Priesthood of All Believers

Priesthood of All BelieversEvery believer in the New Testament is a Priest, not just one special guy wearing a cap and gown. The old hierarchical Priesthood of the Levites has been done away with in the New Testament Church, just as the Old Testament has been closed by the death of the testator, Jesus Christ. You don’t become a Priest in the body of Christ because of your father or mother’s legacy nor because you attended the right seminary. In fact, after the ‘Born Aain’ covenant found in Acts 2:38 is obeyed, every person of faith becomes a commissioned Priest from God’s viewpoint. No seminary required.

They shall all be taught by God

Jesus summarized three prophetic passages when explaining the teaching role of the Holy Ghost. He said,

“They shall all be taught by God.” [John 6:24, Isaiah 54:13, Micah 4:2, Jeremiah 31:34]

The Zadokite Priests of Qumran were particularly focused on ‘the Teacher of Righteousness’ in their wait for the Moreh Zadok (latter rain, teacher of righteousness, Joel 2:23). They waited at the Dead Sea for this Messiah but he arrived in Bethlehem.

Nicodemus was the most recognized Master theologian of Israel in Jesus’ day. But Jesus was amazed at the dullness of his understanding of the scriptures when he tried to explain the ‘Kingdom of God’ and the born again covenant that was foretold in the Old Testament. Being a member of the powerful San Hedrin, Nicodemus was stupefied by the teaching of Jesus when the Lord bluntly reproved him,

“Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.” [John 3:10-13]

After Pentecost when the New Testament covenant began, the Apostles expected that the ‘teacher of righteousness’ was the Master sage of the Church. They recalled that Jesus was particularly frustrated with them the evening of the last supper, desiring to reveal His ‘all truth’ identity to them. [John chapters 13-17] However, only the Holy Ghost could accomplish this and it would be 50 days after the Lord’s crucifixion before it would be poured out. Take a closer look at Jesus’ words to his disciples in this after dinner talk.

“I still have many things to teach you, but you are not able to receive them now. But when he–the Spirit of truth–comes, he will lead you into ‘all truth’. For he will not speak from himself, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will proclaim to you the things to come. He will glorify me [teach you my identity], because he will take from what is mine and will proclaim it to you.” [John 16:12-14]

This statement by Jesus above agrees with the following acrostic Psalm of David.

Psalms 25:4-5
ד Show me thy ways, O LORD [Yhwh]; teach me thy paths.
ה Lead me into ‘thy truth’ and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation [elohim yesha]; I have waited for thee all the day.

The message Jesus and the Old Testament declare is that God Himself will teach seminary in the Church. Thus, every Spirit filled believer willing to receive the instruction given by the Holy Ghost has been to Divine Seminary. The Master teacher is Jesus himself. And this agrees with the clouded vision of Nicodemus and traditional non-Spirit filled believers. They must rely solely upon human wisdom and logic. This leads to a dead end.

Consider that logic and scripture alone (sola scriptura) create an eating table of vomit. Truth cannot be revealed this way. In reality, the truest meaning of scriptures can only be revealed by the Holy Ghost.

Isaiah 28:8-11 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. Whom shall he teach
knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

To be weaned from the breast is to be weaned from ‘line upon line’ logic, scripture alone. The Holy Spirit, the stammering lips and another tongue, teaches us knowledge and doctrine. Those that cling to ‘sola scriptura’ without the Holy Spirit are sitting at a table God considers defiled.

“And you do not have His Word abiding in you, for the One whom that One sent, this One you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for you think in them you have everlasting life. And they are the ones witnessing concerning Me. And you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
[John 5:38-40]

Without the WORD inside us, the Holy Spirit (that is Jesus, the WORD of LIFE) we cannot understand the scriptures (see also 2 Peter 1:17-20). Without the Holy Spirit, we do not have the LIGHT of the WORLD. We must be taught by God, no seminary required. And if God Himself teaches us, then we must discern truth by the confirmation and activity of the Holy Spirit.

Many would use the above discourse to permit themselves to go un-discipled. Discipleship training is at the heart of the New Testament Priesthood. [Matthew 28:19-20, John 21: 15-17] To bypass it is to forfeit the learnings and gifting of other Priests. Respect and submission to one another is a hallmark of the New Testament Priest with none Lording it over the other. There are no Popes or infallible ministers in this Priesthood.

The Priesthood of Melchezadok

After rescuing Lot and the people of Sodom, Abraham ran into the Priest of Salem, Melchezadok. Many exegetes have tried to make this man whose patrilineage is not written down as a theophany or worse, that of an Angelic manifestation. The scripture never answers this and speculators abound.

But we know that Abraham worshiped God and tithed to the man with this epithet, the King of Salem, Melchezadok. Melchezadok’s name is the concatenation of two Hebrew words: Melek = King & Zadkok = Righteousness. When you pronounce his name, King of Righteousness along with King of Salem (Peace) arrives. Somewhere in Abraham’s travels, Melchezadok was encountered.

