Sunday, July 27, 2008

Who is Melchizedek?

Who is Melchizedek?

By Abraham Israel

The Bible in
Gen 14:18, speaks about Melchizedek as the King of Salem and he was the priest of the God Most High. This is the first instance the Bible is speaking about Him. The Bible is so silent about this mysterious kingly priest in Gen 14:18. It does not speak about the origin of him, which the Bible is so clear in other cases where the genealogy is very detailed from the first instance to the last instance.

In the Bible the only character that is mysterious is God Himself because he cannot be defined in human terms
(Isaiah 40:18; Rev 1:8). Abraham always was very generous to strangers and because of his wonderful character, unknowingly he met God and His angels in another instance (Gen 18:1-3; Heb 13:2).

First the Bible says in
Gen 18:2, “Abraham lifted his eyes and looked and saw naturally three men [strangers] standing by him, once he saw them intently he recognized his Divine Master [Adonai] and he bowed himself to the ground.” This gives us a clear idea that whenever he met a new person, he had the perception in him to perceive the divineness in the one whom he was meeting.

When Abraham came after defeating and rescuing lot and brought back all the goods, the fact is that if Abraham already knew Melchizedek he would have gone to meet him or in search of him, but the Bible says Melchizedek was the one who approached Abraham and met him while he was returning from the slaughter of the kings
(Heb 7:1).

Melchizedek did two things while he met Abraham,

(i) He brought out bread and wine (v 18).

(ii) He blessed him (v 19, 20).

Bread and wine is symbolic of the Body and the blood of Jesus Christ
(Matt 26:26-29). Here is a parallel that Jesus Himself said, “I am the bread of life. Most assuredly, I say to you….My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.” (John 6:48, 32). Here He clearly says, to have partnership with God in His nature and life, one must receive the bread that the Father gives to you. This gives us a little understanding of who Melchizedek is, who supplied bread to Abraham. And along with the bread He also gave Abraham wine about which Jesus said, “…My blood is drink indeed.”(John 6:55). After this because Abraham understood the symbolism of bread and wine of the covenant, then Melchizedek Blessed Abraham.

Only God can bless a man truly, as the Bible also says in
Heb 7:7, “…the lesser [man] is blessed by the better [God].” The Bible also says in Psalm 8:5, that man is made little lower than God Himself. This is before the fall of Man. But after the fall of man, with in the covenant relationship with God, the same has been restored through Jesus Christ, the true bread and wine [the basis of the covenant relationship which has been initiated by the Father]. No angels can bless a covenant man because they are lesser than them in their status or position with God. As the Bible clearly says, “Are not the angels all ministering spirits [servants] sent out in the service [of God for the assistance] of those who are to inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14 (Amp)).

How can the fact that Melchizedek was God the Father can be substantiated from the scripture?

The writer of Hebrews said in
Heb 5:11, “We have much to say about Melchizedek, but hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.” From the above verse we can understand that we need spiritual understanding in order to understand about this mysterious person. We also need to be sensitive and sharp to hear the word and search to find out whether it is taken in the right context. In order to know more about Melchizedek we need to compare Him with Jesus Christ because Jesus came to become a priest in the order of Melchizedek (Heb 7:11).

Essence of Melchizedek [i.e. personality of Him]

(i) Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the son of God [Jesus Christ (i.e.) In materiality and in essence of His content and character, He was like Jesus Christ (Rev 1:8,11).] (Heb 7:3).

(ii) He remains a priest continually [this is in relation to His priesthood] (Heb 7:3).

This gives us the idea that when the writer of the book of Hebrews was writing, Melchizedek was still a priest who continued as was when He met Abraham. Speaking in context to the above verse there can be no human with out genealogy; this clearly gives us the truth that he cannot be a human. There can be no angels without ‘beginning of days’, this also rules out the possibility that he can be an angel. Then it must be one person among the Holy trinity of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit who only have ‘the essence of Melchizedek’ as described above.

Jesus arose in the likeness of Melchizedek and has come as another priest [the same as another comforter who came in the place of Jesus (John 14:26; 15:26)] according to the power of an endless life
(Heb 7:15, 16). Heb 7:3 speaks of Melchizedek the priest is “…made like the Son of God.” It also brings in the Father and the Son relationship of Jesus in to the background of Melchizedek the kingly priest. This gives us a clear picture, why Father God who inducted Jesus His only begotten Son in to this kingly priesthood and also testified from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”(Matt 3:17; John 3:16).

The son can only inherit this kingly priesthood ship. So only the writer of Hebrews says, He
[God the Father] testifies, “you are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Heb 7:17).

The name Melchizedek means
“King of righteousness” and also “King of peace” (Heb 7:2). King is a man who is a ruler of a country because he is from a royal family. Basically the father who rules the kingdom is known as the king of the kingdom. Here Melchizedek is the Father God who is symbolically expressed as the “King of peace”. So only Jesus is called as the “prince of peace” in Isaiah 9:6. Prince is the son of the king.

