Christian Churches of God
Priesthood of Eloah
from Messiah Onwards
(Edition 1.0 20071210-20071210)
In this paper we will continue our study of the priesthood. We will focus on the time from Messiah through to the Millennium.
Priesthood of Eloah from Messiah Onwards
As we start this study let us look at Hebrews 7 and see what is said about the priesthood.
Hebrews 7:11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchiz'edek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? (RSV)
Thus the change of the priesthood related also to a change in the Law. Melchisedek was of an order, which was re-instituted in Messiah and the elect. The Levitical priesthood was prevented by death from continuing in office. They will partake of the Second Resurrection. The Order of Melchisedek will partake of the First Resurrection. Those of the elect have a better resurrection (Heb. 11:35).
Our calling and responsibilities
From the Old and New Testaments we see that Eloah has called us to be priests and kings (Ex 19:5, 6; Rev. 1: 5, 6; Rev. 5:9, 10; 1Pet. 2: 9, 10).
From Introduction to the priesthood of Eloah over time (No. CB115), we have learned that there were three main orders or categories of the Priesthood:
o Zadok will be the physical priesthood assisted by Levi in the Millennium when a physical Temple will again be built. The structure of the tribes will differ from that of the Temple Period up until Christ.
We also have learned that priests have responsibilities in five main areas in relation to the Law of Eloah:
We know from Hebrews 5:4 it is God that calls each one of us to be a king and priest.
Hebrews 5:4 But no one can have the honor of being a high priest simply by wanting to be one. Only God can choose a priest, and God is the one who chose Aaron. (CEV)
Christ was sent to replace Aaron and to establish a new priesthood.
By our actions we sanctify or make the nation and people holy so they can know the truth and repent in sanctification of the nations. We will talk of the sanctification process later on.
Holiness unto the Lord
From Exodus 28 we see how the High Priest is Holy and Dedicated to God and took away the sin of the people.
Exodus 28:36 And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be. And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD. (KJV)
Exodus 28:36 On a narrow strip of pure gold engrave the words: “Dedicated to the LORD." Fasten it to the front of Aaron's turban with a blue cord, so he can wear it on his forehead. This will show that he will take on himself the guilt for any sins the people of Israel commit in offering their gifts to me, and I will forgive them. (CEV)
We see from the New Testament, God is Holy and we too are to become Holy.
Ephesians 4:24 And put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (KJV)
We learn from the OT that Eloah is Holy (Ps. 99:3,5,9), His name is Holy (Ps. 99:3) and we are to worship at His holy hill (Ps 99:9). In the lessons on the Temple Solomon Built, we reviewed where God’s holy hill is and why it is important. Here we see the priests of God ministering to God on the people’s behalf at His holy hill.
Threefold Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy is qadowsh (SHD 6918); sacred, holy, Holy One, saint, set apart.
From Symbolism of Numbers (No. 7) we know the number three represents completeness.
Therefore, we see an aspect of complete Holiness being alluded to in Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8, which of course can only be referring to the One True God, Eloah.
In Isaiah 6:3 we see the first occurrence of the threefold Holy, Holy and Holy
Isaiah 6:1-4 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
Here we see even the Temple doorposts moved at the announcement.
In Revelation 4:8ff., we see this threefold Holy, Holy, Holy being used again.
Revelation 4:8-11 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
"Which was, is, and is to come" means: the eternal structure of God’s perfection. It carries the meaning also that God was holy in the past, is holy at this very moment, and will also be found holy in the future.
In Revelation 4:8, we see the four Living Creatures continually reciting or saying: “Holy, Holy, Holy”, since Eloah is the creator and made all things perfect. He knew the end from the beginning and set up a perfect plan that would allow all mankind and the fallen Host to be part of His family, living under His Laws at some point in history.
Bullinger has an interesting comment in his footnote to Psalm 93:1: “This explains the cry of the Zoa of Revelation 4:8 because His judgments will prepare the way for His reign”.
The text in Psalm 93 begins with the words: The Lord reigneth. Three Psalms begin this way (Ps. 93, 97 and 99). The last Psalm ends with Holy, Holy, Holy. This is the cry of the Zoa in Revelation 4:8.
