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Home Controversial beliefs The priesthood what is defined and explained in the Bible regarding this topic.

The priesthood what is defined and explained in the Bible regarding this topic.

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WHAT IS THE PRIESTHOOD? The Hebrew word for priest, (kahan)  means mediator or messenger. In both of these cases the meaning is very important when referring to Jesus, because He is both a mediator and a messenger. In a broader sense, a priest is someone who acts for, or represents God. This is also close to meaning of the word apostle, which means "one who is sent." The Smith Bible dictionary states, " The word priest means one who presides over thing relating to God, or, as Paul says `Every high priest taken from among men, is constituted on the behalf of men, with respect to their concerns with God, that he may present both gifts and sacrifices for sins' (Hebrew 5:1)." The Bible clearly speaks about there being two different priesthoods. The first was that which Melchisedec had, and the other was that which Aaron and the Levites held. Under the older, Melchisedec priesthood, it was given, or handed down according to a patriarchal system. That is, the firstborn male was ordained as the priest and succeeded his father as leader of the family. However, under the Mosaic system, the Lord gave it only to those males who belonged to the tribe of Levi. (Exodus 28). This priesthood was further broken down into two separate classifications or orders of the priesthood. The first, or higher order, was that of High Priest. Anyone desiring to hold this priesthood, under the Law of Moss, had to prove he was a descendent of Aaron. This priesthood was a perpetual inheritance, handed down from father to son. The second classification was the Levitical priesthood, which all males over the age of 12 were allowed to hold. We must keep this distinction in mind because this was different from those who held the Melchisedec priesthood. The reason I point this out is because in Hebrews 7:24 states that Melchisedec also had an unchangeable priesthood. However, this priesthood was not handed down to others in the same way as it was with the descendants of Levi. Also, the Aaronic priesthood and Levitical priesthood was a lesser priesthood compared to that of Melchisedec, because it did not had the power to grant salvation. Until the days of Moses as the leader of the Israelites, there is no mention of the Aaronic or Levitical priesthood. From all biblical accounts, it appears that this priesthood was instituted while the Israelites were in the desert, and it was given only to them. However, before then there must have been a different kind of priesthood, because a priest is required to offer up sacrifices unto the Lord. And we know that Abraham not only offered up sacrifices, but so did Noah, and so did Cain and his brother Able. Therefore it is easy to conclude that the priesthood held during the time of the Old Testament Patriarchs was that held by Melchisedec. I contend that this priesthood was also given to Adam at the time when God gave him a garment made from an animal's skin. For more on this topic, I suggest you read "The Holy Garments" and "the Fig tree." Regardless of this, the fact still remains that the Bible speaks about two different priesthoods - that of Melchisedec and that which belonged to the tribe of Levi. But why did was this second priesthood given in place of the first, if the Melchisedec priesthood was greater? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that the gospel of Jesus Christ was preached from the very beginning. Paul taught, "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law". (Hebrew 7:12). In other words, when God changed the law, that also meant that the priesthood likewise had to be changed. We know that the Law which God gave Moses was not the gospel of Jesus Christ, although it had some of the basic elements within its symbolism. If the gospel of Jesus Christ was taught to mankind from the very beginning, why isn't it recorded in out Bible? The answer is, because God changed the law when He gave it to Moses. And in changing the law, of necessity, He likewise had to change the