This series on the priesthood and ministry is essential knowledge for all those who have been called out to the spiritual priesthood of the resurrection to eternal life (Rev 1:6, 5:10).
How can anyone become an eternal spiritual priest without knowing and understanding the duties and functions of a priest and of the priesthood?
This study into the Mosaic System will be followed by studies into the Christian Dispensation Ministry followed by the eternal spiritual priesthood.
The Mosaic system consisted of five parts: The Levites, the Aaronic Priesthood, the Civil Administrative system and the Prophets and Nazarites.
The purpose of this series is to:
- Explain the various parts of the Mosaic system and their instructional allegorical application to the spiritual New Covenant, as well as explaining the situation in Judea in the first century with the Sadducee’s, Scribes and Pharisees.
- Explain the New Covenant ministry in the intervening period between the first century and the establishment of the New Covenant in its fullness with ALL flesh at the coming of Christ (Joel 2:28), and
- Explain the New Covenant system after the coming of Messiah the Christ including the Ezekiel Temple, the physical and spiritual priesthood and the Civil Administration from that time onward.
- Explain the Temple and the Sacrificial System.
To complete this Lesson:
Second: Study this lesson
Third: Study through the book of Hebrews.
Forth: Reread this lesson
The prerequisites and follow up study will take a few days to properly complete, but the whole package is essential for a good understanding of the subject
EVERYTHING in the scriptures was written for the instruction of those called into the New Covenant. That includes the Mosaic priesthood, administration, Levites, Nazarites and Prophets, the Temple and the Sacrificial System.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Brethren, the whole of scripture was written for us today and all mankind. The whole of scripture was for our instruction and for our example, not just the New Testament.
All aspects of the Mosaic Covenant were an instructional allegory of a New Covenant (Jer 31:31), so that by learning these things we can have a much better understanding of the spiritual things of the New Covenant.
After the Creator called Israel out of Egypt, he called Levi out of Israel to leave the twelve tribes of Israel and become the tribe of God. At that time – in order to maintain the tribes of Israel at twelve – the tribe of Joseph was split into two portions, Joseph being given double portion through his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh.
After the Creator called Israel out of Egypt, he called Levi out of the twelve tribes of Israel to become the tribe of God. At that time – in order to maintain the tribes of Israel at twelve – the tribe of Joseph was split into two portions, Joseph being given double portion through his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh.
Then after Levi was called out of Israel to be the tribe of God, Aaron and his sons were called out of the tribe of Levi to be the priests of God. All priests were Levites, but all Levites were not priests.
From that time the Levitical Priests were to offer the Daily and Festival Sacrifices on behalf of the whole nation and to officiate in offering the sacrifices brought by individuals, they were also to judge all Israel in matters of the law of God; while the remainder of Levi were to help and support the Priests by fulfilling all other necessary functions.
Those Levites who were not descendants of Aaron, served as aides to the priests, doing things like helping to prepare the sacrifices.
The Levites carried the Tabernacle and its vessels during the wanderings in the desert. Later Levites served as the honor guard, gatekeepers, singers and musicians of the Temple. They also assisted the Priests [Kohanim] in preparing the offerings and in other aspects of the Temple’s functioning.
The non priest Levites made repairs when needed, and served as musicians, singers and doorkeepers, including security and crowd management (Numbers 1:50-53; 3:6-9; 4:1-33; I Chronicles 23). They would also have made the priestly garments and such utensils as were needed in the Tabernacle – Temple service.
The Levites also pastured the tithed animals in their suburbs, from which the animals for the Daily and Festival Sacrifices were taken, as well as animals for the their own sustenance.
The Levites and Priests together were also tasked to be the teachers of Israel
Deuteronomy 33:8 And of Levi he said, Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah; 33:9 Who said unto his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children: for they have observed thy word, and kept thy covenant. 33:10 They shall teach Jacob thy judgments, and Israel thy law: they [and those Levites called out to be Priests] shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon thine altar.
