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A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS
- “We shall reign with Him”
compiled by Rachel Cory-Kuehl, October 2012
Last edit, July 28, 2021
Scripture is from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.
Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
I Peter 2:5, 9, 10 [Writing to believers after the resurrection] “. . . you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ . . . you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people . . .”
Revelation 1:5 “and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father-- to him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen.” (NIV)
Revelation 5:9 “And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.’” (NIV)
The redeemed of Christ will become priests!
They will rule with Him as priests!
Wow! The above verses generate a lot of questions.
1. When will the “first resurrection” take place?
Answer: at the Glorious Return of Christ to the earth.
2. Wasn’t the work of the atonement all finished, shortly after Christ ascended into Heaven?
Why would the LORD need a priesthood after the Glorious Return?
(Priests functioned as mediators to “make atonement” for sinners.)
Answer: No. The work of atonement wasn’t finished.
The atonement is applied individually (by Christ), as each sinner is won to God.
If more people are won, then each will need the atonement applied.
The priests will participate in that work.
3. Will more people be won to Christ after the Glorious Return?
Answer: Yes. They will come from “the rest of the dead”
who are not resurrected until the 8th millennium (Rev. 20:5).
4. What will be the work of the first resurrection priests, in the future Kingdom of Messiah?
To answer that question, we will consider the work of the Aaronic priests under the Sinai Covenant. Those priests performed several different roles.
5. Will these priests offer up animal sacrifices? Answer: No.
See our study: “The End of Sacrifices.”
6. Will these priests be of the Aaronic order, or of the Melchizedek order?
Answer: Of the Melchizedek order - the Order of the Firstborn.
See our study: “The Change of the Priesthood.”
7. Where will these future priests serve?
Will they serve in Heaven, or in another Temple on the earth?
Answer: In Ezekiel’s Temple, on the earth.
8. When will these priests begin to serve on the earth?
Answer: At the 8th millennium, when “the rest of the dead” are raised.
9. What people will make up this future priesthood on the earth?
Answer: The redeemed of Christ from Adam to the Glorious Return,
“from every tribe, language, people and nation.”
10. Who will these future priests govern (under Christ)?
Answer: “The rest of the dead” who will be resurrected at the 8th millennium (Rev. 20:5).
CONTENTS OF THIS STUDY
Lots of Questions . . . pg 2
Why the Detailed Prophecy? . . . pg 4
The First Resurrection . . . pg 5
Three Groups Resurrected . . . pg 5
The Rest of the Dead . . . pg 6
Why a Future Priesthood . . . pg 7
The Role of the Future Priests . . . pg 8
To Make Reconciliation . . . pg 8
Animal Sacrifices? . . . pg 9
A New Order of Priests . . . pg 9
Priests on the Earth . . . pg 10
We will reign with Him . . . pg 10
Priests for the 8th Millennium . . . pg 11
Israel Redeemed - A Kingdom of Priests . . . pg 13
The Government of King Yeshua Messiah . . . pg 13
Who will make up This Priesthood? . . . pg 13
Allusions to the Priesthood in the New Testament . . . pg14-16
Preparation of the Priests . . . pg 16
Priests who receive a Double Portion . . . pg 17
Ezekiel’s Temple Vision . . . pg 18
It Wasn’t Time . . . pg 19
The Message of Ezekiel’s Temple Vision . . . pg 20
Come Let Us Go Up!
Strangers in the Kingdom . . . pg 20-22
Why a Future Priesthood? . . . pg 23
Why a Temple? . . . pg 23
Summary . . . pg 24
WHY THE DETAILED PROPHECY?
If the LORD did not intend that we understand His plan for our reconciliation, if He did not want us to understand the work of Christ in the heavenly realm since His ascension, then:
Why choose a nation and appoint a priesthood to act out that prophecy in detail?
Why appoint a priesthood to act out that prophecy for 1400 years?
Why write it down by the hand of Moses?
Why preserve that writing for some 3400 years, so those of us living today may read it?
The Tabernacle (the priesthood, the sacrifices, the ceremonies, and the appointed feasts) constituted an amazing acted prophecy of Christ and His work for our redemption. The Tabernacle was a copy in miniature, and a symbolic representation of Heaven itself - the “true Tabernacle” (Heb.8:2-5).
The High Priest of the ancient Tabernacle was a TYPE - a living prophetic symbol of Christ to come, who would become our High Priest in Heaven before God’s throne. He would present His own death as the perfect “sin offering” and “peace offering” as each new believer asked forgiveness in His name. (Heb. 4:14-15, Heb. 5:10, Heb. 6:20, Heb. 7:26, Heb. 8:1, Heb. 9:11, Heb. 10:21). See our study “An Ancient Prophecy.”
The priests who served under the ancient High Priest, were also a TYPE, or acted prophecy of the “first resurrection” priests. They portrayed (imperfectly) the coming government of Messiah on this earth. All those who belong to Messiah are being “built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices.” This according to Peter (1Pet. 2:5).
Many say the work of atonement ended with the Cross. I disagree. The sacrifice did not “make atonement.” The priest made atonement. If the work of atonement was finished with the death of the sacrifice (Christ the Lamb), then there was no need for a High Priest in Heaven before God. We can throw out the Book of Hebrews as heresy and fraud. We can throw out the Book of Revelation too, because that Revelation tells of “first resurrection” priests (plural), from every nation, kindred, tongue and people, who will reign with Christ 1000 years.