priesthood. The next logical question is, why did God change the law? Paul explained in Hebrew 4:2, "For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief." The Lord was ready to give the full gospel to the Israelites in the wilderness, but instead of seeking after the true and living God, because of their unbelief, they wanted to worship a golden calf. Remember that Moses broke the first set of tables? That's because his people were not ready to be given the higher law. Paul explained in Galatians 3:19 "Wherefore then serveth the law? [i.e. why was the lower law given?] It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator." According to Paul, the Israelites were guilty of transgression and that was the reason for a change in the law. Therefore, that also meant there was a need to change the priesthood. But when "the seed should come to whom the promise was made" (Jesus) the law was once again changed. In fact, it was changed back to the original law that the ancient patriarchs had. As such, the priesthood was likewise changed back to that which was used under the higher law. The word "gospel" means good news. And the good news is about the mission of Jesus Christ to bring salvation and eternal life to mankind. The gospel Melchisedec had concerned itself with the first coming of the Savior and His atonement. All the ancient prophets foretold this, and even the ordinances performed in the ancient temples of Moses, Solomon and Herod were all about the atonement for sin foreshadowing and typifying the sacrifice which Jesus would make for our sins. But after the resurrection the good news now concerns itself with the atonement, the resurrection, and the second coming of the Savior. Although the Israelites had this knowledge, they never recognized it in the scriptures as referring to Jesus. That is why they crucified Him. Paul wrote in Galatians 3:24 that "the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ" but the Jews rejected Christ when He came because they didn't understand the scriptures. And the reason they didn't understand it was because of their unbelief. And it was this same attitude of being unwilling to listen to the words of God, that led them to worship false idols in the days when Moses led them out of Egypt. And because of the hardness of their hearts and their unwillingness to hearken unto the voice of their God, they were given the lesser law and the lesser priesthood to be their "schoolmaster" until they could accept the higher law. And, even with that, they still missed the point of what God was trying to teach them. In Exodus 15:22-27 we read, "So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters." The word "gospel" means good news. And the good news is about the mission of Jesus Christ to bring salvation and eternal life to mankind. The gospel Melchisedec had concerned itself with the first coming of the Savior and His atonement. All the ancient prophets foretold this, and even the ordinances performed in the ancient temples of Moses, Solomon and Herod were all about the atonement for sin foreshadowing and typifying the sacrifice which Jesus would make for our sins. But after the resurrection the good news now concerns itself with the atonement, the resurrection, and the second coming of the Savior. Although the Israelites had this knowledge, they never recognized it in the scriptures as referring to Jesus. That is why they crucified Him. Paul wrote in Galatians 3:24 that "the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ" but the Jews rejected Christ when He came because they didn't understand the scriptures. And the reason they didn't understand it was because of their unbelief. And it was this same attitude of being unwilling to listen to the words of God, that led them to worship false idols in the days when Moses led them out of Egypt. And because of the hardness of their hearts and their unwillingness to hearken unto the voice of their God, they were given the lesser law and the lesser priesthood to be their "schoolmaster" until they could accept the higher law. And, even with that, they still missed the point of what God was trying to teach them. In Exodus 15:22-27 we read, "So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters."

