KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
studies in end time revelation
THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
THE MELCHIZEDEK CONNECTION
There is, undoubtedly, no greater mystery in all of holy writ than that which surrounds the ministry of the Melchizedek priesthood. So great are its depths that the inspired apostle, in introducing this wonderful subject, could only say that of Melchizedek there were "many things to say and hard to be uttered" (Heb. 5:11). It was in connection with this topic that the apostle offered the keen observation that "strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Heb. 5:14). And he was speaking specifically of the magnitude of the Melchizedek priesthood when he urged the believers to leave the elementary principles of the doctrine of Christ and "go on to perfection" (Heb. 6:1).
The apostle's failure to elucidate the "many things" that were "hard to be understood" has, no doubt, challenged multiplied thousands of sincere students of the Word of God. Studious researching of the Scriptures, however, could never have unfolded the mysteries of the Order of Melchizedek whose secrets were hermetically sealed in the celestial realm, until the time appointed of the Father for the full revelation of this priesthood. Only as the hour for the manifestation of the sons of God has approached has God begun to lift the veil, there to reveal to our wondering hearts the glories contained in the mystery of the Melchizedekian Order. I do not hesitate to tell you that the magnitude of this priesthood shall, in these last days at the end of the age, descend upon the sons and daughters of the Most High as they are raised up into His resurrection life and are clothed upon with the fullness of His power and glory. The opening of these precious things of God to the many hearts that wait before Him in this hour all the more confirms that the time has arrived for the establishing of a people in the Order of Melchizedek, and that it is, indeed, time for God to move through His anointed King-Priests to bring all kindreds and all peoples and all nations into the peace and righteousness and glory of the Kingdom of God. What a wonderful hour to walk with God!
THE KING OF SALEM
"For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God...first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace" (Heb. 7:1-2). Here is something mysterious and majestic. Where was this Salem over which Melchizedek was King? It has been supposed by some that-Salem was the Canaanite city of Jerusalem. I do not thing that is true at all. Salem is not an earthly city, in fact, it is not a geographical place at all - the word "salem" simply means peace. The apostle does not say that Melchizedek was King of Jerusalem. He was King of peace; he was a man who could make peace in that day, who ministered and blessed out of the dominion of the peace of God. He was King of peace and Priest of the Most High God. He was from a Salem that was not on this physical realm, but actually a spiritual, heavenly, eternal realm.
In Galatians, chapter four, the apostle Paul makes it abundantly clear that there ARE two Jerusalems. "For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; by he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar. For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all" (Gal. 4:22-26).
Paul has been here drawing a comparison or a contrast between Hagar and Sarah, the children of the bondwoman and the children of the freewoman, which allegorically represent two covenants and the two Jerusalems. He states that there is a Jerusalem from below, which is here on this planet, the Jerusalem that now is and is in bondage with her children; which answers to Hagar and is fleshly, earthly Israel under the law. There is, moreover, a Jerusalem which is above, and the Jerusalem which is above, being free, answers to Sarah and is the children of God through the new covenant, born from above by the Spirit. "But the Jerusalem WHICH IS ABOVE is free, which is the mother of us all." It refers to the ALL who are free and are born under a different covenant than the one given at Sinai. It does not mean all in the sense of everybody living and dead, everybody in every grave and in every nation. Thus ALL must be qualified and understood to mean those born of spiritual birth under a new covenant and in freedom. This Jerusalem is the mother of the heavenly Israel after which the earthly Israel is patterned, and this is shown in the book of Revelation in the twelve gates bearing the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Let all who read these lines understand that Melchizedek was not King of Salem in the sense of the earthly Jerusalem, but he was KING OF THE JERUSALEM WHICH IS ABOVE, the eternal City of Peace. Melchizedek stepped out of the heavenly realm, He was from above, He was from this heavenly Jerusalem, of which the one on earth was just a shadow. He was from the real Temple, a minister of the true Tabernacle, the heavenly Sanctuary (Heb. 8:2), and the one here on earth was just a replica of that which was in the heavens. That is why the author of Hebrews refers to it as a "shadow." Most saints do not realize there has been in existence a heavenly Israel, a heavenly Jerusalem, a heavenly Temple and a heavenly Priesthood with a heavenly Sacrifice from before the foundation of the world. They rather think that God and Moses picked each other's brains for forty days and nights to figure out the best way to build a Tabernacle! God specifically showed Moses how to build the Tabernacle and its furniture, for all of it was already in heaven, including the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).
How clear the Scripture is about this! "We have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and the true tabernacle, which THE LORD PITCHED, and not man. For every High Priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices...who serve unto the example 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 (the original) showed to thee in the mount. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the representations of things in the heavens should be purified with these (blood of bulls and goats); but THE HEAVENLY THINGS THEMSELVES WITH BETTER SACRIFICES THAN THESE. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Heb. 8:1-5; 9:22-24).
