WHO IS ON THE LORD’S SIDE? You will be His Priests!

by Eric C. Wheeler (eric@sharingtheway.com)

The Bible says that God called ALL of the ancient Israelites to be a kingdom of priests (Exod. 19:6); yet only one tribe – the tribe of Levi – was ultimately chosen. Why? As we shall see from Scripture, it was because of their unwavering loyalty to God – even over their own family members, friends, and brethren. Notice.

“Now when Moses saw that the people were unrestrained – for Aaron had not restrained them, to their shame among their enemies [regarding the golden calf incident] – then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, ‘Whoever is on the Lord’s side, let him come to me!’ And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. And he said to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Let every man put his sword on his side and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.’” So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day. Then Moses said [to the Levites], ‘Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord [set yourselves apart for a holy use], that He may bestow on you a blessing this day, for every man has opposed his son and his brother.’” (Exod. 32:25-29)

The Lord then chose the tribe of Levi to be His priests – those allowed to be closest to Him in serving Him and others – as their divine reward (“their blessing”) for their obedience and unquestionable loyalty to God.

Later, we find this same reward and blessing of the priesthood given to a man named Phineas, the grandson of Aaron, for his loyalty to God when he grabbed a javelin and ran it through a prominent leader of Israel and his illicit pagan lover, thus stopping the punishing plague that the Lord had sent through the camp of Israel for their sexual immorality and idolatry (Num. 25:1-9). The Lord commended Phineas for his decisive action and righteous zeal for God, saying: “Phineas has turned back My wrath from the children of Israel, because he was zealous with My zeal among them, so that I did not consume the children of Israel in My zeal. Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for His God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.’” (Num. 25:11-13). After God chose the Levites, and the house of Phineas, because of their righteous zeal and dedication to the Lord and His purposes even over their own family members and countrymen, no other Israelites were allowed to this high office of the priesthood. Although all of the Israelites were originally called to be priests, only the tribe of Levi and the house of Phineas were chosen. In addition, although God had originally declared that “all of the firstborn males of Israel both man and beast were His” (Exod. 13:1-2; Num. 8:17) – that is, they were consecrated to be holy in service to Him – now only the Levites would be given this high honor in place of the firstborn of Israel (Num. 8:14-19).

Conversely, we find later during the time of the Judges, that Eli the high priest was actually REMOVED from the priesthood (and from life itself) because he honored his own sons more than the name and reputation of God; and that the Lord was now no longer going to reckon the priesthood according to genealogy, as He had been doing up to that point, but rather He was now going to determine a priestly appointment only according to whether or not a person honored God over their family, friends, and anything and everything else. Thus again, showing that God must be first and foremost in the lives of His priests! He is deserving of nothing less. Notice what the Lord said to Eli the high priest:

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father [Aaron] when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house? Did I not choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer upon My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod before Me? And did I not give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire? Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My habitation, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’ Therefore, the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever;’ but now the Lord says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed!’” (I Sam. 2:27-30). The Lord then went on to tell Eli that both he and his sons were going to be removed, and that every descendant who came after him was going to have a short life. “Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My Anointed forever.” (I Sam. 2:35). As any astute Bible reader acknowledges, this was (and is) a parallel prophecy: First, the prophecy speaks of Samuel the prophet/priest, whom God was soon going to raise up for Himself who would stand before King Saul, and later also King David (both referred to in Scripture as “the Lord’s Anointed”); and also, it is an amazing prophecy for us describing the incredible opportunity and calling we’ve been given to stand and serve before King Jesus forever! Notice these prophecies in the Bible regarding this very thing:

And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding… At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem.” (Jer. 3:15-17).

“Blessed and holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (Rev. 20:6).

“Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever.” (Rev. 1:4-6).

“And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.’ (Rev. 5:9-10).

“Coming to Him [Jesus] as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ… You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people…” (I Pet. 2:4-9).


