Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Meeting up with Melchizedek

Melchizedek is an very interesting person.  Melchizedek is only mentioned twice in the Bible, in Genesis 14:18-20 and in Hebrews 7:1-17.   The Genesis account is a story, while the Hebrews account explains Melchizedek’s background.  Some theologians think that Melchizedek was a pre-incarnate theophany, or in laymen’s terms, a pre-New Testament appearance of Jesus Christ in the flesh.  I don’t agree, and I will explain why below. Let’s start by looking at the Genesis account about Melchizedek:

Genesis 14:18-20 (NKJV): Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: “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.” And he gave him a tithe of all.

In this story, we see Abram (better known as Abraham), who is traveling home from the battle where he and his soldiers rescued Lot from his kidnappers.  He meets up with Melchizedek, who is called the “king of Salem.”  In the Hebrews account, it is explained that “Salem” means “peace,” so Melchizedek is the King of Peace.  Right away, we know Melchizedek can’t be Jesus because in Isaiah 9:6, Jesus is referred to as the Prince of Peace.  Melchizedek is also referred to as the priest of God Most High. Melchizedek also brings out bread and wine, which are also the communion elements. No reference is made to Melchizedek breaking the bread and drinking the wine, like Jesus did at the Last Supper. 

Melchizedek blesses Abram by the God Most High. Melchizedek describes God Most High as the Possessor of heaven and earth, which means He owns them.  So God is blessing Abram by Himself and blessing Himself by Himself.  Very interesting!

The last part of verse 20 is confusing.  It reads, “And he gave him a tithe of all.”  Did Abram give Melchizedek the tithe, or vice versa?  If it had been me, I would have written it so it would be clear who gave the tithe to whom.  However, in the Hebrews account, it shows that Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe, or a tenth, of all the booty he took from the slaughter of the kinds.  I

Now let’s take a look at the Hebrews account about Melchizedek:  

Hebrews 7:1-17 (NKJV):  For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.
Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.
Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?  For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.

For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. For He testifies: “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”

In the Hebrews account, more detail is given about Melchizedek’s background.  The Hebrews account states that Melchizedek is without father, without mother, and without genealogy. This is not true of Jesus.  Jesus has 2 fathers – His earthly father, Joseph and His heavenly Father, God.  He also has a mother (Mary). The Gospels list 2 genealogies for Jesus - one through Joseph, and one through Mary.  Melchizedek is also described as having neither beginning of life or end of life.  God has always been.  He has no beginning or end.  God was before the beginning in Genesis 1:1, which reads, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God had to exist before He could create everything.

The Hebrews account states that Melchizedek is made like the Son of God.  If Melchizedek is made like the Son of God, then how can He be the Son of God?  Human sons often look their fathers.   It also states that Jesus is from the tribe of Judah, but the priests were to come from the tribe of Levi, therefore, the eternal High Priest must be from the order of Melchizedek and not the tribe of Levi.  Melchizedek was the priest of the Most High God before Levi was even thought of. 

Jesus, then, comes from Melchizedek's order of priesthood because He is God’s Son and His sacrificial death on the cross rescued sinners who repent from eternal damnation, thus making Him High Priest in heaven. 

There is evidence in the Bible that God does indeed have a human image.  In Genesis 1:26-27, it reads:   "Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."  "Us" and "Our" here refer to God and His Son Jesus.  If man was created in God's image, then God must look like us humans.  

Another reference to God looking like a human is in Daniel 7:9.  Daniel has a vision of God, and he describes God's appearance as the Ancient of Days: 
"I watched till thrones were put in place,
And the Ancient of Days was seated;
His garment was white as snow,
And the hair of His head was like pure wool.
His throne was a fiery flame,
Its wheels a burning fire;"
After all this discussion, my conclusion is that Melchizedek is God the Father Himself in human form and not Jesus, the Son of God as posited by some theologians.  

Thanks for reading this hopefully not too long winded post!  See you next time!