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PRIESTS AND LEVITES. Lesson 8 for the 21 st of November, 2009.

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PRIESTS AND LEVITES

Lesson 8 for the 21st of November, 2009

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“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?”

1 Corinthians, 12: 27-30

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DIVISION OF LABOUR

Every believer has a work to do in the common service of the Church.

All the tasks or ministries are necessary for the right development of the work of the Church.

In the ancient Israel God defined the work that each one had in the Sanctuary.

Priests and Levites carried out different tasks. Everyone had to do his own task and not to meddle in the task of other group.

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God established the work of the priests: “But only you and your sons may serve as priests in connection with everything at the altar and inside the curtain. I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift. Anyone else who comes near the sanctuary must be put to death” (Numbers, 18: 7)

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TASKS

OF THE

PRIESTS

TASKS

OF THE

LEVITES

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GOD’SGIFT

Levites were a gift from God for the priests. They helped them in the tasks in the Sanctuary.

  • Helping in the Sanctuary was a privilege for the Levites. They could be in close contact with God.

That helped them to understand better the sacrifice of Christ, represented in the daily tasks in the Tabernacle. Then they could teach it to the people.

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MAINTAININGTHEPRIESTS

In the people of Israel, the priests had no estate. They had to be maintained with part of the offerings and the sacrifices of the people.

(Lv. 7: 8; Lv. 10: 12-15; Lv. 23: 17-20; Nm. 18: 11-20; Dt. 18: 3-5)

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MAINTAININGTHE LEVITES

The Levites were consecrated to the service in the tabernacle (later, in the temple), so they didn’t receive any land in Canaan.

However, they settled all over the country in cities that were prepared for them: 13 cities for the priests in Judah, Simeon and Benjamin territory, and 35 cities for the Levites in the other tribes: 48 cities altogether (Jos. 21:4-8).

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MAINTAININGTHE LEVITES

The Levites had no salary and they didn’t take part in the offerings and the sacrifices. They were maintained by the tithe that every Israelite had to offer from his income (Numbers. 18:24)

“Allyour gifts you shall offer up every heave offering due to the Lord,from all the best of them, the consecrated part of them” (Numbers, 18: 29)

They had to give the best as tithe of the received goods for the priests. God wants us to give the best of what we receive from Him.

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TITHE

“God wants all His stewards to be exact in following divine arrangements. They are not to offset the Lord's plans with some deed of charity, some gift, or some offering, done or given when and how they, the human agents, shall see fit. God has made His plan known, and all who cooperate with Him will carry out His plan instead of daring to attempt to improve on it by their own arrangements.... God will honor them and work in their behalf, for we have His pledged word that He will open the windows of heaven and pour us out a blessing such as there will not be room enough to receive”.

E.G.W. (That I may know Him, 3 August)

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THE RED HEIFER

  • A reddish heifer, symbol of Christ.
  • It had never carried a yoke. Christ submitted voluntarily, he wasn’t under the law.
  • A man sacrifices the heifer (not the priest)
  • The priest sprinkled the blood on the sanctuary 7 times. It purified the holy place.
  • The priest added this to the bonfire :
    • Cedar wood: Symbol of integrity.
    • Hyssop: Symbol of purification (“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be clean” Psalm 51: 7)
    • Scarlet wool: Symbol of sin (Isaiah, 1: 18)
  • The priest and the man who burned the heifer remained unclean.
  • A clean man picked up the ashes and put them away.

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THE RED HEIFER

How were the ashes used?

Contact with human corpses, bones or tombs.

When someone died in a tent, all the people and things were unclean.

The ashes of the cow were mixed with water to create purification water.

The opened vessels were broken.

Everything was sprinkled with purification water on the third and the seventh day.

If anyone was not purified, he was banned from the people.

The war plunder was also purified (Numbers, 31: 22-23)

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“The repeated sprinklings illustrate the thoroughness of the work that must be accomplished for the repenting sinner. All that he has must be consecrated. Not only should his own soul be washed clean and pure, but he should strive to have his family, his domestic arrangements, his property, and his entire belongings consecrated to God.

After the tent had been sprinkled with hyssop, over the door of those cleansed was written: I am not my own; Lord, I am Thine. Thus should it be with those who profess to be cleansed by the blood of Christ”

E.G.W. (Testimonies for the church, vol. 4, cp. 11, page 122)