Melchisedec

Melchisedec

 

 

Who is Melchisedec? This is another controversial subject. In the Old Testament, He is mentioned in 2 places: Genesis 14:18-20 and Psalm 110:4. In the Old Testament, MelchiZedeK is spelled with a Z and a K and in the New Testament it is spelled with an S and a C. Any time I mention MelchiSedeC, I will use the New Testament spelling. Melchisedec is mentioned for the first time in Genesis 14:18 where He is called King of Salem and Priest of the Most High God. Most commentators say that He was a physical king and that Salem was a city, (also called Jerusalem). For one thing, Jerusalem is never mentioned, so I am eliminating that. In that area there was no city called Salem either. I have a problem considering Salem as a city. In Hebrews 7:2, Melchisedec is, (by interpretation), King of Righteousness and after that King of Salem, which is ‘King of Peace’. Righteousness is purity of heart and is a way of living. As King of Righteousness, He has nothing to do with a city. Peace is an inner tranquility. As King of Peace, He has nothing to do with a city. Those meanings have nothing to do with a physical city. They are spiritual meanings. The bible does not speak of a person or thing in the physical sense and the spiritual sense in the same verse, unless it mentions physical and spiritual beforehand. If you look at Nicodemus in John 3, you will see what I mean. In John 3:3, Jesus tells him that, “to see the kingdom of God he must be born again”, (spiritual). In verse 4, Nicodemus answers Him with, “how can a man when he is old enter into his mother’s womb a second time” (physical)? In verse 5, Jesus answers, “except a man be born of water, (physical), and of the Spirit, (spiritual), he cannot be born again”. All babies are carried in their mother’s womb in water and when the water sac is broken, the baby usually follows closely thereafter. That’s why I say the water is physical. So you see that both physical and spiritual are mentioned prior to them being mentioned in the same verse. Then in verse 6, Jesus says that what is born of flesh is flesh, (physical), and of the Spirit is Spirit, (spiritual). Getting back to Genesis 14:18, commentators want to use, “brought forth bread and wine” as being a sacrifice to God. I don’t know why they think that, because Jesus did the same thing in John 21:3-9. Peter and others had been fishing all night and had caught nothing. Jesus appeared on the shore and told them to drop the net on the other side. John recognized Jesus and they all came ashore and they seen a fire of coals with fish thereon and bread. Jesus wasn’t offering any sacrifice. He was just giving them nourishment. That’s all Melchisedec was doing. In Genesis 14:18, Melchisedec is also called the Priest of the Most High God. In verse 19, Melchisedec blessed Abraham. Hebrews 7:7 tells us that, ‘the less is always blessed of the greater’. So Melchisedec is greater than Abraham who was the friend of God. In Genesis 14:20, Abraham also gives tithes to Melchisedec. The only other place in the Old Testament that Melchisedec is mentioned by name is in Psalm 110:4 and the word there, is that God had sworn and would not change His mind that Jesus is a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. I say Jesus because verse 1 in that Psalm is talking about Jesus.

The rest of our study will come out of Hebrews 5,6 &7. This is called the ‘doctrine of the High Priesthood of Christ’. At this time the Hebrew Christians were not familiar with the aspect of Christ being a High Priest. They could picture Him as a king but not as a High Priest because He came out of the tribe of Judah and not the tribe of Levi and the family of Aaron. In order to be a priest, you had to be a Levite from the house of Aaron. While on earth, Jesus never performed any priestly functions nor did anything to contradict the whole concept of the priesthood. In Hebrews 5:1-4, the writer talks about the High Priest taken from men of the family of Aaron who had infirmities or sins and had to offer sacrifices for themselves before they could offer them for the people. In verses 5-6, the writer says, ‘Christ never glorified Himself to be a High Priest’. But God who called Him ‘My only begotten Son’, also called Him a ‘Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec’. Verses 7-9 talk about Jesus in His walk on earth and the things that He had to learn. He had to go to the ‘school of hard knocks’ so that He could know physically all the trials and tribulations that we would go through in our lifetime and so that He could be a High Priest and be able to minister to us. You would have to say that this was a crash course because, in a 3-year span, He went through everything that takes us a lifetime to go through. Verse 9 talks about Him being made perfect. All that means is that through all the trials and suffering, He was made complete and He had completed everything that He had come to do. The more we grow in the Lord, the more perfect or complete we become. It’s maturity, not perfection. In verse 10, Jesus is called of God a ‘High Priest after the order of Melchisedec’. Why called? This is not just a name given Him of High Priest. His calling was to be a High Priest. To be a High Priest, He had to go through all the trials and suffering and go to the cross. There is a lot of talk about our calling as Christians and most of it has to do with works, like preaching, teaching, being an intercessor or whatever. The first calling of all Christians is not to DO but to BE. As Christians we are to be like Christ. To do that, we have to walk in His steps. Anything that happens to us as Christians that is unexpected like cancer, any other sickness, death of a loved one or anything else, is our calling. We are in the palm of God’s hand and nothing can touch us that He doesn’t allow. So, our calling is to be like Jesus. Jesus did the will of God in everything and we are to do the same. Many people are called to do various works and that is good, but if they are not called of God, they are powerless. So, our calling to begin with is to be in the image of Jesus. When we talk about Jesus Christ, ‘Christ’ is His title, which means Savior. He was the author of salvation. He was Jesus the Christ, but since His death on the cross, God added another name; ‘Jesus the High Priest’. Jesus has completed His work as Christ and has begun His work as High Priest. In verses 11-14, the writer tells the Hebrew Christians that the leaders of the church had many things to say to them about Jesus, but they could not, because they were dull of hearing (slow to understand). Hebrews was written around the year 65 A.D. That means that many of them had been Christians for around 30 years, but the leaders could not tell them of all the Oracles, (truths, sayings, especially those pointing to Jesus), of God because they were still babes in Christ. The bible is an ocean of knowledge about God and when we become saved, the Holy Spirit starts us off in a wading pool or shallow water to teach us. That is the milk of the word. The Holy Spirit does not take a babe in Christ and throw him or her into the ocean to sink or swim because they would drown. These Hebrews should not be babes; they are old enough in the Lord that they should be receiving the strong meat of the word and teaching others. Everybody is not a teacher, but the older Christians should be able to help the younger ones. However, if they are still on milk how can they get the younger ones off milk?

