Learn About the Christian Priesthood and Doxology of the New Testament Church
A Kingdom of Priests
Lesson 2 of 8
Glorify the Name of the Lord
The priesthood is how we glorify the name of the Lord, which means to lift up His name. We are to exalt the Lord in our thoughts and to then express Him in with words. I am talking here about offering spiritual sacrifices of prophecy.
Every spiritual sacrifice of prophecy that you offer to God, you is...
lifting up the Lord, Jesus as God’s Gift of Life,
lifting up the Lord, Jesus as He who daily ministers grace for our growth.
lifting up the Lord, Jesus as the true and perfect measure of our faith,
lifting up the Lord, Jesus as the peace that is greater than the peace of this world,
lifting up the Lord, Jesus as the author of grace, which power is greater than that of the aspiration,
lifting up the Lord, Jesus as the justifier of our hope.
Your spiritual sacrifices of prophecy acknowledge Jesus Christ. Spiritual sacrifices of prophecy are not merely saying that Jesus is the justifier of our hope, or just saying that His peace is greater than the peace of the world, but setting His knowledge in order by setting His knowledge within God’s covenant, thus relating it to our faith, the work of the Spirit, and God’s care. By reflection upon this knowledge, we testify of Jesus Christ and glorify God.
Keep in mind that a prophecy is not merely reciting verses pulled out of the Bible that sound like something we yearn for. In reality, each spiritual sacrifice is a result of our labor of faith with the knowledge of Christ.
Prophecy is also the result of our daily growth cycles as we reflect upon the faithfulness of God to give substance to our hope, to reveal Himself, to give strength to the will.
Worship God With the Token of Christ
A believer is to worship God with the token God provided for worship. When you function in your priesthood you are worshipping God in the way He desires to be worshipped.
Go back in your mind to John 3:16 to see this again. God gave us Jesus Christ. He is the token of our faith. Worship is a form of reciprocation. We are to return to God Jesus Christ, adding nothing of the aspiration to embellish upon Him, and taking away nothing of Christ to diminish Him.
The priesthood is designed for worship, for reciprocation. God wants you to worship Him by offering to Him Jesus Christ in the form of spiritual sacrifices of prophecy, which is His saving knowledge.
Spiritual Sacrifices Build Faith
Faith is about building. Faith is the offspring of His knowledge. You’re rehearsing that knowledge for your faith. You’re bringing Christ to your mind and the Spirit is confirming Him.
The Spirit of God enters into each spiritual sacrifice to make living His knowledge, thus building our understanding and our confidence and increasing our faith. Think about it! The power of the Holy Spirit is upon Jesus Christ, just as we saw at His baptism. It becomes clear that when you rehearse the testimony of Christ for prophecy that you experience His power.
Prophet Casey shares his experience with us: “Said a prayer today on my way to work asking the Lord to show me something. Before I could get the request out He answered it. Felt like I was hit with a wave of knowledge and was taken by total surprise. It was pretty cool! Thanks Lord :-)
When this exchange is going on between you and God, that means there is a potential there for this same fellowship to take place between you and other believers. This is the true fellowship of the priesthood to which God has called each believer. God is now awakening the church to this true fellowship of the Spirit which takes place at the altar of Christ.
Believers around the world are again excited about their priesthood. They are exchanging spiritual sacrifices on Face Book and texting them over their cell phone. Hundreds of sacrifices are offered to God each day this way. I have heard many reports of believers scrolling through the sacrifices during the day. Whether at work, at home, or at the super market, the power of God’s grace instantly strengthens the will for faith, and brings an extraordinary power of peace upon the soul.
Each prophecy builds you up in the faith because the Spirit of God nourishes your heart with the knowledge of Christ and ignites the zeal to continue to build the kingdom of God. As the Holy Spirit confirms Christ in His knowledge He is giving you more to sow into His kingdom. The edification, exhortation, and comfort is never ending. What is amazing is that you can take the altar of Christ with you wherever you go!
This sacrifice from Teacher Wendy drew much faith from my heart: “The Spirit brings forth the beauty of holiness as a diamond cut and polished. The work of His hand is perfect and our labour is not in vain, for through the work of salvation, we are His crowning glory.”
This sacrifice was offered by Apostle Eric: “God in the form of the flesh set Himself as a pattern for our faith by giving us commandments to serve Him in holiness and godly fear.”
This prophecy is from Apostle John: “Blessed are they who behold, embrace, and gain from Christ, for their faith remains steadfast and their hearts remain tethered to Him.”
This prophecy is from Teacher Adina: “If we reflect our worth by the flesh we deny the glory of God. We replace our trust in the world with the fulness of Christ.” And another sacrifice from her that strengthened my heart: “Our fruit glorifies God because it testifies of Him.”
And lest we think that service at the altar of Christ is for the government of God alone, I’d like to share a few spiritual sacrifices from Seth, Teacher Adina’s son. He is 12 years old and has been offering sacrifices for a few years now. Faith is for the little children as well as the adults because grace is not restricted to age or gender. Believers of all ages and all walks of life have begun to pick up their priesthood duties at the altar of Christ.
“We must learn the language of Christ before we become a faithful servant.”
“We are building God’s kingdom. Not with our hands, but with our tongues.”
“Partaking of God’s bread we are keeping our separation fresh.”
Seth once said to me, “I like offering spiritual sacrifices to God because I gain a new perspective that helps me overcome.”
