THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER
Perry Stone

I AM REVEALED
B. Childress
May 27 2012

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath
called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
  (I Peter 2:9)

IN ANCIENT ISRAEL GOD established an earthly priesthood to receive tithe, offer sacrifices, oversee the tabernacle
and later both Jewish temples in Jerusalem, and stand as a bridge linking heaven and Earth, God and man.  The
mysterious Melchizedek was the first king-priest of God in Abraham’s day.  Four hundred years later, Moses’s brother,
Aaron, initiated the Aaronic priesthood in the time of the tabernacle.  Centuries later in the days of Solomon, a faithful
priest named Zadok formed the Zadok priesthood (Ezekiel 48:11).  The Jewish priesthood came to an abrupt end at the
destruction of the temple in A.D. 70.

THE BAPTISM OF JESUS

However, the true priesthood was transferred long before A.D. 70, and the process began when Jesus, at age thirty,
stepped into the Jordan River to be baptized.

John the Baptist, the cousin of Christ, was the son of a priest named Zacharias who served in the temple in Jerusalem
(Luke 1:9-13).  John was baptizing believers at the Jordan River in an area called Bethabara (I John 1:28).  This was the
same location where, fifteen hundred years earlier, Joshua had crossed the Jordan River and instructed the Hebrews to
take twelve smooth stones out of the Jordan River and build a monument on the Israel side of the river as a memorial
and reminder that God opened the Jordan River for them to cross.  The priest also lifted twelve stones from the
wilderness and placed these in the dried riverbed (Joshua 4:1-10).

The area where Joshua crossed is the same area where John baptized Jesus, and it has powerful prophetic
significance.  When a high priest was preparing to transfer the priesthood to his son, there was a threefold procedure:

    1.  The high priest’s son had to submerge in water for purification (Leviticus 8:6).

    2.  The holy oil was to be poured upon the head of the high priest’s son (Leviticus 8:12).

    3.  The high priest had to publicly declare that this was his son (Numbers 20:28).

This three-part process occurred when Christ waded into the Jordan River.  Christ stepped into the same area where
Joshua had crossed.  Joshua’s Hebrew name was Yeshuah, and Jesus’ actual Hebrew name is Yeshuah.  In Joshua’s
time, the waters of the Jordan were rolled back to the city of Adam, just as Christ’s redemptive work removed mankind’s
sins all the way back to the first man, Adam.  When Christ stepped into the cold waters of the Jordan, He was being
recognized by John, who was the son of a Jewish priest.  Christ was not being baptized for the remission of sins
because He was sinless.  There is a deeper meaning to this baptism.  Christ was thirty years of age – the same age that
a Levite entered the priesthood (Numbers 4:30).  Little did Israel know that the priesthood in Jerusalem was being
transferred to one man – Jesus Christ!  That pattern is seen in His baptism.

    1.  Christ was baptized in water, symbolic of preparation for the priesthood.

    2.  The Spirit descended upon Him like a dove; this was the anointing (Matthew 3:16).

    3.  God spoke from heaven, declaring that Jesus was His Son (Matthew 3:17).

SUPERNATURAL SIGNS APPEAR

From that moment, at age thirty, Christ preached repentance and demonstrated the kingdom of God, forgiving the
sinner and healing the sick and diseased.  From that moment, Jewish history records numerous signs at the temple,
which demonstrate that the favor of the Lord was no longer upon the rituals.   There are certain things that the Jewish
Talmud says began to occur in A.D. 30, about the same time that Christ began His public ministry.

According to the Jewish Talmud (Yoma 39), supernatural signs began happening in the temple when Simeon the
Righteous served as high priest during a forty-year period.  After his death, they continued from time to time and were a
good sign to the Jews.  These good signs manifested about 300 B.C., in the time of Alexander the Great.

However, around A.D. 30, about forty years prior to the destruction of the temple, the following strange signs began to
occur.

