The Gospel Message in the Priestly Consecration Ritual

(from Exodus 28–29 ; Leviticus 8)

Now let’s note the seven steps of consecrating the priests and compare them with the steps a believer goes through to become a “chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a peculiar people that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9). Notice how these seven steps relate to the steps a new believer takes in his conversion process and how they relate to one’s spiritual journey from outside the mishkan where the altar of the red heifer is located representing the cross of Yeshua, then into the door of the tabernacle (i.e. Yeshua who is the door), to the altar of sacrifice (i.e. a prophetic picture of communion) to the bronze laver (i.e. immersion for the remission of sins and being washed in the water of the Word of YHVH), into the set-apart place where the Ruach (Spirit of Elohim) is and onward and upward spiritually into intimate relationship with the Father. In Exodus chapters 28 and 29 we find the following:

Step One: They were taken from among the children of Israel ( Exod 28:1). This prefigures divine election (see John 15:16). YHVH calls or chooses each person. Yeshua called his disciples. They did not call or choose him, but they had to respond to that call.

Step Two: They were brought into the door of the tabernacle (Exod 29:4). The door of the tabernacle is Messiah Yeshua who is the door to the sheepfold. No man comes to the Father except through Yeshua (John 10:1–5, 7, 9) The door is four colors which speak of the person and work of Yeshua: blue, scarlet, white and purple. It also speaks of the four Gospels, which is the door to understanding the Person and work of Yeshua.

Step Three: They were washed (Exod 29:4). Upon accepting the work and Person of Yeshua one must be immersed for the remission of sins (Acts 2:28) to identify spiritually with the death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua (Acts 2:38; Rom 6:3–14), and the washing of the water of the Word (Eph 5:26).

Step Four: They were clothed in their official garments (Exod 29:4–9). The redeemed believer is to put on the robes of righteousness (note Gal 3:27, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Messiah have put on Messiah”). Paul talks about fruits of righteousness through Yeshua in Philippians 1:1. Righteousness is Torah obedience (Ps 119:172) and is a mark of the end time believers/saints (Rev 12:17 and 14:12) and of the bride of Messiah (Rev 19:8).

Step Five: They laid their hands on the head of the animals which were sacrificed (Exod 29:10–26, 32–33). The blood of an animal was shed and sprinkled on Aaron and his sons and matzah (unleavened bread) was waved and burnt and they ate the flesh of the ram and the matzah.

Each born-again believer has to take personal responsibility for his own sins. The sacrifice of Yeshua, the Lamb of Elohim, at the cross must become personal to each person (see Heb 10:19; 13:12; 1 Pet 1:2; 1 John 1:17 and Rev 1:5). Each believer has his own personal relationship with Yeshua. Each must eat the flesh and drink the blood of Yeshua individually (John 6:35–58). Communion is a personal and individual matter.

Step Six: They were anointed with oil (Exod 29:21). Each person must receive the Set-Apart Spirit (Ruach) of Elohim (see Acts 8:17; 19:6).

Step Seven: They are sanctified or set-apart for a special, divine purpose (Exod 29:44). Only after going through these steps is one set-apart unto YHVH as a set-apart priesthood doing the set-apart work of YHVH (see Rom 15:16; 1 Cor 1:2; 6:11; Heb 10:10,14; 1 Pet 2:9).

Only on the basis of following YHVH’s steps, as outlined above, can one have fellowship with the Father. And what was the result of this consecration process? Relationship with the Father! Read Exodus 29:44–46 below,

And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar: I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest’s office. And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their Elohim. And they shall know that I am YHVH their Elohim, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am YHVH their Elohim. (emphasis added)

This is all accomplished through Yeshua living in us spiritually. Yeshua is the Chief Cornerstone of our faith (Eph 2:20). He is the end result or goal of the Torah (Rom 10:4). He is the Author and the Finisher of our Faith, the Beginning and the End, the Aleph and Tav (Alpha and Omega) of everything.

To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of Elohim, and precious, you also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a set-apart priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to Elohim by Yeshua the Messiah. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Tzion a chief corner stone, elect, precious, and he that believes on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious, but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should shew forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light, which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of Elohim, which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. (1 Pet 2:4–10)

Our faith in Yeshua stays alive and vibrant because of the sacrifices of devotion and praise we offer up daily, morning and night. We are called to do the same work the priests of old did, but in a spiritual or fuller sense.

 

The Priesthood and the Torah-Law Then and Now

Hebrews 7:12, Priesthood being changed…a change also of the law [Torah]. The Greek words for being changed and a change are respectively metatithemi (a verb) and metathesis (a noun). The the verb means “to transpose, to transfer, to go or pass over, to fall away or desert from one person or thing to another.” Many people interpret this verse to mean that YHVH’s Torah-law was changed (i.e. has been invalidated or annulled) by the new covenant, but is this what the author is saying here?

Before going further in our discussion, let’s lay out some basic truths of the Scriptures. 

YHVH doesn’t change (Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8; Jas 1:17). The word torah [in English, translated as law] means “instructions, principles, teachings” and came directly from YHVH to his people. The Torah teaches men how to love YHVH and love one’s fellow man. It is YHVH’s instructions in righteousness and reflects his very character and nature. Who YHVH is doesn’t change.

