Christ is the Head of the Church, and he must express his love to his household in the amount and manner that Christ loved the Church. How is Christ the Head of the Church? He expresses His headship or authority over the Church through the offices of Priest, Prophet, and King. How does Christ serve and express His love for the Church? He loves and serves the Church by performing the duties associated with these roles. As I studied the Word, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and I began to understand the position that God has assigned to us. I saw a pattern for spiritual leadership established first in ancient Israel, then perfected in Christ, and finally given to us as a model of leadership within the household. When I understood my position and how to apply my roles, the battle between the urgent and the important suddenly shifted in my favor. While we are familiar with Jesus’ use of simple parables to teach deep meaning, Our Father’s use of symbols is evident as He progressively revealed Himself to humanity through the offices of Priest, Prophet, and King. These ancient offices provide meaning and understanding beyond their original application. Each is rich in symbolism preceding the perfect revelation provided in Christ. Nevertheless, the representation does not stop there; the Father extends the same leadership pattern to the husband as head of the household. The Father developed the formal priesthood in ancient Israel to draw His people close to Himself. The priest brought an awareness of sin, and called the people to repentance. Through ceremonial cleansing, the priest was able to draw near and offer sacrifices to God. A priest shedding the blood of a lamb for the atonement of sin had contemporary significance in ancient Israel, but he is also a type of Christ, our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14), shedding His blood for our sins. He died to draw us to Himself (John 12:32). A father, as priest to his family, must be cleansed from sin and draw close to God. He must bring awareness of sin to his household and lead them into repentance. He must draw his family to the Father in an environment where they acknowledge Him in the everyday operation of the home. When Israel became enamored with religion rather than the Father, He raised up prophets to bring life to their empty routine. They walked boldly, warned of danger, and brought application to God’s message. The prophets of old revealed the Father through their words, but Christ as the Word in flesh (John 1:14) perfectly revealed Him. “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?” (John 14:9b-10a). Jesus brought us out of the law and into a relationship with the Father. A husband, as prophet to his household, must bring his family out of religion and into a vital relationship with the Father. He must be a man of prayer. He must watch for evil, confront sin, and move the Word off from the page and into application within his home. Following revitalization by the prophets, Israel was prepared to pursue her mission. God raised up kings who trained warriors for battle, engaged the enemy, and defended the
kingdom. David was perhaps the pinnacle of earthly leadership, but he is also a type of Christ as King (John 18:36-37). He equips us and goes before us in battle as we fulfill His mission. A husband, as king to his household, raises up a standing army of warriors for Christ. He trains his family in righteousness. He unifies his household as a unit and leads them in battle. He knows his mission and defends it to death. The Father has provided a perfect job description and model for us as the head of our household, but we must lovingly apply the headship and love modeled by Christ to the Church. The roles are huge, and we have much to learn. Nevertheless, when we understand how Jesus leads and loves the Church, we have a model to follow and an agenda to fill. This book is devoted to communicating the roles of priest, prophet, and king, and explaining how to apply them within your household. This is not an exercise in intellectual gymnastics. While I studied intensely for over one year to understand the roles of priest, prophet, and king, I will spend the rest of my life applying these principles within my household. I am far from perfect, but I now have a perfect model to pursue. After more than twenty years of marriage, I now know that I am heading in the right direction. I, along with many men, have blown it as a godly leader for my family. Although I am physically present in my home, many times I have forsaken my responsibilities out of ignorance, fear, or indifference. When I have assumed leadership, I too often have modeled the world’s distorted view of leadership as privilege and position, rather than the biblical view of duty and responsibility. My wife and children rightly resist treatment as an inferior species. Being lords over our families clearly is not God’s design or intent for leadership within our homes. We must have a biblical understanding of authority if we are to exercise leadership as the Father intends. Shalom, Apostle Gary Carter, Jr.