One Torah For All

One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Exodus 12:49

The Priesthood of All Believers
Understanding our Role

Kepha Aleph (1st Peter) 2:9
But you are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for Elohim’s own possession, that you may show forth the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

A question seems to have arisen in these latter days as to who is and who is not in His priesthood. This is an interesting phenomenon, considering that, for nearly the past two thousand years, this question was not seriously considered by His people to be anything other than what it plainly states in the passage above.

This article will explore this question and look into what the Scriptures actually say in this regard. One aspect of this question is dealing with a particular order of the priesthood, the Melchizedekian priesthood. We will look at the Scripture passages from which this concept is taken and misapplied and ask YHWH to increase understanding so that we can walk in the fullness of His light.



B’reshit (Genesis) 14:18
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine; and he was priest of El Elyon (El Most High).

This is the first mention of the kingly priest. Avraham had rescued Lot his nephew, and upon his return, this king came out from Salem (Salem later became the city of Jerusalem), and Avraham, upon meeting this king, gave him a tenth of all the spoils.

We find this kingly priest’s name mentioned in three books of Scripture; once in this chapter of B’reshit, once in Tehillim (below), and then nine times in the book of Ivrim (Hebrews). We will examine each one of these references and their respective contexts to understand what it is that each one is teaching.

Tehillim (Psalm) 110:1-7
1    A Psalm of David.
      YHWH says to my Master,
      Sit thou at my right hand,
      Until I make your enemies thy footstool.
2    YHWH will send forth the rod of thy strength out of Zion:
      Rule thou in the midst of your enemies.
3    Thy people offer themselves willingly
      In the day of thy power, in holy array;
      Out of the womb of the morning
      Thou hast the dew of thy youth.
4    YHWH has sworn, and will not repent;
      Thou art a priest for ever
      After the order of Melchizedek.
5    Adonai at thy right hand
      Will strike through kings in the day of His wrath.
6    He will judge among the nations,
      He will fill the places with dead bodies;
      He will strike through the head in many countries.
7    He will drink of the brook in the way;
      Therefore will he lift up the head.

The name of this kingly priest is found in verse four above. But in order to understand this verse properly, one needs to understand who is speaking, who is being spoken to, and who is being spoken about. First, YHWH is speaking. Second, He is speaking to one referred to as “my Master” in verse one. Then in verse five, it changes from לַאדֹנִי (to my Master) to אֲדֹנָי (used as a reference to YHWH). Notice the difference between the vowel pointings in these two words. The first word is pointed to mean “my master.” The second is pointed as a reference to YHWH. And how does one know this to be true concerning the word in verse five?

In the eighth century CE (AD), in some places in Scripture the Sopherim (scribes) removed the name of YHWH and replaced it with other titles, the most common one being “Adonai” as pointed above. To their credit, they kept very careful records of exactly what verses in which they did this. Tehillim 110:5 was one of those verses in which they substituted the name of YHWH with אֲדֹנָי (Adonai).

In essence what is found here is one of those places in which one YHWH is speaking to or about another YHWH. One could understand this as the Father YHWH speaking about the Son YHWH, and what He, Father YHWH, is saying, is that the Son YHWH is a priest like Melchizedek. This would make this a Messianic Psalm.

So this Psalm is a prophecy concerning the coming Messiah and that He would be a kingly priest like Melchizedek. It seems that those of Yeshua’s day understood this prophecy and the writer of the book of Ivrim discussed this truth in three chapters beginning in chapter five.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 5:5-10
5 So Mashiach also glorified not himself to be made a high priest, but He that spoke to him,
Thou art My Son,
This day have I begotten thee;
6 as He says also in another place,
Thou art a priest for ever
After the order of Melchizedek.
7 Who in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to him that was able to save him from death, and having been heard for his reverence,
8 though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered;
9 and having been made perfect, he became to all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation;
10 named of Elohim a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.

