Melchizedek: The Royal Priesthood
The Order of Melchizedek has arrived and people are being called to it. The Royal Priests take the Holy of Holies with them wherever they go so that even their shadow, if it falls on someone, might heal them (Acts 5:15). Royal Priests are ambassadors of heaven (Eph. 6:20), holding both gentle authority and the boldness of a lion. They follow their true Shepherd, Jesus, know His voice, and their footsteps leave a trail of His Kingdom. Like their Shepherd, they’ll be doorways to Heaven.
IN THIS SECTION
Jesus is the High Priest of the Most High God – Jesus is the only King of Righteousness – Jesus is both King and Priest – Jesus meets the faithful – Jesus gives the bread and wine – Jesus is the only King of Peace/Salem/Jerusalem – tithes are only given to God – Jesus always existed, He’s the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end.
See John the Baptist for how God ushered in the era of Melchizedek and brought the Priesthood of Levi to a close.
Mysterious Melchizedek appears in Gen. 14.17, Ps. 110:4, and then again in Heb. 5 and 7. Heb. 5:11 says “Concerning Melchizedek we have much to say but it is hard to explain since you have grown dull of hearing.” Verse 12 says this message is an “elementary principle of the oracles of God.” So why is it lost to the Church? The message of Melchizedek is only now being restored. Few preach it – I’ve heard only 3. God told me directly about the links between Melchizedek, the new Priests, being an heir, abiding in Him, and oracle speech – and then confirmed it through Amanda Wells (Australian pastor), Kirk Bennett (IHOP prophet and teacher) and Jonathan David (prophet and pastor from Malaysia). The Book of Hebrews was written to the Jews who were being persecuted and on the verge of leaving the faith and returning to the Mosaic law. The entire book covers points in the Old Testament and shows how Jesus not only fulfilled but is better than those points which merely foreshadowed Him. So Hebrews focuses on Jesus being better than Moses, better than the law, better than David, better than the angels, better than the Levitical sacrifices. Hence the significance of Jesus sitting down at God’s right hand because the Levites always had to stand to denote that their sacrifices for sin were never finished. Jesus sat down because His sacrifice was perfect and finished for all time. Because the Jews believed that God’s chosen Priests had to come from the tribe of Levi, Hebrews points out that the Royal Priesthood of Melchizedek preceded Levi, is a higher Order, and that Jesus, being of Judah (Praise and Kingship) is the eternal Royal High Priest. We are also of that higher Order!
Psalm 110 begins with a verse that Jesus quoted about Himself while teaching the Pharisees (Mk. 12:35-37). He subtly points out that the Psalm is about Himself and suddenly Melchizedek makes a second appearance in scripture. The Psalm obviously speaks of Jesus and Kingship, and that Melchizedek should appear there shows the connection to Royal Priestly Authority.
BE with Him (ie, have constant union with Him – “Be still and know that I am God” Ps. 46:10). He then asked me to be His oracle and I later found that very thing in 1 Pt. 4:11. God confirms what God reveals!
Being a Royal Priest means being a vessel filled with light, living as God’s oracle in the world, while ministering solely to Him in the Holy of Holies. Most in the Church still live as Priests of Levi in some form of rules and fear because they don't know His intimacy or their sonship. They are weighed down with the doctrines of men just as the Pharisees were weighed down with Rabbinic (‘oral’) law which were the hundreds of rules they’d added to Moses’ written law – rules that Jesus condemned as “the traditions of men”. Levitical Priests lack many things the Bride of Christ must have – one is kingship. The Church still focuses on converts but some are starting to teach sonship (ie our kingship) because it's the Church that needs conversion to full discipleship. Messages on sonship are often tied to messages on Melchizedek, although sometimes those who teach excitedly about our sonship have not yet seen the revelational connection to our Royal Priesthood and the responsibilities that go with that. The other things Levitical Priests lack (ie, many current church leaders and doctrines) are liberty, love, and the cloak of humility.
