Kings & Priests: The Apostolic & Prophetic Fusing to Set up God's Kingdom
The Apostolic & Prophetic Fusing
to Set up God’s Kingdom
By Stephen Powell
II. God’s Purpose for Israel
III. Priest Defined
IV. David: A Priestly King
V. The High Priest Company: The Apostolic & Prophetic Church That Changes the World
VI. Combining Intimacy With Authority to Be Effective
VII. Fusing the Apostolic With the Prophetic in Our Day
5 “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people” for all the earth is mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:”
Why is it that we have a right to bring the glory of God to lost and dieing world? Why is it that we have a right to take hold of the kingdom of heaven and set up the dominion of Jesus in the earth? It’s because we are called not only as priests, but also kings.
God’s Purpose for Israel
In the Old Testament, when God first brought the children of Israel to Mount Sinai, He had a commission for them. It was to go forth into the land as a “kingdom of priests”, a holy set apart nation. But there was a condition on them walking in that promise. The condition was that they lived the holy life, obeyed the voice of God, and kept His commandments. It was only then that they would be that peculiar treasure unto the Lord, ABOVE ALL PEOPLE. When you are a faithful priest of the Lord, obedient to His word, and careful to keep His commandments, you get special privileges that others don’t get. Israel had all this promised to them, but they failed to meet the requirements for obtaining the promise, therefore they had to settle for something less.
Shortly after this great promise for the people of Israel was revealed to the Prophet Moses, the nation rebelled against God and committed terrible sin. Moses came down off the Mount and found them drunk with the dregs of demons (Ex.32). When Moses came into the camp and witnessed first hand the gross sin they were in, He stood in the gate and shouted, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” (vs.26). The only ones that responded and gathered themselves together unto him were the Levites. You see that’s the mercy of God. God could have slain them all when He first looked down and saw their great folly, but He chose to give them a chance. They were so given over to their sinful stupor that only one out of twelve tribes responded to the Lord’s call of mercy. After the Lord gave His one call to repent and come back to the Lord, He commanded the Levites to slay every man in the camp with the sword, and that day three thousand Israelites died because of their sin.
Moses records this event in the book of Deuteronomy chapter ten. He says that when the children of Israel had moved on from Mount Sinai that, “..the Lord separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day” (Deut.10:8). The Levites were the only tribe that was chosen after that dreadful time of sin at the foot of Mount Sinai to bear the ark of the Lord and minister unto the Lord as priests. It was clear from God’s words in (Ex.19:5-6) that it was God’s will for the whole nation to be priests, but their sin and lack of repentance cut them off from that promise, and only one tribe able to minister unto the Lord in that office until the time of Christ. In one case when the spirit of prophecy came and rested on the seventy elders and two of them kept prophesying in the camp, Moses stated “..would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them” (Num.11:29). It’s common knowledge that the prophetic mantle is that of the priest. It was God’s will all of the nation of Israel be close Him, be intimate with Him, know His heart & mind, and out of that intimate knowledge be anointed to prophecy and flow in the spirit of God. It’s only through ministering the life and spirit of God that we can bring the kingdom of heaven to earth. This was God’s will for the whole nation, but they turned it down through their sin. You have to qualify to walk as a kingly priest, because God will not authorize someone with His power whom He has not approved through holy living and obedience to His voice. Lord, help me to qualify as an obedient Son that I might be authorized to move in your power to affect my world for Christ.
What is a priest? Not using a traditional religious definition; a priest is one who draws close to the Lord to minister to him in the secret place. When the Levites started this ministry out it occurred in the tent called the Tabernacle. As time progressed and the nation entered the reign of King Solomon, a temple was built, and the priests transported their work between brick and mortar. When the time of Christ had come, the ministry was continuing in a temple called “Herod’s”, but the glory was long gone, and the King was far from David.
The priest has the privilege of drawing the closest to God. How do they draw close? It’s only by the washing they go through, the blood that they carry, and the work that they do. In the tabernacle there was an outer court where animals were slain and offered unto the Lord, where blood was taken up in a basin for transportation into the Holy of Holies, and washing occurred in a giant laver just prior to the entrance of the inner court. The work of daily lighting the incense and tending to the showbread and candlestick was done in the Most Holy Place. And the Holy of Holies was the place that only the High Priest entered once a year. Only by the blood did He enter, and with carefulness and fear did He draw nigh. This was the privilege of the office of the priest: to draw nigh unto God by ministering unto the Lord.
