The Royal Priesthood
I have been in non-denominational congregations for most of my life and in those assemblies, 1 Peter 2:9 was often used to say that those who are “SAVED” now take “THE PLACE” of those, the royal priesthood, who YHWH ordained in the Torah.
Read 1 Peter 2:9 in context:
4 As you come to him, the living stone, rejected by people but chosen by God and precious to him,
5 you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be cohanim set apart for God to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to him through Yeshua the Messiah.
6 This is why the Tanakh says, “Look! I am laying in Tziyon a stone, a chosen and precious cornerstone; and whoever rests his trust on it will certainly not be humiliated.”
7 Now to you who keep trusting, he is precious. But to those who are not trusting, “The very stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”;
8 also he is a stone that will make people stumble, a rock over which they will trip. They are stumbling at the Word, disobeying it – as had been planned.
9 But you are a chosen people, the King’s cohanim, a holy nation, a people for God to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; before, you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and temporary residents not to give in to the desires of your old nature, which keep warring against you;
12 but to live such good lives among the pagans that even though they now speak against you as evildoers, they will, as a result of seeing your good actions, give glory to God on the Day of his coming.
1 Peter 2:4-12
The above scripture verses are in reference to the book of Hoshea (Hosea), more then once:
9 ADONAI said, “Name him Lo-‘Ammi [not-my-people], because you are not my people, and I will not be your [God].
10 “Nevertheless, the people of Isra’el will number as many as the grains of sand by the sea, which cannot be measured or counted; so that the time will come when, instead of being told, ‘You are not my people,’ it will be said to them, ‘You are the children of the living God.’
In verse 9 Israel has turned its back on YHWH (ADONAI), because they no longer keep the Torah. Verse 10 is a promise to bring Israel back to the land if they REPENT and keep the Torah.
I will sow her for me in the land. I will have pity on Lo-Ruchamah [Unpitied]; I will say to Lo-‘Ammi [Not-My-People], ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’
My people are destroyed for want of knowledge. Because you rejected knowledge, I will also reject you as cohen (Priests) for me. Because you forgot the Torah of your God, I will also forget your children.
In the Brit Chadesh (NT), it is often taught in the ‘church’ that the Torah was either done away with or that Yeshua died for our sins so that we no longer need to keep the Torah, these are both false teachings.
3 The way we can be sure we know him is if we are obeying his commands.
4 Anyone who says, “I know him,” but isn’t obeying his commands is a liar – the truth is not in him.
1 John 2:3-4
There are three words that come to mind that are defined by the ‘church’ that are wrong, all three words are in the Tanakh (this is where the definitions will come from), they are:
- REPENT and/or REPENTANCE
When someone from the ‘church’ comes upon a Torah Observant believer, there are some things they do not understand. Before we get into this, we must understand what Paul taught. The best source for this is a fellow Apostle, Peter.
15 And think of our Lord’s patience as deliverance, just as our dear brother Sha’ul (Paul) also wrote you, following the wisdom God gave him.
16 Indeed, he speaks about these things in all his letters. They contain some things that are hard to understand, things which the uninstructed and unstable distort, to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
2 Peter 3:15-16
Here is one scripture, written by Paul, taken out of context by many ‘denominations’.
You who are trying to be declared righteous by God through legalism have severed yourselves from the Messiah! You have fallen away from God’s grace!
One does not keep and obey Torah for SALVATION, for we are not justified by it, we are justified by Faith, through His Grace.
47 “ADONAI is alive! Blessed is my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock of my SALVATION,
48 the God who gives me vengeance and makes peoples submit to me.
49 He brings me out from my enemies. You raise me over those who rebel against me, you rescue me from violent men.
2 Samuel 22:47-49
This is what the Prophet Samuel said but it is also a promise to those who keep the Torah.
The Word SALVATION in Hebrew is said Yeshua (see “What is Salvation“).
We are “SAVED” through the blood that Yeshua shed for us on the cross, Yeshua is our SALVATION, just as King David had to Atone for his sins after putting a woman’s husband to death, then marrying her. King David was seen as RIGHTEOUS before YHWH (as were many others like Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Samuel, etc). We keep the Torah, not as our salvation, to be obedient to His Word as He told us to walk in Righteousness. This is what 1 Peter 2:9 is referring to.
Repent and Repentance are many times overlooked as something that should be done when one becomes “SAVED”.
11 God is a righteous judge, a God whose anger is present every day.
12 If a person will not REPENT, he sharpens his sword. He has bent his bow, made it ready;
13 he has also prepared for him weapons of death, his arrows, which he has made into burning shafts.
14 Look how the wicked is pregnant with evil; he conceives trouble, gives birth to lies.
How many people really understand what repentance really is?
5 He will not return to the land of Egypt, but Ashur will be his king, because they refused to REPENT.
6 The sword will fall on his cities, destroying the bars of his gates, because they follow their own advice.
7 My people are hanging in suspense about returning to me; and though they call them upwards, nobody makes a move.
8 Efrayim, how can I give you up, or surrender you, Isra’el? How could I treat you like Admah or make you like Tzvoyim? My heart recoils at the idea, as compassion warms within me.
