Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
Only those whom Jesus has washed are able to offer acceptable sacrifices to God. No one but holy Ghost-baptized people can worship God acceptably because nobody else is ordained to offer sacrifices to God. There are many men on earth who are called “priests”, but that means nothing in heaven. It has always been that only God makes priests, and the way He makes them in this New Covenant is to anoint them with the holy Ghost. Paul was speaking only to holy Ghost-washed people when he said, “Present your bodies a living sacrifice to God, holy and acceptable unto God.” Until you are sanctified by the holy Ghost, you cannot do this.
Men of earth, as a rule, have never failed to worship God, and they have almost always had their own priests and prophets to guide them in worship. King Ahab consulted with the gods before going to war at Ramoth-gilead, where the true God killed him. After he turned from righteousness in his old age, Solomon found men willing to act as priests and to oversee the sacrifice of children on the altar Solomon built on the Mount of Olives for the heathen god Molech, but God hated it. King Manasseh built houses for homosexuals and harlots next to God’s temple in Jerusalem as part of his worship. He was such a wicked king that God swore that He would destroy both Jerusalem and the nation of Judah, which He did.
There has hardly ever been a time when worship was not somehow brought into the most perverse of man’s enterprises, as man has tried to make God a party to their evil designs. Cain worshiped God shortly before he murdered his brother Abel. Caiaphas offered the required daily sacrifices at the temple in Jerusalem the same day he bargained with Judas to betray God’s beloved Son. This darkness is not peculiar to God’s own people. It is true of the whole world. In our time, the sadistic Saddam Hussein, late in his career, ordered film taken of himself bowing in reverence toward Mecca in order to seduce faithful Muslims into his camp.
Through human history, God has been worshiped so much by the wrong people, in the wrong way, at the wrong time, and in the wrong spirit, that He is sick of it. He even told His chosen people Israel, when they continued to worship Him even as they lived in sin, that they “wearied” Him with their worship (Isa. 1:10-14): “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD. . . . Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot [do] away with. It is iniquity, even the solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth. They are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.”
The entire history of man, in every culture and at every era, is the history of two things: war and false religion. In every time throughout human history, we can always find men either fighting or worshiping; most often they were doing both at the same time. And almost none of the time was their fighting and worshiping clean and acceptable to the Almighty.
Jesus has sanctified you so that what you offer to God “might be acceptable, being sanctified by the holy Ghost” (Rom. 15:16). Be thankful, and “keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jas. 5:21). So will you be a priest in God’s kingdom whose offerings are pleasing to Him who called you into this grace.