Nehemiah 7:61,64-65“61 And these were the ones who came up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer, but they could not identify their father’s house nor their lineage, whether they were of Israel….“64These sought their listing among those who were registered by genealogy, but it was not found; therefore they were EXCLUDED from the priesthood AS DEFILED.65 And the governor said to them that they SHOULD NOT EAT OF THE MOST HOLY THINGStill a priest could consult with the Urim and Thummim.”–
(The genealogy of some priest’swas not found.)–The final pieces of the High Priest’s garments I’d like to discuss have been shrouded in mystery for centuries. They were known as the “Urim and Thummim.” These were the two items that were used to prove the identity of the priests who’s genealogy was lost while they were captives in Babylon. They are what Nehemiah was talking about in the opening passage.–Types And Shadows.Everything in the Old Testament is revealed somewhere in the New, while the Old helps elucidate New Testament principles. It especially teaches us more about Jesus and about our New Covenant.–Though we are no longer under law because Jesus fulfilled it, the Old Testament is still very relevant. In fact, we need it more than ever. It is full of types, stories, and pictures, an expanded view if you will, explaining things in the New Testament, kind of like a “Pictionary.”–They say a picture is worth a thousand words and the Holy Spirit is a Master Storyteller. We now study the Old, not to find laws, laws, and more laws, but to see more of Jesus!–Does this passage apply to us today? Yes!…..and we’re about to find out why and how.–The Importance Of Genealogy.In the book of Nehemiah, he is describing the story of the Children of Israel returning to their land after seventy years of captivity. God had allowed them to be attacked and taken away by King Nebuchadnezzar because they were worshiping idols and had forsaken the God of their fathers.–They were there 70 years because during the 490 years they had been in the land, they had not allowed the land to rest every seven years, as the LORD commanded. So, the land got it’s rest all at once. It was during this period of captivity that the story of Esther took place.–The Most Holy Things.Among the returning priests were those who, though they sought the listing of their names among those of the priestly tribe, they could not be found.Some time during their captivity, their genealogies had been lost. This was a very serious matter. If it could not be proven that they were priests, they would have to be excluded from partaking of the most holy things until their lineage could be established.–Why is this such a big deal? Because the priestly tribe represented the people to God in their priestly duties. They would not be able to perform their duties or be accorded these privileges with their fellow priests until their identity could be established. They were also given all the best food from offerings by the common people, all the best clothing, and the nicest housing; essentially, the best of everything.–Notice it doesn’t say that these undocumented priests “were defiled” but that they were excluded “AS DEFILED,” because of their lost genealogy. They would have to be excluded until someone could consult with the mysterious “Urim and Thummin” to settle the matter.–
–The Urim And Thummim.These two items were an integral part of the high priest’s garments. In Exodus 28:30, The LORD had commanded Moses “…You shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be over Aaron’s heart when he goes in before the LORD. So Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel over his heart before the LORD continually.”–(For more on the Breastplate of Judgment, follow the link below:https://emmausroadministries.international/2020/10/12/the-breastplate-of-judgment-part-4-high-priests-garments-series/)–The phrase, “Bear the judgement” does not necessarily mean something negative. Judgment is simply an evaluation of whether a thing or matter was good or evil. Such determinations were part of his role as High Priest.–
