X0620........Levitical Proportions--why are they in the new covenant church?

Do you realize that most churches have "Levitical proportions" for the ministry of the church?

What do we mean by "Levitical proportions"?

1 ¶ And the LORD said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father's house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.
2 And thy brethren also of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of thy father, bring thou with thee, that they may be joined unto thee, and minister unto thee: but thou and thy sons with thee shall minister before the tabernacle of witness.
3 And they shall keep thy charge, and the charge of all the tabernacle: only they shall not come nigh the vessels of the sanctuary and the altar, that neither they, nor ye also, die.
4 And they shall be joined unto thee, and keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, for all the service of the tabernacle: and a stranger shall not come nigh unto you.
5 And ye shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar: that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel.
6 And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the LORD, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
7 Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest's office for every thing of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest's office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.
8 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Behold, I also have given thee the charge of mine heave offerings of all the hallowed things of the children of Israel; unto thee have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to thy sons, by an ordinance for ever.
9 This shall be thine of the most holy things, reserved from the fire: every oblation of theirs, every meat offering of theirs, and every sin offering of theirs, and every trespass offering of theirs, which they shall render unto me, shall be most holy for thee and for thy sons.
10 In the most holy place shalt thou eat it; every male shall eat it: it shall be holy unto thee.
11 And this is thine; the heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the children of Israel: I have given them unto thee, and to thy sons and to thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: every one that is clean in thy house shall eat of it.
12 All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given thee.
13 And whatsoever is first ripe in the land, which they shall bring unto the LORD, shall be thine; every one that is clean in thine house shall eat of it..............etc.
(Numbers 18: 1-13)

When you read these verses in the Bible--do you see your church?

Many do.

Look--it speaks here about a priesthood--a "delegated, designated,authority", that has the specific right to do the ministry in the temple.

Does this "fit" your functioning of "church"?

Why?

Now, there are a number of reasons why this should not be the operational plan of the Christian church. For one, simple reason, the new covenant specifically says that the Levitical priesthood is done away with in Christianity....

Hebrews 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

For another reason, all of these actions and practices that the Levites are told to do, have to do with sin offering, and again, the new covenant specifically says....

Hebrews 10:18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

So the new covenant specifically does away with "Levitical proportions" for the Christian church.

But what most people do not realize is that there IS and another plan for the church.
Again, let's define "Levitical proportions"--as tradition has handed them to us....

The pastor/priest/leader of the church is the minister of the church. He has "leadership" ministry--he is, in effect the "levite" of the church. The rest of the people are the "congregation" (a term which is only used in the old covenant--by the way)--the vast majority of people who have no ministry--other than to support the ministry of the leader, who builds the "house of God"--and takes some amount to make a living.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Does this sound like what your church looks like, and operates by--at least to some degree?

Tradition (which came from Roman emperors, dark ages popes and protestant kings) has handed us these proportions for the Christian church.

But the only biblical basis for this, is contained in the old covenant Levitical priesthood.

What most simply do not realize is that there is a new covenant plan and a new covenant proportion for the ministry of the church.

In the new covenant, everyone is a minister.

Everyone is an equal minister---a brother or sister---ministry is not "rule"-- or authority over other believers--but a functional service that spreads the Gospel.

Ministry is ordained by God---not man.

The "5-fold" ministry gifts are gifts which are "given unto every one of us". They are anointings (just as the Levites were said to be 'anointed" for their job in the OT)--being a Christian means you are anointed--and to be anointed means that God has given each of us who follow Jesus, gifts, which are meant to further the Gospel and serve His will in the earth.

There is no need to build the temple--you ARE the temple.

House of God.

One great 'excuse" is that the leaders of the church "build the house of God". Again, the OT house of God was the temple in Jerusalem, which had the major function of carrying on the sin offerings.

Is there another NT change?---yes.

The NT house of God, is the home of every believer.

How do we know this? Well, it says that they met "house to house"...

Ac 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

Also, one of the big parts of the new testament, that most of us ignore, is the beginnings and ends of the letters,--you know the salutations--the stuff you usually skip--to get to the good part. It looks like "personal stuff" and maybe sometimes you might wonder why God put it in the Bible--but He had a purpose for every word. Because in those salutations--the beginnings and endings of the letters---is contained a good picture of the many folded, multi-functioning network that the church was in the Bible. These parts of the Bible name out many many people--who are all serving God---operating meeting places for believers to get together and spread the Gospel.

for example, read this ending to 1Corinthians...

10 ¶ Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.
11 Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren.
12 As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.
13 ¶ Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
14 Let all your things be done with charity.
15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.
17 I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied.
18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.
19 ¶ The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. (1corinthians 16: 10-19)

Notice all the people! Notice that they are doing ministry--just like Paul..

10 ¶ Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.

Look at what the church is said to be doing,,

15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)

"the ministry of the saints". Well, you know you are a saint---did you know you have a ministry?

And what about your house? Is it a house of God?

19 ¶ The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

The church--a network of homes of believers--with all working and operating in ministry.

Is this the operational proportion of your church? It was the way the church in the Bible worked.

Notice what it does NOT say in the salutations---"Pay your tithe to the pastor"---"sit down on Sunday morning--dress right, stand up sit down--follow what everyone else does, and just don't think you have some ministry to do!"

The Christian church has Levitical proportions.

Why should this be, when there is another way!