Josiah tell us that the Levites were the teachers of Israel
II Chronicles 35:3 And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the Lord, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the Lord your God, and his people Israel,
The Ezra revival began with the Priests and Levites teaching the Word of God to the people
Nehemiah 8:5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: 8:6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 8:7 Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.
The Levites and Priests together set up Synagogues [David writes of such meeting places or schools in Psalm 74] throughout the land, teaching the people the Word of God from their 48 Levitical cities and also served as God’s scribes, copying and preserving the Holy Scriptures (II Chronicles 34:13).
Part of the inheritance of the Levites including the Levitical Priests; consisted of forty-eight cities spread throughout the land (Numbers 35:6-7).
Of these forty-eight cities, six were designated as cities of refuge. The cities were Kedesh, Shechem, Hebron, Bezer, Romath, and Golan (Joshua 20:7-8). These six cities served as Judicial Centers to which persons accused of murder could seek justice from the Priests. These six cities would have been primarily occupied by the Levitical Priests because the Priests were to be the nation’s judges.
Israel also had a civil administration to judge the people, which will be discussed in another article; and if issues particularly involving God’s law were too difficult for the Civil Administration they were to be referred to the Priesthood.
Deuteronomy 17:8 If there arise a matter too hard for thee [a matter that the civil administration cannot handle] in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the Lord thy God shall choose; 17:9 And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:
The Levitical Priests were judges in Israel concerning the Word of God
Deuteronomy 21:5 And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them the Lord thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the Lord; and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried:
I Chronicles 23:4 So when David was old and full of days, he made Solomon his son king over Israel. 23:2 And he gathered together all the princes of Israel, with the priests and the Levites. 23:3 Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man, was thirty and eight thousand. 23:4 Of which, twenty and four thousand [Levites and Priests] were to set forward the work of the house of the Lord; and six thousand [Levites and priests] were officers and judges:
The priests were also the nation’s regulators. For instance, they were responsible for the accuracy of weights and measures used in Israel (I Chronicles 23:29; Leviticus 19:35-36).
Whereas the other tribes worked the land, the Levites [including the priests] were dependent on small suburbs around their cities to pasture the livestock tithed to them and depended for much of their income on the tithes and gifts of others.
The economics of the tribe of Levi were unique among the tribes of Israel. In contrast to the other tribes, Levites had no inherited portion in the Land of Israel. Forty-two cities and six judicial cities were scattered throughout the portions of the other tribes were set aside as cities for the Levites and the Levitical Priests.
From these cities, the Levites served as spiritual teachers to the people throughout the land of Israel.
Service for the Levites began at the age of 25 (though later changed to 20 under King David) and continued until they reached the age of 50 (Numbers 8:24; I Chronicles 23:3,24-32).
Levites were made to be economically dependent on God and received their wages from the people for their service to them on behalf of God. In exchange for his life’s service, the Levites [including the priests] received God’s ordained sustenance through the required tithing of the nation.
The Levites [along with the Levitical Priests] had periods of faithfulness and of apostasy through history and often fell away from God, and their failure to teach the nation to live by every Word of God was a root cause – along with apostate rulers – of the nations repeated drift into apostasy. This repeated apostasy finally resulted in the Babylonian captivity.
This repeated apostasy of the Levites and Levitical Priests and the correction of those who followed them away from God, is a lesson for us today that even the ministry can often go astray, and we are not to make idols of any ministry or man but we are to remain faithful to live by every Word of God regardless of what some priest or minister teaches.
Future lessons will cover the Ezra restoration and the situation in the first century.
The Male Priesthood and Ministry
After Levi was called out of Israel to be the tribe of God, Aaron and his sons were called out of the tribe of Levi to be the Priests of God.
Exodus 28:1 And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
This command of God signifies that only males may serve as the priests or ministry of God. Women may serve as teachers and may even be called to become prophetesses or even Judges [Deborah being an example] and rulers of the people in the Civil Administration, but they may not serve as priests.
This is because the priests or ministry, serve as types of the spiritual High Priest Melchizedek [who gave up his Godhood to become flesh and give himself as a perfect sacrifice as Jesus Christ]; who as the Husband of Israel must be represented as a male.
