KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
studies in end time revelation
THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
THE MELCHIZEDEK CONNECTION
No part of the New Testament, with the possible exception of the book of Revelation, is more difficult for the immature Christian to understand than the Epistle to the Hebrews. Much of its imagery is drawn from the Old Testament temple ritualism, with its priesthood, sacrifices and the like. The rest is rooted in the person and ministry of that ancient mysterious priest, Melchizedek. Thus we find ourselves simultaneously in two thought worlds which are not ours, and it is easy to feel that there is nobody to show us around. This Epistle moves in a world of its own. Its categories of priesthood, of earthly shadows pointing to heavenly realities, of types and figures, are unique.
The writer to the Hebrews exhorts in Heb. 5:11 concerning the Order of Melchizedek, "...we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull in your spiritual hearing and sluggish, even slothful in achieving spiritual insight" (Amplified). Then he continues, "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 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. 5:12,14). The message is clear - the truths on the Melchizedek priesthood are strong meat that only the mature can comprehend. This truth is solid food, strong meat, and it will take some spiritual stature and stamina to masticate and digest it until it becomes a very part of the being. We know so little, but He promises to guide us into ALL TRUTH, and when we ask for bread, He will not give us a stone.
Speaking to those baby Christians who were still in need of milk, and not yet ready for the strong meat, the author says in essence: Considering the time you have been believers, you ought to be able to go beyond the milk of the Word, of the first elementary, rudimentary, fundamental principles of the doctrine of Christ, into the deeper truths of revelation which are meat for men of full age. Then follows that stirring challenge, "Therefore leaving the (elementary) principles of the doctrine of Christ, LET US GO ON TO PERFECTION" (Heb. 6:1). If we do not GO ON to perfection, we will never partake of the strong meat of Melchizedekian truth, nor experience the out-workings of its reality in us. There are listed six things which belong to the "first principles" which we are to leave, that we might go on into deeper dimensions: (1) repentance from dead works (2) faith toward God (3) doctrine of baptisms (4) the laying on of hands (5) resurrection of the dead (6) judgment. It is interesting to note that these "milk of the Word" principles make up the CARDINAL DOCTRINES of most of the Churches today - be they Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Pentecostal or Charismatic! ALL, according to Hebrews, major in minors and minor in majors!
We have seen for years that a repetitious preaching of the "fundamentals" or "basics" of the Gospel to saints who have already received the Lord as Saviour, Baptizer, Healer, etc., hardly makes for spiritual growth. To lay over and over again the foundation of repentance, faith, baptisms, laying on of hands, and the doctrines of resurrection and judgment, never gets you peat the foundation, for nothing is ever built thereon. Praise God for the foundation, but LET US GO ON TO PERFECTION! People sometimes ask why I don't devote more time in my writings to the "basics" of the Gospel. The answer is very simple: God has a whole world full of preachers and Churches dispensing milks If it is milk you wish to drink, my brother, my sister, there is a truck load on almost every street corner, Churches with crate after crate piled high, book stores packed full, and radio and television stations squirting milk all over the place twenty-four hour a day. Little need for me to grab a bottle and Shove it in someone's mouth' Ah, I will do even that, should I meet a babe that must have milk. But our writings are directed specifically to those who, considering the time they have been believers, ought to be able to go beyond the milk stage, unto the perfecting truths which are meat for men and women of maturity. We must say earnestly that in view of these words concerning Melchizedek in Heb. 5:11, "Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be understood," we need to approach this subject with deep humility and earnest prayer for light and for wisdom from above. For is it not true of practically the whole Church, in a sad degree, that we "are become dull of hearing...such as have need of milk"?
This rich truth of Melchizedek must drop down from the lofty heights of our intellect and be birthed into our heart. Then it must move down into our FEET! We must WALK OUT these principles in shoe leather, or the light that is in us will become darkness. It is not head-knowledge we want, for the mere gaining of knowledge for the sake of knowledge is but vain philosophy. There has already been too much rhetoric; we cry for reality! It is with this attitude that I want to continue sharing the glory of THE MELCHIZEDEK CONNECTION. I want to show you the very heart and soul of the King-Priest ministry, which is after the Order of Melchizedek.
THE MOST HIGH GOD
One of the very first truths revealed in Scripture through Melchizedek is that of GOD MOST HIGH. "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was priest of THE MOST HIGH GOD. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of THE MOST HIGH GOD, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be THE MOST HIGH GOD" (Gen. 14:182O). The MOST HIGH GOD is revealed in connection with Melchizedek, the king of Salem, in the days of Abram. Melchizedek, we are told, was "priest of the Most High God," and it was through him that Abram also received the knowledge of God as the Most High, for it was only after Abram's meeting with Melchizedek that he says, "I have lifted up my hand unto the Lord, the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth" (Gen. 14:22). The elect's knowledge of the Most High God therefore is somehow connected with the knowledge of Melchizedek, and of the special nature of his priesthood, as "priest of the Most High God." There is something very deep and special in the knowledge of God as the Most High, and of the priesthood of God Most High.
