The Priest in the Priesthood
February 21, 2016
(Martha) John, I asked you to sit down with me and let me do a little podcast, because one thing I told the story about the priesthood issue in the last days of Kenneth’s life. And the first couple of days that we got his diagnosis, that I began to be lost, I said, “I have this huge thing before me, God. I have no idea how to do it. I’m barely, barely able to take in what his condition is,” and I just felt lost, and lost from Him kind of. And then it was in the very first days of knowledge of that that He put me in the priesthood, and everything moved from the priesthood. But I’m very passionate to say one thing about that experience; that I am a vessel. I am not a priest. There’s one Priest. There’s one, we’ll see later on, Melchizedek. There’s one High Priest. There’s only One now, and He functions forever and ever. And He functions having offered His own self as the sacrifice. That just is incredible to me. The priests were to slaughter all the sacrifices. It was very bloody and gory. But now “there is one sacrifice by which we’re perfected forever,” Hebrews says. By one offering. So He is, Christ is there before the throne with His own blood, and He is in prayer. And that’s essentially what the priest does. The priest ministers to God. But I want to make very clear that I was letting Him be Himself in my body. He asked for – in Hebrews 12:1 [actual Scripture reference is Romans 12:1 – MK] – your body. And I’ve told that story many times, but He actually asks for my body. “Let Me be the Priest in this situation in your body.” And I was a participant by observation and by listening.
(Martha) And so, He was the Priest, I believe, in those crucial days, and they were very crucial to Kenneth’s spiritual life. And then in getting into that I started looking at the priesthood with new eyes. I did a tape series, which I don’t even remember the content. It was a number of years ago in Colorado Spring. Do you remember that?
(John) It’s “The Royal Priesthood.” (•••Because we mentioned this audio series in this podcast, we’re offering you a 25% off coupon to enjoy it. Visit LivingChristianBooks.com today to redeem it by entering the code PRIEST at checkout•••)
(Martha) Is that the name of it? I need to go back and listen to that and see what God revealed at that time. But I’m seeing the priesthood so powerfully. You know, I really see – and I’m guilty of this too – but I really see that we don’t perceive of Christ as the High Priest.
(Martha) We’re told that in Hebrews clearly. Hebrews is a really remarkable book, but it’s mysterious because it’s high. And they’re things in there that Paul says, or the writer says I’m going to tell you some things that are going to be hard to understand, and one of them is Melchizedek. But the issue of the High Priest is that only Christ could fulfill that office. And as I’ve been brooding on it, I’m seeing things I’ve never seen before. I’m seeing how Christ operated as a Priest, and that it’s so simple and so beautiful. It’s so easy, a new beginner can do it.
(Martha) A brand new, born again Christian can become a priest. And I’m going to tell this because I am compelled by the Lord to do it. I’m sure everybody knows by now that nobody taught me. I wanted people. I wanted someone to teach me. I wanted a mentor, and God never gave me one until much later. My mentors really were the Body of Christ and the dead saints. But nevertheless, I learned how to function as priest in the earliest days of my walk. I didn’t know that was what it was, but I was so without knowledge and so without under girding of the Scriptures and I knew it. And I would go to the Lord about a situation or someone was coming for prayer, and I would just wait and wait. And I would watch for what God was doing, and then that’s what I would do. I would watch and listen for what He was saying and then that’s what I would say. And many years later I found that in Jesus’ life. He said it in John 5:19. They were seeking to kill Him, because they said He was breaking the Sabbath and calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. “Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, ‘Truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself unless there’s something He sees the Father doing. And whatever the Father does, theses things the Son does also in like manner.”‘ The Holy Spirit had given me that and I had no idea that was even in the Bible.
