The Sons of God: Part 9
Mar 10, 2006
The overcomers who are raised in the first resurrection are called "priests of God and of Christ." There are two priesthoods in the Bible: Levi (Aaron) and Melchisedec. The Levitical priesthood was chosen to administer the terms of the Old Covenant; the Melchisedec priesthood was chosen to administer the terms of the New Covenant.
The contrast between the two is great. Levi was violent and cruel (Gen. 49:5-7) and, along with Simeon, came under the curse of Jacob. That curse would eventually catch up with them when this priesthood offered up their final Sacrifice in the person of Jesus Christ. Yes, they were called to do this, but even so, they came under judgment for their heart attitude in which they did it. At that point, Levi was replaced by Melchisedec, even as the Old Covenant was replaced by the New.
Thus, the sons of God are priests after the order of Melchisedec, not priests after the order of Levi. Melchisedec was the King of Salem (i.e., "King of Peace"), as opposed to Levi, who was king of violence and cruelty.
Melchisedec's calling was not tied to his genealogy (Heb. 7:6). In the Levitical priesthood, one had to be a descended from Aaron, of the tribe of Levi. Hence, both David and Jesus, who were of the tribe of Judah, were eligible for this priestly order (Psalm 110:4; Heb. 7:17). And the overcomers, too, who may have no connection to Levi, are eligible for this priesthood and are called out of every people, tongue and nation.
One of the key characteristics of priests is the fact that they have no inheritance in the land, as we read in Num. 18:20,
"Then the Lord said to Aaron, You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor own any portion among them; I AM YOUR PORTION AND YOUR INHERITANCE among the sons of Israel."
To inherit God is to inherit the glorified body as a son of God. As a son, these are priests who have the duty toward God to minister to Him and to the people. Intercession between God and men was the duty of priesthood under God. Levi failed to live up to its administrative duty and was replaced by Melchisedec. This simply means that the Order of Melchisedec has now taken over the duties that were first given to Levi. The duties no longer include blood sacrifices, because they have a "better" Sacrifice in the person of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. They have a new temple in a New Jerusalem and a new Mount Sion, as the book of Hebrews tells us. Yet the provision of Num. 18:20 still stands. God is their inheritance, in contrast to the rest of the believers who will be given real estate when the meek inherit the earth.
This change from Levi to Melchisedec is foreshadowed in the story of Eli and how his lineage was replaced by Zadok in the days of Solomon. Although Zadok was still a Levitical priest, his name means "righteousness," and is part of the Melchi-sedec (Zadok) name, "King of Righteousness" (Heb. 7:2). Because this replacement was done during the Old Testament times, God used an Aaronic priest, Zadok, as a type of the Melchisedec Order. In that the replacement was done in the days of Solomon, the "Prince of Peace," it speaks of the real change in the days of Jesus, the true Prince of Peace.
The story of this change in priesthood begins in 1 Samuel 2:27-36. Because Eli's sons were corrupt, stealing the offerings and having sex with the women, God sent a prophet to Eli and told him in verses 30 and 35,
"30 . . . I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father should walk before Me forever; but NOW the Lord declares, 'Be it far from Me--for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed. . . 35 But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always."
Eli was replaced by Eleazar (1 Sam. 7:1), who was replaced by Abiathar. Solomon replaced Abiathar. Of course, ultimately, this was a prophecy of Jesus Christ and the Melchisedec Order that replaced the old Order of Levi. But Zadok was the type of Christ as High Priest. 1 Kings 2:27, 28 says,
"So Solomon dismissed Abiathar from being priest to the Lord, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord, which he had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh. . . And the king appointed Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar."
Ezekiel comments upon this replacement in Ezekiel 44, relating it prophetically to two types of priesthoods in the Age of Tabernacles to come. In 44:10-14 the prophet speaks of the Order of Eli, representing the corrupted priesthood:
"10 But the Levites who went far from Me, when Israel went astray. . . shall bear the punishment for their iniquity, 11 Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the house and ministering in the house . . . 13 And they shall NOT come near to Me to serve as a priest to Me. . ."
It is strange that God would continue to allow a corrupted priesthood to have any job at all in the temple. It is presumed, however, that such corrupted ministers have repented by the time this is fulfilled. But the downside is that they are disqualified from ministering to God directly. In the context of temple worship, they will not be able to approach God in the Sanctuary (in heaven) itself, but will be limited to ministering in the outer court (earthly realm).
In other words, they are Christian believers and even ministers, but they were unable to progress past the Passover or Pentecostal experiences. They did not allow the law to be written on their hearts, which was the purpose of Pentecost. They fell short of the promises, because they had no vision of the feast of Tabernacles or what it meant to enter the Promised Land--the glorified body.
(This article was too long to fit, so it is continued on the next article.)
This is the ninth part of a series titled "The Sons of God." To view all parts, click the link below.