The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 23 : The Epistle to the HEBREWS

[Chapter 5-1] (Hebrew 5:1-11) The Priests Appointed by God

(Hebrew 5:1-11)
“For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness. Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins. And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him:
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.’ As He also says in another place:
‘You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek’;
who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest ‘according to the order of Melchizedek,’ of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.”
 
 
Today I would like to explain to you about the High Priest appearing in both the Old and New Testaments. In establishing an office to minister sacrifices to Him, God had appointed a High Priest to blot out His people’s sins. This was the great mercy and love that God offered to His people. However, every High Priest of the Old Testament was subject in fleshly weaknesses just like the ordinary people. It is written in today’s Scripture passage, “He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness” (Hebrews 5:2). Because the High Priests of the Old Testament were also subject to weakness, they could sympathize with their people and therefore, offer sacrifices to God on the people’s behalf for their weaknesses. In other words, when God appointed High Priests in the Old Testament to minister between God and the people of Israel, these appointed High Priests were also imperfect in their flesh just like everyone else.
God did not use any angels to blot out people’s sins. A certain proud angel had disobeyed God’s authority and tried to usurp His throne in rebellion. As a result of this act of rebellion, this angel was cursed and demoted to the lowest status. This angel was neither weak nor lacking unlike a human being. On the contrary, he was full of pride and so much stronger than any human being. But God did not appoint such an angel as a High Priest, nor did He even intend to use him.
Because the flesh of man is made out of dust, everyone is weak, and therefore everyone can fall into temptation. It is among such fragile beings that God chose and selected someone to minister for God and man as the High Priest. This is how God fulfilled His will. All this was according to the will of God.
 
 
In the Age of the New Testament, God Wants to Choose and Use Those Who Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit to Blot Out His People’s Sins
 
The grace of salvation and the blessings of God that He grants to all sinners living in this age are also given through those who have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In the age of the New Testament, it’s the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit who are serving God in the exact same way as the priests of the Old Testament. God’s work is all about saving the lost souls who are heading to hell for all their sins.
To carry out this work, it’s very important for us to realize that we ourselves are also weak. What would have happened if we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit were perfect in our flesh? It would have been hard for us to understand and sympathize with the circumstances and shortcomings of our fellow brothers and sisters in the Church, not to mention all the sinners that are still lost. After all, every sinner on this earth is weak in the flesh. Yet even such people who are weak in their flesh must be drawn into the righteousness of God.
In contrast, those who seek the sanctification of the flesh would have a hard time trying to understand this point. These people are living in great confusion because they don’t understand the fundamental weaknesses of the human race. So they must discover the Truth of salvation that is found in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Until they do find this Truth, they are bound to live in even more confusion. This is all the more so because they are unable to grasp the mercy and love that God is offering to them. As a result, they cannot help but live with imperfect salvation.
Now in this present age, God’s work is unfolding through those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God has commanded us to save all the sinners in this world from all their sins by preaching this genuine gospel to them. Even though we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are lacking in our flesh, God can still use us as His instruments on account of our faith in His true gospel. Everyone living in this world needs the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit now have this duty to preach this gospel to everyone in this world. God has commanded us to bear clear witness of His righteousness to everyone who still does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In this age of the New Testament, God wants to fulfill His will through those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God wants to bring His true salvation to the whole wide world. That is why we are striving so hard to lead every sinner in this world to have faith in the righteousness of God. God is making us His saints to live by our faith in His righteousness. In this age and time, only those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the ones who have this true faith in God’s sight.
It is therefore very important for us to sympathize with those who still have not received the remission of sins and care about them deeply. We need to explain to them why they cannot help but sin against God and teach them how they can receive the remission of sins. It is also our responsibility to point out to them that they are leading their lives of faith in vain and teach them the right path. Because in our past our hearts were also misplaced like these people, therefore we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are able to sympathize with them, and we have the ability to guide them to the right faith by preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them.
So as we have experienced what these people are going through now, all of us ought to be able to sympathize with their plight and minister to them with sincerity. As those who already believe in the righteousness of God, we ought to be able to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to these countless sinners to blot out all their sins and then to nurture their faith so that they can grow through the Word of God. Put differently, all those who still have sins in their hearts should get a chance to listen and find out what the gospel of the water and the Spirit is from those who already believe in the righteousness of God. Only then can these sinners receive the remission of sins.
We cannot be perfect in our flesh. If the people of the Old Testament were perfect in their flesh, there would have been no need for them to offer sacrificial animals to God in order to receive the remission of their sins every day. So we ought to remind ourselves about our own weaknesses as often as we can. And from such an awakening, we should have sympathy for sinners who are still bound and tormented by their weaknesses and teach them about how the Lord Jesus has blotted out all their sins and weaknesses. We should preach to them that Jesus Christ who has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Savior who has transcended all our weaknesses and brought the perfect salvation to us.
 