The first sign involved the Day of Atonement.  On that day the high priest stood before two identical goats.  He drew
lots, which were a
black and a white pebble from a golden urn (Yoma 4:1, 37).  The black stone was marked for Azazel,
and the white stone was marked for the Lord.  When the lot marked for the Lord came up in the right hand of the priest,
it was a good omen.  But from about A.D. 30 onward, it never came up in the right hand of the priest again.

On the Day of Atonement,
three scarlet straps were used: one was tied to horns of the scapegoat and the second strap
was tied around the neck of the goat for the Lord.  The third red strap was nailed to the temple door.  In the days of
Simeon, the red thread supernaturally turned white, fulfilling Isaiah 1:18: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be
white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”  From A.D. 30 forward, the crimson strap never
turned white again.

In the holy place sat
the golden seven-branched candelabra called the menorah.  Each morning the seven wicks were
cleaned and fresh oil was added.  The western branch was the closest to the holy of holies and was the first branch lit
after the cleaning process.  The other six candles were lit from the western light.  In Simeon’s day the western candle
burned continually, even when the others went out.  In A.D. 30, the western candle began to go out first.

At the temple was a large square, brass altar where the animal sacrifices were burnt.  According to Jewish sources, only
two logs supernaturally burnt on the altar, and no more wood was added throughout the day.  After the year A.D. 30,
more logs were needed to maintain the fire.

Another odd incident is reported concerning
the bread the priest ate from the table of showbread.  In the days of
Simeon the Righteous, the priests were all given a piece of bread the size of a pea and were satisfied.  After A.D. 30,
the priest received a piece the size of a bean since the smaller portion no longer satisfied.

While Jewish rabbis questioned the meaning of these strange signs occurring forty years before the destruction of the
temple, I believe that when we understand that the priesthood was being transferred at the Jordan River, near the same
time frame, then we can understand the true significance of these signs.

THE MEANING OF THE SIGNS

On the Day of Atonement, when the stone for the Lord came up in the wrong hand, it was an indicator that the sins
being transferred on the scapegoat would no longer be acceptable, since the Lamb of God was now on the scene (John
1:29).  The red thread no longer turning white was a message that no scapegoat would again bear our sins and carry
them away; only Christ would bear our sins (I Peter 2:24).  The candle near the holy of holies going out demonstrated
that a new light of the world was in the earth (John 8:12).  The fire on the altar would be replaced by the Holy Spirit’s fire
(Matthew 3:11).  The bread from the table would no longer satisfy since the bread from heaven was now among men!  
These temple signs indicated a change.

CHRIST THE NEW HIGH PRIEST

Another powerful incident also reveals how the Jewish priesthood was moving from the traditional priest to the new
heavenly priestly order being established by God through Jesus Christ.  In the time of Christ, Caiaphas was the high
priest (Matthew 26:3).  We are often taught that the priests wanted Christ dead because the leaders hated him and felt
he was a threat.  Yet, the words of Caiaphas reveal a different view.  After the raising of Lazarus from the dead, Jewish
leaders – men with the Pharisees and chief priest – were concerned that Jesus could cause an uprising that would lead
to the Roman empire taking over Jerusalem and removing the spiritual leaders from power.  At that moment the high
priest spoke a prophetic word:

    And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,
    nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish
    not.  And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for
    that nation; and not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that
    were scattered abroad.  Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.               
    (John 11:49-53)

Caiaphas knew the Old Testament prophecies, including Isaiah’s prediction of the suffering Messiah (Isaiah 53:1-12).  
John said Caiaphas prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation.  From that moment, they took counsel to put Him to
death!  Later, after His arrest, Jesus stood before Caiaphas, who demanded to know if Jesus was the Son of God
(Matthew 26:63).  Jesus answered, “You have said…”  It appears Jesus knew that Caiaphas at some time had said
(perhaps privately) that Jesus was the Son of God.  Jesus then said, “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on
the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (verse 64).