From Isaiah 23:18 and Zechariah 14:20-21, we see the concept that all will be holy when the Reign of God under the millennial system begins. God’s Judgments prepare the way for His reign. Christ and the Church are fundamental to the establishment of that reign.
We know God gave us His Laws. We all need to be about our Father’s business doing the essential components of the Laws, as is the responsibility of the priests in establishing the Laws of Eloah on the planet, once God has spoken to them through the mouth of His servants, the prophets.
It behooves all of us to try to understand more fully how each one of us can follow Messiah’s example and become holy to our God and Father.
Let us look at the priesthood of Eloah from Yahoshua/Iesuo, called Jesus, coming to Earth as man, and qualifying to pay the price for the sin of all mankind and the fallen Host. When he was anointed above his partners he became our High Priest, who is now seated at the right hand of the Father.
For more information on the previous priesthoods see Introduction to the Priesthood of Eloah (No. CB115); The Priesthood of Eloah in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness (No. CB116); and Priesthood of Eloah: Reorganisation under David (No. CB117).
Let us now look at how things changed under Messiah.
Messiah as High Priest
We have learned from many lessons how Messiah was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world and came to the Earth, firstly to be the perfect sacrifice that would restore us back to the Father from the sinful state we were in.
No more need of sacrifices
The sacrificing of animals, as a reminder of sin, was no longer necessary after Jesus Christ was sacrificed as the Lamb of God to die for the sins of this world (Heb. 10:4-10; 12-18).
Christ fulfilled all aspects of the sacrificial system. He is pictured as the sin offering in Psalm 22; Burnt offering in Psalm 40; Trespass offering in Psalm 69 (see the fn. to Ps. 69 Comp. Bible); Drink offering in 2Timothy 4:6; and Philippians 2:17 (see fn. to Phil. 2:17, Comp. Bible).
From his ascending or going up to the Father at 9:00 a.m. on the morning of the Wave Sheaf in 30 CE, Messiah was anointed above his fellows (Heb. 1:9; Ps. 45:7) and qualified to be our High Priest.
The Church was started in 30 CE when the Holy Spirit was freely given. No longer would the priests only be of Aaronic bloodlines assisted only by Levites. With the appointment of the seventy[-two] by Christ in Luke 10:1,17, the authority of the Sanhedrin was transferred to the Church. Jesus Christ is now High Priest of the Order of Melchisedek. These ideas are covered in the Book of Hebrews. See also the paper Melchisedek (No. 128).
The Temple proper was destroyed in 70 CE. From Pentecost 30 CE, the structure was changed. The inner elect themselves became the naos or the Temple in which God resided as the Holy of Holies, and the Church continued to be built with spiritual building blocks, which we are (1Cor. 3:17). The Ark of the Covenant is no longer necessary because we are the Ark of the Covenant. The Holy Spirit places the Law in us as the Law was placed in the Ark (see the paper The Ark of the Covenant (No. 196) and Holy of Holies and Ark of the Covenant (No. CB112).
We know that the City of God will be a spiritual edifice or building. God continues to work with each one of us to shape us into a perfect stone that will serve His purpose and fit perfectly in the body of true believers.
Haggai 2:1-9 tells us the glory of the latter house will be better than the first.
Haggai 2:7-9 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. 9 The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.
We have seen that Christ did not exalt or appoint himself to become a High Priest. He was appointed by God who was his God (Heb. 1:8-9). As Christ was appointed a priest, so too are we appointed to follow him in that priesthood. See The Mysteries of God (No. 131).
The Prophet Malachi explains some of what happened with the Levitical priesthood.
Malachi 2:3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it. (KJV)
Here we see that one of the sacrifices of the Feasts would take the priesthood away with it. This korban or victim was Jesus Christ, or Yahoshua (Joshua) the Messiah, as the Passover Lamb. He removed the Levitical priesthood and permanently re-instituted the Melchisedek priesthood. See the paper The Harvests of God, the New Moon Sacrifices, and the 144,000 (No. 120).
The Spirit of the Lord was to remain with the people, and this only happened, on a permanent basis, from the Church. Haggai 2:6 is quoted in Hebrews 12:26-27.
