RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS
According to Acts 3:21, Yahuwah has ordained to keep Yahshua our Messiah in heaven at His own right hand, until the full restoration of ALL THINGS, spoken of by the prophets. What prophets is the Ruach referring to? Well obviously the prophets of Israel. Whatever any of the prophets of Israel declared to come to pass must come to pass, before the great and dreadful Day of Yahuwah. Great for those who will experience physical resurrection, dreadful for those who will be cast into the Lake of Fire to die again, and experience the second death.
Since Jeremiah and Ezekiel along with John the Beloved, were all prophetic Israelite writers, and since all referred to the priests from Levi and their eschatalogical role in Israel’s regathering, let us analyze several verses. While it has been well documented that in the latter times Yahshua our Messiah will restore both houses of Israel, what we have not focused on at all is the restoration of the Levitical priesthood, within that two-house restoration, and in conjunction with that same two-house restoration.
THE LEVITES PROTECTIVE ROLE
First we go to Second Chronicles 30:25, where we are told that the Levites fled from the northern House of Ephraim, and dwelt mainly in Judah with the House of Judah. So right off the bat, we see Levi affiliated with Judah and thus being heavily involved in the dispute between the two houses of Israel. In Judah, they were called to oversee the righteous worship of the House of Yahuwah, while the glory still abode there. We see Levi’s role as a restorer of true worship, not just as overseers of the animal sacrificial system. In Numbers/Bamidbar 1:53, we see this same protective role over all Israel in the positioning of the Levites around the Dwelling Place, as opposed to joining a particular tribe or camp. The Levites GUARDED the purity of Israelite worship, by leading worship and by refusing to partake in any affairs in any camp, or outside pagan worship. Levites are characterized by a hate for pagan mixture into Israelite worship. Their dedication was and still is to the preservation and often the restoration and healing of the true worship that Yahuwah expected from all Israel.
Levi’s protective role of Israel’ s seed, can be seen as far back as Genesis/Bereshit 34:25, where with drawn sword, Levi protects his sister Dinah from further violation upon her. The pattern of Levi emerging is quite clear. Their role as protectors and guardians of the people and of the worship of Israel predated the Levitical priesthood’s role in sacrificial atonement. Their current role has survived the suspension in animal sacrifices, as we will shortly see. (While their role or job description overseeing animal sacrifices has been set aside, (Hebrews 7:18) their guardianship/protection role and their IDENTIFICATION IN ISRAEL, is now being restored.) In Exodus/Shemot 32:26-28, we see the Levites again as defenders of true Torah worship, of the true memorial Name of Yahuwah and of the ministry of Moses. They slew 3,000 enemies of Yahuwah IN ISRAEL, as once again they performed their role as guardians/protectors over truth, righteousness and holiness, in the camp of the 12 tribes Israel. In Exodus 32:29 Levi gets the blessing and is ordained into the priesthood, because of their PRIOR AND EFFECTIVE role of being Israel’s guardians, as in the case of Dinah. So the priesthood was ordained, as a reward and a blessing that allowed the Levites to become priests of the animal sacrificial system used before Yahshua’s first advent. This point must not be overlooked.
THE ETERNAL LEVITICAL PROMISE
Due to their faithfulness to Moses, to the true worship and to Yahuwah’s set-apart Name, they were promised an eternal priesthood. This fact is not only plain and easy to understand but is a fact that we in Messianic Nazarene Yisrael have yet to properly deal with, without shouts and screams of legalism or heresy. Something cannot be defined as legalism or heresy, if Yahuwah teaches that a divine calling (Numbers/3:13) is not a matter of legalism but rather one of perpetuity and election. Jeremiah 33:21-22 makes a most startling pronouncement. That pronouncement is that the priesthood of Levi, in their guardian and protective role over all Israel WILL NOT ONLY NEVER CEASE, but will be equally as eternal as the very Throne of David itself, the very throne that MESSIAH HIMSELF CURRENTLY OCCUPIES FOREVER.