In chapter 6:9-20, the writer reminds the Hebrew Christians of all the tribulations that others had gone through before them. These Hebrew Christians were wondering why they were going through all the persecution that they were going through and the fact that Jesus had not come back for them. In verse 13, the writer reminds them of the promise that God made to Abraham. God swore, with an oath, by Himself, because there was no one greater. In verses 14-15, he reminds them of the patience and endurance of Abraham until he received that promise. In verse 17, the heirs of promise are the twelve tribes of Israel, the Hebrew nation. This promise is immutable, (permanent). In verse 18, the 2 immutable things are His word and His oath. What is this promise that God made to Abraham with an oath? Look at Genesis 22:15-18. God tells Abraham, “because he had offered up Isaac, He would bless him and multiply his seed and they would possess the gates of their enemies”. Israel has already done that. In verse 18, God says, ” In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed”. We know that Israel has never been that blessing, so who is? JESUS is. Israel is still God’s chosen people, but because they have rejected Jesus, they have been set-aside for now. Back in Hebrews 6:18, the Hebrew Christians were being persecuted by their own people and had fled from Jerusalem to avoid the persecution. Even the writer had fled for refuge because he says “we, who have fled”. He tells them of the strong consolation and hope that is set before them. In verses 19-20, he tells them that this hope is an anchor to their soul. What is this hope? This hope is JESUS. He is the forerunner, a High Priest who entered into that which is within the veil, (God’s throne room). In Old Testament times, the Aaronic High Priest entered the Holy of Holies once a year on the Day of Atonement and did what he had to do and got out of there. With Jesus as our High Priest, He is the first one to enter the Holy of Holies. Not in the temple but in the throne room of God. He does not have to leave there, but remains and we who are Christians can follow Him into that throne room. Aaron was not a forerunner. He was a representative of the people and no one could follow him into the Holy of Holies. With Jesus as our High Priest, He is the beginning of a new Priesthood. Jesus, as High Priest, does not go anywhere that His people cannot follow. Jesus introduces man and woman into full fellowship with God.