The law says that the man is the head of his wife (Gen 3:16, 1 Cor 11:3) and our spiritual High Priest is our Husband and our Head, it is therefore only proper that those acting on behalf of his headship and priesthood also be male.
Melchizedek was always presented as a male and Jesus Christ was a man, therefore those that are types of our spiritual High Priest must be male.
The Implementing Creator, The First High Priest
Genesis 1:26 And God (Elohim, plural: Mighty Ones) said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:.. [From the very beginning, creation is represented as a collaborative effort of two Mighty Beings.]
Genesis 3:22 reflects the same plurality of Beings in the same Family of Beings, And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:..
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God [Elohim; Mighty Ones] created . . . The term translated as “God” here means “Mighty Ones.” The singular of Elohim being El meaning a Lord or Mighty One, a judge or ruler.
Later, because men had made many gods [mighty ones] it was no longer adequate to simply call the true God Elohim [Mighty Ones] since one Elohim would only be one of multitudes of gods; and the Creator Mighty One therefore identified himself to Moses as YHVH to separate YHVH from all the other mighty ones or gods of the nations, and to separate himself from the mighty ones of Egypt.
If you have not done so please see “The Names of God” for a more complete explanation.
This introduced a specific name for the True God Family to differentiate the Creator from other mighty ones [Elohim].
The term Elohim originally meant – until men perverted it – a family of at least two Creator beings; one the Executive Creating Authority who later became God the Father and one the Implementing Creating Authority who later gave up his God-hood to become the Son.
The term Elohim meant at least two creating Beings and the word YHVH also refers to the same two Creator Beings as eternally existing and as separate from all other mighty ones.
The name YHVH means simply “I AM” or “I Am self existent and eternal;” and this description fits and is applicable to BOTH God the Father and the one who became the Son.
In the beginning there were two eternal God Beings called Elohim who characterized themselves as being the YHVH FAMILY of self existing eternal ones.
The Being who was later called God the Father was and is the Executive Authority over the entire universe, and the One who was the actual Implementing Creator and gave up his Godhood to be made flesh and after dying for the sins of mankind was resurrected and ascended back to the Father.
Once the man was created God, the Father left the One who later gave up his Godhood to become flesh as the Son, to care for the man and his wife.
God the Father left because mankind sinned separating humanity from God the Father by their sin and rebellion against the Word of God to do as they would decide for themselves instead of living by every Word of God. If you have not done so please see Lessons 101 to 106 here.
The moment that the woman and the man sinned by acting contrary to the Word of God [the tree in the garden was a test of obedience for them which they failed] that sin separated them from God the Father.
Sin Separates Humanity From God, Requiring an Intercessor (Is 59:1)
Mankind being separated from God the Father by their sin; humanity needed a High Priest [A Mediator between humanity and God the Father] to reconcile humanity back to God the Father!
God, knowing that man could sin and would therefore need reconciliation, from the every beginning the two Beings who became the Father and the Son, together established the means that such a reconciliation could be effected.
That plan of reconciliation between man and God required the sincere repentance of the sinner, an effective sacrifice for sin, and a commitment by the repentant to stop sinning and sin no more. The plan also called for a Mediator or High Priest to reconcile the repentant sinner to God the Father.
When man sinned humanity was cut off and separated from God the Father by that sin (Is 59:1-2); yet the Being who became the Son remained with humanity working to reconcile mankind to God the Father fulfilling the role of a spiritual High Priest [at that time a High Priest made of spirit].
In that role the Implementing Creator was still spirit, yet he appeared in human form from time to time and spoke with many people over many centuries.
The One who became Jesus Christ was the Implementing Creator and after man sinned, this Implementing Creator became the High Priest of God the Father, a Mediator [which mediation between God and man is the job of a High Priest] between God the Father and humanity.
This spiritual High Priest of Intercessor between God the Father and humanity appeared to Adam and Eve in the form of a man and spoke with Cain, Noah, Abraham and doubtless others.
The last time we hear of him in the scriptures before he became flesh, was by he name of Melchizedek when he spoke to Abraham, and later a few times he was seen by Ezekiel and certain prophets.
