“THAT BEING DELIVERED FROM THE HAND OF OUR ENEMIES WE MAY SERVE HIM WITHOUT FEAR, IN HOLINESS, & RIGHTEOUSNESS ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES.” (Luke 1: 74-75)
By Pastor Tom Reinecke
“Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens”,
Hebrews 8:1 (Author’s underlines throughout text)
I am forever grateful that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, surrendered His life on the Cross so that my sins could be forgiven and I could be born again of the Spirit of God to live forever. Some four decades ago I came to know Him as my Savior and my life dramatically changed for the better. Though at the time some religious folks said “it will pass or he’s gone off the deep end,” my new life in Christ proved to be lasting, and I still find myself growing up in all things unto Him who is the Head (See Ephesians 4:15). And now, Holy Spirit is leading me to write this article from the Book of Hebrews on how the Son of God was called and now functions as our great High Priest forever. I just want to respond to His leading by attempting to remind Believers what is there for them in the mighty Ministry of Jesus, our Eternal High Priest.
To begin with, did you ever wonder how many times the title “High Priest” is recorded in the Book of Hebrews to portray Jesus’ ministry? Would you be surprised to know it was written there at least 15 times? Also, the words “According to the Order of Melchizedek” in conjunction with His Name, are recorded another seven times in that Book. By its very name we know that this epistle was written to the Hebrew people. One would think it’s likely the Jewish people would be more familiar with the term High Priest from having the Mosaic Law. However, this Book of Hebrews was chosen by the early Church Fathers to be included with the other epistles considered to be Christian doctrine for the entire Church. Even so, I have not found such an large collection of the Beloved Son of God’s Priesthood ministry anywhere in the Bible but Hebrews. God must have had a reason for causing this great influx of our Savior’s ministry of Mediator to all mankind in this one Book. By His grace I hope to learn something not seen before which would bring my heart and yours closer to Jesus, our Great High Priest.
As written above, in recent times Holy Spirit has continually brought this ministry of Jesus our High Priest to mind. I think that His calling to become eternal High Priest could no doubt be included in the primary reasons He came to earth. At any rate I have concluded that God wants to strengthen His Sons and Daughters with holiness and righteousness and spiritual courage in this hour, all from Jesus. Perhaps He is getting us ready to be caught up in the Rapture. Are you ready? Or perhaps it has to do with the dark and evil days that are upon us. Perhaps He is preparing to pour out revival by His Holy Spirit. But whatever Lord Jesus, I pray You will intercede to the Father for us (me and the reader) to receive Your word from Holy Spirit which will accomplish Your will for our lives today. Thank you Lord Jesus!
Do you remember the verse in Isaiah 60:1 “Arise, shine; For your Light has come! and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you?” Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16 “you are the Light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
But the brightness of our light is dimmed when there is fear, uncleanness, unrighteousness or other sin in our being because those are works of darkness. I believe the Spirit is saying that It’s time for us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (see Ephesians 5:11). So as we expose the dark areas of our lives to Jesus, we are not only developing a closer relationship with our Great High Priest but we reap an increase in courage, holiness and righteousness. What a Savior! By faith and confession we export our ungodliness to Him and after due reverence we import His Holiness and righteousness that He sends back to us, body, soul and spirit! This, I believe, nurtures the intimacy that Jesus seeks with all Believers at this hour. Confessing our sins is not only good for the soul but also tends to strengthen the love affair with Jesus (see Matthew 22:37 The First Commandment) that some who called Him Lord had missed (see Matthew 7:23).
I am an octogenarian and have never seen the spirit of antichrist and atheism against Christianity so strong as it is today. Perhaps it’s due to the rise of open persecution of Christianity in the United States or to the emerging assassinations of many Christians who are seemingly hated by radical Islam. Isaiah 60:2 says “Darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people.” But I do believe and hope and I’m praying with many of the Prophets for the restoration of America according to 2 Chronicles 7:14 for our children and Grandchildren.
