Cleansing the Priesthood
We rose early the next day and prepared to move the Ark.
“Yahweh has instructed that The Despised Ones should carry the Ark,” I instructed the priests of Kirjeath-jearim. “God has consecrated them into the ancient Order of Melchizedek to which Moses himself belonged. In the future, the Messiah Himself will be the High Priest of that Order, though He will not be a Levite. Go now back to Kirjeath-jearim and wait for us. We must offer prayers for the priests of Israel before we can bring the Ark to the house of Abinadab.”
The priests wondered about this, having no High Priest present to guide them, but they bowed their heads in agreement, for they were in awe of me after hearing how I had looked into the Ark and had survived. The priests returned to Kirjeath-jearim empty-handed, and when they were out of sight, I instructed the Melchizedek priests to take up the Ark with the poles and to follow where I would lead them.
Nahum and Azzah formed the rear guard as our procession made its way carefully down the hill into the Valley of Sorek. We made our way toward the lone oak where the ashes of the red heifer were buried. Upon our arrival, I instructed everyone, including the servants of Melchizedek, to remove their shoes.
“This is the gate of heaven,” I explained to the Ark carriers. “We are here to ask for mercy upon Israel and to cleanse the priesthood of Levi from its iniquity. Bring the Ark into the circle near the great tree. When you cross through the gate of heaven, you will enter into the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle of heaven. Do not be alarmed. Say nothing unless He speaks to you first, and do all that He tells you.”
With that, we all stepped through the invisible gate and found ourselves under a vast canopy of stars that shined brightly above the firmament. The great throne of light stood before us, and we heard a great Voice saying,
“Welcome, my faithful children.” Although the Voice was majestic and powerful, it was the sound of kindness and love. It was a Voice of revelation proclaiming that love is the most powerful force in the universe, overcoming death to the uttermost border of darkness.
The Melchizedek priests set the Ark down upon the sapphire stone pavement and knelt down on each side. One of the attending angels then brought forth a bowl of ashes and a bowl of living water and set it before me. I took a pinch of ashes and cast it into the bowl of water. Then dipping my hand into the water, I sprinkled the Ark and the priests of Melchizedek, who stood as intercessors in proxy for the priests of Levi.
“You are clean,” the Voice spoke from the light upon the throne. “I will again remember Israel and will cause the people to hear My voice and repent in their hearts, so that I may deliver them by the prayer of Samuel, My son. He is My chosen Melchizedek High Priest, and I will deliver Israel at his word. Go now, seek him out, hear him, and see what I do.”
The Melchizedek priests picked up the Ark and put it back upon their shoulders. We all then stepped back through the gate of heaven into the grassy field surrounding the lone oak tree. “Come,” I said, “it is time to go.”
“Wait a bit!” one of the priests said. “We must rest for a moment and gain our strength again.”
“Yes,” another said. “I am in a state of shock. What has happened to us?”
“You have just experienced what Moses did when he went up the Mount into the presence of God. Do not worry. Do not question your worthiness or fret about your imperfections. All of that has been taken care of by the Messiah who is yet to come. His future work of cleansing applies to you here and now. What you have seen today is what all will see when the Messiah’s work has been completed.”
“But we are only servants of the Most High God,” one of them said, “and Canaanites at that.”
“You serve the God of Shem, as Noah prophesied of Canaan, your forefather,” I replied. “We all serve the same God, so we are all fellow servants. Though some are more honored on earth, God honors equally those who are faithful to Him, for He looks upon the heart.”
We rested for a short while, discussing the great revelation that these priests had received. Then, with a renewed sense of calling, they picked up the Ark and broke into joyful song:
Rise up, Yahweh; for your light now shines,
Israel with that light aligns.
Rise up, Yahweh, let darkness flee,
For He declares our Jubilee.
The procession moved again. Sipporah and I led the way, seated upon white horses. The Ark followed, as the new priests carried it back to the main road. Nahum and Azzah danced at the rear.
We turned toward the hill leading up to Zorah and turned again to follow the road to Kirjeath-jearim. We stopped to rest at the house of Bocheru and we told him all that had transpired while eating bread and wine at his generous table.
From there, we continued the short journey east to Kirjeath-jearim, where the priests directed us to the house of Abinadab, which stood on a nearby hill top. Here in a Canaanite town, the Ark was to remain for the next 20 years, separated from the young High Priest in Nob.
Here also the next generation of worshipers would come to keep the feasts.