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Lowell Brueckner

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The Order of Melchizedek


The Order of Melchizedek

The Lord has sworn…You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.      Hebrews 7:17, 21

ho is the most important human being in the Old Testament? Certainly, every Bible student would rank Abraham among the greatest. However, the unnamed author of Hebrews shows us that greatness is found in the ability to mirror Christ in a life… “made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually” (Heb.7:3) He points us to one, who is much greater than Abraham.

  It is this writer who, above all others in the New Testament, emphasizes the Holy Spirit as the Author of Scripture, eclipsing the human channel, prophet or Psalmist, used to pen His words: “As the Holy Spirit says…the Holy Spirit is signifying…the Holy Spirit also testifies…” (3:7; 9:8; 10:15). He sees beyond the mass of material written about any other character and notices that Melchizedek is great, though little is recorded about him. In contrast, the story of Abraham begins in Genesis 11 and continues to chapter 25. He is mentioned again and again throughout the Old and New Testament.
  What a demonstration we have in this chapter about Holy Spirit teaching ministry! It is evident that He gives revelation, using the Scripture alone as His source. The writer has a total of only four verses at his disposal, – three in Genesis and one in the Psalms – which concern Melchizedek, and he amplifies them seven times to produce 28 verses. He accepts nothing and adds nothing, apart from that which is written in the Bible. Since there is no mention of genealogy, no father or mother, no birthday or obituary, the writer assumes none in his doctrine.

God’s plan from the beginning
  Jesus addressed the issue of divorce, permitted by Moses, stating, “From the beginning it has not been this way” (Mt.19:8). He went back to the original plan of God in Genesis with the creation of Adam and Eve. Matthew quotes Hosea 11:1: “When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My Son.”  It would seem that the prophet is giving a history lesson, referring to the exodus of the Hebrew nation, but Matthew sees that the significance of that nation is to bring the Son of God into the world. It foretells Jesus’ return from Egypt to Nazareth with Joseph and Mary. Paul takes us back to the promise of a seed given to Abraham 430 years before the law and states that the seed is Christ. In this chapter, we see an eternal order of priesthood, established before the Levitical priesthood and represented by Melchizedek, through which Christ ministers forever. We see His centrality right from the beginning of the book of Genesis, revealing God’s eternal purposes.

  Christ is not of the Levitical priesthood. He is another priest (v.15), (heteros-different or opposite… for example a word commonly used these days is heterosexual, meaning an attraction to the opposite sex) in contrast to another Comforter (allos-another of the same kind). The things that God has revealed, since the beginning of time, differ from and outrank that which was given under the law. “The law was added…”, said Paul, and that, which is added, must always be removed (v.18).

 The lessons in the book of Hebrews teach us to look for God’s perfect plan, not a secondary, symbolic cause. This priesthood is a sovereign work of God, with no human intervention. Mel-chizedek is priest, because God ordered it from the beginning. There is no consideration given to tribe, bloodlines, or birthright. 

  We must see Christianity as Hebrews 7 presents it. Here God works, far beyond a Levitical system, limited to human functions and capabilities. In the realm of religion, men are accustomed to programs and methods that do not reach beyond their possibilities. Even in evangelicalism, many live their lives, producing super-ficial, temporal results… and then die!

King and priest
  Abraham finds himself in the middle of God’s eternal will, blessed by an eternal priesthood. His priest, Melchizedek, is king and priest. His name means king of righteousness and his domain is the city of peace (v.2). “Righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Ps.85:10). These seemingly irreconcilable qualities, foreseen in Melchizedek, unite and fall in love at Christ’s cross. He satisfies God’s unbending righteousness through His death and reconciles us to peace with God.

  Abraham knew to refuse the lucrative reward of the king of Sodom (Ge.14:21-23), but he accepted the bread and wine from the kind hand of Melchizedek. This choice of two ways and two goals is before us, as well. We must make the right choice, refusing the wages of unrighteous-ness, in order to partake of Christ’s body and blood. Bread and wine are the symbols of communion, representing the saving flesh and blood of Christ. The business of a priest is to bring man and God together in harmony and fellow-ship. By Christ’s priesthood, “through which we draw near to God” (v.19), perfect communion is attained.  

  Melchizedek lives on (v.8). The God Most High is not a God of the dead, but of the living. We will never die, if He is our God and we trust in Him, who is the Resurrection and the Life. Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” He is eternal and conquers by the “power of an indestructible life” (v.16).  Man thinks that death is an enemy that is not possible to defeat, but Christ has the power of endless life and “it was not possible for Him to be held by (death)” (Ac.2:24).

Abundant grace
  The writer refers to a biblical “loins’ principle” (v.9-10). Abraham’s tithe affects his great-grandson, Levi, through no conscious involvement on Levi’s part. We see the sovereign workings of God in him before he is born.  The Almighty is absolute Lord before we are born and after we die! Over how many things have you not had control – your physical characteristics and your nationality, to name a couple? Have you ever thought it unjust, that the sin of your forefather, Adam, determined your eternal destiny?  “Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men.” (Ro.5:12).

 Remember this… the same principle comes into play for your salvation:   “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Co.15:22). That is the meaning of grace – God working for you in Christ. You come under His grace, when you yield to His absolute lordship.

  Men take an oath for any important office, but in this priesthood, God gives the oath (v.20). This is powerful doctrine, generously guaranteeing multiplied assur-ance. It is the principle of God’s abundant grace, the “amen, amen… truly, truly, I say unto you” principle. Already, we see it in 6:17: “God desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath.”  This is more sure than sure. It is irrevocable (v.21).

  As sure as is His priesthood, based on His continual intercession, so sure is our salvation. He Himself is the insurance in this testament. It breaks, when He breaks; it fails when He fails. (v.22, 24, 25) 

The only sufficient priest
  The writer of Hebrews applies the lesson to God’s people: “it was fitting for us to have such a high priest…” (v.26), showing that He is the only One that is sufficient to meet our needs perfectly. It is because this High Priest is (v.26): 1) holy (hosios) by divine character… a word always relating to God. 2) harmless: godly simplicity, incapable of craftiness or deceit. 3) unsoiled: without trace of corruption or contamination. 4) separated from sinners: not only sinless, but having space between Him and sinners… infinite space. 5), higher than the heavens: plural, higher than the highest heaven, caused to be loftier. “He ascended far above all the heavens” (Eph.4:10).

  May God cause us to reject forever the priesthood of Levi and bring us powerfully into the order of Melchizedek… now!!  


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