Melchisedec [from the Greek] is also spelled Melchizedek [from the Hebrew].
Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God [God the Father].
Melchizedek blesses Abram by God the Father; showing that Melchizedek was not the Father in heaven and was the High Priest and Intercessor between man and God the Father in heaven.
Genesis 14:19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 14:20 And blessed be the most high God [he blessed God the Father showing that he was not God the Father but the Intermediary between humanity and God the Father], which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he [Abram] gave him tithes of all [everything including the spoils of the battle].
Notice that Abram recognizes this Being and immediately acknowledges his authority over Abram by giving him a tithe of all. There is no: “Who are you?” or “Why should I give anything to you that came at the risk of life?”! No, there was only an immediate recognition of authority and an immediate submission to that authority. From this it is clear that Adam had experience with and KNEW this Being from previous encounters.
We know that the Creator walked with and taught Adam, Abel, Cain and was likely seen by Noah and many others. We shall also see that the Creator did visit Abram several times and that Abram had no surprise at seeing him. That was because the Implementing Creator appeared to Abram as Melchizedek on multiple occasions and was well known to Abram.
This is the first place that tithes are mentioned in the Bible, and here Abram gives this Melchizedek tithes of the spoil of battle; showing that while Israel was later specifically commanded to tithe on agriculture [because they were an agricultural people]; God the Father is entitled to a tithe of ALL: because he is ultimately the sustainer of ALL things.
Who made you and the earth you stand upon? Who made the air you breath? Who gave you the wisdom and skill to make clothes or cars? Who provided the metals and minerals you utilize?
To claim that God requires tithes in payment for land used agriculturally only; and then ignore that God is the maker, and overseer, and owner of ALL things; is myopic and self delusional. Shall we say then, that the potter, the tailor, or the inn keeper need not go up to the Feast’s of God because they have no tithe on their labours? Shall we say that God is not equitable; taking from one endeavor and not from others?
Israel was at that time an agrarian society so God commanded them in agrarian terms; but the principle that we are to acknowledge the gifts of God to us is not limited to agricultural things at all!
Abram gave a tenth of the spoil to acknowledge that God had given him victory with safety, and had delivered his nephew will al the captives! There was nothing agricultural in the motives and the giving at all. The law plainly says that the labourer is worthy of his wages, no matter what his job; and that those who serve in the gospel should have a reasonable living from their work.
Tithing on all our net increase, acknowledges God the Father [and he who became the Son] as ALL in all; the fountain of all knowledge and wisdom, and all of creation!
Notice that the tithe was given to Jesus Christ in the form of Melchizedek, revealing that this Melchizedek had a right to receive our tithes being the ultimate Implementing Creator of humanity!
This makes it clear that the priesthood of the Implementing Creator who became Jesus Christ has the overriding right to receive tithes [by virtue of having made and owning all things] even above the Aaronic priesthood.
Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God [The Most High God; that is God the Father].
The name Melchizedek means: “king of righteousness” consisting of two words, Melek-King, Zedek-Righteousness; which is the interpretation of his name. This person was also known as the King of Salem meaning king of peace.
This Being was the King of Righteousness, meaning that he was the ultimate example of righteousness which is something exclusive to God, therefore this Being was a member of the God Family!
The whole Word of God is the righteousness of God defined in print; and that Word, being the righteousness of God, brings peace; first between man and God and then between like minded people.
Therefore this Melchizedek as king of peace and the king of righteousness was the ultimate Mediator between mankind and God the Father High Priest of all humanity.
Melchizedek is spelled with a “Z” from the Hebrew; and with an “S” when translated from the Greek.
Hebrews 7:1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem [peace], priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made [was] like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
The word Melchisedec means ruler or king or high priest by divine right; having an absolute authority and an absolute right to that office, because he was righteousness personified.
Melchisedec is here referred to as the king of Salem, the word Salem meaning peace; referring to him as our High Priest bringing reconciliation and peace between man and God the Father.
Melchisedec was King of Righteousness and King of Peace. And both of those titles fit and apply to Jesus Christ.