God’s Glory Fire: Through God’s shakings, the Church is being matured into the Royal Priesthood so the scripture “In the day of your power and in the beauty of holiness” (Ps. 110:3) will be fulfilled. Scripture also says that the latter glory of the house will be greater than the former (Hag. 2:9). The house is the same (ie us, His Temple) and the glory that will increase in us, is Him! Those who go through the refiner’s fire will find the glory in them is much greater than it was formerly. The difference is that we move from knowing about Him, to knowing Him so intimately that His fruits and attributes pour through us from on high. He’s shaking many people and institutions at the moment to bring His people onto a solid foundation. When that happens, He can be revealed in us (Gal. 1:15,16) and we’ll no longer be servants but sons, heirs, Royal Priests. (See "Fit for the Kingdom - The Remnant")
Becoming Royal – A Warning: There is a most beautiful passage of scripture which specifies how we “advance to royalty”. Ez. 16:6-14 tells that the Church was abhorred when she was born but God took her and decreed life into her, anointed her with His own oil – the Holy Spirit – and covered her with His own skirt, ornaments, jewels, and silks. And as she grew He made a covenant of love and married her and called her “Mine”. And when she became exceedingly beautiful, THEN she advanced into royalty and her fame was known through the world as Jesus said it would be in Jn. 17, saying that when we have union with Him and each other then the world will know He was sent from God. Why? Because the beauty of God’s royalty is love and covenant union, topped with His splendour – a picture of unfathomable beauty that the world can’t produce itself.. But the Ezekiel passage ends with God’s Bride becoming proud of the beauty God gave her and becoming a harlot. This is currently happening in modern churches that have come to favour their own strength after having the Holy Spirit and gifts of God poured into them in the Charistmatic Renewal of the 1970s. They stop short of entering royalty – or they attain it and quickly throw the crowns God gave them away in favour of their own crowns. She is described as worse than a harlot because instead of receiving payment from men who aren’t her husband, she pays them to come to her – these are the churches who seek ‘relevance’ with the world! God promises both judgement and restoration for those who love their beauty and forget it comes from God alone. The current shaking in church and ‘leadership’ structures around the world is to restore God’s Bride so she knows her honour comes only from Him and she can become a worthy ambassador. What prophets are now calling the ‘leadership cult’ is driven by men who blindly think they can lead God’s Bride into the beauty described in Ezekiel – a stunning glory only God can provide! They seek to claim ownership of His Bride and His glory, believing that if they only ‘teach’ the right ‘principles and techniques’ the Church will learn to cover themselves with the glory of God. Is. 64:6 calls that “filthy rags”. And so God is telling all who have ears to hear that His judgement is already falling on those areas – to cleanse them. We must never forget that only God can make a Royal Priest and our job is simply to covenant with Him directly and pray for the strength to die to ourselves. Our choice is simple – humility or harlotry!
Sacrifice is the coin of our realm and God loves the smell of roasted sheep!God stretches us to fit us for our mantles and Chris Hill, of Potters House, Dallas, showed how Elisha got Elijah’s mantle by refusing to stop at Gilgal, Bethel, or Jericho, but following him to Jordon, and the significance of those places. This may not be news to some but it was to me. Having been through the severe stretchings of God’s “fiery trials” (1 Pt. 1:6,7) I thought this was a good illustration because Elisha ends up in the wilderness. It was in the wilderness that Jesus was refined for ministry too.
Chris points out that before Elijah was taken up into heaven in the fiery chariot, he was walking with Elisha and at certain places along the way he commanded Elisha to stop and wait for him. Elisha refused saying he would follow Elijah wherever he went. (This is true discipleship.) Chris showed the relevance of these places from the desert wanderings of Jacob and the Israelites.
