#526 — One New Covenant Priesthood
After The Order Of Melchizedek.
Following the Picture or Type
Of The Priesthood After The Order of Aaron.
September 11, 2012
During our recent pastor’s meeting Tom Hobart spent about 2 1/2 hours establishing the pattern for the priesthood that God Himself established, out of His absolute Sovereignty, as His only acceptable “administration” for the Priesthood as it related to Israel and to God. He limited the presentation to about ten Power Point slides but thoroughly proved his points.
This Priesthood was established wholly by God’s appointment and by His Absolute Sovereignty. Moses, Aaron and Aaron’s Sons, were appointed as “administrators” for the priesthood and they “administrated” the function of the Levites. The three tribes of the Levites, Kohath, Gershon and Merari, carried out their duties within the ONE PRIESTHOOD as they functioned within the “operations” of the Tabernacle. Within the “operations” each tribe was assigned a specific work within the Tabernacle and a specific load to carry when the Tabernacle was moved. Neither the work nor the load for the Levites ever changed throughout the history of the Tabernacle as they traveled in the wilderness for 40 years. All this was specifically designed and assigned under the absolute Government and Sovereignty of God. Man made NO DECISIONS nor did man participate in the DESIGN or ever dare to change it.
This ONE PRIESTHOOD was divided between the “ADMINISTRATIONS” AND THE “OPERATIONS.” This “arrangement” stood firm throughout the life of the Tabernacle. As long as EVERYONE function within their Divine Order everything flourished and Israel prospered. When any tribe or group within a tribe broke the Divine Order disaster came quickly.
Num 16:31 Then it came about as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground that was under them split open; 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah, with their possessions.
For many years now it has been apparent that the current church system is not producing a glorious church without spot or wrinkle, holy and blameless. In other words the believers (saints) are not growing to perfection or to the measure of the stature that belongs to the fullness of Christ. They are NOT growing up in all things into the ONE NEW MAN. Fragmentation exists in every aspect of the visible church! It seems apparent that God’s Eternal Purpose, which He established for the church before the world was, is NOT being fulfilled.
It has been easy to criticize the “system” for this apparent failure. However, for us to clearly identify how to fix the problem is not so easy. Some “ministers” believe that if God cannot fulfill His original purpose for the church that he will accept something far less. It would be nice if the saints came to perfection, as an ideal, but in the real world God knows that cannot happen. Since He is full of mercy and grace He will accept whatever we decide is “good enough,” catch the “baby church” away to that great “nursery in the sky” and bring the history of the earth to an end, even if His Eternal Purpose for the Church is not fulfilled.
Of course this is a stupid and untenable conclusion that simply CANNOT happen.
When Jesus wrote to the Seven Churches in Revelation 2 and 3, He wrote to ONE CHURCH in each area. There could be different and smaller assemblies but there was just one church. The “church system” has deteriorated into thousands of denominational and doctrinal groups that are in competition, are hostile and do not fellowship together.
Even if we discover what God’s original purpose was and how the Divine Order for the church and the Priesthood After the Order of Melchizedek was designed to function, it CANNOT function within this fractured system. Nevertheless, we should at least find out what God’s Sovereign Plan was for the Church He is Building, just as a matter of curiosity. Even if it never is able to grow up and fulfill His Eternal Purpose it would be good to know what He had in mind. Even if we CANNOT implement God’s Sovereign Plan because the Adam “church man” has ignored it, we can discover what God’s Ideal Program is for the REAL “Church He is Building.” We believe that what Tom has laid out as the Sovereign Pattern for the Tabernacle is a strong guide for us as the Sovereign Pattern for the Church. Of course we can only define this from an overview here because of the limitation of a written document. Tom has prepared a much more detailed document of this study for those who are interested.
Tom presented the pattern for the Priesthood for the Tabernacle, that is after the Order of Aaron, as it was to function in two dimensions. (1) As the “first order” of Priesthood for the Administration and (2) As the “second order” of Priesthood for the Operation. This Pattern of “Administrations” and “Operations” is also seen as the arrangement for the New Covenant Church. Therefore, we will focus upon the application for the church.
