Examining the role of the true Hebrew Israelites in these last days and their future calling as priests to Yah.
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THE TRIBE OF LEVI
When Israel became a free nation, after being led out of slavery in Egypt, they were given a set of laws and instructions from Yah through Moses, who had left them for a short time in order to receive those laws. The Israelites soon grew worried and began to press Aaron to make deities they could worship instead. This soon evolved into a golden calf being fashioned, for which they built an altar. And we are told:
6The people got up early the next morning to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. After this, they celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.
Long story short, Yah wanted to destroy the nation of Israel then and there and make a great nation from Moses instead, but he interceded on their behalf and pleaded with Yah to spare them. In the end, Moses forced the tribes to make a decision:
25Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control, much to the amusement of their enemies.
26So he stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, “All of you who are on Yah’s side, come here and join me.” And all the Levites gathered around him.
27Moses told them, “This is what Yah, the Elohim of Israel, says: Each of you, take your swords and go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other. Kill everyone—even your brothers, friends, and neighbors.”
28The Levites obeyed Moses’ command, and about 3,000 people died that day.
29Then Moses told the Levites, “Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of Yah, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Today you have earned a blessing.”
Because of their obedience to Yah—choosing to side with him in slaying their brethren, despite the opposition they faced from the other tribes—the tribe of Levi was thereafter set apart for service to Yah.
5For Yah your Elohim chose the tribe of Levi out of all your tribes to minister in Yah’s name forever.
7But you and your sons, the priests, must personally handle all the priestly rituals associated with the altar and with everything behind the inner curtain. I am giving you the priesthood as your special privilege of service. Any unauthorized person who comes too near the sanctuary will be put to death.”
Now this might be hard for some to accept today, given the tender sensibilities that have developed in these last days, but be reminded of this:
4For all people are mine to judge—both parents and children alike. And this is my rule: The person who sins is the one who will die.
In the book of Numbers, the third chapter, we are given a particular account of the tribe of Levi, who were to serve as substitutes for all the firstborn sons of Israel.
11And Yah said to Moses, 12“Look, I have chosen the Levites from among the Israelites to serve as substitutes for all the firstborn sons of the people of Israel. The Levites belong to me, 13for all the firstborn males are mine. On the day I struck down all the firstborn sons of the Egyptians, I set apart for myself all the firstborn in Israel, both of people and of animals. They are mine; I am Yah.”
In a way, Yah equates the tribe of Levi to all of Israel. For in Exodus chapter 4 we read:
22Then you will tell him, ‘This is what Yah says: Israel is my firstborn son. 23I commanded you, “Let my son go, so he can worship me.” But since you have refused, I will now kill your firstborn son!’ ”
“Israel is my firstborn son,” says Yah, and that firstborn son was supposed to function as a kingdom of priests. But after repeatedly rebelling against Yah, they were eventually treated as gentiles, with the tribe of Levi acting as their priests.
5Then Yah said to Moses, 6“Call forward the tribe of Levi, and present them to Aaron the priest to serve as his assistants.
7They will serve Aaron and the whole community, performing their solemn duties in and around the Tabernacle.
One thing to note here is that, while the tribe of Levi was given the priesthood as a “special privilege of service” — according to verse 7 of Numbers 3 — they were primarily servants. So in a sense they were the first among Israel, hence the Levites being substituted for all the firstborn sons, as stated in Numbers 3 verse 12. Though we know that all who are first must be last.
25But Yeshua called them together and said, “You know that the princes of the Gentiles rule over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them.
26But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.
28For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
From the time Israel was freed from captivity in Egypt, Yah desired to set them apart from all the nations of the world and place them above those nations . . . but only if they were obedient.
4‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.
5‘Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me.
6‘And you will be my kingdom of priests, my pure nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.”
We are told, via inspired revelation, that Israel will indeed become a kingdom of priests during the millennium.
9And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed us for Elohim from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10And you have caused us to become a Kingdom of priests for our Elohim. And we will reign on the earth.”
So what does it mean to be a Kingdom of Priests? Well, by examining the warnings that were given to the Levites, who corrupted their covenant with Yah, we can get a sense of what was expected of the priests of Yah.
1“Listen, you priests — this command is for you!
2Listen to me and make up your minds to honor my name,” says Yah of Heaven’s Armies.”
His priests are to honor his name.
5“The purpose of my covenant with the Levites was to bring life and peace, and that is what I gave them. This required reverence from them, and they greatly revered me and stood in awe of my name.”
