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
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.
The primary function
of the priest was to minister in the offerings and
sacrifices of the people. There were seven principle
which the priest ministered:
1. Sin or trespass
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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:
beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of
God, that ye present
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable
unto God, which is your
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