Here we see a story that is full of symbolism. The waters of Marah were bitter (i.e. false religions). God sent to them a tree to purify the waters (i.e., the gospel). At this point God gave them a statute and an ordinance and commandments. The reason for these was to see if they would remain faithful to Him. When they arrived at Elim there were twelve wells (i.e., apostles) and seventy palms tree (seventy Evangelists). In other words, Israel had become like bitter water because of their worship of false idols. The gospel would purify them, but God first gave them "a statute and an ordinance" and commandments to prove their faithfulness. If Israel did as God asked, they would receive the full gospel with twelve apostles and seventy evangelists who would give Israel living water. But, as Paul wrote, they were not obedient, thus they never received the fullness of the gospel. Finally, Paul himself declares in Colossians 1:23 "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which WAS  preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; And which WAS preached to every creature which is under heaven." (emphasis added). It is interesting that Paul used the past tense when he said that the gospel "WAS preached to every creature which is under heaven." When did that ever happen? If the gospel had been preached back in the days of Melchisedec, Abraham and the ancient patriarchs, then it is understandable how the gospel WAS preached to everyone. As we have just seen, God intended to give the children of Israel the full gospel but first He wanted to prove their faithfulness to Him. In the 16th chapter of  Exodus chapter we read how the chosen people began to complain about the manna which God sent them. Manna is another symbol for Christ because He is the bread of life. In that particular situation they were in the wilderness and needed food to physically survive. The manna was their means of temporal salvation, and it came down from heaven. But they were also in a spiritual wilderness and Christ (the Manna) was also their spiritual salvation. Rather than be grateful for what came down from heaven to save them, both temporally and spiritual, they complained. In Exodus 16:8 we read, "And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD." In Exodus 17:3-4 we read, "And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me." God had patience and told Moses in Exodus 19:10-11, "And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And 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." While Moses was on the top of the mountain, receiving the first set of tables, his people sinned and left their God to worship a golden calf. After all the miracles they saw in Egypt and in the wilderness, it was a clear that they didn't understand anything about God. As a result they had no faithfulness to Him. More than than, they had no interest in becoming a sanctified, or holy people, which is what God was trying to make of them. According to the scriptures, God became so angry with the children of Israel that He wanted to completely exterminate the entire nation. However, Moses pleaded with God for their sake, saying, "Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people" (Exodus 32:12). Although God hearkened unto the words of Moses, He nevertheless swore in His anger that they would not enter into the promised land. Instead, they would journey in the wilderness until all who had committed this blasphemy had died. When Moses came down from the mountain with the tablets of stone which contained the law God had written, he threw the tablets down upon the ground so hard that they broke in pieces. This was symbolic of the law being broken. After he had restored order among the Israelites, Moses returned to the top of the mountain a second time. At this point Moses received a second set of tables. It is interesting to note that although Moses knew before he went down the first time that his people had sinned, he didn't break the stones in the presence of God. Instead, it wasn't until he was in the presence of his people that he broke them. It was his way of demonstrating to them that the law and covenant which God had given them was broken because of their transgression. He wanted to make sure that they knew that he had received the oracles of God and also to make sure that they understood that that covenant had been violated and broken and was no more applicable to them. When Moses went back up on the mount, God didn't ask him, "Why did you brake the tablets I gave you?" God didn't complain that now He had to rewrite everything. Instead, without comment, God made another set of tables. Many assume that God rewrote the same law. But did He? We know from the scriptures that God wants His people to be a "kingdom of priests" not just a tribe. In Exodus 19:6 He said, "And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation." In 1 Peter 2:9 we read, "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." And in Revelation 1:6 John wrote, "And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." Since there was a change in the law, there had to be a change in the priesthood as well. We know for sure that Moses had the Melchisedec priesthood. In fact, all the prophets had this particular priesthood (as we shall see later). Without it Elijah could not have had the power to seal the heaven and to call forth the dead, just as the early apostles were able to do. But the children of Israel would not be permitted to hold this power themselves. Instead, God gave them a lesser power to correspond with a lesser law, whose purpose was to be a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ. W. Cleon Skousen gave us a good explanation of this in his book, "The Third