The Priests were the Closest to God, Standing Before Him and Serving Him

I remember when my daughters and I visited Israel back in 2009 that we noticed there were all kinds of Jewish tombs covering the Mt. of Olives. Our tour guide explained to us that this was because everyone wanted to be closest to the Messiah when He arrives, and His feet actually stand on the Mt. of Olives (Zech. 14:4). She explained that the Jews who were buried on the Mt. of Olives believed and hoped that during the Resurrection, they would end up being closest to Him because they wouldn’t have to travel there from very far away. Unfortunately, I don’t think they realized from their own sacred scrolls (now referred to as the Old Testament), how it clearly prescribed in the days of Moses how one could be close to the Messiah without having to literally be buried at His feet. Let me explain. Aaron, the High Priest, was given to the Israelites/Jews to serve as a prophetic type of the Messiah standing between them and God making intercession for them. The High Priest/Messiah would make atonement for the people and also serve as the spokesman for God. As this High Priest and Spokesman, Aaron prophetically stood next to Moses who represented God. Just as the Lord had said: “So he [Aaron] shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you [Moses], and you shall be to him as God.” (Exod. 4:16). And again, it says: “So the Lord said to Moses: ‘See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet [spokesman].” (Exod. 7:1). Similarly, Jesus is revealed to us in the New Testament as the Word of God (the Spokesman), the atoning High Priest, and the mediating Messiah. As we know from the New Testament, all of those things directed by God and administered through Moses were given to the Israelites/Jews as foreshadowing types and patterns of the real. Even their own sacred scrolls told them so (see Exod. 25:40; Isa. 66:1-2).

Through Moses, God gave the Israelites the Tabernacle as a clear earthly representation of the heavenly Tabernacle and Sanctuary (see Hebrews chapters 8 through 10). After proving their loyalty to God, the Levites were then chosen and appointed by God to assist Aaron the High Priest – who served as the prophetic type and foreshadowing of Jesus Christ, the true High Priest who was to come later. The Levites served alongside Aaron and his sons assisting them as priests serving at the Tabernacle of God (Num. 8:9-26). As was explained earlier, they were chosen because as a tribe, they were willing to kill their own brethren in order to be faithful to God. They loved Him more than their own families, friends, and countrymen. The Lord therefore rewarded them for their loyalty and allegiance to Him by appointing them to His priesthood. They, and they alone, were allowed by God to continually minister before Him and to stand in His Holy Presence alongside the High Priest Aaron; while all others were not allowed to be close to God or to handle and/or touch anything holy under penalty of death.

As shown here a priest was (and is) someone who is divinely appointed and permitted by God to stand before Him and to be in His Presence continually, serving Him and being closest to His Anointed (the High Priest and King). Priests also help represent God to the people because they can be trusted to represent Him honestly and accurately. Their first and only allegiance is to God – His name, His reputation, and His Kingdom. This is the kind of allegiance and loyalty God expects from His people – especially from those closest to Him. Notice God’s own words:

“If your brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife whom you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers, of the gods of the people which are all around you, near to you or far off from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth, you shall not consent to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him; but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. And you shall stone him with stones until he dies, because he sought to entice you away from the Lord your God.” (Deut. 13:6-10).

Obviously, as New Testament Christians, we are not under a theocracy anymore like the Israelites were when God brought them out of Egypt, so we don’t physically put people to death for disobedience and/or disloyalty to God. But many New Testament Christians don’t realize and understand that God requires the very same uncompromising loyalty and allegiance of us today. Consider what Jesus said:

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26).

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s foes will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matt. 10:34-39).

“You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives, and friends; and they will send some of you to your death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.” (Luke 21:16-17).

“Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matt. 10:21-22).

Jesus makes it very clear that in order to follow Him, to be His disciple – to be close to Him and to be perpetually by His side – we have to be willing to be separated from those we love! As Christians, we don’t purposefully set out to make others OUR enemy; but sadly, they might make us THEIR enemy because of our uncompromising love for God and His truth. The world hates God; therefore, it is going to hate us also, Jesus warned (John 15:18-25; I John 2:15-17). But this is the price of discipleship! Furthermore, it is also the price of our high calling – that calling to which the ancient Israelites were collectively offered as well – to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” to God (Exod. 19:5-6). Notice that these are the very same words that the Apostle Peter told us as Christians that we are being offered by the Lord as well (I Pet. 2:9). But he also warns us to “make our calling and election sure” (II Pet. 1:10), because the Israelites stumbled in their callings and were consequently disqualified (I Pet. 2:6-8).

