In my first blog on this topic, I made the case that Jesus came to replace the Levitical priesthood. In this blog, we are going to explore further. Why had the priesthood had to be replaced? Were there any prophecies about it?
In the end, we’ll look at Jesus’s new covenant. How did it replace the Levitical priesthood?
Why replace the Levitical Priesthood?
It was a temporary solution.
The goal of the priesthood was to help the people keep the Book of the Covenant. However, it did not work to its fullest extent.
It worked, however, in the sense that it did what God intended for it to do within the confines of the corruption of men. God was at work behind the scenes, taking small baby steps to His ultimate goal.
1. First, God intended to get His Word into the hearts and minds of His people, the Israelites.
2. Then, He intended to spread His people out so that they could, in turn, influence the places where they went.
When the time came, millions eagerly came to Jesus, because He was recognizable to them from the stories and traditions passed down through the generations.
They wanted to do things their own way.
But the Israelites did not want to listen to God.
In a sense, it is the story of humanity.
They didn’t want to submit to God. They, like us, wanted to do things their our own way. As a result, God allowed them to be ruled by men. kings and rulers, governments and dictators, religious hierarchies and cult leaders who have shed more blood and destroyed more families that all the other plagues of mankind. Mankind as a whole has an insatiable desire to seek the approval of men while at the same time some seek to rule men and others to be ruled by men. However, the majority of mankind looks to men instead of to God as the ultimate authority.
God wants to be our Ruler and our ultimate authority.
God intended that He would be our Ruler from the beginning. He wanted us to be His kingdom of priests with Him as the High priest. Exodus 20 starts with the words: God spoke …
In Exodus 20:19-20, they said to Moses: ‘Speak to us yourself, and we will listen, but let not God speak to us, or we will die.’
Moses tried to be the voice of reason.
Exodus 20:20 states:
“Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.'”
But to no avail. The Israelites were not interested. They did not want to hear from God directly, and they were not interested in obeying the covenant commandments, even after they’ve agreed to it.
We still see this in Christian churches today. People are not listening to what God has to say (through His Word), and they are not obeying His rules.
God calls these people “false sons.”
Isaiah 30:9: “For this is a rebellious people, false sons, sons who refuse to listen to the instruction of the Lord…”
This is one of the most tragic stories in the history of humanity.
I wholeheartedly believe that God intended to head off bloodshed, murder, rape, slavery, and torture that has happened under the rule of corrupt authorities ever since then.
But the Israelites (and we today) chose otherwise. We want other men to rule over us.
So, over time, the Levitical priesthood became corrupted.
The evidence is everywhere in the Bible:
“In front of them stood seventy elders of Israel, and Jaazaniah son of Shaphan was standing among them. Each had a censer in his hand, and a fragrant cloud of incense was rising.
He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol? They say, ‘The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land’” (NIV).
In Malachi 2:8-10, God says about the priesthood:
“But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,’ says the Lord Almighty.
So, I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.
Do we not all have one Father? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our ancestors by being unfaithful to one another?’”
What good is a corrupted priesthood? It is no good at all. What good is a corrupted church and clergy? They are no good at all.
The Levitical priesthood is to be taken away
There are lots of prophecies about this in the Bible.
Malachi 2:1-3 states:
“‘And now this commandment is for you, O priests. If you do not listen, and if you do not take it to heart to give honor to My name,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings; and indeed, I have cursed them already, because you are not taking it to heart. Behold, I am going to rebuke your offspring, and I will spread refuse on your faces, the refuse of your feasts; and you will be taken away with it.’”
We can see it again in Jeremiah 23:1, 11-12. Here God likens the Levitical priests to shepherds that are not looking after their sheep.
“‘For both prophet and priest are polluted; even in My house I have found their wickedness,’ declares the Lord. ‘Therefore, their way will be like slippery paths to them, they will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it; for I will bring calamity upon them, the year of their punishment,’ declares the Lord.”
It has happened.
The Levitical priesthood is no longer in existence. In fact, the line of the Levites is completely lost.
All temple records were destroyed in 70 AD when the temple along with Jerusalem was utterly destroyed and burned to the ground. With the temple, the sacrificial system was destroyed, as well as the Ark of the Covenant and the stone tablets.
The Levitical priesthood was the only priesthood covenant ordained by God. All other institutionally recognized priesthoods, churches, religious organizations, Rabbis, pastors, preachers, and any other group that seeks to exercise authority over us, while there still may be a few good ones, are not specifically God-ordained and the far majority are completely corrupted preying upon us, our families, and especially our children.
The new covenant with Jesus as our High Priest
This is the covenant that Jesus came to replace.
Even before the priesthood covenant was put in place, God foreshadowed that one day, the priesthood would be replaced when God introduced us to Melchizedek “priest of God Most High” in Genesis 14:18:
“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.”
And when Jesus is prophesied to be this new high priest always in Psalms 110:1, 4:
“‘The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.’ The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.’”
We see the two priestly covenants the old and the new covenants compared side by side in Jeremiah 23:2-3:
“Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: ‘Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,’ declares the Lord.
‘I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number.’” This prophecy is a description of the failure of the old covenant priesthood and the success of the new covenant with Jesus as high priest.
The new covenant is designed to help us keep our Salvation Covenant.
Even now, God is calling to us from every country to come home to Him as His kingdom of priests with Him as High Priest living within His covenants of salvation.
We can be His people who listen to Him directly and keep His covenant commandments. Shall we listen this time?