(1) Gilgal was the first step into the Promised Land – the place where they got circumcised with a stone knife. Gilgal is where God says ‘here’s the promise, now I’m gonna cut out the things that reproduce flesh’. He cuts out the reproach of the world/Egypt. Our first steps in God will be full of promise as well as painful because when we enter the Kingdom He has only one plan for us – death (Gal. 2:20). Gilgal is only the first step towards receiving our mantles but many people never get past it. God’s pruning, the circumcision of our heart, hurts and many find comfort in rules and stay in Gilgal lest their next step hurts even more. Elisha would not stay in Gilgal.
(2) Bethel was the place of Jacob’s pillow – also made of stone – and the place where he was given the dream of the ladder leading to heaven. It’s the second step towards maturing in God. The area was previously called Luz which means “separation” but after God met Jacob there, he renamed it Bethel – House of God. After being circumcised in our hearts God separates us into His House and reveals something of heaven to us. Elisha would not stay in Bethel.
(3) Jericho is the place of breakthrough, the place of victory where the walls come down. At Jericho it was worship and grace that brought down the walls. In Jos. 5:13-15 Joshua is confronted by a sword-wielding Angel of the Lord who commanded God’s armies and demanded worship using the same words Moses heard at the burning bush. This ‘angel’ was Jesus Himself (no angel allows people to worship them and Jesus is Lord of Hosts). He led the battle, breaking several Torah laws – the Levite Priests led the army (under law they didn’t go into battle) and on the Sabbath they marched even harder, going 7 times around the city. When Jesus leads, grace has precedence over law and when the Priests fight, worship overcomes. Victory lies in God’s strength, not ours, and everything in Jericho became an offering. The one who withheld spoil after that battle was put to death with his whole family. If we want breakthrough we’ve got to give everything to God. Hannah got a son only when she said she’d give him to God. Abraham’s promise came, and God took his delight and told him to kill it – to sacrifice Isaac. Yet in this place is our breakthrough. But Elisha would not stay in Jericho.
(4) Jordon means “the descender” – it’s in the wilderness. God takes us back there to stretch us so he can release us – He pulls us backwards and puts pressure on us like the string of a bow so that when He lets go we fly high and fast. Without the pressure on the bow, the arrow just falls to the ground – people fall because they want the promotion without the pain. After Jesus was baptized God drove Him into the wilderness. Paul had hidden years in the Arabian desert being trained by God in the wilderness. Gilgal, Bethel, and Jericho were all in the Promised Land, but Jordon was not. Yet Jordon was the place where Elijah’s mantle fell on Elisha. It’s the place where we seem to go backwards in God, and only after He releases the string of the bow does our mantle fall and we fly so high we can see with the prophetic overview of an eagle. We finally understand that the stretching has added a dimension of godliness and intimate union with Him that comes no other way. God gives us winter seasons to get us ready – to strengthen us to bear our mantles.
The reason this message struck me is because it’s my experience. All who enter the Melchizedek Priesthood will be put through the wilderness, the fiery trials, the meat tenderizer that softens our hearts and minds and shreds our flesh, as Jesus was also torn. Paul said in Phil. 3:10 that to enter His resurrection we must also enter His sufferings and death. They go hand in hand! He longed for the sufferings of Christ – see Knowing Him – and Paul’s incredible trials are listed in 2 Cor. 11:23-29. 1 Pt. 4:13 also says to the degree we share His sufferings is the degree we’ll be exulted in His glory.
Dark Night of the Soul: No teaching or course will make a Royal Priest. It requires total devotion to God and only God can prepare people’s hearts for this. It happens via the wilderness and great trials. The Catholics call it “the dark night of the soul” a term coined by St John of the Cross whose main revelation was the Beauty of God. Others call it a desert or wilderness experience. The longer and darker the night, the deeper the refiner’s fire goes, and the higher we fly when God releases the bow-string. Like non-Christians can’t behave with the strength that the Holy Spirit gives (“to as many as received Him He gave power to become the sons of God” – Jn. 1:12) and like Michel couldn’t see the spirit and depth of David’s walk with God (2 Sam. 6:16), scripture says the mature believer is not understood by anyone – including other believers – because their lives are hidden in Christ with God. (Rom. 8:36, 2 Cor. 1:4, Col. 3:3). That’s why we need to “know one another after the Spirit” – something else not taught from our pulpits, and something else only God can form in us because it means using our spiritual eyes. In order to teach us this God has to pluck out our earthly eyes, as He stamps out our flesh to refine us. I once asked Jesus how He could love me so deeply as I was sin-filled and spiritually half blind. He clearly said “Because of My eyes” and showed me that He sees with the eyes of grace. We need to see things through the eyes of God and to do that God will crucify our eyes of flesh. It’s painful.