Caiaphas immediately ripped his garment and said Christ had blasphemed.  Ripping the garment demonstrated his
anger, but from a Jewish perspective there was a more powerful symbolism in this action.  The high priest garments
were made with a special woven opening in the neck to prevent the garment from ever being ripped:

    You shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue.  There shall be an opening for his head in the middle of it; it
    shall have a woven binding all around its opening, like the opening in a coat of mail, so that it does not tear.   
    (Exodus 28:13, NKJV)

If a priest was to be expelled from his priestly office, the high priest would rip the front collar of the garment as a public
witness that the man’s priestly ministry was no longer valid.  When Caiaphas ripped his own priestly garment, he, by the
tradition of the Jews, voided his own office as high priest.  As high priest, he was scheduled to oversee the offerings of
the lambs at the upcoming Passover.  We can assume that Caiaphas knew the reason for Christ’s coming and that, in
order to forgive sins, Christ was God’s Son and would suffer death.  Thus, another example is given of the transfer of
the priesthood – by the high priest himself.

The following day, at three o’clock in the afternoon, Christ hung between heaven and Earth.  Breathing His last breath
He cried out, “It is finished.”  These three words were the same words used by a high priest at Passover when the final
lamb was offered!  Christ was the final offering.  At that moment, the earth quaked and the huge veil in the temple hiding
the holy of holies from man’s view was ripped from top to bottom.  That moment God opened His door for a new priestly
order after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:20), the first priest who had met Abraham near the place where Christ
was being crucified!

No Jewish priest was ever a king and a priest.  These were two separate offices held by two separate individuals.  Only
Melchizedek was the king of Jerusalem and a priest of the Most High God.  This is why God chose Christ as a new order
of the Melchizedek priesthood.  Christ has been the High Priest in heaven for almost two thousand years, and, during
His one-thousand-year reign on Earth, He will be the King of kings (Revelation 19:16).

THE HEAVENLY TEMPLE

If Christ is the High Priest and there is no longer a physical temple in the holy city of Jerusalem, then at what temple is
Christ directing His priestly ministry?  Paul wrote that Christ entered the temple in heaven by His own blood and now sits
on the right hand of God, ever living to make intercession on our behalf (Hebrews 7:21-25).  On the yearly Day of
Atonement, the high priest would minister from morning to evening, continually standing on his feet.  Only when God
declared that Israel’s sins were remitted could the high priest, late that evening, sit down and rest.

When Stephen was being stoned to death, he saw a vision and said, “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man
standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56).  Yet Paul declared that Christ is seated on the right hand of the throne
(Hebrews 12:2).  One man saw Christ
standing, and another said He is sitting.  I believe the reason Stephen saw Christ
standing is because when the ancient high priest made intercession for sins, he stood before the presence of God.  
Stephen was praying a prayer, asking the Lord to forgive those who were stoning him:

    And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.  And when he had said
    this, he fell asleep.   (Acts 7:60)

Jesus was standing as the High Priest in the temple in heaven, making intercession because Stephen did not want
those killing him to be charged for his death.  Stephen forgave his enemies.  Christ the High Priest stood up in the
heavenly temple to forgive Stephen’s enemies, and I believe to receive Stephen’s spirit.  This prayer asking forgiveness
was so powerful that one man directing Stephen’s execution, Saul of Tarsus, would later convert to Christ and become
the apostle Paul (Acts 7:58; 13:9).  It was Paul who taught that Christ was seated, indicating that the atoning work was
complete.

THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER

This brings us to the priesthood of the believer, a concept that has only been understood in contemporary times.  The
traditional Christian church has placed all spiritual responsibilities for church ministry solely upon the fivefold ministry
(Ephesians 4:11), especially the local pastor.  My father pastored three different congregations when I was between the
ages of three and eighteen.  The people were wonderful believers.  However, most had a mentality of expecting the
pastor to fill the role of preacher, teacher, evangelist, janitor, choir director, counselor, intercessor, greeter, and parking
attendant.  Often the attitude seemed to be, “Let the preacher do it all, because isn’t that what we pay him to do?”  This
narrow thinking was a lack of understanding the full plan of ministry that God has for His people.