As we see in the book of Revelation, our calling is to be a kingdom of royal priests ruling with Christ (Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6). But why would anyone want to be a priest then, when you realize the actual costs involved – the possible loss of your family and friends, a person might ask? BECAUSE PRIESTS WERE GRANTED THE HIGH HONOR BY GOD TO BE THE CLOSEST TO HIM AS A REWARD FOR THEIR LOYALTY AND OBEDIENCE TO HIM AND TO STAND BEFORE HIS ANOINTED FOREVER! This is the true cost – and reward! Remember, the prophecy and promise that God spoke to the high priest Eli and his family, saying: “Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house… then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My Anointed forever. And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and say, ‘Please, put me in one of the priestly positions, that I may eat a piece of bread.” (I Sam. 2:31-36).

Because nobody and nothing means more to them than God, priests were (and are) invited to be near Him perpetually and to stand before Him and serve His Anointed One (Jesus Christ) forever! With their whole hearts, they faithfully obey God’s first commandment: “You shall have no other gods before Me. But you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”  Therefore, because of their proven and tested loyalty and allegiance to God, He rewards them with a permanent name and place in His House, and the divine right to stand in the presence of His Anointed One (Jesus Christ) forever! Notice these promises:

“For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory… And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the Lord out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,’ says the Lord, ‘as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord. And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,’ says the Lord, ‘so shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,’ says the Lord.” (Isa. 66:18-23).

“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.” (Rev. 3:12).

“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (Rev. 3:21).

“Blessed is the one whom You choose, and cause to approach You, that he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your House – of Your holy Temple.” (Psa. 65:4).

Notice that God says these priests will become a permanent fixture in His House – His Temple – and that He will give them an everlasting presence and name alongside the High Priest Jesus.


Woe to the Priests who Compromise: They shall be removed!

Notice what God says to those pastors and priests who are compromising His Word and His honor in order to keep their jobs, their families, their comforts, and their acceptance among men:

And now, O priests, this admonition is for you! If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor My name,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor Me. Because of you, I will cut off your descendants; I will spread refuse on your faces, even the refuse of your solemn feasts, and you will be taken away with it. And you will know that I have sent you this admonition so that My covenant with Levi may continue,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence, and he revered Me and stood in awe of My name. True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin. For the lips of a priest [pastor] ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction – because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty. But you have turned from the Way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘So I [will cause] you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed My ways but have shown partiality in My Word.’” (Mal. 2:1-9).

God makes it very clear in these passages that the priests and pastors who have compromised and watered-down the hard-hitting and convicting truths of God’s Word in order to appeal to the people and please them will be exposed, humiliated, and removed. Keep in mind, these words are prophecies, not history! That is why they were written in the books of the Prophets – because they are prophecies. They are speaking of today, as well as for all time. This compromising by the pastors and priests completely violates the covenant that God gave the Levites! He made them priests BECAUSE they upheld God’s reverence and glory over the people’s feelings, emotions, desires, comforts, and lives. Remember, the Levites faithfully killed their brethren in order to honor God! They cared more about God’s glory and honor than what their brethren thought or felt. How many pastors and priests are willing to offend people today – especially their families, friends, parishioners, employers, church boards, local magistrates, and governments? What about us? Are we willing to offend others in order to honor God? God MUST mean more to us than everybody and everything! Or God will reject us from His ministry and priesthood also – the very thing to which we all have been called to (Mark 8:38)!

