View the latest posts in an easy-to-read list format, with filtering options.
Melchizedek came as a king-priest of Jerusalem (Gen. 14). Many years later, King David was also called not only as a king but as "a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek" (Ps. 110:4). He was not of the tribe of Levi or the lineage of Aaron, so he was not a priest under the Old Covenant that was established by Moses.
As a Melchizedek priest, David was able to eat the bread from the table of showbread without violating the Law (1 Sam. 21:6). Jesus confounded the rabbis in Matt. 12:3-5 by reminding them of this. Jesus was the high priest of the Melchizedek Order, so he understood the actions of His father, David. Jesus understood that David only appeared to be violating the Law, but in fact he was fully eligible as a priest to eat of that bread.
While David and Jesus (and even Moses himself) were legitimate Melchizedek priests in their own time, we have other examples of men who were counterfeits. Saul was neither a priest of Aaron nor of Melchizedek when he offered the sacrifice himself in 1 Sam. 13:9. He usurped that position and displeased God. Likewise, he abused his legitimate calling as king and was rebuked by the prophet for his sin of rebellion (1 Sam. 15:23).
Eli was a legitimate high priest of the line of Phinehas, but he abused his position by refusing to correct his sons. 1 Sam. 2 says of Eli's sons,
12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the Lord."
In verse 16 we read that they were taking the offerings by force (fraud), and in verse 22 we find that they were having sex with the women on church staff. God faulted Eli for not removing them from their positions of priestly responsibility. We have worse problems today, as the newspapers have often reminded us. How many priests have been transferred instead of being removed from the priesthood for their homosexual abuse of altar boys and others?
As in the days of Eli, so also today. That line of priests will be judged and removed from office in due course. In the Age to come, they will be replaced by the true Melchizedek Order, who walk in the character of Christ and who follow His Law.
Saul and Eli are the two primary types whose lives prophesy about counterfeits of Melchizedek. In the Church today we see the same two kinds of priesthood manifested. There are some who truly have a heart for God and who teach the principles of Melchizedek. Others pattern themselves after the Old Covenant priesthood of Aaron, relying upon robes, sacrifices (of the mass), incense, and physical temples.
Evangelical and Pentecostal denominations often establish the Old Covenant priesthood in a little different way. They teach that the priesthood of the Age to come will be given to Jewish priests of Aaron named Cohen, and that they will sacrifice animals in a physical temple in the old Jerusalem. While such denominations do not usually claim to be part of that priesthood, they support it, fund it, and present this as the divine plan for the Kingdom in the Age to come.
May I remind such people that the Old Covenant high priest was replaced by Jesus, son of David, of the tribe of Judah? No matter that the dispute has yet to be resolved and implemented. The case before the Divine Court has already been won by Jesus Christ. The Executors of God's Will used to be the Aaronic priests, but because they abused their position by usurping the throne of Jesus Christ, they were cast out and replaced by the Melchizedek Order.
You may wish to review my commentary on Hebrews, particularly chapter 9, beginning with the subsection: "The Executors of God's Last Will and Testament" (p. 107 in the book). When Jesus died on the cross, the Will of God came into force, because a Will is activated when the Testator dies (Heb. 9:16, 17). God had previously hired the Law Firm of Cohen and Sons, consisting of Aaronic trustees (lawyers) to dispense the provisions and blessings of His Will to all families of the earth. Unfortunately, they disqualified themselves by usurping those blessings for themselves.
So they were replaced by the Law Firm of Melchizedek and Sons. This Law firm did not require its priests to be of any particular genealogy. Melchizedek had established this principle long ago when he appeared in the Biblical text "without father, without mother, without genealogy" (Heb. 7:3). In other words, his genealogy was not written down (recorded), as Heb. 7:6 says. Though we know from historical sources that he was Shem, Scripture itself deliberately hides this fact in Genesis 14 in order to prophesy of a priestly order that did not require genealogy or pedigree as a qualification for priesthood. It was a case where Divine Silence prophesied.
The change of priesthood from Phinehas to Zadok in the days of Solomon was (of necessity) a mere change of Aaronic priesthood from one family to another. Both families were of Aaron, for this change came while yet under the overall jurisdiction of the Old Covenant. But this prophesied also of another time when there would be a greater change of priesthood from Aaron to Melchizedek.
For this reason, when the "man of God" prophesied to Eli, he seems to bypass Phinehas altogether, focusing attention on Levi himself. He says in 1 Sam. 2:27,
27 . . . Thus says the Lord, "Did I not indeed reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in bondage of Pharaoh's house?"
The promise was given to Aaron while they were in Egypt. The promise was given to Phinehas while Israel was in the wilderness. Hence, the prophecy was applicable on both levels at different times. On the first level of fulfillment, the line of Phinehas ended with Abiathar in the time of Solomon, as we read in 1 Kings 2:27,
27 So Solomon dismissed Abiathar from being priest to the Lord, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord, which He had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.
Yet this replacement did not fully exhaust the prophecy of the man of God. It could not be totally fulfilled until the Levitical tribe itself, represented by Aaron, had been replaced by "a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul" (1 Sam. 2:35). That faithful priest is Jesus Christ Himself, for this was a messianic prophecy.
Because Jesus came of the tribe of Judah and the lineage of David, His appointment as High Priest was done to replace Levi-Aaron with Melchizedek. It was an entirely new priesthood, an older priesthood that can be traced back at least as far as Genesis 14, but in actuality it goes back to Adam. That priesthood was part of the provision of the Birthright.
I have written many times about how Jacob divided the Birthright among his sons when he blessed them in Genesis 48 and 49. He took the Scepter out of the Birthright and gave it to Judah. He took the Priesthood out of the Birthright and gave it to Levi. The remaining portions of the Birthright were given to Joseph, including its most important provision: the right to bring forth the Sons of God, which I call the Fruitfulness Mandate (from Gen. 1:28).
All of these divisions are being brought back under one Head as it was at the beginning. The breach is being repaired. Jesus came of Judah and David to claim His Throne. At the same time, He secured the priesthood through Melchizedek. In His second coming, His robe will be "dipped in blood" (Rev. 19:13), for He comes as Joseph, the inheritor of the rest of the Birthright.
His second coming will end all divisions in the Birthright instituted by Jacob. Those divisions were temporary. What comes will never end.