In the first century, individuals had churches in their homes, and deacons were appointed to perform business tasks so
the ministers could concentrate on praying and studying (Acts 6:3-4).  
In reality, every believer was a witness for
Christ, and every believer could participate in some form of ministry
.  Some believers provided shelter for
traveling ministers, some provided food, and others, such as Dorcas, made clothing for widows in her city (Acts 9:36-
39).  Paul referred to the faithful believers who loved the ministry and worked for God’s kingdom as “saints.”  From Acts
9:13 to Revelation 20:9, the word
saint is mentioned sixty times.  All sixty references use the same Greek word, hagios,
which means morally pure, consecrated, and blameless.

REMOVING THE BELIEVERS’ PRIESTHOOD

After the first several centuries in the Christian church, certain traditions of the church fathers and opinions of church
bishops and spiritual leaders began to reduce the involvement of common people in the local church.  Eventually, men
and women attended weekly service, gave their financial support, confessed their sins, prayed, and followed a liturgical
routine.  Most church ministerial activities remained under the control of trained ministers, who eventually felt that
anyone without the proper theological or seminary training and ministerial experience had no right or authority to
participate in ministry.  This belief would have also influenced the tradition of house-to-house Communion.  Eventually,
in the year 325, the counsel of Nicea stated the following concerning Passover: “It appeared an unworthy thing that in
this celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews.”  From that moment, the Hebraic-Jewish
roots of the Christian faith began to be ripped from the ground and a more Greek-Roman system replaced the original
foundation of our faith.

Eventually, the word saint became an exclusive term reserved for a select group of individuals.  The Roman Church
developed a list of qualifications to identify a true saint.  However, in the New Testament, a saint was a holy person who
had consecrated his or her life to God and was actively involved in praying, giving, teaching, and walking in the truth of
God’s Word.  In several of Paul’s letters to other believers, he mentioned, “The saints greet you” (Romans 16:15; II
Corinthians 13:13; Philippians 4:22; Hebrews 13:24).  True believers who were faithful to Christ and walked in the new
covenant were considered saints in the first-century church.

WHO ARE THE PRIESTS?

If the first issue was, who are the saints?  then the second issue is, who are the priests?  There are several world
religions that use priests and have developed a form of priesthood.  The Buddhist religion has priests, or men who have
committed themselves entirely to live at their temples and concentrate on prayers and study of their religion.  In the
Roman Catholic Church, there is an order of priests, bishops, and cardinals.  Following a set order, a man can move
from one level to a higher level.  In the traditional Protestant churches, most leaders recognize three of the fivefold
ministries in the church: pastor, teacher, and evangelist.

Certainly, God calls individuals into the ministry and has appointed individuals in the body of Christ as ministers of God,
preaching, teaching, and instructing.  However, look at a passage from the Book of Revelation:

    And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings
    of the earth.  Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and
    priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.  Amen.  (Revelation 1:5-6)

Looking at other translations of verse 6, notice the emphasis:

    And formed us into a kingdom (a royal race), priests to His God and Father – to Him be the glory and the power,
    and the majesty and the dominion throughout the ages and forever and ever.  Amen (so be it).  (AMP)

    And has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father – to him be glory and power for ever
    and ever!  Amen.  (NIV)

In John’s apocalyptic vision, he described Christ as wearing a white garment with a golden sash and standing in the
midst of a golden menorah (Revelation 1:12-16).  This is a description of a high priest who exchanged his eight
garments of glory to those of white linen garments when he entered the holy of holies on the Day of Atonement!  John
was seeing Christ as the heavenly High Priest standing in the heavenly temple!

