"For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec"(Hebrews 7:12-17).
AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC
In this passage, the end of verse 17 is the transforming knowledge that distinguishes those who are a follower of Jesus Christ to those who are one in Christ. The Levitical and Aaronic priesthood knew nothing about the priesthood of Melchisedec (vs. 14). The priesthood described in Hebrews Chapter 7 is about Jesus Christ and His body being of a royal priesthood that relates to an elusive man named Melchisedec who had neither father nor mother. This does not mean that he was some kind of "spirit being" that simply appeared as a king; nor does it mean that he showed up as Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. We know this because Scripture tells us that Jesus Christ is after the Order of Melchisedec.
Melchisedec was a natural man who was born from a natural mother and father. When Scripture tells us that he was, "Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually" (Heb. 7:3), we must also read where it says, "But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham (Heb. 7:6). It was not an issue of Melchisedec having parents, but that his family was not recorded in the history of priesthood as was customary for kings and priests in order to justify their royal lineage.
It is interesting that He suddenly appears in Genesis 14, and then reappears about one-thousand years later in Psalm 110. Something else that should be stirring our interest is when Scripture states in Heb. 7:21, "The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." God declared that His son, Jesus Christ, would come after this order, not the Levitical or Aaronic priesthood, and this priesthood is established forever.
Another thousand years or so go by, and the writer of Hebrews records where this mysterious priesthood appears in Chapter 7 giving even more detail than what was known before. Please understand why it is imperative for us to take another look at Melchisedec; there is no other man in Scripture, including Paul, which God tells us to consider the greatness of this man. "Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils" (Heb. 7:4). It is amazing to consider the blessings God poured upon Abraham in his position as "Father of Faith," and yet, this man Melchisedec was in a position that was greater than Abraham! Scripture tells us that since Abraham tithed to Melchisedec, he in turn blessed Abraham and the seed of his loins which carried the Aaronic and Levitical priesthoods (vs. 6, 7).
(For those that are indecisive about house-hold salvation, this is a verse that shares where generations that were still in the loins of Abraham, not yet born, would receive the same blessings that he received from one likened to a son of God.)
Each priesthood had a position of accountability to God. The Levitical priesthood's position was to minister and serve. The heart of humanity is to have compassion and consideration for others. These are the basics of social servant hood instilled in man's earthly nature. The inheritance of this priesthood was connected to a tribe/nation. The Aaronic priesthood was established for worshipping. The inheritance of this priesthood was through a direct bloodline from father to son. This was also a priesthood that existed on an earthly realm, which gave respect to the authorities that ruled and governed societies and churches. However, both of these priesthoods ended with physical death.
The Melchisedec priesthood is found in those that are revealing Jesus Christ today as the body of Christ bringing forth the sons of God. One of the Melchisedec attributes is to "be one likened to the son of God" (Heb. 7:3). If we truly believe that Christ is alive forever, then so is the body of Christ. Paul tells us in Philippians 3:9-12,
"I want to be as one with Him. I could not be right with God by what the Law said I must do. I was made right with God by faith in Christ. I want to know Him. I want to have the same power in my life that raised Jesus from the dead. I want to understand and have a share in His sufferings and be like Christ in His death. Then I may be raised up from among the dead. I do not say that I have received this or have already become perfect. But I keep going on to make that life my own as Christ Jesus made me His own" (NLV).
There has been a lot of speculation about Melchisedec, and people can conjure up some creative understanding, but the bottom line is that Scripture tells us "he liveth." "And here men (Aaronic and Levitical priests) that die receive tithes; but there he (Melchisedec) receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth" (Heb. 7:8). We see and use the blue prints of the Levitical and Aaronic priesthoods, but those after the order of Melchisedec priesthood, as followers of Jesus, are not a part of the first two priesthoods.
When we know in our hearts that we are part of the body of Christ, born from above, then we are part of a ministry, priesthood, and order of a royal race called Melchisedec. We were made kings and priests unto our God with a ministry to reveal Jesus Christ. This should be the position of everyone who declares they are a Christian; they have been made kings and priests unto God after the order of Melchisedec. Unfortunately, most Christians live in a legalistic bondage that limits the calling God has placed on their lives to a role similar to the Aaronic or Levitical priesthoods.
God has always desired to have a people that are to Him the same as He is to them. Our inheritance from God is not faith, but identity. "God is Light and in Him there is no darkness" (1 John 1:5). The reality of light is that darkness is not real. The unveiling of God in us is the responsibility of those that are after the Melchisedec priesthood. They know that the heavens are not off in space somewhere, but between their ears. "We have the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16). The feet of Christ that carries the word are our feet, the body of Christ. Paul shares with us in Romans 16:17-20:
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly."
In Exodus 19:5-6 God told the children of Israel:
"Now therefore, if you will obey My voice in truth and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own peculiar possession and treasure from among and above all peoples; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation [consecrated, set apart to the worship of God]. These are the words you shall speak to the Israelites" (AMP).