Hebrews 7:1, refers back to Genesis 14:18-20 and I talked about that already. In verse 2, Abraham gave a tenth part of all to Melchisedec. That means that Abraham gave a tithe to Melchisedec. Jesus could not be a physical priest because He was not of the tribe of Levi or the house of Aaron. Remember, in order to be a Levitical priest, You must first be born into the house of Aaron. However, He could be a king because He was of the tribe of Judah and was in the line of David. Melchisedec is not an Israelite and He is called both a priest and a king. The Priesthood of Jesus began after He died on the cross. It is not after the order of Aaron but after the order of Melchisedec. Who is our King of Righteousness? JESUS is. The only righteousness that we have comes from Jesus and He is our King. Who is the King of Peace? JESUS is. He is the peace that passeth all understanding. In fact, in Luke 2:7, we have the birth of Jesus and in verse 14 the angels are praising God and they say “on earth Peace”. They are not saying peace on earth, but that Peace has come down to earth. We have never had peace on earth, but on earth Peace. The baby in that manger, (Jesus), is Peace. He did not bring peace, He is Peace. There are so many scripture verses that say that Jesus is our righteousness and our peace, so He is King of Righteousness and King of Peace. There may have been some righteous and peaceful kings, but Jesus is the only King of Righteousness and Peace. In Hebrews 7:3, Melchisedec is without father or mother. I take that to mean that He was not a physical human being. Every human being has a father and a mother. Even Jesus had a Father, (God), and a mother, (Mary). In verse 3, Melchisedec was without descent. That means there is no lineage or genealogy for Him. He had neither beginning of days nor end of life. To me, there is only one Person who can be all of that and that is God. Melchisedec was also made like the Son of God, not the son of man. Jesus was the son of man because He was born of Mary. He was also the Son of God physically because God was His Father. Here, Melchisedec is made like the Son of God, (spiritually not physically). There is another name for Jesus and that is Emmanuel, meaning, ‘God with us’. This is the Godly Name for Jesus. God the Son in the Trinity came down to earth in the form of a man and His name is Emmanuel. When the bible says that Melchisedec was made like the Son of God, it is talking about Emmanuel. This is an appearing of Jesus on earth prior to His birth, not as the son of man but as the Son of God, (EMMANUEL). Again, Melchisedec is made like the Son of God, not Jesus the man because Jesus the man had a beginning and an end. He was born in Bethlehem and died on Calvary, but was made like Jesus, (Emmanuel), because He had no beginning or end. As Emmanuel, He always was and ever will be. Emmanuel did not die on Calvary. Verse 3 also says that Melchisedec abides a Priest forever. Jesus in His lifetime was under the law and could never be a priest until after His death. When He died on the cross He fulfilled all of the law and was made free of the law. By being free of the law He was able to become the High Priest. Hebrews, who were not Levites, could not become priests, but since Jesus fulfilled the law, those who look to Him as Savior, (High Priest), can. In 1 Peter 2:8, all Christians are called a Royal Priesthood. Peter is writing to all the Christians scattered abroad, so he is talking to the Jew and gentile alike. We are all priests after the order of Melchisedec, just like Jesus is. Verse 4 talks about how great Melchisedec was, in that He received the tenth of the spoils from Abraham. Verse 5 talks about how much greater this Priesthood is compared to the Levitical one. In verse 6, He even blessed him and verse 7 says, that without question, the ‘less is always blessed of the better’. In verse 11, the writer says that if perfection could come from the Levitical priesthood and the law, there would have been no need for another priesthood. In the old priesthood, there was no perfect fellowship between the worshiper and God, but with the new priesthood it becomes possible. In Israel, the whole legal system was centered in the Levitical priesthood. The Levitical priesthood came about by a command of God and God chose Aaron as the High Priest. Any time man is involved in anything it gets fouled up. Right from the beginning, in Numbers 3:4, Aaron’s 2 sons Nadab and Abihu died because they offered strange fire before God. In 1 Samuel 4, Eli is the High Priest and he had 2 sons, Hophni and Phinehas who, (in their priestly duties), ministered to the people in the tabernacle. They were corrupt and vile priests and Eli did nothing to control them. In 1 Samuel 4:17-18, all 3 die because of their actions. I want you to see something that so many people miss or just pass over. In 1 Samuel 2:12, the 2 sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas were worthless and they KNEW NOT God. These 2 were legitimate priests from the family of Aaron through his son Ithamar. Because they were priests, they did not automatically know God. This shows us that by belonging to a church or being born into a Christian family does not mean that we know God. We can know of God and still not know Him. The Priesthood of Melchisedec is greater because it has nothing to do with man. In order to get into that Priesthood we need to know Jesus. We cannot just know of Him, but we also need to have an intimate relationship with Him as our Savior. Once we know Him, we also know God. Even in the time of Jesus there were 2 High Priests, Annas and Caiaphas who were not of the family of Aaron. So it is easy to see why the Priesthood of Melchisedec is greater than the Levitical Priesthood. Man corrupted the Levitical Priesthood and that is why a new priesthood was needed that man could not corrupt. Melchisedec is not a man, so His Priesthood is spiritual and incorruptible. In verses 12-14, the writer says that the law was changed so that Jesus, who was not of the tribe of Levi, but of Judah, could minister as High Priest. There is no place in scripture that says that the law was changed except here and this is