Thousand Years." He wrote, "We have to keep in mind that only one year before (while Israel was still in Egypt) Pharaoh and all the Egyptians families had lost their firstborns. The chosen people didn't lose any of their firstborns, therefore the Lord consecrated them like their own particular propriety. From that moment on all the firstborns were consecrated to the Lord." This was the pattern of the Melchisedec, or patriarchal priesthood. Now, since the priesthood had changed, the Lord consecrated only the male members of the tribe of Levi were allowed to be priests. As such, they were the only ones allowed to officiate in God's sacred tabernacle. The Lord's preferred way is to have a "kingdom of priest" not just a tribe of priests. The Lord would rather have had every worthy person enjoy the privilege of the priesthood, but when a whole nation rejects the responsibilities of priesthood service, as Israel had done, the Lord's only alternative was to build a firm core of responsible leadership in whatever group seemed most likely to carry the load. In a time of crisis it had been the Levites who had met the test. In Exodus 32:26 we read, "Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD'S side? Let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him." No another tribe had stepped forward. Now the Levites received their reward for their brave act of commitment to the Lord. It is important for us to understand why the priesthood is so essential to our salvation. It is only by the authority of the priesthood that the gospel's ordinances can be received and administered. This concept was well understood by the Jews who lived at the time of Jesus. The first question that they asked John the Baptist was to determine who he was. In John 1:19-22 we read, "And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?" It is clear that these Jewish leaders knew that John needed to have the proper authority from God to baptize people. That's why they asked him this question. When John said  that he was none of these people, in verse 25 we read, "And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?" They knew perfectly well that without the right authority, John's baptism was meaningless. If this isn't so, then they would have asked the question, "What is this you are you doing?" In Matthew 21:23 we read where the Jews asked Jesus the same question of authority as they asked John. Even evil spirits don't obey someone's command if they don't have the proper authority. In Acts 19:13-16 we read, "Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded." But there is another reason why the priesthood is necessary.  In Amos 3:7 we read that God doesn't do anything without first revealing His secrets to His servants, the prophets. The definition of a prophet is someone who speaks for God, or conveys God's message to man. As such , a prophet is a messenger for God, or a mediator between God and man. This is also the definition of a priest. It is not logical to say that it takes a priest to officiate as a go-between and messenger of God and say that the prophets, who performed a similar role didn't need the priesthood. We've already mentioned that in order for Abel to have offered up sacrifices to the Lord he had to hold some sort of a priesthood. Speaking about the ancient Jews who killed all the prophets God had sent, Jesus said in Luke 11:50-51 "That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple" Here we see that Jesus identified Abel as being one of the prophets. But what kind of priesthood did Abel and the early patriarchs have? Was it the same as the Levites? From the scriptures we find out that even Moses had a different priesthood from the Levitical priesthood. Beginning in Numbers 16:1:10 we read, "Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face: And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him. This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company; And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be that the man whom the LORD doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi. And Moses said unto Korah, Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi: Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them? And he hath brought thee near to him, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also?" Korah was a descendant of Levi and was able "to do the service of the tabernacle of the Lord and to stand before the congregation to minister unto" the people. To do that, he had to have held the Levitical priesthood. Yet Moses asks him, "and having all of this (the right to officiate in the temple) and ye also seek the priesthood?" We need to ask ourselves, what priesthood is Moses referring to? It can't be the Levitical priesthood because Moses just got through rehearsing all the things Korah could do that can only be done by a priesthood holder from the tribe of Levi. Obviously, Korah wanted that priesthood AND another priesthood. Consider this. Joshua was not a descendant of Levi. Yet in Deuteronomy 34:9 we read, "And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses." Moses laid his hands upon Joshua - which is the same procedure he used to ordain Aaron to the priesthood - and conferred his very own power and authority on Joshua. When that happened, the children of Israel then listened to Joshua as though he were Moses. In other words, Joshua was given the reigns of governing the Israelites by Moses. But what was this power and authority? It couldn't have been the Levitical priesthood because Joshua was not a Levite. And yet, as leader of the Israelite nation, Joshua had power and authority over the Levite priests. Obviously, his power had to be greater than that of the Levite priests.