This is the very same point and hard lesson that Moses was sharing with his brother Aaron the High Priest when he told his brother to be careful how he reacted in front of the people when God struck down dead Aaron’s two eldest sons right in front of him. Moses immediately said to Aaron: “This is what the Lord meant when He said, ‘I will be acknowledged as hallowed by those who come near Me; and before all the people I will be honored.’ Therefore, Aaron kept silent.” (Lev. 10:3). Moses reminded his brother that those who serve the Lord as priests MUST put God and His honor (His judgments, His name, His reputation, His will, His interest, and His reverence) first – above all things and all others – including family members and brethren. Imagine, God striking down dead your two oldest children who made a careless rookie mistake as ministers of the Lord right in front of your eyes as you were ministering before the Lord in front of the people; and then you are immediately warned not to show any shock, grief, reaction, or displeasure at the Lord’s swift justice, and/or lose your composure before the people, thereby dishonoring God whom you are representing before them, lest you also die. This is clearly what happened (Lev. 10:1-7). We all need to take heed and warning; and remember to always trust God that His judgments are true and right, and that He knows what He is doing – even over our own limited human understanding, thoughts, emotions, and feelings.  God must be shown as first in our lives! This is what our father Abraham demonstrated when God told him to sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar. He did not waver at the command of God to kill his beloved son, knowing and trusting God’s Providence and superior wisdom. Notice the Scripture says that Abraham “rose early in the morning” to obey the Lord’s command to sacrifice his son (Gen. 22:3). Paul tells us that Abraham “did not waver in unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced” that God knew what He was doing and that He was also able to ultimately bring about what He had promised (Rom. 4:20-21). How about us? Is there anything that we are putting ahead of God and not fully obeying Him in? Is there something that we are holding on to or withholding from God that is an “idol in our heart” (see Ezek. 14:1-8) that we know God is not pleased with? If we are holding back, how can we then say or think that we are going to be allowed to be close to Him, and to serve Him as true worshippers of God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24)? He demands absolute surrender, loyalty, and allegiance from those who claim to be serving Him, standing before Him and His Anointed One Jesus, and who are ministering to others in His name.


Only Jesus is a Priest after the Order of Melchizedek

Some foolish people reading this – who are merely trying to justify themselves – will say, “Yes, but we don’t have to worry about that! Because Jesus was of the priestly order of Melchizedek (see Hebrews chapters 5 and 7), therefore the Levitical priesthood means nothing for us today.” True, Jesus is of the priestly order of Melchizedek who had neither beginning nor ending of life. But that’s not true of us. We have both a beginning and a possible ending. And furthermore, just as Aaron was a pre-figure type of Jesus, so the Levites are a pre-figure type of us. Let me explain.

When the Israelites as a nation were first being called out of Egypt, God collectively referred to them as “My Firstborn” (Exod. 4:22). Afterwards, as they were coming out of Egypt, He told the Israelites that all of their firstborn males of both man and beasts were His, and that these firstborn males were “consecrated and sanctified” (set apart by God for a holy use) in service to Him (Exod. 13:1). Later though, when the Israelites collectively rebelled against God at Mt. Sinai through the golden calf incident, God then chose the Levites to replace the consecrated firstborn males of the Israelites (Num. 8:14-20); thereby rejecting all the firstborn of the Israelites and taking away their consecration and sanctification. Because they were willing to make the necessary sacrifices to prove their faithfulness and allegiance to God over their families and brethren, God “blessed” the Levites (rewarded them) with the priesthood. All the other Israelites were then rejected from being priests, including those who were previously consecrated and sanctified as the firstborn. The Levites didn’t replace the High Priest Aaron or his sons; instead, they replaced the firstborn sons of the Israelites, and were thus consecrated in their stead (Num. 8:15-19). The Levites were then exclusively granted the holy privilege of assisting Aaron and his sons as fellow priests alongside them serving at the Tabernacle where God Himself dwelt. Likewise, the same is true today. The true followers of God who are willing to put Him first over their own family and brethren will be rewarded to assist the true High Priest Jesus when He comes in the fullness of His Kingdom. As Jesus said: “Many are called, but few are chosen [selected]” (Matt. 22:14). The point is that originally all of Israel was called God’s “Firstborn.” They were the firstborn nation chosen out of the world to be a “kingdom of priests” to God serving as the example to all the other nations of the earth (Exod. 19:5-6; Deut. 7:6; 26:18-19). This was their divine calling – the whole nation of Israel was being offered the priesthood – to be closest to God above all the other nations! And as a constant reminder to each and every family in Israel of this sacred calling and destiny – God consecrated each and every firstborn of both man and beast in every household to serve as clear representations of this divine calling. Yet, the Israelites didn’t remain faithful to this high calling for very long. They all quickly sold out their destinies at the foot of Mt. Sinai by worshipping and serving other gods embodied by the golden calf. Therefore, after witnessing the uncompromising obedience and allegiance of the Levites in killing their “sons and brothers,” God then chose THEM to replace the consecration of the firstborn males of Israel – and ultimately rewarded them with the priesthood!