(Martha) That’s why I say if you can grasp these simple priesthood issues, you can enter Christ’s Priesthood. And then He said in 5:30, “I can do nothing on my own initiative.” I didn’t have anything to initiate from because I was so brand new. But I did have the Holy Spirit, and I had been filled with the Holy Spirit without even knowing that’s what it was. But Jesus said, “As I hear, I judge, and My judgment is just because I do not seek my own will but the will of Him who sent Me.” And so, everything He did… I can’t say that I’ve done that perfectly of course. I’m not presuming that – plenty of witnesses to the contrary. But what is of God comes from this principle that you hear, and you speak what you hear. You look, and you do what you see. I think, pretty much I’ve told this story, not all together. But in the beginning when Shulamite Ministries was being born, and Don was a big factor in it. But however, Don and I were not close. We were having a little struggle at the beginning of it. And I didn’t much like him, and he didn’t much like me. And I was troubled about it, because we were coming together, a number of men leaders and a number of people were coming together for the formation of the ministry. And I was very troubled about it. We were at a meeting somewhere, I think in Charlotte. And several of us went up, and I was praying, and I saw the Lord put His hands on Don’s shoulder from behind. And I felt like He said, “This is what I want, I want you to do what you see Me doing. I’m putting My hands on Don’s shoulders.” So, I walked over and put my hands on his shoulder, and we were melted with the love of God. And he began to weep, and I began to weep. Don was changed from that moment. He was a different man, continually becoming more and more a different man. And we were one in the Spirit. So, that’s an example of it. Recently I had a prayer time, and I was asking the Lord, “What are you binding in heaven, and what are You losing?” And He showed me exactly one person He was binding and another person He was losing. And I prayed that and declared that, and it became visible within hours. So, it’s very simple. It’s childlike. I was so childlike in the beginning that I was really better off. I was needy, and I was excited, and I just innocently stumbled on – not by any cleverness on my part – how to function as a priest. And it’s a matter just simply of what Jesus did. He got up in the night and prayed, but He was praying to find God’s will and God’s way. And I suddenly saw this morning as I was brooding on this with the Lord, that the Lord’s prayer is the High Priestly prayer. He said pray this way, this is your model. This is your outline. You start in heaven with the Father, and you address the Father. And from there you will know the Father’s will and the Father’s heart. And it is to bring the Kingdom to earth. You start in the heavens, and when you’re looking at God, you’re looking into the heavens. It’s so practical. It’s not some unique thing. It shouldn’t be some unique thing. Every born again believer has the power to see into heaven.
(J) It’s so not complex, you know. He just makes it very, very simple. It’s not like you have, you know, this grand complicated machination, I guess, really of prayer. It’s just like ‘I’m not looking to separate us further’, you know. It’s like that’s what the Father’s saying, “You are separated. You have been separated, and I’m not looking to separate you further by making this difficult. I want you to come in and be close. And so it’s real simple. I’ve given you something simple.” So…
(Martha) And the Lord’s prayer is simple. God wants us to forgive. He wants us to ask. He wants us to have our daily bread, and He wants us to pray for others. So, it is. It’s very simple. It’s possible. It’s not to me… Melchizedek is complicated and difficult to understand. The Priesthood is huge, but it’s simply in the Old Testament in Ezekiel 44:15 where I went. The priest ministers to God, and that’s what Jesus did. He did nothing outside of that. He just spent time with God, and He listened, and He watched. That’s all. A child, it’s a child can do that. You said, I think on the podcast that we should spend more time with God than we do with…
(J) Yeah. I probably said we do. We’re with ourselves and God than we are with the Body.
(Martha) Um, yeah. So, it’s just, it’s simply giving Him the opportunity to become His vessel on this earth. And that’s what a priest is. Of course, when you get into the priesthood, you bump into Melchizedek. And that story is phenomenal. I will do the March tape of the month on that. But it’s interesting that in Psalm 110 long before many of the prophetic prophesies about Christ, David said, “You are a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” And David’s the one who saw Christ and knew who He was. And he declared, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek. Then Melchizedek appeared to Abraham after Abraham was an overcomer of the Kings of Sodom. He met with Abraham and blessed him and received a tenth of his tithe, and then offered bread and wine. But the thing about Melchizedek was Hebrews says he had no beginning and no end. He had no lineage of being a priest. He was the king of Salem, Jerusalem, the first king of Jerusalem. He was a king and a priest. He stood for Christ. And some commentators believe it was a Christophany, that it was Christ, Himself, appearing as Melchizedek. There’s no hint of that, but there is certainly a clear type that Melchizedek came with the sacrifice already offered in heaven. He came with wine and bread and offered it to Abraham and blessed him. And that was before…
(John) I kinda think it’s a Christophany too. I mean…
(Martha) Do you?
