The Priesthood of Believers

1 Peter 2:5

“Ye also as living stones are built up a spiritual house, an HOLY PRIESTHOOD, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

Contrast between material and spiritual. Holy priests offer up spiritual sacrifices. (animal—bird—meal.) Spiritual sacrifices. Presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, Romans 12:1. Sacrifice of praise—fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. Sacrifice of good works. Do not forget to do good—this sacrifice is well pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:15, 16. Possessions—Do not forget—to share. This sacrifice is also pleasing to God.

Verse 9.

“But ye are a chosen generation, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, an holy nation, O people of His Own, that ye should show forth the excellencies of Him, who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

The items mentioned here are physical. Chosen generation—royal priesthood—Holy Nation.

Chosen generation—“Chosen before the foundation of the world.”

Royal priesthood—To proclaim the excellencies of God. As royal priests we go out into the world to witness. As holy priests we enter the sanctuary of heaven to worship.

This difference in priesthood is illustrated by the imprisonment of Paul and Silas in Philippi.

As holy priests they sung praises to God at midnight. As royal priests they preached the gospel to their jailor.

    “Here O our Lord, we see Thee face to face;
    Here would we touch and handle things unseen;
    Here grasps with firmer hand the eternal grace,
    And all our weariness upon Thee lean.”

    “Here we feed upon the Bread of God,

    here drink with Thee the royal wine of heaven;

    Here would we lay aside each earthly load,

    here taste afresh the calm of sins forgiven.”

The Unequal Yoke-2 Corinthians 6:14

The O.T. reference is interesting. Deuteronomy 22:10. “Thou shalt not plow with an ox and a donkey together.” Describe. You are not to take the clean and unclean and join them together in My Service.”

Marriage—business—relationships—partnerships. If we are going to count for God we must avoid like a plague the unequal yoke.

There is no meeting place between righteousness and unrighteousness. Right or wrong.

What fellowship has light with darkness? Either the darkness must disappear before the light, or the light will be overcome by the darkness. You cannot have both at the one time.

What agreement, relationship is there between Christ and Satan? None.

Or what part has he that believeth with an unbeliever? None.

What agreement had the temple of God with idols? These two are in opposition the one to the other. Read the rest of the verse.

Each one of us in fellowship is either a help or a hindrance. If you are living a holy life—separated from the world—devoted to Christ—you are a help. If you are living in the world or practicing sin in any form you are a hindrance.

Ever since the church has been established, Satan has been seeking in every possible way to break its unity, disturb its peace, and negate its power for God. Much of the opposition he used was from without.

In the early days thousands of believers were martyred for Christ. For seven hundred awful years, Rome did everything in its power to destroy the Church. Was Rome successful? On the contrary. Augustine said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” Roaring Lion. China. Eastern Europe. Today, in North America, he has changed his tactics. Angel of light. He endeavors to negate the testimony of the Church by amalgamation with the world. He has been successful, yes. Wind and sun. Aesop’s fables. It was in this way that Israel fell. Barak Balaam.

As long as they were a separated people, they were God’s voice to the world.

It was when they followed after the idolatry of the nations, and made marriages with the heathen. They lost their testimony—God set them aside—they were of no further use as a witness for God in the world.

History proves to us that as long as the Church walked in holy separation from the world that it has in one way or another been a war for God. Persecution brings unity and blessing.

“Until Shiloh Come.” Genesis 47:10

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah nor the lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.”

Israel will gather around their Messiah in a day yet future.

We, God’s people gather around our Lord now.

What a privilege it is for us to be gathered together by the Holy Spirit, around the Lord Jesus, to worship God. Definition of Scriptural Assembly.

Shiloh was a temporary location for the Tabernacle. It was centrally located in the nation.

This is where Elkanah and Hannah came to worship. Where Samuel ministered to the Lord. From here he ultimately led the nation.

This verse describes the “Charter of the Church.”

W.E. Vine says, “This verse is among the most heart-searching, awe-inspiring texts in the Scriptures.”

“Where the smallest number, gather together in the name of the Lord Jesus, owning Him as the supreme and soul authority, they are assured of His presence in their midst.”

“For I know whom I have believed.” 2 Timothy 1:12, “For I am persuaded.” “I hear the accuser roar,” “Once in Him, in Him forever.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Indwelling. Christ being in them. Col. 1:27.

