||Prior to Sinai
Before the Mosaic law was ever given, the
Bible makes it clear that there were priests whom God
appointed to provide spiritual leadership for believers.
Then the king of Salem brought
forth bread and wine; and he was the priest of
the most high God. And he blessed him, and said,
Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of
heaven and earth; And blessed be the most high God,
which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And
he gave him tithes of all.
When Melchizedek is described
as being "without father, without mother,
without genealogy, having neither beginning of days
nor end of life, "[Hebrews 7:3] it is not
suggested that he was a biological anomaly, or an
angel in human guise. Historically Melchizedek
appears to have belonged to a dynasty of priest-kings
in which he had both predecessors and successors. (F.F.
Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, Eerdmans
Publishing, 1979, p. 137)
When Jethro, the priest
of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that
God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people,
and that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt
.... And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which
the Lord had done to Israel .... And Jethro said,
Blessed be the Lord .... And Jethro, Moses'
father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices
for God: and Aaron came, and all the elders of
Israel, to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law before
Exodus 18:1,9,10 & 12
And the Lord said unto him,
Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou,
and Aaron with thee; but let not the priests
and the people break forth upon them [this occurred
before priests of Aaron were called].
Under the Mosaic Law
And take thou unto thee Aaron
thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the
children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in
the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu,
Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons.
And thou shalt anoint them, as
thou didst anoint their father, that they may
minister unto me in the priest's office: for
their anointing shall surely be an everlasting
priesthood throughout their generations.
After the cross
In Romans 15, Paul referred to his
priestly duty as a minister of Christ:
I have written you quite boldly
on some points, as if to remind you of them again,
because of the grace God gave me to be a minister
of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly
duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that
the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to
God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:15-16 (NIV)
In the New Testament, even though
certain priestly duties continued, Christ established
different ministerial functions and offices from those
that existed under the Mosaic law.
And he gave some, apostles; and
some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some,
pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the
saints, for the work of the ministry, for the
edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in
the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the
Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of
the stature of the fulness of Christ.
Apostles, prophets, evangelists,
pastors and teachers are to remain in Christ's church
until the entire church arrives at the measure of the
stature of the fullness of Christ. No church has yet done
that. So all of these offices are still needed in