Everything that is seen in the earth regarding the purpose and plan of God had its origin in the heavenlies. The arrangement and structure of the Tabernacle and all its furnishings and ceremonies and priestly ministrations were to be made according to the "pattern" shown Moses in the Mount. Therefore there had to be a heavenly reality from which the earthly was made. The Jerusalem which is above is the mother of us all, and that great City has twelve gates bearing the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. This intimates that there is a heavenly Israel as well as an earthly Israel, and, in fact, since the earthly is made after the pattern of the heavenly we would not be in error to say that there was a heavenly Israel before there was ever an earthly Israel. In ages past before we came to live in this body of flesh we existed in pure spirit form and belonged to that great Commonwealth of the Heavenlies. Then it surely is not out of context to also believe that the Melchizedek Priesthood was also pre-existent in ages past and was, as I have pointed out in an earlier article, manifested in the Garden of Eden under the symbolism of the Tree of Life. And now, praise God, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost once again "WE ARE COME unto Mount Zion, and unto the City of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem...to the general assembly and Church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven" (Heb. 12:22-23).
All of Jerusalem's children are born of the Spirit, and led by the Spirit. And now in this heavenly light, power and spirit they come to be the heavenly Jerusalem's children, that is, born from above. And is not this the city that Abraham sought for, which bath foundations, whose builder and maker is God? Is not this the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God, that he sought for? Is it not from among this people, born of the Spirit and led by the Spirit, that the Melchizedek Priesthood is revealed? Ah, little wonder that the apostle declared that in relation to this Melchizedekian Order there are "many things to say and hard to be understood" by those unspiritual ears that remain unquickened and uncircumcised by the Spirit of Truth.
Abraham, being touched and blessed from that heavenly realm, clearly understood these wonderful things, for it is written of him, "By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as a stranger...FOR HE LOOKED FOR A CITY WHICH HATH FOUNDATIONS, WHOSE BUILDER AND MAKER IS GOD" (Heb. 11:9-lO). He not only went out of Ur of the Chaldees, but he went into Canaan. And not even this alone, but he sojourned there, he abode there, he lived there, but not as a citizen; he dwelt in tents, thus signifying a temporary status, that he was but a pilgrim and a stranger, passing through the land. Thus the inspired apostle states that this dwelling in tents served as a symbol that he found here no continuing city, but looked and searched for one to come, one that had foundations, that was permanently fixed - of the eternal realm. By faith he saw the unseen. He had his heart as little in Canaan as in Ur; it was in the heavenlies; it was with God; it was in the eternal realm of the Spirit.
And of those elect saints who share Abraham's longing it is written, "For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country...they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come" (Heb. 11:14,16; 13:14). Of the present, earthly, natural realms, it can truly be said, as one has written, "'we have here no continuing city' - 'for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are age-abiding' (II Cor. 4:18). Thus Abraham's testimony was such that he was not looking for a permanent dwelling place on a material earth realm, for he sought for that BETTER, that is, that HEAVENLY realm which endures. His testimony was not so much a verbal one, as a life which he lived, while he sojourned in the land of promise, a natural inheritance which God declared would be his, and his seed after him. He was as a stranger to this earth realm, for HE BELONGED TO ANOTHER, he belonged to the heavenly realm" - end quote.
Such a confession as Abraham's is clear indication that he had not found on the physical, earthly plane the dwelling place or state of being which could provide permanent satisfaction, "for they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country." "Country" is from the Greek word PATRIS meaning literally "father-land." The term connotes a true homeland FROM WHICH ONE HAS SPRUNG and where he really belongs. What Abraham really looked to was a BETTER COUNTRY, a heavenly one, for in Melchizedek he caught a glimpse of the world from which he had come and by the Spirit he saw that realm to which he must return. And like Abraham, until the Kingdom of Heaven in its power, as it came down from the throne of God in heaven, becomes our one desire, and until we leave all and sell all for this pearl of great price, our faith cannot stand in the power of God, or overcome sin and death and the world. Oh, Father! may it be our one desire to live as those who are PARTAKERS OF A HEAVENLY CALLING, yea, PARTAKERS OF A CELESTIAL PRIESTHOOD, as those who are pilgrims and strangers in this present state of being, pressing forward into the perfections and glories of God. "Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God" (Ps. 87:3). "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon THEE. And they shall call THEE, the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel" (Isa. 6O:1,14). Jerusalem is the habitation of peace. It is interesting to note that in the Hebrew language the word for peace is the same as completeness. Thus it speaks of a DWELLING IN THE COMPLETENESS OF GOD - and this IS peace! No wonder glorious things are spoken of this realm. The city of God is not some huge monstrosity floating down through the galaxies. The city of God is a PEOPLE OF GOD dwellingin a PLACE IN GOD and having their STATE OF BEING in God.