The Book of Revelation is not just a prophecy. It was written as an ancient covenant lawsuit using Tabernacle symbolism. Without a basic familiarity with the ancient Tabernacle, the reader would find it difficult to understand the prophecies or the message of the Revelation.
continued next page
THE FIRST RESURRECTION
Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.” (NAS)
Some believe the “first resurrection” was the small resurrection that took place on the day of Christ’s own resurrection (Matthew 27:50-53). I believe “the first resurrection” will take place at the glorious return of Christ to the earth.
John was given a revelation by Christ “to show His servants things which must shortly take place.” The revelation concerned future events from John’s perspective, writing many years after the resurrection of His Master.
The context of Revelation Chapter 19-20, is the Glorious return, a future event for the Church. The dead “in Christ” are resurrected to life everlasting. In this context, why look to a small resurrection which took place in John’s past, on the day of Christ’s own resurrection?
In Revelation 20:4-6, those raised “first” are contrasted with “the rest” who are raised “last” - after 1000 years have passed.
Revelation 20:5 “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.”
THREE GROUPS RESURRECTED
Looking forward - Three groups would be resurrected.
1. Those in Christ: At the Glorious Return, those who have loved and served the LORD, will be raised to life immortal. They will go with Christ to the “Father’s House” for a least some portion of the ensuing 7th millennium. This earth will be consumed in fire. No one left on this planet will survive. (See study: “Millennium.”) Christ will later heal the earth and restore it like new for His coming Kingdom.
2. The wicked: Those who have served the Evil One (without repentance), who knowingly and persistently refused to serve the LORD, who persecuted or tempted the people of God, will be resurrected to “shame and everlasting contempt.” They will be left behind to suffer the 7 last plagues, followed by eternal death. All this will take place on the day of the Christ’s Glorious Return (Daniel 12:1-3). See study “Judgment Day.”
3. The Rest: Those who died in ignorance or as children, will sleep in death through the 7th millennium, to “live again” at the beginning of the 8th millennium (Rev. 20:5).
THE REST OF THE DEAD
Revelation 20:5 “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.”
From the context, the thousand years of this verse, is the period during which Satan is imprisoned in “the bottomless pit” - the 1000 years which follow the return of Christ in glory to the earth.
I BELIEVE “the rest of the dead” will be those who died as children or who died in ignorance of God, who had no opportunity to know Him. They could not choose to serve Him. They were unaware. Paul said the Gentiles of his day were “strangers from the covenant,” “without Christ,” “without God” and without “hope” (Eph. 2:12).
Paul complained that both Jewish and Roman authorities forbid them “to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved” (1Thess 2:16). One must hear the truth, before one can choose the truth. If God is just, then He must give these human beings the opportunity to choose. Freedom to choose necessitates a level of intellectual maturity. It demands these people be informed concerning the LORD, His Law and His love revealed through His Son.
To accomplish these things for the millions of children and unreached people who have died over the 6000 years from Adam’s sin, the LORD must resurrect them. The only time period for such a resurrection, followed by an extended education period, is the 8th millennium. I am not saying the LORD will save all of “the rest” - only that He will give them an extension of their physical lives during which to choose. Those who rebel against the LORD will become the Gog/Magog Army (Rev. 20:7-10).
The Gospel of the Kingdom must be preached to all the world - to all mankind, including all of those who died in ignorance.
NOTE: This is NOT a second chance for those who persistently and knowingly refused Him in life, or persisted in willful ignorance.
The LORD spared those less than 20 years of age, from death during the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. He called them “children” after the rebellion that lead to that punishment for the adults (Num. 14:31). This is the TYPE. Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would have no sin” (John 9:41), and He prayed, “Father forgive them. They know not what they do” (Lk 23:24). Paul wrote that God “overlooked” “the times of ignorance” (Acts 17:30). Sins committed in ignorance were “covered” by the “continual burnt offering” of the Tabernacle, until the offender came to understand that what he had done was a sin (Ezek. 45:18-20, Num. 5:22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, Num. 15:28,29). He was then to bring a “sin offering” and confess, in order to receive atonement, to be right again with God. That was the TYPE. Our God will not punish human beings for sins committed in ignorance.
That said, I do not believe our God will simply cast aside those who died in ignorance, as collateral damage. He died for those people. Neither can He simply transport them into His forever Kingdom, without their consent. That would be manipulation.
Millions of human beings have lived and died without the opportunity to choose. They may have died before missionaries could reach them. They may have died as infants or as children. They may have suffered from a mental disability. They may have been taught that the God of the Bible is a false God or a myth, or that God never beget a son. Some may have been abused by persons who claimed to worship the God of the Bible. (Such a circumstance would cause such persons to reject the beliefs of their abusers.) Whatever the reason, such persons never received the information needed to allow for a freewill choice to love and serve (or to reject) the God of the Bible - the God who loves them.
Salvation and citizenship in the kingdom of God, are based upon the free and informed choice of human beings. Every person is tested to reveal his true allegiance.