There are only two priesthoods mentioned in both the Old and New Testament - the Levitical/Aaronic priesthood, and the Melchisedec priesthood. Paul also states that the Melchisedec priesthood has greater power than that which the Levities had. Therefore, by the process of elimination, that means Joshua was given the Melchisedec priesthood by Moses. That also infers that Moses had to possess the greater priesthood in order to confer it upon Joshua. Also, Moses was a prophet. When we understand this fact, then it is easy to understand why Moses asked Korah why he wanted the priesthood, when Korah already possessed the Levitical priesthood. We know that Melchisedec, the King of Salem, "was a priest of the most high God" (Genesis 14:19). Furthermore, the name "Salem" means "Peace." So Melchisedec was the King of Peace. Interestingly enough, Jesus is also referred to as the King of Peace. So we see that Melchisedec was a shadow, or a type of Christ. But what about Abraham? Did he have a priesthood? If he did, it certainly could not have been the Levitical priesthood because Levi, one of Abraham's great grandsons, hadn't been born yet. In Genesis 12:8 we read, "And he [Abraham] removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD." Then in Genesis 15:9 we further read, "And he [God] said unto him [Abraham], Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon." Did Abraham offer up a sacrifice to God without a priesthood? If so, why did the Israelites need to have a priesthood in order to offer up similar sacrifices, especially if God is an unchanging God? In Numbers 22:5-12 we read about the prophet Balaam who had the power of God to both bless and curse people. By what authority was he able to perform this power? It couldn't have been by the power and authority of the Levitical priesthood because nothing is said about the Levitical priesthood have the power to perform such miracles. In Numbers 23:1-4 we read, "Balaam said, Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me. Balak did as Balaam said, and the two of them offered a bull and a ram on each altar. Then Balaam said to Balak, Stay here beside your offering while I go aside. Perhaps the LORD will come to meet with me. Whatever he reveals to me I will tell you. Then he went off to a barren height. God met with him, and Balaam said, I have prepared seven altars, and on each altar I have offered a bull and a ram." It was the Levitical priesthood that had the authority to offer up sacrifices, yet here is a prophet who is not of the tribe of Levi, yet he not only has the power to bless and curse people, but can also offer up an acceptable sacrifice to God. It is not reasonable to say that he could do all these things without a priesthood that the Levities couldn't do with their priesthood. The only reasonable conclusion we can reach is that Balaam's priesthood was greater than that of the Levities. Since there are only two priesthoods mentioned in the Bible, and one is greater than the other, that leaves us no other choice than to conclude that Balaam must have possessed the Melchisedic priesthood. The Bible also speaks about another important person who held a priesthood: Jethro, the father in law of Moses. In Exodus 3:1 we learn, "Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb." Jethro was a priest, and he was also a descendant of Abraham himself, through the loins of Midian, one of Abraham's sons through his second wife, Keturah (see Genesis 25:1-6). But what priesthood did Jethro have? Obviously, it could have been the Levitical priesthood because he held this priesthood long before he ever met Moses. But we know that he was a literal descendant of Abraham, and we have already discussed how the Melchisedic priesthood was handed down from father to son. We also know that Moses was being guided by God. When Moses fled Egypt after killing a taskmaster, it is no coincidence that he just happened to come into the camp of Jethro after wandering in the desert for a long period of time. And, like Jetrho, Moses too was a literal descendent of Abraham. Moses ordained his brother Aaron to the priesthood, but where did Moses get the power and authority to do that? As we have already seen, he had a priesthood greater than that of the Levities, a priesthood which Korah desired. We also know that Jethro, his father-in-law was a priest. But was this a pagan priesthood, or was it a priesthood recognized by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? In Exodus 18:13-21 we read, "And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God: When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws. And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens" We must remember that at this time Moses was already the great Deliverer and Lawgiver. Moses was the king of his people. He was the prophet of God. Yet, notice that Jethro was still with him. More than that Jetrho told Moses, "Hearken now unto MY voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee." Imagine that! Jethro telling the prophet of God to listen to HIM! And what did he tell his son-in-law? That if he listened to his father-in-law, God would be with him. Moreover, Jethro instructed Moses, the ruler of Israel, how to "teach them (his people) ordinances and laws, and... shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do." In other words, Jethro, the priest of Midian, was instructing Moses, the Lawgiver and prophet of God, how to get his people to obey the ordinances and laws which God had given them. How did Jethro come to have such great faith and knowledge of the God of Abraham, Issac, Jacob, and now Moses? It couldn't be that he was converted from his pagan faith to the faith which his ancestor Abraham had, because he already knew too much about that God. The only conclusion we can logically come to is that Jethro held the priesthood of the true and living God which his forefather Abraham worshipped. And what about Joshua, an Ephraimite? In Numbers 27:15-22 we read, "And Moses spake unto the LORD, saying, Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation." There are several things we learn from this. First of all, Moses "put some of [his] honour upon" Joshua. What honor was it that Moses conferred upon Joshua? The honor which Moses had, which was the right to lead the children of Israel. God had called Moses to that position, and now it was God who called Joshua to succeed Moses. As such both these men were acting as messengers for God and mediators