The Kingdom of Priests theology is very prominent in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. But it appears somewhat lost in the church theology today. Have we lost the God-given passion for His Kingdom today? Do we mean it when we pray, “Your Kingdom come”? What does it mean to us? What does it mean to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Isaiah 61:6, Exodus 19:6, 1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 1:6)?
Michael Mistretta, the CEO of FIRM, spoke about the meaning of the Kingdom of Priests on the Lance Wallnau Show in May of this year. Below is an excerpt from the interview.
The Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of Priests
Michael Mistretta: One of the biggest mistakes we make in our passion for evangelism today is, we want people saved, because we want them to go to heaven. But the idea of going to heaven is not a Jewish idea – and it wasn’t even Jesus’ idea!
The Messiah’s message was, “the Kingdom of Heaven is near”!
The Kingdom of Heaven has come close to you! So, it wasn’t about going to heaven, it was about heaven coming here!
What’s the number one thing Jesus talked about? His parables of “the Kingdom of Heaven is like…”, “the Kingdom of Heaven is like…” Everything was about what the kingdom of heaven was like.
And He’s the King of the kingdom. So, He came on the scene to say, this is what the kingdom of God is going to look like.
But it’s important to note that this doesn’t start in Matthew chapter 4. If you start in the Gospel of Matthew, it’s like coming into a trilogy two-thirds of the way in. You might understand the ending, but you’re never going to understand why it ends the way it does.
Calling Priests for a Kingdom
Lance Wallnau: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done” is how Jesus taught the disciples to pray. But the way we think of the Kingdom, especially when you see people’s anxiety about the last days, is skewed.
People often think that the kingdom won’t come until the antichrist rises and Jesus returns. Their greatest expectation is for Jesus to come back and bring the kingdom. It doesn’t occur to them that there’s a whole mandate of the Kingdom being manifest now!
Before the kingdom comes fully, we are supposed to demonstrate the kingdom coming!
MM: And you have to see this in the grand narrative of Scripture.
God takes Israelites – a group of former slaves – takes them across the Red Sea, brings them to a mountain, and says, you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
Now, only one tribe out of 12, the Levites, were in full-time occupational ministry. The rest were not. But He says, you’re not a fraction of a kingdom of priests. You are a kingdom of priests – all of you are priests!
And what is the kingdom of God? The kingdom of God is the dominion where God reigns as king.
Some think of Israel, “you didn’t have a king, you just had Moses, and you had Joshua. But you didn’t have a king…” No, they absolutely had a king! God was their King.
But that wasn’t good enough for them. Delegations would come knocking on [Israel’s] door asking, take me to your king. And they’d say, well, we have this invisible King… they felt awkward. So in the days of Samuel, the people said: “We want a human King!”
Samuel tried to warn them: Oh, you don’t want a human King. The first thing he’s going to do is, he’s going to tax you, second thing, he’s going to take your sons, put them in the in the military.
But they said, no, we want the human King. And God said, Samuel, don’t grieve. They haven’t rejected you — they’ve rejected me from being King. And so, God gives them human kings.
Manmade Kingdom vs. Kingdom of God
Even at their best, even when they had King David who was able to unite the tribes, the Kingdom was divided. You can read six books in the Bible about the kings of Israel. And I could easily summarize it: they were a disaster.
Then, Israel goes into exile. Later they come back, but it wasn’t a victorious coming back. Next, they’re under another occupation. And other rulers… Then, God is silent for 400 years.
Until! Until there’s a voice crying in the wilderness, and until a man arises in the Galilee. Those who dwelled in darkness saw a great light. And what does He say? He says, the kingdom of God is near.
He’s saying I’m the king of the Kingdom. You asked for a human King, and now I’ve come – fully God, fully human – to be the king and to make the kingdom of God accessible to everyone.
We’re not all Israelites or Jewish people, but Jesus came to bring the kingdom of God near, so that we can have God reign in every sphere of the society, in every sphere of our lives. That’s what the kingdom of priests is.
The Manifestation of King’s Authority
LW: I don’t know why Christians are so eager to diminish the sphere of the manifestation of the authority of Jesus down to salvation, and maybe occasionally a financial breakthrough. If a house can come under the authority of the Messiah, how about a business? And how about a small town?
There’s no limit to this… Worshipping God could create an environment where the anointing is so strong, we can all sense the presence of God. What’s to keep God from filling a city like He fills a meeting. He does not have a limited capacity. Let’s change the way we think.
Do you see a time on Earth when the presence of the Kingdom is so much greater, and God’s glory is more manifest? Is there a promise we could look to, that God is going to pour out grace upon the Earth, so there’ll be no excuse for a man to doubt that He is real?
