Apostes Prepare Believers for Their Priesthood
Lesson 8 of 13
By laying the foundation of truth within the heart Christians are prepared to serve God, as priests, at the altar of Christ.
You also as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an 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. (1 Peter 2:9).
God Provided an example through Moses
Moses represented spiritual government in the First Covenant. Moses was an individual selected by God to preserve knowledge and sanctify the people. This is why the Lord spoke to Moses to cleanse the Levites. God’s purpose in cleansing the Levites was to prepare them to serve Him as priests:
Numbers 8:5-7: "And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, 6Take the Levites from among the children of Israel, and cleanse them.’ 7Thus shall you do unto them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them, and let them shave all their flesh, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean."
After they were cleansed by spiritual government (Moses), the Levites functioned in their priesthood, serving God by the pattern, which God showed Moses; “Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” (Hebrews 8:5)
Separation for Cleansing
Moses was a type and shadow of Jesus Christ and by this example we understand the need for separation and cleansing by God’s pattern through a governmental head for service to God. Apostles (as Moses) are individuals selected by God to preserve the knowledge of Christ and sanctify the people for their priestly service to God at the altar of Jesus Christ.
All believers are called “priests” because they do priestly service to the Lord through the spiritual sacrifices of their faith (1 Peter 2:5,9). Just as the Levites needed to first be cleansed by Moses before they could function in their priesthood, so must believers also be first prepared in truth before they can function in their priesthood to serve God through Jesus Christ. Moses was the knowledge steward of the Old Covenant; apostles are the knowledge stewards of the New Covenant.
Truth cleanses: Jesus is returning the church to the purity of the faith. Moses used water to cleanse the Levite priests, but Jesus uses truth to cleanse believers called to be priests of the second covenant. As He said, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3).
Truth is a form of separation: Moses washed the Levites as a form of “separation” as we read in Numbers 8:14: “Thus shalt thou separate the Levites from among the children of Israel: and the Levites shall be mine.” Separation is always for the purpose of function. Moses separated the Levites for service unto God, in order to instruct them about how they were to function as priests to the Lord. Jesus also commanded His apostles to instruct the church saying, “Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). Jesus separates us unto Himself by His government, His truth, and His Spirit.
Truth prepares the heart to serve God: Moses washed the Levites to “prepare” them to function as priests. So, too, does the washing of truth prepare the heart to serve God at the altar of Christ. By truth we are prepared to walk in righteousness; “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6:15). We see then how truth is a form of cleansing to remove the traditions of man, how by instruction of truth the soul is separated unto the gospel of Jesus Christ, and how truth prepares the heart to serve God.