TRUE PRIESTHOOD 1 by Don Rogers
(Thirty plus years ago God put Don Rogers in my life. He trained and mentored me in spiritual ministry. When he was no longer able to minister, I had the privilege of taking over his “Spiritual Warfare Ministries.” He wrote many fine articles about spiritual warfare. I have edited and printed one below.)
For a number of years, I have been concerned about the Church’s simplistic definition of the priesthood of the believer. Most of us were taught that our priesthood involved direct access to God; meaning we do not have to approach Him through another human being. We were also taught that we can come boldly into His presence. All of this is true and can be strongly supported from the scriptures. But there is much more involved in our priesthood than that which has been stated.
The Christian’s spiritual heritage as a priest can be traced back to the Old Testament where God has provided a very clear model for us. There is a wonderful continuity of revelation in the scriptures. 1 Peter 2:5, 9 “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.“
If God does not supersede an OT principle in the New Testament, than the original principle remains valid.
THE PRIESTHOOD MODEL God directed that Aaron be consecrated as the first high priest of Israel. God established him as the model for priesthood. Priests were to be guardians of the relationship that God wanted His people to honor. The high priest represented Israel before God and they also represented God to Israel.
In Leviticus 16, we are provided with detailed insight concerning the high priest’s duties. On the Day of Atonement he prepared himself through physical cleansing and then offered a sin offering to make atonement for himself and his family. Following this, he interceded on behalf of the people as he once again entered into the presence of God. Aaron received from the people two male goats. One goat was sacrificed as a sin offering and the other was made a scapegoat upon which the sins of the people were placed and then sent out into the wilderness to die.
The point that I am making is that the priest first dealt with his own sin and then he came before God with the sins of the people. Not only does our priesthood involve bold, direct access to God, but it also involves bringing their specific sins to God. We stand on their behalf as the priest did and confess their sins and ask for God’s grace to be extended to them so they may recognize their sins and repent. As priests we come to our high priest, Jesus Christ, who is God, and we draw upon His grace which is released powerfully because of the shedding of His precious blood.
Jesus, as our great high priest, sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. We follow his model and make intercession for others, confessing their sins to God. In so doing, we actually bless them. We have a term for this practice in our ministry. We call it “intercessory repentance.”
Even Job, who lived during the period of the patriarchs, before there was a priesthood, performed priesthood ministry on behalf of his family. The biblical records states, The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earthlike him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 2:3)
We are told that Job’s sons would have feasts in their homes and invite their sisters to eat and drink with them. Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.
Job was interceding to God on behalf of his family in case they had sinned against God. This is “intercessory repentance” being practiced by the head of the family. All through scripture, we see God honoring the priestly headship He has ordained. (Continued in next blog.)
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