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Prophets and Priest

Priests and Prophets

Priest (NLT Chronological Life Application Study Bible) – one authorized to perform the sacred rites of sacrifice and worship; a mediator between God and humans;

hebrew word kohen.

Old Testament Priesthood: Old Covenant

 Exodus 19:6 “ And you will be my kingdom of priest, my holy nation.”  God is calling for the people of Israel to be priests – to have a relationship with Him, be and live holy, relate to God etc.  The people of Israel needed help and lots of it.  Of course Jesus is not on the scene, so the priests became that “mediator” between God and man. 

 Exodus 28:1 “Call for your brother, Aaron, and his sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eliazar and Ithamar.  Set them apart from the rest of the people of Israel so they may minister to me and be my priests.”

The purpose of the priests was to help the people (Israel) maintain their relationship with God. 

  1. The priests performed the daily sacrifices, maintained the Tabernacle, and counseled the people on how to follow God.  They were the people’s representatives before God and so they needed to live worthy of the position that they held.  
  2.  Also, the high priest position (Aaron was the first high priest) had the important job on the Day of Atonement.  During this time the priest had to Atone for his own sins and for the sins of the people (Exodus 30:10)  The day of Atonement serves as a reminder that the daily, weekly and monthly sacrifices could cover sins only temporarily.   Only the high priest could go into the Holy of Holies (beyond the veil)
  3.  Priesthood was very important.  God gave very specific instructions as to how this is to be done.  What is worn – clothing, ephod, chestpiece etc (Exodus 28); Consecration of the Priest – Exodus 29:1
  4. The blood of animals were used (Leviticus)
  5. Man-made tabernacle

Priesthood was not to be toyed with as there was very serious ramifications  - Lev. 10:1-2.  Nadab and Abihu were hand- picked by God and yet they disobeyed His specific instructions on how they were to conduct worship.  They were in leadership position and they were the ones leading the charge for the people.  Leadership such as this is not to be taken lightly.  This is to be taken just as seriously today.


New Testament Priesthood: New Covenant

The old covenant pointed toward Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice, who would remove sins forever.  Now we can approach God through Jesus and not man.

  1.  Jesus is the High Priest  (Hebrews 8:6) “But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for hi is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises”
  2. Jesus did not have to atone for his sins then our sins because He had no sins.(Hebrews 7:26)”He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sins.”
  3. Jesus is the mediator (1 Tim 2:5) “For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity – the man Christ Jesus.”
  4. Jesus is a Priest forever – (Hebrews 7:21)”,,,,You are a priest forever.”
  5. Jesus is the perfect sacrifice – (Hebrews 9:12) “with his own blood-not the blood of goats and calves-he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.”
  6. Jesus sacrificed only once – Hebrews 7:27 “But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins”
  7. Jesus is in the Heavenly Tabernacle (Hebrews 8:2)  Prophet: A divinely inspired minister of God.   Originally called a seer (1 Sam 9:9) God’s spokesperson often connected with some crisis that was about to occur and then announced God’s message of judgement and/or deliverance to Israel and the nations.  (Biblestudytools.com)

Hebrew word - nabi – inspired man                Greek word – prophetes –a foreteller

God sent prophets to speak to the people because the people of Israel and Judah were losing their focus on God:

 2 Chronicles 24:19, NKJV. “Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them back to the LORD; and they testified against them, but they would not listen.”

  • The people of Israel split into 2 Kingdoms:
    • Northern Kingdom - Israel
    • Southern Kingdom - JudahThe prophets have the responsibility of confronting and correct any deviation from God.


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