The first mention of Melchizedek in the book of Ivrim is actually quoting Tehillim and applying it directly to Yeshua Mashiach. This should not be too surprising considering what the Psalm actually says.

In both places, in Psalm 110 and above, not only is this kingly priest mentioned, but the writer also makes reference to an “order” of priests. The Hebrew word in question is דִּבְרָתִי (div-ra-ti), which means “reason, suit or style: - cause, end, estate, order, regard or manner.” The usage of this word is simply indicating that Mashiach would be a priest in like manner as Melchizedek. It is unfortunate that the translators chose the word “order” to translate this word as this implies something else as well that is not true, i.e., that there would be a whole string of priests known as Melchizedek.

This next section of Scripture to be examined starts in Ivrim 6:19 and goes through Ivrim 8:6. We will break it down into smaller sections for easier understanding.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 6:19-7:3
19 This hope which we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and entering into that which is within the veil;
20 where as a forerunner, Yeshua entered for us, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of Elohim Most High, who met Avraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,
2 to whom also Avraham divided a tenth part of all (being first, by interpretation, King of righteousness, and then also King of Salem, which is King of peace;
3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like to the Son of Elohim), abides a priest continually.

Yeshua is the High Priest made after the likeness of Melchizedek. What one can see is that the duty of this priest and the function that he fulfills can only be the person of Yeshua. Furthermore, no other person can fulfill these criteria. What this means, in essence, is that after Yeshua became a priest after the likeness of Melchizedek, that “order” was closed and for a very good reason, which one can see in examining these verses.

First of all, please understand that there can only be one rightful king of Salem (Jerusalem). And that rightful king is Yeshua and Yeshua alone. Also, please remember that Melchizedek had no recorded father or mother, no genealogy or beginning nor end. None of these things are recorded. Why? These things were not recorded because the kingly priest Melchizedek was a pattern for the Mashiach who was to come after him.

Even though it is recorded who the human parents of Yeshua were, it is also recorded that Mashiach existed long before He came in the form of a human. Like Melchizedek, Mashiach had no beginning and no end and no genealogy. All of these characteristics that are mentioned about Melchizedek are mentioned because they can each be applied to Mashiach. No other human can qualify for the office of Melchizedekian priest.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 7:4-10
4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom Avraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth out of the chief spoils.
5 And they indeed of the sons of Levi that receive the priest’s office have commandment to take tithes of the people according to the Torah, that is, of their brethren, though these have come out of the loins of Avraham;
6 but he whose genealogy is not counted from them has taken tithes of Avraham, and has blessed him that has the promises.
7 But without any dispute the lesser is blessed of the greater.
8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there one, of whom it is witnessed that he lives.
9 And, so to say, through Avraham even Levi, who receives tithes, has paid tithes;
10 for he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him.

The original Melchizedek received the tithes of the spoil from Avraham that he had taken in rescuing his nephew Lot. The writer to the Hebrews is showing how great this man Melchizedek was, by showing that those who receive tithes according to the commandment of Torah, actually paid tithes to this man while still in the loins of their father Avraham. This concept may seem rather mystical, but it contains a spiritual principle that is spoken of in other places in Scripture.

Shemot (Exodus) 20:5-6
5 “You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them, for I YHWH your Elohim am a jealous Elohim, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me,
6 and showing lovingkindness to thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments.”

YHWH reveals that He has created His creation in such a way that what the father is, is passed on to his children. He states this in the negative. However, in the book of Hebrews the same principle is spoken of in 7:9-10, which is in the positive.

It is this same principle the writer uses to instruct his readers in the nature of the new Melchizedekian priest. This can and should be likened to the distinction between the first Adam and the Second Adam. Likewise, here the reader is being instructed in the first Melchizedek to draw lessons from, to instruct him about the second Melchizedek, who is Yeshua our Mashiach.

