Today, I’m going to share with you one of the blessings of the firstborn: being a priest. It’s very precious that the Lord told us that He gives us glory as the Father has given Him glory. Now, all of us are priests. It’s a wrong concept from the Catholic Church to name only a certain group of people as priests. This is not the teaching from the Bible.
Priests are very honourable and close to God. Not only are we priests, we are also the dearest darling of the Lord. And as such, we should live out this life of a priest, and be His darling closest to Him. Priests are incredibly important in gloriously accomplishing God’s will in this movement. We must live out the life of the firstborn. Among the blessings of the firstborn, priesthood is especially significant.
The Father has given the Lord glory. The Lord in turn, gives us glory. He is the High Priest, and we are a team of priests together. Originally, God’s plan was to make the people of Israel a kingdom of priests, which would include everyone. The people however, chose to worship the golden calf, leaving only the Levite to become priests. Right now, all of us have become priests. Not only are we priests, we are a royal priesthood, with the honour of royalty. It’s so precious that we will be kings and priests with the Lord. The kings of the past were not allowed to perform the duties of a priest or to offer sacrifices. The honour of a priest cannot be claimed through a person’s status or deeds. Even kings could not gain the right to perform duties of a priest. Attempting to perform such duties, King Uzziah got leprosy and Saul lost his throne. However, God has made us kings and priests with the Lord.
Exodus 19:1-6 reads, “On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. They set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before the mountain, while Moses went up to God. The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
God made the covenant with Israel at Mount Sinai. His plan was to make them a kingdom of priests. However, the sins they committed and the worshiping of the golden calf quickly changed that. Only the sons of Levi stood with God and acted righteously, disregarding man’s affection. Hence, the sons of Levi came to represent the people of Israel as firstborn.
The title of a firstborn relates to the title of a priest and king. Jacob’s eldest son, Reuben, committed adultery and defiled his father’s bed. He lost his title as the firstborn. When Jacob blessed his sons, he distributed the blessings of the firstborn among different sons, with the priesthood going to Levi. Although Jacob did not make it very clear how he distributed the blessings, Moses made it very clear that priesthood went to Levi, royalty went to Judah, and double portions of inheritance went to Joseph.
After men sinned, priests and offerings were necessary. I encourage myself and all of you to live out the life of the firstborn, particularly the life of a priest. This is key for us to accomplish the Lord’s will. Recently I’ve been sharing the messages on “The final goal, rest and destination of our spirits.” At the end, when we finally go to New Jerusalem, our spirit shall still remain the closest to Him. Therefore, we need to learn now how to draw near to God, experience Him, enter deeply into worship, fully satisfy Him and love Him.
I wish that the journey ahead will be the most glorious one for you and me before the Lord’s return. Together we will gloriously accomplish the Lord’s will. He died for us so that we might live with Him and be the closest to Him. The veil was torn so that we may enjoy the Holy of Holies, the Lord Himself and being face to face with Him. This is the same enjoyment as being the firstborn and the priest.
One of the precious truths in the Book of Hebrews is that the Son of God became a Man and a Priest for me. Priesthood is a very honourable title. What does the Father want to accomplish when He swore to make His beloved Son a priest? The Bible mentions seven times “come before God” and this is the main focus of Hebrews. What a waste would it be if we, being priests, did not come before God? Then, for what did the Lord die on the cross for? What was the purpose of shedding His blood? Why was the veil torn? All these would be a waste if this purpose were not fulfilled. As an example, imagine if a great soccer team played incredibly well, but were unable to score, what good does their skills do? Or a highly skilled basketball team that practices very hard and performs really well on the court. Yet all this effort would not benefit them if they aren’t able to score. Similarly, God has already done so much—the Lord became a Man and died for us. But if you don’t enjoy Him, experience Him, draw near to Him, and let Him also enjoy you, you are missing out on the main purpose of God offering Himself. When we do come to the Lord, we will be transformed and become more glorious. The Lord truly wants you to be blessed, the most glorious one, and to be a great blessing to many people. If we don’t draw near to God, experience Him, worship Him and be close to Him, we will be missing what God desires most, and what our life and eternity needs.
Paul was quite clear on these principles. He ran towards the goal. What we discussed just now is the goal of our spirit. The other goal is finishing the church. Essentially, this is the core of His will: He wants the church to enjoy Him, be like Him and be the Bride who loves Him the most. Only the children who love the Father will love one another. Only when we love God the most are we able to love brothers and sisters the most.
Remember that this is God’s ultimate purpose. This is like a target’s bullseye. Your heart can be settled only in this. Your personal experience also proves this. Only when you experience Him, come close to Him and enjoy Him can your heart be truly satisfied, and then you will love Him the most. A priest leads a life like this, and helps others to become this type of person.
Romans chapter 15 talks about the priestly service of the gospel of God—to lead non-believers to God and help them experience God. The priests help them learn how to be close to God and have fellowship with God. This is the work of priests. They solve problems between God and man, so that man can come before God without any more hindrances, to be close to God and enjoy Him. First and foremost, we ought to become such people before we can help others. We need to draw near to God and love Him before we can help others do the same.