Why We Don't Need Priests Anymore
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Christ Tempted. John Ritto Penniman, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
God has a church which he is building and this is the church of all believers in Jesus Christ.
[Mat 16:18 KJV] 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The rock on which the church is built is Jesus.
Satan’s ultimate aim is to be worshipped himself. When he tempted Jesus in the wilderness he wanted Jesus himself to worship him
[Mat 4:9 KJV] 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
To this end he is working towards a one world church made up of all the religions. The purpose of this church will be to unite all the different faiths, bringing them together to worship Satan as represented by The Beast of Revelation.
High priest offering incense on the altar. Illustrator of Henry Davenport Northrop's 'Treasures of the Bible', 1894, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
We can see the ultimate outcome of this in Revelation 12:14-15
[Rev 13:14-15 KJV] 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by [the means of] those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
Today we have many different Christian denominations and many of them have “priests” to officiate at services. However the requirement for priests actually ended 2,000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross. The main function of a priest in the Old Testament was to perform animal sacrifices to atone for, or cover over, the sins of the people. He would also make various offerings to God. This requirement ended when Jesus died.
[John 1:29 KJV] 29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for all time.
[Heb 10:11-12 KJV] 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man (Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
So the work of Jesus is completed. No more sacrifices are needed.
What then is the point of priests today? Ordained priests are given various functions to perform, according to the denomination they are in. however all these functions are actually things that any believer can do. This is where the term Priesthood of all Believers comes from. The bible says that we are a royal priesthood
[1Pe 2:9 KJV] 9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Priests today no longer make sacrifices so they are given other functions, some of which which I have listed below:
Taking communion, also known as the sacraments
Praying for the congregation
Ordaining other priests
Preaching sermons or homilies
Baptising or christening children
Teaching the Word of God
Pastoral care of the flock.
There are other functions I could add but this is enough to make the point that there is nothing the ordained priest does that any believer can’t do apart from ordain other priests. The following chart gives scriptural references for this.
The point of all this is not just that we don’t need Priests but that we should not have a distinction between Clergy and Laity. All believers are one in Christ. The New Testament gives clear direction about church government.
Church fellowships should have elders who oversee the church. They should be sober minded men who are respected by those in the church. They are not a seperate clergy but are part of the community of their particular fellowship. They don’t stand in the place of God they are fellow believers with their congregation. The word vicar means substitute. The original notion of a vicar is as an "earthly representative of Christ". This is why one of the pope’s titles is Vicar of Rome. He is seen as a substitute for Christ on earth.
We as believers should not have people who are intermediaries between us and Christ. Christ Himself is our intermediary.
[1Ti 2:5 KJV] 5 For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
The one world church when it comes will unite all religious people. That is, those who require ordinary people to come to God by means of a priesthood or religious system. In fact anyone can find God for themselves if they are open to Him. You don’t need a religious system to find Him you simply need to call on the name of Jesus Christ.
[Rom 10:13 NKJV] 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."