In the Old Testament they were priests of the flesh, forced to draw nigh and minister in the flesh. The sacrifices and offerings which they gave were of the flesh. The things they did were of the flesh. It was a system under the curse of the law which was only temporarily instituted until the perfect sacrifice would come for the entire world. Under the New Covenant we are not priests after the order of the flesh, but the spirit. We do not off sacrifices and offerings of the flesh like they did, but we offer spiritual sacrifices unto God (1 Pet.2:5). What are our spiritual sacrifices? They are a broken heart, for the word says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Ps.51:17). When we like Mary truly brake something over the feet of our Lord that costs us something, when we truly break our hearts open and give him the inner recesses of it, the fragrance of that is so sweet to God the Father’s nostrils…”Oh what a sacrifice” says the Lord. “That’s the sacrifice I want”, says the Father. The Father always smells our sacrifices from His throne (Gen.8:21).
David: A Priestly King
David was one who understood this principle. That’s why He said, “I will not offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing” (2 Sam.24:24). In fact David knew a lot of stuff He really shouldn’t have. There was something about David’s unique relationship with the Lord that set him a part as a King in Israel and as a man who lived under the Old Covenant. In many ways, He rose above the law and lived by grace only found in the New Testament.
You look at the time He committed adultery with Bathsheba (2 Sam.11&12). A crime punishable by death under the law, but God didn’t kill Him. Quite a contrast compared to when Uzzah stretched forth His hand to steady the ark of the covenant and was instantly struck down dead by the anger of the Lord (2 Sam.6:6-7). How about when David brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem and danced till’ all of His clothes came off and he was naked. The book of Leviticus clearly states the laws concerning showing your nakedness (Lev.18). We see this truth once again enforced in (1 Sam.21:6) when He ate the hallowed showbread knowing it was against the law to do so (Lev.24:8-9). David was a man who understood the grace of God because of His intimate relationship with the Lord. They were inseparable in heart. They moved together, lived together, and loved each other. Oh how God found a friend in His servant David. I see the Lord’s hands holding David’s hands literally. God taught His hands to war (Ps.18:34) as a loving Father teaches His child to write. You might say that it was impossible for David to tap New Testament grace in His time, but when you consider the stories of the Syrophonecian woman and the Centurion in the gospels (Mrk. 7:24-30))(Matt.8:5-13); how they tapped grace that had not yet been released for them, you begin to say that nothing is impossible with God (Lk.1:37). What’s my point? David knew what it was to be a royal priest of the spirit. He knew what God really wanted for sacrifice, He gave it to Him, and it pleased Him. David was a model of one who chose to wear a priestly mantle of intimacy and used it with His kingly mantle to build a kingdom of righteousness in the earth. In the same way, we have been commissioned, out of intimacy with the Lord and drawing nigh unto Him, to take the presence and glory we aquire in the secret place to a lost and dieing world to transform it with our kingly mantle. We are a royal priesthood. We are a nation of kings and priests.
The High Priest Company: The Apostolic & Prophetic Church That Changes the World
The prophetic ministry is represented in the office of the priest and the apostolic ministry is represented in the office of the High Priest (Heb.3:1). I understand that the High Priest is a title that Jesus holds in the heavenlies, but by revelation the Lord has still made me to understand that it is symbolic of the apostolic ministry. The High Priest was the highest authority in the temple of God in the Old Testament, and so is the apostle the highest authority in the church today (1 Cor.12:28)(Eph.4:11). The High Priest had the privileges of being a priest, but also had authority in the world and in society to make a difference. I can’t think of a better example to use than that of Caiaphas, the High Priest at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. He greatly influenced, and even controlled the Jewish people, and even Rome in determining the outcome of Jesus. This is why God needs an apostolic people to rise up: because apostolic people who rise up have the intimacy and relationship with the Lord to hear from heaven, be changed by God, and receive of the heaven’s distillation which is the anointing, but also have the mantle of authority to bring that power and revelation that they obtain in the secret place to the world. People who rise up in apostolic anointing approach God unhindered to transformed and receive of His glory, and approach the world unhindered to transform it with God’s glory. If the church remains at the prophetic level, it will remain at intimacy and God encounters and never truly impact the nations. It’s only when Deborah & Barak join together that we see a genuine apostolic move of the army of God occur in the earth (Judg.4). It’s only when we take what we’ve gained in the field and use it to transform the nation from our kingly role that we truly become the apostolic church that God has purposed for us to be from the beginning. Only the apostolic church with priestly oil will rise up to prepare the bride and the world for the day of the Lord. We must rise up as a royal priesthood and fulfill our mandate in the earth. God needs priests who are intimate and kings who are bold in this day. Will you answers God’s call? Will you enroll in God’s end-time army?
