V.Em.K1.Pt. Tom Muggeridge, P.H.P.
The Mystery Clears
Coming to Hebrews 7, v 1 & 2 we find Melchizedek identified. “For this Melchizedek, King of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from slaughter of the kings, and blessed him, to whom Abraham divided a tenth part of all; being first by interpretation, King of righteousness, and then also King of Salem, which is King of PEACE.
Since God names individuals what they are, that then, is what this man is “KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS”. Just think of it – “KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS”. Jesus himself said, “There is none good, but ONE, that is GOD” (Luke 18, v 19)
Human self-righteousness is, before God a filthy rags.
None can be righteousness but God – or one is made righteous by God’s power.
Christ in a person, and certainly none but one of the Godhead – the Divine Kingdom of God – could be KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. Such an expression applied to any but God, would be blasphemous. And why? Because – Righteousness is obedience to God’s Law. Since God made all laws, (James 4, v 12). He is Supreme Ruler or king. He determines what righteousness is. “All thy COMMANDMENTS ARE RIGHTEOUSNESS”. (Psalm 119, v 172). When speaking of one of the points of that Law, Jesus placed Himself superior to it – He is Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2, v 28). No man is Lord or King over God’s Law. Only God could be. All human beings have sinned and broken that Law of Righteousness.
To continue with Hebrews 7. Note too, that this man was King of PEACE. Salem, from which Jeru-SALEM was names, means “Peace”. Also remember Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. No Human being could be the King of Peace. Men know not the way of Peace. Read Romans 3, v 10 & 17. “None is righteous, no not one – and the way of peace have they not known”.
Observe further, Melchizedek was “without mother, without father, without descent”, or as Panin Numeric renders it, “fatherless, motherless, pedigreeless”. He was not born as human beings are. He was without father and mother. This does not mean the Melchizedek’s records of physical birth were lost. Without such records, human priests could not serve (Ezra 2, v 62). But here Melchizedek had no genealogy – he must not have been an ordinary mortal. He had no descent or pedigree from another, but was self-existent – take notice of Paul’s own inspired interpretation of this fact, “having neither beginning o days nor end”. He was not even created like Angels, but is now eternally self-existing, and that is true only of God – Deity – not humanity.
Not the father, nor the Holy Spirit.
Yet Melchizedek cannot be God the Father. He was “the Priest of the Most High God”. Scripture says no man has ever seen the Father, but Abraham saw Melchizedeck. He cannot be God the Father, but rather, “made like unto the SON of GOD, abideth a priest continually. (Heb. 7, v 3)
Be still, and receive the breathless solution:- In the days of Abraham He was not the Son of God, for He had nor yet been BORN of the Virgin Mary – but he was made like the Son of God in his manifestation to the ancients.
Notice again, the scripture reveals that Melchizedek ABIDES – that is, remains permanently, continually, a PRIEST. God the Father is not the Priest of God, but Christ the SON is. Yet, in the days when the Apostle Paul lived and wrote, shortly after Jesus ascended to Heaven as High Priest, the Scripture states that even then Melchizedek “abideth” – which means “does now abide” – “as a priest continually”. The Moffat translation states it: continues to be a priest permanently” – even while Jesus Christ is High Priest.
And take notice that the Order of Christ’s Priesthood is named after Melchizedek. It is the High Priest’s name that is placed upon an Order – just as Aaron’s name was upon the Aaronic Priesthood. Thus Melchizedek was then High Priest, in Paul’s day, and even now, and He will be forever. At the same time Christ was, is today, and shall be forever, HIGH PRIEST.
Are here two High Priests? No, absolutely impossible.
The conclusion is inescapable. Contrary to many cherished man-thought-out ideas, MELCHIZEDEK AND CHRIST ARE ONE AND THE SAME.
Some people have stumbled on this statement that Melchizedek has no end of life. They contend that, since Christ died, He was an end of life. If that be true, then Christ is till dead. But Christ is not dead. He is alive. It was not possible for Christ to be held of death. (Acts 2, v24). Melchizedek would never have fulfilled His office of High Priest if He had not died for the sins of the people and rose again. It is the function of the High Priest to lead the way to salvation.
Melchizedek was worshipped.
Continue verse 4 of Hebrews 7. “Now consider HOW GREAT THIS MAN WAS”.