When we read that God said I will make unto ME a special people above all the other people of the earth, and you will be unto ME a kingdom of priests, then we understand why John wrote in Revelation 5:10, "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." God was NOT condemning those that were not chosen for this priesthood to be cast into eternal hell (the earth belongs to God), but to raise up a company of people who carry the redemption of Jesus Christ in their hearts, and are called to bless those whose hearts are hardened, fulfilling the Scriptures:
"All the prophets from Samuel on down said the same thing, said most emphatically that these days would come. These prophets, along with the covenant God made with your ancestors, are your family tree. God's covenant-word to Abraham provides the text: 'By your offspring all the families of the earth will be blessed.' But you are first in line: God, having raised up his Son, sent him to bless you as you turn, one by one, from your evil ways." Acts 3: 24-26 (The Message)
There is an understanding among most Christians that Jesus Christ is our king, priest, savior, redeemer, healer, sanctifier, etc. This is truth; however, the Scripture we just read tells us there is a company of people that are kings and priests UNTO GOD. God must have fellowship with that which is unto Him. All the attributes of God were given to us through Jesus Christ. God cannot fellowship with man except through the anointed nature of God (Himself) called Christ. Not only do we need Christ nature to participate with the Father, but also He needs us to BE Christ in order to fellowship with us. Jesus Christ is the mediator, the propitiation, and the mercy seat, which is both divine and human. Christ nature is where heaven and earth come together, the place that God told Moses, "And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat" (Ex. 25:22). Jesus Christ is the mercy seat.
Not only do we receive from God, there is also a place where God receives from us. "Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake" (Psalms 115:1). Glory is given to God, but we cannot give glory to Him until we are glory. God can only receive His own nature; He cannot come near anything or anyone that shares their Christ nature with carnal man. Paul tells us in Romans 8:11-13:
"And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh. For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever" (AMP).
All the previous priesthoods in the Old Testament were able to WORSHIP and SERVE God as God commanded them to do, but there had never been a priesthood who could be god back to God. However, this is required for God to have a relationship with His Family.
The Melchisedec priesthood has eight (the number of resurrection) distinct features that were not available to a priesthood until Jesus Christ manifested the firstfruit for many to follow. "And it was of His own [free] will that He gave us birth [as sons] by [His] Word of Truth, so that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures [a sample of what He created to be consecrated to Himself]" (James 1:18 AMP). Jesus is after the Order of Melchisedec, having the power of an endless life (Heb. 7:16). The Amplified Bible tells us, "Jesus Christ the faithful and trustworthy Witness, the Firstborn of the dead [first to be brought back to life] and the Prince (Ruler) of the kings of the earth. To Him Who ever loves us and has once [for all] loosed and freed us from our sins by His own blood, and formed us into a kingdom (a royal race), priests to His God and Father--to Him be the glory and the power and the majesty and the dominion throughout the ages and forever and ever. Amen (so be it)" (Rev. 1:5-6). Psalm 110:4 tells us, "The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent; Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." What are the distinct features of this priesthood?
« King of righteousness
« King of peace
« Without father or mother
« Without descent
« Having neither beginning of days or end of life
« Made like unto the son of God
« Abides a priest continually
« He liveth, power of an endless life
These features are characteristic of the priesthood of Jesus Christ. The man Melchisedec, who showed up in Genesis 14, was not Jesus Christ incarnated; neither was Melchisedec after Jesus Christ. Again, Scripture tells us that Jesus came after the order of Melchisedec (Heb. 6.20). This man, Melchisedec, was made like unto the son of God. This priesthood will never end because it is forever equipped with the power of an endless life. "Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life" (Heb. 7:16).
The Levitical priesthood and the tabernacle came out of the loins of Abraham whom Melchisedec blessed. We read in Hebrews 8:5 that they were but a shadow of heavenly things, "Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount." They were an earthly representation of a heavenly reality. Unfortunately, most Christians do not believe beyond this verse and they miss the blessing that follows:
"But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises" (Heb. 8:6). The Melchisedec priesthood is the order given by God that ministers from a heavenly reality that is now; not from an earthly shadow of "someday when we die." This inheritance was established on the earth for those that believe by faith that Jesus Christ is the son of God. Therefore, "in this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world" (AMP). In the Message translation we read, "Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us" (Col. 2:19).
Paul shared with the Galatians that, "The Law has no power over me. I am dead to the Law. Now I can live for God. I have been put up on the cross to die with Christ. I no longer live. Christ lives in me. The life I now live in this body, I live by putting my trust in the Son of God. He was the One Who loved me and gave Himself for me" (2:19-20 NLV).
Remember King David who we are told was the apple of God's eye (Psalm 17:8)? Even though David was an adulterer and murderer, a key reason for why he was still considered the "apple of God's eye" is that he knew that his wrong doings did not take away his identity in God. We read in Psalm 56:
4) In God I will praise his word; in God I have put my trust;
10) In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word.
11) In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
David had learned that when he comes to God in the identity as His child, God receives him as Himself. In this identity, God's perfection reigned through David equipping him to be a shadow of a son of God, a forerunner preparing the way for Jesus Christ (Matt. 22:42).
Being born again is not a literal coming out of our mother's womb as Nicodemus questioned to Jesus, but having the veil removed from our heart by the Holy Spirit to reveal our connection to a family that has always been in existence. Faith is the vessel that allows us to see into the arena of God that has always been there, but could not be seen with our natural eyes or carnal understanding. In our Father's time, He will speak to the hearts of His children through the manifested word of His body. The Holy Spirit in each person witnesses to the Spirit of God and a new beginning is birthed (while in the flesh) with the revelation of our true identity:
"And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus" (Col. 1:21-28).
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." (Col. 3:1-3).