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15 “However, the Levitical priests of the family of Zadok continued to minister faithfully in the Temple when Israel abandoned me for idols. These men will serve as my ministers. They will stand in my presence and offer the fat and blood of the sacrifices, says the Sovereign Lord.

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11 This area is set aside for the ordained priests, the descendants of Zadok who served me faithfully and did not go astray with the people of Israel and the rest of the Levites.

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You have brought uncircumcised foreigners into my sanctuary—people who have no heart for God. In this way, you defiled my Temple even as you offered me my food, the fat and blood of sacrifices. In addition to all your other detestable sins, you have broken my covenant.

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19 At that time, the Levitical priests of the family of Zadok, who minister before me, are to be given a young bull for a sin offering, says the Sovereign Lord.

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46 The room beside the south inner gate is for the priests in charge of the altar—the descendants of Zadok—for they alone of all the Levites may approach the Lord to minister to him.”

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Cleansing for the High Priest

Then the angel showed me Jeshua[a] the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord. The Accuser, Satan,[b] was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua. And the Lord said to Satan, “I, the Lord, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.”

Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.”

Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the Lord stood by.

Then the angel of the Lord spoke very solemnly to Jeshua and said, “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.

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Footnotes

  1. 3:1a Hebrew Joshua, a variant spelling of Jeshua; also in 3:3, 4, 6, 8, 9.
  2. 3:1b Hebrew The satan; similarly in 3:2.

At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, and to stand before the Lord as his ministers, and to pronounce blessings in his name. These are their duties to this day.

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The purpose of this rule is to stop the Israelites from sacrificing animals in the open fields. It will ensure that they bring their sacrifices to the priest at the entrance of the Tabernacle, so he can present them to the Lord as peace offerings. Then the priest will be able to splatter the blood against the Lord’s altar at the entrance of the Tabernacle, and he will burn the fat as a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

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16 and the priest will burn them on the altar. It is a special gift of food, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. All the fat belongs to the Lord.

17 “You must never eat any fat or blood. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation, wherever you live.”

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22 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”

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The Message to the Church in Laodicea

14 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning[a] of God’s new creation:

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Footnotes

  1. 3:14 Or the ruler, or the source.

The Message to the Church in Philadelphia

“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Philadelphia.

This is the message from the one who is holy and true,
    the one who has the key of David.
What he opens, no one can close;
    and what he closes, no one can open:[a]

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Footnotes

  1. 3:7 Isa 22:22.

The Message to the Church in Sardis

“Write this letter to the angel[a] of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit[b] of God and the seven stars:

“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead.

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Footnotes

  1. 3:1a Or the messenger; also in 3:7, 14.
  2. 3:1b Greek the seven spirits.

The Message to the Church in Thyatira

18 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze:

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The Message to the Church in Pergamum

12 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum. This is the message from the one with the sharp two-edged sword:

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The Message to the Church in Smyrna

“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Smyrna. This is the message from the one who is the First and the Last, who was dead but is now alive:

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The Message to the Church in Ephesus

“Write this letter to the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands:

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Footnotes

  1. 2:1 Or the messenger; also in 2:8, 12, 18.

You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.

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He must not be a heavy drinker[a] or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?

A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.[b] Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.

In the same way, deacons must be well respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers or dishonest with money. They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience. 10 Before they are appointed as deacons, let them be closely examined. If they pass the test, then let them serve as deacons.

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Footnotes

  1. 3:3 Greek must not drink too much wine; similarly in 3:8.
  2. 3:6 Or he might fall into the same judgment as the devil.

10 And the men of the tribe of Levi who abandoned me when Israel strayed away from me to worship idols[a] must bear the consequences of their unfaithfulness.

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Footnotes

  1. 44:10 The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung; also in 44:12.

18 And there will always be Levitical priests to offer burnt offerings and grain offerings and sacrifices to me.”

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35 Then the king appointed Benaiah to command the army in place of Joab, and he installed Zadok the priest to take the place of Abiathar.

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