God’s Firebrands: The more God prepares His Royal Priests the more we become separated from both the world and the cultural and social church, and we seek only His Kingdom and His face. Kirk Bennett of Kansas International House of Prayer (IHOP) says God is raising up forerunners now, and that they need to know the times they’re in or they won’t know why their message is hard to swallow for some. We are entering a time of an increasing ‘spirit of religion’ in modern churches, which God’s true Bride, the Royal Priests, will fight against (see The Changing Church). Rick Joyner says the battle against the religious spirit will be the Church’s final battle – a civil war, as also happened between the apostles and the Pharisees who whipped them, jailed them, but couldn’t stop them. This devotion to His Kingdom also makes the forerunners counter-cultural to the world like the early Church was. The reason both the Roman state and the Pharisees hated God’s people was because they couldn’t control them. It’s the time now to turn towards God and press in. Jesus had been speaking to me about His people needing to be filled with fire and He said that praise is the way to stoke His fire in our bellies and confirmed it a few hours later. Ps. 104 had been on my mind so I read it and to my surprise found verse 4 saying “He makes … flaming fire His ministers.” (God confirms what God reveals!) John the Baptist was a flaming fire – so are the Royal Priests of the Order of Melchizedek, the brethren of Jesus and ambassadors of the Most High.
Branches Entwined – The Fig Tree: We need to burn with the fire of the Holy Spirit, both fanning the light and cursing the darkness (see End Times Prophecies - Scroll 10) but always in harmony with Jesus. Bible teachers have said that when Jesus cursed the fig tree in Mk. 11:12-21, it prophesied the demise of Israel as Jesus was about to go to the Cross, the Age of Grace would begin, and the Jews would receive a partial blinding for a time so that the gentiles could receive the gospel. However, the scripture itself says Jesus cursed the tree because He was hungry and it didn’t have any figs on it – even though it was not the season for figs! (I love to read of the moods of my very human God – we are made in His image.) So I asked Him what the true message of the fig tree was, whether it was about Israel, or whether He was hungry. He showed me it was both and that the Father used the incident to create the bigger lesson. Jesus said He only did and said what He saw the Father doing and saying. The real lesson for me was how deeply He was One with the Father so that His mood and hunger and the Father’s guidance were concurrent. It’s a different picture from thinking that He waited for the Father to give instructions and then obeyed. They walked with One heartbeat and One mind – moving as One. (See Obedience vs Harmony.) Abba was obviously aware non-stop of the hunger and moods of His Son – they were utterly entwined! God is aware of our every heartbeat also – but we must become as entwined as Jesus was with the Father while He was on earth. Jesus was “the fullness of God” and we must become as full as our measure of faith allows. We can’t do it – our own works and efforts count for nothing. We can only pray for it and be open to follow. Jesus also prayed for it on our behalf. In Jn. 17:22,23 He asked “that they may be one as we are one, I in them and You in Me that they may be perfected in unity that the world may know You sent Me.” This is the union with Jesus and the unity with each other that will build the Body and fulfill the Melchizedek Priesthood – and then the world will see the Bride, and understand who the Bridegroom really is – His goodness and severity, His kindness and beauty.