This is when John reveals (as the Greek text renders it), “He has made us a kingdom of priests!”  Not just, “kings and
priests,” but a kingdom of priests.  Forming a kingdom of priests was God’s original plan for Israel when they came out
of Egypt.  The Almighty said:

    And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.  These are the words which thou shalt speak
    unto the children of Israel.  (Exodus 19:6)

God intended for every Hebrew to be a worshiper and enjoy His presence.  However, they failed by worshiping the
golden calf and later fell into the same sins of the pagan nations that remained in the Promised Land.  During Israel’s
failures, the Levites continued their religious rituals, but because of Israel’s national sins, God at times said He did not
receive their offerings and sacrifices.  (See the Books of Haggai and Malachi.)

After Christ ascended to heaven as the new heavenly priest and sealed the promises of the new covenant with His
blood, He also initiated an earthly priesthood, or a new kingdom of priests!  Every believer is an individual priest, and
the church is the kingdom of priests that is overseen by the High Priest, Jesus Christ, from the heavenly temple!  This is
what Peter meant when he wrote:

    But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth
    the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  (I Peter 2:9)

Melchizedek was the only king and priest in Old Testament history.  Jesus followed the pattern and became a king and
priest after the order of Melchizedek.  Scripture says that we are a royal priesthood.  Kings and priests minister, but
kings rule.  Today we offer sacrifices of praise and financial gifts, but in the future, we will rule and reign with Him for one
thousand years.  We are called a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.  The church has carried on God’s original plan
for ancient Israel.  Every believer is a minister unto the Lord.

There are some who teach that Communion should never be served by a lay person or a common Christian – but
only
by an ordained minister, a priest, or someone who has been trained to serve in ministry.  However, if we are now priests
unto God, then we have been given the spiritual authority of the priesthood through the new covenant to receive the
bread and body of Christ.  
It is the traditions of men and the church that restrain the members of the church
from becoming priests unto God
.

THE POWER OF THE PERSONAL PRIESTHOOD

As a personal priest we can boldly approach the heavenly temple with our petitions.  If we sin, we no longer go to a
mortal man and confess our sins.  The Bible says, “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father,” and “If we
confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 2:1; 1:
9).  Under the old order, a priest would burn incense, representing our prayers reaching up to God (Psalm 141:2).  In
the new order priesthood, every believer can offer prayers of supplication and thanksgiving and personal requests to
God (Philemon 4:6).  Under the old covenant the Levites received the tithe and presented it to God, but the Bible says
that now, when we now give our offering, Christ receives our gifts in heaven (Hebrews 7:8).

My great-grandfather, Pete Bava, was a Catholic who came to America from Italy.  He spoke with a strong Italian accent
and wore a black suit, white shirt, black tie, and a black hat to church.  In his younger days in Italy, he was familiar with
the local priests and the operation of the church.  Years later, after immigrating to America, he was stricken with a
deadly disease that paralyzed him.  The doctors gave him up to die.  His two sons, John and Joe, had encountered two
full-gospel ministers who were holding revivals in the community.  The ministers believed and taught a message of
healing through faith in Christ.  Pete’s two sons invited the preachers over to speak to their dad about healing.  Pete
was suspicious and skeptical, but in his dying condition he had nothing to lose.  One minister asked him, “If we pray for
you, Mr. Bava, and God heals you, will you serve Him?”  In broken English, Pete replied, “If you can pray and God heals
me, I’ll serve God.”

His son John, who later became by grandfather, told me that as the two ministers prayed, Pete’s bed began to shake,
and the power of the Lord fell upon him.  Suddenly Pete jumped out of the bed and began to shout, “I’m healed, I’m
healed!”  Peter lived another sixty years and died at age ninety-five in a nursing home, still smiling when he heard
someone speak the name of Jesus.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP

Just as God established a divine order of a high priest, Levites (priests), and Israelites, likewise Christ has established
an order of spiritual authority in the body of Christ.  Most Protestant denominations offer an ordination to their licensed
ministers if, over a period of time, they follow certain denominational stipulations, educational requirements, and biblical
guidelines.  For example, I am an ordained bishop in a major denomination.  The denomination gives a bishop the
opportunity to be elected by other bishops to high-level boards and positions within the denomination.  Part of the
duties of a bishop includes baptizing converts, uniting couples in holy matrimony, and giving the Sacrament
(Communion) to believers in the church.  In a local church setting, the pastor or an ordained bishop should certainly
direct the order of the service and the giving of the Communion Supper.  Paul wrote to Timothy about the requirements
of a bishop.