It is a sin (a violation of the Torah) to change the Torah (Deut 4:2; 12:32).

So in this light, what is this verse really saying? It declares that the priesthood was changed. The Levitical priesthood that was temporarily and parenthetically inserted into the Melchizedek priesthood (both priesthoods are revealed in the Torah, see Exod 19:2, 4 cp. 28:1; 32:29). In the former priesthood, a father acted as the priest over his family interceding for them before Elohim via sacrifices and offerings (Gen 8:20; 12:7, 8; 13:18; 22:9; 26:25; 33:20; 35:1, 3, 7; Exod 17:15; Job 1:5). In the latter priesthood, YHVH designated the descendants of Aaron as priests over Israel replacing the heads of each home as the priest of each family (Exod 30:31).

The writer of Hebrews reveals to us that with the coming of Yeshua, the Aaronic or Levitical priesthood was replaced by the original order of Melchizedek with Yeshua as its High Priest. This makes sense when we realize that Yeshua is not only the builder of his spiritual house, the church (Heb 3:3), but also the head of it, for he is the High Priest over the spiritual house of Elohim (Heb 10:21), which is comprised of the saints who are living stones and are apart of that house (1 Pet 2:5) and temple (1 Cor 3:16; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:21–22) with Yeshua as the chief corner stone and the apostles and prophets the foundation (Eph 2:20). The saints are currently a part of this original Melchizedek priesthood, which has attained to the higher spiritual level through Yeshua, regardless of their tribal lineage (1 Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6). 

Continue reading
 

Some Troubling Verses in Hebrews 7 Explained

torah-scroll-21075453

Hebrews 7:12, Priesthood being changed…a change also of the law [Torah]. The Greek words for being changed and a change are respectively metatithemi (a verb) and metathesis (a noun). The the verb means “to transpose, to transfer, to go or pass over, to fall away or desert from one person or thing to another.” Many people interpret this verse to mean that YHVH’s Torah-law was changed (i.e., invalidated or annulled) by the new covenant, but is this what the author is saying here?

Before going further in our discussion, let’s lay out some basic truths of the Scriptures.

YHVH doesn’t change (Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8; Jas 1:17). The word torah [in English, translated as law] means “instructions, principles, teachings” and came directly from YHVH to his people. The Torah teaches men how to love YHVH and love one’s fellow man. It is YHVH’s instructions in righteousness and reflects his very character and nature. Who YHVH is doesn’t change.

It is a sin (a violation of the Torah) to change the Torah (Deut 4:2; 12:32).

So in this light, what is this verse really saying? It declares that the priesthood was changed. The Levitical priesthood that was temporarily and parenthetically inserted into the Melchizedek priesthood (both priesthoods are revealed in the Torah, see Exod 19:2, 4 cp. 28:1; 32:29). In the former priesthood, a father acted as the priest over his family Continue reading


 

Who were the Levites and what did they do?

Numbers 1:50, The Levites. The role of the Levites was to assist the priests in the tabernacle service (Num 3:6–8; 16:9; 1 Chr 23:28–32; Ezra 3:8) including caring for the tabernacle (Num 1:53) and its furniture, its setting up, dismantling and transporting (Num 3–4). In addition, they assisted the priests by preparing the cereal offering (1 Chr 23:29). They acted as singer and musicians in the temple to offer praise to YHVH (1 Chr 23:30). They were allowed to approach the tabernacle furniture only after the priests had covered and prepared them for transport (Num 4:5–15; 18:3) but they could not touch any of the tabernacle’s set-apart instruments lest they die (Num 4:15), nor could they even see them (Num 4:20).

Not only were the Levites commissioned to attend to the needs of the priests and the things of the tabernacle, but YHVH instructed them “to attend to the needs” or “keep charge” (Heb. mishmereth) of, presumably, the spiritual needs of the whole congregation or children of Israel (Num 3:7–8). Although mishemereth is a noun meaning “charge, function, obligation, service, or watch,” it is often translated into English as a verbs of action such as “to keep, guard, keep charge, or watch” through its root shamar, a verb meaning “to keep, guard, observe, give heed.” Mishmereth principally refers to the Levites’ obligatory duties relating to the service of the temple.

Later on, the Levites were involved in teaching and interpreting the Torah (Neh 8:7, 9; 2 Chr 17:7–9; 35:3). There is no indication that the Levites were permitted to offer sacrifices, with the notable exception of Samuel, who was a Levite, but not a priest (1 Sam 1:1 cp. 1 Chr 6:28).

YHVH chose the Levites as his set-apart ministers to replace the firstborn of the Israelites that he spared when he smote the firstborn of the Egyptians (Num 3:12–13, 41–45).


 

Sabbath Manna: Without Holiness, No One Will See Elohim!

Heavens Gates Opening

Scripture reveals that the saints are to be a holy or set-apart (kadosh)
priesthood, not a profane (worldly and polluted) one. If Yeshua calls us his kadosh and royal priesthood, then let’s own that identity and start acting like one!