The title, Most High God, is EL ELYON, in the Hebrew. EL means "strong," while ELYON means "Most High, elevated, supreme, lofty." It derives from the root ALAH meaning to ascend, but not in the sense of the action of one ascending progressively to higher heights, but as ONE THAT IS PERMANENTLY FIXED IN THE HIGHEST POSITION. Yet it is also fulfilled in Jesus Christ who truly did descend and has now ASCENDED "far above all principalities, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come" (Eph. 1:21). "He is the Head of the body, the church: Who is the Beginning, the Firstborn from the dead; that in all He might have pre-eminence" (Cal. 1:18). And "He shall be great, and shall be called THE SON OF THE HIGHEST" (Lk. 1:32).
I must point out that EL ELYON is not a proper name; it is rather a DESCRIPTIVE TITLE. It is a title such as "King," "President," "Prime Minister," "Archangel," "Supreme Pontiff," etc. If we say, "I have met President Reagan," the NAME "Reagan" identifies the person, and the TITLE "President" reveals a position as head of a government. When we speak of "the Archangel Michael," the NAME "Michael" identifies the being, whereas the TITLE "Archangel" shows his rank as the chief among the angels. The word ELYON is applied to things as well as persons, ALWAYS THE HIGHEST OF A SERIES OR ORDER OF LIKE NATURES. For example, It is used of the "highest (elyon) baskets of a tier of baskets (Gen. 4O:17); of Israel as "the nation high (elyon) above all nations (Deut. 26:19); of the "king higher (elyon) than other kings" (Ps. 89:27); and of "chambers higher (elyon) than other chambers" (Eze. 41:7).
A number of precious brethren have made much of the distinction between JEHOVAH and the MOST HIGH GOD. Some have taught that the names Jehovah and Most High God reveal different aspects of God's nature, while others have presented Jehovah and the Most High almost as two different Gods altogether. I do not like to differ from my brethren whom I love dearly and esteem highly in the Lord, but I would be remiss if I failed to point out that the simple, unvarnished truth is that Jehovah IS the Most High God! The Word of God draws absolutely NO DISTINCTION between the two at all, and this is clearly understandable once we see that "Most High" is NOT A NAME - its a title! Who is the Most High God? Why, JEHOVAH Himself is God Most High. The evidence is found right in the great Melchizedekian chapter (Gen. 14) when Abram, having been blessed by the Most High, exclaims, "I have lifted up my hand unto JEHOVAH, the MOST HIGH GOD, possessor of heaven and earth" (Gen. 14:22).
In the King James version of the Bible wherever you see LORD in capital letters, as in the verse just quoted, it really is in the Hebrew YAHWEH or JEHOVAH. So who is Jehovah? He is the Most High. Who is the Most High? Why, bless your heart, Jehovah is the Most High. Who is possessor of heaven and earth? The Most High is possessor of heaven and earth. And in our text, who is possessor of heaven and earth? JEHOVAH is! You simply cannot differentiate between Jehovah and the Most High God. Jehovah is His NAME; Most High His TITLE. The name Jehovah reveals His Person, while the title Most High signifies His exalted position far above all gods.
Listen! In the Psalm, which speaks perhaps more clearly than any other of God's Kingdom over all nations, the Psalmist's reason why all should praise Him is, that "JEHOVAH, MOST HIGH, is terrible: He is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet; for God is the King over all the earth; and the princes of the people are gathered together to be the people of the GOD OF ABRAHAM; for the shields of the earth belong unto God. He is greatly exalted" (Ps. 47:1-9). All this is ascribed to "JEHOVAH, MOST HIGH." It cannot be stated with greater clarity than in Ps. 83:18: "That men may know that Thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, A-R-T THE MOST HIGH over all the earth." And again, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the MOST HIGH shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will any of JEHOVAH, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust...because thou hast made JEHOVAH, which is my refuge, E-V-E-N THE MOST HIGH, thy habitation" (Ps. 91:1-2,9). "But Thou, JEHOVAH, A-R-T MOST HIGH forevermore" (Ps. 92:8). Consider, dear one, it is precious to note that in Gabriel's mission to Mary concerning the birth of Jesus, he disclosed, "He shall be great, and shall be called THE SON OF THE HIGHEST," and "the power of THE HIGHEST shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called THE SON OF GOD" (Lk. 1:32,35). Jesus is the Son of THE HIGHEST. And whose Son is He? Ps. 2:7 tells us. "I will declare the decree: JEHOVAH bath said unto Me, Thou art MY SON; this day have I BEGOTTEN THEE." Jesus Christ is the Son of JEHOVAH, the MOST HIGH GOD! We could pile Scripture upon Scripture and proof on top of proof, but these few examples should suffice to convince any thinking heart that JEHOVAH IS THE MOST HIGH GOD. There is no difference.
