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A CALLING UNTO PRIESTHOOD
I had a vision middle last year that Father only now have revealed to me the meaning of. It was very simple, but very powerful. I saw Jesus in His high priestly clothes standing on a green hill. His hair was white as snow as well as His beard. He was just standing there majestically and full of authority. He was waiting. And the message is..."I am calling you unto priesthood".
In my previous devotional, Rented Heart, I wrote about the heart of God that was rented for us to enter in. The cross is what it took to rent that veil and nothing less will be required of us should we desire to enter in by faith. Our own hearts are to be rented in sanctification. This devotional will go a bit deeper. You will note that the requirement is ultimate, for our God is an ultimate God. He has made a way for us to enter by faith. We are His workmanship and not only does our heart have to be rented in repentance, but the requirement is HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD. Not a moment in time, but a way of living. This is ultimate and only possible by His grace. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11: 36)
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
We are a royal priesthood and a chosen generation (1Peter 2: 9). The Bible is a Hebraic book and unless we understand the essence of what it is to be Hebraic, we will fall short of the weightiness of what it is to be priestly. To have an understanding and to know the heart and fibre of something you have to go to its inception. Our western understanding is limited to priests of the Roman Catholic Church or Anglican Church. We look upon the ceremonial sacrifices as archaic and irrelevant. Yet these things are for us as a type and shadow. We now fall under a different priesthood. No longer under the Aaronic Priesthood, but the Order of Melchizedek. This in itself requires of us to have a closer look at who Melchizedek was and what does it mean for us as a royal priesthood called under this order. We cannot just wear the name priest around our neck as something that was given, without being it. We have to BE something before we can proclaim it. And unfortunately, there have been a lot of proclaiming of us being priests unto the Lord without the reality.
In Revelations 1: 5 – 6 we read:
5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
The meaning of the word Melchizedek is "my King is Righteousness" . Melchi is King and Zedek is righteousness. We need to consider that the Word, being inspired by the Spirit of God, do not pair words for no reason. There can be no Kingship without righteousness in the Kingdom of God, which is to say Kingly Priests. And this is exactly what He is making us to be. I had a dream last week wherein I was told by one person that I will rule a certain city and later in the same dream I was told of another city that I will rule over. Sons and Daughters of a King can rule, those who are made priests after the Order of Melchizedek. To be a son of God is kingly and priestly.
Luke 22: 29 - 30
When Moses saw the Israelites whoring after the idol of Baal, he asked the whole of Israel, “who is on the Lord's side?” Only one tribe out of all twelve stood up to stand with him, the Levites. What was his instruction from the Lord? They had to each one strap their sword to his side and go in and out of the camp and slay every man his friend, brother, mother, father and neighbor. It was on that day that He consecrated the Levites as priests. The word consecrate means “blood on your hands” (Exodus 32: 26 - 29). The requirement for this consecration of the Levitical Priesthood was indeed ultimate and in all honesty who of us are able to stand before the Lord today and if required to do this would literally slay our family or neighbors? The reason I am asking this is to bring home the Hebraic heritage and sense of just how ultimate our God is. The God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament and that very same God came in the form as a man to be our High Priest.
Hebrews 3: 1
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
Priestliness is vitally connected to the Apostolic, and also the Prophetic. If we lose sight of the one, we stand to defile the other or even forfeit it. The main purpose of the Apostle and Prophet as priests, is to present God to the people as He truly is and not as what they would like Him to be. To set the standard, the plumb line before the people, which is holiness unto the Lord.
