Drawing near To God In The Last Days Part 2

It was always Yahweh’s desire to be near to His people. But due to rebellion the tribe of Levi were given the role of being the only tribe allowed to draw near to Him instead of the firstborn from every tribe [1].  (See my post Drawing Near – The Levitical Priesthood).

However, that was to be a temporary measure as the Mosaic covenant was only an ‘interim non-permanent’ covenant to prepare the people for the ‘good things to come’ – Jesus, His temple and His priesthood of all believers. (See my post Who was Shiloh and what was the scepter in the last days?)

But even the religious leaders in Israel from the tribe of Levi became corrupt long before Jesus was born. Amos, Jeremiah, Isaiah and Ezekiel condemned Judah and Israel and the Old Testament Prophet Micah prophesied against the religious leaders including the priesthood, saying …

You rulers make decisions based on bribes; you priests teach God’s laws only for a price; you prophets won’t prophesy unless you are paid. Yet all of you claim to depend on the LORD. “No harm can come to us,” you say, “for the LORD is here among us.” Because of you, Mount Zion will be plowed like an open field; Jerusalem will be reduced to ruins! A thicket will grow on the heights where the Temple now stands. ~ Micah 3: 11-12

The religious leaders were only interested in the love of money and during Jesus’ ministry He consistently condemned those who controlled the Temple and its treasuries. Likewise, Jesus, just like Micah also told His listeners that the Temple was going to be completely destroyed in a future act of divine judgment.

The Levites Break The Mosaic Covenant

However, the priesthood became even more corrupt after Jesus’ death as the Levites had the audacity to take matters into their own hands and actually change the Law of Moses.

Contrary to the Mosaic Covenant, King Agrippa II and the ‘so-called Sandhedrin’ gave the Levites permission to wear the same consecrated linen robes that the priests wore.

Josephus records how the event transpired and states that they all would be punished for doing such a corruptible thing.

Now as many of the Levites, which is a tribe of ours, as were singers of hymns, persuaded the king to assemble a Sanhedrin, and to give them leave to wear linen garments, as well as the priests for they said that this would be a work worthy the times of his government, that he might have a memorial of such a novelty, as being his doing.

Nor did they fail of obtaining their desire; for the king, with the suffrages of those that came into the Sanhedrin, granted the singers of hymns this privilege, that they might lay aside their former garments, and wear such a linen one as they desired; and as a part of this tribe ministered in the temple, he also permitted them to learn those hymns as they had besought him for.

Now all this was contrary to the laws of our country, which, whenever they have been transgressed, we have never been able to avoid the punishment of such transgressions. [2]

The apostle Paul also spoke out about the Levitical priests.

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings; for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by regulations about food, which have not benefited those who observe them. We have an altar from which those who officiate in the tabernacle have no right to eat.~ Hebrews 13:9

He wrote that the Levitical priests who were officiating in the tabernacle had no right to officiate at the ‘better’ altar, which represented Jesus.

The Levitical priesthood was only a shadow of ‘the good things to come’ as now every believer in the New Covenant was a priest. Their citizenship was to be in the Heavenly New Jerusalem that Jesus was preparing for them during that 40-year exodus. But they had to leave everything that Old Jerusalem (i.e The Mosaic Covenant) represented and ‘go outside the camp’.

The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp.  And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.  Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.  For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. ~ Hebrews 13:11-14

Jesus is The Way … Outside the Camp

In Hebrews, Paul wrote that the Jewish Christians were to be bold and have confidence, as Jesus had opened up a new way through the ‘curtain’ which was symbolized by His flesh.

They could be in His midst if they left the Old Covenant which was now obsolete and fading away and instead accept the New Covenant. They would become the bride-to-be of the resurrected Jesus.

The Ark of the Covenant which resided in the Holy of Holies behind the temple veil in Shiloh and the 1st temple foreshadowed Jesus. They would never need an ark again as Jesus was the fulfilment of that ark and He would be in their midst forever.

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,  by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,  and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

The Day Was Drawing Near

The day was drawing near for Paul’s readers when they too would be able to enter ‘the inner place, behind the curtain’, just like what Jesus did as the forerunner. They would finally be in the midst of Jesus, and they would see his face.

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. ~ Hebrews 6:19-20

Soon the believers would be allowed to enter the heavenly Holy of Holies in the Heavenly city – the New Jerusalem.

And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads ~ Rev 22:4

but prior to 70 AD, that way was still not open to them.

Further Resources:

Drawing Near – The Levitical Priesthood

Drawing Near To God In The Last Days

Who was Shiloh and what was the scepter in the Last Days?


[1] Jacob’s third son’s name was Levi. Levi had three sons: Gershon, Kehot and Merari. Kehot’s firstborn, Amram, had three children: Miriam, Aaron and Moses. Aaron was designated the high priest and only the male descendants of Aaron were allowed to be the Priests in the temple. While the rest of the males from the tribe officiated as Levites in the temple.

[2] Josephus writing about the abomination the Levites carried out in the temple.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.