The Holy Priesthood - Come Boldly
The Holy Priesthood – Come Boldly
What does it mean to be a priest exactly? Has God really called believers to be a Kingdom of Priests? If so what does that entail? I hope in this study that we can answer all these questions and learn everything that God would reveal to us in His word at this time. God will never ask us to do anything that He will not make provisions for us to succeed! Today, let us begin to understand what it means to come boldly to God’s throne so that we can later understand what it means to be a Kingdom of priests before the LORD.
Handout: The Holy Priesthood – Come Boldly
We begin our study with a verse in the book of 1 Peter.
1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light:”
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
We can not even begin to imagine and understand the invitation we have to come boldly before the throne of Grace until we understand how things were before Christ died and arose again. We cannot understand this honor and privilege until we understand how things were before grace! As we study the priesthood I pray that we can begin to grasp just what Christ did when He came and died for us, and may we ever be thankful with everything we have in us!
We know that we can go to God in prayer anytime we want to now that Christ has died. However, it wasn’t always like that. That is why in Biblical days there were priests. They had several roles one very important one was Mediation. Back in Genesis we read that Adam and Eve sinned and was expelled from the Garden of Eden for their disobedience, it says that after they had sinned, God made coats of skins and clothed them. They had eaten of the forbidden fruit of the knowledge of good and evil and their eyes were opened and they were not innocent any longer.
Genesis 3:21 “Unto Adam also and to his life did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”
Now blood was shed in order to make those coats. We learn later in reading the scriptures that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.
Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”
We have studied in previous lessons that in the Old Testament days, God called out Abraham and made a covenant with him that He would make him a great nation and that from his seed a nation would come forth that would be special to God, the apple of His eye. God honored His promise to Abraham and in his old age he and his wife had a son who was Isaac. (Genesis 17 -)
Many, many years later the descendants of Abraham, which was Israel, had been taken captive and in bondage in Egypt and we read that God called out a man named Moses to lead His people out of the oppression and bondage in Egypt. We see how Moses became a mediator between God and Israel at that time. Later in the study we will learn just how the Levitical Priesthood began but today I feel it is important to start beginning to understand the privilege of being able to come boldly before God’s throne.
Now the children of Israel have been led out of bondage, God has provided food for them by raining manna from heaven, he has supplied water for them from a rock, and He has parted the Red Sea so that they could escape their enemies. They know that God is real but they have not spoken to Him or seen His presence. You can read about their in the book of Exodus. Right now, turn to Exodus 19.
1In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. 2For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. 3And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. 5Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. 7And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.
So here the children of Israel have been brought out of Egypt and God has watched over them, and provided and Moses has been the mediator between God and the people this whole time. They could not just go into God’s presence and pray because the curse of sin had separated mankind so far from God that we could not reach Him. I think sometimes we forget just how HOLY and RIGHTEOUS God is! He cannot tolerate ANY sin…NOT ONE! So God tells Moses that He wants to make a covenant with the people and that had chosen them above all the population of the Earth to be a special people. He has told them that they will be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation if they will obey what He says for them to do.
Exodus 19:8 8And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD. 9And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.
Moses tells the people what God has instructed and they respond that they would do as He has said. So God tells Moses that He will introduce Himself in front of the people. He will allow them to hear His voice speaking to Moses so that the people will understand that Moses is their mediator and believe what he says to them. Moses here is taking on the role of a priest. The people could not go into God’s presence, so God called out Moses to be that bridge in the gap between God and man that was created by man’s sin, for the time being
10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, 11And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
God tells Moses to sanctify the people and have them “get prepared” to be in His presence. Here God wanted them to do something physical to prepare for what is spiritual. God gave them three days. They were to wash their clothes and get prepared to be in the presence of the Most High. They could not just go before God’s throne as we do today. Even though we can go boldly before God, do we prepare ourselves spiritually to be in His presence? He wants our hearts and our minds focused on Him and what He has to say. He wants our praise, our respect and our admiration to be all about Him. He wants us to understand how High He is and that He is above all. No other even compares.
Exodus 19:12 12And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: 13There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount. 14And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. 15And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.
Here God tells Moses that they MUST do what He says and not to approach or touch the mountain until He said it was ok. He was making them see and understand that He was MOST HIGH and that He was to be feared and respected.
16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. 17And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. 18And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. 19And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
Can you imagine that sight! How terrifying and wonderful it must have been. God made His point well because everyone in the camp was trembling! Note that God came cloaked in a thick cloud because no mortal man can look upon the face of God and His glory with natural eyes and still live! Oh how small we are and how GREAT HE IS! Praise You LORD!
20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.
This verse is glorious! God is so High above all that when we have to go up, up, up to meet Him, He must come down! Even the highest place we could reach, God would still have to come down to meet with us! He truly is the greatest Wander!
21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. 22And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them. 23And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it. 24And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them. 25So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.
In these verses we get to see God introduce Himself corporately to Israel and establish His power and making them understand that they must listen to Moses who was acting as priestly mediator. Reading on in the book we see in Exodus 20 that they people feared so much that they remained at a distance.
Exodus 20:18-21 18And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. 21And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.”
They had to remain at a distance. Praise the Lord, when Christ came, died on the cross, shed His blood for the remission of sins and arose from the grave on the third day, He bridged the gap between God and man. He is our Mediator and our High Priest! We do not have to stand at a distance any longer.
We do not have to fear death because of our sins any longer if we want to go near to the throne of grace. We do not have to fear and we can go directly into the presence of God in prayer because of what Christ did. He is indeed our High Priest forever! What a wonderful Savior we have.
1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
Romans 3:24-26 “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that he might be just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
Hebrews 4:-16 14Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Where oh where would we be without Jesus? We would be like the Children of Israel in Exodus 20, standing at a distance and asking another to talk to God on our behalf! What an honor and gift it is to be able to now go to God’s throne…Boldly and talk to our Father about all things. Thank You LORD for Jesus! He is so worthy to be praised.
Dear, Righteous, Holy Father…
We thank You for the plans that You have and that You are unfolding them at the perfect time according to Your own will! Father we thank You that we get to be part of the plans that You have. We thank You for protecting us and for providing for us just as You have since the beginning of time for Your Children. You have proven time and time again that You are faithful. Father help us today to be thankful and to understand what a gift it is that we can come boldly before You and make our requests known before You. Thank You for making a way and for sending Your only begotten Son Jesus to bridge the separation between ourselves and You. Please help us to love You and serve You as You would have us to. We will ever Love You, Praise You and Respect You…In Jesus name we pray. Amen.