Quarter’s Theme: DIVINE DISPLAY OF THE WORD OF KNOWLEDGE
Unit 1: The Initiator Of The Message (Lessons 1-3)
LESSON 2 14/6/2015
THE KINGSHIP AND PRIESTHOOD OF BELIEVERS
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 236, 244
Devotional Reading: ISA. 9:6,7
Topic For Adults
YOU ARE A KING AND A PRIEST
Topic For Youths
A PROGENY OF ROYALTY
Topic For Intermediates
A ROYAL DESCENDANT
REV. 1: 4-8; 1 PET. 2: 5-10
Memory Verse: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light”. (1 Pet. 2:9) KJV
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
Believers’ Kingship And Priesthood
Rev. 1: 4-8
As a believer in Christ Jesus, please keep in mind that God gives you today and your position to use it maximally and use it for His glory. Jesus is the faithful witness, the firstborn among the dead and the ruler over the kings of earth. Glory and power belong to Him who loves us and freed us from our sins by His blood. He made us a kingdom, priests for God His Father. Make use of this uncommon opportunity to serve Him wholeheartedly.
Point of Emphasis: “And has made us kings and priests to His God and Father…”
Prayer Point: Lord, please uphold me, don’t let me lose my position in You.
The entire priestly system of the Jews, from its first mention as applied to
Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18), to the Levitical arrangement of the office of priesthood (Lev. 21: 16-23), to the time of David (1 Chro. 24:7-18), and to the return of Jew from Babylon (Ezra 2: 36-39, Neh. 7: 39-42), was a shadow of which the great high Priest and the Sacrifice offered, is Jesus Christ. God’s law, as given to the Jews in the Old Testament, is often referred to as a pedagogue, pointing attention to Jesus – the only One, who came to grant free access to the holiest of all. Now, every true believer is a king and priest unto God to offer up sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving daily, while earnestly waiting for the return of Christ – the blessed Savior.
NOTES ON THE LESSON
(1) THE PROLOGUE (REV. 1: 4-5)
In the characteristic way of apostles’ greeting, John began his apocalypse message from the Lord Jesus, who was, who is, and who is to come – the Author and the Finisher of our faith. The greeting was from the Unitarian Trinity – God the Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit – who is referred to here as the sevenfold Spirit or seven spirit. This signifies the perfect spirit of God, who is the eternal Witness to every activity that transpires in the church (Rev. 3:1; 4:5; 5:6). The distinctive revelation of Jesus and the descriptive titles in this passage have significant bearing on the entire book of revelation, as the last words of our Lord. Much earlier, God had revealed Himself to Moses as the alpha and omega (the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabets) – meaning that God is the beginning and the ending (Rev. 1:8, Exo. 3:14). Just like this was meant to be a memorial of God to the nation Israel as they prepared to journey through the wilderness to their promised land, the early church, as well as the church today, is expected to hold this knowledge of God in memory, as we wade through to eternal glory.
Again, the truth of Jesus becoming the first born from the dead, illustrates God’s power over death and the reality of believers’ resurrection. In the face of extreme persecution and martyrdom, which were the threatening venoms of the early church, Christians need to be assured that God still holds sway of His promises. Heaven is reserved for those who tenaciously hold onto their faith to the end. For this course, Jesus shed His blood to satisfy the divine justice, and therewith purchased our pardon (1 Cor. 15: 20; Col. 1: 18; Eph. 1:20). Hence, when we confess our sins and accept Him into our lives, as our Lord and Savior, we become God’s ‘properties’, and we must, therefore, relinquish the control of our lives to Him (Heb. 9: 14; Gal. 2: 20).
