KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
studies in end time revelation
THE ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
Part 29THE MELCHIZEDEK CONNECTION
Our Lord Jesus Christ is a High Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek. He is a MINISTER OF THE SANCTUARY, AND OF THE TRUE TABERNACLE, WHICH THE LORD PITCHED, NOT MAN. The heavens, with the heavenly life of Christ there, are shown in the book of Hebrews to be the true counterpart of the tabernacle Moses built, and He, a Priest-King upon the throne, is seen to be a minister of the Sanctuary, of the true tabernacle. The inspired writer then proceeds to remind us, that "EVERY High Priest is appointed to OFFER both gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is necessary that this High Priest also HAVE SOMEWHAT TO OFFER" (Heb. 8:3). The specific and primary ministry of God's High Priest is TO OFFER. Therefore Christ, our great High Priest, must also be ordained to offer.
The High Priest under the Levitical system could not enter into the Sanctuary until he had offered a blood offering, a sacrifice. Therefore, since Jesus is the anti-type of the type, He too "must have somewhat to offer"; and since He is seen in the heavenly Sanctuary, that is proof that He did offer a sacrifice which has been accepted by God the Father. And what did He offer? He offered HIMSELF - "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners" (Heb. 7:26). Furthermore, "Christ THROUGH HIS OWN BLOOD, entered in once for all into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption" (Heb. 9:12).
And what does this phrase, HIS OWN BLOOD, mean? To Moses God said that He gave the blood upon the altar to be an atonement for the soul, because THE LIFE OF THE FLESH IS IN THE BLOOD (Lev. 17:11). That is, the blood in the body is the life of the body. Ah the power of any blood is in the worth of the life. In the blood of Jesus THE POWER OF THE DIVINE LIFE DWELT and worked - hence its intrinsic value. He was the Son of God by conception but the son of man by birth. He was a specially prepared body to contain a SPECIALLY PREPARED BLOOD that was to be THE LIFE of all humanity. This blood was precious from the fact that it was a unique blood which would do something for all humanity that no other blood could ever do. It was the Word of God that became flesh, who was made man. It was the life of God that dwelt in Him. That life gave His blood, every drop of it, an infinite value. The blood of a man is of more worth than that of a sheep. The blood of a king or a great general is counted of more value than hundreds of common soldiers. The blood of the Son of God! - it is in vain the mind seeks for some expression of its value; all we can say is, it is His own blood, the blood of the Son of God!
The life is in the blood. As the value of this life, so the value of the blood. In Christ there was the life of God; infinite as God is the worth and the power of that blood. In Christ there was the life of man in its perfection; in His humility, and obedience to the Father, and self-sacrifice, that which made Him unspeakably well-pleasing to the Father. That blood of Jesus, the blood of God and the blood of man, poured out in death, was a perfect fulfillment of God's will, and a perfect victory over all the power of the carnal mind, effecting an everlasting atonement for sin, and putting it forever out of the way, destroying death and him that had the power of it. Therefore it was that in the blood of the everlasting covenant Jesus was raised from the dead; that in His blood, as our Head and Surety, He entered the highest heaven; and THAT PRECIOUS BLOOD IS NOW AND FOREVER AVAILABLE TO US WITH ALL ITS INCORRUPTIBLE POWER.
Beloved sons and daughters of God! The blood of Jesus! The blood of the Lamb! Oh, think what it means. God gave it for your redemption from Adam's race and your transformation into the image and glory of God. God accepted it when the firstborn of the new creation entered heaven and presented it on your behalf. God points you to it and asks you to believe in its omnipotent energy, in its everlasting sufficiency. Ah, this celestial man was injected into a whole world full of men descended from the earth-man to impart something we had lacked from the day Adam was driven from Eden's bright portals. That something was LIFE, LIVING BLOOD, for He said He came to give life to the world. He could impart a life to the world that would change it completely.
When Adam transgressed, the LIFE OF GOD, which had been breathed into his nostrils, departed from him and all that was left was a residue, that mortal something which flowed in the veins of his body. This blood contains nothing of the life of God, and in its composition and nature is similar to the blood of the animal kingdom, for when the glorious power of divine life departed from Adam, he entered into the kingdom of death. Adam was made a LIVING SOUL. From the Greek the statement reads, "The first man was made a ZOE PSUCHE (living soul). ZOE, throughout the entire Greek New Testament, is always used in reference to the LIFE OF GOD. PSUCHE, on the other hand, is used of the natural life of animals and men. Since both words are used of Adam's life in the beginning, it is clear that he possessed a natural life imbued, infused, injected, impregnated and permeated with the glorious incorruptible LIFE OF GOD. This life, ZOE, is the life Jesus promised to give to man when He said, "I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish," and this, beloved, is the LIFE THAT DEPARTED FROM ADAM when he transgressed, leaving him ashamed, fearful and DEAD. The life is in the blood, but our blood, being devoid of eternal (zoe) life, is in reality dead blood and capable of sustaining only physical life, and that only poorly until man returns to the dust from whence he came. It is not without significance that, when the bodies of men are embalmed, the first act is to remove the corruptible blood that the dead body may be better preserved. Instead of incorruptible and, therefore, deathless blood, Adam's blood corrupted through sin and became subject to death. To redeem this DEAD SINNER, life must be again imparted. The only remedy for death is LIFE. This life is in the blood, and so blood must be furnished which is sinless and incorruptible. Now none of Adam's race could do this, for "in Adam ALL die." There was only one, yes, ONLY ONE, who could furnish that blood, the virgin-born Son of God, the man from heaven, the last Adam, with a human body, but sinless, supernatural blood inseminated by the Holy Ghost.