Yahuwah states in Jer. 33:20 that if His covenant with day and night could cease, (heaven help us of that could happen) then and only then will His covenant be broken with the Levites His priests, to attend to Him by attending to the affairs of Israel. Within the promise of physical multiplicity to both houses, there is a special promise of physical multiplicity to the House of David, (David’s direct lineage) and the House of Levi. Notice in verse 22 of Jeremiah 33, Yahuwah states that not only are the Levites and their attendance to Yahuwah’s people eternal, their numbers will increase exponentially along with the rest of Israel’s two houses. If Yahuwah is restoring Israel and Judah into one stick, then by definition He must be preserving the Levites for their guardianship over both houses, so as to assure a quiet, orderly and decent restoration process that will honor the Father in all things. According to Second Chronicles 30, Levi is primarily found in the House of Judah, and since the House of Judah and some within the House of Ephraim contain huge amounts of Levites, we must discern their rightful place among us. That place is that they are being restored as watchmen and prophetic teachers over both houses, in order to guard Yahuwah’s Renewed Covenant Dwelling Place, (Ephesians 2:21-22) in our midst and to rebuke the devourer (s.a.tan) when he comes into the people to sow discord and division. We see Levi's latter-day role in Jer. 33:21-22, being directly tied in by context to verse 24, where Yahuwah is said to restore the two chosen families or the two chosen houses of Israel, who will be attended to by the increase in the seed of latter-day Levites. If we understand these fascinating scriptures correctly, we may ascertain that a large portion or even most of Judah or the House of Judah today is composed of Levites, just like most of the nations are composed of Ephraimites. Oh the ways and the wisdom of Yahuwah! Fill the nations with Ephraim and fill the Judahites with Levi, so that Israel can be all and in all, just as Yahuwah Himself is all and in all.
LEVI’S RESTORATION MAKES BOTH HOUSES NERVOUS!
Yet there remain those in both Judah and Ephraim that are threatened by the reality of Levi’s ongoing presence. Both houses at times tend to see themselves leading the way back to Zion. And then along comes Levi, with his eternal stake in Israel, claiming to have a prophetic mantle in direct relation to the affairs of Israel’s two-house restoration. What makes those in Ephraim and Judah most anxious and nervous about Levi's mix in the two-house equation, is that Levi is attached to neither house by inheritance, since Yahuwah is said to be their inheritance. Thus Levi is least likely to take sides in petty disputes between the two-houses that have and do continue to plague our people. So if those from Judah and Ephraim resist the reality of the Levites being as perpetual as Yahshua's very throne, (David’s throne) you can understand why. Here is the scary part! Levi may not have an agenda, as do some in both houses and Levi does not view the two-house message as "their message" or their only calling! They see Israel’s reunion rather as an inheritance through revelation by Yahuwah Tzevaot!! Everything Levi gets is through inheritance, and thus they view two-house restoration truth the same way. Yahuwah’s revelation, on loan from Him, awaiting Levi’s faithful discharge!
The grievous error that many in two-house restoration have made is that they perceive that Levi's eternal covenant of PHYSICAL MULTIPLICITY, HAS SOMEHOW been negated by replacement or is somehow less literal than Ephraim’s or Judah’s. Yet scripture teaches that all three groups are all eternally covenanted to Yahuwah as ISRAEL and that all three multiply like fishes in the earth and that all three have a role to play in Israel's full latter-day two-house restoration. Just because Yahuwah stated that He divorced Ephraim as a nation, (Hosea 1:6) does that mean Ephraim is gone forever? No! Ephraim turns up in the last days in a different role! As Christians! Just because the order of Melchezedek set aside the Levitical sacrificial order, does that mean Levis sons and daughters have disappeared, never to assume a new latter-day role? Or do they turn up also in the last days, in a different role, as defenders of Torah and the sacred names, within both houses?
When Israel is fully and totally united as one stick in Yahuwah’s hand in the millennial reign of His Son Messiah Yahshua, we will clearly see the increased seed of Levi ministering to Yahuwah in the millennial, as Yahuwah identifies the Levites from the nations, (Judah and Ephraim) and reappoints them to minister and to attend to all Israel in the restored Tabernacle of David. This is found in Isaiah 66:21-22, (a crystal clear millennial passage) where Yahshua Himself identifies and selects the Levites returning to teach Torah from all the nations, and then promises prophetically that the ministry of Levi, seed of Levi, and name of Levi, will stand before Him in full millennial ministry in Yerushalayim, and then even beyond into eternity itself!