See my studies “The Book of Life” and “The Only Way.”
When Jesus Christ returns, THE REST will not be resurrected. They will remain in the sleep of death (suspended animation) for a thousand years - through the 7th millennium. They will be raised to live again, at the 8th millennium. I call it “The 8th Day.” Waiting for them when they are resurrected, will be a priesthood prepared to govern and teach them. Jesus Christ will be reigning as King. This extension/continuation of their lives will allow for the testing period, to reveal the true allegiance of each person. Only then can each one - individually and justly, receive either eternal life (an immortal spiritual body) or death as the fire of God from Heaven consumes the Army of Gog/Magog (Rev. 20:7-9).
WHY A FUTURE PRIESTHOOD?
Isn’t the number of God’s redeemed made up once and for all, when Christ returns in glory?
Answer: No. Many from “the rest of the dead” (raised at the 8th millennium), will come to serve the LORD.
The LORD will need priests to govern and teach “the rest of the dead” when they are resurrected, to win them for The Father and His Son. In this study are listed many prophecies pointing to “nations,” “strangers,” “aliens,” Gentiles or “peoples” living on the earth (even in “the land”) with Israel redeemed in the Kingdom of Messiah. (See pages 20-22.)
THE WORK OF THE FUTURE PRIESTS
To understand the work of the “first resurrection” priests, we must look to the work of the ancient priests under the Sinai Covenant. They were the prophetic TYPE. The Old Testament is full of passages describing the work of the ancient Tabernacle priests.
Under the Covenant of Sinai, the Levite priests descended from Aaron offered up animal sacrifices along with drink and grain offerings. These were offered in order to “make atonement” (reconciliation) for the Children of Israel, and for the many Gentiles who sought the LORD. (There were several types of sacrifices.)
As commanded by the LORD, the priests of the ancient Tabernacle were also to teach the Law, to act as judges of last resort, to settle disputes and to administer justice (Mal. 2:7, Exo. 29:35, Lev. 8:33-35 & 9:1, Deut. 17:8-12, Deut. 21:5 & 33:8, Ezra 8:7-8, Eze. 44:23-24). In other words, they were the government for the ancient nation of Israel.
Following this TYPE, the First Resurrection Priests will act as the government for Messiah’s coming Kingdom on the earth.
TO MAKE RECONCILIATION
The ancient priests were to “make atonement” for the one who brought sacrifices. The Hebrew word translated as “atonement” is “kaphar” (Strong’s #03722). It is used some 60 times from Exodus through Deuteronomy, always in connection with the work of the priesthood. Strong’s gives the meaning: 1) to cover, purge, make an atonement, make reconciliation. In the New Covenant writings, we are “covered” with the righteousness of Christ. He is our covering. Through Him we are reconciled to God. “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered”(Romans 4:7). We are reconciled to God the Father through His Son - Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:18 “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”
First Covenant priests made atonement for sinners through animal sacrifices that prophesied Christ. New Covenant believers are given “the ministry of reconciliation” pointing sinners to the One True Sacrifice. This is the work of the New Covenant priesthood, under Christ. This will be the work of the First Resurrection Priests for “the rest” who are raised at the 8th millennium.
Will the priests of the first resurrection, offer animal sacrifices in a future Temple?
For a detailed study into this question, please see study “The End of Sacrifices.” There is a great deal of debate concerning any “change of the law,” whether prior to the Glorious Return, or following. I have found only one “change” specifically mentioned in the Scriptures. That “change” concerns “the priesthood.” I have not found any Scripture supporting the idea that the Ten Commandments should be discarded. The LORD has promised to write His law on our hearts.
Hebrews 7:12 “For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also” (NAS).
I believe the “priests of God and Christ” in the coming kingdom of Messiah, will offer up “spiritual sacrifices” (1Peter 2:5). The Apostolic Writings (New Testament) give several examples of “spiritual” sacrifices:
1. praise and thanks to God (Heb. 13:15) 2. our lives dedicated to God (2Tim. 4:6)
3. the service of faith (Phil. 2:17) 4. the bodies of martyrs (Rom. 12:1)
5. gifts to the poor (Phil. 4:18) 6. visiting the sick or those in prison (Matt. 25:34-40)
7. offerings in support of the ministry (1Cor. 9:13)
A NEW ORDER OF PRIESTS
Will the priests of the “first resurrection” belong to the Aaronic order, or the Melchizedek order?
Hebrews 7:12 “For the priesthood being changed,
of necessity there is also a change of the law.”
If the priesthood has indeed been changed by the LORD Himself, then the priests of the coming Kingdom of Messiah will be priests of the Melchizedek order - the original priesthood of the firstborn.
For a more detailed study on this topic, see “The Change of the Priesthood.” There are many who believe the Aaronic priesthood cannot be “changed.” I address some of their objections in my study “A Change of the Law - One Jot or One Tittle.”
PRIESTS - ON THE EARTH
Where will the future priests serve?
Answer: On the earth!
Revelation 5:10 “And Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” (NAS)
Our Lord Jesus was made “a priest forever” (Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 5:6, 6:20, 7:17 & 7:21). If He is a priest forever, and He will reign on the earth, then logically He will be both King and High Priest on the earth.