We are His ‘Sacred Ground’: 1 Pt. 1:2 shows another important thing about being a Priest of the Order of Melchizedek rather than of Levi. The passage calls us pilgrims – aliens. The Royal Priests are not at home on earth but walk more closely to heaven than to anything in this world – as Enoch did. The passage then says we are “sprinkled with His Blood.” This specific term is used for one other place that was sprinkled with sacrificial blood – the Mercy Seat! We are His Mercy Seat, His Ark, His Holy Place, His Temple. Who would give that up for a career and a picket fence? The Royal Priest’s only focus is God – not stressing over the evils of worldly morals or arguing over doctrinal details. Our focus is to be lost in devotion and to follow the Shepherd and serve Him as He leads. In the Order of Melchizedek we have no earthly ties – no beginning and no end – for in Christ all things are made new (2 Cor. 5:17).
Tommy Tenney (of the Pensecola revival, and author of The God Chasers, etc) said that the Church knows how to build judgement seats but not mercy seats, that without a mercy seat God cannot dwell with us, and that God’s looking for people like Mary – those who say “Be it unto me according to your word.” He’s looking for those who know they’re sprinkled and will follow Him rather than follow men or programmes – people who distinguish who their true Shepherd is and fearlessly deal directly with God as Mary did despite the stigma it brought her. (People continued to believe Jesus was illegitimate, Jn. 8:41). We can’t have the fear of God and the fear of man – it’s one or the other. God is looking for men and women who have their treasures in heaven (see End Time Prophecies – Scroll 3, Hope).
Daniel 3 teaches us not to bow to the world ever. Too many churches have forgotten that the Bride (like her Bridegroom) has a mandate to be counter-cultural, and they try to force us into the world’s mold to be ‘relevant’ and/or ‘submissive’ – to look like them, sound the like them, and act like them. Peter and John's attitude was exactly the same as Dan. 3 – they told the authorities "we must obey God and not men!" Then they were whipped and rejoiced that heaven held them worthy to share His stripes (Acts 5:25-42). It's a far cry from standing on scriptural promises and spiritually claiming a new car! Compare that also to Phil. 3:10 and you’ll see the difference between mind-power occultism and the heart and courage of a Royal Priest.
Persecution Rising: Teaching Jesus and a higher law made both Rabbis and Romans cry “civil unrest”. Christ was the King of the faithful and they would acknowledge no other which made the earthly authorities nervous enough to put them to death for 300 years. In many countries the faith is still a death sentence and those followers really know how to walk their talk. In fact 70 million Christians have been martyred since 70AD which is an average of 36,000 per yr. Yet in 2000 168,000 were killed. Research shows more Christians are being martyred today than ever before. Meanwhile the religious authorities are also squirming because God is preparing us to stand in adversity by teaching us to cleave to Him alone – and when God’s people cling to Him directly the religious authorities don’t get a look in. Headship goes to the only place it should ever be – Jesus. The Church has always flourished under persecution and in the face of death the catch-cry is “you can’t threaten us with heaven”. As Paul said “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Hallelujah!
They also focus on the dangers of murmuring and gossip (either doing it or hearing it) and of doctrinal legalism both of which will shut the door to the Royal Priesthood because they’re spiritual poison. That’s why Phil. 4:8, Jas. 1:27, and Is. 58 are so important.
Legalism and gossip bring spiritual death. They are fruits of the flesh and will quench the Spirit in us. We can’t walk in truth and legalism at the same time and we can’t be an oracle and gossip at the same time. The phrase “loose lips sink ships” was coined by the navy in the war – but it’s even more true for the Kingdom of God. Gossip is a spirit that kills faith and the ability to hear God’s voice, sense His leading, speak His words, perform His wonders, rest in His Spirit and become lost in worship and wonder. Royal Priests long to worship and to know the wonders and intimacy of Jesus without which death and legalism creep in. We’re created for intimacy – we’re made to be loved by Him. Jesus restored us to pre-fall intimacy and we need to remember that we are made to be clothed in His glory, passionate for His presence, and the object of His desire.
