Spiritual Sacrifices of the Melchizedec Priesthood
1 Peter 2:5 NKJV: you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 7:11-12, 17 NIV: If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come-one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. 17 For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
Here, we are told that we, New Testament Christians, are being built up as a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices through Jesus Christ who is our high priest in this spiritual priesthood which is after the order of Melchizedek.
Now, the name Mel-chi-zedek means Jehovah’s-King-of righteousness.
So in the order of Melchizedek God has made us Kings and Priests:
Revelation 1:5-6 NKJV: Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever.
As priests, we mediate in prayer between God and men as intercessors.
As Kings, we rule in the earth by spiritual power to enforce God’s dominion so that God’s will will be done and His Kingdom will come in the earth as it is in heaven (Lu. 11.2):
Psalms 110:2-4 NKJV: The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies! 3 Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power; In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, you have the dew of Your youth. 4 The LORD has sworn and will not relent, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
Now, in the Old Testament Levitical priesthood you had Levites, priests and high priests.
In the New Testament, Melchizedek priesthood every Christian is a priest but with different levels of spiritual capacity:
1. Baby priests whose spirits can cover from 10 to 50 people: captains over tens (Dt. 1.15, 1 Jn. 2.13,1 Pt. 2.2).
2. Little child priests whose spirits can cover from 50 to 100 people: captains over fifties (Dt. 1.15, 1 Jn. 2.13).
3. Young men priests whose spirits can cover from 100-1000 people: captains over hundreds (Dt. 1.15, 1 Jn. 2.13).
4. Father priests whose spirits can cover over 1000 people: captains over thousands (Dt. 1.15, 1 Jn. 2.13).
You can determine the capacity of your spirit by the number of years you have been walking in fellowship with God by the Word and the power of the Holy Spirit (not necessarily the number of years you have been born-again Heb. 5.12-13):
1. Baby to Little child: 0-7 years.
2. Little child to Young man: 7-14 years.
3. Young man to Father: 14-21 years.
4. Fathers: above 21 years.
We get these numbers of years by revelation of the fact that 7 is God’s number of completion (Gen. 2.2) so each stage of spiritual growth is completed in 7 years; and also using Joseph (Gen.37.2, 41.46, 45.11), David (1Sam. 5.4-5) and Paul (Gal. 2.1) as types of Christ (Lu.2.42, 3.23).
In the Old Testament, under the Levitical priesthood, they offered physical sacrifices:
1. Sin offerings
2. Burnt offerings
3. Meal offerings
4. Peace offerings
These were but shadows of the spiritual offerings we are to offer now in Christ Jesus.
The substances of all these shadows are now to be fulfilled in the New Testament church by the new priesthood after the order of Melchizedek:
Colossians 2:16-17 NKJV: So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
Matthew 5:17-18 NKJV: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
So what are the present New Testament spiritual equivalents of the Old Testament physical sacrifices?
1. The sin offering: In the Old Testament this was accomplished by the sprinkling of the blood of some animal that was killed.
In the Melchizedek priesthood, we offer sin offerings by confessing our sins in faith both for ourselves and others we are praying for:
1 John 1:7-9 NKJV: But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Hebrews 9:14-15 NKJV: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
1 Peter 1:1-2 NKJV: elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:
John 20:23 NIV: If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Like in the Old Testament where animal sacrifices for sin offerings were taking place all day long by priests assisted by the Levites everyday, in the New Testament we offer sin offerings many times throughout each day to cleanse our sins and those under our sphere influence depending the level of our spiritual capacity: our immediate family, household, colleagues or staff at work or school and those we are in a position of leadership over if we are in a position of leadership.
At the beginning of each day we offer up a sin offering in this manner:
“Father I confess our (i.e. myself, immediate family, household etc.) sins. I receive forgiveness, cleansing from all unrighteousness and the cleansing of our consciences from dead works to serve you the living God according to your Word which says ‘if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and ‘how much more shall the blood of Christ purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God’ and ‘whoever sins you remit are remitted'”
Subsequently throughout the day to offer sin offerings you simply say in faith ‘Father I confess our sins’ and the sins will be immediately forgiven and cleansed by the blood Jesus for everyone including yourself you mentioned or covered at the beginning of the day and others you may specifically add during the day, but not beyond the number the capacity of your spirit can handle (2 Cor. 10.14). This will work even for those who are not Christians for the blood of Christ cleanses the sins of the whole world:
John 1:29 NIV: The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
In our article next week, we will see the spiritual equivalents of the burnt, meal and peace offerings.