1Cor 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1Cor 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
1Cor 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
1Cor 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
The Sovereign and Divine Order designed by God for the church is not complicated!
(1) The Lord sets the “Administrations” in the church.
(2) God Sets the “Operations” in the church.
(3) The Holy Spirit Gives “Gifts” for each person, for each function, within the church .
Here we see a cooperation between The Man, Christ Jesus, and God in the total function of the church. Christ Jesus has taken His seat at the Right Hand of God and is now ruling from the throne in heaven. One of us (The Man, Christ Jesus) is now functioning in that eternal dimension and “He is Building His Church” in cooperation with God and to fulfill His Eternal Purpose! Therefore, He is appointing the “Administrations” in His Church in cooperation with God, (Father, Eternal Word and the Holy Spirit), who appoints the “Operations” within the Church.
Since this IS the Dispensation of the Holy Spirit, He Gives whatever gifts are needed so that each person, appointed for their function within the church, has the ability to fulfill their calling. This eliminates the possibility of excuses of “I would if I could, but I can’t!”.
The confusion comes concerning “a definition” of how this works when we try to define exactly how this is designed to work from the word terms that are given.
G1248 “Administrations” διακονία diakonia dee-ak-on-ee’-ah From G1249; attendance (as a servant, etc.); figuratively (eleemosynary) aid, (official) service (especially of the Christian teacher, or technically of the diaconate): - (ad-) minister (-ing, -tration, -try), office, relief, service (-ing).
To use the word “Administrations” ( as we use it in English) in this context appears to be a stretch. Other translations use “ministries” or “ministrations” or “service” or “work” so what is really intended is not so clear. However, the only logical definition, that can be accepted without question, must come from the “job description” given in the text concerning what Jesus has appointed in the Church He is Building. Their duties define their calling and their function.
Eph 4:10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
He who ascended is the Lord, Jesus Christ, and He appoints these five “ministries” or “administrations” in the church He is building. For men to assume they can appoint these ministries is the height of arrogance and ignorance! The “ministry” then can ONLY be accurately defined by the “Job Description” that is clearly given. Their “ministry” or “work” or “service” or “administration” is clearly defined in the next verses and this truly defines “the work” assigned to them.
Eph 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a (or one) mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Therefore, rather than fussing over what the exact “word” is let us focus upon “the work” and what these “ministers” or “servants of Christ” are supposed to be doing. Each of these “ministries” cooperate to produce one assigned task which is defined as “the perfecting (or the equipping or maturing) of the Saints so THE SAINTS can do the work of “SERVICE.” (Some translations use “for the preparation of the saints.”) The “work” is wholly directed toward the development of the “saints.” The goal of the “work” is preparing the saints to do the “work of Service.” However, this “work” is NOT to prepare the saints to do some trivial activity like picking up paper in the parking lot! The word “SERVICE” is the same word used in the “Administrations.”
Service G1248 διακονία diakonia dee-ak-on-ee’-ah From G1249; attendance (as a servant, etc.); figuratively (eleemosynary) aid, (official) service (especially of the Christian teacher, or technically of the diaconate): - (ad-) minister (-ing, -tration, -try), office, relief, service (-ing).
In other words the “Work of the ministries” that Christ Jesus sets in the church for “administrations” is to raise up the saints so they can advance from the “operations” to the full task of the “Administrations” or the work of raising up a continuous supply of “trainers” for the church. This then becomes the definition of the “work” for the “perfecting of the saints.” The “perfecting of the saints” is specifically designed to produce a supply of “trainers of the new saints” so they can be “trainers of the new saints” in their generation. It should be obvious that the “trainers” must first become fully equipped BEFORE they are qualified to train others.
Equipping or Perfecting G2677 Greek Word καταρτισμός katartismos kat-ar-tis-mos’ From G2675; complete furnishing (objectively): - perfecting.