 
God Wants to Work through Those Who Believe in His Righteousness
 
Many Christians nowadays have mistaken notions about their ministers. Some Christians think that pastors are men of holy character. So when they hear their pastors preaching with a holy voice, they may think that the pastors’ character is fundamentally different from their sinful character. Many of them probably think that these ministers are holiness itself, so it’s easy for them to believe that their pastors are different from them. But so many pastors nowadays are making sinners out of their congregations and leading them to a fallacious faith of sanctification. Indeed, in God’s sight these pastors are not His real servants who know and believe in the righteousness of God. In other words, these ministers are not the ones who have been saved from all their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They are therefore incapable of preaching to all those who are subject to the weaknesses of the flesh the gospel that justifies them in the righteousness of God. They just hypnotize their followers into believing mistakenly that they can somehow receive the remission of sins by offering the prayers of repentance every day.
However, through the genuine servants of God who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, God has worked on many people’s lives so that they would receive the remission of their sins once and for all. It’s therefore very important for all of us to grasp here that God has made His workers from the true believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and entrusted them with His work to minister to the weak and the ignorant.
The problem, however, is that in this age and times, even the fleshly people who still have not received the remission of their sins once and for all are still ministering as pastors. Because these fallacious pastors are ministering without understanding and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they are fundamentally incapable of fulfilling their ministry. How could any pastor who is himself a sinner ever intercede for anyone else? It is only the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit whom God has appointed into His ministry that can carry out His spiritual work. And it’s in His providence that God is working through these true believers. All of us were made in the likeness of the image of God, and now that God has saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, He is using us as His instruments of righteousness. Because Jesus Christ is our Savior and Lord, He was more than able to complete His work of salvation to blot out all our sins perfectly with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
God has raised such weak people like us as His servants in order to save His people from all their sins. All this came about out of God’s love and grace. Strictly speaking, only the weak can follow the righteousness of God, not the strong. However, some brothers and sisters still think mistakenly that a servant of God ought to be holy outwardly, make no mistake, and be authoritative, while not realizing that anyone who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can become God’s servant.
Some Christians see their pastors in fleshly terms because of their prejudice. They have the mistaken notion that a pastor is perfect beyond any reproach, much as little kids think that no teacher can ever be wrong. If God had made His servants out of those who are prefect in their flesh, no one could ever have become a servant of God. That’s because everyone is weak, including even those who are appointed as God’s servants. Your church leaders also have many weaknesses as they themselves are just as fragile as you are, yet despite this they can still carry out God’s work because they have heard the true gospel of the water and Spirit through the Word of God, obeyed it, and believed in it. A true spiritual leader knows his own weaknesses very well, and that’s precisely why he can guide so many people to the right path in God’s sight by putting all his trust in the righteousness of God alone.
Too many pastors nowadays pretend to be holy and compassionate in front of their congregations when they themselves are also so full of shortcomings before God. So whenever they give a sermon, they preach to their congregations to repent. But in reality, preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit is far more important and proper than urging the congregation to repent. The problem of course is that many pastors nowadays just remind their congregations of the sins they have committed last week rather than preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Such pastors are all hypocrites. They can never be approved by God.
In the Old Testament, the High Priests were appointed from the house of Aaron. They ministered in the Tabernacle as interceders between God and His people. But they were all mortal and therefore they all had many shortcomings. They had to take over the office one after another because they were all mortal beings. In contrast, Jesus came to this earth as the High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven and our Savior, and He is perfect and forever living. God has raised Jesus Christ as the Interceder between God and mankind. God raised this heavenly High Priest solely to save the human race who was made in the likeness of His own image.
As you know very well, in the age of the New Testament, Jesus came looking for us as the Savior of all humanity incarnated in the flesh of man. Jesus Christ is not only the Savior who has delivered us from all the sins of the world, but He is also the Creator who made us. However, because He put on the flesh of man, He could know and sympathize with all our human attributes. This is why Jesus, who was a Man and God Himself at the same time, was baptized by John the Baptist in order to bear all our sins once and for all as our Savior.
In the age of the Old Testament, the High Priest could pass all the yearly sins of his people onto the sacrificial animal on the Day of Atonement by laying his hands on its head on behalf of all the Israelites. Likewise, John the Baptist, a descendant of Aaron and the representative of all mankind (Luke 1:5, Matthew 11:11), could also pass all the sins of this world onto Jesus by baptizing Him. As the High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus offered Himself once and for all as the everlasting sacrifice in order to blot out all the sins of His ignorant and weak people.
Therefore, the entire human race must now be saved from all its sins by believing in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. The sins of the human race cannot be blotted out once and for all with any other sacrifice but only by that of Jesus. Our Lord alone bore all our sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, and He alone became our own propitiation by being crucified to death. All of us ought to therefore realize and believe that it is the Lord who has saved us.
 
