Posted in bible, king, melchizedek, priest, prophecy

The Altar is Closed Forever!

This is a sermon given by my pastor of North Avenue Church in Athens GA. We are going through Genesis, and our Pastor has arrived at a “difficult and puzzling” verse about the mysterious figure of the Priest-King Melchizedek in Genesis 13-14.

First to mention, is that I am completely proud that our pastor does not skip difficult or puzzling verses. He digs right in with studious joy, and delivers the information in a comprehensible and engaging way. Listen through to the last part where the Gospel comes rushing at you.

Here is the blurb for the sermon, “How can Jesus be both our great High Priest and our King? How can he be both David’s son and Lord? What does this mean for our lives? The author of Hebrews says this story is “hard to explain” and that it contains “meat for the mature” not “milk” for infants. So get ready to put on your floaties and hop into the deep end of the pool!”

https://www.podbean.com/media/player/uesua-5eb751

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Further Reading:

The End Time: Jesus as High Priest

The End Time: Melchizedek, one of the Bible’s most mysterious Characters

Let Us Reason: The Priesthood of Melchizedek

Grace To You: Bible Q&A- Who was Melchizedek?

Posted in abram, jerusalem, king, melchizedek, priest

Melchizedek: one of the Bible’s most mysterious characters

One of the most mysterious characters in the Bible is Melchizedek. There are only a few bare references, and what we do know according to the Biblical record, only makes us ask more questions than apparently God has granted answers.

  • What does it mean when we read Melchizedek has a priesthood that will last forever?
  • Why did God establish a priesthood superior to the Levitical priesthood, and is it a precursor to the priesthood of Jesus?
  • How did Abram know Melchizedek ?
  • Is the bread and wine that Melchizedek brings to Abram a precursor of the bread and wine ministration Jesus put into effect at the Last supper?
  • Why doesn’t Melchizedek have a genealogy?
  • Is Jesus Melchizedek in a pre-incarnation?

Sigh.

Anyway here is what we do know about Melchizedek.

His name means “King of Righteousness”: he was both king and priest of Salem, an early name for Jerusalem. Melchizedek blessed Abraham. Jesus Christ succeeded to this role and became a high priest in the order of Melchizedek. 

Melchizedek was both king and priest. As a king, Melchizedek entertained Abraham. (Genesis 14:18 See also Heb 7:1.) 

As a priest, Melchizedek blessed Abraham. (Genesis 14:18-19). 

Abraham acknowledged Melchizedek as a priest of the LORD. (Genesis 14:20,22). Melchizedek here points ahead to Jesus Christ, who is also priest and king. 

The status of Melchizedek 

David appropriates Melchizedek’s office and authority for himself and his descendants Ps 110:1-2,4 The word “order” here means “in succession to”, meaning that Christ assumes the status and function of Melchizedek. 

The Davidic Messiah (Christ) inherits the office of Melchizedek. Jesus Christ was at that time being acclaimed as the “Son of David” and by implication here claims to be the Messiah. 

Jesus Christ as high priest after the order of Melchizedek
Heb 5:8-10; 6:19-20 Only the high priest could sacrifice for the sins of the nation in the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. 

The characteristics of the order of Melchizedek according to Hebrews 7:2-3,
Melchizedek’s order of priesthood was one of kingship, peace and righteousness; it did not depend on genealogical descent (unlike the Levitical priesthood); it is eternal, without known beginning or end. (See also Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6; 6:20; 7:21). 

The uniqueness of Jesus Christ’s high priesthood in the order of Melchizedek Heb 7:6-7 Melchizedek was superior to Abraham and therefore to the Levitical priesthood descended from Abraham; Ps 110:4 The priesthood is secured by God’s oath. See also Heb 6:17-20; 7:16,20-22,26-27; 8:1-2. 

Jesus Christ’s high priesthood makes the Levitical priesthood obsolete Heb 8:13 See also Heb 7:11,18-19; 8:7-13

Source: Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser.