Melchizedek was an ancient king who reigned from the City of Salem. (That city later became Jerusalem under King David.) Melchizedek was also a priest of God. Abraham paid tithes to him (Genesis 14:18). If Yeshua Messiah will be like Melchizedek, then He also will be both King and High Priest reigning on the earth from Jerusalem.
WE WILL REIGN WITH HIM
2 Timothy 2:12 “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.”
Revelation 3:21 “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
Those who endure will reign and rule with Christ - as priests.
Revelation 5:8-10 [The 24 Elders sing to the Lamb] You [Lamb of God] “were slain”. . . “and have made us kings and priests [a kingdom of priests] to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.”
1. They will be priests (Rev. 1:6, Rev. 5:8-10).
2. They will reign/rule with Him - over the nations (Rev. 2:26).
3. They will reign on the earth (Rev. 5:9-10).
NOTE: In Christ there is “neither male nor female”(Gal. 3:28). In the resurrection there will BE no sexual orientation - no marriage or giving in marriage (Matt. 22:30). We will be “like the angels”(Mark 12:25), therefore faithful believers who lived as women during this age, will also become “priests of God and of Christ.”
NOTE: The verbs in Revelation 5:8-10, are in the Greek aorist tense, meaning that this is an ongoing process to a certain, but not yet completed reality. The 24 elders are being made to be (are being prepared to be) priests and kings. They have been appointed to that future role, but they are not yet reigning “on the earth.”
PRIESTS FOR THE 8TH MILLENNIUM
When will redeemed Israel begin to minister as priests on the earth?
Answer: At the 8th Day - the 8th millennium, when “the rest of the dead are raised to live again. During the 1000 years of the 7th millennium, those delivered at the Glorious Return will prepare for their priesthood.
2Peter 3:8 “With the Lord one day is as a thousand years.”
Note: The consecration of the future priesthood began with Adam and will last through the 7th millennium. They will be one priesthood, made up of individuals who served God.
Exodus Chapter 29:7-35 & Leviticus Chapter 8:
Aaron and his sons and all future priests:
“Seven days you shall consecrate them.”
Remain at the door of the tent [Tabernacle] until the 8th Day.”
NOTE: The phrase “at the door of the tent” referred to the area between the Alter of Sacrifice and the entrance curtain into the Tabernacle. It was inside the courtyard of the Tabernacle. It was “holy ground.” To remain inside the small first apartment of the Tabernacle for seven days, would have been logistically very difficult for four men with normal bodily functions. Only fully consecrated priests were allowed to enter inside the covered “Tent.”
Leviticus 8:33-36 “And you shall not go outside the door of the Tabernacle of Meeting for seven days, until the days of your consecration are ended. For seven days he [Moses] shall consecrate you.”
Moses was a TYPE of Christ, our True Shepherd. As Moses consecrated the first priests of the Tabernacle, so Christ will consecrate His priests. If a “day” with the LORD is as a thousand years, then “seven days” would represent seven thousand years (2Peter 3:8)
The ancient priestly ministry began on the 8th day.
The future priestly ministry will begin at the 8th millennium.
Leviticus 9:1-7 “It came to pass on the 8th day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons. ‘Go to the altar, offer your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself and for the people.’” [After the sacrifices and the Aaronic blessing] “Then the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people, and fire came out from before the LORD, and consumed the burnt offering” (Lev. 9:23-24).
In the TYPE, Aaron and his sons were individuals, consecrated for seven literal days. For the fulfillment of this prophecy, we must view all of those to be consecrated as one priesthood - consecrated for 7000 years. The consecration of this priesthood began with Adam, nearly 6000 years ago. It will continue through the 7th millennium - until the 8th millennium (The 8th Day). Then Israel redeemed will begin to “reign on the earth” as a “kingdom of priests.”
NOTE: It is also worth noting that Aaron’s two wicked sons crossed the line and were consumed by the fire of God on the very 8th day which began their ministry as priests of the Tabernacle (Leviticus Chapters 9 and 10). The Gog/Magog rebellion takes place during the 8th millennium. I see a parallel.
ISRAEL REDEEMED - A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS
From the top of Mount Sinai, the LORD promised Israel:
Exodus 19:5-6 “. . . if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
Here we have the LORD’s original intent and purpose for Israel. His plan was to use Israel as His priesthood - to teach and govern the nations. This He will finally accomplish.
Remember - His word will be accomplished! (Isaiah 55:11)
All faithful believers are grafted into Israel (Ephesians 2, Romans 11), therefore all faithful believers will become the LORD’s “priesthood.” The unfaithful and unbelievers will be “cut off” from Israel - from the people of God. Please see the study “Who are Israel?”
I Peter 2:5, 9, 10 [Speaking to believers after the resurrection.] “. . . you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ . . . you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation [Israel], His own special people . . .”
WHO WILL MAKE UP THE PRIESTHOOD?
The simple answer is, all faithful believers. But I will go into more detail.
Enoch and Elijah were translated without seeing death. Moses died and was then resurrected by Christ. He appeared with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration.
I believe the 24 Elders of Revelation were resurrected by Christ immediately after His own resurrection (Matt 27:53). I believe they are in Heaven now, already performing some priestly duties. They offer incense (Rev. 4:4, 5:8-10). One day they will reign on the earth.