This has nothing to do with their former or yet future millennial role of overseeing sacrifices. It has to do with covenant faithfulness, on behalf of our heavenly Father. Failure to see this the way Yahuwah sees this, will result in a limited understanding of the full plan for Israel’s two-house restoration, and perhaps even a resentment or condescending attitude towards those many returning Levites in our midst! In essence Yahuwah will raise up and restore three houses of Israel, with the Levites, actually being the glue that holds together and attends to Ephraim and Judah’s restoration, using equal weights and measures and making sure that everyone plays fair. Now remember! Levi is found today in both houses as Ephraimites and Judahites, even though originally they were part of neither, (even called a third house of Israel in Exodus 2:1 and Psalms 135:20). So they are in a most unique position to play fair and in a most unique position to use equal weights and measures.
MESSIAH YAHSHUA’S CALLING TO RESTORE THE LEVITES
In Malachi 3:1 we see a clear Messianic prophecy concerning Yahuwah-Yahshua’s coming to His own Temple, which He did in circa 33 CE. Yet we have been by and large blinded to what follows in Malachi 3:2-3, where He (Messiah) is said to arrive on earth to "cleanse the sons of Levi", (by His blood) and refine them like gold and silver, so as "to purify them", so that Israel’s offerings will be pleasant to Yahuwah once again. Thus we see that Yahshua came for three scattered houses, to clean all three houses, by His own precious blood. Furthermore He came to re-consecrate or re-ordain Levi, to be pure in their role as Israel’s protective guardian, from Renewed Covenant times right through and until eternity itself! If Judah and Ephraim are renewed in the Brit Chadashah, so must Israel’s third house be as well! For if Yahuwah had left Levi’s numerous offspring, unwashed and unrestored, Yahuwah could be accused of being a respecter of persons (Romans 2:11) within the Israel of Yahuwah (Galatians 6:16)! What specific ministry, has Messiah Yahshua’s coming given back to Levi? The answer is found in Malachi 2:7, where Yahshua is said to restore to Levi, the ministry of teaching Israel Torah and the knowledge of Yahuwah, including His real name! Levi was removed from oversight of the blood atonement system by the higher Melchezedekian order, only to be reassigned to Torah instruction, in this day and hour. Then why do so many believers believe that the Levites have disappeared and been done away with, as a viable house of Israel, when they do not believe that about Ephraim or Judah?
That is Levi’s role in the glorious two-house restoration of Israel. Levites are to make sure that they are Yahuwah’s cleansed mouthpiece, to call both houses to Torah and the knowledge of Yahuwah, including the knowledge of His Name. We see then that currently Levi functions in a teaching role. It would be safe to say that according to these scriptures, many if not most of the messianic teachers of Torah and two-house truth are Levites, whether they recognize that or even if they are blind to that.
By now you may be asking, "well then how can I tell I am a Levite?" Well, how can you tell if you are a Jew or an Ephraimite? You can’t! So if Ephraim and Judah desire to have their stake in Israel taken at face value, going strictly by the covenant promises of Yahuwah, then those of Levitical stock must not be ridiculed or called legalists, as they stake their own claim in restored Israel. Levi’s claim to be Israel’s Torah teachers and two-house guardians can only be defined as fully glatt kosher. We then must apply equal weights and measures to those who claim a Levite descent, as well as those who claim two-house descent. In Zechariah 12:13, when all (Ephraim and Judah) Israel recognizes Yahshua as Messiah, the sons of Levi are said to be an identifiable and a separate house in their weeping and lamentation over much of Israel’s past blindness to the messiahship of Yahshua and the Israelite identity of many Ephraim-Israelites. If the role of Levi in Israel has disappeared when the sacrifices were suspended in 70 CE, then these scriptures in an eschatological setting make no sense.
In Zechariah 13:7 we see three parts of Israel being restored. The comeliness or beautiful original position of the House of David all 12 tribes, the inhabitants of Jerusalem (the Levites) and the House of Judah only two tribes, (Benjamin and Levi) all will have EQUALITY, PERPETUITY, MULTIPLICITY and comeliness. This comeliness, (Messiah’s saving grace) is seen in both houses and the House of Levi or in essence all three houses of Israel, until the millennium when all three houses become greater Israel restored.