–Secrets In The Hebrew Language.There has been much speculation about what these items were and how they functioned. However, what sheds the most light on this mystery is the meaning of each word in Hebrew.– “Ūrim” comes from the root word, “Ūr, which means “light.” Whenever you add the letters, “im [ים] on the end of a word, it’s functions like our letter “s,” making it plural. “Ūrim” means “Lights.”–“Thummin” comes from the root word, “Tom,” which means, “Perfection or integrity.”“Thummim” literally means “Perfections or completenesses: Plural.–Plurals In Hebrew.In Hebrew, whenever a writer wishes to emphasize something, he will either use the word twice or use the plural of the word. For instance: If someone died a very violent death, they would say he “Died-died,” you know, double died, or that he “Died deaths.”–A good example of this is the valley where David slew Goliath, one of Israel’s greatest enemies. It was called the “Ephes Dammim,” which literally means “Boundary (ephes) of the BLOODS (Dammim)”: The plural is used to indicate it was very bloody.–The Urim and Thummim were used to shed perfect “Lights” on their perfect “Perfections or completenesses,” (plural). This left no doubt as to their true identity, positively proving them to be priests.–Let’s see how this applies to the New Covenant.–
(Israelites returning from Babylon.)–Modern-Day Babylon.Whenever you hear sermons about Babylon, either they’re talking about the Babylon mentioned in the Old Testament or the great evil of the end times. Often they are drawing a picture of worldly lusts and carnal pursuits, particularly of an immoral nature.While that teaching has some merit, the meaning of the word in Hebrew is much more revealing. Babylon, in Hebrew, means “Confusion.” The Holy Spirit is drawing pictures again, trying to help us understand a very important spiritual truth about confusion of identity in the Church.–
–Identity Crisis.There is a crisis of uncertain or confused identity in the Church today, just like in ancient Israel. #1) These undocumented priests were coming out of“Babylon, i.e. Confusion.” #2) There was “confusion” over their identity. #3) As a result, they had to be excluded from the most holy things until their identity was established.–Who are priests today? Who are the ones of uncertain origin? Where are they? It’s you and I, Church. We are priestsand kings after the order of Melchizedek, just like Jesus. Just like those priests, many in the Church today are confused about their identity. If you don’t know who you are in Christ, you will not be able to appropriate all that He died to give to us. How did this happen?–
–Will The Real Gospel Please Stand UP!!Much of the Church is, or has been, in Babylon–confusion–regarding many things about their identity in Christ: Confusion over what the real Gospel is, which is Grace of course. Confused about healing: is it for today? Many think God heals sometimes but not always.They may even believe that He allows sickness or gives it to them to teach them a lesson. NOT TRUE!Many are confused about speaking in tongues: Is that for today?–
–All of these things stem from a basic confusion over their true identity. They are still in “Babylon,” and for good reason because what has been widely taught is not the real gospel. It has been “Law “MIXED” with grace: The Galatian heresy. YIKES!–Unsettled Issue.Paul preached against this very thing wa-a-a-ay back in the 1st century. In fact, the ENTIRE BOOK OF GALATIANS is solely devoted to the subject, which was supposedly settled at the council at Jerusalem. You can read all about that council by following the link below:https://emmausroadministries.international/2016/06/08/repentance-to-life/–
Council Of Jerusalem.–Well folks, it’s still an unsettled issue and is wreaking havoc in the Church. It has been preached so often and for so long, many think it’s the real thing. They don’t recognize the genuine article, even going so far as to call it “heresy.”–Of course the devil, who is behind it all, is delighted with all this ” Confusion.” He has had unwitting and unintentional help from the pulpit in many cases, unfortunately,–The Most Holy Things.But the worst part of all is that the priests, i.e. many believers today, are being rendered unable to partake of the most holy things. These “priests,” being confused about their identity in Christ, refuse to partake of the most holy things because of “Doctrines” they have been taught which have excluded them “as defiled.”–What are these most holy things today? Well, bviously, it isn’t the same as the Old Testament becasue we don’t sacrifice animals anymore, right? What did those sacrifices portray? Every single one of them depicted an aspect of Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice. –In Leviticus alone there are five offerings listed. There is one additional one which, curiously enough, is found only in Numbers. The Levitical ones are the Burnt Offering, The Grain Offering, the Peace Offering, the Sin Offering and Trespass Offering.” Five to describe ONE!–(For more on the topic of the five offerings, follow the link below where you will find a study series on that topic:https://emmausroadministries.international/2017/01/21/the-five-offerings-of-leviticus-part-1-of-10-introduction/)–The Ashes Of The Red Heifer.The only one not listed in Leviticus, The Ashes of the Red Heifer, is found only in Numbers.This is an entire subject unto itself, much to complex to cover here. So, for more on that topic, feel free to follow the link below. It will lead you through a nine-part study of an ordinance that King Solomon, in all his wisdom, couldn’t figure out. But if you get it, guess what? You’re smarter than Solomon!!–https://emmausroadministries.international/2016/04/06/whats-in-your-water-part-1-of-9/–