We read the following about Melchizedek…
Hebrews 7: 3
Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
We can easily say that we are no longer required to slay our loved ones and neighbors, but there is something to this “without mother, without descent” that we should take note of. Why was it necessary to include this in the holy writ? Does it make a difference whether He had a mother or a descent? No one knows from where this Melchizedek High Priest came from, but what we do know is that Jesus is now our High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek, which is an eternal Priesthood to which we are called to. There is more to this as we can see this ruthlessness in Jesus addressing His mother at the wedding of Canaan, saying, “Woman what have I to do with you?” (John 2: 4). I don’t know about you, but my mother would not take kindly to me addressing her like that. We also hear Him saying to His disciples when they told Him His parents were looking for Him, “Who is my mother and my brother and sister?” And when at age 12 found in the temple after being asked where He was, He said, “I am about My Father’s business”. If my 16 year old daughter had to say that to me, I might have some choice words to say to her, never mind a 12 year old. And yet, we see Him not shunning His responsibility as a son, even on the cross, as He tells John that he is now to look after Mary as his own mother. He also tells the one disciple who wanted to bury his father, “Let the dead bury the dead...follow Me”. Taking all of these examples into account we can see that there was a certain disposition that He had that was true to the Order of the Melchizedek priesthood.
This priesthood, even the Levitical priesthood, requires a savage neglect of legitimate concerns for our own flesh. If you cannot be ruthless to yourself, you cannot be a priest. A Melchizedek Priesthood is without father and mother, which is to say without the soulties that bind us of a fleshly kind that would keep us rooted in sentimentality and to be nice, when at times we are required to take up our sword. After all, God is love and you are supposed to be a Christian. And Christians make nice. We just cannot allow our “niceness”, our sentiment to deny our place of utter obedience unto the Lord. There is no such things as being subject to a mood when you are a priest. Priesthood is not only beyond father and mother and neighbor, but also beyond culture, patriotism, creed or institute. The only way for this to be is because the sword has been against the priest’s own flesh in every category of his life. This is why we read that blood was placed on their ear, right thumb and right toe, which is saying every area is to be consecrated.
The priests were told in Leviticus 7 to wait for 7 days at the tent of meeting after many sacfirices before they were allowed in. This number 7 is the number of completion. It is not saying we are to wait for 7 days, rather we are to wait until completion. He is the one making us into priests according to Revelation 1: 6 and we are His workmanship. It is He who slays us with the Sword of the Spirit and butchers us to death on the altar. Even piercing into the bone and marrow, dividing our souls and spirit and discerning the motives of our hearts (James 4). It is a bloody affair and not a surgical and clinical procedure. One could not differentiate between the priest and the sacrifice as they were slaughtering the different animals on the altars. Even so our High Priest was slaughtered on the altar of the cross and we are told to take up our own. Not a neat little beam with no splinters. Our identification with our High Priest is also in the death we die. In the sharing of His suffering. The cross was the slaughtering of the spotless lamb, which was the High Priest sacrificing Himself in order to make atonement with His own blood on the mercy seat. Jesus could not enter the Holy of Holies in the heavenlies as our High Priest without the atoning blood. We too as a royal priesthood are to wait at the tent of meeting until the work He has started in us is complete. Covered as the priests of old in blood, where we truly are living sacrifices. Our ears, thumb and toe concecrated. And waiting is worship. To the degree that we have entered into His death is the degree that we find ourselves in our High Priest. Being priests is something that He makes us into so that we not just verbalize it, but that we can be it. Romans 12 says that we are to give our bodies as living sacrifices. Meaning no longer bulls, sheep or any other animals to be the sacrifices, but ourselves. We are to lay our lives on the altar concerning every category of our lives. If we do not give all, can we really say we have given our lives? The requirement is ultimate.
At first glance we can in our own understanding easily say what is holy and what is profane. But we are called to more than that as priests. There are many people to be found in the world that would put some Christians to shame with regard to how “good” they are. Real discernment is to discern between good and perfect. A priest is acutely honed into what purports to be nice, right or moral, knowing that even that is a threat to that which is holy and perfect. It is all about the glory of God and without sacrifice there can be no glory. Even so we know that the Apostles waited for 10 days in the upper room before the glory came down. And who can say what kind of ultimate sacrifices in the spirit happened at that time. They were not told that they would have to wait for 10 days, but to wait until. It just so happens that the meaning of the number 10 is also completeness.