7:4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. 7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the [Mosaic] law, that is, [to take tithes] of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: 7:6 But he whose descent is not counted from [he who existed BEFORE and was not descended from Levi, FIRST took tithes] them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him [Melchisedec (Christ) blessed Abraham and through Abraham also blessed Levi] that had the promises. 7:7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.
That is, although he was not a descendant of Levi, Melchisedec existed before Levi and was greater than Levi.
Levi payed tithes to Christ [the Melchisedec priesthood] through his ancestor Abraham; later Levi was called to be God’s tribe, yet he was still only taking tithes on behalf of Christ, as the representative of the Husband of Israel; Melchisedec who later became flesh as Jesus Christ! Which means that we are to tithe to the New Covenant priesthood of Melchisedec today just as Abraham did!
7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. 7:9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. 7:10 For he was yet in the loins of his father [Abraham], when Melchisedec met him [received tithes of Abraham].
7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
The Death of the Husband, Ended the Mosaic Covenant and its Aaronic Priesthood
The law concerning the priesthood of Aaron was annulled by the end of the Mosaic Covenant [with the death of the Husband of that Covenant], and the pre-existing priesthood of Melchisedec [Jesus Christ] has been restored.
7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
The Implementing Creator and spiritual High Priest Intercessor between man and God the Father- called Melchizedek. was the Being who married Israel at Sinai. He was not only the Husband of Israel but also the spiritual High Priest of Israel, above the physical Aaronic priesthood; which physical priesthood was only an allegory of the spiritual priesthood
Isaiah 54:5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
The Mosaic Covenant placed a son of Levi as a physical High Priest; and when the Mosaic Covenant ended by the death of the Husband [the Creator of all things, Husband of Mosaic Israel and spiritual High Priest who had given up his Godhood to be made flesh]; a new spiritual Covenant [Ez 11:19, 36:26, Jer 31:31) was offered to the called out of all nations to become a spiritual Israel with a new High Priest; not of Aaron, but a restoration of the direct Priesthood of Melchisedec [the resurrected Jesus Christ].
Jesus Christ [Melchisedec] was God; who gave up his God-hood to be made flesh and placed in the womb of Mary to be born into Judah.
7:13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe [Judah], of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
7:15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 7:6 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 7:17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
The physical priesthood of Aaron could only mediate the physical Mosaic Covenant which had no spiritual promises and no promise of eternal life. Therefore there was need of a better spiritual High Priest to mediate a true spiritual reconciliation with God the Father and bring in a spiritual New Covenant with better promises.
7:18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before [the Mosaic Marriage Covenant ended with the death of the Husband] for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
The New Covenant With an Eternal Spirit High Priest
The spiritual New Covenant gives humanity a better hope [of eternal life as spirit] and therefore a better [a spiritual] High Priest to reconcile us to God the Father, bringing the gift of the Holy Spirit and eternal life to all who would live by every Word of God.
A better New Covenant, with a better sacrifice than animals, with better promises, and with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to enable us to KEEP that New Covenant; is now overseen directly by a spiritual and eternal High Priest.
Indeed the Melchizedek priesthood had always existed and was even mediating between God the Father and a few spiritually called out, during the Mosaic Aaronic dispensation. We know this because Moses, Joshua and others were given the Holy Spirit via that spiritual mediation.
The Mosaic Covenant and the priesthood of Aaron was limited to mediating the physical Mosaic Covenant, as an instructional allegory of the spiritual priesthood of Melchisedec [Jesus Christ], which reconciles the sincerely repentant with God the Father on the spiritual level of the New Covenant.
7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh [are reconciled to God the Father] unto God.
The New Covenant makes one perfect through sincere repentance, the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God and the indwelling of God’s Spirit, married to a dedicated zeal to become like God our Father in heaven.
The law made nothing perfect, being unable to atone for PAST sin.
The physical sacrifices of the Mosaic Covenant were an allegorical type of the spiritual New Covenant, but could not reconcile anyone spiritually to God the Father.
Only the sacrifice of the Creator himself could reconcile the sincerely repentant to God the Father; for the wages of sin [which is death] must be paid.