Being an oracle means being filled with His Kingdom, coming out of the world entirely, and having only life in the tongue and not death. But even words of life will kill the synagogue of satan. Jesus' words were life but He pulled no punches against the religious. Bringing light will always expose darkness but the difference is that we speak life and light, rather than murmurings and accusations.
Joyce Meyer pointed out how people love to worry but Jesus said to take no thought for tomorrow and instead have faith in God (Mt. 6:25-34). It comes back to living as His Temple and we can live as an Outer Court or as a Holy of Holies, depending on the measure of faith God has given us and on how intense our desire is for Him. Kirk Bennett, Jonathan David, and others have confirmed God’s promptings in me that the Melchizedek Priesthood is in a higher spiritual realm than Levitical rules, and that love automates the rules and places them in the background. Paul said the law was only a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. Even John Piper used the same example I've used about walking closely with your spouse (ie Jesus) saying that our closeness with both earthly and heavenly spouse is based on deep love, not on a bullet list of ‘how to please them’ rules on our marriage license. The new wine of Melchizedek is as high above Levi (our current church structure) as the heavens are above the earth and no-one will get there with their heads in the Tree of Knowledge, but only by climbing the Tree of Life which is to leave behind the endless pursuit of biblical ‘facts’ and open our hearts to a full relationship with Him and trust His strength and ability to lead us well by revelation in a personal way. There’s a big difference between reading someone’s letters from afar and living with them intimately! It’s the difference between the Logos as scripture, the written word – and the Logos as Jesus, the Living Word. It’s been compared to meeting someone on the internet, reading their emails, getting to know them, and then finally embracing the real person. The Living Word and the Royal Priests live in a very deep and intimate embrace.
God has shown me we need to speak beauty and truth every time we open our mouths – living out His message with every action and word. This is sonship (we are not servants but heirs) and it will become as much a part of us as breathing air, as God stretches us to make us Royal Priests. See also, The Power of the Tongue: An Oracle or a Critic.
Dim Light: At the moment, the path towards light is dim in the Church because people are learning an intellectual faith while avoiding their Crosses. In some Western churches people who are carrying a Cross and going through a refining fiery trial are often accused of lack of faith or even backsliding. A pseudo-faith has taken over on the back of the gospel of ‘facts’ and prosperity. Yet Paul listed his sufferings as his credentials (2 Cor. 11:23-30). The Western Church has much to learn about this. Resurrection power and life only comes through death. If we lean on His rhema guidance (Songs 8:5), and realize that our own understanding is weak (1 Cor. 13:12), only then will we find the authority of our faith and begin to walk as Royal Priests and oracles of God.
God is currently altering the paths of millions and giving them a deeper claim on Him. It’s a tangible, palpable claim in which we can say to God “You’re mine! We belong to each other! We are one!” He’s teaching people to follow Him so closely that they move and change direction like the wind as HE sees fit (Jn. 3:8). There’s a growing awareness of the need to speak in praise and thanksgiving because focusing on Jesus is way better than focusing on the world’s problems. He’s shifting His Bride’s eyes onto Himself, so that we learn to have dove’s eyes (which only focus on one thing at a time – Songs 1:15, 4:1). Moving with His wind will have us on our ordained path. To do this the Church is being brought out of our 30-year focus on only head-knowledge and we’re learning to focus on Jesus Himself – the Living Word Who can lead us by rhema revelation and turn us in the wind of His Spirit! When we can hold Him fast and refuse to let Him go like the Shulamite (Songs 3:4) then we’re on the path to becoming an oracle – to have Kingdom words and principles flowing through us as is fitting for a Royal Priest and ambassador of the Most High God.
In this hour He's training us for His perfect will not His OK will – “that which was acceptable is no longer acceptable". He has to raise up His Bride to a very high level and we have a long way to climb, He has much work to do, and there's not much time.
