing to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord?  Who is willing to stand in the gap and make up the hedge?  Who is willing to take hold of God with one hand and crippled humanity with the other?  Who is willing to stand between the living and the dead?  Who is willing to fill his hand?  Who is willing to consecrate himself?

 

As God’s men and women, we are not breaking rank or thrusting at one another with pointless issues.  We no longer major on minors, but keep step with our Commander.  We do not move until He moves, we do not speak until He speaks.  Our hearts are fixed.  We cannot be bought.  We are following the Lamb wherever He goes.   There will be a people who will go beyond the veil in the 7th month (perfection) to sit down with their overcoming High Priest. 

Because of His blood, we now come boldly into the holiest of all, looking unto Jesus the head of the church, the Worshiper, the Intercessor.  With unveiled face we behold Him and are transformed into the same image by the work of the Holy Spirit.

 

Next week I will teach on the Aaronic Priesthood, the garments of the Priesthood and what the Lord desires for us to know regarding the detail subscribed to the making of the garments.   

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

Scripture from K.J.V.

I entered into the labors of the Issues of Life and the Priesthood is Changing by: Kelly Varner; These Are The Garments by C. W. Slemming;   Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labors.   

 
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