ZACHARIAS PROPHESIED AFTER HIS SPEECH WAS RESTORED
It is exciting to discover that when Zacharias, John the Baptist’s father’s speech was restored, he began to prophesy (see Luke 1:67). He had lost his voice in disbelief to the angel Gabriel’s Word to his wife Elisabeth that she would become pregnant in her old age (see Luke 1:20). The Angel had declared that His speech would be returned when the prophetic word about his wife was fulfilled. So it was here in the Temple that he recovered his speech where Elisabeth had brought their son, for it was time for him to be circumcised, according to the Law. Many neighbors and cousins came with her and had been rejoicing in her newly found motherhood in her old age. At this time they all were calling the new-born baby Zacharias after his father, but Elisabeth restrained them and said “no,” for he was to be called John. When they looked to the father for the name he wanted, he asked for a writing tablet because he was still not able to speak. But as soon as he had written the name John, his voice was restored and he began prophesying! There was great excitement at this turn of events and the people marveled and wondered what manner of child shall this be with all this Spiritual activity taking place. Surprisingly, the first words he spoke were not about his son, but that “God had visited and redeemed His people.” God had a special message to speak through him with many great promises about the ministry of the long awaited and soon to come Messiah. Here are the powerful, prophetic Words Zacharias spoke about Jesus before mentioning his son in verse 76:
“THAT WE SHOULD BE SAVED FROM OUR ENEMIES AND THOSE WHO HATE US TO SERVE HIM IN HOLINESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS WITHOUT FEAR ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES FOR GOD HAD VISITED AND REDEEMED HIS PEOPLE”
68. “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people,
69. and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David,
70. as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began,
71. that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us,
72. to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant,
73. the oath which He swore to our father Abraham:
74. to grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear,
75. in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.
76. Yea and thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Most High: For thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to make ready his ways;” (Luke 1:68-76).
SERVING HIM WITHOUT FEAR IN HOLINESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
So from the early days of the Gospel even about six months before Jesus was born, (see Luke 1:36), the Prophetic Word was that God would deliver His people from their enemies that they might serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness all the days of their lives. Today I believe Holy Spirit is saying that God is releasing a fresh anointing and understanding on this Word so that His promises of change for the better are available to those who call upon Him! This will be evident in the lives of God’s People who become more conscious and desirous of confessing their sins, fears, failures and ungodliness. As their love for Jesus grows, they will become more eager to humbly admit their sin to Him who is our Great High Priest, sitting on the Throne of Majesty making intercession for us. And the world will begin to see the Glory of God in a new and greater dimension from those in His Church who will not be satisfied with the status quo in their Spiritual lives.
You see, the word “holiness” is from the word “holy” which is defined by Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words as being “separated from sin and consecrated to God.” What is sin? One of the Greek words for sin is hamartano which means to miss the mark and not share in the prize. What is the prize? The prize is the privilege of being conformed to the image of Christ to rule and reign with Him throughout all eternity! With an inheritance like that we surely need to persist to take on His image (see Romans 8:29). In addition, 1 Corinthians 15:56 teaches us that the strength of sin is the Law. But “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (see 1 John 1:9). Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words also states that Righteousness means to be “just, without prejudice or partiality.” I believe that after our confession, God’s righteousness is imputed to us from being pardoned/justified by Jesus, our Great High Priest! With God, all things are possible (see Matthew 19:25-26)!
“AND BLESSED BE GOD MOST HIGH, WHO HAS DELIVERED YOUR ENEMIES INTO YOUR HAND”
The first Bible story telling of one who had been delivered from their enemies was about Abram, later called Abraham. Abraham had a special calling from God in which He would make of him a great nation and bless him and make his name great. It seems that God wanted to bless Abraham not only to make of him a great nation but to show all generations His loving heart to help those who had faith to believe in Him. Many Bible scholars believe the following account in Genesis 14:17-20 of Melchizedek was a type of Christ visiting the earth called Theophany. He met Abraham who was returning from battle victoriously with some others. So right from the first pages of the Bible we see there is a purpose in the meeting between the heavenly High Priest and earthly Abraham, the Man of God which includes — his enemies being delivered into his hand!
MELCHIZEDEK MEETING ABRAHAM WHOSE ENEMIES HAD BEEN DELIVERED INTO HIS HAND
17. ” And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley),
“after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him.
18. “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.
19. “And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;
20. “And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all.”
Could it be that Jesus our Great High Priest is getting us ready for Him to deliver our enemies into our hand. I believe this will happen as we learn to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness, even as Ambassadors for Christ. And could it be that some of those enemies who are delivered into our hand will be convicted of their sin by the presence of the Lord among us, Who will then give them new life as they repent before Him? To serve the Lord without fear in holiness and righteousness could set off victories like that in the Spiritual realm!
I believe Abraham spiritually discerned that this priest Melchizedek was sent from the God of heaven who was Possessor of heaven and earth and had been communing with him for years. As he marveled in the peace, purity and holiness emanating from this High Priest, I believe his faith caused him to recognize that the Spirit of Truth in Melchizedek was demonstrating virtues and characteristics of the Christ who was to come as High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek (see Heb 6:20).
THE BOOK OF HEBREWS BUILDS ON THE PLAN OF GOD FOR JESUS, HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON
TO BECOME HIS ETERNAL HIGH PRIEST ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK
1. “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,
2. “to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,”
3. “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.
HERE ARE TWO IMMUTABLE (UNCHANGABLE) THINGS GOD HAS DONE.
THE LORD SWEARS AND GIVES AN OATH ABOUT JESUS BECOMING OUR HIGH PRIEST.