They already wear crowns (of victory) in the heavenly realm. The 24 Elders were redeemed to God “out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev 5:9-10). They are not all Hebrews, much less all of Aaronic descent.
We are not told exactly who the 24 Elders are, but I think it’s just possible they are the redeemed from the 4000 years between Adam’s sin and Christ’s death. They are the Spring Harvest, gathered in at the Feast of Firstfruits, present in Heaven by the risen Christ.
There were three main harvest seasons in ancient Israel - Spring, Summer and Fall. All of those redeemed from the 2000 years between Christ’s death and His glorious return, will be the Summer Harvest at the Glorious Return. The redeemed of the Spring Harvest and the Summer Harvest will make up the future priesthood on the earth. There will also be a Fall Harvest, of those who come to faith, from “the rest of the dead.”
NOTE: King David divided the priesthood of his day, into 24 courses, by their clans. The priesthood had grown to more men than were needed to serve at the Temple simultaneously. The 24 divisions rotated their service during the year (1Chronicles 24:3). In Heaven, John saw 24 Elders who have some priestly roles. I wonder if the number 24 is a clue for us, that there may be far more than just 24 individuals. There may be 24 courses.
ALLUSIONS TO THE PRIESTHOOD
- IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Hebrews 9:24 “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;”
Only priests could enter inside the Tabernacle “made with hands.” Only New Covenant priests can enter into Heaven itself. Yeshua has entered there. He was not from the Tribe of Levi. He is our High Priest who represents us before the Father. The 24 Elders have entered there. The 144,000 will enter there, as will the “great multitude” who are clothed in fine white linen (priestly attire). All will serve as “priests of God and of Christ.”
Eating from the Alter
Hebrews 13:10 “We have an altar from which those who serve the Tabernacle
have no right to eat.”
Without some knowledge of the ancient Tabernacle, its sacrifices and priesthood, most believers would miss this text. The Levite priests who served the Ancient Tabernacle (later the Temple) were commanded to eat of the “sin offerings” and of the “peace offerings.” In this way they would “carry” the record of those sacrifices into the Tabernacle before the LORD. This symbolized Christ’s work.
Our LORD commanded believers to eat the bread and drink the wine that represent his body and His blood. In this way, believers eat of THE sacrifice - Christ’s sacrifice. Both First Covenant priests and New Covenant believers were to eat from an Alter of Sacrifice. The writer of Hebrews wrote that the priests who refused to believe in Yeshua as the Lamb of God, who only “served” the Temple, had “no right” (in the eyes of God) to partake of the One True Sacrifice. That one passage tells us that belief in Yeshua as Son of God and Savior, was absolutely necessary for salvation - even for the priests of Christ’s day.
Washing of Feet
John 13:8 “Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.” (KJV)
To begin their consecration to the priesthood, those to be consecrated were washed completely - all over. After their consecration, they were to wash their feet before entering the Tabernacle. Only priests were allowed to enter the Tabernacle/Temple. The disciples of Christ would already have immersed themselves in a ceremonial pool (washed) in preparation for the Passover meal, leaving only a symbolic washing of feet in order to enter the “true Tabernacle” with Christ, which is Heaven itself.
Eating the Hidden Manna
Revelation 2:17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. ‘To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat.’”
This promise is an allusion to the priesthood. The twelve loaves of the show-bread for the Tabernacle were originally made from manna, the bread from heaven. The loaves were “hidden” from view, set on the golden table inside the Sanctuary tent. Only the priests were allowed to eat of this bread (Lev. 24:9).
The Tabernacle was a copy “heaven itself” (Heb. 9:24). Christ Himself is “the bread from heaven” (John 6:32-33). Only those who “overcome” unbelief will partake of Christ in Heaven itself.
Fine Linen Garments
Revelation 19:8 “And to her [the victorious Church] it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”
Fine white linen was the attire of the ancient Tabernacle priests (Exodus 39: 27-28).
The Pentecost Sign
Acts 2:1-4 “And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance” (NAS).
The Spirit was poured upon the waiting disciples on Pentecost (an appointed Feast), the 50th day following Yeshua’s resurrection. We know that He remained on the earth after His resurrection for 40 days, before He returned to Heaven. To the 40, add the 7 days of “consecration” to His priesthood, within the Father’s House. That leaves 3 days. Perhaps the 3 days from His death to resurrection? Perhaps 3 days of welcome and celebration before His consecration period began? We don’t know.
We do know that the dramatic outpouring of the Spirit was the sign for the disciples, that Christ had been installed as High Priest forever before the Father’s throne in Heaven itself.
Christ was glorified as High Priest, and poured out His Spirit upon the waiting disciples just as John the Baptist had predicted. “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). The Father glorified His Son with the glory that He had with the Father before the world was (John 17:5). The Father restored to His Son, His divine power to be omnipresent. “The last Adam was made a life giving spirit” (1Cor. 15:45).
PREPARATION OF THE FUTURE PRIESTS
Every believer regardless of age or experience, will need preparation and training. Do you feel ready to govern in the name of Christ? I surely don’t! Everyone will have hundreds of questions to ask, concerning the actions of God, His government and our role in that government for the 8th Day. We will need to spend time with the Master. The wounds we have sustained during this lifetime, will need to be healed without scars.