God's purpose in a name is its MEANING! I have met a great number of people who feel they mouth all the correct forms of God's name, but they know absolutely nothing about God's name, for they have never entered into relationship with Him IN HIS NATURE REVEALED BY HIS NAME. God's name is His nature. The name Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew verb HAVAH meaning "to be," or "being." This word is almost exactly like the Hebrew verb CHAVAH meaning "to live," or "life." One can readily see the connection between BEING and LIFE. Thus Jehovah means THE SELF-EXISTENT ONE or THE ETERNAL. The self-existence of God is one of the most amazing things. God exists eternally, and that means that He does not need any outside help or support. He is the One who in Himself embodies essential life, permanent existence, derived from no source outside Himself, and absolutely dependent upon no other person, thing, or circumstance for its continuance. This quality inhered originally in Jehovah God alone, as it is written, "The Father hath life IN HIMSELF" (Jn. 5:26).
In Memphis, Tennessee, many years ago, there was a rector in an Episcopal Church, a very odd fellow, who decided that he would fast and reach the place where he did not need to take food at all. When he became unconscious they took him to the hospital and began to feed him intravenously, got him back to consciousness, and since then he's been eating regularly! But I do not hesitate to tell you that GOD does not have to eat. He did not shop this weekend at any of the super markets, neither did He have any food brought in from any celestial garden. He hasn't laid up a supply for the week. God doesn't worry about calories or vitamins. You can't cut off God's supply. The famine in Africa today is an awful thing, but God hasn't had to worry about His supply. God does not need any props or supports to hold Him up on a weak side. There is no weakness anywhere. He is not subject to an accident, and He carries no insurance at all. He doesn't get sick, or eat an apple a day to keep the doctor away. Death cannot touch Him for He is not dependent upon the sustaining power of any thing beyond Himself. He has no burial insurance, nor has He reserved a crypt at Forest Lawn Cemetery. God looks to no one. He doesn't have to have an oxygen supply. He doesn't wear a apace suit. He doesn't travel in a flying saucer. His existence is not contingent on any outside aid or support. He is self-existent. It is His nature to BE. He is THE ABSOLUTE; nothing causes Him, He causes everything! He is the source and author of all life. He gives life. Ah, He is the ETERNAL, the MOST HIGH GOD, JEHOVAH - the SELF-EXISTENT ONE!
Can we not see by this the harmony between Jehovah, the eternal, the SELF-EXISTENT, the Most High God - and the priesthood of Melchizedek, the priesthood of the Most High God, which is AFTER THE POWER OF AN ENDLESS LIFE? If we try to separate between Jehovah and the Most High we at once destroy the one supreme characteristic of the Order of Melchizedek - THE POWER OF AN INDISSOLUBLE LIFE! How foolish to say that Aaron's fading priesthood was the priesthood of Jehovah, but that the priesthood of Melchizedek is not of Jehovah, but of the Most High. Jesus is the Son of Jehovah who IS the Most High God, and all creation waits with eager anticipation for the manifestation of the OTHER SONS OF JEHOVAH THE MOST HIGH GOD who shall deliver all from the bondage of corruption, and into the POWER OF AN ENDLESS LIFE, glory to God!
SONS OF THE HIGHEST
With these lofty thoughts of God in our minds our hearts respond with joyful accord when Christ in His wisdom shows that it is God's intention that he who walks in the blessed realm of sonship should be as constant and unchanging as is God Himself. To His disciples Jesus spoke these incredible words: "For as the Father HATH LIFE IN HIMSELF; so hath He given to the SON TO HAVE LIFE IN HIMSELF" (Jn. 5:25-26). LIFE IN HIMSELF! This is self-existent life, a life not derived from any source, not dependent upon any sustenance, inherent life! Jesus could stand and declare, "I AM THE LIFE!" No man before Him could say that. But the firstborn Son of God could say that, because He was THE SON OF THE HIGHEST.
The word ELYON (Most High, Highest) always means THE HIGHEST OF A SERIES OR ORDER OF LIKE NATURES. So, while this word, applied to our Lord, reveals that HE is the HIGHEST, it at the same time reveals that there are others below Him, endowed by Him with like natures, in same way related to Him, SONS OF THE HIGHEST. This is the point referred to in Ps. 82:1-6 which Jesus quotes and applies to the people of God: "God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; He judgeth AMONG THE GODS. I have said, YE ARE GODS; and all of you are CHILDREN OF THE MOST HIGH." What the "Most High" delights in is a life in accordance with His own. That life is expressed perfectly in the firstborn Son of the Highest, Jesus the Christ.
The exceeding great wonder of all is that not only did Jesus possess the self-existent life of His Father Jehovah, but God has made Him to be "a life-giving Spirit." Truly, "He that hath the Son HATH LIFE" and "this is the record, that God hath given UNTO US ETERNAL LIFE, and this life is in His Son" (I Jn. 5:11-12). How plain. If the Spirit of Jehovah dwells in us, He imparts THE POWER TO COMMENCE ETERNAL, SELF-EXISTENT LIFE within us RIGHT NOW! True, the life we have received is not truly eternal yet, for we are still BEING CHANGED. But God's life has been injected into time to be processed and matured within us into that unchangeableness which He Himself IS, and to the degree that this has been wrought in us we are enabled now to know and express THE INNER STABILITY OF THE CHRIST, praise His name!