between man and God. Secondly, Joshua was ordained to the position "before Eleazar the priest." The fact that a priest was needed to be there seems to indicate that this ordination was part of a priesthood ordinance. Thirdly, the Lord specifically stated that Eleazar was to "ask counsel" from Joshua. More than that, "at [Josuha's] word, shall they [the priests] go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he [the high priest, Eleazar] and all the children of Israel with him." In other words, the High Priest, Eleazar, was to obey whatever Joshua told him to do. Clearly, Joshua's power and authority was greater than that of the Aaronic High Priests and the Levitical priests. For that matter, so was Moses' power. And so was Jethro's. And that's because they all held the higher, greater priesthood of Melchisedec. We know that Christ held the Melchisedec priesthood, but what about His disciples? As we have seen earlier, God intended to have a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6). In Revelation 5:10 God reiterated this desire. The covenant God made was first with the Jews, but they rejected His law. The law was to bring them to Christ, but, in large part, the Jews likewise rejected their promised Messiah.  Therefore, Jesus cursed them as pertaining to the priesthood (see my article "The Fig Tree"), and the gospel and its priesthood was given to the Gentiles. (see 1 Peter 2:9) In Titus 1:5  Paul wrote, "For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee." The root of the word "ordain" means "order, class, organization, society, or fraternity." Paul taught "For every high priest taken from among men is ORDAINED in things pertaining to God" (Hebrews 5:1). A few verses later, Paul states that Jesus was made a priest "after the ORDER of Melchisedec" (Hebrews 5:6,10, emphasis added). >From this explanation we learn two things. First of all, even Jesus Himself was "ordained" to the priesthood. The second thing we learn is that the Melchisedec priesthood is and "order" or fraternity or classification of priesthood. If that is the case, then Jesus cannot be the only person who possesses it. Instead, He holds it in conjunction or along with others who belong to the same "order" class, or society. Concerning Jesus, in Mark 3:14 we read, "And he ORDAINED twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And TO HAVE POWER to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils." Notice that these twelve men, who "were taken from among men [were] ordained in things pertaining to God." That's the definition Paul gave of what constitutes a high priest. Thus, to be consistent, we must conclude that Christ ordained them to some sort of a high priesthood. Since none of these men were Levites, it couldn't have been the Levitical priesthood. For that matter, neither was Jesus. Therefore, neither He nor them were entitled to possess that priesthood. But Jesus was a priest "after the ORDER (society, fraternity, organization) of Melchisedec" As I explained earlier, this priesthood was greater than that of the Levites. Furthermore, when these men were "ordained" they consequently HAD THE POWER to perform miracles, heal the sick, and raise the dead. The Bible strongly infers that had these men not been "ordained" they would not have had this power. It should be remember that the Jews were astonished by the miracles these men did. But why were they astonished? Because no one holding the Levitical priesthood HAD THE POWER to perform such miracles. Here is clear proof that the power which Jesus and His apostles had was greater than that of the Levites. Since the Bible only speaks of two priesthoods, and Jesus held the Melchisedec priesthood, there is no question that He ORDAINED the apostles to this greater priesthood. Since he Bible also refers to Jesus as the "King of the Kings" it's no wonder that Peter referred to the priesthood which the believers in Christ had as a "royal priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9), again showing that the priesthood they had was the same "order" as that which Jesus Himself held. Since no other church today has this priesthood, then what happened to it? The Catholic church maintains that they have this power and authority which Peter had, but they don't refer to it as "the order of Melchisedec." Instead, they just refer to their power as a priesthood. The Protestants believe they have the "priesthood of believers" which they claim is given to them directly from the Holy Ghost. However, there is nowhere in the scriptures that says that the Holy Ghost ever "ordained" anyone to the priesthood. However, the Protestants find themselves in a dilemma. Since Peter does declare that the early saints had a "royal priesthood" yet  the present day Christian churches have no such thing,  they find themselves in the position of trying to explain away this discrepancy. Since the expression, "priesthood of the believers" is not found anywhere in the Bible, Protestants have had to invent such a phrase and then use it as though it is a scriptural expression. It is interesting to note that the very people who are so adamant in proclaiming that their teachings are base strictly and wholly on what is contained in the Bible and who attack Mormons because we supposedly don't teach what's in the Bible, are the very ones who offer up doctrines that cannot be supported by the Bible. We have seen how the priesthood has the POWER to perform miracle, yet today's churches claim that miracles have ceased. And that is because their religion has no power in it. We have also seen that the priesthood contains the authority to act in the name of God. Remember how the Jews asked both John the Baptist and Jesus by what authority they did things? Protestant churches today readily admit they have no priesthood. Therefore, by inference, they are also admitting they have no authority to act "in things pertaining to God." It is the priesthood which makes the difference between the churches. Only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints even claims to have the same priesthood which Christ had and which He ordained His apostles to and which the early saints possessed.  If we are not the true Church of Christ, then there is no church on the earth today that is. However, despite all our disagreements, since both the Catholics and Protestants declare that they don't have the "royal priesthood" of Christ, at least that's one thing all of us can agree upon. Further insights