Melchizedek in the Old Testament

Genesis 14. Melchizedek first appears after Abram’s victory over Chedorlaomer (Gen 14:1–12). The king of Sodom and Melchizedek, “king of Salem” and “priest of God Most High” (Gen 14:18 ESV), approaches the victorious patriarch. Melchizedek shows hospitality to Abram and pronounces a poetic blessing upon him. Abram responds by giving him a 10th of his spoils (Gen 14:18–20). 

Genesis provides no additional details about the identity of Melchizedek and doesn’t explain how a Canaanite city-king came to be a priest of God Most High. Further, Melchizedek does not appear in any genealogy. 

McKeown focuses on the function of Melchizedek within the narrative, drawing on the contrasting parallels between the kings of Salem and Sodom. Both kings approach Abram after the battle, but only Melchizedek comes bearing gifts. The first words of the priest-king form a poetic blessing, while the king of Sodom issues a command: “Give me the persons” (Gen 14:21 ESV). Within the broader context of Genesis, Melchizedek reminds the reader that Abram has been blessed by God. The character turns Abram’s victory into “a sign of God’s ability to deliver on the promises that he has made” (McKeown, Genesis, 88). 

Psalm 110. Melchizedek’s only other Old Testament appearance is in Psa 110, a psalm addressed to the king of God’s people. In it, the LORD promises to bring victory in battle and to establish the king as “a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” (Psa 110:4 ESV). The psalmist then declares that God will stand at the right hand of the king, using him to bring judgment upon the nations (Psa 110:5–6). 

This eschatological reading of Psa 110 piqued the curiosity of Jews and later Christians, especially in regard to Melchizedek. Hughes illustrates: “Psalm 110 declared that God was going to do something new by bringing into history a priest-king like Melchizedek. His priesthood would last ‘forever.’ He would be appointed directly by God. A divine oath guaranteed it: ‘The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind.’ What an intriguing prophecy. God was going to establish a totally new priesthood” (Genesis, 215).

The New Testament. 

The first reference to Melchizedek in the New Testament is a quotation of Psa 110:4 found in Heb 5:6. The writer quotes the passage to affirm that Christ was appointed as heavenly high priest: “And being made perfect, [Christ] became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek” (Heb 5:9–10 ESV). Hebrews 7, a commentary on the Old Testament appearances of Melchizedek, elaborates on this teaching. 

The author of Hebrews then turns to Psa 110, citing God’s promise to appoint a priest “after the order of Melchizedek” as indication of the Levitical priesthood’s imperfection (Heb 7:11 ESV). Christ fulfills the eschatological hope of the psalm not by meeting the legal requirement of descent, but by the eternal quality of His life (Heb 7:13–17). He is a superior high priest, bringing a new covenant which grants salvation to all who believe (7:18–25). 

Melchizedek provides Christians with a template for understanding the heavenly priesthood of Christ. This challenges our attempts to substitute human mediators for the divine, revealing a high priest whose saving work cannot be confined to any one culture or bloodline (Thompson, Hebrews, 164). 

Brockway, D. (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). Melchizedek. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Melchizedek blesses Abram

‎Abram’s remarkable victory made him a hero in the land wherein he dwelt. His return from the battle field of Dan was a triumphal march. The king of Sodom came to thank him and bade him keep the grain and treasures which he had regained; but Abram returned everything to the Sodomites, “Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me,” his allies. 

‎Here also occurred that mysterious meeting with Melchizedek, king of Salem, of whom the Bible says, “he was the priest of the most high God.” It would seem, therefore, that God was still worshipped by some people of Canaan. Melchizedek, His minister, came forth from Salem, which may have been Jerusalem; and he bore bread and wine to Abram. The priest king blessed the victor, and Abram gave him a part of all the spoils. Then they separated, apparently forever, two mighty servants of the Lord, who had recognized each other for a moment in passing, and then gone each his way.

