Functions of a King, Priest, Prophet, Messiah and Savior.


WakeUp Call Newsletter #251 

Functions of a Savior, Messiah, Priest, and Prophet 

From a UHC sermon by Charles J. Voss

  Note: Scriptures are blue.

I am sure you understand that in the latter days the Prophet will worship the Savior. Are you aware, in addition, that “the Messiah” will worship “the Savior”? Does that sound like a contradiction of terms? It may, but we clear up the apparent contradiction in this study. 

We will cover the meanings and functions of a Savior, Messiah, Priest, and Prophet. But, first, I will ask a question. What does a King, Priest, and Prophet have in common? All three are anointed to their office of responsibility. But what is anointing? 


The Aid to Bible Understanding by International Bible Students Association, Brooklyn, New York states: 

ANOINTING. The Bible indicates a difference between the common practice of rubbing the body with oil and the special anointing with oil of dedicated things and people. This distinction is maintained quite consistently by different original-language words, both in the Hebrew and in the Greek. Some versions of the Bible do not maintain this fine distinction but translate all such words by the one-term “anoint.” RUBBING OR GREASING WITH OIL In the lands of the Near East, it was a common practice to rub oil on the body, and, among other things, this helped to protect the exposed portions from the intense rays of the sun. The oil also helped to keep the skin supple. Olive oil was generally used and often perfume was added to it. The customary practice was to apply the oil after bathing. Esther underwent a course of six months’ massage treatment with oil of myrrh and six months with oil of balsam before being presented in the presence of King Ahaęsue-rus (Esther 2:12). 

An example of rubbing with oil is Ruth’s preparation to meet Boaz. 

Ruth 3:1-31 Then Naomi, her mother-in-law, said to her, "My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 

 1 Unless noted all Scripture is from the NKJV and all emphasis is mine. In both cases (Ester and Ruth) the English word “anoint” comes from the Hebrew word “cuwk” (sook) #H5480 in Strong’s which states “is a primary root word and means to smear over with oil.” 

  The Aid for Bible Understanding states “Greasing the head with oil was a sign of favor”: 

  Ps 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. 

The English word “anointed” in this case comes from the Hebrew word “dashen” (daw-shane') #H1878 in Strong’s which states “is a primary root word and means to be fat” or well cared for.  The Aid for Bible Understanding states: 

The headmen of Ephraim took favorable action toward the captured Judaean soldiers by greasing them and returning them to Jericho, as advised by the prophet Oded (2 Chronicles 28:15). Elohim spoke of bringing about a lack of oil for rubbing as a sign of his displeasure (Deuterobony 28:40). To refrain from rubbing one’s body with oil was regarded as a sign of mourning (2 Samuel 14:2). Special Anointing The Bible often uses the Hebrew sukh (sook) for the commonplace rubbing on of oil. But for a special anointing with oil, it generally uses the Hebrew word ma-shahhę (maw-shakh'), from which the word ma-shi’ahh (Messiah”) comes. The term is used in the Bible almost exclusively  concerning being anointed with oil in a sacred or ceremonial way. 

When a person was anointed with oil, the oil was put on his head and allowed to run down on his beard and onto the collar of his garments (Psalm 133:2). ...This constituted the confirmation of their official appointment to office (Judges 9:8,15). Samuel anointed Saul as king after Elohim had designated Saul as His choice (1 Samuel 10:1). David was anointed as king by Samuel, later by the men of Judah and finally by all the tribes (1 Samuel 16:13; 2 Samuel 2:4; 5:3) Aaron was anointed after his appointment to the office of high priest (Lev 8:12). Afterward, Aaron and his sons had some of the anointing oil along with the blood of the sacrifices spattered upon their garments, but Aaron was the only one who had the oil poured over his head (Leviticus 8:30). 

Things dedicated as sacred were also anointed. Jacob took the stone on which he rested his head when he had an inspired dream, set it up as a pillar and anointed it, thus marking that place as sacred, and he called the place Bethel, meaning “House of Elohim” (Genesis 28:18,19). A short time later Elohim acknowledged this stone as having been anointed (Genesis 31:13). In the wilderness of Sinai, Moses anointed, at Elohim’s command, the tabernacle and its furnishings, indicating that they were dedicated holy things (Exodus 30:26-28). 

There are instances, in which a person was regarded as being anointed because of being appointed by Elohim, although no oil was put on his head. A case in point is the Persian king Cyrus, who had been foretold by Isaiah as being one whom Elohim would use as his anointed (Isaiah 45:1). Cyrus was not actually anointed with oil by one of Elohim’s representatives, but he was appointed. 

Three Positions Are Anointed

To understand the subject of “Savior, Messiah, Priest, and Prophet”; it is important to fully understand “anointing.” So far, we have been told that kings, priests, and prophets were “anointed” by pouring olive over their head, which appointed them for a special duty. To that point Unger’s Dictionary states: Coronation. It was a custom among the Jews to anoint with oil those set apart as kings. ...The anointing with oil was a symbol of endowment with the Spirit of ETERNAL (I Samuel 10:1,6; 16:13; Isaiah 61:1) for the duties of the office to which a person was consecrated by anointing (Leviticus 8). 