YHWH wants people to repent and return to Him by keeping the Torah. The Hebrew word for repent is TESHUVA, what this word means is RETURN TO TORAH!
15 You killed the author of life! “But God has raised him from the dead! Of this we are witnesses.
16 And it is through putting trust in his name that his name has given strength to this man whom you see and know. Yes, it is the trust that comes through Yeshua which has given him this perfect healing in the presence of you all.
17 “Now, brothers, I know that you did not understand the significance of what you were doing; neither did your leaders.
18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had announced in advance, when he spoke through all the prophets, namely, that his Messiah was to die.
19 “Therefore, REPENT and turn to God, so that your SINS may be ERASED;
20 so that times of refreshing may come from the Lord’s presence; and he may send the Messiah appointed in advance for you, that is, Yeshua.
Once one has REPENTED, what then? What does Paul say?
1 So then, are we to say, “Let’s keep on sinning, so that there can be more grace”?
2 Heaven forbid! How can we, who have died to sin, still live in it?
3 Don’t you know that those of us who have been immersed into the Messiah Yeshua have been immersed into his death?
4 Through immersion into his death we were buried with him; so that just as, through the glory of the Father, the Messiah was raised from the dead, likewise we too might live a new life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will also be united with him in a resurrection like his.
6 We know that our old self was put to death on the execution-stake with him, so that the entire body of our sinful propensities might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.
7 For someone who has died has been cleared from sin.
What is RIGHTEOUSNESS then?
20 “Some day your child will ask you, ‘What is the meaning of the instructions, laws and rulings which ADONAI our God has laid down for you?’
21 Then you will tell your child, ‘We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and ADONAI brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand.
22 ADONAI worked great and terrible signs and wonders against Egypt, Pharaoh and all his household, before our very eyes.
23 He brought us out from there in order to bring us to the land he had sworn to our ancestors that he would give us.
24 ADONAI ordered us to observe all these laws, to fear ADONAI our God, always for our own good, so that he might keep us alive, as we are today.
25 It will be RIGHTEOUSNESS for us if we are careful to OBEY all these mitzvot (commandments) before ADONAI our God, just as he ordered us to do.'”
137 (Tzadeh) You are righteous, ADONAI; and your rulings are upright.
138 You have commanded your instructions in RIGHTEOUSNESS and great faithfulness.
139 My zeal is destroying me, because my foes have forgotten your words.
140 Your word is refined to complete purity, and your servant loves it.
141 I may be small and despised, but I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your RIGHTEOUSNESS is eternal RIGHTEOUSNESS, and your Torah is truth.
143 Trouble and distress have overtaken me, but your mitzvot are my delight.
144 Your instruction is righteous forever; give me understanding, and I will live.
145 (Kuf) Wholeheartedly I am calling on you; answer me, ADONAI; I will keep your laws.
146 I am calling on you; save me; and I will observe your instruction.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I put my hope in your word.
This next scripture verses are saying what I used to be, I was once in the ‘church’ but I was both deaf and blind to what YHWH wanted to teach me, that is until He led me in His direction with His instructions:
16 The blind I will lead on a road they don’t know, on roads they don’t know I will lead them; I will turn darkness to light before them, and straighten their twisted paths. These are things I will do without fail.
17 Those who trust in idols, who say to statues, ‘You are our gods,’ will be repulsed in utter shame.
18 Listen, you deaf! Look, you blind! – so that you will see!
19 Who is as blind as my servant, or as deaf as the messenger I send? Who is as blind as the one I rewarded, as blind as the servant of ADONAI?”
20 You see much but don’t pay attention; you open your ears, but you don’t listen.
21 ADONAI was pleased, for his righteousness’ sake, to make the Torah great and glorious.
22 But this is a people pillaged and plundered, all trapped in holes and sequestered in prisons. They are there to be plundered, with no one to rescue them; there to be pillaged, and no one says, “Return them!”
23 Which of you will listen to this? Who will hear and give heed in the times to come?
24 Who gave Ya’akov to be pillaged, Isra’el to the plunderers? Didn’t ADONAI, against whom we have sinned, in whose ways they refused to walk, he whose Torah they did not obey?
25 This is why he poured on him his blazing anger as well as the fury of battle – it wrapped him in flames, yet he learned nothing; it burned him, yet he did not take it to heart.
One thing that I often hear among many people today, including those of us who are Torah Observant is there is no understanding of what a gentile is.
Many of us have followed the ways of the gentile in the past. Does that mean that we are currently gentile if we keep the Torah?
A gentile in the Hebrew language is said GOYIM which means Heathen.
- Are you a Heathen in Messiah? NO
- Are you out of covenant when in Messiah? No
- Are you dead in Messiah? NO
Goyim or Nations can also mean the house of Israel (the ten northern tribes that were dispersed to the four corners of the world).
I pray that anyone who reads this, who is not already keeping the Torah, may start to understand what YHWH wants for every individual.