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Priesthood, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

15- Priesthood is a calling, a consecration and an anointment


The Calling is so clear and so important in both Testaments, as stated clearly by Saint Paul:

(Heb 5:4) And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.

From the beginning we see that Gods plan has never changed.

(Heb 13:8) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

(James 1:17) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

The Lord Jesus criticised the deviations that man introduced and commanding people to go back Gods basic plan (refer to Mathew 19:3-8).

Gods divine plan for priesthood.

[1] The First Born To Be Consecrated to God

(Exo 13:2) "Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine."

We observe from the above verse three basic principals:

(a) God selects whomever He desires, He appoints and NOT us

(b) Those whom He selects, He selects for Himself, to Share in Gods Portion. Image: A Jewish High Priest in His Kohen garments and the breastplate صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: رئيس الكهنة اليهودي يرتدي رداء الكهنوت والصدرة التي عليها الأحجار الكريمة Image: A Jewish High Priest in His Kohen garments and the breastplate

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: رئيس الكهنة اليهودي يرتدي رداء الكهنوت والصدرة التي عليها الأحجار الكريمة

(c) Those whom He selects, He Consecrates.

[2] Then He Substituted The First Born For Aaron and His Descendants.

He selected Aaron and his descendants in exchange for the First Born. The principal of priesthood remained the same, those who were called , were substituted by others.

This is why priests in the Old Testament, had no portion in the Land allocation. As Gods own, they were fed from Gods own portion, i.e. from the offerings essentially given to God.

[3] God Did Not Stop At Their Selection But Ordered Moses To Anoint Them In A Holy Gathering.

(Lev 8:12) And he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron's head and anointed him, to consecrate him.

The consecration and anointing procedures took place in a holy place of worship, where a sacrifice was offered to God. Also God ordered special robes and attire to be made for the priests to wear.

(Exo 40:12-15) "Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of meeting and wash them with water. {13} "You shall put the holy garments on Aaron, and anoint him and consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest. {14} "And you shall bring his sons and clothe them with tunics. {15} "You shall anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may minister to Me as priests; for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations."

[4] God Commissions Moses To Ordain Them

I stand in awe and amazement at the honour God bestows on His vicars.

He selected Aaron and his sons to be priests for His Service, but they were not commissioned until such time they were passed under the hand of Moses His vicar, who was ordained by God as the custodian of the House of God.

(Num 12:7) Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house.

Moses sanctified them for God, and anointed them with the holy anointing, and made the priesthood eternal.

Do you think that this matter happen only in the Old Testament? We will see later on many examples from the New Testament as well.

[5] A Pure Gold Name Plate To Be Placed on Aarons Forehead to Distinguish Them

(Exo 28:38) "So it shall be on Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things which the children of Israel hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.

It is remarkable to observe that wearing this Sanctification Name Tag was a means by which obtains Gods acceptance.

We also note that the robes of Aaron and his sons were called Holy robes.

(Exo 28:2-3) "And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. {3} "So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest.

(Exo 28:40) "For Aaron's sons you shall make tunics, and you shall make sashes for them. And you shall make hats for them, for glory and beauty.

Is it possible to think that God would single out the Old Testament servants with all this care, robing them with honour and glory but would not care about the importance and the necessity of His New Testament servants.

[6] They Received The Holy Spirit By being Anointed

(Isa 61:1) "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

So the Anointing is linked with pouring of the Holy Spirit, as we have discussed this issue before here on in other sections. Hence, those anointed, receive the Holy Spirit which bestows authority to carry out the ministry of the priesthood.

In the New Testament the Lord substituted the anointing with the Laying on of hands and the Holy Breath.

(John 20:22) And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

(Heb 6:2) of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

[7] God Publicly Declares That Priesthood Is Not For All, But Only For The Chosen

When Korah and Dathan and Abiram revolted against the priesthood under the guise that the whole nation is a sanctified unity, but God made very clear when Moses said to them:

(Num 16:5) and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, "Tomorrow morning the LORD will show who is His and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to Him. That one whom He chooses He will cause to come near to Him.

Here Moses describes a priest as; That one whom He chooses He will cause to come near to Him.

And God chose His priest but as for those who protested against the priesthood, the earth opened its mount and swallowed them up.


Priesthood is a calling and a mission

[8] Priesthood As An Anointing And A Mission

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