As one has so aptly written, "If you join your spirit to any part of the spirit of the world, you will have here NO CONTINUING CITY - for all that is in the world is temporal. Over and over again you will find your city demolished, and you have to flee to another city to sojourn for a while. But once we are JOINED TO THE LORD, and freely give ourselves wholly to His sovereign control, His Lordship, we begin to find an enduring substance, an inner control that abides - a foundation that is sure. Is it any wonder that we can no longer be satisfied with that which the world possesses? Ah, we have here, in this present realm, no continuing city, but WE SEEK (require) ONE TO COME. And because of this desire for a better, that is, AN HEAVENLY: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called our God: and He is preparing for us a city - which bath foundations, substance of pure reality. 'There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God' (Ps. 46:4). Out of the deep of the bosom of God, flowing through our spirit which is united one in Him, then reaching into every avenue of our will, mind, and being. Yes, 'Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God' (Ps. 48:1). He will be EXALTED in every life He brings into the fullness of salvation" - Gospel Echoes.
THE "ORDER" OF MELCHIZEDEK
The word "order" in the phrase "order of Melchizedek" is something like the word "order" we use when we speak of certain worldly religious orders, such as the Franciscans or the Dominicans, or the orders of various secret societies or lodges. The Bible says that Jesus is a priest after the "Melchizedekian" Order. And that was a startling statement when it was made. It was startling because the people who heard it first, knew of only one order of priests. Those were the Levitical priests of Israel and they were of the Aaronic order. When the new age of the Church was inaugurated, the priesthood of Aaron was terminated and replaced with THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD. This is why Jesus had to be a special kind of priest. He had to have the Melchizedek Connection.
God is a God of order, and not of confusion. Truth has an order for all things that God made by Jesus Christ, who upholds all things by His word and power. So, with His word and power He keeps all things in their places, and in their order, and in their times, and in their seasons; the summer and the winter, the night and the day, the sun, moon, and the stars, all things are kept in order by the word of God and His power; and the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof. "The Lord bath sworn, and will not repent," speaking of the Christ, "thou art a priest for ever, after the Order of Melchizedek" (Ps. llO:4). And Christ is not called after the order of Aaron (Heb. 7:11-22). Here you may see, Melchizedek the priest was not made WITHOUT AN ORDER, and Aaron's priesthood was made by an order of God, according to his rod's budding in the Tabernacle. And Christ was not a priest made without an order, but is after the order of Melchizedek; and His royal priesthood, who offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God, are in His spiritual order, and in the order of the Spirit of God.
It is significant that the very first time the word "priest" appears in the Scriptures, is in Gen. 14:18, referring to Melchizedek, "priest of the Most High God." And the last time the word "priest" is used, is in Rev. 2O:6, concerning the overcoming saints of God who have part in the first resurrection, and who cannot die anymore; of them it is said, "they shall be priests of God and of Christ." You start with the Melchizedekian Order, and you end with the same order, for it is AN ABIDING PRIESTHOOD. In the interim other priesthood orders might arise and disappear, but this ONE carries right on through into the FIRST RESURRECTION COMPANY, out from among the dead, as His SONS become partakers of "the power of an endless life." The Melchizedek order of priests is not yet complete, for Jesus, as a forerunner into that Order, must be joined by those who are to follow after to make up the entire Melchizedek Order. There are many others among the Lord's remnant who are to be joined to Christ in this Melchizedek ministry, and until that Melchizedek Order is completed, the remainder of God's redemptive and restorative plan of the ages cannot be fulfilled. This is the truth the writer to the Hebrews proclaimed when he wrote, "Wherefore, holy brethren, PARTAKERS OF THE HEAVENLY CALLING, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus...which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the FORERUNNER IS FOR US ENTERED, even Jesus, MADE AN HIGH PRIEST FOR EVER AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK" (Heb. 3:1; 6:19-2O).I would draw your attention to the fact of the use of the indefinite article concerning Christ and the priesthood. Before pointing out the particular statements made about Christ as High Priest it will be helpful for me to explain the difference between the use of the definite article and the indefinite article. The words "the," "a," and "an" in grammar are called ARTICLES. The word "the" is the DEFINITE article. When we say, for example, "THE book is on THE table," we are pointing out a particular book on a particular table - something DEFINITE. The words "a" and "an" are called INDEFINITE articles. When we say, "I have A book," we know that an item with the characteristics of "book" is present, but no specific or particular book is indicated - it is something INDEFINITE. Thus, the definite article (the) always IDENTIFIES a person, place or thing, but the indefinite article (a,an) QUALIFIES a person, place or thing.
This is most interesting and enlightening in view of the fact that throughout the book of Hebrews the INDEFINITE article is everywhere used in relation to the priesthood of Christ! Notice the following quote from Hebrews: "_ merciful and faithful High Priest ...we have A great High Priest...for we have not AN High Priest which cannot be touched... He made not Himself to be AN High Priest...Thou art A High Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek...made of God AN High Priest...such AN High Priest became us...we have such AN High Priest who is set on the right hand of the Majesty on high...but Christ being come AN High Priest...we have A High Priest over the house of God..." Nowhere in the entire New Testament is Jesus called THE priest or THE High Priest. This is most significant!In striking contrast we observe that the DEFINITE article is on every occasion used in reference to the High Priests of the Aaronic order - they are always called, each in his turn, T-H-E HIGH PRIEST. Consider the following quotes from the New Testament: "Then assembled the people unto the palace of THE High Priest, who was called Caiphas...and they led Jesus away to Caiphas THE High Priest...and THE High Priest arose...and THE High Priest answered...then THE High Priest rent his clothes...and one drew a sword, and smote the servant of THE High Priest...and Annas THE High Priest asked, By what power have ye done this...and Annanias THE High Priest descended with the elders..." The fact is that in Aaron's order there could BE only one High Priest, so the one man filling that office was invariably called T-H-E HIGH PRIEST!