 
Jesus Christ Is Not Someone Who Does Not Know the Weaknesses of Our Flesh, Rather He Sympathizes with Them All
 
That Jesus “sympathizes” with our weaknesses means that He knows and feels exactly what we are going through. In other words, Jesus faced the same weaknesses that we confront, feeling hunger going without and being tempted as well. However, because Jesus Christ is fundamentally God Himself, He was perfect. So, even though He is God Himself, when He came to this earth to save us, He bore all our weaknesses and all our sins to deliver us. As the High Priest of Heaven, Jesus become our true Savior. This is God’s grace.
Let’s now turn to Hebrews chapter 5:
“For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins” (Hebrews 5:1). It is written here that every High Priest was appointed for men. In the Old Testament, the High Priests offered sacrifices for their people, as it’s written, “He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness. Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins” (Hebrews 5:2-3). It is a wonderful blessing of God that He appointed a weak man in the flesh as the High Priest. The High Priests not only offered sacrifices for the people of God, but they also had to offer sacrifices for their own sins, for they were also weak beings facing temptation. This means that every High Priest himself also had to receive the remission of his own sins. Therefore, the High Priests had to know all about the gravity of sin and the suffering that accompanies it, and they had to believe in the Truth of salvation hidden in the sacrificial system, that is, the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
No pastor can minister properly if he is oblivious to the weaknesses of his church members or their wickedness. Even our ministers should work hard to make money just like all the brothers and sisters in the Church. They themselves ought to appreciate just how hard it is for our brothers and sisters to work at a job and make a living. Only then can they pray for the saints and lead them properly with a full understanding of their circumstances. So, it’s wrong for our ministers to be unaware of the circumstances that our saints are facing. Even if our ministers don’t make money personally, they ought to experience it even indirectly. Only then can they really appreciate just how precious it is that our saints are living out their faith and serving the Lord despite so much hardship.
 