Hebrews 12:26-27 His voice then shook the earth; but now he has promised, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven." 27 This phrase, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of what is shaken, as of what has been made, in order that what cannot be shaken may remain. (RSV)
This is a direct warning from Messiah that this prophecy refers to the final shaking of the heavens and the earth so that what cannot be shaken will remain. This shaking commences with the Temple of God, which is the Church, being the naos or Holy of Holies (1Cor. 3:17). Therefore, let us be grateful to God for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Heb. 12:28).
As long as we remain obedient to God, He will protect us as others and the world around us continue to rebel against His Laws and receive the punishment for not obeying God.
The Temple is still being built of living stones and God will not allow a physical structure or temple to operate on an ongoing basis until Messiah returns and Judah is converted. Only people who repent and are baptized are able to be part of the process. The kingdoms of this world are overthrown. The unclean will be cleansed and will be called Holy to the Lord.
It is God and Christ that sanctify or set us apart to be holy. We know we have our part to aid God in the sanctification of the Temple (see also Ezek. 20:12; 36:23; 37:28 and papers: Sanctification of the Temple of God (No. 241); Sanctification of the Simple and Erroneous (No. 291); and FAQ on Ezekiel Chapters 36-48 and the Sanctification of the Temple (No. 292).
This sanctification process must be done correctly, as we see from Isaiah 66:17, or those people will suffer destruction.
Historically, Levi was responsible firstly for the Tabernacle in its erection and its movement and maintenance. David then set the Priests and Levites in responsibilities for the Temple both for its maintenance and for sanctification of the Temple; and then for the Millennium in the physical sense with the sons of Zadok (see Ezek. 44:15-24; cf. 46:20), this function now rests with the Church as the priesthood of Melchisedek (see the paper Melchisedek (No. 128) and Sanctification of the Temple of God (No. 241).
The Priesthood served in rotation with the tribes for twenty-four divisions with two divisions to a tribe. The division served in rotation but for all Holy Day periods the entire divisions were on duty. For Sabbaths and New Moons and Holy Days the High Priest robed and officiated in the Temple.
The tribes were responsible for maintaining prayer vigils in their inheritance while the divisional Priests were at the Temple and the other division of Priests and Levites were at the tribal duties in worship in the tribe.
The Millennial Temple and line of Zadok
In Ezekiel 40-43 we see the Millennial Temple described. The Temple is both physical and spiritual; this will be the first in history where the physical and spiritual temple function with the priests of Eloah at the same time. Here we see that the line of Zadok remained loyal and obedient to Eloah. They will be the physical ministering priesthood in the Millennium.
We see some of the details of the physical priesthood from Ezekiel. They have charge of the altar and sacrifices associated with it.
Ezekiel 40:46 And the chamber whose prospect [is] toward the north [is] for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the altar these [are] the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi which come near to the LORD to minister unto him.
Ezekiel 43:19 And thou shalt give to the priests the Levites that be of the seed of Zadok, which approach unto me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord GOD a young bullock for a sin offering
Ezekiel 44:15 But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD:
We realize that the period of Just Rule and the building and implementing of the Temple structure will be a process that takes a period of time over a sequence or series of years.
From Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary we see Zadok (SHD 6659) means righteous. At this point in time, Satan and the fallen Host will be bound, and the period of Just Rule will be established by Messiah. The Law of Eloah will go out over all the lands. The physical priesthood will be under the line of Zadok.
Ezekiel 48:11 [It shall be] for the priests that are sanctified of the sons of Zadok; which have kept my charge, which went not astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray.
Outside of the Inner Gate were the chambers of the singers of the inner court, which was at the side of the North Gate looking south, which was for the priests who were the keepers of the charge of the house (Ezek. 40:45). The chambers looking north were for the priests who were the keepers of the charge of the altar. These were to be of the sons of Zadok and the sons of Levi (Ezek. 40:46). Thus in these Last Days we are to see the conversion of the sons of Levi and through Zadok.