The above quotations from Hebrews, therefore, are not speaking of our Lord and High Priest in the sense of identifying Him but rather of qualifying Him. His identity is established and sure, but what is being presented is the QUALITY OF THAT PRIESTHOOD. He is not presented to us as the one and only High Priest of the Melchizedekian Order; it is the NATURE of that priesthood that is unfolded. Furthermore, the fact that the indefinite article is used means that He is not the only priest, or High Priest, in this priest hood, but is ONE - the emphasis is on His particular place, position, function and ministry, but with many other priests also entering in beyond the veil into the Most Holy Place to minister as partakers of this heavenly calling after the very same Order. Thewords "AN High Priest" indicate that the Melchizedekian Order IS AN ORDER OF HIGH PRIESTSor a HIGH PRIESTHOOD. Our Lord could not be "A High Priest" of this Order unless thisOrder IS that of High Priesthood.
Melchizedek is a priesthood of ORDER! Jesus Christ was made a priest forever, after the ORDER of Melchizedek. In like manner, in the resurrection, every man comes up in his OWN ORDER. "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But EVERY MAN IN HIS O-W-N O-R-D-E-R: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming. Then cometh the end...all things subdued...God all in all" (I Cor. 15:2O, 22-24,28). Now what does this mean? The Greek word translated "order" is TAGMA and means a "group," or "rank," or "band," or "company." TAGMA actually comes from a root word meaning to appoint, determine, or set in array, as used in Acts 13:38, "and as many as were ORDAINED (set in array) to eternal life believed." The thought is of soldiers marching in bands, companies, regiments or battalions. As in times of war the country calls age groups and forms them into companies of men, so in like manner the Spirit of God calls to resurrection and life every man in his own time, order, and rank. Man holds no power to hasten that order even for an hour; neither has he power to delay it.
But above all it means a SETTING in a particular place in the life of God. A NEW ORDER HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED and with it A NEW AND HIGHER ORDER OF PRIESTHOOD, "Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but AFTER THE POWER OF AN ENDLESS LIFE" (Heb. 7:16). The new order is as new and different as is life and death. No doubt there were many endeavoring to continue the old order of "the law of a carnal commandment," however, that old order has been replaced with THE NEW ORDER OF LIFE. The old order spoke of death and imperfection, while the new order speaks of LIFE AND PERFECTION. The Melchizedek order of priests are to be blessed with the oath given "after the power of an endless life." All who will attain to that calling will be without infirmities, weaknesses ofthe flesh, and the carnality of the sinful nature. The old law made men High Priests which have infirmity (feebleness of body or mind, frailties of the flesh); but "the word of the oath (or the promise of the new order), WHICH WAS SINCE THE LAW, make the Son, WHO IS CONSECRATED (or perfected) FOR EVERMORE" (Heb. 7:28). All who attain to this Order shall become what Christ is! Since Melchizedek (Christ) IS the resurrection and the life, and since, as we have seen, the resurrection is an ORDER - or ORDERLY ARRANGEMENT -to resist God's order is to deny the resurrection and to resist the very life of God.
The resurrection - incorruptible life - is NOT AN EVENT, nor a TIME ELEMENT, but is, rather, a MAN! Jesus said to Martha, "I A-M the resurrection and I A-M the life!" Martha looked to a day, and little did she realize that the Resurrection had just walked into town. The resurrection, then, is a MAN. The Son, a HIGH PRIEST after the Order of Melchizedek, IS the RESURRECTION! And the HIGH PRIESTHOOD is an ORDER! The RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE is an ORDER! As we lay hold upon our inheritance in Christ, apprehending that for which we have been apprehended, pressing on into the fullness of God, being conformed into His image; as we move into our ORDER, as the bones begin to shake and come together, EVERY MAN IN HIS OWN PLACE, we move into Melchizedek, and as we move into Melchizedek, we move into LIFE and RIGHTEOUSNESS and PEACE and POWER, praise His wonderful name!"For He is our peace, who bath made both one, and bath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; for to make in Himself of twain ONE NEW MAN" (Eph. 2:14-15). "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a PERFECT MAN, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13). God is making a new man, a perfect man. There is going to be a new man after a new order. This new man is a new creation in the Christ. That's God's purpose for calling us, for birthing us, for filling us with His Spirit, for dealing and changing and transforming us from glory to glory into His own image and likeness. And here is what this new many-membered man is for: A NEW MAN FOR A NEW AGE. Through our many years in the pews of Babylon all we ever heard was "the end of the world, the end of the world, the end of the world is coming!" So we grew up looking for the end of the world. All the preachers ever thought about, it seems, was the "end of the world." Now I am going to tell you something folks - there isn't going to be any end of the world! If you would like an interesting study, that will really open your eyes, you don't have to know one word of Greek to do it. Get a Young's Analytical Concordance of the Bible. This takes all the words in your English translation and gives you the true meaning of the original Greek word. Look up all those Scriptures in the King James translation where Jesus spoke of "the end of the world." You will discover that in the original Jesus never said the end of the world" at all, He just said "the end of the age." Look up the times where Jesus spoke in the King James version of "those who would be accounted worthy to attain the next world" etc. Check it, and you will find that in the original Greek Jesus didn't say anything about a world to come, but He said, "those that are accounted worthy to attain THAT AGE." And THAT AGE is going to be right here, beloved!