What about Elijah? Was he a priest? According to the scriptures He was  1 King 17:1
AND Elijah the Tishbite, [who was] of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, [As] the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. He had a great power no just to sacrifice. 1 Kings 17:12-15
And she said, [As] the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I [am] gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go [and] do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring [it] unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day [that] the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. 15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat [many] days.
and 1 Kings 1:17-22
And it came to pass after these things, [that] the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? 19 And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. 20 And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? 21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again. 22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.
What kind of priesthood had Elijah?  Well, on my opinion there is only an answer. Remember that Elisha received the same power, was he a priest? sure! 1 Kings 19:19-20
So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who [was] plowing [with] twelve yoke [of oxen] before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. (it is interesting here because the scripture shows us that he was working, keep on mind that the Levites lived by offerings, their work was to perform priesthood's duties, if you read the Smith Bible dictionary you will find:"They guarded the Ark, and were reckoned separately as the host (of the Lord), and were not counted in the army. Their special duties were the daily sacrifice, and the work about the tabernacle (and Temple). They DIDN'T CULTIVATE LAND OR WORK ON TRADES, BUT WERE TO RECEIVE A TENTH AS TITHES FROM THE PEOPLE." so we have the proof here that Elisha was not a descendant from Levi 20 And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and [then] I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee? and now be ready to be shocked: verse 21
And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.
He was a priest a great priest he performed twice the work that Elijah did according to his request, so he was a priest but his power was greater than usual levitacal priests and he was not from the tribe's Levi.We have the proof here that an higher priesthood can officiate in a lesser law. If he was doing something wrong  or taking an incorrect authority this is what could happen to him 2 Samuel 6:6-7. I could go on here because there are many others in the scriptures that they match the same way. Now let's go to analyze if the Christ's disciples received some kind of priesthood and if they had some particular keys. We have seen previously that the purpose of God was to have a kingdom of priests Exodus 19:6 and Revelation makes clear that the final goal is the same  Revelation 5:10. Unfortunately for the disobedience of the chosen people this was not fulfilled at the time of the Law. This doesn't mean that God left away his purpose forever. When Jesus cursed the fig tree, He meant to curse their priesthood (see The Fig tree), having at that moment new people and new disciples He introduced a new covenant like Paul explained to the Hebrew in  chapter 7:11-12
If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need [was there] that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
and consequently like Paul specifies a new priesthood. This concept is simple and clear. Peter maintains this in His letter 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:
and regarding an ordination He said in Titus 1:5
For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
I love the roots of the word "ordain" has the same root like "order", if there is an order there should be an ordination otherwise there is no meaning in all of this.
Jesus had the Melchisedek priesthood, this particular priesthood had an "order" Melchisedek was not the only one.
Mark 3:14
And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,
15
And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
So they were "ordained" and consequently they
had the power to perform miracles, to heal the sick, to arise the dead. Remember the Jews were astonished by those things because they didn't have this power. What kind of priesthood had the Christ' disciples? according to the Peter's words their priesthood was "Royal". This is an adjective that it refers only to the King. Was Jesus the King of the Kings? Let me go ahead. Probably you are asking yourself why I am so boring in reapeating myself on this topic, but it is very important to understand that if the disciples had a different priesthood, it should have been specified in the scriptures. The Bible give us two names for two different priesthood, why if there was another one it shouldn't mention it? No the disciples performed they same miracles and they had the "Royal" priesthood. Jesus was upset only when His disciples were unable to perform the miracles, because He was perfectly aware that they had the same power He had, otherwise why he should be upset if they didn't have the power? The Chatolic church maintain that they have this power and authority from Peter, but what is very strange they don't maintain to have the Melchisedek priesthood, but just a priesthood. The Protestants believe to have the Priesthood of the believers given to them directly from the Holy Ghost. First of all I'd like to challenge them to show me just one scripture in the Bible that is clearly explaining that the Holy Ghost "ordained" somebody to the priesthood, because they like this scripture Isaiah 8:20
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them. And for second I'd like to ask to them:" Who decide what kind of believer it will be chosen from the Holy Ghost?
Do you know why? Because all the Christians are believers, Catholic, latter day saints, Jehowa's witnesses, Adventists. Probably is for that particular reason that they disqualify many people like Christians, to have more ground to stand on it. Anyway for them this problem is without solution, they are the only Christians in need to have a strange idea to explain their point, so they invented "the priesthood of the believers" Excuse me where is in the Bible this expressions? Where is the doctrine in the scriptures? We have a huge explanation in the old testament regarding the Levitical priesthood and everything is related to it. We have an explanation from Paul regarding how the Aaronic priesthood was received and something related to the Melchisedec priesthood   Hebrews 5:4-6
And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as [was] Aaron. 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. 6 As he saith also in another [place], Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. so in consequence we are suppose to find an explanation for this one too, otherwise we have to think to it like a "Ghost priesthood", in connection to the Holy Ghost' ordination. I am kidding here, but you could take me seriously because for the scriptures this priesthood is really a "Ghost" Being a philosophy of men is not contained in any scripture. They needed because no priesthood, no power, no authority.
They came out from the catholic church, all their leaders where excommunicated from the Pope, so they lost their priesthood. No one of them could give us an explanation by which was possible to understand and recognize them like priests, so when you climb the glass you will surely slip down. This is what happens to them when they try to explain their priesthood, their are trying to climb the glass, but having no ground to put their feet they fall always down. The priesthood of the believer is not a true doctrine and it cannot be the ground for their feet.
At this point I'd like to introduce the topic of the authority. John 1:19-25
And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? 20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. 22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? 23 He said, I [am] the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. 24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