As we are all humans, we are all part of mankind, and there was only ever one first Adam. There was only one Second or Last Adam. While we are all sons of Adam, that does not make one Adam in the sense that is being spoken about in Scripture. Likewise, there was a first Melchizedek and a second or last Melchizedek. It is true that the followers of Mashiach Yeshua are all part of the priesthood of believers. But that does not make such a follower a Melchizedekian priest any more than it makes him another Adam.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 7:11-14
11 Now if there was perfection through the Levitical priesthood (for under it has the people received the Torah), what further need was there that another priest should arise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be reckoned after the order of Aaron?
12 For the priesthood being renewed, there is made of necessity a renewal also of the Torah.
13 For he of whom these things are said, belongs to another tribe, from which no man has given attendance at the altar.
14 For it is evident that our Master has sprung out of Yehudah; as to which tribe Moshe spoke nothing concerning priests.

The writer then goes on to show that Yeshua was not from the Levitical priesthood as commanded by YHWH in His Torah. He draws this parallel from Melchizedek, as he was not a Levite either. The writer then continues with his instruction.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 7:15-19
15 And what we say is yet more abundantly evident, if after the likeness of Melchizedek there arose another priest,
16 who has been made, not after the decree of the flesh, but after the power of an endless life;
17 for it is witnessed of Him,
“You are a priest forever
After the order of Melchizedek.”
18 For there is a carrying away of the first because of its weakness and unprofitableness
19 for the Torah was not able to complete us, and a bringing to us of a better hope, through which we draw near to Elohim.

Once again, the writer quotes Tehillim 110, stating that Messiah is given the same type of priesthood as Melchizedek had because He had an indestructible life, i.e., the grave could not hold Him. The instructions (Torah) that YHWH had given to His people could not do that which was necessary, that is, to complete in them that which was lacking - eternal life. Only YHWH can do this, and so He came in the likeness of human flesh to accomplish that which was lacking in His people.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 7:20-22
20 And inasmuch as it is not without the taking of an oath
21 for they indeed have been made priests without an oath; but he with an oath by him that says of Him,
“YHWH swore and will not repent himself,
You are a priest for ever;”
22 by so much also has Yeshua become the surety of a better covenant.

Here is the thing one must not miss. Yeshua is the guarantee of a better covenant, because, like the promise given to Avraham, Mashiach was also given a promise that He would be a priest in the likeness of Melchizedek. What this means is that His priesthood is perpetual and everlasting. Thus, there is no need to have another rise up to make intercession for the people of YHWH Elohim.

Ivrim (Hebrews) 7:23-25
23 And they indeed have been made priests many in number, because that by death they are hindered from continuing:
24 but He, because He abides forever, has His priesthood unchangeable.
25 Wherefore also He is able to save to the uttermost them that draw near to Elohim through Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them.

The Levitical priesthood was not able to intercede for His people on a permanent basis because they were always dying and others taking their places. However, with Yeshua Mashiach that is not the case, because by virtue of His everlasting life, He has been made a priest patterned after Melchizedek so that one never has to look for another Melchizedekian priest!

Ivrim (Hebrews) 7:26-28
26 For such a high priest came to us, set-apart, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
27 who needs not daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people; for this He did once for all, when He offered up Himself.
28 For the Torah appoints men high priests, having infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was after the Torah, appoints a Son, perfected for evermore.

The writer then proceeds to show that the Levitical priesthood was not able to accomplish salvation for His people, because of their own sinfulness. Before these priests could approach YHWH for atonement for the people, they had of necessity to approach YHWH for their own salvation.

Yeshua Mashiach needs not do this because He does not have sin; and because He is the Son, His appointment as the High Priest is everlasting. Furthermore, His priesthood was confirmed with an oath from YHWH, thus making His priesthood and the salvation of the people of YHWH Elohim sure!

Ivrim (Hebrews) 8:1-6
1 Now the main point in what we are saying is this; we have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
2 a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which YHWH pitched, not man.
3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; wherefore it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer.
4 Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, seeing there are those who offer the gifts according to the Torah;
5 who serve that which is a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, even as Moshe is warned of Elohim when he is about to make the tabernacle; for,
“See,” says He, “that you make all things according to the pattern
that was showed you in the mountain.”
6 But now He has obtained a ministry that is more excellent, by so much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted upon better promises.

