When God created man, He stated His intention and original purpose in Gen. 1:26, and it can be summarized in two words: IMAGE and DOMINION. God desires to have a corporate man that expresses Him in all that He is and He wants this man to deal with His enemy by ruling over the earth and having dominion over all things.
But the first man fell, and God had to call another race, beginning with Abraham. In the Bible we see two lines running through – the line of the priesthood and the line of the kingship. The priesthood and the kingship are actually for God’s image and dominion – God desires all His people to be His priests and kings, those who express Him in His image and represent Him with His dominion.
God’s original intention in creating man is fulfilled through the priesthood and the kinship, since the priesthood causes man to have the image of God, and the kingship causes man to have the dominion and authority of God.
Hallelujah, God has made us a kingdom and priests to His God and Father (Rev. 1:5-6), and in the church life today we function as priests by spending time with God to be infused with God and express God, and the God of peace crushes Satan under our feet (Rom. 16:20).
For eternity in the New Jerusalem we will express God and rule with Him for ever and ever, as He intended for us to be! Hallelujah!
The Priesthood is for God’s Expression
God desires to be expressed, and for this we don’t need to “do our best to express Him as the Bible tells us” but rather, as priests of God, we need to spend time with the Lord to enjoy Him.
A priest is one who spends time with God to be infused with God and saturated with God, and then he brings a fresh living message from God to man. The real priests of God are those who enjoy the Lord, draw near to God, and allow God to flow through them – in this way, God is expressed in His image through them!
God’s image can be seen in His priesthood – as we spend time with God to enjoy Him and be infused with Him, we become His expression, His manifestation, His habitation, and His dwelling place, God’s spiritual house as His holy priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5). Only when man draws near to God and allows God to flow through him can God be expressed through man in His image.
This is our full time job today, and this is the highest profession on the earth: to spend time with God to be infused with God so that we can glow with God and shine forth God to others.
As we spend time with the Lord in His word, being open that He would shine on us and in us, we are being mingled with God and transformed into Christ’s image for His expression (2 Cor. 3:18; Rom. 8:28-29).
Moses was one who spent time with God on the mountain, and when he came back to the people of Israel his face was shining!
Whatever we do today, whether we are studying, working, travelling, resting, taking care of our family, doing chores, etc – our REAL job, our real profession, and our real business is to spend time with God to be infused with God that we may shine forth God to express God in His image!
The Kingship is for God’s Authority and Dominion
God’s intention is for man to express Him and represent Him. The line of representing God with His authority is fulfilled by the kingship, because a king receives authority from God in order that he may reign for God.
Today we as believers in Christ in the church life are kings representing God with His authority to deal with His enemy (Matt. 28:19-20).
How does this happen and what does this mean? In Rom. 5:17 and 21 we see that we reign in life by receiving the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness! When grace reigns in us, we reign in life over Satan, sin, and death to represent God with His dominion for His kingdom!
For us to reign in life we need to enjoy and receive the abundance of grace. God in Christ as the Spirit is our enjoyment – this is grace. According to Vine’s expository dictionary of the Bible, Grace is “that which occasions pleasure or delight”. When we enjoy God in Christ as the Spirit, we are filled with pleasure, delight, and enjoyment. In this way grace rules and reigns in us, and we reign in life!
Note: To find out more about grace, read an article on, The Christian Life is a Life of Grace – so Just Enjoy the Lord!
When the enjoyment of Christ reigns in us, we will be restricted in our behavior, attitude, doings, speaking, and in all the aspects of our living. When we really enjoy the Lord as grace, grace will reign in us, and we will reign in life! The Christian life is not a set of DO’s or DONT’s; the Christian life is a matter of enjoying the Lord as grace and allowing grace to reign in us!
As we enjoy the Lord in such a way in the church life today, the God of peace will soon crush Satan under our feet (Rom. 16:20). Defeating Satan and spiritual warfare to execute God’s dominion is both a personal and a corporate matter: personally, we inwardly allow grace to reign, and corporately, we live the church life and God crushes Satan under our feet!
The New Jerusalem: God’s Image and Dominion Fully Expressed!
If we are those who overcome the corruption in the world and the degradation in Christianity by eating Christ, enjoying Him, and allowing grace to reign in us, we will be the overcomers who will receive the reward of the millennium kingdom.
In the millennium the overcomers will be priests, drawing near to God and Christ, and they will be kings, reigning with Christ over all the nations (Rev. 2:26-27; 20:4, 6). May we receive grace and allow grace to reign in us that we may be the overcomers!
The majority of the believers though, as the defeated ones, will forfeit this reward and they will have to be dealt with by the Lord to be transformed and matured during the age of millennium.
Eventually and for eternity, all God’s chosen and redeemed people will participate in the blessing of this reward by serving God in the priesthood and representing God in the kingship as the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and the new earth (Rev. 22:3, 5). God’s appearance is like jasper (Rev. 4:3), and the whole city is like jasper (Rev. 21:11, 18) – we express God corporately as His priesthood!
What a glorious destiny, to be priests and kings to God that we may forever express Him in His image and represent Him in His dominion!
Thank You Lord for unveiling us to see something concerning Your purpose in creating man. Thank You for making us Your priests to express You and Your kings to represent You. Lord, we want to be those who spend time with You to be infused with You and express You to others. We want to receive and enjoy the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness that we may reign in life through You. Make us Your overcomers, those who express You and represent You today and will receive the kingdom as a reward!
References and Further Reading
- This sharing is inspired from brother Ed Marks’ sharing in this message and portions in, The Priesthood and God’s Building (ch. 1, by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on Crystallization-Study of Daniel and Zechariah, week 12 (entitled, The Priesthood and the Kingship for the Building Up of the Church as the Temple of God).
- Buy this morning revival book online via Living Stream Ministry.
- Further reading: chs. 7-8 in, Functioning in Life as Gifts Given to the Body of Christ.
- On the same topic: Priests and Kings in God’s Plan, and, Priests and Kings in New Jerusalem (via newjerusalem blog).
- Hymns on this topic:
# Take time to behold Him, / The world rushes on; / Spend much time in secret / With Jesus alone. / By looking to Jesus / Like Him thou shalt be; / Thy friends, in thy conduct, / His likeness shall see.
# The gift of righteousness is measured in abundance, / The depth of His love I’ll never understand. / His love reaches me and you; / His mercy goes farther too. / The One on the throne of God is called the Lamb.
# Take time to behold Him, gaze oft on His face, / Receiving His Person, and grace upon grace. / By His pleasant shining, infused we will be; / Our faces will glow with His light, radiantly.
- Pictures credit: one of my instagrams and Infusion… Complete!