There isn't going to be an end of the world. You might as well stop packing your suitcase and testing your wings and praying God to kill you and take you to heaven. We have far too many Christians in the world today with dying faith, but they don't have any LIVING FAITH. They're always wanting to die, and go off to heaven to be with the Lord. That is, until they get chest pains or a stomach ache, then they rush down to the hospital and spend their very last dime to keep from flying away out there to be with the Lord! It gets rather ridiculous. They talk about going away to heaven to be with the Lord, they sing about going to heaven, they preach about going to heaven, they shout about going to heaven, they clap about going to heaven and then do positively everything they can do to KEEP FROM GOING TO HEAVEN! They go to every doctor, enter every hospital, swallow every pill, pass through every healing line, and call the saints far and near to fast and pray - so they won't have to go off to be with the Lord! Ah, something is wrong, very wrong, somewhere!
God is raising up a people in this hour with a vision for LIVING, not so they can stick around to see their great-grandchildren, or go on another cruise, or raise another garden - but because of an inner consciousness of the mind of Christ that the Spirit of God doesn't want us out there - He wants us right here bringing in this NEW AGE! There will be no end of this world, only the end of an age. The end of an age in which Satan in the carnal mind and wicked heart of man has been ruling over the world, and the bringing in of a new age in which God's many-membered man is going to be ruler over all this world that God created for the Sons of God right here.
Someone may say, "But Brother Eby, you said earlier that we are to seek for a better country, a city which has foundations, which is not of this earthly realm, even an heavenly." Yes - but WE ARE that city and the glorious city of God "COMES DOWN from God out of heaven" (Rev. 21:2). The Tabernacle of God is WITH MEN (Rev. 21:3). All nations shall walk in the light of that City, my friend. The Melchizedek ministry is GOD'S ROYAL PRIESTHOOD manifested in power upon this earth, out of the realm of the Spirit, out of the City of God. The High Priest ascended to be seated on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, but on the day of Pentecost suddenly there "CAME a sound FROM HEAVEN as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:2,4). The High Priest of the Melchizedekian Order came to earth in mighty Spirit power to indwell a people, the City of God came down from heaven, and continues to come down as the saints minister from that higher realm, and God tabernacles among men. For two thousand years this glorious City of Peace and Life and Righteousness has been in preparation to rule over all nations and giver all things and bring deliverance to groaning creation. That is what God is calling His many-membered Son out for and that is what God is preparing him for. For a new age. God is preparing a new man for a new age right here on this earth. This new man will live in the heavenlies, but he will walk on the earth. And when God gets that man prepared, He is going to turn the dominion of the world over to this new man for the new age.
The great truth that I would unfold in this message is this: This NEW MAN is going to be after a NEW ORDER. I want to drive this point home to every believing heart what new order means. All across the land today we hear these terms, "old order," "new I order," or "divine order." And many saints don't have the foggiest notion what "order" means! They hear the words, "new order," or "divine order," and they think its just a new message coming forth. That's all it means - a new revelation, something for everyone to preach and sing and shout about. Ah, beloved, if that's all you see in God's new order, you're going to miss it! An order means a SYSTEM OF THINGS, an ARRANGEMENT. There always has to be an order, remember that.