The International Prayer Assembly (IPA) is the last Saturday of every month. You are invited. As we join in prayer together and spiritual sacrifices are being offered to God from the four corners of the earth, I want you to envision each sacrifice as a light of God’s grace that is announcing the advent of the Lord.
Not only is the church preparing for the coming of the Lord, Jesus, but the light of Christ announces His presence in our faith. You are welcome to post your sacrifices on our Face Book Team Page here:
Fellowship means: Exchange of substance. This is how it works: We just said that faith is the offspring of His knowledge. This is because the grace of God is in His knowledge, drawing faith from the heart. God issues grace to evoke faith.
God daily gives us Jesus Christ as the Gift of Life, unfolding Christ to our understanding. The power of His grace accompanies His truth, filling our hearts with faith, love, joy, and hope. We, in return, give to the Father words of prophecy the understanding we gained by the Spirit. He in return again fills our heart with grace and we walk in the strength of that spiritual food.
This is what God wants for us, to walk in the fulness of Christ, to experience His deliverance, to have grace to share with each other (1 John 1:3).
Prophecy is a Promise of God
The New Testament priesthood prophecy is a promise of God found in Joel 2:28, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28)
This promise was fulfilled in Jesus Christ and recalled in the book of Acts for the church (Acts 2:17).
Do you remember what prophecy is? It is the testimony of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10).
Let’s now reflect on what we have learned thus far and offer to God spiritual sacrifices of prophecy. I’m going to give you are few examples.
Prophecy is God’s promise fulfilled in Jesus Christ, shielding us from the promises of Satan.
When we share the same substance of Christ we are said to be partakers of Him.
True charity identifies the fellowship of the Spirit by the token of Christ.
With each sacrifice we lift up the name of Jesus as the token of our peace.
Use these lines to review the lesson and scriptures to offer your own spiritual sacrifices to God:
A Kingdom of Priests
It's necessary to compare the Christian priesthood of the Second Covenant by first taking a look at the First Covenant priesthood. God called Abraham out from among all people and made of him the great nation of Israel, and out of that called nation God chose the tribe of Levi to serve Him as priests at His altar. Yet the Lord, speaking through Moses, spoke about a “kingdom of priests, “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine; and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6).
We know that not all of Israel functioned as priests, but only the tribe of Levi. So then, what was God talking about? God was already making known the priesthood of Jesus Christ and how He would open the door for all to serve Him and minister to Him at an altar of faith.
Upon receiving a heavenly vision, Levi prophesied with regards to his tribe putting on the robes of the priesthood. He also prophesied about a new priesthood, which would be through Jesus Christ and through which He would be exalted in the world; “Then shall the Lord raise up a new priest [Jesus Christ]. And to Him all the words of the Lord shall be revealed; and He shall execute a righteous judgment upon the earth for a multitude of days. And His star shall arise in heaven as of a king (Matthew 2:2). Lighting up the light of knowledge as the sun the day (2 Corinthians 4:6), and He shall be magnified in the world. And in His priesthood the Gentiles shall be multiplied in knowledge upon the earth, and enlightened through the grace of the Lord (Isaiah 60:3). In His priesthood shall sin come to an end, and the lawless shall cease to do evil” (Testament of Levi 5:13-16, 25).
Isaiah 61:6 reads, “But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God.” Priests minister to God at an altar. The priesthood of Levi centered on offering the sacrifices of animals for the sins of the people, as the priests bore the responsibility of carrying out those duties at a physical altar in a physical temple.
But then Jesus Christ bore the responsibility of our redemption as High Priest, setting a pattern for a new priesthood by shedding His own blood for the sins of the world and setting or establishing the terms of the New Covenant in Himself. Therefore, we now minister to God at Jesus’ spiritual altar in the spiritual temples of our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19).
The First Covenant altar was made of stones, which symbolically pointed to Christ. As such, Christ was seen “in part”. The Second Covenant altar is Christ Himself; we no longer see Him in part, but worship at His altar to receive His fullness as we daily experience the reality of His work within us.
How did the stones of the physical altar point towards Christ? In I Kings 18:31-38 we see that Elijah took 12 stones and built an altar. The 12 stones represented the 12 tribes of Israel, and the altar represented the faith of Israel as one. Speaking of Christ and the Second Covenant altar, God gave knowledge to build faith through 12 Elements of the Gospel: grace, faith, righteousness, justification, sanctification, holiness, peace, rest, charity, truth, regeneration, and the renewing of the mind. Christ is seen in each stone (element). By this we observe how God gives structure to faith through truth, and how faith is built in the heart by that pattern to glorify God. As apostle Paul wrote, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
So then, the altar of our faith is built with the stones of Christ's knowledge, which in turn builds His virtues within our hearts. We can clearly see how God provided for the unity of the faith through the knowledge of Christ, and how we are to serve God with one mind and one heart at the altar of Christ. For apostle Paul wrote, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).
As we compare these two altars we will see the pattern of Christ hidden in the old, as well as Christ and His redemptive work revealed in the new. Clearly our responsibility to serve God and minister to Him is at the Second Covenant altar of Jesus Christ, which is constructed with the knowledge of Christ.
Apostle Paul wrote about the altar of Christ in Hebrews 13:10, "We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle”. Several things become obvious. First, we cannot serve God our own way, but only in the manner of the priesthood He has sanctified in Himself; second, God nourishes the soul as we minister to Him; and third, we cannot serve Christ in the tabernacle of Moses with those First Covenant commandments and tools.