World History is replete with kings and priests – some good and some bad. One very famous good king was David, son of Jesse. He has been celebrated throughout history for his unlikely defeat of Goliath using a sling shot. And he has been frequently called, “a man after God’s own heart”. Of course there was also King Saul, a bad king that many love to hate because of his disobedience to God. The Prophet Samuel delivered many messages from God to King Saul, but King Saul was more interested in pleasing man than in pleasing God, according to the book of 1 Samuel.
After Israel chose to have a king rather than obey God’s instructions given by the Prophet Samuel, God told the Prophet Samuel that the people rejected him as their king, not Samuel. The Israelites wanted to have a king to rule over them rather than obey God and follow Deuteronomy 28. However, The Old Testament made a distinct difference between a king and priest, although they both exhibited earthly authority. Their primary differences can be observed by their daily duties and the location of their duties – in the Temple or outside of the Temple. The kings ruled over the people’s physical needs outside of the Temple, while the priests primarily ruled over their spiritual and religious needs inside of the Temple.
Over time, both the kings and the priests became corrupted by their inflated egos, vein imaginations and lusts. So God raised up prophets to take special messages of judgment, warning, direction and correction to the kings and the priests. Some of the more well-known prophets were Daniel, Nathan, Samuel and Jonah. To help insure a pure and accurate transmission of God’s word to them, the Old Testament prophets were called and appointed by God alone to insure the purity and accuracy of their prophecies. But, the burden of discerning the true prophets of the Old Testament was on the heads of the kings and the priests. Unfortunately, the kings and the priests were frequently so corrupt they could not discern the true prophets from the false prophets. A classic example of this can be found in the book of Jeremiah.
Can a person be a priest and a king? Melchizadek was a king and a priest. Genesis 14:18 says, “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.” King David was also a priest and king because he ruled like a king and worshipped God like a priest in and out of the Temple. Although we usually call Jesus the Savior or the King of Kings, he was also a priest, because he was a spiritual leader, etc. Jesus was a son, a priest, a prophet and a king simultaneously. These are not just physical or fleshly religious titles given to a few, but titles that were based on their accomplishments, lifestyles and daily activities.
Jeremiah 31:33 foretold a new covenant for Israel, “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” The word “law” is referring to the Torah, best translated as “the teachings of God”. Further, 1 Corinthians 3:16 says that the Temple of God is no longer a man made building, but is now in the hearts of all believers and the Spirit of God lives there, not in the Temple or in the Ark of the Covenant.
This was in great contrast to the Old Testament teachings. Jesus was now teaching that God’s law (teachings) would now be written on the hearts of men, rather than on tablets of stone. And each follower of Christ would become the new covenant Temple of God. Jesus spiritualized the Old Testament teachings. First, the Jewish Temple is no longer a physical building made by the hands of men, but it is now a human body that was made by the hands of God. Then Jesus said that the manifest presence of God will no longer be in a physical Temple or in the Ark of the Covenant, but will be in the hearts of all those that follow Christ. They would have the Spirit of God dwelling inside of them! How revolutionary!
The conflict between the physical (kingly duties) and the spiritual (priestly duties) of Judaism and Christianity has been raging ever since the 1st Century. One reason why many Jews did not accept Jesus as their Messiah is because they were expecting a physical king, not a spiritual king. Perhaps that is one reason why the Apostle Peter cut off the ear of the Roman soldier right before Jesus was arrested and eventually crucified. Much later in about 325 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine made Christianity the state religion.
Constantine seemed to realize the significance of combining the kingly and the priestly duties. However, it appears that he turned the teachings of the Kingdom of God upside down. Jesus clearly taught that heaven should invade earth, but Constantine tried to cause earth to invade heaven. Constantine made God in his own image. In other words, Constantine emphasized the physical aspects (religious activities) of the kingly duties over the spiritual duties of the priests. This led to anti-Semitism and the first institutionalization of Christianity, moving Christianity from the marketplace, where it had been for about 300 years, to the church place, becoming an ancient forerunner of modern American relgious practices. Also, the USA adopted the Gregorian calendar, named after Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 AD, rather than adopting the ancient Hebrew Calendar.
Constantine’s version of Christianity removed the manifest presence of God and the related miracles in the marketplace, replacing them with a state controlled humanistic ideology that still influences Christianity today. When the world influences Christianity more than Christianity influences the world, we have apostasy, like in the times of Constantine. However, when Christianity influences the world, more than the world influences Christianity, we experience revival, renewal and reformation like in the 1500's.
1 Peter 2:9 calls all followers of Christ a royal priesthood. In this passage kings and priests are mentioned together as if they are two, yet one. To help us understand this more fully, perhaps we could substitute the word “ruler” for king and “spiritual leader” for priest. Then, Genesis 14:8 would read, “And Melchizedek ‘Ruler’ of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the Spiritual Leader of the most high God.” These and many other Bible verses in the New Testament tell us that every Christian is a King AND a Priest, but Jesus is the King of Kings and the High Priest - The Anointed One (Messiah/Christ). In summary, the New Testament says that Christ has enabled all of his followers (believers) to righteously rule and be a spiritual leaders according to his/or respective delegated authority, talent and spiritual gifts. If you are married, then you’re delegated authority is in your home with your spouse and children. Of course, you will also have a delegated authority in your job, pursuant to your responsibilities, etc. If you are a department manager, then you have the delegated authority to manage (rule) in your department.
According to the New Testament, Jesus has given all believers his authority (kingship) and his anointing (priesthood). Unfortunately, like the children of Israel, many Americans have been deceived into thinking that these should be separated. That is one reason why some in the USA have promoted the doctrine of the separation of the church and state, although those words are not even found in the US Constitution. The ancient Israelites, like many modern Americans, were saying that they did not want to follow the rule of God’s laws and ways, because they wanted a king! For them, God was not enough. Many Americans are saying the same thing today as evidenced by our recent elections.
The Catholic Church has been promoting the significance of kings (state leaders) and priests (church leaders) for many years. In Rome, they called it “The Holy Roman Empire” from 962 AD – 1806. Also, Great Britain has been choosing kings to govern their business and priests to lead their spiritual lives as dictated by the Catholic and Reformed Church of England. According to the book of Revelations, the Anti-Christ (kingly leader) will partner with the False Prophet-Priest (religious leader) to deceive many and rule over the earth. But Larry, priests can’t be prophets! Yes they can. King David was a king and a prophet and Martin Luther was a priest and a prophet that led the Great Reformation, changing the course of history. But, neither the Catholic Church nor the Protestant church considers him a prophet. But that doesn't matter because God calls and equips prophets, not men. A prophet will eventually be recognized by mankind, because of his integrity, spiritual power and prophetic accuracy. (See 1 Samuel 3:19, 20)
In the 1500's the Protestants discovered "the priesthood of the believer", affirming that every Christian has God's priestly anointing, not just a "chosen few". By the same token, God has enabled all believers to be kings, pursuant to his/her "delegated authority". Jesus talked about it like this, "if you will be faithful over a little, I will make you ruler over much", Matthew 25:23. 'To rule' is a kingly activity. Further, Jesus said "The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the spirit of God." Jesus affirmed this even more by saying, "The Kingdom of God is within you.", meaning within every one that follows Christ.
So, what is God doing? God is preparing his followers to become "the Sons of God" to be released on the earth to establish His justice, giving them the authority to "bind and loose" things, heal the sick, cast out devils and destroy all of the works of Satan. Of course, a closer look at this verse reveals that the words, “Sons of God” include men and women. Romans 8:23 says, “For the whole creation hopes for and expects the revelation of the sons of God.” Why? Because the “Sons of God” will know that they have a kingly authority over all of the works of Satan, enabling them to rightly rule, while also leading and demonstrating God’s righteousness. And as Priests, they will demonstrate God’s character and glory by his grace, not by their own fleshly, religious efforts!
Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God”. I believe this icludes the kingly and priestly anointings.
Perhaps the best question is not about whether you are a king or a priest. But whether you are becoming one of the sons of God, while learning how to be led by the Spirit of God and leading others to do the same?
Whether you agree with this teaching or not, all followers of Christ undoubtedly have kingly duties here on earth when rightly activating their God-given delegated authority. They also have priestly duties on earth by rightly asserting their delegated spiritual authority. And at the least, we can agee that the kings and priests can be appointed by men, but the prophets are appointed by God alone.
Ok let’s connect the dots. God created mankind in his own image - three parts yet one person. God is father, son and spirit and mankind is body, soul and spirit – both three parts, yet one person. The kingly anointing represents the authority of God the Father - the prophetic anointing represents God the Spirit that leads mankind into all truth and the priestly anointing represents God the Son - the Passover Lamb. God wants every Christian to know and practice their authority in Christ (kingly anointing), their ability to hear God’s voice as a spiritual leader (priest) of their area (s) of delegated authority here on earth. I believe that’s one reason why Jesus said, “If you will be faithful over little, I will make you ruler over much”, referring to God's kingly anointing and his/her coresponding delegated authority.
I know that some may criticize this article, saying that I’m “spiritualizing” the scriptures too much. But I’m alright with that, because I will be in good company, since that is exactly what Jesus did when he introduced the new covenant and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. And to them, I have just one question: How’s that working for you?
Do you have a history of unexplainable “miracles” that others have said ‘only God could do that’? If not, perhaps it’s time to spiritualize some Bible verses and see the Kingdom of God established on earth through you, while destroying all of the works of the devil. How? Simply learn to release the Kingdom of God in your area (s) of delegated authority and “Bloom where you’re planted.”