We will follow up on who else is anointed, they are given in the following order Priests, Prophets and Kings: 

1) Priests - Exodus 28: 41 "So you [Moses} shall put them on Aaron your brother and on his sons with him. You shall anoint them, consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister to Me as priests. 

2) Prophets - 1 Kings 19:15-16 Then ETERNAL said to him [Elijah]: "Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. Also, you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. 

3) Kings, Saul - 1 Samuel 15:1 Samuel also said to Saul, "ETERNAL sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the Words of ETERNAL.” 

  Kings, David- 1 Sam 12:7 Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Thus says ETERNAL SOVEREIGN of Israel: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.’” 

  Kings, Solomon - 1 Kings 1:45-46 “So Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him [Solomon] king at Gihon; ...Also Solomon sits on the throne of the kingdom. 

Kings were “anointed” and remember the Hebrew for anointing is “ma-shahhę (maw-shakh') from which the word ma-shięahh (‘Mashiach or Messiah’) comes.” When an anointed individual is referred to, the word “ma-shięahh (Mashiach) is used, which is translated into English as “Messiah.” Since the word Mashiach simply means anointed, then kings, priests, and prophets can all be called Mashiach (Messiahs). ETERNAL watches over His Mashiachs (Messiahs): 

1 Chronicles 16:21-22 (NKJV) He permitted no man to do them wrong; Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes, Saying, "Do not touch My anointed ones (My Mashiachs), And do My prophets no harm." 

An interesting occurrence appears in the thirty-eight verses containing the Hebrew word “ma-shahh’” (maw-shakh') in which various offices are referred to: 

In general: priests 5 times, kings 6 times, prophets 2 times and 

all offices together 1 time. 

A single king is referred to by office several times: Saul 8 times and David 10 times. Saul is never referred to as Mashiach by name, but his shield is referred to 1 time. 

There are two kings referred to as Mashiach specifically by name: Cyrus 1 time and David 4 times. In 7 of the verses referring to David, he is speaking and referring to himself, so in actuality David is named as Mashiach 11 times.

Thus, it becomes obvious whom Scripture names as the Mashiach and this person is King David, for example: 

2 Samuel 23:1-5 (Tanakh) These are the last words of David: The utterance of David son of Jesse. The utterance of the man “set on high” (FN-b “YHWH raised up”). The anointed of the SOVEREIGN of Jacob, the favorite of the “songs of” (FN-c Mighty One of Israel) Israel: The spirit of ETERNAL has spoken through me, His message is on my tongue; the SOVEREIGN of Israel has spoken, The Rock of Israel said concerning me: ‘He who rules men justly, he who rules in awe of CREATOR is like the light of morning at sunrise, a morning without clouds--through sunshine and rain [bringing] vegetation out of the earth.’ Is not my House established before CREATOR? For He has granted me an eternal pact, drawn up in full and secured. Will He not cause all my success and [my] every desire to blossom? 

Unger’s Dictionary adds: The anointing with oil was a symbol of endowment with the Spirit of ETERNAL. 

1 Samuel 16:1 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of ETERNAL came upon David from that day forward... 

If I were to tell you “my sister is president of her Homemakers Club, my father is president of his civic club, and my brother is president of his hunting club.” Then I say, “The President is coming to town.” You know immediately I am not speaking of any of my relatives; but I am speaking of President Bush. In addition you do not believe that George W. Bush is President of the United States, you know that his is. No one in the Hebrew Scriptures is called “HaMashiach” or “The Mashiach.” However, from the number of times King David is called Mashiach (or Anointed) it should be apparent he will be “The Mashiach”2 you can know that and not just believe it.
2 Request our booklet “New Proof of the Messiah.” 

Duties of the Anointed

We will now look at the duties and responsibilities of the classes of officials who were “anointed” or “ma-shahhę” (maw-shakhę) into their office. 

King. The English word “king” comes from the Hebrew word “melek” (Strong’s #H4427 mehę-lek) and it comes from the Hebrew word “malak” (Strong’s #H4427 maw-lakę) and means “ a king, to reign; to ascend the throne; to induct into royalty; hence (by implication) to take counsel. 

Webster’s Dictionary “a male ruler of a nation or state usually called a kingdom; male sovereign, limited or absolute; a monarch. 

American Heritage Dictionary (AHD) states that a monarch is “One who reigns over a state or territory, usually for life and by hereditary right, especially: a. A sole and absolute ruler; a sovereign, such as a king.

A Priest. The English word “priest” comes from the Hebrew word “kohen” (Strong’s #H3548 ko-haneę) and it comes from the Hebrew word “kahan” (Strong’s #H3547 kaw-hanę) and means “literally one officiating, to mediate in religious services; to officiate as a priest; figuratively to put on regalia of a priest.” 