The explanation that the writer has taken the reader through is quite involved and the writer is now concerned that his readers may miss the point. So, he boils his main point down into one paragraph for the benefit of the reader.

Please note that Yeshua’s priestly duties are not upon earth or in the earthly tabernacle (see verse 4). Rather, Yeshua takes His offering into the heavenly tabernacle that was made without hands which was used as a pattern for the earthly tabernacle.

On a side note, any talk about the earthly ark of the covenant having the Blood of Messiah applied to it in any way, exhibits a complete lack of understanding of these chapters, and verse four above in particular. Salvation was not made sure in the earthly tabernacle (which is only a copy of the real thing), but salvation was made sure in the true tabernacle in heaven. Brethren, do not be deceived!

Ivrim (Hebrews) 9:11-15
11 But Mashiach having become a high priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation,
12 nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, entered in once for all into the set-apart place, having obtained eternal redemption.
13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling them that have been defiled, sanctify to the cleanness of the flesh;
14 how much more shall the Blood of Mashiach, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to Elohim; cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living Elohim?
15 And for this cause He is the mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Please note that the priesthood Yeshua received as a Melchizedekian priest, was an office in which only He could stand. Only He could enter into the heavenly tabernacle and make atonement for the sins of man.

The point of going through all this and pointing these things out is simply to say, that there can only be one Melchizedekian priest! There does not need to be, nor can there be, a whole order of Melchizedekian priests. To put forth such a notion is to say that Yeshua’s priesthood is not adequate and that He was not able to accomplish that which needed to be accomplished. Besides which, who else could be a Melchizedekian priest and enter into the heavenly tabernacle to secure the salvation of man or to intercede with the Father in the heavenly throne room? Do you see the problem with having a whole order of priests patterned after Melchizedek?

However, we know that Yeshua did accomplish eternal salvation for His people and that there does not need to arise another priest after the “order” of Melchizedek.


The Roots of the Priesthood of Believers

Shemot (Exodus) 19:6a
“and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests, and a set-apart nation.”

YHWH’s original plan was that each and every one of His people would be a priest. So what happened that changed this?

First, here is the context of the above verse.

Shemot (Exodus) 19:3-8
3 And Moshe went up to Elohim, and YHWH called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
4 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself.
5 Now therefore, if you will obey My Voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be mine own possession from among all peoples; for all the earth is mine;
6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
7 And Moshe came and called for the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which YHWH commanded him.
8 And all the people answered together, and said, “All that YHWH has spoken we will do.” And Moshe reported the words of the people to YHWH.

What is happening in this passage is that the whole nation willfully and voluntarily entered into a covenant with YHWH. In this covenant they agreed to hear and obey His Voice and do all that He instructed them to do. And if they would do this, they would be a kingdom of priests. To this they agreed. After Moshe had told this to the people and they had agreed to it as one man, Moshe then went back to YHWH and told Him that the people had agreed to hear and obey His Voice. So far, so good!

Then in verses nine through fifteen, we are told that YHWH gave Moshe instructions for the nation so that they could prepare for His coming down upon the mountain, instructions which they received and obeyed. YHWH was going to come down upon the mountain in three days and the nation made all the necessary preparations. Then the following is recorded.

Shemot (Exodus) 19:16-20
16 And it came to pass on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of a trumpet exceeding loud; and all the people that were in the camp trembled.
17 And Moshe brought forth the people out of the camp to meet Elohim; and they stood at the lower part of the mount.
18 And Mount Sinai, the whole of it, smoked, because YHWH descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
19 And when the voice of the trumpet waxed louder and louder, Moshe spoke, and Elohim answered him by a Voice.
20 And YHWH came down upon Mount Sinai, to the top of the mount; and YHWH called Moshe to the top of the mount; and Moshe went up.