Why baptizest thou then. Great and good question!!! They were trying to determine if John was a lawful holder of the priesthood!!! They did the same question to the Savior on other occasions and Jesus didn't say that they were asking something wrong. In one occasion He called His personal Father to be a Witness for His mission and that what a declaration of His authority, but the best part is found when He before to perform a miracle, He forgave the sins of the man and after He performed the miracle. That was a clear shoot, God gave His personal seal granting the healing of the man, if Jesus was blasphemous in that occasion, God couldn't approve his action. He had the "whole Power" of God. He could stop the wind, arise the dead and so on.

When Jesus gave this authority to the Apostles?

Matthew 10:1-8

AND when he had called unto [him] his twelve disciples, he gave them power [against] unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

How could you define this? If it is not the word "priesthood" that it fits in, I am just curios to see how people can explain this.

At this point I want to introduce the word "Keys", because not all the Apostles had the same keys. They had the same power to perform everything, but different keys, or callings. Matthew 16:19

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Here Jesus is speaking to the future because at that moment He had those keys, but after when He left....... and like Paul explain in Galatians 2:7-8

But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as [the gospel] of the circumcision [was] unto Peter; Galatians 2:8 8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) Christ prophesied Matthew 24:23

Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here [is] Christ, or there; believe [it] not. We have today churches like the church of England that are known by the name of a nation, or like the Catholic church that means "universal", other churches like the Protestants they are named according to the name of the Founder. This is funny, their founder is supposed to be Jesus Christ, am I right? But they give their praise to the person that established their church. I have to admit, they are right, totally right! The church has to have the name of the founder, they are admitting who was their chief, like our church maintains who is our Leader. I hope nobody get mad at this reasoning, it makes sense!!!! The priesthood makes the difference between the churches. If you have it you are in the right spot, otherwise you are in the wrong spot. The Catholic church has a position stronger regarding this. If there was the apostasy this position become weaker, because like Jesus cursed the fig tree at his time to show that the priesthood of the Jews was gone, if there was an apostasy the conditions required the same medicine. The position of the Protestants are stronger regarding certain ways to worship, what I mean is this. In my opinion they were right to protest the great mother church, and this makes that they should believe in the apostasy otherwise why they did protest? But on the other hand this didn't give hem the right to have the priesthood. They couldn't have it by the Catholic church because if they were in apostasy they lost it, if they were not in apostasy then they were right in excommunicating them, so they lost their previous authority. They needed a miracle to explain that and they invented a miracle:"The priesthood of the believer" given by the Holy Ghost. Is that in the scriptures? Where? anyway they surely will try to defend their position in some way, but at that point they will have several  other problems to overcome.

1) If the priesthood of the believer is true, it should apply to every believer (catholic, lds, Protestant, Adventist and so on) make sense? Who decide for that? Probably they will maintain that they are the chosen ones, but how they could prove it? Everybody could maintain the same, why not? Another problem could be that the Holy Ghost would have given the priesthood to many different denominations, I mean the Protestants, ao the Baptist, the Methodist and so on have the same priesthood, so the Holy Ghost instead to create one church did a great confusion, instead to build the church in Unity, He gave the autorithy to build so many different churches, with different doctrines with different names. Please ponder this: if we are supposed to recognize the true church from its fruits then we have to consider Ephesians 4:11-13

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
12
to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
13
until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
This is impossible for the Protestants they are so divided in denominations and doctrines.

The way to discover the trick is easy it is written in the Bible   Acts 4:12

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

1 Timothy 2:5

For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Colossians 3:17

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. well if they follow the scriptures they are missing a great point here, they did mnya churches and they were missing this great point because no one had His name

Well in the past when God should face an apostasy like in the case of the Jews, He take the priesthood away from them and what He did? Did He build many churches? no Just one. How He built His church?  Sending a prophet before His Son and after  by His Son gave the authority to His disciples. The mission of the Holy Ghost is to remember His teachings and words and to lead the church, no to ordain people to the priesthood. Remember when Moses gave his autorithy to Joshua a did lay his hands on his head and look at this Acts 13:1-3

NOW there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them, they sent [them] away. 1 Timothy 4:14

Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

2 Timothy 1:6

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

If you want to insist in saying that the Protestants were sent from God to be the true church, you should convey with me that probably He sent too many of them and with different ideas, they don't believe in the same doctrines, otherwise why we have so many different denominations? Nobody from them said: So it says the Lord! Or better: I have received the authority by and to do..... This was never proclaimed. What was proclaimed is "the priesthood of the believer". It was a great idea, there was no other way, but does it works? Well if you don't think about it probably, but if you think about it, it will crush in few minutes

4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Sorry but for me the "priesthood of the believer" pertain to this category.

I perfectly understand now because Catholic and Protestants declare that they don't have the Aaronic priesthood or the Melchisedec priesthood, because they are sincere, they really don't have them. Thanks God, at least on one topic everybody agrees.

The Bible speaking, clearly about the gentiles mentions 2 priesthood not just one.

Isaiah 66:18-21

18
For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.
19
And I will set A SIGN (BOOK OF mORMON?) among them, and I will send those that ESCAPE of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the ISLES AFAR OFF, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and THEY SHALL DECLARE my glory among the Gentiles.
20
And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.
21
And I will also TAKE OF THEM for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD.
Not only is declared that there will be a sign among them and that they will declare His glory but also is specified that those people will have TWO different priesthood  they will be PRIESTS AND LEVITES. Sure the Bible is clearly speaking about two kind of priests: Melchisedec and Levites.
Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 10:30  

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