–In Remembrance Of Me.What do we do today to “show forth the Lord’s death, till He comes?” WE PARTAKE OF HOLY COMMUNION. Since His one sacrifice suffices for all time, animal sacrifices are no longer needed nor are they accepted by God. So we partake of the elements of bread and wine IN REMEMBRANCE OF JESUS. These are some of the most holy things today.–Every benefit is accorded to us, priests of the New Covenant, because of Jesus’ sacrifice: Healings, breakthroughs, revelations, provision, protection. All are ours. We are taken care of in a way that the world is not. We get the best of everything from God!–Danger Of Identity Confusion.But when our people are not told they are the righteousness of God in Christ or that God is angry with them when they mess up, they feel distant from Him. They need to hear and be reminded about their true identity. They need to understand that they are hid with Christ in God, precious in His sight, and forever righteous!The danger of not knowing who we are in Christ is that we cannot receive from God the gifts He wants to give us.–Upper Room Command.Jesus said to His disciples in the upper room when He broke the bread and gave them the cup: “DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.” But what do we all too often hear in church today? Instead of making it a REMEMBRANCE of Jesus, we call to remembrance our sins that He has already taken away. We need to make it about Jesus, not about our sins. If they are all taken away, what is there to confess?–Partaking In An Unworthy Manner.Some Christians have been told, “Don’t partake of communion unless you have confessed all your sins. You might get sick and die!” The preacher who says such things doesn’t realize BELIEVERS ARE CLEANSED OF ALL SIN FOR THEIR ENTIRE LIVES FROM THE MOMENT THEY ACCEPTED JESUS AS THEIR SAVIOR.–How can you confess to be forgiven when your sins were (past tense) all cleansed for all time the moment you were born again? THEY ARE GONE! You cannot be made more right with God than you already are.–You see, God doesn’t live in your time zone. He lives outside of time. There is no past or future with Him. There is only now; the present. So when He said, “All,” He meant, “ALL.”–Right Confession.Church, between us and God, sin is a done deal. That’s what “NO CONDEMNATION” means. We no longer confess our sins in order to be forgiven; WE CONFESS THEM BECAUSE WE ALREADY ARE.–We are regenerated spirits. The problem is, we’re still in unregenerated bodies. From time to time, we commit sins. Our confession to God is now not to be made right with Him, but that we are sorry we failed again and are powerless to overcome sinful behaviors on our own. We need His help.–Instead of asking Him to forgive what has already been put away, we now thank Him for our right standing and for His Finished work. That sin or destructive behavior which has you bound will lose it’s power over you. It will be broken in your life simply by continually confessing, “l am the righteousness of God in Christ,” even in the midst of committing that behavior.–
–Misconception In The Church.This great misconception that one must pass the communion elements by if you have sin in your life is not what “Partaking in an unworthy manner,” means. If by unworthy they mean confessing sins you have committed.–NEWS FLASH: EVERYBODY IS UNWORTHY…..including the preacher who said it. It is not the person who is unworthy; it is the MANNER that is unworthy.–Lesson Of The Paralytic.Remember the paralytic who’s friends tore up the roof of a house in Capernaum (probably Peter’s home) so they could get him in front of Jesus? The first thing he said to the man was “Your sins are forgiven.” Why did He say that?–
