Part 2 - A Kingdom of Priests

This Article is part of a multi-part Study Series called Water-Baptism .

In Exodus 19:5-6, at the giving of the Mosaic Covenant God’s purpose was in giving birth to the Nation Israel is clearly revealed:

“Now therefore, IF YE will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be A Peculiar Treasure Unto Me Above All People: for all the earth is Mine. And Ye Shall Be Unto Me A Kingdom Of Priests And A Holy Nation. These are the words which thou [Moses] shalt speak unto the Children of Israel.

God’s stated purpose concerning the Nation Israel is that she is to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation,” through whom the Gentile nations could draw nigh to God. This is what Isaiah refers to when he writes:

“But ye [Israel] shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of The Gentiles, And In Their Glory Shall Ye Boast Yourselves” (Isaiah 61:6).

Ultimately this will of course be accomplished during the Millennial Kingdom reign of Christ, when Israel is dwelling in her land and the nations [Gentiles] find salvation and blessing through the instrumentality of faithful Israel. All of this awaits Israel’s redemption first, at His 2nd coming.

The IF YE will obey ... then ye shall be” principle of the law assured that the “knowledge of sin” would abound. Because of her failure, the Nation Israel soon found herself in need of a Redeemer. Thus while the hope of Israel looked to the promised coming kingdom, the first need of the nation was for cleansing.

It’s important to remember that of all the people or things to be baptized it was the priest who stood foremost. Exodus 29 sets forth the procedure for induction into the priest’s office. Two very important steps of the Priest’s consecration are to be noted.

  1. First must come cleansing – a washing with water: “And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water(Exodus 29:4).
  2. Second, there was the anointing with oil. “Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour in upon his head, and anoint him (Exo. 29:7) (see

Just as the sons of Aaron were the Levite priests through whom the people of Israel could approach God, so the nation Israel itself will one day be “a kingdom of priests and an holy nation” through whom the Gentiles on earth will draw near to God (Gen. 12:1-3; 22:17-18; Isa. 60:1-3; Zech. 8:20-23). It is in this light that John the Baptist appears on the scene preaching his baptism of repentance to all the People of Israel” (Acts 13:24).

In other words, John’s “baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4) was to be the means for national repentance and preparation to be the Kingdom of priests that God ordained for that favored nation status. Matthew 3:1-2 is important to note here: “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye: for the Kingdom Of Heaven Is At Hand.”

How were they to prepare for the coming kingdom?

“Then went out to him [to John) Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized [cleansed] of him [John] in Jordan Confessing Their Sins” (cf. Matt 3:5-6).

John’s baptism of repentance was the means for Israel to flee fromthe wrath to come” with Christ’s 2nd coming (cf. Matt 3:7). To escape His wrath they must be IDENTIFIED as the Believing Remnant of Israel who Jesus referred to as the Father’s “little flock” (cf. Luke 12:32). They were to be identified as such through taking John’s Water-Baptism of Repentance for The Remission of Sins.

Just as in Numbers 31:21-24, if they wanted to escape the fire they must “go through the water.” Thus they would be purified with the Water of Separation (Num 31:23) and IDENTIFIED together as Israel’s Believing Remnantset apart as “an holy nation.”

“Every thing that may abide [come to] the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water.” Numbers 31:23 (KJV)

“And it shall be a perpetual statute [an ordinance] unto them, that he that sprinkleth the Water of Separation shall wash his clothes; and he that toucheth the water of separation shall be unclean until even [the evening].” Numbers 19:21 (KJV)