 
We Are the Spiritual Priests
 
Spiritually speaking, all the leaders here in God’s Church are also priests. The High Priest of the Old Testament offered the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement only once a year. Although ordinary priests had to minister sacrifices every day, the High Priest blotted out all the yearly sins of the people of Israel by offering just one sacrifice. When Yom Kippur, the tenth day of the seventh month in the Jewish calendar, came around, the High Priest brought two sacrificial goats, and to blot out all the yearly sins of the Israelites, he passed these sins onto the sacrificial animals (a bull and a goat in turn) by laying his hands on their heads. He then only drew the blood of the animals and sacrificed it as a burnt offering, while he sent out the other goat into the wilderness to perish after laying his hands on its head in the presence of the entire Israelites. This is how God had remitted away all the yearly sins of the people of Israel (Leviticus 16).
In this present age also, those who have received the remission of their sins from God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit also share this same faith as the people of the Old Testament. Only this faith can blot out all the sins of everyone in this world once and for all. The believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit do not urge others to receive the remission of sins on a daily basis. They confess their faith instead, testifying that Jesus accepted all their sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist and then went to the Cross, for they also know that they would commit sin until the day they die. This is why we must preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to all who yearn to believe in the righteousness of God.
In the age of the New Testament, God’s servants no longer bring a lamb or a bull, lay their hands on its head, kill it, put its blood on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, cut its flesh into pieces, or burn it to be offered to God as it was done in the age of the Old Testament, but they are preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit to everyone. Put different, we are preaching by faith the righteous work of salvation that Jesus our High Priest has done for us on this earth. All sinners have the same fleshly weaknesses as we do, and we have this duty to offer the sacrifice of salvation for them through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They will then come to receive the remission of sins by hearing the gospel of the water and the Spirit and then believing in it with their hearts. Offering the sacrifice of faith like this is what it means to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Realizing that we ourselves are subject to the weaknesses of the flesh like this, all of us in the Church, from the ministers to the laypeople, ought to grasp and believe that the Lord bore all our sins once and for all through the baptism He received from John the Baptist. Among the countless people who are all subject to the same weaknesses of the flesh, God has raised the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in particular as His priests on this earth. My fellow believers, none of us was appointed into priesthood as a perfect being, but we were all appointed into this priesthood of God as imperfect beings with flesh. We must therefore always remember that we ought to live by our faith in the righteousness of God and fulfill our calling as Christ’s witnesses. God has taught us that when we minister our priesthood for the lost, we ought to sympathize with their weaknesses. And it’s only a matter of course that we should preach the Truth of salvation fulfilled by the righteousness of God.
Every High Priest, standing between God and man must meet the requirements of God’s law of justice. And he must also fulfill the law of mercy so that everyone may receive the remission of sins. God has saved us knowing that we would be put to death for our sins without His righteousness. Likewise, God knew that the people of Israel would all have to be put to death for their sins, and that is why He allowed the High Priest to pass all the yearly sins of the Israelite onto the sacrificial animal by laying his hands on its head. And as this sacrificial animal was put to death while shouldering all the yearly sins of the Israelites on their behalf, God’s law of justice was fulfilled. That is how God had enabled His people to be saved from all their sins by faith.
Who has then met the requirements of both the law of God’s love and the law of His justice in the age of the New Testament? Who played this role? This role was played by Jesus Christ the Son of God and John the Baptist. In this way our Lord met the requirements of these two laws to save the human race from sin. He actually bore the sins of the world and was condemned to death for all those sins on the Cross. Showing His hands and feet, Jesus is testifying before God the Father, “Was I not baptized in the Jordan River for them, and did I not thus bear all the sins of the world once and for all? Did I not give up My body on the Cross to bear the condemnation of their sins?”
 
 

When You Preach the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit to Someone, You Must Also Sympathize with the Person
 