The Levites who at the beginning stood up and sided with the Lord, also eventually profaned the priesthood by defiling themselves in compromising with the gentiles. (Ezek. 44) They were told that from now on they could no longer serve the Lord, but are to be serving the people in the outer court. A necessary function, but a very costly price to pay. How much more are we to jealously guard the holiness of God in our lives as royal priests, lest we too stand to lose it? Not holiness as we see it, but as He sees it. The purpose of the priests is to teach the people the difference between the holy and profane. Through their lives and service unto the Lord His sanctity and holiness is expressed, preserved and maintained on the earth. This will be the standard that will be upheld in the coming Kingdom of God on this earth.
We have to maintain our distinction. And what is this distinction of a priest apart from holiness? Amongst many things it is a sense of dignity and poise one carry yourself with. You are set apart and not one of the boys or girls. You do not get to say what you want to, or even do what you want to when you want to. All of your life is an act of worship. Whether you eat or drink, whatever you do, do it for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10: 31). It is a service unto the Lord, because the priests belongs to the Lord and no longer to themselves. They did not get to do what the rest of the tribes did, neither did they receive any inheritance. The Lord is their inheritance and their portion. The moment any service is done unto man or to serve self, is the moment that defilement comes. All is worship. There is no secular and religious with a priest. We have to have a priestly mindset that speaks of dignity where we ask ourselves whether what we are doing, no matter what, is indeed priestly. Does it defile? Very often that which we search out in the name of truth comes with a heavy price where it causes defilement. Holiness is to be at the forefront of all our considerations. We have to be able to BE holy without saying a word, for in our being we are communicating the sense of God as He truly is.
The priests of Zadock were the only ones who did not turn away from the Lord when the Levites turned their backs. They were given the privilege to minister unto the Lord. This Zadock is also the “zedek” that forms part of the name Melchizedek.
Zadok (or Zadok HaKohen, also spelled Sadok, Sadoc, Zadoq or Tzadok; Hebrew: צָדוֹק הַכֹּהֵן, meaning "Righteous, Justified") was a Kohen (priest), biblically recorded to be a descendant from Eleazar the son of Aaron (1 Chron 6:4–8).
We maintain our Melchizedek priesthood to the degree that we are in Him and to the degree that we are without father, mother, neighbor or ancestry. That is to say from above and not below, our identification with Him verses our identification with family and neighbors and that which is earthly. Priests are above, heavenly…they have their citizenship in heaven. There is no Jew, Gentile, American, South African or Indian. They are all together other!
Not to enter is an affront to the great privilege bestowed to you in the rending of the veil of His flesh that has kept you out previously. He is saying, “I have made a living way for you to come, not only to come, but to abide forever, for this priesthood is eternal." It comes from out of the indestructible life of God. We are to approach the mercy seat with faith and boldness, but we can only do this with a clear conscience.
Many of us have been prepared like the Levites having no longer father, mother, neighbor or ancestry. No longer holding on to the credo of this world, but have become all together other, even unto our own brethren. However, you have not yet entered into priesthood. What I mean by that is that you do not see yourself yet as a royal priest and therefore do not commit to the standard required. And because you do not truly see yourself as a priest, you do not live up to the name and therefore do not abide. You still cut the corners here and there and are still playing it safe. You are still going in and out of the Holy of Holies and not having your being from out of that transcendent place. You are existing beneath that which He has formed in you thus far and not even knowing it.
We are called a royal priesthood, but in order for us to BE this royal priesthood we have to lay down our lives so that we may enter in and abide. And the only way to truly communicate who He is as He is, is in the Holy of Holies. When you come out from that transcendent place with Him, you carry within your fibre and being the aroma and indestructable life, which is to know Him.
As David says in Psalm 27:4
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after. That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. To behold the beauty of the Lord and to enquire in His temple.
Let us earnestly seek to enter into the veil, where we may meet with Him at the mercy seat. Let us enter by faith. Unto us who are but dust He has made a way through His Son that we as Sons and Daughters of the Most High may walk in obedience as His Son did and lay our lives down. Waiting as long as it takes for Him to complete the work in us to be that royal priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. Let us not think that we will never be able to enter and in that find ourselves in unbelief because we are looking to ourselves. We are to look at the author and finisher of our faith who endured the cross for the joy set before Him (Hebrews 12).