AHD states “A person having the authority to perform and administer religious rites; and Webster’s adds “a person whose function is to make sacrificial offerings and perform other religious rites”

A Prophet. The English word “prophet” comes from the Hebrew word “nabiy'” (Strong’s #H5030 naw-beeę) and it comes from the Hebrew word “naba’” (Strong’s #H5012 naw-baw’) and means “a prophet or generally an inspired man; to prophesy, i.e. speak (or sing) by inspiration (in prediction or simple discourse). 

AHD states “A person who speaks by divine inspiration or as the interpreter through whom the will of a g-d is expressed. A person gifted with profound moral insight and exceptional powers of expression. A person who foretells future events by (or as if by) 3 supernatural means. 

Webster states “A prophet is person who speaks for G-d (or a god), 3 or (as though) 3 under divine guidance. A religious teacher or leader regarded as, or claiming to be, divinely inspired. A person who predicts future events in any way. 

  3 They are so many charlatans in the world, which has demeaned the meaning of a true prophet.

A Savior

Starting with meaning of the English word “savior,” it comes from the Hebrew word “yashaę” (Strong’s #H3467 yaw-shahę) and it is “a primary root meaning to be open, wide or free, i.e. (by implication) to be safe; causative to free or succor.4 The King James’ boys also translated it as avenging, defend, deliver (-er), help, preserve, rescue, be safe, bring (having) salvation, save (-iour), get victory. 

  4 Succor (AHD) to give help in time of want, difficulty, or distress. 

Here are the dictionary definitions: 

AHD states “A person who rescues another from harm, danger, or loss.” 

Webster’s gives the same definition “A person who saves ‘see save.’” 

• Webster also states the “theological definition of ‘save’ is ‘to cause deliverance from sin and its penalties.’” AHD “Etymology: The origin and historical development of a linguistic form as shown by determining its basic elements, earliest known use, and changes in form and meaning, tracing its transmission from one language to another, identifying its cognates in other languages, and reconstructing its ancestral form where possible.” 

First, notice that the position of “Savior” is not an appointed office, in that someone is “anointed” in the appointment. The offices of kings, priests, and prophets were appointed by and ordained by our ETERNAL CREATOR Himself. These are jobs that human beings held in the past and will hold in the future. Remember that the English word “anointed” is translated from the Hebrew word “mashiach.” 

We have seen that “HaMashiach” or “the Mashiach” will be the ancient psalmist, King David. He will be resurrected to fill the office of “mashiach.” But note; he is not a savior and especially not “the Savior.” He was a physical human being that will stand from the grave to fulfill that office. The same goes for the Prophet Elijah who will stand from the grave as a prophet and priest. These are appointed offices staffed by human beings who did anciently did worship “the Savior.” In addition, after they stand from the grave they will again worship “the Savior” in the future. 

The Question is, Who Is “The Savior”? 

To answer that question, let us first ask, and answer another question, “Who is sin against”? King David can answer that: 

Psalms 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O SOVEREIGN, According to Your loving kindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight; that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge. Only the one that is sinned against can forgive the sin. 

For example if Joe steals Bob’s dog, then Jack can not forgive the Bob’s, against Joe. Only Joe can forgive Bob of stealing his dog. Likewise, sins against our ETERNAL SOVEREIGN can only be forgiven by ETERNAL Himself. 

Do you see a pattern emerging? Our sin (disobedience by breaking the Commandments, Statutes, or Judgements) is only against our CREATOR. In addition, He is the one who forgives, washes us clean, and forgives. Is any sin to great for ETERNAL to forgive? We will let Him answer that: 

Isaiah 1:18-20 “Come now, and let us reason together," says ETERNAL, "though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword," for the mouth of ETERNAL has spoken. 

To get into the question further notice what Unger’s Bible Dictionary states for Savior: 

Notice what Zephaniah, one of the prophets states: 

Zephaniah 3:15-17 (TLB). For ETERNAL will remove his hand of judgment and disperse the armies of your enemy. And ETERNAL Himself, the King of Israel, will live among you! At last, your troubles will be over--you need fear no more. On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be, "Cheer up, don't be afraid. For ETERNAL, your SOVEREIGN has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will give you victory. He will rejoice over you with great gladness; he will love you and not accuse you." Is that a joyous choir I hear? No, it is ETERNAL Himself, exulting over you in happy song. 

We have seen that King David stands from his grave, as Mashiach (Messiah) and will worship the Savior. In addition, the Prophet will also worship the Savior. The next statement, if you understand it, will ring clear as a bell. 

At the time of the third Temple, in the later days, “the Messiah” (King David) will worship “the Savior” (YHWH, our ETERNAL SOVEREIGN, the Mighty One of Jacob). 

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"I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire, yet you have not returned to Me," declares ETERNAL. "Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel, and because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your SOVEREIGN, O Israel." Amos 4:11-12 (NIV)