Therefore, we could say the “work” of these five ministries that Christ Jesus sets in His Church is to cooperate together (function as one Priesthood) to complete the total work of preparing the saints to fulfill the Eternal Purpose for which God “saved them.” (This is to be trainers of other new saints)
2Tim 1:9 who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,
My thesis is this; The current “failed church system” has ignored this “divine design” and replaced these five ministries with a human concept called “pastor.” Because of this failure of the “ministries” to “perfect the new saints,” (so they become trainers or perfecters of new saints), this whole church system has become irrelevant! From this simple study it should be clear that to attempt to “revive” this failed system with a new program is a big waste of time. The “system” is NOT a workable system and should be discarded as a failure.
What is universally called “pastor” today is not even close to this job description in Ephesians 4:11 and has become just another human concept of “leader.” This counterfeit has been substituted for the Sovereign and Only Workable Order that is Designed by God. The Lord, Christ Jesus, has His hands tied by the arrogance and ignorance of these self- appointed persons who have designed their own system of failure that history has proved and a failure that we can all see. We might wonder “who” is behind this anarchy and “who” is benefitted by this corrupt system. Are there many anti- christs really standing in the Holy Place pretending to be God and designing their own opposing systems?
But what has God, (Father, Word and Holy Spirit), set in the Church for its operation? First let us define the word translated as “operations”. G1755 ἐνέργημα energēma en-erg’-ay-mah From G1754; an effect: - operation, working.
This obviously refers to the functions, effects or workings that God has designed to be within the church that Christ Jesus is building. Why should we waste time in this definition? Because, the current church system is obviously not interested in God’s Sovereign Design. They have designed their own failed system that they are trying to preserve by creating new programs to give a new hope! Over the last 42 years we have seen hundreds of these programs be tried for a short time and then abandoned. Why? They didn’t work!
1Cor 12:27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.
These 8 functions (workings, effects or operations) are appointed BY GOD in the church
and seems to describe what today would be rejected as a “church service” because this would not fit into our idea of “having church.” But, of course, we might assume that these “functions” or “work” must take place in some appointed building on a certain day. If we met by the sea shore this surely could not be considered as a “church service.” If we didn’t have a pulpit or pews or ushers or a sound system or a “message” how could that be accepted as something God has appointed “in the church?”
Now you are “Christ’s body” indicates this is a living organism rather than some formal group meeting in some convenient location. This eliminates all these man made denominations! This church, which is Christ’s body, is in session 24 hours a day and seven days per week and 365 days per year. Therefore, these “operations” are never supposed to cease! In other words these 8 ministries are working all the time. God has set these “functions” in the church out of His Sovereign Will and what ever “gifts” are necessary to carry out His Plan and Design will be provided by the Holy Spirit. But “who is it” that makes up all these ministries? The “saints” that are in the process of coming to perfection. But doesn’t that require them to go to Bible School to learn “the ministry?” No! They learn by doing and functioning within the “operations” of the assembly. But isn’t that too radical for today’s “church?” Yes! That is the problem! In this “system” none of this can work.
Well, brother, we used to believe that but we tried it and it didn’t work so we now believe all that passed away with the last Apostle. But this has NOTHING to do with the last Apostle. This is what God has Sovereignly set in the church for its operation and the NORMAL function of the Church He is Building.
Well, brother, you are indicating that these five ministries PLUS these eight ministries should be normal activities in the church. But we only have 50 people in our assembly so how can that possibly work. We only have a tithe enough for one pastor so what are we to do?
Every time we present these basic concepts this argument always comes up. Why? Because it is generally accepted that 50 different denominations are normal for each area and each denomination only has an assembly too small for more than one ministry. Of course it is fully accepted that EVERY group MUST have “a pastor” for its operation. However, it is extremely clear that God has NOT set any Pastor or Evangelist in “the operations” within the church.
Well, brother, that may be what the Bible says but we have a different system built around “a pastor.” Yes, that is surely universally true! That man made system IS the very problem we are addressing. A simple reading of scripture indicates that NONE of that “man made system” is God’s Plan or what Christ Jesus has set in the Church He is Building.