7:20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he [Christ] was made [High] priest: 7:21 (For those priests [of Levi] were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) 7:22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament [the High Priest of the New Covenant].
Because the men of Levi died in their generations there was a continual change of high priests; but the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ is eternal; existing from Adam as Melchisedec, right to the present; and the priesthood of Levi actually served the spiritual High Priest, the Husband of Israel, Jesus Christ [Melchisedec].
The Mosaic high priest and priesthood served Mosaic Israel under the spiritual High Priesthood of Melchisedec, therefore the passing of the Mosaic priesthood left the priesthood of Melchisedec as the only remaining priesthood of God!
Melchisedec [Jesus Christ] was the spiritual Husband of Israel that Levi served! After he gave up his Godhood to become flesh and die for humanity, the Mosaic Marriage Covenant and with it the Aaronic priesthood ended; but with the resurrection of Melchisedec, Jesus Christ [Hebrew: Yeshua Meshaich], the High Priesthood of Melchisedec between mankind and God the Father was established as an eternal spiritual High Priesthood, Mediating and reconciling all humanity to God the Father on the spiritual level of the New Covenant!
The New Covenant is only offered to Israel, yet it will save all humanity; because all humanity will be grafted into a new spiritual Israel composed of all nations and peoples!
7:23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 7:24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
7:26 For such an [spiritual] high priest [was suitable to be an eternal High Priest] became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners [without sin and set apart from all sinners], and made higher than the heavens;
Jesus Christ the eternal High Priest offered up himself as the Creator of Humanity, who being worth more that all humanity and being without any sin; was a perfect sacrifice and need be offered only once to atone for all the sins of all humanity; While the physical sacrifices of animals only served to keep people in the physical Mosaic Covenant and had NO spiritual promises, and animals needed to be killed on a continual basis
7:27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once [being a perfect sinless sacrifice of the Creator himself], when he offered up himself.
7:28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated [an eternal spirit High Priest] for evermore.
The Perfect Sacrifice and High Priest
Our High Priest, Jesus Christ will now live forever and will be able to make continual intercession for us, for all eternity. And His sacrifice being perfect, no longer has to be made again and again. He doesn’t have to be killed day after day, year after year. No!
However, every time someone repents, that perfect sacrifice needs to be REAPPLIED to the repentant sinner.
The difference is in the actual dying as opposed to the actual applying of the sacrifice. They are two different things.
Christ died, regardless of whether any man ever repents or not. He was dead and He was resurrected. That has nothing to do with whether men repent, or turn from sin or not. However, when men do sincerely repent, the sacrifice is now there and available to be applied to them.
The priesthood of Aaron has been superseded by the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ, who is our spiritual Intercessor High Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.
He is our High Priest of the New Covenant for all eternity. And He has superseded the priesthood of Aaron; and in doing this, He has fulfilled the promises that God made to the patriarchs and the prophets of old days (Jeremiah 31:31-37).
When we see the words “forever” and “without beginning or end” and we begin to take a deep prayerful think on Hebrews 7 we end up with some remarkable understanding.
Jesus Christ was the Creator and he began conversing with man as soon as man was created, for on the seventh day the Creator and Adam and Eve spent the day together.
We then have the record of some of the various conversations of the Creator with Adam and Eve, Cain, Abel, the ancients including Noah, right up to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and beyond.
In all these things Jesus Christ was speaking with human beings in place of [as a High Priest of] God the Father.
In the time of Abraham the Creator Jesus Christ was known by the name of Melchisedec, and when he presented himself to Moses he revealed himself as the Great “I Am” which means the same thing as Melchisedec: “the forever existing one.” Without beginning or end, without father or mother!
We can see that Melchisedec [the Creator who became Jesus Christ] was the spiritual High Priest [appearing in human form] between God the Father and all humanity from Adam, appearing in the form of a man.
It was when he revealed himself in a part of his glory on Mt Sinai that the people demanded a human high priest or mediator; and the priesthood of Aaron was given to Israel, to be an allegory of the High Priesthood of the Creator Melchisedec, who gave up his God-hood to become fully flesh as Jesus Christ.