From this time the ordinances of the altar are established. The Priest of Zadok will continue with the offerings of the restoration. As mentioned, Zadok means the righteous and it is in righteousness that the restoration will be completed as holy to the Lord. It will be for seven days that they will purge the altar with offerings and consecrate themselves, and on the eighth day they will offer their burnt offerings on the altar and God will accept His people, so says the Lord God (Ezek. 44:26-27). See The Sabbath Message Sanctification of the Simple and Erroneous 7/1/29/120 and The Golden Jubilee and the Millennium (No. 300).
The spiritual Temple of God was started from Pentecost 30 CE, which was the Third year of the cycle after the Jubilee of 27 CE. From the First Resurrection the Spiritual elements of the Church will be on duty at Jerusalem permanently.
The physical Temple and structures will be commenced in Jerusalem from the beginning of the 121st Jubilee cycle in 2028 through until the completion of the structures in Jerusalem, along similar lines to Solomon’s Temple.
However, Messiah will return before the Jubilee and the First Resurrection will occur before the Jubilee and the Third year before the Jubilee will see the conversions and the reconstruction of the priesthood at Jerusalem for the Jubilee.
The commencement of the Temple structure will follow the Restoration from the Jubilee.
The Laws requiring that priests not to drink while officiating will still stand. The requirement to marry a virgin reinforces the spiritual aspects of the role of the priest (cf. Lev. 19:8-9)
See the following papers for more details: The Golden Jubilee and the Millennium (No. 300); The Golden Jubilee and the Millennium Part II: Israel and the Surrounding Nations (No. 300B and Haggai (No. 21).
The faithful priesthood is responsible (as kings and priests, Rev. 1:6) to perform certain duties before God. They have a responsibility to officiate (2Chr. 8:14) in the (spiritual) Temple of God. Among these duties is prayer (Joel 2:17) for the people, even this whole nation. They are to set a personal example (Lev. 10:8-10), and to know the Law (Mal. 2:7) well enough to teach it to the nation (Lev. 10:11). God has consistently had a few people through the centuries who have been faithful in keeping these and other duties. For more information see FAQ on Ezekiel Chapters 36-48 and the Sanctification of the Temple (No. 292)
At the end of the Millennium, Satan will be released and the war of the end will result; after that Satan, as a spiritual being, will no longer exist. He will be made a man and be resurrected in the Great White Throne Judgement (Isa. 14:15-20; cf. the paper The Judgment of the Demons (No. 80)). See also God's Holy Days (No. CB22) and The Creation of the Family of God (No. CB4).
After everyone is willing to obey God there will be the handover to the Father and we will see the City of God on the planet.
The City of God
In the City of God, the Father relocates His Throne to Earth once sin is removed from the planet. The Bible is not clear what God’s Plan holds for the time following that. Yet we know God does not sit idle; exactly what He is planning is not fully clear. However, we do know that the universe will be ruled from the Earth and the City of God will be a Spiritual Temple where men and Angels rule together under God and Christ empowered through the Holy Spirit.
It is up to us to work and fulfil our role in the Temple of God. We have to get the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven out to the world while there is still time to do so.
As God’s perfect plan involved the priesthood, Messiah qualified to be our High Priest and is currently functioning in that capacity.
As Christ was appointed a priest, so too are we appointed to follow him in that priesthood. He was made perfect as we are to be made perfect. We are required to work in the Faith. We have a duty and responsibility to work towards the teaching of the word of God to the world and bringing all to be acceptable sacrifices to God.
1Peter 2:4-5 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (KJV)
Let us all do our part so that the word of God is greatly increased and many become obedient to the Faith.
Acts 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
May we all continue to move forward in doing the work of the Living God, so we can be cleaned, made perfect and be called holy unto the Lord, and rule with Christ as kings and priests in and from Jerusalem. From Zechariah we see that all things will be holiness unto the Lord.
Zechariah 14:20-21 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD's house shall be like the bowls before the altar. 21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts. (KJV)
May it be said of us that we put on the new man of Ephesians 4:24 and are holy unto the Lord.
Ephesians 4:24:And put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (KJV)
Let us all do as Psalm 99:9 instructs.
Psalm 99:9 exalt the Lord our God and worship at His Holy Hill for the Lord our God is Holy.
Let us all move forward to be priests of Eloah ruling with Christ from Jerusalem.