From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 12- Tabernacles – The Feast of Glory- The Events of the Seventh Month Blend Into One, continued
A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people…” (1 Pet. 2:9). A royal priesthood! A priesthood of kings, and a kingdom of priests! A company of overcomers, who have power with God and with men! As priests they have power with God, and as kings they have power with men. As priests they have “access by faith into this grace” of our holy standing; and as kings they have the power of God to rule and reign in all circumstances and over all opposing forces. As priests they can intercede with God on behalf of men; and as kings they can impart life and power and deliverance to the captive, and set the oppressed free. Such is the kingdom of Melchizedek. He reigns, but he also intercedes; and in fact he reigns by interceding. His very power and kingly authority is for the benefit and sake of others. Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore…” (Matt. 28:19). And again, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Acts 1:8). He is King! and Priest! And He has designated His kingly authority and His priestly authority to such as are of Him and in Him. In this realm the flesh “profiteth nothing.” Natural advantages, fleshly attainments, racial distinctions, educational standards, ecclesiastical success–these profit nothing. This priesthood knows nothing of father, mother, genealogy, beginning of days nor end of life. It is the sphere and realm of the Spirit of God, a priesthood and a Kingdom which the Sons of God shall enter into as they grow up into Christ.
Melchizedek signifies by his name, “King of righteousness.” He is also called King of Salem, and that means King of Peace. (Heb. 7:2). His ministry, therefore, is to establish righteousness and peace in those who are under sin’s dominion. And that, of course, is the very essence of the Kingdom of God. “The Kingdom of God is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17).
Now can we understand how the overcomer in the Day of the Lord, when Great Tribulation is upon the earth, will be able to administer help and comfort and sustenance to God’s people who are under oppression and persecution. The great tribulation itself is going to be cut short because of the Sons of God. As Moses interceded for Israel and spared them from wrath; and as Jesus intercedes for His people, and spares them from wrath; so the Sons of God, through the exercise of their royal priesthood, shall actually shorten the Great Tribulation. Jesus has declared that they would: “For the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matt. 24:22). The elect shall have entered into a new priesthood, a royal priesthood. As priests they will be able to present the needs of the people to God, and intercede for them; and as kings they will have the authority of God to dispense life and blessing to such as are in tribulation and distress. The world has had her day of kings and dictators whose passion it is to exercise lordship and dominion over a suffering humanity. This new Kingdom shall be a Priesthood,–a priesthood that “can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way” for they will remember their former afflictions. They will recall their former bondage under Satan’s cruel kingdom, and the days of yester-years when the flesh tormented them, and they cried in anguish of soul: “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me…?” They shall not have forgotten that they too were once sinners, defiled in His sight, and poured out their complaint to God in the bitterness of their sorrows. And therefore they shall reign as priests–co-heirs with the Son in the Kingdom of Grace.
“Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both” (Zech. 6:13). What does this mean? “Between them both…”? “Both” refers back to Joshua the high priest, and “the man whose name is the branch.” It is the priesthood of the Son and the many Sons. Joshua means “Jah saves,” and is the same as Jesus in the Greek. The branch, on the other hand, is said to “grow up out of his place.” It is Christ; and His place is the Church. But He is called the branch, or literally the sprout, because this Man is a many-membered Body, that grows up into maturity. We read therefore that the Body is to “grow up into…the head, even Christ” (Eph. 4:15). Hence, away back in the days of Zechariah who prophesied words of encouragement to the builders of the second temple, we have the truth of the new priesthood, a priesthood that reigns upon the throne, a priesthood comprising Christ and His people, the Son and the many Sons, with the counsel of peace “between them both.”
Is it not written, “Heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together”? (Rom. 8:17). And does not the apostle declare that God “hath raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus”? (Eph. 2:6, Literal).
O the depths and the heights of this glorious priesthood! It far surpasses anything we can possibly imagine in the natural; for it is an infinite and eternal priesthood, and we are yet carnal and walk as men. Only by the Spirit can we comprehend anything of our heritage in Christ. GHW
As Bro. Warnock says, “He is King! and Priest! And He has designated His kingly authority and His priestly authority to such as are of Him and in Him. In this realm the flesh “profiteth nothing.” Natural advantages, fleshly attainments, racial distinctions, educational standards, ecclesiastical success–these profit nothing. This priesthood knows nothing of father, mother, genealogy, beginning of days nor end of life. It is the sphere and realm of the Spirit of God, a priesthood and a Kingdom which the Sons of God shall enter into as they grow up into Christ.”
Paul tells us the same thing in Philippians 3:3-7, where he says, “3for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and take pride in Christ Jesus, and put no confidence in the flesh, 4 although I myself could boast as having confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he is confident in the flesh, I have more reason: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. 7But whatever things were gain to me, these things I have counted as loss because of Christ.”
Brothers and sisters, are we willing to count all we have worked for and gloried in as loss because of Christ?