It seems that the Lord gave His highest priority in this Book to make known to all mankind the Dedication of His Son Jesus to be our High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. For in His written Word in Hebrews 6:13-20, He records that when men want to make a solemn declaration they may publicly swear using God’s name, and then even utter an oath to confirm their statement. It certainly gives testimony that the Lord deeply wanted us to know what He had done, and avail ourselves of His mercy and grace that He had made obtainable through Christ, our Great High Priest. In fact, God even majestically swears and utters an oath to prove that what He had done for us (Giving us His Son to be our High Priest sitting at the Right Hand of Majesty) can never be changed, which is the meaning of the word immutable in verse 17-18 of the Scripture below. In these proofs we see the absolutely awesome, unchangeable counsel of God to the heirs of promise (say that’s me!) who have fled for refuge in Him. Zacharias spoke this theme about God swearing and giving an oath (see verse 73 of Luke 1) earlier in this article, (The oath which He swore to our father Abraham about His covenant with him). So according to the Scripture, the Lord swore and made an oath about His Covenant to Abraham, and to His Son, You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek!
TWO IMMUTABLE THINGS
13. “For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,
14. “saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.”
15. “And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
16. “For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.
17. “Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,
18. “that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
19. “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,
20. “where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
EARLIER, PRIESTS WERE MADE WITHOUT AN OATH, BUT JESUS WITH AN OATH:
But Jesus with an oath by Him (The Father) who said to THE SON, THE LORD HAS SWORN:
21. (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: “The Lord has sworn and will not relent, `You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.'”
THE MINISTRY OF THE HIGH PRIEST
The ministry of the High Priest is to make atonement for the sins of the people by granting them forgiveness and pardon so they could be in right standing with God. In the Old Testament the High Priest could only enter the Most Holy Place in the Tabernacle once a year, with the blood of an innocent animal to sprinkle on the horns of the altar — for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (see Hebrews 9:22). Jesus our High Priest shed His blood to take away the sins of the world. With that shed blood He entered the “Presence Beyond the Veil” once, where He remains seated at the right Hand of the Majesty on High, to forgive and intercede for you and me! His blood avails for every sin we could ever commit and He is waiting to not only forgive but to pour out His grace to help us overcome the works of darkness. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new — Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-18).
NOW HERE ARE TEN BLESSINGS OUR HIGH PRIEST JESUS WANTS TO GIVE YOU!
Please open your bible and allow these verses to be implanted in your heart.
Heb 2:14-18 -He wants to release you from the fear of death and help you in your temptations.
Heb 3:1-3 -He wants to help you be faithful for He was faithful to His Father.
Heb 4:14-16 -He sympathizes with our weaknesses and wants to pour out His mercy and Grace.
Heb 5:8-9 -He wants to help you be obedient and extend His perfected-ness to all who obey Him.
Heb 7:15-17 -He wants you to have an endless life even as He needed an endless life for His ministry.
Heb 7:24-28 -He wants to save you from whatever you’re facing and intercede that you be perfected.
Heb 9:13-14 -He wants to purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Heb 10:16-17 – He wants to forgive your sins and remember them no more.
Heb 10:18-19 -He wants to give you boldness to enter the Holiest by the Blood of Jesus.
Heb 10:21-23 -He wants you to draw near with a true heart sprinkled from an evil conscience
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS
I believe that Joseph Scriven & Charles C Converse, authors of the Classic hymn “What a Friend We Have In Jesus” saw that Jesus was always there on the Throne as our High Priest at the right hand of the Father, ready to forgive and set us free. I believe the words to that hymn still speak to us today:
“What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear,
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer“
So go ahead, activate this great privilege God has given us and release your burden to Him Who loves you. He gave Himself for you so you can serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness all the days of your life.
In closing, here’s a little test for you to examine yourself. After you’ve taken a few new steps in confessing your sin to our High Priest Jesus, evaluate yourself with the following Scriptures concerning “Holiness” to see how you are progressing.
Ephesians 4:22-24, 2 Corinthians 7:1, Romans 6:19-22
1 Thess 3:12-13, John 14:13-14, Hebrews 12:14
Apostolic Network, under Dr. Bill Hamon. Together, in 1986 they founded Faith, Hope & Love Inc., a ministry that undergirded their work as missionaries to 10 overseas nations as well as pastoral work in Florida.
They also had a Prophetic Training School for nearly 17 years. They published their first book, To Know, Love and Serve God in 1994 and their second, Is Your Religion Robbing You? in 2008.
They raised up Sapphire Family Church, an Apostolic/Prophetic Church located in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1999. They were married in 1951 and have walked with Jesus since 1972. God has blessed them with 5 children, 16 Grands, and several Great-Grands.
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