MM: Yes. I think that’s coming, and I think even as things around us get darker, the believers are going to become brighter. And I see a very triumphant day.
Kingdom of Priests Impact
In fact, when we’re walking around Israel, the way to win people to even be open to the idea of Yeshua being the Messiah is not to just pray a prayer. It’s not to say, hey, will you raise your hand during a service… But it’s to prove Jesus’s dominion as King!
It’s looking at every sphere of the society, and asking: how are we moving the needle on homelessness? How are we helping solve the problem of drug addiction? Are we helping get vulnerable women off the streets?
How are we impacting the society in a way that shows quality and excellence?
When people say, why do you do that? We say, it’s because of our King! I’m simply a priest to my God, and He is the King. And everything that’s under my authority is under His authority. And that was the original [calling] of the biblical Israel.
But we couldn’t accept a Divine being as king, we wanted a human King. So God came. And that’s why it says, Yeshua did not count equality with God as something to be grasped. He humbled himself, becoming a servant in the form of human flesh.
LW: I get convicted of this, honestly. “When the son of man returns, shall He find faith on the earth…”
The kingly and the priestly anointings need to come together. The reason it failed was because the new birth hadn’t happened, and because of the corruption of the heart. It is as though God is educating even the heavenly host.
Transformation of Hearts for a Kingdom of Priests
There will need to be a change in the heart. Because even the wisest of men, with the most noble of exhibitions of God’s power, would corrupt themselves… Unless there was a fundamental change in the heart of man! And God would have to write, like Ezekiel the Prophet said, His laws on the inside.
It was the weakness of the human condition that couldn’t retain a walk with God on that level of sensitivity and glory.
So, God did something even greater, which He knew all along would have to happen. He became a man to die for humankind, so that humans could become like Him and live out “Pentecost”. That’s the law written on our hearts with the power to live it.
But I do believe God’s plan was to have an “Israel territory” to exhibit what the Kingdom looks like. Because it’s a witness! It doesn’t force other people to accept it, but this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world as a witness.
We should see a demonstration of Israel of old. We need a place like that!
MM: Yes! And we [need to] talk about the gentiles, meaning the nations, provoking Israel to jealousy. We need that witness!
Does God Have Favorites?
I love that you quoted out of Ezekiel 36, because I think this is so important. Sometimes we hear about Israel and we think, does God play favorites? Does God deal particularly with certain people? …and I think Ezekiel 36 answers this.
God says, it’s not for your sake, House of Israel, that I’m about to act. It’s for the sake of my Holy Name which you’ve profaned among the nations.
He says, I’m going to do something in you for the sake of My Name. To vindicate my reputation before the nations. And when I bring you back to your own land, the nations are going to know that I’m the Lord.
The reason God does this with Israel, the reason God is so passionate and doesn’t give up on a stubborn people, is because He said: you will be my people and I will be your God. Ezekiel [wrote], I’ll take you out of all the lands where I exiled you to. I will bring you back into your own land.
And then He says, I’m going to pour clean water on you, cleanse you from all your uncleanness. Then I’m going to take out your heart of stone, give you a heart of flesh, and I’m going to put my spirit within you. And you will be my people and I will be your God.
Restoring the Kingdom of Priests
Listen to the order of events here. First, He’s saying, I’m going to bring you into the Land – not because you deserve it, but because I’m vindicating the holiness of My Name. Second, I’m going to cleanse you. Third, I’m going to pull out the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And then I’m going to put my spirit within you.
So, I believe this is talking about a physical restoration followed by a spiritual restoration. And what do we see in Ezekiel 37? Valley of dry bones. Ezekiel says, God, can these bones live? Lord, only you could know. And when Ezekiel prophesies to the bones, they physically come together, bone to bone, flesh to flesh.
And then God says, prophesy to the breath. That word breath – Ruach, Spirit, Wind – that’s the same word in Hebrew. Prophesy of the breath to come from the four winds to breathe on these bones. And they come to their feet and there’s a resurrection.
We could try to allegorize it if you want. But God says, this is the whole house of Israel. They say, our hope has been dried up, we’ve indeed been cut off. But God said, no, I’m going to raise you from your graves, oh my people, I’m going to bring you back into the Land.
And again, you see a physical restoration followed by a spiritual! This week we’re celebrating 75 years of Israel, a modern state of Israel as a nation. There’s been a physical restoration, the bones have come together, the skin has come together.
But I believe God is saying, that’s the first part. The second part is the spiritual restoration that we’re already starting to see where God’s spirit – His breath, His wind – will breathe and bring life to those dry bones.
LW: 75 years… We’re living in a very historic period of time.
To enjoy the full episode of the Lance Wallnau Show with Michael Mistretta as guest, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID824gW73Hc
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