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see YHVH. (Heb 12:14)

Holiness Is YHVH’s Chief Quality

Holiness is the chief attribute of Elohim and the most defining aspect of his character. It has to do with the fact that Elohim is entirely good and without evil or moral defect and totally sinless. This is why the spiritual beings around his heavenly throne are constantly crying, “Holy, holy, holy” in his Presence (Isa 6:3; Rev 4:8). This is why one of his titles is The Holy One of Israel,which is used more than thirty times in the Tanakh (e.g., 2 Kgs 19:22; Ps 71:22; Isa 1:4; Jer 50:29). This is why the high priest who ministered in the Tabernacle of Moses and later in the temple wore a golden crown or headplate with the words inscribed on it, “HOLINESS TO YHVH.” Not only was this pointing upward to YHVH’s set-apartness, but man himself is to become holy or set-apart even as YHVH Elohim is set-apart, for we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews that the attribute of holiness is a prerequisite for a man coming into the Presence of Elohim (Heb 12:14).

YHVH Elohim made mankind in his own image (Gen 1:27), so that man could eventually become his glorified spirit children (John 1:12; Rom 8:14–15; 2 Cor 6:18; Gal 4:5–6; 1 John 3:1–2; Rev 21:7). As part of the process of becoming an immortal child of Elohim, man must become holy as he is holy (Lev 11:44, 45; 20:7, 26; 1 Pet 1:16). This is the ultimate destiny of those who will submit to YHVH’s process of transforming man from profane or polluted, sin-ridden beings to becoming holy or set-apart. What does this process involve and how does it affect you?

YHVH Is Preparing His Saints to Be a Kingdom of Priests

In the Bible, YHVH declared that it was the destiny of the Israelite nation to become a chosen and peculiar people and a kingdom of priest—to be special and unique among the nations of the world—to reflect the character and nature of YHVH Elohim—to be holy (in Hebrew, kadosh) as he is kadosh. The Hebrew word kadosh means Continue reading


 

The Glorious Garments of the High Priest Point to Yeshua

Genesis 28–29

The Garments of the High Priest

(Some of this information is derived from Martyn Barrow’s tabernacle web site and from the ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash along with several other sources as noted in the text.)

High Priest

The high priest was required to wear eight vestments while performing his duties in the tabernacle or else his service was invalid. The garments that the high priest wore along with those of the regular priests set them apart from the rest of Israel thereby elevating them in the eyes of Israel for the special and sacred work of Elohim they were doing.

The priestly attire was called the Eight Vestment (Sh’moneh G’dim) or the Gold Vestments since some of them contained gold. Actually, only seven of his vestments were specifically made for his duties as high priest. His linen breeches would have been worn anyway as a part of his regular dress, so they were not special as were the other seven garments. On certain parts of the Day of Atonement, the high priest wore only four vestments all made of white linen. The ordinary priests wore these four white vestments all the time.

As with so many things found in the tabernacle, the high priest’s garments comprised of four colors: sky blue, royal purple, blood crimson woven onto a background of pure snow white linen. Additionally, the high priest’s head plate was of gold, along with the 72 bells sown onto the hem of his Ephod, the golden chains holding the Breastplate to his shoulders, the bases to the shoulder stones and the gold thread woven into the Ephod. The color blue signifies godliness or heaven. Some see purple as signifying royalty or kingliness. Others see an additional meaning. Red and blue combine to make purple. Blue represents the divine while red speaks of the human, earthly or animal aspect of man (and of Yeshua). After all, red blood is the symbol of life and the name of the first man was Continue reading


 

The Levitical and Melchizedek Priesthoods Compared

Hebrews 7:12, Priesthood being changed…a change also of the law [Torah]. The Greek words for being changed and a change are respectively metatithemi (a verb) and metathesis (a noun). The root of the noun is the verb, which means “to transpose, to transfer, to go or pass over, to fall away or desert from one person or thing to another.” Many people interpret this verse to mean that YHVH’s Torah-law was changed (i.e., invalidated or annulled) by the new covenant, but is this what the author is saying here?

Before going further in our discussion, let’s lay out some basic truths of the Scriptures.

YHVH doesn’t change (Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8; Jas 1:17). The word torah [in English, translated as law] means “instructions, principles, teachings” and came directly from YHVH to his people. The Torah teaches men how to love YHVH and love one’s fellow man. It is YHVH’s instructions in righteousness and reflects his very character and nature. Who YHVH is doesn’t change.

It is a sin (a violation of the Torah) to change the Torah (Deut 4:2; 12:32).

So in this light, what is this verse really saying? It declares that the priesthood was changed. The Levitical priesthood that was temporarily and parenthetically inserted into the Melchizedek priesthood (both priesthoods are revealed in the Torah, see Exod 19:2, 4 cp. 28:1; 32:29). In the former priesthood, a father acted as the priest over his family interceding for them before Elohim via sacrifices and offerings (Gen 8:20; 12:7,8; 13:18; 22:9; 26:25; 33:20; 35:1, 3, 7; Exod 17:15; Job 1:5). In the latter priesthood, YHVH Continue reading