Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings in the matchless name of our Messiah, Yeshua Ha Maschiach! We pray that this year, 2019 is a blessed and supernaturally wonderful year for all.
Over the past few years, we have been concentrating on the Hebraic roots and identity of our Church. We have delved into several studies and provided may teachings concerning the identity of the Hebrew people today, as well as the impact this has on “The Black Church.”
While these teachings and discussions are needful, we believe that we must, at this time steer ourselves to the depth and meaning of the true and authentic Priesthood, which our Lord and Savior has established. We need to direct our attention to the calling and ministry, which the Messiah has chosen His clergy to operate in.
Unfortunately, priesthood has taken a back seat within the church today. Our churches are a mere fragment of what they could be, simply because authentic priesthood is missing. It has been washed away with the raw sewage of modern-day entertainment, schemes and trickery at the hand of the so called men and women of God, who for a price will sell you a miracle, healing, and yes, even salvation itself.
When we compare being a Priest to being a Minister, we find that the priesthood is spiritual, not social! We find that priests take seriously the mission and ministry of reconciliation by the authentic preaching and teaching of the Gospel. This priesthood identifies Yeshua Ha Maschiach as it’s High Priest, King and Prophet. Authentic priesthood is more concerned with souls being saved, rather than money in the offering plate.
Where have we gone astray? What have we missed? How can we rectify, fortify and continue true priesthood in a world with social, economical, racial and spiritual ills?
The answers to these questions are quite simple. However, we first must take account of what our true vocation is…Not our desire…Not our “title”…Not our fascination with the church…Not even our psychological need to be something more than what we truly are. We must, dear children of the Lord, know that He has called us unto Himself to SERVE Him and His people.
All too often, especially when we advance in title or stature, we tend to forget that we are called to be servants. We are called to be holy representations of the magnificent majesty that is our Lord. We are called to be a truly royal priesthood.
Now, to answer the questions presented…
Where have we gone astray?
In the Book of Common Prayer, we find as we read the “general confession,” as presented in the order of Morning Prayer (Rite I) the following words…
“Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep, we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts, we have offended against thy holy laws, we have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.”
What have we missed?
To answer this question completely, we must first understand the differences between being a true Priest and being a modern-day Minister. Some may say that they are the same. However, they are very different in very extreme ways. The unfortunate part of it is that unless we realize the depth of the Melchizedek Priesthood as opposed to what has become the outgrowth of the Levitical form, we will never understand.
- In today’s church we have several who claim to be “ministers.” However, if we really evaluate their motives and methodology we will find that modern day ministers are mostly self-serving and self gratifying.
The term “minister,” come from the Greek word diakonos, which means servant, minister, messenger, waiting-man. The true definition, meaning and purpose of the word is self-evident, in that it clearly makes the assertion that one needs not only to be a “messenger” or preacher, but must also be a “servant” and a “wait-man.” This means that he must serve the Lord and do His bidding, not their own.
Unfortunately, in today’s church the definition of the word has diminished…mostly due to the fact that today’s ministers have a hidden agenda of self aggrandizement and self-glorification. This is evident in the fact that there are so many “bishops,” yet the deacons and priests/elders/presbyters and ministers are few and far between.
- For the most part, modern day ministers will very rarely sit and learn under authority. Their ambition blinds them to the reality of humble servitude. It beckons them to a false belief that they know all there is to know, and have learned more in two years than their pastor knows after fifty plus years.
The scripture states, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Rom. (Romaiym) 12:3 KJV
These types of ministers are more interested in being “over” something or someone, rather than Kingdom building. They tend to rush out, split churches and actually think that by doing this they are serving the Lord. They entertain, rather than enlighten their followers by rendering psychologically hypnotic messages they call sermons.
- Modern day ministers are likened to the biblical Scribes and Pharisees of Levitical priesthood, at the time the Lord was doing His earthly work in ancient Israel. They tend to argue, fuss fight over the trivial matters, and totally ignore scriptural doctrine, substituting it with denominational dogma.
Our Lord chastises these types of so called ministers by saying this, “23Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.” Mat. (Mattiyahu) 23:23-25 KJV
- The first introduction to the actual priesthood can be found in the story of the Father of the Faith, the Patriarch, Abraham (Ibrahim). We can trace his story in Genesis (Bere’Shyte) chapter 14, which reads, “17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale. 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God (El Elyon). 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth.” Gen. (Bere’Shyte) 14:17-19 KJV
- In the Book of Hebrews (Ivriym), we find the Apostle Paul explaining the depth of the truth of Yeshua’s priesthood, “1For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2 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; 3 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. 4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.” Heb. (Ivriym) 7:1-4 KJV
- As we study the ministry of the Maschiach, we find that He was sent to call sinners to repentance, “12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Mat. (Mattiyahu) 9:12-13
- Further, we find in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (Yesha’yahu), “1The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” Isa. (Yesha’yahu) 61”1-3
- There are in the teachings and ministry of the Meschiach three (3) “Cs” of priesthood. These were taught in seminary, and we feel the need to reiterate the Cs.
Care…the first C of priesthood is care. If one holds no regard for anything or anyone other than themselves, then one must ask, “if the individual cares about anything other than themselves?”
Compassion…the second C of the priesthood is compassion. One must ask them self the honest question, “do I sympathize or empathize?” Sympathy is great. However, sympathy (condolences, pity) without empathy (understanding, kindness) is empty.
Commitment…the third C of the priesthood is commitment. This is one of the key points to the priesthood, and should never be disregarded. Commitment calls for one to exhibit the attributes of loyalty. Loyalty calls for devotion. Devotion calls for dedication. Without these attributes attached to commitment, priesthood is empty, void and invalid.
How can we rectify, fortify and continue true priesthood in a world with social, economical, racial and spiritual ills?
- If the church-at-large would return to true scripture, and forsake the modern-day renditions, translations, and misinterpretations of the true and holy Word of Yahua Elohim; seek to understand the original content, rather than trying to rewrite it to suit their own (denominational/societal) agenda…that would be a great start.
- We must eradicate the social agenda of a false sense of perceived salvation by way of utilizing scripture to do evil (i.e. slavery, bigotry, racial hatred and injustice), as well as condemnation of others. We must fully understand the implications found in the Book of Romans (Romaiym), “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” Rom. (Romaiym) 2:1
- Speaking from a “Black Church” perspective, we must utilize the riches of the church to build up community…not our own kingdoms, but utilize the funds to revitalize, nurture and empower the communities wherein we are domiciled. Any church or parish who holds a strictly selfish agenda will find o judgment day that they fall short.
We must go into empowerment mode. Rebuilding, re-establishing our communities and neighborhoods to reflect the God we claim to serve. This empowerment must also point towards social and economic expansion, true education, as well as the true relief of the poor and downtrodden.
- We must also understand that we are all called to be spiritual beings, not physical, corporeal and linear. That means that it is impingent upon us as believers to understand that we are spiritual beings, guided by the Ru’ach Qo’desh (Holy Spirit).
In closing, we present a clarion call for those serving in the priesthood of the Most High God (El Elyon) to take to heart the Three Cs of the Priesthood. Seek to serve Yahua Elohim by truly serving His people. Return to scriptural priesthood, and forsake the modern-day trickery of the servants of Satan.