after the death of Jesus. Look back at Hebrews 5:9-10. You see that by His suffering and death, Jesus was the author of eternal salvation and after that, He was called of God ‘an High Priest after the order of Melchisedec’. So, the law was changed after His death. In Hebrews 7:15-16, it says that it is evident that another Priest has risen who is made in the likeness of Melchisedec. We have to remember that the Aaronic Priesthood is a physical one and Melchisedec’s is a spiritual one. In verses 18-19, the law is set aside because it was weak and could not bring anyone into perfection, (completion). But a better hope is the gospel, (Jesus), and by it, we first enter into an intimate relationship with God. The Levitical Priesthood or the law could not do that. In verses 20-21, Jesus was made a Priest by an oath of God and He will not change His mind. The Aaronic Priesthood was not made with an oath, but by commandment. In verse 22, the writer says, “By this pledge of God, Jesus is made a security for a new and better testament”. In verses 23-24, The Levitical Priesthood had many priests but they could not continue forever because they all died. Jesus is the only High Priest now and He continues forever, because after resurrection, He cannot die again. That’s what makes His Priesthood unchangeable. The Levitical Priesthood passed from one man to another as they died, but Jesus cannot die, so His Priesthood always remains with Him. In verse 25, the writer says that, ‘Jesus saves completely all who are seeking God through Him’. Jesus is a High Priest who intercedes for us individually. The Levitical High Priest could not do that. It would be like, if a city was on trial today, their lawyer would appear before the judge to plead their case and he would be alone in the courtroom and the people of the city outside. With Jesus as our lawyer, each individual of that city appears before the judge in that courtroom and Jesus pleads our case. The Levitical High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies once a year and only by himself. With Jesus, we enter the Holy of Holies every time we pray. Verse 26 says that Jesus came from heaven and became a man just like us. He was holy, (always in relation to God), harmless, (without malice or craftiness), undefiled, (incorruptible). He was separate from sinners, not like them. He has been raised up so high that He is above all heavens and is in the presence of God. In verse 27, Jesus, as High Priest, does not have to offer up sacrifices to God daily for Himself because He was sinless. The Levitical High Priest had to offer up sacrifices daily for himself first before he could offer up sacrifices for the people. Jesus, as the Lamb of God, was sacrificed once and that was for all time. Throughout Hebrews chapter 7, the writer has been showing us that Jesus could not be a priest because He was of the tribe of Judah and not of the tribe of Levi. We also know that He never performed any priestly functions while He was on earth. We also know that He was born under the Mosaic Law and He never sinned by breaking any of those laws. Under the law, only Levitical Priests, sons of Aaron, could offer up sacrifices. The Passover took place on the 14th of the month Nisan or Abib and that month coincides with our March-April. A Jewish month begins approx. half way through our month and goes to half way through the next month. If you want to learn more about Jewish months, look it up in a bible dictionary under the word ‘calendar’. Jesus died on the cross just before the Passover. The Day of Atonement took place on the 10th day of the 7th month Tisri, our September-October. This is the only day that the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on the Mercy Seat and in front of the Ark of the Covenant. In Hebrews 5:10, Jesus is called a HIGH Priest after the order of Melchisedec, so that means that Melchisedec was a High Priest. When Jesus was born, He was given the physical name Jesus but there was another name also prophesied for Him and that was Emmanuel, meaning, ‘God with us’. I believe that ‘God the Son’ in the Trinity came down to earth as Emmanuel in the form of the man Melchisedec. Melchisedec was not a human being. He was a Spirit, just like Emmanuel. They were not on the physical side of Jesus, but on the Spiritual side. So we have a High Priest, Melchisedec, still alive at the death of Jesus. At His death, Jesus was human and still under the law, so He could not perform the High Priest function of atonement for sin. If He had done that He would have committed sin. The Levitical High Priest could not perform it either because it was the wrong time of the year. The death of Jesus occurred during Passover and not on the Day of Atonement. The only High Priest available at this time is Melchisedec. Don’t you think that the blood of Jesus had to be offered up to God properly? This is the new Day of Atonement and it took place this one time only and it lasts forever. Emmanuel, (Melchisedec), offers up as the final sacrifice for sin, Himself, (Jesus), on the cross to redeem mankind. Jesus was the willing offering or sacrifice but He was not the Priest who performed the rite. Isaac was a willing sacrifice and his father Abraham was performing the Priestly function. Isaac was around 30 years old at this time so he had to be willing. Remember, Jesus did not become a Priest until after He died. Melchisedec is first mentioned in Abraham’s time and He continues forever. Verse 28 says, the law made men High Priest but they were weak and died, but God, (with an oath), appointed His Son High Priest after the law and consecrated Him for evermore. The writer says, ‘after the law’. Jesus fulfilled the law when He died, so after the law is after His death. The writer in chapter 5 says that these things were hard to be uttered because they were babes and could only take milk. So I pray that I’ve helped the babes to better understand. Not only them but all who read what I’ve written because it is such a joy when you have God’s understanding.

 

Bill Gauthier

Any Questions/Comments??? Call Me @ 860-443-6531

 

Category: UNCLE BILL
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