–Because if he felt condemned before God because of his sins, he would not be able to receive his healing. He needed to know he had right standing with God. THEN, after the man saw his acceptance, could Jesus could say, “Rise; take up your bed and walk.” Now that what had hindered his receiving his healing was gone, immediately he stood up on his feet and walked out of the house. He now carried that which had once carried him!–Partaking Unworthily.So what does it mean to partake unworthily? Here it is in a nutshell:–Discerning the Lord’s body means you recognize that HIS BODY was broken, beaten, scourged, and bruised SO THAT YOUR BODY WOULD BE PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY WHOLE. His broken body was not for the forgiveness of sins. That’s what His shed blood accomplished. It cleansed every sin; past present and future.–More often than not the bread and the wine are combined to say that His body and blood were both given for the forgiveness of sins. THIS IS PARTAKING IN AN WORTHY MANNER. You must discern that His body heals you physically; His blood cleanses from sin. That is proper discernment. –Dangers Of An Unworthy Manner.Why is the Holy Spirit so intent on warning us about partaking in an unworthy manner? Because when you don’t partake worthily you aren’t taking full advantage of communion for your complete health and wholeness, your complete “Shalom.”(For more on this topic follow this link:https://emmausroadministries.international/2020/03/27/shalom-שלום/)–The unintended consequence is that people get sick and die before their time. They could have lived longer by taking God’s heavenly medicine in the prescribed manner.–Religious Myth.Contrary to popular religious belief, you won’t get sick or die if you haven’t “confessed all your sins” before partaking. That is just another false doctrine; a lie of the devil; a religious myth.Some actually use it as a scare tactic in a vain attempt to get their people to live right. IT DOESN’T WORK. In fact, quite the opposite: It backfires, causing even more sin and disobedience.–Believers are sick or have died before their time because they were not taught to understand the difference between Jesus’ body and blood and to take hold by faith of all that Christ died to give us. –He emptied Himself of EVERYTHING so He could give it to us. BY HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED.–(For more on this topic, follow the link below:https://emmausroadministries.international/2020/04/10/by-his-stripe-we-are-healed-passover-series-part-8/)
The “most holy things” in the Church today are those described above: FREELY AND OFTEN partaking of the Body and Blood through communion leads to our healing and complete shalom in every area.
Since you are all in Christ PRIESTS and kings, you don’t need an ordained minister or priest to partake at home alone or in the company of other Christian friends.
–Establishing Your Identity.
How can the “priests” have their true identity revealed? The exact same way the priests of ancient Israel did whose genealogies were lost. They need a “priest,” a fellow believer who knows how to consult the “Urim and Thummim.” Such priests can shed “Perfect lights–URIM” on their “Perfect completenesses–THUMMIM” in Christ.
It can be your pastor, your Bible study leader, or your friend who is helping you to understand that you are not going to be complete in Christ some day: YOU ALREADY ARE. You already ARE the righteousness of God in Christ. Spiritual growth from this point on will be in the knowledge of just how complete your completenesses are.–Melchizedek Priesthood.In these last days, the Lord is raising up a whole new generation of priest/King shepherds who will feed the sheep. This new priesthood in the land–the order of MELCHIZEDEK–is shining perfect enlightenment on the people’s perfect completeness in Christ!” The old Levitical priesthood that bound them up with wrong doctrine is passing away!–God says to this old order:Jeremiah 23:1-71“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the LORD. 2 Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people:“You have scattered My flock, driven them away,’ and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the LORD.3 “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.4 I WILL SET UP SHEPHERDS OVER THEM WHO WILL:(#1) FEED THEM; and (#2) they shall FEAR NO MORE, (#3) NOR BE DISMAYED (#4) NOR SHALL THEY BE LACKING,” says the LORD. 5 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called:THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.Yahweh Tsidkenu!–
(Yahweh Tsidkenu.)–HALLELUJAH! All you faithful preachers of the true gospel out there keep on preaching! Keep on shouting out the truth! The people need you, whoever you are, wherever you are, to reveal to them their true identity.–You don’t need to be a pastor or theologian, have any special title, or any special position. You are a king/priest after the order of Melchizedek, just like Jesus.–You are the Urim and Thummim.–In Part 7 we’ll be talking about the beautiful decorations on the hem of the high priest’s garments, namely the Bells and Pomegranates. You’ll be quite surprised what they represent and where they are illuminated in the New Testament. You may follow the link to continue this series:https://emmausroadministries.international/2016/08/14/the-gifts-and-fruits-of-the-spirit/