These words constitute WORSHIP. Take notice of a Bible definition of worship Rev. 13, v 4 how men worship the “beast” – the Roman Empire – by saying “who is like unto the Roman Empire, who is able to make war with it”. Such words constitute worship – 2and they worshipped the beast”.
However, in Hebrews 7, inspired by the Holy Spirit is Scripture, we find this exultation – this WORSHIP – accorded to Melchizedek. Such language could be used in Scripture only of one of the Godhead. Christ is worthy of WORSHIP – even the angels worship Him. But neither angels nor arch-angels may be worshipped. So Melchizedek must be great than an arch-angel. He is of the same rank or station as Christ. We cannot escape the great divine fact that Melchizedek and Christ are one and the same person.
The New English Bible in Hebrews 7 states this important point:- “Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical Priesthood, (for it is on this basis that the people were given the Law) what further need would there have
The New English Bible in Hebrews 7 states this important point:- “Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical Priesthood, (for it is on this basis that the people were given the Law) what further need would there have been to speak of another priest arising, in the succession of Melchizedek, instead of the succession of Aaron? For a change of Priesthood must mean a change of Law, and the One here spoken of belongs to a different tribe, no member of which has ever had anything to do with the Altar, for it is very evident that our Lord is sprung from Judah, a tribe to which Moses made no reference in speak of priests”.
The argument becomes still clearer, if the new priest who arises is one like Melchizedek, owing his priesthood not to a system of earth bound rules, but to the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. For here is the testimony: “thou art a Priest forever, in the succession of Melchizedek” The earlier rules are cancelled as impudent and useless, since the Law brought nothing to perfection, and a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.
How great a difference it makes that on oath was sworn. There was no oath sworn when those others were made priests, but for this priest an oath was sworn, as Scripture says of Him “the Lord has sworn and will not go back on His Word, Thou art a Priest forever”.
When in former times God spoke to our forefathers, He spoke in fragmentary and varied fashion through the prophets. But in this final age He has spoken to us in the SON whom he hath made heir to the whole universe, and through whom he created all orders of existence, the SON who is the effulgence of God’s splendour and the stamp of God’s very Being, and sustains the universe by His Word of Power. When He had brought about the purgation of sins, He took His seat at the right hand of Majesty on high.
“But now Christ has come, High Priest of good things already in being The Tent of His Priesthood is a greater and more perfect one, not made by men’s hands, that is, not belonging to this created world. The blood of His sacrifice is His own blood, not the blood of cats and calves, and this He has entered the sanctuary once and for all, and secured an eternal deliverance. He offered Himself without blemish to God, a spiritual and eternal sacrifice; and His Blood will cleanse our conscience from the deadness of our former ways and fit us for the service of the LIVING GOD. “For Christ has entered not that sanctuary made by men’s hands which is only a symbol of the reality, but Heaven itself, to appear now before God on our behalf”.
“So now my friends, the Blood of Jesus makes us free to enter boldly into the sanctuary by the new living way, which He has opened for us through the curtain, the way of His flesh. We have moreover, a great Priest set over the Household of God, so let us make our approach in sincerity of heart and full assurance of faith, our guilty hearts sprinkled clean, our bodies washed with pure water. Let us be firm and unswerving in the confession of hope, for the Giver of promise may be trusted”.
This is a call to Faith and what is Faith?
“Faith gives substance to our hopes, and makes us certain of realities we do not see. It is for faith that men of old stand on record. By faith we perceive that the Universe was fashioned by THE WORD OF GOD. So the visible came forth from the invisible.
“For the Word of God is alive and active. It cuts more keenly than a two-edged sword, piercing as far as that place where life and spirit, joints and marrow divide. It sifts and purposes and thoughts of the heart, there is nothing in creation that can hide from Him, everyone lies naked and exposed to eyes of the ONE with Whom we have to reckon. “Since therefore we have a great HIGH PRIEST who has passed through”.
Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to the religion we profess. For ours is not a High Priest unable to sympathise with our weakness, but One who, because of His Likeness to us, has been tested every way, only without sin. Let us therefore boldly approach the Throne of our gracious God, where we may receive mercy, and in His grace find timely help; always remembering that Christ did not confer upon Himself the Glory of becoming High Priest; it was granted by God who said to Him “thou art My Son, today I have begotten Three”, s also in ANOTHER place He says “Thou art a Priest forever, in the succession of Melchizedek”,