There were a lot of phenomena that accompanied YHWH’s descent upon Mount Sinai. The result of this was that the people trembled with fear. This was a very good thing. However, the people allowed this fear to dictate their ensuing actions, rather than following the covenant they had made with YHWH. What one will see as a result is a breaking of the covenant after it was only three days old.

Shemot (Exodus) 20:18-21
18 And all the people perceived the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the voice of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off.
19 And they said to Moshe, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not Elohim speak with us, lest we die.”
20 And Moshe said to the people, “Fear not; for Elohim is come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, that you sin not.”
21 And the people stood afar off, and Moshe drew near into the thick darkness where Elohim was.

Please note that, upon seeing YHWH manifest Himself upon Mount Sinai in the fashion in which He manifested Himself, and upon hearing the sound of His Voice, they told Moshe to tell YHWH to stop speaking to them. Now I ask you, how can His people obey His Voice if they refuse to hear it? They cannot.

YHWH’s will was such that He desired that Israel be a nation of priests. The function of a priest is to be an intermediary between Elohim and man. But how can a people serve as priests who refuse to hear His Voice? Do you see the problem? YHWH ended up selecting just a small portion of His people, the Levites, to serve as His priests. But He still wanted and desired a whole nation to be His priests.


Fast Forward

When one moves to the time of Mashiach and beyond to the present day, one needs to understand what it is that He has called him to do. Please go to the epistle of Kepha for some very important instruction concerning the priesthood of believers.

Kepha Aleph (1st Peter) 2:1-10
1 Having put aside, then, all evil, and all guile, and hypocrisy, and envy, and all evil speaking,
2 as new-born babes you desire the word’s pure milk, that in it you may grow,
3 if you have tasted that Yeshua is gracious,
4 and coming to Him--a living stone-rejected by men, but with Elohim choice, precious,
5 and you yourselves, as living stones, are built up, a spiritual house, a set-apart priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to Elohim through Yeshua Mashiach.
6 Wherefore, also, it is contained in Scripture;
“Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner-stone, choice, precious,
and he who is believing on Him may not be put to shame;”
7 to you, then, who are believing is the preciousness; and to the unbelieving, a stone that the builders disapproved of, this one did become for the head of a corner,
8 and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence--who are stumbling at the word, being unbelieving, --to which also they were set;
9 but you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for His possession, that the excellencies you may show forth of Him who out of darkness did call you to His wondrous light;
10 for you were once not a people, and now you are the people of Elohim; you had not found kindness, and now you have found kindness.

There are several things that are of great importance from the above passage. The first is that it is Yeshua’s sacrifice that makes a set-apart people. As a part of this set-apart people, each person is part of a priesthood that is supposed to offer up to YHWH spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to YHWH. These are not to be physical sacrifices, for only the Levitical priesthood is commanded to do such things according to Torah.

However, these priests have a very different function that they are to fulfill in order for YHWH to finish the building of His Kingdom. He needs both physical and spiritual priests in His Kingdom. Those who have come into His Kingdom by the atoning Blood of Yeshua are His spiritual priests. They are in this physical realm, in contrast to Yeshua Mashiach, who is a Melchizedekian priest in the heavenly realm. The priesthood of this realm, according to Torah, is the Levitical priesthood. However, that priesthood is not now functioning as there is no Temple for them in which to function.

The priesthood of believers consists of each and every true believer in Yeshua. A person functions as a priest every time he witnesses to another person about the good news concerning Yeshua. He is acting as an intermediary between YHWH and man. That is the function of a priest.

There is coming a day in the future when YHWH will choose out of His spiritual priesthood some for the Levitical priesthood.

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 66:20-21
20 “And they shall bring all your brethren out of all the nations for an oblation unto YHWH, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon dromedaries, to My set-apart mountain Jerusalem,” says YHWH, “as the children of Israel bring their oblation in a clean vessel into the house of YHWH.”
21 “And of them also will I take for priests and for Levites,” says YHWH.

