Some years ago at the Feast of Tabernacles in Athens, Tennessee, a local preacher who had heard about our meetings approached me and asked if it was true that I practiced the Law of Moses. I replied that it was true. He then asked if I practiced the sacrificial laws.
Perceiving that he meant the animal sacrifices associated with the Old Testament rituals, I ask the preacherman if he practiced the Levitical Priesthood in Tennessee. He emphatically denied that he did any such thing, and proceeded to preach me a fire-and-brimstone sermon about Christ crucified, and how Jesus did away with the Law of Moses.
Seeing that the man was a Christian in distress over doctrine, I apologized for my outrageous suggestion the he might be a practitioner of the sacrificial system of the State of Tennessee, explaining that I had heard that the people of Tennessee practiced the Levitical Priesthood, with sacrifices and heave offerings under another name, calling it “The Judicial System”. As he stared at me as if I had just landed in a spaceship from Mars, I asked him if Tennessee had any State Highway Patrol officers. He admitted that they did. I then asked if they had Police, Lawyers, Judges, Courts, Courthouses, Court Rooms with Bars and Benches, and Fines for Criminal activities. Once again he admitted that the County where he lived, and the rest of Tennessee, did have all these things and that they do make up the Judicial System. I told him that since I was from out of State and had only heard that the people of Tennessee were a religious lot, I wanted to be sure that they had the same system that I had back home. Once more he gave me that strange look, and asked how in the world is the Judicial System religious? So I related the following story to him.
Suppose you drive down the road at 100 mph and the policeman, ever vigilant and looking for crimes, sees you and roars off in hot pursuit. When he catches up to you he asks for your drivers’ license, and notes that it does not give you permission to drive 100 mph. He also smells alcohol and sees an open container of liquor in you car. You fail a breathalyzer test.
He then arrests you and takes you to the nearest jail from where you are brought before the Judge who is sitting on the Bench behind the Bar in the Courtroom which is in the Courthouse. You are stood beside your Lawyer who is before the Bench and in front of the Bar to enter a plea of guilty, which makes you a Criminal. The Judge gives you a Fine to pay, and assesses Court Costs. If you do not like this, you can appeal to a Higher Court. This is called the Judicial System, or Civil Service.
In Old Testament times this system was called the Levitical Priesthood, and worked in the same way that our Judicial System does. The Policeman of today is the High Priest’s servant who is constantly looking for sin (crime). Sin is the transgression of the Law (1John 3:4). When the High Priest’s servant uncovers your Sin, he arrests you and puts you in the Jail in the Courthouse. Old Courthouses are designed like a Temple and always sat in the town square(in many small towns this arrangement is still the custom), where the High Priest conducts the Temple sacrifices in the Holy Place called the Courtroom today. You, of course, will recognize the High Priest by his long black robe, and you always rise in respect whenever he enters or leaves the Courtroom. The High Priest(Judge) sits behind the Altar (Bench) which is behind the Veil to the Holy Place (Bar). To pass this Veil, and to approach the High Priest requires an Intercessor (Lawyer) who will help you in your prayer (Plea) to the High Priest about your Sin (Crime).
When you plead that you are guilty of this Sin, you become a Sinner (Criminal). The High Priest then imposes a sacrifice of one ram of the first year, which is called a Sin Offering (Fine). He also imposes a Heave Offering (Court Costs) of two turtle doves. If you think you got a raw deal, you can go to Moses through the Aaronic Priesthood in the Holy of Holies (appealing to a Higher Court). This system of law and sacrifice is called the Levitical Priesthood, better known today as the Civil Service, or the Judicial System.
Tennessee is a Sovereign. A Sovereign makes Law. A Lawmaker is god. To violate this Law is Sin. Sin requires a sacrifice as a matter of Law, whether it’s Civil Law or Criminal Law. People who practice the religion of the United States make sacrifices to their god, either voluntarily or involuntarily. As it is written: "Whosoever commits sin (crime) transgresses also the law: for sin (crime) is the transgression of the law." 1 John 3:4. The difference is: Man's law is "legal and illegal" while God's Law is Right and Wrong.
* The Policeman is the High Priest’s servant
* Crime is Sin
* Going to Jail is being put in the Ward of the Temple
* The Courthouse is the Temple
* The Courtroom is the Holy Place
* The Judge is the High Priest
* The Bench is the Altar
* The Bar is the Veil
* The Lawyer is the Intercessor
* The Plea is the Prayer
* Being guilty of the Crime is being guilty of the Sin
* A Criminal is a Sinner
* The Fine is the Sin Offering
* The Court Costs are the Heave Offerings
* The Higher Court is the Holy of Holies
* The Judicial System is patterned after the Levitical Priesthood
So, I closed by chiding this Christian preacher a little, reminding him that Christians are the “People of the Book”, and that we all practice the sacrificial system of the Levitical Priesthood every time we go into a Courtroom. I also pointed out that although the Judicial System is patterned after the Levitical Priesthood, it is the dead letter of the Law. Christians are under the Melchizedek Order, the living spirit of the Law. Hebrews 4:14-16 and 5:1-10. Jesus took away the penalty of the Law, not the Law itself.
With the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D., the old Levitical priesthood with animal sacrifices was destroyed, never to return. God is our Sovereign and Law giver. Jesus is our High Priest (1 John 2:1-6). A servant obeys his master because he has to... a son obeys his Father because he wants to.
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13