THE PRIESTHOOD: KEEPERS OF THE FLAMES OF REVIVAL
By Chad Taylor
Throughout the Old Testament we see the role of the priest. It seems above all he was the keeper of the inner-flame, the temple “maintenance man”, always preparing, positioning, and possessing the holy things. He was a mediator, a teacher, and at times prophet. As the era of old and New Testament merged becoming one and then two, we see a transition taking place. The role of priest seems to evolve to an even higher and more important role, intercessor, teacher, and evangelist.
An evolution takes place. From Levitical which means more or less a servant of the temple duties, repetitiously divvying out the daily ritual of priesthood, or Levite. But Levitical gave way to a greater light, a greater fire: Melchisedec. Which literally means: "fire" (literally or figuratively, specifically, lightning): fiery, fire.” The old cold methodical position had been swallowed up by the fiery office of the New Testament priest or revivalist. It is no wonder then that on the Mt. of Transfiguration Jesus countenance was “like lightning, and his raiment white as snow…” (Matt 28:). He was “a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb 7:17). Whom steps we now follow. Jesus made this very clear when He said to us, “You are the light of the world…” (Matt. 5:14).
Now this role of priest or priesthood is now coming to fruition. A fire starter, keeper of the holy flame of revival, a prophet in the house of God. Priest was not just a monotonous mundane minister, but now a fiery brand thrown into the cold harsh world to light her. A tender and keeper of the awesome flame of revival and spiritual renaissance that was dawning as the old gave way to the new. Modern day priests are revivalists and evangelists. They are concerned about atmospheres and positioning, functions and offices that the Body can play to sustain a spiritual awakening. They see people not rituals, salvations not numbers; they are the modern day Samuels that keep the flames of reformation lit that Eli (the old) had let go out.
I would like to also establish now the priest as intercessor. In modern day thinking the priest is pastor, worker of charity or hospitality, an agent of religion or ritual. But in the New Testament He is an intercessor: “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.” (Heb 7:25). “Because as he is, so are we in this world…” (I Jn 4:17). We as Kings and Priest bear this same manner or task. We are Intercessors, prophets, apostles, and evangelists. The Great High Priest of our faith made it perfectly clear His role in the earth, “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” (Matt 18:11). And again, “Then said Jesus to them…as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” (John 20:21). The modern day priest is not only keeper of the inner-flame, but fire starter and Salvationist. An intercessor, one who stands in the gap between the porch and the altar and cries out, “Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach…” (Joel 2:17).
“And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Rev 1:6). The key word here is “made.” Jesus has made us into this we have not become this on our own accord. We are naturally religious. We have a tendency to revert back to the old, the ritual, and the predictable. We are priests in the flesh after the old order, the Levite, the seed of Aaron. Jesus after the new, which is really even more ancient, Melchisedec, King and Priest. Read carefully: “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” (Heb 7:1-3). Awesome.
The old kingship was done away with in Christ, as in symbolism here, “slaughter of the kings.” The old has been “slaughtered” or done away with as in the old connotation of priesthood and kingship. He has redefined it and refashioned it after His own image. That is why we are being changed into His image from glory to glory. We are taking on the nature of King and Priest, intercessors and revivalist moment by moment.
We are becoming the One that stands in the gap, the One that outreaches and touches the lost and unsaved, the One that delegates authority and stations and positions the church for revival. We are the keepers of the Most Holy Flame of reformation and change, every increasing unto that perfect day. The ambassadors and reconcilers bridging the gap between Jerusalem and Samaria, the church and the world. You are His priest, His Samuel and David. You are the one He has given this high and intense task to stoke, to rebuild, and to kindle the ancient flames of revival. Do it with all diligence and zeal O priest and intercessor of the Most High God.