This is the nature Jesus pointed to when He taught us, "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be THE CHILDREN OF THE HIGHEST: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as YOUR FATHER also is merciful" (Lk. 6:35-36). These sons of the Highest are able to love their enemies, do good, and lend, looking for nothing in return, and show infinite mercy to the unthankful and to the evil because they walk in the SELF-EXISTENT LIFE of their Father.
How many weak and dependent saints are running around constantly from meeting to meeting, from seminar to seminar, from preacher to preacher, from prayer group to prayer group, SEEKING LIFE. These dear souls always need to receive some kind of "blessing." What's wrong with these folk? I will tell you! Their source of life is ON THE OUTSIDE! Being babies, they are not yet aware that all-sufficient, ever-abundant, self-existent life dwells WITHIN THEM. They are unable to appropriate the power and triumph of the Christ-life for themselves. Their senses have not been exercised to discern that He that is in them IS GREATER than he that is in the world. They have not developed to that state of maturity where they know Christ to be the substance of their life, their all-in-all, sufficient to conquer every enemy and transcend every problem within and without. And what a tragedy it is that so many preachers and churches keep their people perpetually on this childish level of existence by restricting their diet to "milk" and training their babies to continually look to the "pulpit" to be fed, healed, delivered, taught and blessed, like little birds in the nest with their beaks wide open, waiting for mother to plop a worm into their mouth.
One of the moat challenging passages in all of the Word of God is found in Eph. 4:15, "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ." The key words are: GROW UP I-N-T-O HIM...WHICH IS THE HEAD. Grow up into ...the Head! Who ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen a body grow up into a head? The body grows, and the head may grow somewhat, but the body remains a body and the head remains a head. But in the progressive development of the many-membered Christ, the door has been opened for some members who will GROW UP I-N-T-O T-H-E H-E-A-D. It signifies a transference from one part of the body to another, from the body proper, up into the head. It means that these grow up into the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ, sharing ALL that He is. These are the Sons of the Most High, becoming priests of the Most High God.
The Most High is God in His highest state, the perfection of His life, the fullness of His power, God upon His throne. This is the highest level of life and authority that's where Melchizedek was a priest, at the very throne level of the entire universe. This is the realm where you do not draw life from others, but you have life in yourself, life for yourself, and life for others. You are not a receptacle but a source. Jesus unfolded this realm when He proclaimed, "The Son of man CAME NOT TO BE MINISTERED UNTO, but to minister, and to give His life" (Mat. 2O:28). Jesus did not come to receive life for HE WAS LIFE. He did not come to receive life but to GIVE LIFE. He HAD LIFE IN HIMSELF even as the Father had life in Himself. Within that life was contained every element of victory, righteousness, and power He could ever need. All the resources of God were within Him. If He needed power the power was in the life. If He needed encouragement, the encouragement was in the life. If He needed wisdom the wisdom was in the life. This is a nature and a life that is not dependent upon anything without, for it is a self-existent life, requiring no sustenance, not derived from another, not drawing from anything, ALL-SUFFICIENT, ABUNDANT, GLORIOUS AND UNCHANGING LIFE!
You can always tell when people are growing up into the Head. They no longer need to BE MINISTERED TO. They aren't waiting for a healer to come to town and lay hands on them, for they have grown up into that measure of His fullness where they are now able to appropriate FOR THEMSELVES the faith of God within to gain the victory over sickness and disease. They have no need for a prophet to give them a word, to tell them where to go or what to do, to reveal the will of God for their life, because they have learned to hear HIS VOICE and walk daily in wisdom and understanding, in the conscious awareness of Father's plan and will. They don't talk about their problems, or lament about the devil, for the joy of the Lord is their strength and the peace of God rules in their heart. They don't ring up the elders requesting prayer for this and that need in their life, for they have discovered the river of God flowing from deep within their own being, life full, abundant and triumphant! Oh, yes, they may ask prayer for OTHERS, but not for themselves. These are always ministering, but do not stop to be ministered to. This company is BECOMING THE PRIESTS OF JEHOVAH, THE MOST HIGH GOD, even those who HAVE LIFE IN THEMSELVES.