I do not subscribe to the notion that Christ will simply wipe out all memory before transforming us into compliant happy servants. That would be manipulation. If the LORD was going to do such mind reprogramming, then He should have done it in the first place, with Adam and Eve, and simply skipped all this painful mess. No. I believe in free will, now and forever. A free will requires a free mind, with adequate information and the ability to reason.
Before we can represent the LORD to “the nations” we will need to spend 1000 years learning about the great war, the rebellion, the reconciliation, and the mysteries of God’s character and government. I like to think of it as the “New Jerusalem University.” We will study the divine model of governance.
In order to govern effectively, we will need to be healed from the effects of selfish and defensive thinking. Maybe that healing is what will take a thousand years.
Just as in the ancient TYPE, we will not begin to serve as priests for the nations UNTIL the 8th millennium - The 8th Day. Then we will “reign with Him” on the earth.
A GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE PRIESTHOOD
PRIESTS WHO RECEIVE A DOUBLE PORTION
The ancient Levites were given NO inheritance in the land - no portion. Therefore the priesthood described by Isaiah in our next verse, CANNOT BE Levite priests. This is the priesthood of Israel redeemed - the Melchizedek priesthood of the “firstborn” - who will receive a double portion.
Isaiah 61:4-9 “And they shall rebuild the old ruins. They shall raise up the former desolations. And they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations. Strangers (non-Israelites) shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the foreigner (non-Israelite) shall be your plowmen and your vine dressers. But you shall be named the Priests of the LORD.”
Isaiah 61:4-9 [continued] “Men shall call you the Servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory you shall boast. Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double [the inheritance of the firstborn].”
“Everlasting joy shall be theirs. For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery for burnt offering; I will direct their work in truth, and will make with them an everlasting covenant. Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people. All who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the posterity whom the LORD has blessed.”
The firstborn inherited a “double portion” of the father’s land and property (Deut. 22:17). Before the golden calf rebellion, the inheritance of the firstborn also included the priesthood. After that rebellion, the LORD took the Tribe of Levi to serve the Tabernacle, instead of “the firstborn.” From that tribe, Aaron and his sons were chosen to be the priests.
The “double portion” of Isaiah 61, tells me that these priests are “firstborn.” It tells me the priesthood has been “changed” back to “the firstborn” (Heb. 7:12). We are “firstborn” in Christ, who was Himself God’s firstborn - “the firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15).
The priesthood of God’s redeemed may now inherit both the priesthood and the “double portion.” The “nations” will acknowledge this priesthood of the “blessed.”
NOTE: Ezekiel’s vision describes the “holy district” that belongs to the righteous Zadok Priests. The Temple sits in the Center (48:10-11). Only the Zadok priests are allowed to enter the Temple. The other Levite priests offer sacrifices in the courtyard, but do not enter the Temple. Other than this “district,” the Zadok priests receive “no possession in Israel.” The LORD said, “I am their possession” (Ezek. 44:28). They also receive the tithes and the firstfruits. The High Priest Zadok was faithful to King David during the rebellion of Absolom. He is the TYPE, representing those who are faithful to King Jesus.
The “covenant” which the LORD has made with Israel redeemed is the “New Covenant” (Jer. 31:31-34, 32:40; Eze. 36:24-27; Heb. 8:10; Deut. 30:6). This “covenant of marriage” will be fully realized or consummated, after Israel redeemed is returned to the land promised to Abraham’s Seed. See study “Two Covenants.”
In the passage from Isaiah, there are Gentiles (strangers, foreigners) who serve as vine dressers and plowmen for the priests. Who are these people? Answer: They will come from “the rest of the dead,” those raised to life after the 1000 years of the 7th millennium (Rev. 20:5-6). They are “the nations” of Revelation Chapter 20.
Why was Ezekiel shown animal sacrifice in the future Temple?
There are Bible students who believe that animals will again be offered for sacrifice when the Temple is restored in the coming kingdom of Messiah. Ezekiel was shown an altar in the courtyard of a Temple, and tables with implements for preparation of sacrifices. In the vision, the priests and “the prince” offered sacrifices (Ezek. 40:38-43; 42:13; 44:11; 46:4,12,13,15,20).
Why was this vision given to Ezekiel?
What was the message of this vision?
This is a very controversial issue. I realize that I will offend some sincere people, but I personally DO NOT believe that animal sacrifices will be offered to the LORD during the future Messianic Kingdom. This was a vision. This was a prophecy.
The ancient wilderness Sanctuary (later the Temple of Solomon) was a copy or representation of “heaven itself” - the “true Tabernacle.” It was a prophecy. As the priests on earth anointed the Altar, and poured out the blood, they portrayed the death of God’s Son. The Temple service was a prophecy, and Ezekiel’s Temple vision was a prophecy. Both were symbolic.
Ezekiel presents the resurrection and return of the whole house of Israel to the land (Ezek. Chapt. 36-37). The resurrection will happen at the Glorious Return. The return will take place at some point during the 7th millennium. I have explained why I believe that no one, left on this earth will survive the last plagues. I believe the earth will need to rest for some time following the last plagues. The redeemed will spend that time in the “Father’s House.”
