Prophet, Priest and King

By Francis Frangipane

The Anointing
We refer to our Lord as Jesus Christ, but His name, simply, was Jesus (or Yeshua in Hebrew).  The term Christ comes from the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for "Messiah," which meant "the Anointed One."  Thus, it would be perfectly accurate to call our Savior, "Jesus, the Anointed One."

But where does the phrase "Anointed One" come from and how does it apply to the Lord?  While anyone could anoint and refresh their head with oil (or anoint the dying for burial), only a special blend of spices and oils was used as "holy anointing oil," and then only in sacred ceremonies (see Ex 30:22-31).  It was copiously poured upon the consecrated individual, perhaps a liter or more flowing down upon his head, beard and garments (Ps. 133).  It was an obvious outpouring of oil, not merely a dab on the forehead as might accompany our use of anointing oil today.  It was done with solemn prayer and reverence, for it was through this ritual of anointing that Israel's prophets, priests and kings were identified and then dedicated to God.  

The act of anointing a chosen leader with oil was a ritual pregnant with the hope of divine fulfillment.  Indeed, it was a foreshadowing of the ultimate prophet, priest and king to be unveiled in the ministry of the Messiah.  His anointing would not be with oil, but with the reality the oil symbolized:  the "Holy Spirit and . . . power" (Acts 10:38; see Luke 4). 

The Priest and Prophet
Throughout the Old Testament, only prophets, priests and kings received the rite of holy anointing.  Likewise, for all the diversity we see in Jesus' ministry, everything He accomplished was rooted in the soil of His prophetic, priestly and kingly roles. 

Now, it is vital we understand the anointing upon God's Son, for in seeing Him we peer into the destiny of the church. For the ascendant ministry of Jesus, the Anointed One, continues, even as the Holy Spirit transfers the fullness of Christ, as He is in heaven, into His people on earth.  In other words, all that the Messiah was as prophet, priest and king is still alive and is still being released into our world through His true church.  "For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace" (Jn 1:16).  This means God desires that His church - the body of the Anointed One -  would manifest in the earth in three distinct, yet interconnected, ministries: that of Christ the prophet, priest and king. 

The priestly ministry of the Lord is one of intercession and redemptive sacrifice.  The Messiah, as our great "High Priest" (Heb 3:1), rendered Himself as our "guilt offering" (Isa 53:10); He is the "Lamb standing, as if slain" before the throne of God (Rev 5:6). Yet, because we are created in His image, we also carry His priestly role of intercession.  We become His living house, which is "a house of prayer."  He calls us to be a "kingdom [of] priests" and a "royal priesthood" (Rev 1:6; I Pet 2:9). 

As priests, we offer the sacrifice of His Son's death, both for our sins and also for the world around us.  The Messiah is our great High Priest living in heaven; the church reveals the intercessions of the Anointed One on earth.  It is the same anointing.  The ministry of the priest has been fulfilled by Jesus, and embraced and followed by us. 

Jesus was also God's prophet, and more: He was the Word of God made flesh (Jn 1:14).  The Messiah understood God's word, not merely in its skeletal form of doctrines, but as the union of the Father's living consciousness with Jesus" own thought-life.  Thus, the Messiah viewed life on earth as God would perceive it.  Jesus" prophetic perception x-rayed into the secrets of men's hearts. At the same time, He saw into, and understood, the deep mysteries of God's heart. 

His prophetic nature enabled Him to stand beyond the boundaries of time and pierce the enigma of ages past as well as herald the wonders of times still to come.  Yet, as His priestly ministry is extended to His church, so His prophetic ministry is imparted to us as well.  As it is written, He gave "some as prophets" who, though imperfect, also burn with the flaming sword of God's word (Eph. 4:11; Lk 11:49;1 Cor. 14; Rev 11).    

But Kings?
The church is learning, in varying degrees, how to serve Christ"s priestly and prophetic ministry.  Yet His "kingly" or governmental authority, outside of church proper, has not been accepted by many Christians.  The idea of being granted such authority - of seeking to serve God in positions of political influence - has been deferred either to the Millennium or it has been outright scorned as heretical, 'kingdom now' theology.  Yet, we have never suggested that "the world must be conquered by Christians before Jesus can return," which is "kingdom now" theology.  Nor are we trying to reduce the spiritual reality of the church to a political entity.  Our quest is not to see the church become political, but the political become spiritual, where the integrity, wisdom and justice of Christ Himself manifest in secular leadership. 