“Here [on earth] mortal man receive tithes, but there [in heaven] he [Melchizedek (i.e.) God the Father] receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives ('…remains a priest continually.’(Heb 7:3)).” (Heb 7:8; Rev 4:10; 5:7)

In the same way as Melchizedek, Jesus has a unchangeable priesthood because he lives forever
(Heb 7:24; Rev 1:18). In this whole process, the Holy Spirit has played the role of an executive in fulfilling all the above things in the whole of the priesthood and its functions.

There is a perfect tabernacle in heaven in which Christ has become the High priest
(Heb 9:11, 12). He fulfilled and is also fulfilling this function of the High priest through the Holy Spirit (Heb 9:14). Now Jesus Christ has become the High priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek in the heavenly tabernacle (Heb 6:20).

  • As the earthly tabernacle had the stipulation that the High priest should be in the order of Aaron [ i.e. in the blood line of the sons of Aaron], so the heavenly tabernacle has the stipulation that the High priest should be of the order of Melchizedek [i.e. in the bloodline of God as the son of God] (Heb 7:11)

  • Aaron was the first High priest of his order of Aaron in the line of the earthly High priest, God the Father was the first High priest of His order of Melchizedek in the line of the heavenly High priest (Heb 7:11).

Only the son can become the High priest in his father’s place
(Leviticus 16:32, 33), and make an atonement for sin (Heb 9:11, 12). He who perceives and understands the kingly priesthoodship of Jesus Christ, will also understand the reality of the kingly priesthood ship of Melchizedek who is God the Father (John 14:9). We are also as adopted sons and daughters through Jesus Christ inherit this kingly priesthood ship of the order of Melchizedek by what Jesus had accomplished for us on the cross of Calvary (Rev 1:5,6).

  • The Priesthood is given by God as a gift for service. And only those who are of their [i.e. Aaron’s] father’s tribe of Levi can be joined to minister to the Lord (Num 18:6, 7, 2)

  • The Priesthood is necessary so that there may be no more wrath on the children of Israel (Num 18:5).

Jesus was given the High Priesthood as a gift, after His faithful service in glorifying God in the earth, doing only His will even to the point of death in obedience
(Heb 5:5,6-10). He was saved from death and got resurrected as an assurance of His High Priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek (Heb 5:5-6; Acts 13:33-39).

Once Abraham received bread and wine from Melchizedek, Abraham became the recipient of the blessing of His
[God the Father’s] inheritance through His Son Jesus Christ. This was the very reason Melchizedek blessed Abraham after that, saying “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” (Gen 14:19-20).

The moment Abraham understood the magnitude of the Blessing of God, immediately he acknowledged and recognized that it was God who gave him the victory and all the things that he had possessed, and he paid to Melchizedek the first tithe acknowledging Him as God.

This can be conformed when God directly spoke to the Israelites and accused them of robbing God in tithes and offering
(Malachi 3:8). In return God promised to pour out His blessing from heaven, if they in obedience to His command bring all the tithes in to His temple (Malachi 3:10). When Melchizedek met Abraham, He Himself was the temple (Rev 21:22).

In those days when Kings met the King of Kings (or) the King in whose jurisdiction they were subjected to, they brought one tenth part of all the increase that come in their kingdom. In turn they got the help and protection of the King of Kings, from all their enemies
(Gen 14:21).

The moment Abraham recognized that he was dealing with this Kingly Priest Melchizedek who is the possessor of heaven and earth, he immediately gave the first one tenth of tithe of all to Him.

The Bible says,
“to whom [Melchizedek] also Abraham gave a tenth part of all….” (Heb 7:2). “Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.” (Heb 7:4). God could come in any form. We must understand that nothing is impossible with God. And also the Bible says that a man wrestled with Jacob, yet at the end Jacob confessed because of the revelation he had received from God that he had seen the face of God and also God conformed it (Genesis 32:22-30; Hosea 12:3-6).

Heb 7:6
says, “but he [Melchizedek] whose genealogy is not derived from them [the sons of Levi] received tithes from Abraham and Blessed him who had the promises.”

If Melchizedek was not God Almighty why should the Bible say that even Levi paid tithes through Abraham (Heb 7:9). Even the Priests of the descendant of Levi had to pay tithe according to the Law of Moses and this Tithe of Tithes were directly offered to God as a heave offering (Num 18:25-26; Neh 10:38). This also points to Melchizedek as God Almighty Himself to whom the first tithe of Levi [tithe of tithes] was paid through Abraham. In other words the Bible is saying that the tithe that Abraham paid to Melchizedek was like Levi who was the man who produced the priestly line pay his tithe of tithes to God directly (Num 18:26).

At that time he was not even born but was in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met Abraham (Heb 7:10).

Heb 7:8 says, “Here [on earth] mortal men receive tithes, but there [where? In heaven] he [ who? Melchizedek] receives them of whom it is witnessed that he [who ? Melchizedek (Heb 7:3, “…remains a priest continually”)] lives”. From this it is very clear that Melchizedek was none other than Lord God Almighty [(i.e.) God the Father].


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