We also had the same weaknesses that every human being has, but the Lord has saved us all. We ought to grasp and believe that by being baptized by John the Baptist, our Lord bore and took away at once not only our sins but also all the sins of each and every sinner, and that He has saved everyone from all his sins once and for all. If we were too judgmental in carrying out our priesthood as though we ourselves have never committed any sin, and say to others vindictively, “Receive the remission of sins, or otherwise you will go to hell,” then we would not be fulfilling our priesthood properly. When the High Priest offered the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement to bring the remission of sins to the people of Israel, he had to offer a sacrifice for himself first. Likewise, when we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the lost souls, we should always sympathize with their plight, saying to them that we too have the same weaknesses as theirs. And when they admit that they have many weaknesses, we can then explain to them in concrete detail just how Jesus has taken away all their sins and saved them.
Like this, it’s when we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit with full knowledge of it and sympathy that our listeners find us most compelling; and when they come to share the same faith in the same gospel as ours, it’s then that they become truly saved. This is how those who listen to the gospel of the water and the Spirit come to grasp and believe in the righteousness of our Lord. And this is how they come to praise our Lord’s righteousness alone.
You and I who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are today’s priests. Accordingly, all of us have this duty to fulfill our spiritual priesthood while living in this world. You and I are living for no other purpose than to fulfill our duties as the spiritual priests of this present age. As God’s priests, we know the weaknesses of the people, but we also know the will of God. We should therefore lead them according to the will of God, rebuke them for what must be rebuked, guide them into the righteousness of God, and tolerate their shortcomings. While every priest should sympathize with the plight of men, no priest should side with men so completely as to forsake God’s will. Every priest must side with God first, and then preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the lost so that they would receive the blessed remission of sins as God desires.
Moses and Aaron were two of the most important leaders for the Jewish people when they were delivered out of Egypt. Firstly, Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with two stone tablets inscribed with The Ten Commandments of God’s Law. And he then declared these commandments to the people of Israel: “You shall not have any other gods before Me. You shall not call My name in vain. You shall not bow before or worship anything on this earth. You shall keep the Sabbath Day holy. You shall honor your parents. You shall not commit murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.” Having thus brought The Ten Commandments of the Word of God, Moses then bore witness of God’s Law.
As Moses had also seen the requirements of the sacrificial system through God’s vision, he explained this to his people. In other words, Moses taught his people first that God’s Law was just and therefore anyone who had committed sin had to be put to death without fail. At the same time, he also showed the people of Israel a way to find deliverance from this certain death, and this way was none other than the sacrificial system of the Tabernacle, which God instituted for the people of Israel so that they could be saved from their sins by offering sacrificial animals. This will of God and its accompanying priesthood was revealed to the Israelites through Moses.
It is for this reason that the Bible says, “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). If Moses brought the Law to the people of Israel, then it was Aaron who made it possible for them to avoid God’s condemnation by passing their yearly sins onto sacrificial animals on the Day of Atonement. This was one of Aaron’s most important duties as the High Priest. Moses’ job, on the other hand, was relaying the will of God to the Israelites. So, while Moses and Aaron had different duties, they both had the same purpose: It was to save their people from the condemnation of their sins and lead them safely to the promised land of Canaan.
There are two absolutely indispensable points that every spiritual priest ought to know. First of all, we must know what God’s will is for us—that is, we the priests of God must know what provokes His wrath, and what gospel He has given us to save us from all the sins of the world. Whenever we preach the gospel as the priests of this age, we must preach God’s righteousness without fail. Secondly, the priests must lead the people according to the will of God. When the people fail to live by God’s will despite being taught and commit sin, the priests must offer sacrifices for them so that they would receive the remission of their sins from God. These were the different roles that Moses and Aaron played respectively.
Jesus, who is the High Priest of the age of the New Testament, had to fulfill both of these duties. He had to preach the will of God to the people, and as their propitiation, He had to accept all their weaknesses and sins and wash them away. Today’s spiritual priests therefore must also preach the will of God. Accordingly, we the spiritual priests of the Age of the New Testament are answering the following questions: What is God’s will for the human race, and why must everyone believe in Jesus Christ? We are bearing witness of the Truth of salvation to the lost souls by saying to them, “Jesus Christ bore all your sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River.” It is for everyone living in this world that the righteous living on this earth is fulfilling their priesthood. And it is by faith that every believer in the gospel of the water and the Spirit has received the remission of sins in this age and time. But God has left us on this earth so that we would also fulfill our duties as His spiritual priests. It is absolutely important for you to grasp here that all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are spiritual priests in God’s sight.
We all are spiritual priests. Even though the High Priest was the most venerated spiritual leader in the age of the Old Testament, Jesus is even more exalted as the High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whereas Aaron had passed only the yearly sins of the Israelites to the sacrificial animal, God the Father passed all the sins of the entire human race onto Jesus Christ and judged Him for those sins. As we all believe in this Truth, we have become little priests in God’s sight and we are faithfully fulfilling our priestly duties. We are laboring hard to guide everyone living on this earth for them to receive the remission of their sins by passing all their sins onto Jesus Christ by faith. That’s why we are still living on this earth; to fulfill our absolutely indispensable role as the salt of this world we are living on this earth.
The saints should be neither too distant from God’s appointed servants nor too close to them. This is because if the saints get too close to God’s servants, they may end up undermining God’s law by judging the servants in fleshly terms, while if they are too distant, they will not be able be led by God. But we are all God’s priests equally. And God has raised spiritual leaders in His Church. It is through His servants that God speaks and fulfills His will as He did through Moses in the Old Testament age.
 
