MINISTERS OF THE NEW COVENANT
In the beginning when Yahweh set up His kingdom-order on earth, Adam and Eve had a relationship with the Creator, Who gave them a position, a function, a role, and an office to fulfill. They were to have dominion and to rule the earth, while being, at the same time, under His power and authority. Thus, 'earthward' they were functioning in the role of a servant-king, providers of life and light to the creation, which they received from the One Who was Life and Light Himself. 'Godward' they lived in a relationship with the Creator, fulfilling a priestly role. This rendered them "a royal priesthood, a holy nation". They were in the kingly-priestly position which later came to be known as the "Melchizedec Order".
The present new covenant priesthood is in the form and pattern of the original 'royal priesthood'.
When Yahweh's prime purpose of having a nation of priests formed at Sinai was thwarted by their disobedience, the nation did not at that time, come into their inheritance, and the Levites ministered on behalf of the people as priests to Yahweh. The nation as a whole failed to fulfill His purpose in the world of being a light to the other nations through a whole nation of priests. In the fullness of time, when God sent forth His Son to enable the covenant to become effectual (Galatians 4:4), they would fulfill their calling and become a "kingdom of priests" through a new covenant. Exodus 19:6; Hebrews 8: 8-12
The new covenant was inaugurated by the redemption that was effected by Y'shua as the Messiah and from the resultant outpouring of the Holy Spirit into the hearts of His people. With this empowerment, they entered into their spiritual inheritance and fulfilled the mandate of becoming a kingdom of priests to the world, in obedience to Y'shua's command - "go into all the world and preach the gospel (good news) to every creature" Mark 16:15
The Old Fulfilled in the New
As a result of Y'shua's sinless life, sacrificial death, triumphant resurrection and His ascension to sit at the right hand of the Father, He has become our Great High Priest, and through His grace and mercy extended to us, He has established His kingdom on earth of priests ministering under Him. Now under this new order, we are a Kingdom of priests, a holy nation to reach out and minister the things of the Kingdom to this world as a renewed Israel (those grafted in become Israelites). 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
Y'shua is the Doorway for entrance into this Kingdom (John 10:7-9) whereby His people are able to keep the covenant with their God. Peter with the keys of the Kingdom (the revelation knowledge to open the way into the Kingdom), said, "You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people" 1 Peter 2: 9
Peter is using Exodus 19:6, and declaring - You are chosen, specially selected, generated by His Spirit - a Kingly priesthood - a nation made holy, sanctified & set apart for His purposes. This is the fulfilment of Yahweh's original plan & purpose, beginning with Adam, to have many sons coming into His glory and functioning as a corporate priesthood on the earth. Hebrews 2:10-11
This Kingly priesthood became known as The Melchizedek priesthood firstly through Abraham, (Genesis 14:18), then with David (Psalm 110:1-3), and lastly with and through Messiah. Hebrews 5: 6
Abraham is the father of those who walk by faith in the new covenant and we come under the same order of priesthood as he, which was the original Patriarchal order. (Galatians 3:7-9, 26-29)
David also reached into this order of worship of coming into the presence of God by faith bypassing the established Aaronic/Levitical order. The Tabernacle which he established circumvented the existing order of the time. By revelation, as a result of his spiritual walk with Yahweh, he entered into the Melchizedek order of priesthood and established worship in the very presence of Yahweh, which at that time was manifested through the Ark of the Covenant. 1 Chronicles Ch. 15-16 Y'shua the Messiah, is our High Priest now after the order of Melchizedek which is understood to be a re-establishment of the order under which both Abraham and David functioned, the original order which Yahweh established in Adam and which had "fallen down". Hebrews 6:20; Acts 15:13b-18
A Spiritual Ministry The apostle John says "You have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things". John 2:20 John is writing on the basis of what had taken place spiritually with the believers. In the consecration of priests and in the coronation of Kings, anointing with oil marked the appointment to either the priestly or the royal office. At spiritual regeneration, the new covenant believer is anointed with the Holy Spirit, which the oil symbolises, as a king and a priest. We have been anointed to officiate as priests and also to reign with Him. Rev 1: 6; 5: 9-10; 20:6
Just as David was anointed when he was called to the ministry years before he functioned in it, so we also do not function in the fullness of those ministries immediately, but we come into the authority to function in them as we qualify in spiritual growth and maturity by our willingness to yield to His will and serve Him. It took many years of preparation before David functioned in his calling. 1 Samuel16:1-13; 2 Samuel 2: 4; 5: 3-5 But we, as David did, need to embrace the calling and exercise our ministry to the full extent of our God-given ability, and be a faithful steward of all that He has entrusted to us. As we do that, He will give us more. It is only as we appropriate that which He has decreed for us in ministry, that we will actually possess it. 1 Corinthians 4: 1-2; Matthew 13:11-12
By reason of the anointing we all know the truth. 1 John 2:27 We have spiritual revelation in the knowledge of God through the Spirit, and therefore even the new born are "able ministers of the new covenant" 2 Corinthians 3: 4-6 We all know Him by the Spirit and with that - we know all that He is. We also have the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth by His Word and can therefore, minister to God and to man according to His will. This is the anointing which we have as priests and Kings. We present God to men and men to God in prayer and testimony, according to our spiritual growth level.