1 John 5:11-13. John 10:27-30—The Ark—Romans 8. Sealed unto the day of redemption. 1 Peter 2, Holy Priests—Royal Priests. Rev. 1:4-6. As a priest we offer our body to God—Person Romans 12:1, our praise to God—Praise—Hebrews 13:15, our purse to God—Purse—Hebrews 13:16.

“To offer up spiritual sacrifices.”

“To show forth the praises of Him, etc.”

Notice the order. Able worshipped—Enoch walked—Noah worked. See also John 12. Martha—Lazarus—Mary.

“The coming of the Lord draws near, therefore be ye also ready.” James 5:8

Never in the period of human history has the stage so perfectly been set for the Second Coming of the Lord.

The cultists, and the Tabloids, and self proclaimed psychics and self-styled pagans join in prophetic frenzy about an Armageddon, the end of the world, the extinction of the human race.

Time Magazine in a secular humanist way attempted to play the prophet is a lead article, “Beyond the year 2,000—What to expect in the New Millennium.”

If you are interested in current trends you cannot help but notice the frenzied interest in and acceptance of Eastern religions—extra-sensory perception, astrology, witchcraft, and false prophets. 1 Timothy 4:1, Revelation 9:20.

Europe moves towards unification.

The worst famines the world has ever known are breaking out. Rev. 6:5, 6.

New epidemics of old plagues are spreading, and new diseases are ravaging the planet. Aids.

Think of the moral chaos in the world which is destroying the fabric of our society.

Drug addiction—crime—unemployment—poverty—illegitimacy. Social unrest. Abortion, euthanasia.

Most importantly, what does the Bible say about this?

Jesus promised us that the generation that witnessed the return of Jerusalem to the Jews would not pass away until “all these things” be fulfilled. Including the return of the King. Luke 21:24, 21, 32.

The Jewish people declared the rebirth of their nation in 1948.

They recaptured Jerusalem in 1967.

Most scholars agree that a biblical generation is around forty (40) years. Psalm 95:10.

You don’t need to be a mathematical genius to figure out that there is not much time left. Explain.

From these signs it is clear that the Lord Jesus is coming soon. Firstly, to Rapture the Church. Secondly, to cleanse and purify and restore this world.

Here is something very interesting.

Orthodox Jews, who believe the creation story, Psalm 90:4, 3:18, teach that civilization would last for 6,000 years. Creation in six days. Then the Messiah would come and usher in the final 1,000 years of human history.

Since there were approximately 4,000 years of human history prior to the early ministry of Jesus, and about 2,000 years since, it seems that we are living very close to the Lord’s coming.

Historians tell us that the early church taught the six day theory of world history.

It was considered basic doctrine that the world would go on for 6,000 years, followed by a period of 1,000 years designated the Millennial Kingdom corresponding with the seventh day of creation or the Sabbath.

The genealogical tables of the Gospels lead us to believe that 4,000 years passed from Adam’s creation to Christ’s birth.

From the birth of Jesus to the present age another two thousand years have passed, for a total of 6,000 years.

This means that we have 1,000 years of glorious human history yet to experience under Messiah’s reign.

If we believe Luke 21:24, 31, 32, the coming of the Lord is near.

The Bible cautions us against date-setting. However, Jesus taught us that “we would know when His return was near, even at the door,”—though we would not know “the day nor the hour.” Matthew 24:33, 36.

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” Job 11:7

Some of the attributes of God.

God is righteous, that is, He is just, equitable and fair in all His dealings. “He is a just God and a Savior.” Isaiah 45:21.

God is good. Nahum 1:7

He is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Psalm 145:9

God is infinite, 1 Kings 8:27. He has no limits or boundaries. His greatness is beyond calculation, measurement, or human imagination.

God is self-existent. Ex. 3:14

He did not receive His existence from any outside source. He is the fountain of His own life as well as of all other life.

God is self-sufficient. That is, He has within the Trinity all that He ever could need.

God is transcendent.

He is far above the universe and time, and is separate from the material creation.

God is so great, so majestic, so awesome that we only see through a glass darkly.

Because He is infinite, He can never be known by finite minds. Throughout eternity, we will dwell on the wonders of His person and will still have to say, “The half has not been told.”