 
Jesus Christ Was the High Priest in the Kingdom of Heaven
 
Let’s now turn to the Word of God again:
“And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him:
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.’
As He also says in another place: You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek’; who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest ‘according to the order of Melchizedek’” (Hebrews 5:4-10).
It is because Jesus came as a Man that He knew all about our sins and weaknesses. That is why Jesus took away all the sins of the world once and for all through the baptism He received from John the Baptist. And according to the order of Melchizedek—that is, as the King of peace, the King of love, and the King of salvation—Jesus offered Himself as our everlasting propitiation. He sacrificed His own body as the sin offering for His people and bore God’s condemnation forever. It’s because Jesus had come in the flesh of man that verse 8 says here, “He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” Here, “the things which He suffered” refer to the very suffering that the Lord endured with His own body as a result of being born on this earth. It is because Jesus endured all kinds of sufferings with His body that He could know in detail all our weaknesses and our utter helplessness. That is why Jesus could become our High Priest. He could become our true and everlasting Savior and Lord. The Lord has therefore become the eternal Savior to all those who obey and believe in the righteousness of God. In short, it was to become our High Priest that the Lord came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man and received His baptism.
And now, having ascended to the Kingdom of Heaven, our Lord has entrusted His precious work to all who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God has given the gift of the Holy Spirit to all His people who have received the remission of sins by believing in this gospel, and He has made them carry out His work of salvation by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. All these things were done to fulfill God’s justice, His love, His mercy, and His salvation. Whereas in the Old Testament God had blotted out the yearly sins of the people of Israel through the sin offering sacrificed by the High Priest, in the New Testament, Jesus Christ our Savior has brought true salvation to all of us His believers by carrying all the sins of the world to the Cross and being condemned for them once and for all in our place. God the Father has given the gift of salvation to all who believe in the righteousness of Jesus Christ so that they may all attain perfect salvation. These things were possible only for those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that reveals the righteousness of God. So it is absolutely imperative for us to remember without fail that God has appointed us as His priests in this age and time. He has raised you and me to be His spiritual priests.
 
 
Whoever Has Received the Remission of Sins by Believing in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit Can Now Preach This Gospel to All Sinners
 