Following the return of Israel to “the land,” Ezekiel is shown a Temple with tables and implements for sacrifice. We have been sidetracked by arguments about the Law and have failed to hear what the prophecy is telling us. Ezekiel’s vision was a prophecy of the coming 8th millennium and the priestly ministry of the firstborn Melchizedek priests.
In the vision, each animal sacrificed represents Yeshua. During the 8th millennium, Yeshua will present His own death to God, as the ransom for another man or woman. Yeshua is the sacrifice, and “the High Priest” who makes the atonement. Yeshua is also “the prince” in the vision of Ezekiel.
The ministration of the blood of Messiah WILL CONTINUE after Israel redeemed has been returned to “the land.” THIS is the message!!! Who will benefit from this continued ministration? Answer: “The rest of the dead,” resurrected as “nations in the four corners of the earth.”
Ezekiel “saw” animal sacrifices. We “see” Christ, presenting His own blood on behalf of those who come to the Father after the whole House of Israel has been returned to the land. This ministry of His blood will continue until the last repentant sinner is washed and healed - to sin no more.
IT WASN’T TIME
Ezekiel received his vision during the Babylonian captivity. The Israelites would indeed return to the land at the end of the 70 years. They would rebuild The City and the Temple, but this return was only a TYPE of a future return - a “greater Exodus” for the “whole house of Israel.” How do I know this? Because the “whole” House of Israel did not return to “the land” from Babylon. Only a few returned to “the land.” Most stayed in Babylon. The “whole house” includes the dead - not just the living. David and Daniel have not “returned” to the land.
The prophesied return is future!!
If Ezekiel had been shown the future Temple without the animal sacrifices, the returning Jews of Ezra’s time would have assumed that this system was no longer necessary. It would have been changed or even discontinued. But it wasn’t time. The True Lamb had not yet been sacrificed. The forever Priest had not yet been consecrated.
The Temple constructed by the returning captives under Ezra and Nehemiah did not match the vision seen by Ezekiel, but a healing stream did later flow out from Jerusalem - the blood of Jesus Christ and His Spirit - which brought healing of spirit to those who accepted Him. The future returning priests of Messiah’s Kingdom, will build the Temple of the LORD. A stream will flow out from that Temple to bring life to the earth. The “rest of the dead” will rise.
The New Jerusalem measures 345 miles on a side and 345 miles high. It is enormous - compared with Ezekiel’s Temple. Of the Holy City, John wrote that he “saw no Temple in it, for The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its Temple” (Revelation 21:22; 22:1,3).
When sin is completely cleansed from the earth - there will be “no Temple”- just God and the Lamb. From this, we understand that the Temple of The 8th Day Kingdom, will be another temporary House. The people raised at The 8th Day are not yet ready to enter directly into the presence of “the One who sits on the Throne.” They still need a buffer - a place where they may approach the LORD, while they are shielded from His glory. They need a priesthood to teach them.
THE MESSAGE of EZEKIEL’S TEMPLE VISION - IS TWO FOLD
The message for the captives of Babylon:
You will return to “the land.” You will rebuild My House. You will again have a place where you can meet with Me, and receive “atonement” thru sacrifice.
The message for the priesthood of the future 8th Day kingdom:
You will return to “the land.” My House will be raised up, where all of those resurrected at The 8th Day may receive atonement, because I will continue to plead My blood for them.
continued next page
COME LET US GO UP!
Gentiles - Aliens - Strangers - Peoples, on the earth in the Kingdom of Messiah
Isaiah 2:1-4 “And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established on the top of the mountains [above all kingdoms], and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many peoples shall go and say, ‘Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in His paths:’ for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.”
Jehovah’s House (kingdom) has been established above all other kingdoms. This means that Christ has come. These events of Isaiah 2, take place AFTER the Glorious Return. We see “peoples” (non-Israelites) going up to the House of God, where they expect that “He will teach us his ways.” Their desire is to “walk in his paths.”
Isaiah 11:1-10 The “Rod from the stem of Jesse” [Jesus] will slay the wicked [at His Glorious Return]. Then “the wolf will dwell with the lamb” and “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD.” This “root of Jesse” [Christ] will “stand as a banner to the people;” and “the Gentiles will seek Him.”
Here the “Gentiles” seek the LORD, in the same kingdom where the wolf lives peacefully with the lamb. This is the Kingdom of Messiah.
Isaiah 35:1-10 Notice the context. The healing and return of the “ransomed”(v. 10) follows the general destruction of the earth and the nations. THEN “strangers” will be joined with them.
“Strangers” was a term for non-Israelites. All those who believe in Jesus are “grafted in” to Israel. They are no longer “strangers” (Eph. 2:19). The “strangers” of this passage have not yet been “grafted in.” They are “the rest of the dead.”
Isaiah 66:18-21 [After the destruction of v.15-17] “For me knows their works and their thoughts: the time cometh, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and shall see my glory. And I will set a sign among them, and I will send such as escape of them [those raised first] unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations.”