Divine order is that order that God reveals that He is going to put this new man in. This NEW MAN must be after a NEW ORDER. He will not be after the old Levitical order of Aaron and the Aaronic priesthood, neither will he be after the old order of the babylonish church systems. You see, a priest in any age, and in any situation, is only a mediator between God and the rest of His creation. That's what a priest is. This new man is going to be a priest forever. He's going to be the mediator through which God meets the rest of His creation forevermore. In this age there is only one man who has risen from the earth realm to be seated in the Melchizedekian Order - the man Christ Jesus. So there is now ONE mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. But in that glorious age and the ages to come all the other sons, His many brethren, sons of the first resurrection shall be "priests of God and of Christ." This new many-membered man will not be a priest after the order of Aaron and the Levitical order of the law. Neither is he going to be a priest after the so-called democratic and denominational order that we have in the world and in the church system today. This new man is going to be a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
God had a priesthood long before Moses ever trod the dust of Sinai. Sometimes we don't think He did, we thought the first priesthood that ever came into being was the Levitical priesthood. But God had a minister and a mediator long before Moses, God had a priest long before Aaron. And he was God's minister for that hour, because Abraham paid tithes to him. The apostle reveals in Hebrews that there are many wonderful truths we ought to know about Melchizedek that we have not known as yet. He said in effect, "I have many more things to teach you about Melchizedek, but I can't teach them to you because your ears have become dull of hearing. And when for the time you ought to have become teachers of others, you've become such as have need of the milk of the Word again." Hasn't the Holy Spirit ever pricked your curiosity as to what the apostle wanted to teach those Hebrews about Melchizedek? Well, Brother, He has mine! You see, if the Spirit wanted to teach Melchizedek truths to the Hebrew Christians, then it was New Testament truth. For years I knew in my deepest heart that God had truth for His elect concerning Melchizedek. But He didn't give it to us for the same reason He couldn't give it to the Hebrews. I do not hesitate to tell you that most of the Church today, when for the time they have been Christians, some have been Christians for forty years and should have become teachers of the mystery of Christ, but the vast majority have become such as need the milk of the Word again. So I waited on God for that Melchizedek truth that's pertinent to God's purpose for us in this hour. Now let me give it to you.
Never under the Aaronic order of priesthood, apart from one example, do we find where a king exercised the office or ministry of a priest. In the Levitical order the offices of king and priest were separated, there were those who reigned as kings, and there were those who were the Lord's priests. Kings could not intrude into the priest's office, and priests could not sit on the throne. Judah produced the kings, and Levi produced the priests. On one occasion Uzziah, king of Judah, tried to assume the role of priest and "went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense" and was smitten with leprosy in his forehead (II Chron. 27:16-2O). God had separated the two offices for that time, and the one was not to intrude into the other.
Melchizedek is the sign, the symbol, the first example of a priest as designated in the Word of God. He was called a priest of God long centuries before the Old Covenant order was established for the Levites to be the subsequent priests. Thus, the first or beginning example represents the pattern or true design of God for what He considers a priesthood. Melchizedek had royal blood in his veins, he claimed the title of kingship. The very meaning of the name Melchizedek is "KING of righteousness" and this righteous King was also the Priest of the Most High God. What was always kept asunder under the Law Covenant, by divine wisdom and purpose was united in Him who was "made like unto the Son of God." It is the glory of Christ and His many brethren as KING-PRIESTS that Melchizedek so wondrously prefigures. A new order has arisen in Jesus Christ. He is a King-Priest. And He has made us to be Kings and Priests, a Kingdom of Priests, a Royal Priesthood unto God. "They shall be PRIESTS of God and of Christ, and shall REIGN with Him" (Rev. 2O:6).
The principal idea attached to the title "king" is that of authority and rule; to the title "priest" that of mediation, mercy, ministry and reconciliation, drawing men nigh unto God, and God nigh unto men. Why is Jesus seated as a priest upon the throne of the heavens? It is that man may be blessed, and that God may be glorified in man. As priest He lives only for others, to bring them near to God. He lives as king only that He might reveal the Kingdom - the power, authority and glory - of God in and through us.
There is a most significant side-light to this great truth of Christ as King-Priest. Heb. 8:1-2 tells us that "we have such an High Priest, who is SET on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the true tabernacle." It is interesting to note that under the Levitical order priests NEVER SAT DOWN. "And every priest STANDETH daily ministering and offering...the same sacrifices" (Heb. 10:11). All the way through the Old Testament Israel had the Tabernacle of Moses, the Tabernacle of David, and the Temple of Solomon - none of these three had any chairs! You will never find any record of a chair among the items of furniture in either the Tabernacle of Moses, the Tabernacle of David, or the Temple. There were no chairs because the priest of Israel never sat down. And the priests of Israel never sat down because their work was never finished. And their work was never finished because the blood of bulls and goats could never take away sin. So they would function in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple day after day and week after week and month after month and year after year at the feasts of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. Once each year the High Priest would go into the Holy of Holies on the day of atonement, sprinkling the blood before him, but they never finished, they never consummated, never brought to an end, never brought it to fruition, they could never sit down because it had to be done again and again and again and again. It was simply a picture, the blood of bulls and goats could never take away sin, could never deal with the heart and cleanse it. But Jesus, "after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, SAT DOWN ON THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD" (Heb. 10:12). His is an infinite sacrifice of eternal duration. He offered Himself once and for all, never to be repeated, so HE SAT DOWN.