This is so because we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are still subject to fleshly weaknesses, we can preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to each and every sinner, and thereby enable their souls that are dying being buried under their sins to receive the remission of sins. However, although we are preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world, we preach it even more diligently to those who are willing to accept it, but we may stop preaching it after admonishing a few times to whom refuse to accept it obstinately.
Those who preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit in this world can be described as little judges. Whoever accepts the gospel of the water and the Spirit under the guidance of its believers will be saved, but whoever rejects it will be judged by God. That is why the Bible says in John 20:23, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” This passage clearly shows that God has entrusted His priesthood to us the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And it also implies that God has entrusted us with the task of judging, although not in its entirety. This partial authority to judge people is illustrated by the fact that whoever accepts the gospel of the water and the Spirit preached by us can be saved from all his sins, but whoever rejects this gospel will remain forever sinful, for such people can never be saved from their sins. Put differently, even though the righteous still remain weak in their flesh, God has entrusted them with His priesthood so that they would save each and every soul from all their sins. Despite the fact that all of us who believe in God’s righteousness have many shortcomings in our flesh, we can still preach the Truth of salvation to all sinners because we trust in the righteousness of God.
It is God’s will to save all the sinners throughout the whole world from all their sins through the righteous whose flesh is still lacking. God does not spread His salvation through anyone who is not lacking even in the flesh, nor through anyone who does not believe in His righteousness. Rather, it is God’s will to save every weak human being through those who, despite having many fleshly shortcomings, rely on and trust in God’s righteousness wholeheartedly.
Two pivotal points are absolutely indispensable to all spiritual priests in order to fulfill their priesthood properly: Firstly, they must know the will of God from His Word, and secondly, they must know how to exercise their faith in the righteousness of God to solve the problem of the weaknesses of their people. God’s servants must cherish their people, and at the same time they must also have faith in God’s justice and love.
If any priest is uninterested in blotting out the people’s sins, and instead covets the things of the flesh like Samuel’s sons, then this priest has a serious problem at hand. Such priests who are solely interested in taking advantage of the people to enrich or exalt themselves will surely be forsaken by God. Every true priest of God ought to live for his people and the righteousness of God rather than seeking his own private interests. How about you then? Are you fulfilling your priesthood properly? Are you carrying out your ministry as a true priest of God?
The purpose for which every priest exists in this world is to bring the remission of sins to everyone else. It is very important for us to grasp here that we are here on this earth not for ourselves, but for the sake of the countless people who still have not received the remission of sins. We must therefore fulfill our priestly duties faithfully so that others may also be remitted from all their sins. How much do we really sympathize with the people when we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them? When Jesus was on this earth, He sympathized with our weaknesses, and out of His compassion He bore and blotted out all our sins. Jesus did not bear just a few sins of this world on His body. Rather than bearing just our past sins that we have committed so far, our Lord bore even the future sins that we will ever commit. This shows us just how much our Lord sympathized with your weaknesses and mine. In the Lord’s sight, we were wretched beings who could not help ourselves but commit sin as long as we were living in this world. This is why He gave up His body and bore all our sins by being baptized.
Because our Lord came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man just like us, He could bear all our sins on His body by being baptized. This was done out of the Lord’s empathy and love. It is because the Lord knew all about us that He personally took upon all our sins in order to save us from each and every sin. God gave us the Truth of salvation so that we would reach our deliverance from sin, and He allowed us to listen to this Truth by sending His servants. By bearing all our sins once and for all through His baptism, the Lord made it possible for anyone who believes in this Truth to be washed from all his sins. It was only by this grace of salvation that we could be justified once and for all by believing in the righteousness of Jesus.
Therefore, as the priests of this present age of the New Testament, we ought to sympathize with everyone’s weaknesses when we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Although Jesus rejected hypocritical believers like the Pharisees and even called them a brood of vipers, He helped those who needed His help and bestowed His grace of the remission of sins upon them. We also have this duty to help many people around us who are suffering because of sin. We ought to be able to help them spiritually rather than just physically or materially. We ought to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit so that they may also be remitted from all their sins. This is the calling that every priest living in this age of the New Testament must answer.
Jesus is our true Savior who bore all the sins of this world once and for all and became our eternal propitiation on the Cross. It is on account of our faith in the baptism of this Son of God and His blood on the Cross that we were able to receive the remission of sins once and for all. Even now, all the people in this world can still reach their true salvation if they realize that the Son of God bore all the sins of this world by being baptized by John the Baptist, and accept by faith that the Lord was condemned for each and every sin of the world by being crucified to death. All of us therefore have this duty to preach this true gospel to everyone in the world so that all may receive the remission of sins. We should never forget the fact that we are the spiritual priests of this age. Each and every one of us ought to walk by faith with this realization. None of us should therefore ever lie by claiming that we no longer commit any sin now that we have received the remission of sins, or that we have received this remission of our sins by believing only in the blood of the Cross alone. It is not by trying hard not to commit anymore sin that the remission of sins is obtained, but it is like this because we cannot help but continue to sin that we can receive the remission of sins just by believing in the righteousness of God.
There is no need for us to offer sacrifices to God every day as it was necessary in the age of the Old Testament. However, whenever we commit sin out of our weaknesses, we should verify the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ bore all our sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, and thank God for this wonderful blessing. We should therefore live by faith, realizing that our Lord has bestowed His true salvation on all of us, so that we may all offer sacrifices of righteousness to God. Jesus Christ has fulfilled our everlasting redemption once and for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Lord has forever blotted out all our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist and was then crucified to death. Our salvation has been fulfilled through the water, the blood and the Spirit (1 John 5:6-8). This is the salvation that we have received through faith, by believing in the baptism Jesus Christ received from John the Baptist and the precious blood He shed on the Cross. Even though Jesus is the only begotten Son of God the Father, He still obeyed the will of the Father and saved us all at once. To blot out all the sins of this world, the Lord gave up His own body as our propitiation and received His baptism from John the Baptist, and this is how He could save us from all our sins once and for all.
As your true High Priest and mine, Jesus is our Savior who has blotted out all our sins. You and I are therefore the priests who believe in and preach the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We all have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All who believe in this true gospel have the ability to fulfill their priestly duties to bring the remission of sins to everyone on this earth. Put differently, we have now become the gospel witnesses mediating between God and sinners so that everyone may receive the everlasting remission of sins by believing in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Because Jesus Christ Himself was also subject to weakness, He knows all about us and He can have compassion on us who cannot but sin until the day we die. And because the Lord has blotted out each and every one of our sins, all of us who believe in this Truth are ready to stand in the presence of God the Father by faith at any time. Now we are completely sinless. Everyone who wants to worship God sincerely must receive the remission of his own sins first, for God only accepts the worship of the sinless. The believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are sinless; all who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can worship God in a sinless state, for they have the God-given Word of salvation. And they can say to God that they have no sin like this because they have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
As you and I now believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, none other than we are the righteous who are completely sinless. Do you have any sin? Do the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have any sin? No, they have no sin whatsoever. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the witness testifying that you and I have been saved from all our sins. In God’s sight, none other than we are the priests delivered from all sins. The High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven is Jesus, and this Jesus has fulfilled all His priestly duties on this earth by giving up His own body.
Now, all who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are qualified to minister as God’s holy priests on this earth. Realizing this clearly, all of us should devote ourselves to preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit and supporting its ministry for the rest of our lives so that we may not only be rewarded by our Lord but also save other souls from all their sins. And we should thank God and praise Him for the fact that we have become such priests.
I give all thanks to our Lord for making us everlasting priests before God the Father. I give all glory to the Triune God. Hallelujah!