His priests were to revere — or feel a deep respect or admiration — for him, and they were to stand in awe of his name. And we are told the covenant with the Levites was to result in life and peace. But why is that? The next verse tells us:
6They passed on to the people the truth of the instructions they received from me. They did not lie or cheat; they walked with me, living good and righteous lives, and they turned many from lives of sin.
Yah’s priests are to pass on to others the instructions they receive from him. They are not to lie or cheat, but they are to walk with Yah. They are to live good, righteous lives and turn many from lives of sin. For . . .
28The way of the righteous leads to life; that path does not lead to death.
And finally in Malachi 2 verse 7 we are told:
7“The words of a priest’s lips should preserve knowledge of Elohim, and people should go to him for instruction, for the priest is the messenger of Yah of Heaven’s Armies.
There is a new spiritual priesthood order that supersedes the Levitical priesthood, and that is the order of Melchizedek mentioned in Psalm 110 verse 4, of which Yeshua, who is now our sacrifice, is also high priest. The children of Israel are to be in training for this higher priesthood service this very moment. Then, in the kingdom, we might enjoy the fulfillment of the words of the prophet Zechariah:
22Many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek Yah of Heaven’s Armies and to ask for his blessing.
23“This is what Yah of Heaven’s Armies says: In those days ten men from different nations and languages of the world will clutch at the sleeve of one from the tribe of Judah. And they will say, ‘Please let us walk with you, for we have heard that Elohim is with you.’ ”
But that is a future time and a future circumstance. As pertains to our time and circumstance, the prophet Jeremiah wrote:
6 “My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray and turned them loose in the mountains. They have lost their way and can’t remember how to get back to the sheepfold.
This is the very reason Yeshua was sent to this earth, for in his own words we are told:
25Then Yeshua said to the woman, “I was sent only to help Elohim’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”
When sending out his twelve, he even gave them these implicit instructions:
5Yeshua sent out the twelve emissaries with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, 6but only to the people of Israel—Elohim’s lost sheep. 7Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
After Yeshua ascended, this was still the case, for the book of Acts recounts the work of the emissaries, and how they continued to preach to the children of Israel. In Acts 2 we are told:
1On the day of the Feast of Weeks all the believers were meeting together in one place.
5At that time there were devout men, descendants from the tribe of Judah, from every nation living in Jerusalem. 6When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.
7They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, 8and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages!
Then we get a list of all the places where these Israelites are from.
9Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, 10Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome 11 (both those from the tribe of Judah and converts), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things Elohim has done!”
We can see, not only from the book of Acts, but also from the letters of those who were among the original 12, that the commission to go only to the lost sheep was indeed fulfilled by their acts. First Peter gives us the following in a letter written to those living in the Roman provinces of what is now Turkey:
1This letter is from Peter, an emissary of Yeshua Messiah. I am writing to Elohim’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2Elohim the Father knew you and chose you long ago. . . .
—1 Peter 1
Who is this chosen people he is referring to? Well there is only one kind of people who are identified as such in Scripture.
8 “But as for you, Israel my servant, Jacob my chosen one, descended from Abraham my friend, 9I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.
And in a letter written by James, another emissary of Yeshua, we read:
1This letter is from James, a slave of Elohim and of the Master Yeshua Messiah. I am writing to the “twelve tribes” scattered abroad. Greetings!
Truth be told, those 12 tribes are still scattered to this day, and the vast majority of these chosen children of Yah do not know who they are, or what their purpose is. That is where Yah’s priests in training come in. As Yeshua commissioned the emissaries, we too are not to go to the Gentiles, “but only to the people of Israel—Elohim’s lost sheep. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
But also tell them the message of Isaiah 41, that they are Israel, Yah’s servant, Jacob his chosen one, descended from Abraham, Yah’s friend. And that Yah has called them back from the ends of the earth, saying,
8 . . . ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.
Keywords: priests and kings, levites, levitical priesthood, melchizedek
Marvelous and wonderful. Gave a clear depiction of who the Kingdom Priests are and will be. Beautiful scenery. Fulfilling and uplifting. Truly needed information. Thanks and keep up the good work. All praises to the Most High Yah!
Truly a wonderful blessing to finally know and believe who we truly are. This information is much needed and must be shared with our lost people. Thanks, and continue in the will of The Most High Yah. All praises to the Most High Yah!