    This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.  A bishop then must be
    blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; not given
    to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth well his own
    house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how
    shall he take care of the church of God?) not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation
    of the devil.  Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the
    snare of the devil.  (I Timothy 3:1-7)

In Paul’s instructions, he listed the moral character for a candidate of bishop, but he never listed the specific ministerial
responsibilities of a bishop.  We all know an ordained minister can baptize believers in water.  However, Paul wrote to
the church at Corinth that God did not send him to baptize but to preach the gospel   (I Corinthians 1:17).  There is no
biblical reference to Paul ever conducting a wedding in the early church.  We do know, however, that he spoke about
the Lord’s Supper to the church at Corinth (I Corinthians 11:20-30).  My point is, even though a bishop is honored to
give the Sacrament, the apostle Paul does not list the giving of the Lord’s Supper as one of the duties of a bishop.  I
believe this is because the priesthood of the believer was understood by the Jewish believers within the local church
and the believers traveled from house to house partaking in the Communion meal.

YOUR BODY IS THE TEMPLE

Christ forewarned that the destruction of the temple was coming.  Years prior to the destruction of the Jewish temple by
the Roman Tenth Legion, Paul wrote the following words:

    Know ye not ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  (I Corinthians 3:16)

From the time of Moses, God’s glory had been linked to the tabernacle of Moses and the first and second temples in
Jerusalem.  The temple was the meeting place for the five main offerings mentioned in the Torah, for the feasts to be
celebrated, and for the new moon and Sabbath offerings.  Christ knew that at the moment of His resurrection, the daily
routines and rituals at the temple that had been practiced for fifteen hundred years from the time of Moses were now a
reflection and a type and shadow of what had come – Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant.  In a few years the large
ashlars surrounding Jerusalem would be penetrated by Roman battering rams.  The wooden gates would be opened to
Roman armies, and the beautiful white temple would be charred black with the smell of burning wood.  The temple would
be no more.

Yet the temple still existed – in another form.  It was a moving temple, like a portable tent that could go from city to city,
town to town, and community to community.  The physical body of the individual believer was now the temple of the Holy
Spirit.  The temple had three areas, and the human body is a tripartite being.











                                          
REPAIRING THE HOUSE OF GOD

Both the tabernacle and temples occasionally needed repairs.  The weather in Jerusalem fluctuates throughout the
year, and adverse weather conditions wreak havoc on wood, causing it to expand and contract, then eventually crack.  
For this reason the temple wood occasionally needed to be replaced or cracks needed repair.  Part of the priestly
activity was keeping the temple updated and in top condition.

For example:

  • Priests were appointed to examine the wood that was used on the altar.

  • Each morning a priest cleaned the ashes off the altar from the previous day’s sacrifices.

  • After a major feast, the priest washed the temple floor with water to remove the blood.

  • The altar had to be whitewashed before feasts to cover the blood of previous sacrifices.

  • The priest had to continually wash before presenting certain offerings before the Lord.

  • The animal blood was caught in silver vessels and carried to the altar to be poured out.

  • The fires had to continually burn on the altar and were to never go out.

It was not only the physical structure that needed attention, but the interior of the house was also under constant watch
for any needed repairs.  Whenever a wall needed repair in the holy of holies, the priest was placed in a box with one
opening that faced the wall of the holy place.  He was lowered by rope to fix the troubled spot.  He was not permitted to
look around the sacred chamber for fear of death.

The massive veil hanging between the inner sanctum and the holy of holies was made to be a handbreadth thick and
consisted of seventy-two squares sewn together.  It is written that a team of oxen once attempted unsuccessfully to pull
the veil apart.  This veil was stitched together by young virgins who had a special room in the temple just for this
activity.  Each year on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), the high priest sprinkled blood on this veil.  Every two years
this veil had to be replaced because it eventually began to sag in the middle.