For those of us who say Christ's kingly anointing is reserved only for the age to come, let me remind you Christ is king right now and our call is to grow up 'in all aspects' unto Him who is  our head (Eph. 4:15).  Right now, Jesus is seated as king on God's throne; He has received 'all authority . . . in heaven and on earth" (Matt 28:18).  We are specifically told: "As He is, so also are we in this world" (1 John 4:17; see also Eph 1:18-23, Rev 17:14).  These are "present tense" promises, not only Millennial.  We must, therefore, measure the stature of the church by the dimensions of Christ: Is Jesus prophet, priest and king right now in heaven?  Absolutely!  Then it is God's will that He should be revealed as prophet, priest and king on earth through the church.  This is the very thing we ask each time we pray: "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven!" 

All that Christ is in heaven will, in varying measures, be manifested in the true church before Jesus returns.  Will there be a greater fulfillment in the age to come? Of course.  But, dear one, even as He has emerged in the church as priest and prophet, so there must also be some fulfillment of governmental authority in this present age as well. 

You see, what our Father desires to reveal through the church is not about us; it is about the manifest destiny of Jesus His Son.  Just as some of us are called to reveal Christ the intercessor and others are sent by God to manifest the life of Christ the prophet, so the unveiling of Christ's governmental authority shall come forth in chosen leaders at the end of the age.   

Our Goal: National Transformation

People argue, "If God is going to bring revival, He will do it through the church."  Of course He will, but who says that the church cannot raise up men and women of integrity, honor and wisdom and support them in their call to serve God in secular leadership?  Indeed, if Christians are in government, and we live in a nation where the priestly and prophetic role of the church is unfolding, we must recognize the potential for God to use imperfect people to reveal the threefold anointing of Christ.  Where we see Christian political leaders, even those who have made mistakes, let us come alongside them in intercessory prayer and the voice of the prophetic and take faith for God to use them still.

Imagine the heavenly potential that is possible when, instead of dividing because of differences, the church honors the intercessory, prophetic and kingly nature of Christ.  Imagine when these three streams of anointing converge and, in unity, serve God to bring justice, mercy and healing to their cultures! 

We think of revival as something where people flop or hop, cry or run or dance as they experience an ecstatic, emotional release - and all that is fine.  But personal revival is only the first step toward transforming a nation.  We need godly people to serve in elected office.  Indeed, there never was a revival in the Old Testament that did not come through the authority of the secular leader, the king!  

Thus, we must have long-term plans, especially in democracies where officials are elected.  We must recognize and cultivate the "kingly anointing," even when these future leaders are yet children.  Again, when I speak of the kingly anointing, I am speaking of the principle of godly rule.  Elected leaders must know how to govern with justice and pass laws with integrity.  A president or governor cannot think of themself as a king, but he or she must rule with the humility, character and wisdom of Christ (see Lk 22:25-26).

Each of us carries, in a certain measure, the Messiah's anointing as prophet, priest and king within us.  As we mature and deepen in our conformity to Christ, all three unveilings will be manifest through us in varying levels.  But for most, there is a primary call that identifies our main strength. The naturalness we find in intercessory prayer indicates God is using us in the priestly role. The ease in unearthing revelatory truths from the Scriptures and the sense of clarity in discernment are evidences that your call is prophetic.  The passion for justice, for divine order and righteous government indicates emerging in you is the anointing of Christ the king. 

Next week we will continue this theme. For now, let us identify those Christians who are currently serving in government or running for government, and let us pray for the unveiling of Christ in their lives.  They do not need to be perfect, only yielded.  They will make mistakes, but will make fewer errors as the other aspects of the Messiah's anointing come alongside in both prayer and prophetic guidance.

Would you recognize true Christianity? It is identified by one reality: people becoming Christlike in prayer, the prophetic word and in governmental authority (see Eph. 4:15).  Where the true church is growing in maturity, it will be united in the priestly, prophetic and kingly anointing of Christ.

Lord, we pray for all who are in public offices, especially those who call upon Your name. Lord, help us to see the union of the prophetic, priestly and kingly anointings as key to transforming our nations. Rule, O Lord, in the midst of Your enemies. In Jesus' name! Amen.