Some folk hear this word and suppose that we are "doing away with the gifts." Oh, no! beloved, we are not doing away with anything. All the wonderful gifts of the Spirit of God remain right where they have been for two thousand years - in the Church - for all who need them. But I now write these lines to those elect saints who treasure the beautiful hope of sonship, and I do not hesitate to tell you that as long as we continue having to BE MINISTERED TO by the gifts, we will never know the glory of having GROWN UP INTO THE HEAD. In the "body" realm it is "fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, make the increase of the body unto the edifying of itself" (Eph 4:16). But in the "headship" realm it is, "As the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself" (Jn. 5:25-26). It is the difference between the "in part" realm and the "fullness of God" realm. Vast multitudes are content to dwell in the former, but only a few blessed souls dare press their way into the latter. It is not a question of whether or not we have the gifts, whether or not we move in the gifts. There is liberty to exercise any gift God has given when we find some precious soul that needs ministry in that realm. It is, rather, a question of whether W-E NEED TO BE MINISTERED TO THROUGH THE GIFTS! I find that gifts are still a blessing, and encouragement, and help from time to time, and praise God for them all, for it is manifest that we have not yet attained to all the fullness we follow after. But those who shall stand in the HEADSHIP COMPANY as SONS OF THE HIGHEST, KING-PRIESTS AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK, will have the FULLNESS OF LIFE AND GLORY AND WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE AND POWER I-N T-H-E-M-S-E-L-V-E-S - self-existent ones, the offspring of Jehovah, the Most High God. These will know and experience and manifest GOD IN THE HIGHEST1
BLESSING THE MOST HIGH GOD
"And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was priest of the Most High God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth: and BLESSED BE THE MOST HIGH GOD" (Gen. 14:18-2O).
The following paragraph was sent to me by a sister in the Lord and expresses so beautifully an aspect of the Melchizedek ministry, that I am constrained to share it with you here. "The first order of this Melchizedek Priesthood is BLESSING. In Gen. 14:19-2O we are given the exact words of Melchizedek in blessing Abraham. Listen to this: 'And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the Most High God...and BLESSED BE THE MOST HIGH GOD.' The order is reversed in this blessing, for you would naturally think that Melchizedek would bless the Most High first and then bless Abram, but not so. The blessing of this great man came on Abram to begin with. Remember well, a blessing cannot be given in reality until the one giving it is a Blesser indeed. You will nowhere find an account in the Scriptures of Melchizedek being anything but a Blesser. He was not a judge, he was not a curser, he was not vindictive, he did not judge after the sight of his eyes nor the hearing of his ears - instead he was a king and a priest who lived in the realm of blessing and from there became a blessing to others. So great was this position that he could reverse the order from blessing the Most High first, to blessing the man of faith first. We are entering the time and position where we stand in the Messiah's stead and pour forth blessings upon those who are in the pathway of faith without ever thinking that we must first bless the Most High for the blessing upon the individual to be effective. Melchizedek recognized and knew that Abram was a man of faith walking in all the light that had been given to him; but now a new blessing was to be forthcoming, that of blessing him in, by and through the Most High, the El ELYON. Abram up to this point had not had this revelation, but it is evidenced by the following verses that he immediately took hold of this unfolding of the Most High and began to use and put it into practice. When the rare blessing is given from a true Blesser, a new revelation is not hard to accept and enter into with alacrity" - Redemption Writings.
Then, Melchizedek, secondly, blessed the Most High God who had given Abram such a great victory. The word in Hebrews 7 used for "bless" is in the Greek EULOGETOS. The English words "eulogy" and "eulogize" come from this Greek word which is a compound of EU (good) and LOGOS (I say, a word). The meaning is thus "I say good," "to speak well of," or better expressed in English as "good word." It should be more accurately translated simply "eulogized." In other words the blessing is embodied in the GOOD WORD that proceeds out of the mouth of the Melchizedek Priesthood. It is not a word of judgment, condemnation, vindictiveness or cursing. It is exactly what it means - GOOD WORD - and that is BLESSING indeed both toward men and toward the Most High. One cannot be a Blesser and at the same time be critical, judgmental, condemning, exacting or harsh. While the preachers in the religious systems may damn to eternal hell all who do not subscribe to their particular interpretation of God's Word, the Melchizedek Priesthood will always be characterized by mercy, forgiveness, love, compassion, and BLESSING.
To the Most High goes all the honor and glory and blessing for the triumphs that ensue in life, even though those triumphs are gained through hard battle and fierce trials. "And Melchizedek EULOGIZED the Most High God!" To eulogize is to speak a good word to, to speak well of, to praise or extol the virtues of. Melchizedek PRAISED the Most High God, he EXTOLLED the Most High, he BLESSED the Most High. Note, this is not the adoration of the Son of God, but of the God and Father of the Son. Ah, this is the Spirit of sonship which cries, "Abbe, Father!" As it is written, "He (Jesus) is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare Thy name unto My brethren, IN THE MIDST OF THE CHURCH WILL I SING PRAISE UNTO THEE!" (Heb. 2:12). None but the Son can truly eulogize the Father, the Most High, and THE SON eulogizes Him in and through THE SONS.
