The Order of MelchisedecBy Pastor Boffey on Saturday, October 24, 2009.
The Order of Melchisedec I. A study of Melchisedec and his order of priesthood sets in sharp relief the deficient nature of the Levitical priesthood which was set aside in favor of a better priesthood for a better testament. HEB 7:21-22. A. In the book of Hebrews, Paul presents a powerful argument that would help the Hebrew Christians come to grips with the fact that the traditional priesthood of their nation (the Levitical priesthood) was set aside. B. The Levites' priesthood was appointed of God; it was according to a commandment. C. Paul shows that their O.T. Scriptures taught that the Levitical priesthood was deficient and temporary, and was intended to be superseded by a superior order. 1. The relationship of Abraham to Melchisedec suggested this. 2. A prophecy given years after the appointment of the Levitical order showed this also. PSA 110:4. II. Melchisedec is a curious O.T. figure of whom there is little mention in Scripture but is nonetheless very important since Jesus Christ's priesthood is after the order of Melchisedec. HEB 5:5-6; 6:20. A. The O.T. passages which mention Melchisedec are GEN 14:17-20; PSA 110:4. B. Melchisedec pops suddenly on the scene with no record of his pedigree and he disappears just as suddenly with no mention of his death. HEB 7:3 1. He was a man (HEB 7:4), not a Christophany or angel, as some have suggested. 2. He had a descent (pedigree) but not one derived from Levi. HEB 7:3, 6. 3. It is not that he was/is immortal and so “...abideth a priest continually” (HEB 7:3). a. If that was the case, then Christ could not have his priesthood. b. He had a continual priesthood in that there is no mention of his death and/or the transfer of his priesthood to someone else. 4. Melchisedec and his priesthood are types of Christ and His priesthood. a. He was “...made LIKE UNTO the Son of God...” b. He is a similitude of Christ. HEB 7:15. c. Similitude: “A person or thing resembling, or having the likeness of, some other person or thing; a counterpart or equal; †a similarity.” (1) There is no record of a carnal commandment granting him priesthood; Christ similarly is not priest by virtue of a commandment, but by a superior measure. HEB 7:16. (2) There is no record of his beginning of days; Christ in His deity similarly has no beginning of days. MIC 5:2. (3) There is no record of his death and loss of priesthood, and this implies continuity; Christ similarly is priest by virtue of continuity: the power of an endless life. HEB 7:16, 23-24. (4) Melchisedec's priesthood was not derived from descent like Levi's; Christ's priesthood is similarly not derived from descent. AA. Pedigree was necessary to be a Levitical priest. EZR 2:61-62. BB. Neither Melchisedec or Christ were under any such mandate. (5) Melchisedec's priesthood was not derived from descent from Levi; Christ's priesthood is similarly not connected to Levi. HEB 7:14. (6) Melchisedec was greater than Abraham; Christ is similarly greater than Abraham. HEB 7:6-7 c/w JOH 8:53-58. (7) Melchisedec was (unlike Levi) both a king and priest; Christ is similarly a king and priest. HEB 7:1. AA. The offices of priest and king were distinct in the Mosaic economy. BB. Christ could not be our priest if He were not also King. ZEC 6:12-13. (8) Melchisedec, King of Salem signified righteousness before peace (HEB 7:1-2). Christ similarly represented righteousness before peace. PHIL 2:8-9 c/w HEB 12:2; 2CO 5:21 c/w ROM 5:1; 14:17. III. The Melchisedec priesthood does not change hands because of death as did the Levitical. HEB 7:3, 8, 16-17, 23-25. A. Christ is a priest FOREVER after the order of Melchisedec. PSA 110:4; HEB 7:17. B. The Melchisedec priesthood typified a priesthood uninterrupted by death. C. The Levitical priests were made such after a carnal commandment. Their priesthood was conferred by a fleshly generation. D. Christ was made a priest after the power of an endless life. 1. His divine nature was ever immortal. MIC 5:2; JOH 8:58. 2. His human nature was raised immortal. ROM 6:9-10. E. The Levitical priests' ministry terminated with their death. Their death was NOT part of their priestly work. F. Christ officiated as priest IN and BY His death. 1. His death WAS part of His priestly work. He is both sacrificer and sacrifice, offerer and offering. 2. Death did not interrupt the execution of His priesthood. G. The confirmation of Christ's priesthood by an oath further demonstrates its superiority and perpetuity. HEB 7:20-21 c/w HEB 6:16-17. H. The perpetuity of Christ's priesthood is the reason He is able to save to the uttermost those that come unto God by Him. HEB 7:25. 1. We are saved by Christ's endless life. JOH 14:19; ROM 5:10; 1CO 15:17. 2. Christ ever lives to make intercession, i.e., to intervene before God on behalf of His people. 3. Salvation depends on His endurance, not ours! 4. Christ saves to the uttermost. a. He saves from all evil forever. b. He did not do part of the saving and leave the rest to someone else. I. Melchisedec blessed the Levites in Abraham. HEB 7:6-7. 1. The Levites paid tithes to Melchisedec in Abraham. HEB 7:4-5, 8-10. 2. Abraham paid homage to Melchisedec, thus showing “...how great this man was...” (HEB 7:4). 3. This was a powerful argument to the Hebrews who highly regarded Abraham. JOH 8:53. J. The very fact that David prophesied of a priest after the order of Melchisedec showed that the Levitical priesthood was deficient and would be set aside. HEB 7:11. K. The fact that Messiah, who would spring from Judah, would be a priest showed the setting aside of the Levitical priesthood. HEB 7:12-17. 1. It is evident that Messiah sprang out of Judah. 2SAM 7:12; ISA 11:1; MIC 5:2. 2. God had formerly judged a king from Judah for intruding into the priestly office. 2CH 26:16-21. 3. Therefore, if a descendant of Judah was to be a priest, the old order of priesthood would have to be disannulled. L. Jesus Christ is a king-priest forever after the order of Melchisedec to satisfy JER 33:14-18.