Builders of the Church: We’re called to be builders but only the remnant who are fit for the Kingdom will be fit to build His Kingdom. For the last 2 years I’ve had many dreams about building God’s church and I realized it’s because that’s what He’s doing now in the earth. In 1 Cor. 3:10 Paul calls himself a wise master builder and says each person must take care of how they build on the foundation which is Christ. Scripture often says God is building a house and calls us His holy habitation. He also has a place for us to flourish in – a desert palm cannot grow in the arctic. The time’s coming when He’ll move His people around like chess pieces and if we want to be used in the hands of the Master Strategist, we’ll have to be ready to go at the drop of a hat. Acts 16:9,10 shows that when Paul was given a vision in the night to go to Macedonia, he left there and then and was en route by the next day. His remnant Church will follow His lead and march in unison with Him having forsaken all else. (See also, Building the Church.)
Jas. 5:7 talks about the final outpouring of God on earth and calls it the latter rain (see End Times Prophecies – Scroll 10). Is. 30:22 says God will send His rain when His people get rid of their idols. Our current churches are full of idols, even making leadership an idol according to many. God is cleansing His people to build His Bride Church and His Melchizedek Priesthood will shape her. When she is pure and has ditched her idols, He will come into His house (see also, Other End Times Prophecies – Holiness, Revival, and Christ’s Return). Is. 30:26 says that when that happens, the glory of the moon will be as the glory of the sun. ‘Glory’ means ‘to reflect’ and the moon reflects the sun as we reflect Christ. We’ll not only reflect Him in fullness but His own glory will be 7 times greater than it was in the former rain of Acts. We’re promised that the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea (Hab. 2:14) and we’ll see it happen when His people come to Him with empty hands to be filled with only what He gives us and nothing but that which comes from Him – and when we throw away our own idols and our desires for security or to serve our families first – He said “Let the dead bury the dead” and that those who loved family more than Him were not worthy of Him (see Mt. 10:37,37 and also The Current Over-Emphasis on Marriage.) The prophet Micah was speaking God’s word to Israel at the height of their idolatry. Mic. 2:12,13 shows that God will restore a remnant who will walk with only “the Lord at their head” – no mega-church, programme, pastor, leadership team, only Jesus.
After Jesus fed the 5000, His followers were eventually whittled down and only 120 were waiting in the Upper Room for the Holy Spirit. God tests, He whittles, to find those fit for the Kingdom. The word fit means “well-placed, suited for, adapted to.” Dr James Phillips, leading biblical languages scholar, gives the definition of “those who are able to work under God’s rule or where God reigns.
A Vision of God’s Army: Lisa Bevere had a vision of God’s army. She saw them moving in perfect unison, turning in perfect unison, and as they marched their faces were raised at a 45-degree angle as they followed only Jesus. The people were faceless – there will be no ‘Christian celebrities’ in this army! There were 2 empty spots for her and her husband John to fill, which they did. The description of the 120 in the Upper Room was that – like this army – they were of one accord and in one place. They were fully united and were in the place God had designated – waiting. It’s the tried and tested remnant who understand union with Jesus and unity with each other, who will receive His fullness.
The Lk. 9 passage shows a difference between those who are saved, and those who will live in the full glory of heaven. They take their authority from God and will discern whether earthly authorities in the Body have been raised up by God or by man. God is already getting rid of the hirelings (see False Leaders and Other End Times Prophecies) and His people have already begun to shun leaders who seek their own authority rather than giving headship to Jesus alone. God’s remnant has begun to seek only Jesus’ face and these are the ones who will be appointed to walk before His face! Jesus is the Lord of Hosts and He’ll have an army that is in complete unison with Him, fit and trained for purpose. In earthly armies, Special Ops groups receive training in conditions often harsher than the battle conditions they might meet so that they are ready. Normal infantry could not go where Special Ops forces go – but the latter get the harshest training. After enduring it the commander will investigate their performances and decide who is in or out – fit for purpose or not fit. It is this way with God. “Many are called but few are chosen”! Those who don’t pay the full cost will fall if they try to do the job of a true disciple, as Chris Hill points out in Gaining Mantles, above. The Melchizedek forerunners will go through the harshest tests. In Ps. 37:3 David said to feed on God’s faithfulness. During trials when even His promises seem forgotten, it’s His character that will bring us through. Global bible teacher of 3 decades, Marcus Ardern said “when you’re wrestling with a doctrine weigh it against what you know of the character of God.” He didn’t say to remember God’s promises, like so many preachers have said for 30 years, he said to remember God’s character. It’s His character He wants to build into us and He’s doing it by fire and salt (Mk. 9:49). In 2005 John Bevere began asking people around the world if they’d found the last 3 years the toughest ever. Each time he got an average 80% response yes. God is readying His people. Joseph was purged harshly to make him fit for his destiny, even Jesus was ‘driven’ by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tested for 40 days and nights.