The lesson in this is that the Creator Melchisedec who became flesh as Jesus Christ was a spiritual High Priest interceeding between humanity and God the Father: from the very beginning of Creation!
The physical priesthood of Aaron was only a temporary expedient for the Mosaic Covenant; and even in the Mosaic Covenant: the priesthood of Aaron was really serving the spiritual High Priest, the Creator Melchisedec, who was the spiritual Husband of Israel and later became Jesus Christ.
Both the Mosaic Covenant and the Aaronic priesthood were instructional allegories of the spiritual New Covenant and its spiritual High Priest; who was/is the Creator; and in the Mosaic Covenant and the priesthood of Aaron, they actually served [whenever they were faithful] Jesus Christ as their Husband who came between them and God the Father [which is the role of a High Priest].
The physical high priest acted out the function of a physical mediator between man and God which is the role of Jesus Christ as the ONLY spiritual Mediator and Intercessor between man and God on the spiritual level.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God [the Father], and one mediator between God [the Father] and men, the man Christ Jesus [The one who became Jesus Christ gave up his Godhood and as a physical man came and gave his life for us, after which he was resurrected to spirit and returned to God-hood as the ONLY Intercessor between God the Father and humanity.]; 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
The Function of a Priesthood
The function of a priesthood is to mediate between men and God and to offer sacrifices on behalf of men to God, and to teach people to live by every Word of God, and so reconcile men to God the Father.
The Priests were to be God’s teachers of godliness to bring people to the righteousness of God, and also to judge the people (Deuteronomy 17:8-9; 21:5; I Chronicles 23:4; II Chronicles 19:8; Ezekiel 44:15, 24).
The Mosaic Aaronic priesthood offered the sacrifices of various physical animals, which atoned for the nation and for individuals in a physical sense, to keep them in good standing within the physical Mosaic Covenant.
Melchisedec on the other hand, offered the perfect sacrifice of the very Implementing Creator of all things [the true Passover Lamb of God], to atone for the sins of humanity and to redeem us from the penalty of death for our sins; thereby reconciling the sincerely repentant with God the Father and setting before us the gift of a change to spirit and eternal life at peace with God.
The Aaronic Priesthood offered sacrifices on behalf of the whole nation and officiated over the offering of personal sacrifices, which duties they faithfully carried out at the Tabernacle during the post Sinai life of Moses and Joshua. Then through the period of the Judges and king Saul their ministrations seem to have been intermittent at best with many periods of of laxity.
It was the job of the Aaronic priesthood to offer physical sacrifices as an instructional allegory of the offering of a perfect sacrifice of and by our spiritual High Priest Jesus Christ. Once the reality had happened, there was no longer a need for the physical allegory of that reality.
Since 31 A.D. our spiritual High Priest sits at the right hand of God the Father in heaven and daily intervenes on our behalf interceding for us with God the Father. Since the resurrection of Jesus Christ as our spiritual High Priest, the Daily Sacrifice has been the regular daily APPLICATION of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God before the Father in heaven on behalf of repentant individuals!
A History of Repeated Apostasy
The physical ministrations of the Aaronic priesthood would have been largely restored by the zeal of king David and the young king Solomon, and after that time the Temple ritual and sacrifices also became intermittent, falling off during the reigns of bad kings and being temporarily restored when good kings ruled.
After the reign of Solomon, God rent the ten tribes from Benjamin / Judah and gave them to Jeroboam who immediately abandoned God and set up pagan altars.
In spite of the work of various prophets including Elijah and Elisha the ten tribes of Israel remained adamant in sin and were finally removed from the land by God through the hand of the Assyrians. Israel fell in a series of wars and without doubt many of Israel that were trying to be faithful to God fled south and were assimilated into Judah / Benjamin.
Years later, after a few good kings restored the sacrificial service of the priests and many bad ones [some of whom went as far as to set up pagan altars in God’s Temple], Judah / Benjamin was sent into corrective captivity to Babylon.
Don’t forget that the follow up studies for this lesson on The Priesthood, is a study through the book of Hebrews.