The same is true today. When Jesus saw the crowds following Him, He turned and said to them: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he CANNOT be My disciple! He who loves father and mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me!” (Luke 14:26; Matt. 10:37-38). Like the Israelites, we Christians are being called to be a “kingdom of priests” to God (I Pet. 2:9); however, many are shirking that high calling and responsibility by not putting God first in their lives. They are sacrificing their opportunity and divine calling by honoring the “golden calves” they have set up in their lives in place of God – thus truly disqualifying them from God’s service! Although we Christians are collectively called to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” and God’s Firstfruits among His creation (Jam. 1:18), just like the Israelites were called His Firstborn among the nations, we too can lose our high calling as they lost theirs. Scripture is very clear on this teaching. For it is written: “Because of unbelief, they [the Israelites] were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore, consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off!” (Rom. 11:20-22). And again, God warns: “Now all these things happened to them [the Israelites] as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (I Cor. 10:11-12).

The true disciples and followers of Jesus who are willing to put Him first above all others and over everything, including their own lives (“take up your cross and follow Me”) will be the ones that the prophet Isaiah spoke of when he said: “God will choose some of them to be priests and Levites” (Isa. 66:21). They will not actually be genealogical Levites according to the flesh; just as Jesus Himself was not a physical descendant of the high priest Melchizedek (Heb. 7:3, 13-17). These words and prophecies are spiritual; they are not about the physical lineages of people. If they were, then the following prophetic words of Isaiah could never come true, because the Law of Moses forbids a foreigner (a non-Israelite) and a eunuch from serving in the House, Tabernacle, and Temple of God, or to even come near it. Yet the prophet Isaiah wrote:

“Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the Lord say, ‘The Lord will surely exclude me from His people.’ And let not any eunuch complain, ‘I am only a dry tree,’ For this is what the Lord says: ‘To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, who choose what pleases Me and hold fast to My covenant – to them I will give within My Temple and its walls a place and a name better than sons and daughters. I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off. And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to serve Him, to love the name of the Lord, and to worship Him; all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to My covenant – these will I bring to My holy mountain and give them joy in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. The Lord God, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares, ‘Yet others I will gather to them, besides those already gathered.’” (Isa. 56:3-8).

“And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites, says the Lord. For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me, says the Lord, so shall your descendants and your name remain.” (Isa. 66:21-22).

“So the Lord will make Himself known to the Egyptians; and in that day they will acknowledge the Lord. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the Lord and keep them… In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of Hosts has blessed, saying, ‘Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My heritage.’” (Isa. 19:21-25).

Jesus – the Lord’s Anointed – is coming very soon as both King and High Priest over the whole earth! The Father through Him is calling anyone and everyone who has ears to hear to come and follow Him with their whole hearts and their whole lives and to stand and be with His Anointed forever. The cost? Everything we have; everything we are; and everything we love. God deserves nothing less. As the twentieth-century martyr Jim Elliott once said: “That man is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he can never lose.” What are we holding on to then, brothers and sisters, that we aren’t going to eventually lose anyway?

“And the Lord, whom you seek will suddenly come to His Temple; even the Messenger of the Covenant in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming!’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver. He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord and offering in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to the Lord as in the days of old, as in former years. And I will come near you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against sorcerers, against adulterers, against liars, against those who exploit wage earners and widows and the fatherless, and against those who turn away a stranger – because they do not fear Me,’ says the Lord of hosts.” (Mal. 3:1-5).

“For he is not a Jew [or a Levite] who is one outwardly, nor is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew [a Levite] who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.” (Rom. 2:28-29).

“For You have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:9-10).

Are we willing then, as holy priests called of God, to put Him first above everyone and everything in our lives? Jesus asks, “What will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:37).


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