However, that day is not yet, in which YHWH brings back all of the captivity from all the nations of the world, and returns His people to His set-apart mountain, at which time He will choose for Himself those whom He desires to be priests and Levites. And until He does this, the only functioning priesthood that is in the house of Ephrayim is His spiritual priesthood of all believers.


Offices by His Appointment

Ephesians 4:11
And He gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.

Please note, in the above passage there is no mention of priests. YHWH sets some among His people as apostles. Some He sets among His people as prophets. Others He sets as evangelists. Still others He sets as pastors and others as teachers. But He does not single out some as priests. Why not? Scripture clearly teaches that each and every believer in Messiah is already a priest in the body of Messiah. Every follower of Mashiach Yeshua acts as intercessor between YHWH and man, particularly when he is witnessing to an unbeliever. At that very moment, one is fully acting as an intercessor between YHWH and the one being witnessed to.

Please consider each of the following passages of Scripture in which gifting of the Spirit is mentioned to see if any of the giftings includes priests.

Qorintyah Aleph (1st Corinthians) 12:4-12
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are diversities of ministrations, and the same Master.
6 And there are diversities of workings, but the same Elohim, who works all things in all.
7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit all.
8 For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit:
9 to another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit;
10 and to another, workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; to another kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues;
11 but one and the same Spirit works all these things, dividing to each one individually even as He will.
12 For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Mashiach.

Please note, nowhere in the above passage is the priesthood given to some and not to others.

Qorintyah Aleph (1st Corinthians) 12:28-30
28 And Elohim has set some in the assembly, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, kinds of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?
30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

The passage above is from the same chapter of Qorintyah, only this is later in that same chapter. Once again, many different gifts are listed; however, there is again no mention of the office of the priesthood being given to only a portion of the body as with the other gifts.

Romans 12:4-8
4 For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members have not the same office;
5 so we, who are many, are one body in Mashiach, and individually members one of another.
6 And having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith;
7 or ministry, let us give ourselves to our ministry; or he that teaches, to his teaching;
8 or he that exhorts, to his exhorting; he that gives, let him do it with liberality; he that rules, with diligence; he that shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Please notice verse four which states that not all members of the His body have the same office. There is no gift of office that is given to all believers. YHWH decides which person gets placed in which office. But once again there is no mention of the priesthood. Why? Because all believers are a part of that priesthood by virtue of being a believer; if one is a believer, then he is a priest because Scripture says he is. This is true regardless of what man believes or teaches that is contrary to the plain and simple truth of Scripture.

Kepha Aleph (1st Peter) 2:9
But you are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for Elohim’s own possession, that you may show forth the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.


Counterfeit Priesthood

Ma’aseh (Acts) 8:9-25
9 But there was a certain man, Simon by name, who beforetime in the city used sorcery, and amazed the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some one great;
10 to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is that power of Elohim which is called Great.”
11 And they gave heed to him, because that of long time he had amazed them with his sorceries.
12 But when they believed Philip preaching good tidings concerning the kingdom of Elohim and the name of Yeshua Mashiach, they were baptized, both men and women.
13 And Simon also himself believed; and being baptized, he continued with Philip; and beholding signs and great miracles wrought, he was amazed.
14 Now when the apostles that were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of Elohim, they sent to them Peter and John;
15 who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit;
16 for as yet it was fallen upon none of them; only they had been baptized into the name of the Master Yeshua.
17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Set-apart Spirit.
18 Now when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Set-apart Spirit was given, he offered them money,
19 saying, “Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay my hands, he may receive the Set-apart Spirit.”
20 But Peter said to him, “Your silver perish with you, because you have thought to obtain the gift of Elohim with money.
21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter; for your heart is not right before Elohim.
22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray YHWH, if perhaps the thought of your heart shall be forgiven you.
23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.”
24 And Simon answered and said, “You pray for me to YHWH, that none of the things which you have spoken come upon me.”
25 They therefore, when they had testified and spoken the word of YHWH, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the good news to many villages of the Samaritans.