Personal Training: 2005 was the very year God brought me to the end of my trials after a 2 decade ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ hammering (see also Miracles & Testimonies). 1 Cor. 2:9 says we can’t imagine the glories He has prepared for us, and Heb. 12:11 says trials are how we get there. It’s the training for the army! In accordance with both those scriptures, He brought me into an overwhelming glory. The restoration miracles were mind-blowingly abundant and extraordinary as He revealed why He’d hidden Himself and how the long-ago prophesied glories of Is. 54:4-12 were finally mine. He brought into plain view screeds of old prophecies I’d thought were long lost and fulfilled them in detail, including explaining a strange saying from one in 1987 that said my shins had been broken. It spoke of the intimidation that came against me so strongly from legalistic beatings and batterings that I lost my shape entirely but it meant that God could rebuild me in the shape of His choosing. Then He brought me to a snippet of information on how those being crucified had their shins broken so they’d die faster – so they could no longer push themselves up to ease their crushed lungs and gain breath and they suffocated! It’s why it was surprising that none of Jesus’ bones were broken – as David prophesied of Him. My broken shins in prophecy was a reference to God ensuring I was well and truly crucified (Gal. 2:20) and He explained it 19 years later. As He brought my trials to an end He began pouring pressure on many others in His Body. He is getting His people ready. I doubt many will go through a prolonged crushing as I did, but another prophecy said I’d had a specifically deep cleansing and why. Even this website was prophesied back in 1984. There are still things I need to get right with Him – so did Paul (Rom. 7) but I’m determined to be in His Special Ops forces. The difference between me and His Lk. 9 followers is that I beg Him to make me ready. It’s not because I want the glory, but because I want Him – to be as close to Him for eternity as possible. For that purpose I was led to follow 1 Cor. 7:34 when I first met Him, and not have divided devotions. Derek Prince called God ruthless. Paul said to remember God’s goodness and severity (Rom. 11:22). The Royal Priests walk before His face in His glory – impervious to His fire because the wood, hay, and straw of their flesh is already burned away (1 Cor. 3:12-15) and they are made of only precious jewels and refined gold. They are made of love, unity, salt, and fire – and they love not their lives to the death (Rev. 12:11). They follow the Shepherd with every breath and turn with Him on a dime. They are His army, His kings, and His holy, set apart, sanctified Priests. The Holy of Holies is their home, where they rest in permanent heart union with the Lion of Judah.
This is not a Priesthood that gets outworked within 4 walls or via church programmes. The Royal Priests take the Holy of Holies with them wherever they go so that even their shadow, if it falls on someone, might heal them (Acts 5:15). Royal Priests are ambassadors of heaven (Eph. 6:20), holding both gentle authority and the boldness of a lion. They place no trust in their own flesh or strength but have crucified it. They follow their true Shepherd, Jesus, know His voice, and their footsteps leave a trail of His Kingdom. Miracles will follow but be almost unnoticed because their focus is on God’s fruits, not His gifts – in devotion they seek His heart, not His power. Like Paul, they’ll spend themselves to know Him intimately and rest in Him. And like their Shepherd, they’ll be doorways to Heaven.