God desires that all of His people would be priests. Exodus 19:6 says, “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the children of Israel.” However, most of the Israelites lost the priesthood because of their worship of the golden calf (32:1-6). Only Aaron and his sons were given to be the priests, and the Levites served the priesthood in practical matters (Num. 3:6-10; 18:1-2). In the New Testament God’s desire that all His people be priests remains the same. First Peter 2:5 and 9 reveal that the believers in Christ are “a holy priesthood” and “a royal priesthood.” Revelation 5:9-10 reveals that we were purchased by the blood of Christ and were made priests to our God. Since this is God’s desire and our status, today we must know how to fulfill our function as priests.
In the Old Testament the primary function of the priests was to draw near to God and bear God’s people before God. By offering sacrifices in the outer court, the priests were able to enter into the Holy Place and eventually into the Holy of Holies, where the presence of God was. When they appeared before God, they bore the names of the twelve tribes on their breastplate and shoulder pieces, seeking and inquiring of God’s will concerning them. Since we as believers are the New Testament priests, we also need to function in such a way. Every day we need to pray ourselves into our spirit—the practical Holy of Holies today—where we can bathe in His countenance and be saturated with His beauty (Eph. 2:22; 2 Tim. 4:22). As we are spending time with Him, we should also petition on behalf of others and seek His will concerning them so that Christ may be dispensed into their being. This is the way to fulfill our priestly duty today.
Witness Lee, The Advance of the Lord’s Recovery Today, Ch. 1 (Print).
Witness Lee, Life-Study of Acts, Msg. 65 (Nook, Kindle, iBooks, Print).
Witness Lee, The Recovery of God’s House and God’s City, Ch. 5 (Print).
(Most references in the Further Reading can also be viewed on www.ministrybooks.org.)
2 thoughts on “The Way to Fulfill the Priestly Duty in the New Testament”
1 Peter 2:5 “But you are a chosen race a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for a possession, so that you may tell out the virtues of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
An outstanding characteristic of the priesthood is the bearing of
God’s image. God’s kindness, forgiveness, love, grace, mercy, and patience are all His virtues. Telling out His virtues is to express Him, and bear His image. When we bear God’s image the result is spiritual sacrifices. In the Old Testament, the priest would present an offering to God. These offerings typify Christ. In the New Testament, we have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light to: tell out God’s virtues and offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God. This means that we offer up sinners to God. Romans 15:16 says, “ That I might be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, a laboring priest of the gospel of God, in order that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, having been sanctified in the Holy Spirit.” In Colossians, Paul was laboring to present every man full grown in Christ. This means our duty as priests is not only to offer up new born believers. These spiritual sacrifices have gone through the process of sanctification of the Holy Spirit.
Praise the Lord! Not only are any barriers or intermediaries between us and God removed—we are priests with direct access to God through Christ’s redemption—but we can also go to God on behalf of others who might not be as near to Him.