(John) Yeah, I kinda do.
(Martha) I can go there. It’s lovely to think about. And because Hebrews… Paul, in Hebrews so associates Christ with Melchizedek. “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” Well, what’s the order of Melchizedek? “No beginning and no end.” That’s Christ. No lineage. His lineage is God. And Jesus was not from the tribe of Levi, the tribe of priests. He was from Judah.
(Martha) And David wasn’t either. David functioned in many priestly operations and was not rebuked for it. So, the priesthood was very set in the Old Testament, but if you reached a certain function, and for David it was worship, enormous and fascinating worship and in the Temple. So, if you invest in the values of God, the Kingdom coming to earth and forgiveness, then you are touching the Priesthood as a born again believer. But the Lord taught it to me, and then He revealed it to me in Mary of Bethany. That book is not imagination, it was revelation. It was God revealing to me the way you live with Him and how she represents that. And that’s why He elevated her so. And I think for me it means that there is no male and female in the priesthood now. Every born again believe is to be an overcomer, which is a king, as Abraham was and as Christ was. Abraham wasn’t a king, but Melchizedek was. And he met Abraham when Abraham had overcome. And so the connection there is an overcomer. Then Revelation says we’re to be prophets, priest and kings. So, to me the king part is the overcomer, “those who receive the abundance of grace shall reign in life by one Christ Jesus.” But essentially there is one Priest, and He is eternally, forever and ever Priest. I want to go back to John 14 where Jesus was saying, “Believe Me that I am in the Father,” and Phillip said, “Show us the Father and then we’ll know.” And Jesus said, ‘you don’t get it yet?’ “Do you not believe? How can you say, show us the Father?” “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you, I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me, otherwise believe because of the works themselves.” And then in the prayer of John 17 that John the Beloved records. Oh, John the Beloved is beloved. He recorded the prayer of Jesus, “that they all may be one even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You.” It’s supposed to be the Father in us and us in the Father. “That they also may be one in Us,” the Trinity, “So that the world may believe that You sent Me.” If we could grasp that this priesthood, that we can function just as Jesus did, and we’re supposed to. It’s easy.
(Martha) It just takes looking and listening and a bit of time, a bit of patience. And it takes being brought to the place of dependence, and that’s the value of the wilderness. The wilderness makes you dependent. And in those early days of my walk, I knew there were people coming for prayer and inner healing and I had… I knew that in me I had nothing, and I was dealing with very delicate situations of the soul. And He taught me how to walk. He taught me The Way, Jesus, Who is The Way. What are you thinking? You’re taking it all in, very thoughtfully, aren’t you? You had a remarkable insight in the last podcast when you understood that to be involved with the Father does not separate you from people, but it makes Him available through you to them.
(Martha) You got it so clearly, and I appreciated that. But that’s true. When you see what the Father… He calls us to focus on the heavens. He calls us to care about things that are unseen, and therefore we can. It’s not a privileged few. It’s not some select. It’s all of us are to function and can function that way. If we have that Life of Christ in us, then that Life can live as He lived long ago. It’s very, very simple, and much easier than what we try to do by analyzing and presuming and judging and getting all into, ‘I know’ and ‘I think’ and ‘I can.’
(J) And ‘I figure.’
(Martha) Yeah. So, I covet this experience of the Priesthood for the Body of Christ. I covet for us to reduce ourselves to that role.