If we trust our King James Version of the Bible, we are both. “…and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father ; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen ” We read in the New King James . “ To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Rev. 1:5-6. Now that doesn’t sound too bad, does it? I have heard 3 preachers preaching about us being kings in the last week and it has caused me to write this Epistle for your edification. We run into an issue if we refer to the New American Standard Bible though, as it says, “To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— and He has made us to be a kingdom ,priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” The Amplified Bible says, “To Him Who ever loves us and has once [for all] loosed and freed us from our sins by His own blood. And formed us into a kingdom (a royal race), priests to His God and Father…” Even the “New Living Translation” got it right. It says: “He has made us his kingdom and his priests who serve before God His Father” Did you see it? There is no mention of the word “king” here in either the NASB, NLT / or the Amplified. What is going on here?
In these days of deception, it seems that the little foxes that spoil the vine are the traps that are set to take us off course. I suppose it would be futile to attack the modern day Christian, head on, with some strange doctrine, as most of us would out and out reject it immediately. We can be thankful that in today’s Christianity, there is enough Word of God in us that we are able to spot direct lies that refute what the Scriptures say. So…another plan has been activated in the attempt to sidetrack the Christian. It is more subtle, refined and seemingly very effective. It is the plan to offset the truth with just a little bit of poison. At first this may seem so insignificant as to not be worth the effort to write about it, or to discuss it. Nothing could be further from the truth! There is great danger when the compass is just a little bit off. If the trajectory of a rocket is just a slightly skewed, it will miss the target. If the sights on a gun are just a little offset, the bullet will also completely miss! The awful thing about all of this is: as people enter into the battle, there is such a sense of hope and purpose and their intentions are right, but the misalignment of the sights has gone unnoticed, and the immanent battle is entered into with great zeal, yet wrought with futility and failure! None of us welcome this outcome, wouldn’t you agree? Is it time for a little alignment adjustment?
Let’s examine the Scripture in Revelation 1:6, shall we? I am not claiming to be a Bible scholar, or someone who is about to tell you that I alone have discovered some undiscovered deep meaning, that no one else has yet uncovered. A friend of ours preached to us in numerous meetings in Canada, it was him who taught on this issue of the mistranslation of KJV in Revelation 1. After hearing these other speakers speaking on the internet about us being kings this week, I got stirred up to bring this idea to the attention of the readers of the Epistles, for your updating. I know that the King James is an excellent translation of the Bible, but it is well known that the New American Standard Bible is considered to be one of the most accurate with regards to the original Greek and Hebrew. So here we go.
It seems that the KJV mistranslated the passage in question and particularly the word that they translated as “kings”. They used the Greek word “basileus” which is Strongs number 935 and is “kings” in English. The NASB used the Greek word “basileia” which is Strongs number 932. These words are very close in spelling, but I suggest that this minute spelling difference turns out to be very, very different in meaning. This word “basileia” is translated to mean “kingdom”. Follow me here: one says “kings and priests” and the other says “kingdom of priests”. What is the big deal about all of this? I believe it is huge!! The “Random House College Dictionary” defines “king” as “a male sovereign or monarch; a man who holds by life tenure, and usually by hereditary right, the chief authority over a country or people.The definition of “priest” is a person (either male or female) ordained to the pastoral office, a clergyman.” So…do you see yourself as a “king or a priest”? I believe the concept of this is very important.
We see in the modern body of Christ a falling away in many circles at an alarming rate. Some of these stories make the news but many of them are heard from personal testimonies of people who hear and pass on the information about their pastors and friends. This is tragic! Why is it that pride seems to rear its ugly head in so many cases?
Let’s look at our friend David in the Bible. David started as a judge of the people, and then he became king of Israel, stopped going to war, and then because of his authority and perhaps boredom, he saw Bathsheba, committed adultery with her, and his moment of pleasure resulted in disaster and the deaths of her husband and the unborn child conceived. Did you know that God never chose the kingship pattern for his people? It was the people who wanted to be like the pagan nations around them. Did you know that there is not one “king” listed in the hall of faith in Hebrews 11? The pattern of “being a king” breeds a group of individual kingdoms that look a lot like some of our modern church systems…don’t you think? Don’t get me wrong…I love the local church and I think that it is vital to the unity of “The Church”, but what if we have adopted the wrong pattern for its structure? The pastor has become ‘the king’ in many cases, and the people have become his loyal devotees. Hang on here: I know that there are many, many pastors who have not set up their churches this way, but this Epistle is to open up the situation to look a little deeper.