The key to understanding this passage is found in verse 18. This man named Simon believed the message of the good news about Yeshua Mashiach. Then some of the apostles came to that area and began laying hands on the new believers so that they received the Set-apart Spirit. When Simon saw this great phenomenon, he was amazed. It seems as if, when he saw this, he heard the jingling of gold coins. He immediately came to the apostles and offered them money. The apostles were laying their hands on these new believers to receive the Set-apart Spirit. But this was not good enough for Simon. He wanted to be able to lay his hands on others also. Apparently, he wanted to be able to do this so that he could charge others for it. That is why he was willing to pay to get it; he knew he would have a great return on his investment.

There have always been those present amongst the true believers who are in it for the money. It will continue to be true until Yeshua returns. It is true today. There are those who take money and property deceitfully as a means to lift themselves up, by selling offices or some other spiritually appraised item to the trusting and unsuspecting.

Let us state this very clearly: the gifts of the Spirit cannot be bought or sold! The gifts of offices of the Spirit cannot be bought or sold. Anyone who attempts to buy and sell offices of the Spirit is in the same category as Simon in the above passage, a person to stay away from.

Each and every believer is part of the priesthood of believers, and each and every believer will receive at least one other gift of the Spirit from Him as He wills.


A Personal Note to the Wise

I have lived my life learning and living from His Word. Like you, that is mostly by trial and error. Many of the life’s lessons that He has taught me, have been by taking me through situations in which He can show me the right path. Some of those lessons have been rather hard to learn. Most of those lessons have been for the purpose of moving the knowledge I knew to be true in my mind to my heart (spirit). This movement, from the mind to the spirit, can be difficult and painful, but it is absolutely essential.

I grew up in the church. I grew up hearing all the Bible stories and all the standard sermons. One of the things that captured my fascination early in life was the early believers having all things in common. My understanding of that was what was typically found amongst believers, i.e., that no one owned anything, but that all things were owned in common. This was further fueled by passages in which Yeshua taught that we were to give up material possessions to have a place in His Kingdom.

My recent experiences have moved the knowledge of these passages in my mind to true experiential heart knowledge. What I have discovered is what it truly means to have all things in common, which does not mean - not owning anything. What I have learned, was that only a head knowledge can, and most likely will, get one into hot water. We need to move that head knowledge into a true spiritual understanding, which apparently can only come through experience.

There are always those out there that would, through deceit, take advantage of those who are truly committed to living a set-apart life. See, here is one thing that I have discovered: all of us are at different places in our understanding. We are all working at trying to learn and understand His word and to do our best with what He gives us. But this is what happens to us at times in this process: wolves in sheep’s clothing sneak in and deceive His people in an attempt to get them to follow something other than YHWH and the leading of His Spirit. This is wrong and dangerous.

If each one of us will commit to following the leading of His Spirit totally, only, and completely, and along with that, also help each other do this as well, extending compassion and understanding to all, knowing that we are not all at the same level of understanding, then this is what will come to pass: we will grow closer to one another. We will begin to come together in unity of purpose (not unity of beliefs, which are always changing as we grow). It will be more difficult to lead His elect astray, for we will be watching out for one another.

You see, what I wanted was a place to serve Him. In this time of prophetic history, those places are many and varied in one sense. But in another sense, the places of true service to His Kingdom are few and far between. Determining which is which can be a painful and costly process. This is what I went through. Material possessions have never been important to me. A place to serve Him is important. Mistakes are going to be made by all of us. But we need to be aware of those mistakes in our own lives and in the lives of our brethren.

As He continues to sharpen and refine us, let us fully submit to His purifying touch. Let us continue to press forward on the true path of faith, helping and encouraging one another as the day of His visitation approaches.

Amein & Amein

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah