Holy Priesthood

God promised Israel in the wilderness that "Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation" (Ex. 19:5, 6). God chose Aaron and his sons to make up the priesthood for the children of Israel. The priesthood consisted of Aaron as the high priest and his sons as the priests. The office of the high priest passed to one of the male descendants of Aaron who met the qualifications as given by the Lord.

To be a priest a man had to be a male descendant of Aaron. To serve in the office of a priest he had to be anointed according to Ex. 28:41: "And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office." In addition, the priest had to be washed: "And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and thou shalt wash them with water" (Ex. 29:4). Furthermore, to minister in the priest office the priest had to be clothed with the holy garments: "And thou shalt bring his sons and put coats upon them. And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnets on them..." (Ex. 29:8, 9). Also the priest had to be consecrated to serve in his office (Ex. 29).

The primary function of the priest was to minister in the offerings and sacrifices of the people. There were seven principle sacrifices in which the priest ministered:

1. Sin or trespass offering.
2. Burnt offering.
3. Peace offering.
4. Heave offering.
5. Wave offering.
6. Meat offering.
7. Drink offering.

These sacrifices or offerings are detailed in the book of Leviticus. Similar to the sons of Aaron serving as priests under the old covenant, there is likewise a new testament priesthood:

1. 1 Pet. 2:5 "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."

2. 1 Pet. 2:9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." These to whom Peter was writing were said to be the "elect" of God. 

The "elect" are identified in Eph. 1:4, 5 as being chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world...to the adoption of children. Thus all the elect are the children of their high priest, Jesus Christ.

According to 1 John 2:20: "But ye have an unction (anointing) from the Holy One, and ye know all things." Also 1 John 2:27 further teaches this anointing of the elect of God: "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things..." Thus as the old testament priests were anointed, so are the elect anointed.

The elect are also washed as we read in Rev. 1:5, 6, "Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father..." Also Titus 3:5 reads, "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost."

Furthermore the elect are clothed with holy garments as we read in Rev. 7:9, "After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands..."

In addition, as the old testament priests were consecrated or sanctified, so are the elect of God as we read in Heb. 10:12 14, "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God: From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."

In summation, the new testament priests are the children of their high priest, are anointed by the Holy One, washed from their sins by Jesus Christ and the washing of regeneration, clothed with Holy garments of Jesus righteousness, and consecrated by the atoning sacrifice of Christ.  In comparison to the old testament priests who ministered in the priest's office by offering animal sacrifices, the new testament priests
are to offer spiritual sacrifices.

There are seven spiritual sacrifices set forth for us in the scriptures:

1. Sacrifice of a broken spirit Ps. 51:17.
2. Sacrifice of righteousness Ps. 4:5.
3. Sacrifice of joy Ps. 27:6.
4. Sacrifice of thanksgiving Ps. 107:22.
5. Sacrifice of communicating to the needs of others Phil 4:18.
6. Sacrifice of faith Phil. 2:17.
7. Sacrifice of doing good Heb. 13:16.

Now all of these spiritual sacrifices can be summed up in Rom. 12:1: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

In conclusion, as the elect of God and the priests of God we each have the privilege of offering up the above spiritual sacrifices to the honor and glory of Him who hath made us kings and priests to God.


Anointing Oil






Nation   Priesthood

Most Holy Place


Holy Place

Holy Garments Part I   Part II   Part III