The prayer which for centuries has been known as the LORD'S PRAYER is the PATTERN PRAYER for sons. Jesus has taught us to pray thus: "Our Father which art in heaven, HALLOWED BE THY NAME." Here is disclosed the great principle regarding the attitude in which sons approach the Father. Sons do not rush or push their way into His presence, neither do they come as beggars, pleading, crying, demanding that God DO for them or GIVE to them. Once the Most High reveals to us our relationship to Him as sons, He then brings us into intimate fellowship and vital union with Him as sons. It is not alone on the basis of relationship to God in sonship that we have the blessed privilege of "asking whatsoever we will," but our asking is the outgrowth of our fellowship and union with the Father. The son who rushes up to his Father demanding, "GIVE me, give me, give me... do, do, do...this and that," may not receive because his ATTITUDE is wrong - selfish and demanding. His disposition is not proper - he is a SPOILED BRAT! God has a lot of would be sons who act more like spoiled brats than TRUE SONS! The son who honors, loves, reverences, obeys, adores, appreciates, thanks and eulogizes his Father, walking in precious fellowship and union of mind, will and purpose, may surely "ask what he will" and receive LIBERALLY from the loving heart of the Father. The Psalmist admonishes: "Serve the Lord with gladness: Come before His presence WITH SINGING...ENTER into His gates with THANKSGIVING, and into His courts with PRAISE: be THANKFUL unto Him, and BLESS His name!" (Ps. 1OO:2,4). Sons do not demand...they WORSHIP' And all their needs are MET IN THE OVERFLOW! The priests of the Most High will be recognized by the fact that they speak a GOOD WORD, a LIVING WORD both unto men and unto God. They are BLESSERS, indeed!
THE SECRET PLACE OF THE MOST HIGH
As we pursue these thoughts concerning the Most High and the priesthood of the Most High, we are brought to that most glorious Psalm that has been such an inspiration to so many all through the years - the ninety-first Psalm. Truly it is a Psalm for the priest of the Order of Melchizedek! "He that dwelleth in the SECRET PLACE OF THE MOST HIGH shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of Jehovah, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust. Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. Because thou hast made JEHOVAH, which is my refuge, even the MOST HIGH, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways" (Ps. 91:1-6,9-11).
The Levitical priesthood was connected with the SECRET PLACE of the Tabernacle or the Temple, the Most Holy Place made with hands, where dwelt the Ark of the Covenant, the Ark of Jehovah's presence. This was the SECRET PLACE for the Aaronic order of priests, and it was so sacred and so secret that no one dare look upon this place unprepared, uninvited or unfit lest he die. Only the High Priest, and that once each year, was permitted to enter that most secret and sacred spot. The physical and earthly Secret Place of the Aaronic priesthood points forward to the true and spiritual SECRET PLACE OF THE MOST HIGH where again, only those apprehended ones who receive the call, quickened by His Spirit, have boldness to enter in by the blood of Jesus.
The Hebrew word for SECRET means hidden, concealed, protected, disguised. The Hebrew word for PLACE indicates standing, spot, locality, condition. Thus this SECRET PLACE of the MOST HIGH is a hidden, concealed, protected, and disguised location, condition and standing. It is not open before the eyes of all men, but is reserved for those prepared for it. It is that realm "within the veil" whither our Forerunner is for us entered, where the MOST HIGH may be known in the fullness of Himself.
All the blessings and provisions of the ninety-first Psalm are qualified by this word: "BECAUSE thou hast MADE Jehovah, which is my refuge, even the MOST HIGH, thy HABITATION." Again I would quote the true and eloquent words of another: "The word MADE means literally to PUT which carries the thought of placing something. It is a word of action, not passivity. Therefore the thought is of actively placing or making the MOST HIGH our habitation, not of waiting for Him to sovereignly place us in the habitation. This points up the fact that we have a part to play in this which is making the choice that the MOST HIGH will be our dwelling place." Then we come to the word HABITATION which is an interesting word, for it comes from the root which means COHABITATION or DUTY OF MARRIAGE. From this then comes the thought of a home which is based upon the union of two people. Therefore it is plain to be seen that the MOST HIGH is not just to be a refuge or hiding place, but He is to be a HABITATION where a perfect union takes place, where lives are blended one into another, where love rules, where cohabiting is a reality. This is where each belongs to the other, where the interest of the other is predominate, where total blending takes place.
Now connecting this with the Order of Melchizedek, it is to be recognized that the Most High blends with this priesthood, and this priesthood blends with the Most High. There is such a union, such a oneness, such a completeness that there flows forth the life of the Most High through all those of this priesthood calling. The nearest way to describe this union is by what little we know of true marriage, which is a totality of union. This condition then accounts for what follows: No evil shall befall you, no plague shall come nigh thy dwelling, His angels shall have charge over you, they uphold you lest you fall. We glowingly repeat these words because they are so wonderful, but the condition that precedes it is what makes it a reality - by making the MOST HIGH our HABITATION!!!" - Redemption Writings.