(2) THE KINGSHIP OF BELIEVERS (REV. 1:5B-6)
The title ‘king’ was extensively used in the scripture – right from its notable description of Melchizedek as the king of Salem (Gen. 14:18). Several kings ruled in Israel, as well as other nations of the ancient world, which were often divided into kingdoms by geographical divide. The dispensation of kings began in Israel, at the people’s request, for which king Saul was ordained, even though Jehovah God was meant to be their king. Kings are usually people invested with authority; which is time-dependent and, to a great extent, is limited to a defined enclave. This title is equally used for God (1 Tim. 1:17), and for Christ (1 Tim. 6:15, 16; Matt. 14:9; Mark 6:22; Isa. 9:6, 7). In contrast to the reign of earthly kings, the dynasty of our God is eternal, and the sphere of His authority is sovereign.
The word ‘kingdom’ was derived from the two words ‘king’ and ‘domain’. So, there can’t be a king without a domain or territory, which may either be a geographical entity or a defined enclave. One of the conditions often considered for kingship in old times, which is still obtainable in most part of the world, is to be royal-blooded. Hence, Jesus, who is the eternal God, came as a progeny of King David (Isa. 9:6, 7; 11:1; Mic. 5:2). Believers became heir of this royalty through the blood of Jesus (1 Pet. 2: 9, 10). In this passage, the believers in Asia were reminded by God of their position in Christ, as kings and priests; they needed not to be intimidated by idol worshippers around them. The revelational knowledge of who we are as Christians and the authority at our disposal is imperative for living victorious lives and sustaining our faith till Christ returns. Apostle Paul saw this as an issue of utmost importance, when he prayed for the brethren at Ephesus, that God would open their understanding to discover their position in Christ (Eph. 1: 17 -21). Believers are to live as kings, taking dominion of their territories by the power of the Holy Ghost. A lot of Christians have reduced themselves to beggarly elements because they do not know their position in God.
(3) THE PRIESTHOOD OF BELIEVERS (REV. 1:6-8)
After the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, every man became his own priest, presenting his own sacrifice before God. This responsibility was later devolved on the head of the family, as seen with Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Gen. 8:20; 12:7; 13:4; 26:25; 31:54). However, the first mention of priest in the Bible was applied to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18). Under the Levitical provisions, the office of the priesthood was limited to the tribe of Levi, and to only one family of that tribe – the family of Aaron. Certain laws concerning the qualifications of priests, ordinances regarding their dress, the manner of their consecration to the office, and their manifold duties, were given in Lev. 21: 16-23; Ex. 28: 40-43, Lev. 6:12; 10:11.
The Hebrew word ‘kohen’ (Gr. hierus, Lat. Sacerdos) which was translated “priest”, primarily means one who offers sacrifices. Hence, the primary duty of priests in old times, was to represent the people before God, and offer the various sacrifices prescribed in the law. The Priest had to make atonement for his sins first before making for the people. This practice continued until Jesus, who is the great Priest, offered Himself as one sacrifice for sins, once for all, thus granting free access to God (Heb. 10:10, 12). There is therefore no human intermediary. All true believers are now kings and priests unto God to offer up the sacrifices of praise, thanksgiving, and grateful service (Rom. 12: 1, 2; 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6). In this, believers are enjoined to remain steadfast as they await their Savior, whose return is certain and imminent; he will come to the terror of those who crucify Him by apostasy, and to the bewilderment of the ungodly world. He is the Almighty – the Alpha and Omega (Isa. 44:6; Rev. 21:6; 22:13)
Just like the churches in Asia were reminded of their position in Christ, this lesson has revealed to us that all true believers have been made kings and priests unto God through the blood of Jesus. So, God expects us to rule our spiritual environment as kings and priests, in the power of the Holy Ghost. He expects us to take charge and be in control of our homes, businesses, careers, etc., while we offer acceptable sacrifices to Him continually till He returns.
(1) From today’s passage, list all the titles or descriptive phrases used for Jesus.
(2) How did believers become kings and priests unto God?
(3) What is the sphere of believers’ authority as kings and priests?
(4) If believers are kings and priest unto God, why is it that some are still being molested by the devil?