But, brother, we have highly educated leaders that have decided their system is better and meets their need much more completely. We provide “our ministers” with a title, a position and a dignity that gives them authority in the church. Since there is no Sunday School in God’s System, it will not work for us! Where do we find ushers or song leaders in God’s system? How could that “lack of music” work in today’s program? It is certain that we MUST have music because that is the only way the “saints” can participate in the “service.” Our leaders really like the system they have designed so we will go with that system.
After all, five hundred denominations use this system based upon “a pastor” so how could it be wrong? God has obviously changed the system since the Bible was written. Besides, we don’t even use the Old Testament in our church because it has been done away with. What you describe is obviously based upon the Law and couldn’t possibly work under grace!
Of course there are MANY other objections to this pattern and these scriptures that seem very clear. Each group has modified their system to conform to their doctrines and to human concepts suitable to their location, race, traditions or customs. Since they refuse to acknowledge God’s Sovereign Pattern they are comfortable with their own system and see no reason to change.
However, it is our opinion that when the church returns to the reality of the “Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus” as the only real Gospel that the Devine Design MUST be restored to the church or the “visible church” will NEVER become the Church He is building!
Why do we believe that? Because, He is Building His Church exactly according to His Own Design and NOT according to the concepts of men. Why? Because, His Church MUST be fully prepared to fulfill God’s Eternal Purpose and function as a Kingdom of Priests to participate in the Government of the World yet to come. The saints must also be equipped to walk in full obedience to God and to His Christ so they will be qualified to judge the angels who were disobedient. Any persons who are disobedient in this age will be unable to judge the angels for their disobedience when the saints are called upon to judge the angels.
Sonship is NOT based upon some state of mind or some proclamation that we make or some faith we exercise. Sonship is based upon growth into Christlikeness and character and upon our ability to accept and fulfill our responsibility before God. God has set “Ministries” within the church to develop these qualities, to experience a total transformation, and to develop through functioning within the “operations” of the assemblies. When God has completed His work in these saints, the Ministries that Christ Jesus sets in the church begins “perfecting the saints” so they can grow up in all things into Christ and take over the duties of training the new saints that have advanced from the primary foundations to the level of being trained to fulfill their duties in the “administrations.” This assures that the church will continue to develop and be a power to be reckoned with and with assemblies equipped to manifest Christ from generation to generation.
The plan, established from the foundation of the world, is quite simple and will certainly be effective WHEN we decide to do it God’s way and with the provision He has designed! As long as this “anarchy of leadership continues” there is very little enthusiasm to continue with this system that will certainly produce very little. It is quite clear that to continue to “do the ministry” in lawlessness will be judicially rejected.
The answer and solution to this dilemma is as simple as restoring the Kingdom of God AND the Name of Jesus as the impetus, our desired result and ultimate experience in the church. The Kingdom of God and His Divine Government Must first be restored to the church. Then His Appointed King MUST reign supremely until every enemy (in the church and out) is brought under His feet! It is only then that these other activities can even be recognized as irrelevant in the Eternal Plan of things.
Few of us has ever seen the radical conversion that is possible under God’s Totalitarian Government and the Ultimate Redemptive Power that can be released when a corporate group (the Church He is Building) begins to function under His Absolute Sovereignty. Only when this becomes an experiential reality will the visible church fulfill its ultimate manifestation. The zeal that consumes the human element is available in Christ, the Living Word of God, and comes as part of the increase of His Government and the Increase of His Peace.
Isa 9:7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.
There is really NO excuse for continuing this failed system of “having church” when God’s word is so clear. Those who boldly declare that we have inherited the Kingdom by the new birth have never read the Bible with any understanding. There are three births just to enter the Kingdom but the Kingdom is ONLY given to those producing the FRUIT of it. The fact that the Kingdom and its Gospel Message has been lost to the visible church (or has been ignored) is a strong indication that the church of today will continue to treat the Kingdom as another mystery. The importance of the Invisible Kingdom has been postponed until the Messiah appears in visible form to set up His Visible Kingdom and the millennium begins. That is too late for this generation to live within His Divine Government and truly submit to His Kingship!