One of Israel’s kings understood the principle of keeping God’s house in proper working order.  His name was Hezekiah,
and his story is interesting.  The king was a godly leader who was loved by his people.  He was suddenly afflicted with a
sore (perhaps cancer) that caused him to be sick unto death, according to II Kings 20:1.  The prophet Isaiah instructed
the king to set his house in order, for he would die and not live.  When the prophet departed, Hezekiah turned his face
to the wall and began crying out to God for mercy and extension of his life (verse 3).  Before Isaiah departed from the
courtyard, God heard King Hezekiah’s prayer and sent the prophet back into the palace to announce, “I have heard
your prayers and have seen your tears; I will add fifteen more years to your days.”  (See II Kings 20:5-6.)

Hezekiah could have passed away, but he received a new lease on life through prayer.  Notice, however, that the
prophet instructed the king to take a lump of figs and place them on the boil (verse 7).  The mixture of prayer and a
good home remedy brought healing to the king.

REPAIRING THE TEMPLE

The Lord told Isaiah the king would die, yet God changed His mind.  Why?  I believe it was Hezekiah’s concern for the
temple of God that brought God’s favor to him in time of crisis.  Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he began his
reign in Jerusalem.  During his first year, the king observed that the priests had allowed the temple to deteriorate.  The
doors of the temple porch were closed, the menorah was not lit, and the priests were not burning incense.  Hezekiah
immediately began to reestablish the correct procedure for caring for the house of God.

    He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired
    them.  (II Chronicles 29:3)

Hezekiah commanded the priests to carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place (verse 5).  We are told the priests
went into the inner part of God’s house to remove the junk that had accumulated.

    And the priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD, to cleanse it, and brought out all the
    uncleanness that they found in the temple of the LORD unto the court of the house of the LORD.  And the
    Levities took it, to carry it out abroad into the brook Kidron.  (II Chronicles 29:16)

The junk in the temple was then dumped into the Kidron Brook.  This small stream of water began near the Temple
Mount and wove its way through the rugged Judean Hills, eventually emptying into the Dead Sea.  Later, when King
Hezekiah was sick unto death, he turned his face to the wall and prayed.  Literally, he turned toward the direction of the
temple and prayed facing the holy of holies.  This was the direction Solomon taught the Jews to pray when they were in
trouble.  I believe because Hezekiah demonstrated his concern for God’s temple, then God demonstrated His concern
for Hezekiah’s physical temple.

REPAIRING YOUR TEMPLE

People allow certain things to enter their body that are known to cause sickness and disease.  Smoking still causes
various forms of cancer.  Alcohol still destroys brain cells.  Illegal drugs slowly deteriorate brain cells and organs of the
body.   Age alone requires that we spend more time caring for our physical temple.

Sometimes it may not be what we are eating but what is eating us that weakens our bodies.  Medical researchers say
that, when a person becomes angry, the anger has a negative effect on the human body and can actually shut down
the immune system for about six hours.  A person who is continually angry can shut down the natural defense system in
their body for hours or for days.  Hospitals are filled with men and women who have used their mouths to devour other
men and women who have offended them.  Now a sickness has crept into their body, and they are attempting to cure a
problem with medicine that may be removed only by the surgery of forgiveness, prayer, and confession.

Remember that confession of our faults and sins is required before receiving the blessed Lord’s Supper.  Also, the meal
that heals should not simply become a ritual and another religious formula, and certainly it should never be viewed as
some type of magical formula for healing.




Source:

THE MEAL THAT HEALS, by Perry Stone, Copyright 2008, Charisma House.
2010 - HIS GLORY REIGNS
LIFE IN JESUS-MINISTRIES
THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM
THE HUMAN BODY
The Outer Court
The Body (I Thessalonians 5:23)
The Inner Court
The Soul (I Thessalonians 5:23)
The Holy of Holies
The Spirit (I Thessalonians 5:23)