But there is a further truth. While priests, in the ministrations of their office, did not sit down, kings were always SEATED upon a throne. "For thus saith the Lord; David shall never want a man to SIT upon the throne of the house of Israel" (Jer. 33:17). Priests always stood, but kings always sat. And Christ is now a King-Priest. "Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; even He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory, and shall SIT and RULE UPON HIS THRONE; He shall be a PRIEST UPON HIS THRONE: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both (between kingship and priesthood)" (Zech. 6:12-13). The Christ SITS as a KING-PRIEST. This word He sends to His overcoming brethren: "To him that overcometh will I grant to SIT WITH ME IN MY THRONE, even as I also overcame, and am SET DOWN with My Father IN HIS THRONE" (Rev. 3:21).
And although He is seated as King-Priest, praise God, He can still STAND as a priest to minister to man's need, as shown on that awful day when the faithful Stephen was stoned to death. "When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and JESUS STANDING on the right hand of God. And he I said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man STANDING on the right hand of God. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep" (Acts 7:54-6O). Ah - though He sat as heaven's King with all regal authority and could have, with one sweep of His hand, wiped those miserable murderers off the face of the earth forever, yet He STOOD AS A PRIEST, looking, extending His arm of compassion, not alone to His beloved servant Stephen, but still offering grace to Israel, if they would only hear. And He stands, still! For His arm is not shortened that it cannot save, and He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He EVER LIVETH to make intercession for them. He sits as a King, but He stands as a Priest!
What a beautiful picture is here portrayed by the Spirit of God! Melchizedek was King of righteousness and King of peace. Is that something in the natural realm? Was there a literal place called Righteousness? A literal place named Peace? Righteousness and peace; these are the characteristics of the Kingdom of God. "For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Rom. 14:17). Our High Priest is a King, a King of righteousness, and a King of peace; He is the embodiment of these characteristics that He may be able to minister these attributes to His people.As King of righteousness and King of peace the RIGHTEOUSNESS of the law and the PEACE of God's grace are brought together. It was, then, of this priestly kingship that David prophesied when he said, "Surely His salvation is nigh...MERCY and TRUTH are met together; RIGHTEOUSNESS and PEACE have kissed each other" (Ps. 85:9-lO). Mercy and truth are met together - praise God, what a summit meeting! These words are pregnant with meaning. When one contemplates the very impossibility of such an union, it is an overwhelming thought that mercy and truth are met together. Truth is harsh and demanding; mercy is lenient and lax. Truth condemns and devours; mercy covers and exonerates. Yet here, in the Melchizedek priesthood, these two incompatible forces are MET TOGETHER! Such is the condition and ministry of sonship, for it is written that the "law (truth) came by Moses, but GRACE (peace) and TRUTH (righteousness) came by Jesus Christ" (Jn. 1:17). Of Moses it was written, "Moses was faithful AS A SERVANT in all his house," for though he brought truth, it slew its hearers - "but Christ AS A SON over His house," because in Him TRUTH was tempered with MERCY - mingled with love - satisfied with the sacrifice of Himself! Blessed be the name of the Lord! "Mercy and truth are met together...and righteousness and peace have kissed each other."
Partakers with Him in this heavenly calling, when one actually becomes KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, he shares that dominion, that authority, that power that is derived from holiness, rightness. And when one actually becomes KING OF PEACE, he shares that unlimited outflow of mercy, of compassion, that is derived from His infinite love. May God make it real to you, however, that before one can become king of peace, he must of necessity be king of righteousness, for without righteousness there is no true peace. And He is bringing forth His order of RIGHTEOUS SONS, sons of the Highest, who become priests of the Most High.
JESUS IS PRIEST AND KING. The Lord Jesus is a Priest who is ever merciful and compassionate. He will and does meet the needs of man, but He is also the King who demands your obedience to His sovereign will. Is He your Ruler and Governor? The majority of the Church world is only interested in His being a Priest or the Merciful One who meets the needs of man, saving, healing, delivering, blessing, answering prayers. The blessed emphasis of the Word of God is His LORDSHIP! He is to be King and Ruler and Governor over my life and yours. Surely He will meet your needs, but He will also demand your obedience! We must learn about BOTH dimensions of the Melchizedek ministry. We cannot project a loving Priest without the firm discipline of His Kingdom. And we cannot preach the Gospel of the Kingdom without the mercy and compassion of His Priesthood.
"Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and for ever. A scepter of RIGHTEOUSNESS is the scepter of Thy Kingdom" (Heb. 1:8). As you know, we don't live in a monarchy. The United States gained its independence on July 4, 1776, and became a republic. The British would understand the scepter far better than Americans, because they live under a monarchy in which the king or queen bears his/her scepter as an emblem of authority. It is the symbol of the authority of that great office of the monarch who sits upon the throne reigning and ruling. In the Bible, of course, Jesus is King. It says, "A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy Kingdom." His scepter is not made of gold, silver and jewels. What Jesus honors is righteousness and righteousness is not just the symbol but the basis of authority in His Kingdom. If we are going to exercise authority in the Kingdom of God, it is going to be only as we know righteousness, as we take up righteousness as a scepter, as the authority of our lives.Do you want to be an overcomer? Then learn that Jesus is Priest AND King. There is a great error abroad in the land today. There is a projection of a one-sided gospel to the multitudes that appeals to the flesh. This is how it comes across: "God loves you, God wants to forgive you, bless you, heal you, deliver you, solve all your problems, prosper you, fill you - God wants to meet all YOUR NEEDS." And that is tremendously true! But if that is our EMPHASIS, if that is where our message STOPS, if that is ALL that we tell God's people, then we are in trouble! If we make that priestly truth our priority, we will produce a race of spoiled spiritual brats who are immature and selfish, takers and not givers. And when the clouds of adversity and trouble roll in, when the storms of tribulation and fiery trial break in unbridled fury upon the land, as they surely shall, these poor folk will be frustrated, fearful, upset and angry with God when He doesn't come running when they quote their favorite "faith" Scriptures. A warped presentation of truth will produce warped saints. And the land is filled with these today!