Isaiah 66:18-21 [continued] “And they shall bring all your brethren out of all the nations for an oblation unto Jehovah, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith Jehovah, as the children of Israel bring their oblation in a clean vessel into the house of Jehovah. And of them also will I take for priests and for Levites, saith Jehovah.” (ASV)
WOW!! He will gather all nations and tongues. Then He will set a sign among them. Human beings with spiritual bodies, ruling with Christ - now that WILL be a sign!
The redeemed will “escape” the destruction and judgment at the Glorious Return. At the 8th millennium, the LORD will “send them back” to their former nations - the nations who have never heard of Him. He will send them as “a sign” (a witness). These witnesses will then bring many “brethren” to Christ. These will be presented to God - like an offering - as “fruits” of a harvest. Some of the people won to God, will even themselves become priests.
Imagine being sent to your grandparents, 20 generations back - to tell them about Jesus.
This is why I believe our present age is for calling the priesthood. The LORD needs priests from every nation, kindred, tongue and people.
Jeremiah Chapter 33:7-18 “And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first.” They will be “a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble.” A descendant of David will reign, and will “execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.”
Ezekiel 28:25-26 “When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the site of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob.”
Ezekiel 37:15-27 The LORD will gather the children of Israel. Judah and Israel will be joined into one kingdom - never to be separated again, with one King - from the line of David (v.24). The Lord will then make an everlasting covenant of peace with those He has gathered (v.26). “My Tabernacle also shall be with them; . . . The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, WHEN My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”
The Temple of Yahweh will be restored in the midst Israel, returned to the land - restored in the midst of “the nations,” who KNOW (who see - because of this) that the LORD has indeed chosen Israel. “The nations” is a term for Gentiles, or non-Israelites.
NOTE: The Temple shown to Ezekiel has never been built. Ezekiel’s Temple measures 210 feet high. The technology for such high rise building did not exist in his day.
Amos 9:11-12 “‘On that day I will raise up The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, And rebuild it as in the days of old; That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name,’ Says the LORD who does this thing.”
The name translated as “Edom” can just as reasonably be translated “Adam.” The “remnant of Edom” is the remnant of mankind. They will come to God through Christ, the legal heir to the “House of David.” The Gentiles who “are called” by the name of Jesus, will be the possession of the LORD.
I could quote many more passages, but I think you can see that millions of non-Israelites will be living on the earth, with the people of God, in the Kingdom of Messiah. (Additional references: Isaiah 27:6; Isaiah 27:12-13; Isaiah 31:35; Isaiah 37:31-32; Isaiah 43:1-7; Isaiah 49:20-22; Isaiah 54:1-10; Isaiah 56:1-8)
WHY A PRIESTHOOD - AFTER THE GLORIOUS RETURN?
The role of the ancient priests was one of mediation. They guided and taught the one who would approach the LORD. They taught the people right from wrong (according to the Torah/Law). The high priest also served as the mediator of last resort for both civil and criminal cases (Deut. 17:8-11, Deut. 21:5).
I believe that the priesthood will continue, with Christ as High Priest, because millions will be raised to continue their lives in the Kingdom of Messiah on the earth, during the 8th millennium (The 8th Day). Human beings who lived in ignorance of God, or died as children, will need guidance and governance. Raised into the Kingdom of Messiah, they will learn of God and of His Son. Millions will choose to serve Christ as Savior, Lord and King. Through the work of the “firstborn” priesthood they will be won to the Kingdom, from those who are raised “last.”
WHY A TEMPLE?
If the work of redemption is finished at the Second Coming, there will be NO NEED for another temporary House of God, and NO NEED for a priesthood. Yet we are told that those who are raised in “the first resurrection” will become “priests of God and of Christ.”
In the New Jerusalem of the eternal kingdom, John “saw no Temple there” for “God and the Lamb are the Temple” there (Revelation 21:22). This tells us that Ezekiel’s Temple will be another temporary “House” - the Temple of the 8th Day Kingdom of Messiah. It will be the meeting place, the center of learning and the center of worship, where “all flesh” will be invited to come before the LORD (Isa. 2).
NOTE: BEWARE a coming COUNTERFEIT! I believe that a Temple will be restored on the Mount, before Christ returns. It will be modeled after Ezekiel’s vision. The system of animal sacrifices will be “restored” at that Temple. But the LORD will not be there. Antichrist - the “abomination of desolation” will sit in that third Temple. I believe the restoration of that Temple is part of Satan’s plan to “deceive if possible, the very elect.”
Please see studies “The Temples of Yahweh” and “Masterpiece of Deception.”
PRIESTS OF GOD AND OF CHRIST
They will rise in the “first resurrection” - at the Second Coming (Rev. 20:1-6).
They will prepare for the priesthood in the Father’s house (during the 7th millennium).
They will “return to the land.”
They will repair and rebuild. They will build the Temple of the LORD at Jerusalem.
With Christ - they will govern “the nations” of the last great resurrection.
“The Law will go forth from Zion” (Isa. 2:1-4).
Those who have never heard the name of Jesus, will learn of the Father’s love.
We pray this study will prove a blessing.
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An Ancient Prophecy
The Change of the Priesthood Jot or Tittle
Two Covenants The End of Sacrifices
The Only Way The Book of Life
Who are Israel? Temples of Yahweh Masterpiece of Deception
The 8th Day - Messiah Reigns
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