There is a Most Holy Place within us, in our spirit, where our Lord ever dwells beyond the passions of the soul and the lusts of the flesh; it is there we must enter. No enemy can reach you in this precious retreat: neither can any enemy get you out of it if by faith you abide in HIM. Is the adversary tormenting you with fears and forebodings? Hide away in the clefts of the Rock. Is there something that is disturbing and distressing you? Hide away in God; commit your way unto Him and He will bring it to pass. Are you misunderstood and unjustly accused or maligned? Find a cleft in the Rock, Christ, and hide away; for this Rock was cleft for you and me that our lives might be hid with Christ IN GOD. People who see us do not know that we are hiding away in the SECRET PLACE OF THE MOST HIGH! They see only a heavenly, supernatural calm, which abides through every storm and pressure; but God knows we are hiding away in the Secret Place; and the adversary knows whence comes this VICTORIOUS QUIET. If we abide in the Secret Place of His Spirit, we are as much hidden away as God can hide us. Walking in the conscious awareness of His overshadowing presence and grace and power is a Secret Realm the world can never see nor comprehend. Those about us see our bodies walking around on earth; but they do not know that we, who live in these frail tents, are hidden away so that neither man nor devil can find nor touch us.
If we take this place and there abide, at every step we shall prove that Jehovah, the authority of God's life, the Most High, is a wall of fire round us and that He is the glory within. Dear children of the Most High, ABIDE IN HIM! It is alone with our Lord; it is when the strife and opinions of the human have ceased; it is when earth has receded and Heaven and Eternity have drawn near enough for us to begin to see the unseen, that the voice of our Lord is heard in our hearts, and His beauty appears. It is in such separation and communion, that His image begins to be manifested. God would have us dwell in His presence until it is the atmosphere we breathe, the breath and source of our lives and joy; until it is so a part of us that we are hardly conscious of this holy relation with God, unless, through some carelessness, it is interrupted and we miss it.
O precious Secret Place, O wondrous Habitation, which can only be found when new vision is given to the sons of the Most High! O blessed Hiding-Place where no one but God is with us, and no eye but His beholds us if we perfectly abide there! What strength and power, what refreshing and holy swiftness to those who MAKE the Most High their habitation, who dwell in the SECRET PLACE OF THE MOST HIGH!
POSSESSOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
The first revelation of Abram's God as THE MOST HIGH is in conjunction with Melchizedek meeting Abram as he returned from a great battle. And on this occasion, he referred to the Most High God as POSSESSOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH (Gen. 14:19). God MOST HIGH indicates that nothing is higher, nothing can be higher. Nothing in heaven, and nothing on earth. Out of this position proceeds everything else. The magnitude of EL ELYON staggers the imagination, overwhelms the mind, transforms the soul, and enthralls the spirit. And it is from this station that He is POSSESSOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. The word translated "possessor" comes from the Hebrew word QANAH whose root meaning is to erect, create, procure, and thus TO OWN. Consider, then, Col. 1:16 wherein the apostle explains, "For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him and in and for Him" (Amplified). The King James version says that all things were created BY the Christ, but the Greek says that all things were created IN HIM. Paul is here Speaking of God as the Creator and as creating all things IN THE SON.
I must emphasize that God is the Creator of ALL THINGS. Notice the things that the inspired apostle includes in creation. ALL things in the heavens, or all things that are in and constitute the RULING ELEMENT - "the heavens do rule" (Dan. 4:26). ALL the things on earth, or all things that are in or constitute those elements which are ruled, or under authority. ALL things that are visible, or that are discernable to the physical senses - ALL that the eyes can see, ALL that the ears can hear, ALL that we can touch, feel, tease or smell - has been created by God. ALL things that are invisible were created by our God - ALL the wisdom, ALL the knowledge, yea, even that which has not yet been tapped or conceived of by the mind of man - GOD CREATED. ALL of the myriad machines ant devices that shall yet come out of the mind of man, were created by God. ALL of the vast forces and powers and universal laws that science has not yet discovered, were created by God. ALL the thrones, and the glory and the power of those who occupy them, were created by God. ALL the dominions or lordships, the mastery and the supremacy, were created by God. ALL the principalities and powers, angels, intelligence's, chief ones, in heaven and on earth, were created by God.
It is not just the fact that all of these things were created by God that startles us the most, but it goes on to say that they were created IN THE CHRIST. The King James version of Rom. 11:36 begins, "For of Him...are all things." This word "of" comes from the Greek word "ek" literally meaning OUT OF. This clearly places God as the one Source of all things, and hence the Amplified's beautiful rendering, "For all things originate with Him and come from Him." Col. 1:16 says, "For it was IN HIM that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers or authorities" (Amplified).Yes, the Most High is the Creator, Ruler, Owner and Sustainer of all things, He is the Possessor of all, of heaven and earth, of the Church and the world, of angels and demons. Thus the question of the apostle is answered, "Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also" (Rom. 3:29). For He is "the God of the spirits of all flesh" (Num. 16:22). He has said, "All souls are Mine" (Eze. 18:4). "All lands" should "know," that "it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves: we are His people, the sheep of His pasture" (Ps. l00:1,3). And let all who read these lines know that as surely as the Most High is POSSESSOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, this His rightful claim He never foregoes, though men, or angels, or devils stake a second claim. The end is as certain as the beginning because the MOST HIGH is the Possessor of ALL. Can we not see by this that the Priesthood of the Most High is a Priesthood that shall BLESS ALL IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH? Because we are HIS POSSESSION He also will recreate us, redeeming and bringing us back into an upright position. His possession is His right, and all His works are right. I am not willing to concede one thing to the devil forever. Satan is possessor of NOTHING! My God is Possessor of ALL! All that He has purposed for His creation is right and just and altogether wonderful, praise His name.