Spiritual Sacrifices The application of N.T. priesthood is spiritual rather than in natural animal sacrifices. David who entered into this priesthood said, "Burnt offerings you don't desire; the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a contrite heart." Psalm 51:16-17 He is looking for a sacrifice of our own lives, that which comes from within of a spirit that has been broken - where the self-life has been shattered and bruised with the impact of sin. From such a heart will flow truth and worship, sacrifices that are acceptable to Him. "Take words with you and return to Yahweh .. .. .. for we will offer to You the sacrifices of our lips" Hosea 14: 2-3 Literally the Hebrew reads, "the calves of our lips". The Septuagint - "the fruit of our lips". Instead of 'calves' to offer in sacrifice, we come with words - the fruit of our lips from a heart that is pure towards Him. With such sacrifices He is well pleased. Hebrews 13;15
Peter said we are made:
1. a holy priesthood - to offer up spiritual sacrifices 2. to declare the wonderful works of Him who has called us 1 Peter 2: 9
- a ministry Vertically --- to Yahweh
- Horizontally --- to man
- a ministry Vertically --- to Yahweh
1. The Vertical Ministry to Yahweh
These are "Spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God"
- - sacrifices that are spiritual - not of the flesh (self)
- - acceptable - those pleasing to Him 1 Peter 2:9
"I beseech brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12: 1
Our bodies represent all of our lives - offered up as a sacrifice, following Y'shua's example "Not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42). Even though it may be our actual life placed upon His altar. This surrender of our will is an acceptable sacrifice and becomes "holy", set apart from self and secular life.
"Therefore by Him, let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name." Hebrews 13:15
Our praises, words of thanks, acknowledgement of all that He is and does, is an acceptable sacrifice before Him. We come into His presence and minister precious words which become a sweet incense that ascends to His throne, as David said, "Let my prayer be set before you as incense, and the lifting of my hands as the evening sacrifice" Psalm 141: 2
2. Declaring His wonderful works to Men
"Proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light". 1 Peter 2: 9
Deliverance from darkness to light is His salvation. We do this by declaring His calling and transformation of us from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light, to the world around us.
That is - His salvation in release from sin, guilt and fear of death into - forgiveness, fellowship with God and eternal life.
We are ambassadors of His covenant to bring the world to Messiah. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 As ambassadors we are on His mission to bring the benefits of the covenant to others so that they also may be partakers of the blessing and be reconciled to God, as we also have been. Romans 5:10-11
As priests ministering the atonement of men to God through Messiah, we remit men's sins by the power of the Holy Spirit and "whosoever's sins you remit, they are remitted unto them." John 20:23
As well as having the authority to remit sins, we also have the privilege of engaging in our Great High Priest's ministry of intercession and becoming vessels for the expression of the groanings and burdens of travail which the Holy Spirit has for Messiah's Body and which He will will make through human vessels who avail themselves for this purpose. Romans 8:26-27
We are not only to declare our experience of His goodness to us, but to also enter into being a transmitter of His good works to others --
"But do not forget to do good works and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" Hebrews 13:16 We are His hands and His feet upon the earth to bless others, according to His will. Yahweh has prepared for us to enter into His ministry of good works to others - as the scripture says,
"For we are his workmanship created in Y'shua the Messiah for good works, which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10
"Now may our Lord, Y'shua the Messiah Himself, and our God and Father, who loved us and has given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in EVERY GOOD WORD and WORK" 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
In every word and every work we do in His Name, we are acting as His priests/ministers of the new covenant in this present age, presenting Him and all that He is and does to mankind as faithful witnesses, His feet upon the earth, walking amongst men to minister to their need of a Saviour and a Deliverer from all that the fall has effected in them and caused to come upon them. "A holy nation, a royal priesthood" -- a nation of king/priests of the Melchizedek order in spiritual communion and fellowship with their High Priest Y'shua, functioning under His command, and performing His will upon the earth. A priesthood of every believer, every living stone which comprises His spiritual temple, functioning according to the giftings and callings which He has given and placed upon their lives.
This is the Israel of Yahweh God!