Combining Intimacy With Authority to Be Effective
Where a Levitical Priesthood was hindered, you are not, because you have not only a priestly commission but a kingly one as well. This is why we have a right to bring the glory to the nations and transform them by setting up the kingdom of God in righteousness and justice. We put on our priestly garments and come before the Lord having been washed and cleansed and bearing His blood. We minister before Him in incense (which is prayer & intimacy (Rev.8:3-4)), and partake of the rhema revelation of His word (candlestick & showbread). By this means we enter into the Holy of Holies to behold and partake of His divine nature and glory. From there we use our apostolic commission to bring the kingdom of God to the earth in power, and transform the world around us. We are carriers of the glory. Rise up in your predestined nature and calling, and bring heaven to earth. You have the prophetic anointing to touch heaven and the apostolic anointing to change the earth. Combine the two to effectively bring His kingdom and set up His rule on earth. We are not just priests but kings. We have a job not only to know God but also do exploits in His name (Dan.11:32). Let’s be that warrior bride and prepare the way for the Lord.
Fusing the Apostolic With the Prophetic in Our Day
Over the last twenty years or so the Lord has restored significantly the office of the prophet and prophetic ministry (the priest), but there still, in my opinion, has not been a full restoration of the apostolic ministry and office. When the most influential figures among the bride in these last days are the apostles like in the early church, then we can say that the five-fold ministry has been fully restored and that Jesus should be here any time. We haven’t seen this occur yet. The Lord has worked hard at putting true genuine prophets to the forefront of leadership once again, but we still don’t see very many real end-time apostles that have risen up, but they’re coming! They’re here! Many of them have begun their ministries, and they will grow and increase in influence as time goes on. As God raises up these end-time apostles, He’s combining the prophetic and now emerging apostolic stream together to produce a whole company of end-time priestly kings who are making up the end-time army of the Lord. These are ones who walk very closely with the Lord in intimacy and true loving fellowship but have apostolic governmental anointings to set up the kingdom of God in the earth with real authority and power. Some of things that we’re about to see come out of the apostolic church will be so amazing, some will literally say that they did it by the devil, it will be so supernatural and invoke so much jealousy. That’s what happened when Jesus started casting out devils and the Pharisees had never seen such power displayed (Matt.12:24). Because it was so supernatural and they (as the rulers of the church) weren’t doing it, it had to have been of the Devil. Many in church today will be sorely displeased with the apostolic favor and blessing that rests on those who choose to flow in this fresh anointing. The apostles will accomplish things in these last days that have literally never been heard of. I believe whole nations will be converted because of their ministries. Paul as apostle did receive such a call, to stand before kings and rulers and influence nations (Acts 9:15). So will these end-time apostles and prophets reach out with such influence. So will this end-time apostolic-prophetic church bring heaven to earth and change the world with the glory of God.
As we carry the glory in these last days as intimate priests who minister before the Lord day and night, let us rise up in that apostolic faith and boldness to use what we’ve received in the open heaven to see God’s will fulfilled in the earth. If you’re a priest naturally by gifting or calling press in for the kingly, and if you’re a king naturally, press in for that of the priestly. If you are weak in the kingly, you will never accomplish in the earth what God purposed for you to accomplish. If you are weak in the priestly mantle, you will be deceived and led astray from the main purposes of God for your life. Only the illumination from the glory can lead you the right way. Learn to mingle the two mantles together bringing heaven to earth daily in your life. The Lord is with you, the Lord is strong on your behalf, the Lord is the strength of your life. Be courageous, as Joshua was once exhorted to be, and do what God is calling you to do no matter what. God bless!!!
Peace be with You,
Brother Stephen Powell © 7/12/08