When we get to heaven, won’t it be wonderful to seek these answers from the people themselves? If the LORD permits, that is. On the other hand, perhaps some of these questions we find so burning today will wither under the glory of truth shining from the from the face of Jesus. In any case, it will be humbling and thrilling to worship El Elyon alongside such a mighty and worthy king as Melchizedek, whose very name means “Righteousness.”

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Further Reading:

The Priesthood of Melchizedek

Bible Q&A: Who was Melchizedek?

Posted in false religion, jesus, priest

Woman ordained as Catholic priest

How bad is rebellion? Are there degrees of falsity? Is it like Animal Farm, all animals are equal but some are more equal than others? All rebellion is bad but some rebels are worse than others?

Catholicism is a false religion. Catholics who hold to Catholic dogma are not saved. Yet it gets worse, with the move from the top down, from Pope Francis down to rogue women, to ordain women as priests and/or place them in higher positions. It’s rebellion wrapped up in more rebellion, hypocrites behaving falsely. They wax worse deceiving and  being deceived. Rebels rebelling in yet more rebellion.

Kentucky woman ordained as priest in defiance of Roman Catholic Church
In an emotional ceremony filled with tears and applause, a 70-year-old Kentucky woman was ordained a priest on Saturday as part of a dissident group operating outside of official Roman Catholic Church authority. Rosemarie Smead is one of about 150 women around the world who have decided not to wait for the Roman Catholic Church to lift its ban on women priests, but to be ordained and start their own congregations. In an interview before the ceremony, Smead said she is not worried about being excommunicated from the Church – the fate of other women ordained outside of Vatican law.

“It has no sting for me,” said Smead, a petite, gray-haired former Carmelite nun with a ready hug for strangers. “It is a Medieval bullying stick the bishops used to keep control over people and to keep the voices of women silent. I am way beyond letting octogenarian men tell us how to live our lives.”

And that last statement sums it up. They say “I’m not letting a man tell me what to do.” Their same attitude is held toward God. They are not letting God tell them what to do. Disobedience from His ways and His word always results in catastrophe for the rebel, and I am so sad that this woman is leading other women down a very perilous path.

Do you see the hypocrisy below? The woman priest seems to submit to God but she is only making a show, for she already declared she does not submit to men who hold a doctrinal opinion alternate from hers. She is ultimately rebelling though seeming to submit. And yet the whole thing is a hypocritical endeavor because the entire Catholic Church is false. She is already not submitting. It is what Jesus said,

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1)

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others.” (Matthew 6:5)

The problem is, her attitude of dismissing men who are in authority (though Catholic priests and Pope have no authority) infects Christian denominations in a flood. Christian Caine, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, and many others not as well-known are ordained and/or function as pastors despite the fact that the bible prohibits women from that office.

Women pastors / preachers? What does the Bible say about women in ministry?”

So with women Catholic priests you have an unbibical position falsely created by the false Catholic Church, absolving sins as an “alter Christus”. The Catholic doctrine of ‘alter Christus’ means another Christ, and that is who they believe priests are. It is why they say they have the power to absolve sin. Yet 2 Corinthians 11:4 says that if anyone comes and preaches another Christ, let him be accursed.

And it only makes matters worse to say that a woman is ‘another Christ’. God revealed himself as a man. Much like William P. Young in the blasphemous book, The Shack, who presented God as a woman, and the Holy Spirit as a woman, it is equally wrong to say a woman can be another Christ.

The false ones change what Jesus said, but no longer content with that, they now change who He is.

The only way to combat that in your own life is to know who He is. Read the word, that is where God revealed His Son to us, and it is the only place where we can be sure of the truth. The truth of who Jesus is is not contained in visions, nor dreams, nor other religions, but only in holy scripture.

And once you know who Jesus is, you can know who you are, and you won’t be deceived by people coming along whispering … ‘I’m another Christ, let the men be damned’.