21.3 The Precedents of Priests in the Bible (1)

Series 21

Episode 3

Prologue

Brothers and sisters, today’s topic of Treasures for the Soul is “The Precedents of Priests in the Bible (1).” The scriptures cover the lives of priests and their duties in great detail. For example, Exodus and Leviticus talk about tabernacle, offerings and festivals. These are all related to the priests. Before the laws were decreed, the head of a household, some famous examples being Job, Abel, Noah and Abraham, would make offerings to God. All these remind us to set God as our centre. Revelation 1:5-6 states that because of His love for us, the Lord made us priests to God, being closest to Him and deeply enjoying Him.

Message

After listening to my messages, you should go to the Bible and read about priesthood. It is very precious that the Bible is filled with so many passages about priesthood, matters pertaining between God and man. For instance, the latter part of Exodus tells us about the tabernacle and priests. Leviticus also explains in detail about offerings, priests and appointed festivals. In the past, the Israelites also had the tabernacle, the holy temple and Jerusalem, and God was the centre of all these places. When the Israelites no longer kept God as their centre, their nation fell. Similarly, if an individual, family, or church does not keep God as their centre, they will experience the same consequences.

Before the laws and the priesthood were established, certain individuals still made offerings just as the priests did. They can be considered the priests of their own households. God’s goodness is amazing in that after man sinned, God foretold that the Offspring of the woman would bruise the head of the devil. This Offspring, Jesus Christ, came to destroy the works of the devil, whose objective is to lead man to sin and prevent God’s will from being accomplished. After Adam and Eve sinned, God made garments of skins for them. His thoughtfulness is so precious! To me, no piece of clothing would be as precious as one hand-made by God. Although the Bible doesn’t mention what kind of animal skin was used, if I were to guess, I would say it was lambskin. It’s because generations later, the Son of God became the Lamb of God. He covered us with His garment and brought us the greatest warmth.

Adam’s son Abel also knew how to make offerings to God. I believe that God had taught Adam why the shedding of blood was needed, and how a Saviour, the Offspring of the woman, would come, suffer wounds and shed His blood. This Offspring became the high priest. He broke through the flaming sword and opened a new and living way for us to return to God, to the Tree of Life. Now, we have gained more than just the first paradise. It’s so precious that New Jerusalem is also called paradise.

Genesis chapter 4 describes Abel’s offering, chapter 8 describes Noah’s offering, and chapter 22 describes Abraham’s offering.

Let’s read Job 1:1- 5. “There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, ‘It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.’ Thus Job did continually.”

Job was one of the patriarchs of Israel, who existed before the set up of the laws and the priesthood. Job therefore acted as the priest for his household. Exodus mentions that God intended for the entire nation of Israel to take up the priesthood. However, in the end only the sons of Aaron, who was of the tribe of Levi, could become priests.

During our first stage, brothers and sisters were still young and not many were the heads of their households. Now that many have become such, I’d like to encourage the heads of the households to be like Job, Noah and Abraham. Actually, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all built altars to the Lord.

If I were to choose between being a king and a priest, I’d rather be a priest, one who is especially close to God, and helps others to draw near to God. Nothing in this world is more precious than being close to God and being able to enjoy Him. When we’re close to God, He can use us greatly. But without this closeness with God, everything is useless. Even a prestigious title would become meaningless. Consider King Saul and other kings recorded in the Books of 1 & 2 Kings. The king himself ought to live out the life of a priest, meaning that he must live a life that is close to God. Otherwise, he would be a wicked king.

Revelation 1:5 says, “…To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father.” Chapter 5 focuses on priests because it is very precious. In the entire world, priests are the ones closest to God, and they help others be the same. I think nothing on earth is more meaningful. This is the very best gift that we can give to people. I’m very thankful to the Lord that He is the high priest for me forever. Although our sins have already been removed, He remains as our priest. Our sins being forgiven is the first step that enables us to enjoy God deeply; indeed, God desires us to enjoy Him every day. As priests, we should all the more live out such closeness with God in our daily lives. Only so can we help others. Think about it, how wonderful it would be if we are all very close to God, and we help one another to come close to God.

Series 21

Live Out the Life of the Firstborn: Be A Priest

Message Date: 2020-05-10

A priest is closest to God, and his duties are extremely honourable. Such honour cannot be obtained by oneself, but was given by God. The Father swore and did not change His mind, that the Lord was to be our high priest. Being a priest meant that the Lord must first become a man. He also offered Himself as a sin offering, aiming to bring us perfectly before God. Since we received the Lord, we’ve been given the blessing of the firstborn–to be a royal priest. In the Old Testament time, a king could not be a priest at the same time; so he could not offer any sacrifice. Many Bible passages mention priests, who would offer sacrifices, because God wanted man to be close to Him. When man sinned and strayed away from God, God had already prepared salvation for man. Before the law, there had been offerings of sacrifices. This illustrated that the Lord was to come to die for us, save us from the punishment of sins and reconcile us with God. The heads of the household such as Noah, Job, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, etc all built altars and offered sacrifices. Today, all believers have become royal priests. We who were once far from God are now closest to Him. We should live out the life of a priest: offer ourselves as living sacrifices to serve God. First and foremost, we should draw near to God and offer Him praises. In the Old Testament time, the priests should first eat of the sacrifices and the showbread; these illustrate that today we should enjoy the Lord Himself. As priests, we should also pass on knowledge, teaching others to know God, draw near to Him, experience Him and understand His will. Before the Lord comes back, may there be the most glorious groups of priests who deeply experience God. May these priests bring to the world the most precious–God Himself. Episode 1 The Father Made the Lord the High Priest Episode 2 Priesthood: One of the Blessings of the Firstborn Episode 3 The Precedents of Priests in the Bible (1) Episode 4 The Precedents of Priests in the Bible (2) Episode 5 Live out the Life of a Priest
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21.1 The Father made the Lord the High Priest

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21.2 Priesthood: One of the Blessings of the Firstborn

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21.3 The Precedents of Priests in the Bible (1)

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21.4 The Precedents of Priests in the Bible (2)

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21.5 Live Out the Life of a Priest