If you see yourself as a king, you may start to act like a king, rather than a priest who is commissioned to serve. The king is meant to “rule and reign” and the priest is meant to “serve the Lord”. I believe there is a tremendous difference herein attitude. I believe that we need to investigate our hearts in this matter, and consider the ramifications of our choices, and the matter of how we live our lives as either kings or priests.
Here’s a thought for all of us: Is it possible that we get our “prosperity gospel” from this concept of kingship here on earth? Do we get the idea of “Cadillacs, swimming pools, big houses and lavish lifestyles” from this “Kingship Pattern”? Maybe we are on to something here, eh? Jesus warned his disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees! We need to be careful of the modern day Pharisees! We could all become Pharisees folks! A little leaven, affects the whole life, according to the Bible. So…we could be living the life of the Christian soldier wholeheartedly and yet be stymied by one a couple of little foxes that affect our hearts and our attitudes, as if we are seeing through sights that have not been tuned correctly, to divide the Word of God accurately! These types of mindsets tend to find other familiar mindsets in order to strengthen their position, very quickly. All is not lost dear friends…repent and confess to God if your heart has not been right in this matter. I love 1 John 1:9, which says: “ If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” What an awesome Scripture! What a promise! My job is to confess and the next action is God being faithful to forgive everything and lastly to cleanse me from all unrighteousness! This is so rich and fresh this morning! Meditate and chew these words for while, PLEASE!
If you have been swayed by the “king” message, and you have looked into these queries from this Epistle, and you agree with this train of thought this morning, REPENT! It’s that simple! I find today there is such stubbornness in some of the people I meet these days who basically don’t want to listen. As soon any kind of correction begins, the eyes gloss over, the clarity disappears and the person goes into some sort of hibernation or trance until you are finished. It’s no wonder so many are falling by the wayside these days, blaming someone or something for their disaster! It is so sad and grievous that so few have ears to hear the counsel of the Lord’s Will, as revealed by His awesome Word! The rebellion seems to be accelerating at an alarming rate! Do not be the next stubborn victim of satan’s scheme to isolate you and take you out! (Did you know that
stubbornness is IDOLATRY?) For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” Wake up! Heed the warning of the Word of the Lord, which has the power to cut between the soul and the spirit! The slope is very slippery and climbing back up is a very hard thing to do, once the slide has begun! If you stop fighting the good fight, you have already begun to slide! Stop going to war and you could soon sin as David and so many others have done, succumbing to the fleshly desires listed in Galatians 5:19-22 “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” We’re not even going to touch the end of this Scripture at this point, that raises the question of your “eternal salvation” being in jeopardy! I do not want to play around with the mercy of God, how about you?
Finally…it’s time for a reality check! If you feel that you are standing strong…beware as your fall may have already begun! I write this to you passionately in order to try with everything I know how, to avoid yet another falling for the “Bait of Satan”. As we’ve said many times…none are immune; not you, not us, not our pastor, prophet or teacher; NONE!
Ezekiel 3 instructs us to warn and to be watchmen or the blood will be on our hands! Open your mouths and He will fill it! We are called to watch over the souls of our fellow Christian brothers and sisters. We are not being judgmental or critical!
“Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.” Proverbs 16:18
We have seen first hand mighty men of God fall into the abyss very recently, and it is sickenly sad, but it stirs us up to preach harder, louder and more often, in order to prevent the next victim from falling into an unmarked grave of destruction! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees! It will poison the whole life and destruction will be the end result! Let it not be you, brother or sister, lift up your head for your redemption draws near!!!!!!!!!! (Luke 21:28) REPENT!!!!! Humble yourself before your mighty God! He is merciful when we repent and humble ourselves!
We love you and care deeply for your souls!
Love Rob and Jody Reid, February 7, 2009