Jesus Christ wants to reveal Himself not only as King, not only as Priest, but as KING-PRIEST. You've heard the old testimony: "Jesus is my Saviour, Healer, Sanctifier, Baptiser and thank God - I rejoice over this more than anything else - He is my COMING King." The vast majority of Christians today do not want this Man to RULE over them. They do not mind His ruling over the communists and the devil and the millenium, but they feel they are covered by the grace of God, they demand all His blessings, and go their way and do what they want to do. That is why they have kept Him coming - "My COMING King". The Lord wants to be King NOW. We are told in Colossians that He "hash translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son." Already it has taken place, already we are in that Kingdom, already Christ has a Kingdom and is its King. The word "kingdom" comes from two terms, "king" and "dominion" - king's dominion. It exists wherever the dominion of Christ rules and holds sway over the hearts of men. Christ is the great King right now, ruling all things for the well-being of His subjects and bringing to absolute perfection and completion His plans which He has ordained before the foundation of the world. He is the King eternal and invincible. He shall yet arise in glory in His NEW MAN FOR THE NEW AGE and reveal Himself as the great conquering King, and then all shall know Him. Every tongue shall confess and every knee shall bow and all men will at that time crown Jesus Christ LORD OF ALL.
The Lord wants to be King NOW. But He wants to be more than that. We first have to know Him in His kingship, in His authority, in His rulership, in His government. The Scripture calls Him "a righteous Governor." We have to first know Him as King. But why does He desire us to know Him as King? Why does He desire to set up the throne of His Kingdom in our hearts? So that He can make US to become kings. But that is not the end. He is not setting up His throne within us, just to make us kings. But He is setting up His throne in us - "unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and bath made us KINGS AND PRIESTS unto God and His Father" - He is making us kings in order that He may be able to appear and manifest Himself in the midst of the kings as THE KING OF ALL THE KINGS. The world will never know Him as the King of kings until there are kings among whom He can stand and reveal Himself as King of kings. Do not think you will be puffed up when you come into kingship - "Ah, when I become a king!"
When you become a king, that is just the beginning. It is just the beginning of the opportunity for the revelation of Jesus Christ as KING OF KINGS. But He is a Priest upon His throne. He is Priest in our hearts. In this age only the Church knows His wonderful priesthood. But the hour is coming when the priests of the Order of Melchizedek shall touch all creation. You are only becoming a priest, my brother, my sister, so He can manifest HIS HIGH PRIESTHOOD through you. May God make this real to you today!The NEW ORDER for the NEW MAN in the NEW AGE is not the New Testament Church or fivefold ministry. New Testament Church order is for one age only - the age we have been in for the past 2,OOO years. The Scriptures are clear: "And He gave some apostles...prophets...evangelists...pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints...for the edifying of the body of Christ: T-I-L-L we all come...unto a PERFECT MAN, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:11-13). The five-fold ministry is given only UNTIL - and the PERFECT MAN, the NEW MAN FOR THE NEW AGE - is on the other side of that UNTIL! In perfection, in the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, in full sonship, in the Melchizedek Order, in the KING-PRIEST ministry the five-fold ministry forever passes away. The five-fold ministry is for the Church age to help us along the way into God's fullness. But in the glorious age and ages to come there will be no apostles, no prophets, no evangelists, no pastors or teachers as we know them.- there will only be KING-PRIESTS after the Order of Melchizedek. The five-fold ministry was never given to save the nations or restore creation back to God. It was given for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry. In 2,OO0 years it has not brought deliverance to the groaning creation. That's why a NEW ORDER must be brought in. The new order is a people moving in HIS ALMIGHTY POWER mingled with HIS INFINITE LOVE. And THIS ORDER will get the job done! This is the order of KING-PRIESTS where mercy and truth are met together. Hallelujah!
To be continued
J. Preston Eby
P O BOX 371240
El Paso Texas 79937
If you would like any of these messages or would like to be on J Preston Eby's mail list you may write him at the above address or e-mail me at Gary@Sigler.org and I will forward your request to Preston. He has nothing to sell, all his writings are free to all. You may contribute to his ministry to help spread this message to the world, but gifts are not tax deductible.