It is interesting to note that Jesus Christ, in his illustration of the good Samaritan, made the difference between a "Levite" and a "Priest" (Luke 10: 31,32 "Now by coincidence a priest was going down on that road (...) Likewise, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him"). In a simple answer, it can be said that every priest was a Levite,
but not all Levites were priests. The tribe of Levi consisted of three great families from the three sons of Levi (Genesis 46:11 "Gershon, Kohath, and Merari"). In the great family of the Kohatites, Jehovah chose only one family or "house" to be a priestly
lineage: the house of Aaron (part of the Kohatite family): "You are to summon from the Israelites your brother Aaron, along with his sons, so that he may serve as priest to me" (Exodus 28: 1).
The difference is easy to understand, the tribe of Levi as a whole was not priestly, but only a tiny part of this tribe, the house of Aaron and his sons were part of the Levitical Priesthood (Hebrews 7:11 "Levitical priesthood"). And to better understand
the difference, Jehovah God had decreed that the entire tribe of Levi would be "given" to the house of Aaron and his sons, as servants of the priests: "Bring the tribe of Leʹvi forward, and stand them before Aaron the priest, and they will minister to him"
(Numbers 3: 6). As the apostle Paul wrote under inspiration, these divine dispositions are going to have a fulfillment in earthly paradise: "For since the Law has a shadow of the good things to come, but not the very substance of the things" (Hebrews 10 :
1). And the prophecy of Ezekiel 40-48 confirms this by mentioning the future existence of a priestly class, the sons of Zadok, served by future sons of Levi. Who will be the future sons of Levi? It is the book of Revelation that clearly answers this question
by the vision of the great crowd that will come out the great tribulation: "I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues (…) they are rendering him sacred service day and night
in his temple” (Revelation 7:9-17).
In the ancient Israel, the Priests and Levites were serving in the Temple: According Revelation, the great crowd will be the group of sons of
Levi, from whom will be anointed the "sons of Zadok" and the non-priestly Levites (Numbers 3: 5-10). These "sons of Levi" owe their salvation
through the "blood of the Lamb", Jesus Christ. As a "first-born" group of the future humanity, in the earthly paradise, Jehovah will use them in the spiritual temple for sacred service.
“But the Levites who strayed far from me when Israel strayed from me to follow their disgusting idols will bear the consequences of their error”
The logical question is, why, in Ezekiel 44:10, there is the mention of Jehovah God regarding their spiritual infidelity, while He made them to come out of the Great
Tribulation? The answer is in the prophecy of Zechariah 13: 8: “And in all the land,” declares Jehovah, “Two parts in it will be cut off and perish; And the third part will be left remaining in it””. In the context of this prophecy,
regarding Jehovah's Day, the great tribulation, Jehovah announces that he will have mercy on one-third of humanity, in fulfillment of what is written in Exodus 33:19: “I will favor the one whom I favor, and I will show mercy to the one to whom I show
mercy”. Therefore, it is obvious that Jehovah God's reproaches to a large part of the great crowd, as "sons of Levi" (which will
represent an important part of the present humankind), will be fully justified:
“But the Levites who strayed far from me when Israel strayed from me to follow their disgusting
idols will bear the consequences of their error. And they will become ministers in my sanctuary to oversee the gates of the temple and to minister at the temple. They will slaughter the whole burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they will stand
before the people to minister to them. Because they ministered to them before their disgusting idols and became a stumbling block causing the house of Israel to sin, that is why I have raised my hand against them in an oath,’ declares the Sovereign Lord
Jehovah, ‘and they will bear the consequences of their error. They will not approach me to serve as my priests or approach any of my holy or most holy things, and they will bear their shame because of the detestable things that they did. But I will make
them caretakers of the responsibilities of the temple, to take care of its service and all the things that should be done in it” (Ezekiel 44:10-14).
Jehovah's mercy to this part
of humanity who will have survived the Great Tribulation, based on the atonement value of the blood of Christ,
will have a price: “And they will become ministers in my sanctuary to oversee the gates of the temple and to minister at the temple”. They will be permanently in the sacred service of the temple under the leadership of the sons of Zadok. Moreover,
they will not inherit a territorial lot, like the future earthly resurrected ones: they will live in a city with a territory around it (Ezekiel 45: 5). If, of course, in the earthly paradise there will be no more animal sacrifices, by decryption of the symbolism
of Ezekiel 44: 10-14, we can understand the precise spiritual mission of the sons of Levi, the future members of the great crowd.