We read in Isa. 40:22, "God sitteth upon the CIRCLE of the earth." While the word for "circle" in the Hebrew denotes the sphericity of the earth, it may also indicate the CYCLES of nature. These cycles are the continual goings and comings of the seasons, days, months, years, etc., which were ordained of God in the beginning. Everything in nature moves in cycles: winter and summer, seedtime and harvest; generation after generation, all show the might and wisdom of God. Even electricity must have a circuit. A battery has a positive and a negative to complete the circuit. SO IT IS WITH GOD'S WORK. In the spiritual realm God is the positive, and Satan is the negative. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that man, the highest of God's creation, came out of God, was then lowered into the world of vanity, darkness, and death, but will return to God, thus completing the cycle, not in part, but in full. Even Jesus came out of God, and descended into the depths of man's fall, then arose and returned to God.
This "law of circularity" requires that EVEN AS ALL THINGS BEGAN IN CHRIST, ALL SHALL END IN CHRIST. "I am ALPHA and OMEGA, the beginning and the end, the first and the last," saith the Lord (Rev. 22:13). Only the glorious mind of Christ can reveal to our wondering hearts what that means! Through a glass darkly I can see that He was the FIRST - "before all things." Can I also believe that HE IS THE LAST? If He is the BEGINNING, can my feeble mind dare to comprehend what it signifies when He says that He is also the END? All that existed IN CHRIST before the ages began, shall RETURN INTO HIM AGAIN that HE may be the FIRST and the LAST, the BEGINNING and the END. All that came out of Him, lowered into the realm of the negative, completes it circuit and returns once more to its former estate - IN GOD! The first Adam had power to take ALL with Him into death, without their knowledge or consent: therefore, the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, gathers up the same number in His redemptive work and man who came out of God shall return, that the circle may be unbroken.
But more than that, Paul assures us in Col. 1:16 & 20 that "...by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: and, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to RECONCILE ALL THINGS UNTO HIMSELF; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." This implies that the principalities and powers in the heavenly realms NEEDED RECONCILING and ARE RECONCILED by the blood of God's Son. This is why the redeemer was both a HEAVENLY BEING and an EARTHLY BEING. He was the Word from heaven made flesh upon earth, heaven and earth blended into one, so that the Son could say, "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" (Jn. 3:13). Praise God, even the principalities and powers IN THE HEAVENS are included in the glorious reconciliation and peace secured by the blood of His cross, the Man who was from heaven, born on earth, reconciling both realms into one IN HIMSELF.
What a work, what a ministry lies before us! I declare to you that GOD IS PREPARING A PRIESTHOOD COMPANY after the Order of Melchizedek, priests of the Most High God, priests of Him who is POSSESSOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. These priests are the completion of Him who is "heir of all things" and who is "crowned with glory and honor" and is "set over the works of His (God's) hands." And though God "left nothing that is not subject to Him," yet "NOW WE SEE NOT YET ALL THINGS subjected unto Him." Sons of the Highest, His priests, shall join in the marvelous work of setting in array UNDER HIM all things to His glory and praise. The way into this wonderful priesthood, the hope of creation, is to be possessed by THE POSSESSOR. Does such a calling seem too high for you? True, you cannot begin to fulfill such a ministry in this present "in part" realm, but consider, precious friend of mine, the INFINITE RESOURCES available as a son and a priest of the Most High God, POSSESSOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH! To grow up into His fullness is to tap the unlimited sufficiency of the omnipotence and omniscience of God which is equal to every situation and need. Small wonder, then, that Paul could cry out, "I can do ALL THINGS through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4:13), and "thanks be unto God, which ALWAYS CAUSETH US TO TRIUMPH in Christ" (II Cor. 2:14). To be united to HIS FULLNESS, filled with the life of the SELF-EXISTENT ONE, is to have that free flowing of the Spirit which knows no lack. There can be no need so great that cannot be handled because of inadequate supply. There can be no darkness that cannot be flooded with His light, no hell that cannot be filled with His holiness, no death that cannot be swallowed up of His life, no hatred nor strife that cannot be dissolved by His love, no bondage that cannot be broken by His power. It is difficult for our minds to grasp the vastness of this realm of the MOST HIGH, and what it will mean to minister out of THAT REALM. Our halting steps today are but baby steps in this great realm of God, but this much is sure, "He who has begun a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ - developing that good work and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you" (Phil. 1:6). And even now, under the pressure and testings of this present process of change from glory to glory into HIS IMAGE, "God is able to make ALL GRACE abound toward you; that ye, always having ALL SUFFICIENCY in ALL THINGS, may abound unto EVERY GOOD WORK" (II Cor. 9:8). Glory to God!
To be continued ..
J. Preston Eby
P O BOX 371240
El Paso Texas 79937
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