The writer of Hebrews, goes to great lengths to describe Melchezadok’s superior Priesthood [Hebrews 6:13-10:23], with Jesus being the new High Priest of this order with a perfect covenant. In this long discourse describing the Priesthood of all believers, the Apostle mentions several things:

  1. Melchezadok was greater than Abraham and blessed Abraham. The lesser is always blessed by the greater [Hebrews 7:4-7]. The Priests and Jesus covenant of the Melchezadok order are greater than the Levitical Priesthood order and Mosaic covenant.
  2. Jesus is the High Priest of the Melchezadok order with a better covenant than the Levitical Priesthood. Believers in the Acts 2:38 covenant are Priests of this order, all with access to the Holy of Holies of God’s presence.
  3. The Levitical Priesthood and covenant had flaws in it and was not perfect. The flaws when compared to the covenant of Jesus are:
    1. Blood sacrifice had to be offered daily. This blood could not remove sins because animal blood did not possess redemptive power. Jesus blood sacrifice was offered ONCE and had total redemptive power. Jesus was sinless, a perfect sacrifice without blemish. When believers administer the pefect covenant, they are ministering with the redemptive blood of Jesus. Acts 2:38 is how the blood is applied. The Acts 2:38 covenant is perfect and superior to the Mosaic covenant of circumcision.
    2. Repentance and Faith are the imperatives in the better covenant of Jesus. The ‘Rituals of Holiness’ were easily misplaced, offended, and abrogated in the Levitical Priesthood.
    3. The Promises of Levitical Priesthood and Mosaic covenant point toward the better covenant that was to come. The Promises of the Melchezadok and Jesus covenant are greater and eternal. Impartation of the Holy Ghost promise inside believers writes the laws of God in the tables of the heart not tables of stone. God can be known by the Melchezadok Priests in an astounding revelation relationship not possible in the Levitical Priesthood.
    4. Only family members of the Patrilineage of Levi and Aaron could minister in the Priest’s office. To qualify, each Priest must trace his family tree and prove his ancestors existence. Melchezadok’s family tree was not given or traceable in scripture. His Priesthood is one of adoption through the blood of Jesus Christ, not the DNA of Aaron and Levi. Melchezadok Priesthood adoption come from obeying the gospel found in Acts 2:38.
    5. The sacrifices of the Melchezadok Priesthood are a broken and contrite heart (repentance), prayer, teaching the doctrine of Christ, and laying on of hands. This is how the lesser is blessed by the greater. The High Priest of the Melchezadok Priesthood forever makes intercession for the lost through the prayer language of the Holy Ghost. This powerful Priesthood function reconciles sinful humanity to the ‘compassion of Holiness’, Jesus Christ. The sacrifices of the Levitical Priesthood cannot provide ablution of the conscience. There is no fire of Holiness in the blood of bulls and goats.
    6. The Temple of the Levitical Priesthood constantly falls down and must be rebuilt. The Temple of Jesus Christ is inside believers hearts, a Kingdom of Priests collectively. The Levitical Temple was physical subject to rust and decay. The Melchezadok Temple is eternal, without end, never dying even if the flesh dies.
  4. The Priesthood of Melchezadok was enacted by an oath of God. God cannot lie nor abrogate His unconditional covenants. Speaking of the eternal Priesthood of Jesus the Messiah and his adopted sons, the Melchezadok section in the book of Hebrews quotes Psalm 110:4 six times. Here is that oath.

    Psalms 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchezadok.

Calling and Election and Anointing

The Jesus Priests are called and gifted according to His will. No one should complain about the delegated gifting, calling, or anointing they receive from Jesus. Jealousy and contentious divisions are not from Christ but from the flesh.

Proving one’s calling is a process of the Holy Spirit. Embedded in each believer is revelation and burden. Jesus alone imparts this anointing as each individual believer seeks Him. Prayer and Worship are the two companions of anointing. When fused with the discipline of fasting and consumption of scripture, anointing arrives with direction on how and where to minister it.

When Jesus calls His Priests to an office of domain, it’s not the old hierarchy of the flesh which creates division, laity and clergy. The Head of the Church and each individual is Jesus Christ. This where direction and ministry is ordained. Tolerance, humility, love, and submission are the rudiments of unity. Anointing is magnified when unity exists in the local and global body of believers. Where unity exists, the 5 fold ministry of calling emerges as ordained by the Holy Spirit of Jesus. [Ephesians 4:1-16].

  1. Apostles – the sent ones, missionaries, church planters, organizers, doctrinal administrators.
  2. Prophets – intercessors, revealers, reconciliation specialists, jealous zealots of the new covenant.
  3. Evangelists – soul winning workers focused on gathering the lost.
  4. Pastors – shepherds focused on discipling and growing infant sheep into elders of the faith.
  5. Teachers – expounders of the word, responsible for the minds and thinking of young and old believers.

It is up to each believer to diligently verify, confirm, and make their personal election to ministry sure. [2 Peter 1:10]. The A.S.K. process of Ask, Seek, Knock has to be deployed. [Matthew 7:7] Once we know where we are called and fit, it becomes a maturation process of gaining FRUITS and GIFTS of the Holy Spirit. As we ripen we morph and transform our nature into the Divine Nature of Jesus Christ [Romans 12:1-2]. This reflection of Holiness draws the world to Christ.

Gifts of the Spirit [1 Corinthians 12:1-11, Revelation 3:10] and specialized gifting [1 Corinthians 12:27 – 13:1] are to be sought diligently. We can grow in gifting and are told that AGAPE love is the more excellent way, even greater than the gift of prophecy.

Fruits of the Spirit should always be sought before gifts of the Spirit. [Galatians 5:22-23, Ephesiasn 5:9, Hebrews 12:11, 13:15, Revelation 22:2] The first fruit of the Spirit is AGAPE love, the more excellent way.

As we progress in FRUITS and GIFTS, our anointing or unction of knowledge is a sign of our soul prosperity and Christian maturity. [1 John 2:20-21] All New Testament Priests are on the same path [derek in Hebrew], each specialized in the task given them by the Lord Jesus.

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