THE LEVITES CURRENT CALLING
Today the Levites role is one of prophecy, teaching, instruction, and calling both houses home to Messiah and Torah. Today and for eternity, the Levites will function under the covering and auspices of HaAdon Yahshua and the greater Melchezedekian order. Both the Levitical and the Melchezedekian order are said to be eternal, (Psalm 110:4) with the lesser, the Levitical, being fully subservient or under that of the Prince Messiah, according to Ezekiel chapters 43-48. To understand the eternal covenant of Levi, we must understand the Hebraic principal of stacking. That principle teaches that the greater revelation never negates the lesser revelation but does add or does renews it. Thus in biblical exegesis, all covenants are valid and are stacked upon each other, for further revelation. Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little. So while the Levitical priesthood will always be subject to Messiah and His instructions and His Melchezedeckian order, it nonetheless will function in its unique millennial role, (sacrificial) even as it does today, (teaching role) ever so hidden in Israel’s restoration. Clear Scriptures such as Ezekiel 43:19, 27, 44:15-16, 44:23-31, all outline the restored kingdom role of the Levites. In these and other scriptures in Ezekiel chapters 45-47, we see the Prince Messiah Yahshua, working in perfect harmony in the millennial temple conducting daily sacrifices with the assistance of the Levites, with the Messiah's blessings and instructions towards Levi, regarding mixing a proper heart attitude with the blood. The Messiah will be ruling, while the priests will be teaching the Prince's gospel, through the visual aids of the daily sacrificial rituals. So in the millennium, their roles work in perfect harmony with what the Prince Messiah is doing. Proclaiming that because of the gospel, Israel is restored and the message of the kingdom was to finally have the King dwelling in Israel’s very midst. Yahshua a High Priest after the order of Melchezedik, reminds Israel of the beautiful reality of having Yahuwah-Shamah, in the person of Yahshua, (Ezekiel 48:35) while the lesser yet still eternal Levitical priesthood reminds Israel of the glorious and painful journey traveled by the Messiah and His nation in times past, to finally have entered the kingdom. Both priesthoods are seen working in perfect harmony. One priesthood reminding us of the way to salvation, the other priesthood, reminding us that the redemption of man has been accomplished. Both priesthoods are eternal, both testify of the gospel, both working hand in hand, yet both in different roles. The two millennial priesthoods that will be working hand in glove, is a perfect portrait of the oneness of the Father and His beloved Son!
In Rev 7:7 we see 12,000 of the tribe of Levi, sealed to teach and preach during the tribulation. That is exactly what he is doing today, and we very well may mistakenly consider him a Judahite or an Ephraimite. They are in our midst. Make no mistake about it! They are teaching the gospel of the kingdom to Ephraim via Torah and to Judah via Messiah. Will, you stand up and honor and recognize your teachers, even when they may not recognize themselves? Their old mode or manner of ministry HAS IN FACT PASSED AWAY according to Hebrews chapters 7-9. But their seed has not and neither has their calling to be a voice of reason, righteousness, equity and Torah, in this restoration hour of Israel’s two-houses. They do not ask for your ministry, your inheritance and your land or even your approval. For Yahuwah ALONE is their inheritance and their exceeding great reward. They only ask for our ears and our hearts, as they help to direct this two-house restoration of our people Israel, away from the golden calf of our fathers and back to Mt. Horeb. Theirs is the cry found in Malachi 4:4; "Remember the Torah of Mosheh, my servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for ALL YISRAEL!"
Ezk 44:10-31 ministers a wonderful revelation of the priesthood order that the Ruach desires to be honored in the restoration movement of Israel's two houses. In this portion of Scripture it reveals that during the Messianic Millennial Reign, there will be two (2) groups of Levite priests working at the Temple:
Those Levitical priests that are descendants of Tsadok/Zadok through Aaron's son Elazar/Eliezer, will be allowed to minister in the sanctuary, will be allowed to come to the Master's table & minister to Him personally & perform His service.
But those Levitical priests who are descendants of those priests that participated in the sins of the priesthood during the monarchy period of Yisrael's history, will not be allowed to do the same, but will continue to bear those sins, and are given more menial duties of the Temple service to perform. Probably as a reminder that priesthood does not equal sainthood!