Jesus came to bring life to the world. Here is where His blood differed from the ordinary blood or life of men. His blood was precious in that it was able to do something for mankind which man's own blood or life could not do. The natural blood or life of mankind was only for a few years at most, but the blood of the Christ was the LIFE OF THE AGE So there must somehow be a discontinuance of the blood of a few years, that the blood or the LIFE OF THE AGES might be injected into mankind.
Let us notice one thing further. The red liquid that ran through the veins and arteries of the body of Jesus is not the blood whose power redeems mankind and all things unto God. There is no biblical basis for attributing any unusual properties to Christ's body fluids. The term "blood of Christ" is far more significant than any magical or mystical power falsely attributed to His physical blood by those who are ignorant of the truth. And here I must speak a word against one of the popular myths that has been widely circulated among God's end-time saints. Various teachers have maintained that human blood is in some, mysterious way "congealed light." Now that term carries with it a certain kind of mystical aura, and a rather scientific sound. But the truth is that it is neither scientifically founded, scripturally sound, nor spiritually veracious. Blood is composed of the very same chemical and mineral substances of which the earth is made. If blood is congealed light, then your refrigerator, automobile, house, and a bunch of bananas are just as truly congealed light! Blood is mostly water, but in the blood many substances are dissolved and in this fluid float specks of matter that do not dissolve. The liquid part of blood greatly resembles sea water. It contains salt, sodium, potassium, calcium, and other minerals. The specks of matter that float in the blood are of three kinds: red corpuscles, white corpuscles and platelets. The liquid part of the blood without these solid particles, but including the various chemicals in the blood, is called plasma.
The thing of importance about the precious blood of Jesus is not its physical structure, but the glorious fact that blood bespeaks L-I-F-E. What Jesus poured out was His life, His holy, pure, undefiled, divine, heavenly, incorruptible life, the ZOE PSUCHE the life of GOD! He lived and walked out that glorious life in human form and then poured it out as an offering unto God. And God took the offering and poured it out, in return, upon mankind! "He...spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell, neither His flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, HE HATH SHED FORTH THIS, WHICH YE NOW SEE AND HEAR" (Acts 2:31-33).
Ah - the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, the divine and incorruptible life of God as it had been perfected and lived out in the life of the Son of God - was now shed forth to be received by all men to transform and lift them up high into the holiness, wisdom and power of God. The precious blood of Jesus! There is an old Roman Catholic dogma which says that Christ carried His blood with Him to heaven in a bowl. Without even knowing its source, evangelical Christianity clings to that ludicrous idea from the Dark Ages by perpetuating a form of mysticism around the physical blood of our Lord. There is no bowl in the universe that could have contained what Jesus Christ carried into the heavens! When Christ entered heaven, He carried not physical blood, which of necessity would be corruptible blood, but His DIVINE-HUMAN LIFE. He did not transport a bowl of blood or a bucket of blood; He entered in His resurrection body, with the full power of that divine life He had poured out on behalf of Adam's doomed race. If He had not poured it out, He would have forever remained the ONLY perfect man - the only Son of God. But, blessed be His wonderful name! He shed His precious blood, poured out His quickening Spirit that all may drink thereof and live!
Everything about the blood of Jesus is spiritual. All that His blood effects within us is spiritual. The sacrifice He offered unto God was spiritual. The mighty work wrought in our lives by the power of His offering is spiritual. And all the sacrifices of the heavenly realm into which we now are translated are spiritual sacrifices. The altar upon which the spiritual sacrifices are offered is Christ Himself, as it is written, "BY HIM therefore let us offer the SACRIFICE of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with SUCH SACRIFICES God is well pleased" (Heb. 13:15,16). "The SACRIFICES OF GOD are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise" (Ps. 51:17).
The "sacrifice of praise" in no way infers that we must consistently and persistently mouth words of praise and thanksgiving unto God when we in no way "feel" like doing so. That is the idea that many people have. They feel they must "wring" some praises out of their dull soulish senses in order to offer a "sacrifice" of praise to God. To the contrary, the sacrifice of praise must be the very BEST of our powers, like the lamb without blemish in the Old Testament, painstakenly selected and carefully and reverently brought to the Tabernacle door. In the awesomeness of His presence and glory we launch joyously down our tiny rivulet, until we are borne out into the great ocean of praise, which is ever breaking in music around the person of Jesus. Praise is one of the greatest acts of which we are capable; and it is the transcendent service of heaven. In that blessed realm they ask for nought, for they have all and abound; but throughout the cycles of glory the inhabitants of those bright worlds fill them with praise. And why should not our earthly tasks be wrought to the same music? We are the priests of creation; it becomes us to gather up and express the sentiments which are mutely dumb, but which await our offering at the altar of God. The praise of the Royal Priesthood is not that which is offered in the assembling of the saints, in which so much is soulish instead of spiritual, but the daily expression of the priestly spirit, thanksgiving and honor and glory to God in all things and for all things, in the nitty-gritty of everyday experience and under the pressures and problems of life. More than words, this sacrifice is an attitude, a disposition a STATE OF BEING. It is the outraying of the nature, love, grace and mercy of God in all and unto all. Ray Prinzing has often stated that the messenger must so become one with his message until the messenger BECOMES THE MESSAGE. In the same vein, the praiser must so become one with his praise until the praiser BECOMES THE PRAISE of God in the earth. This is the greatest of all spiritual sacrifices!
This wonderful High Priest under which we labor, having no better sacrifice to offer, OFFERED HIMSELF. By the eternal Spirit He offered Himself. The Spirit settled upon Him in distant ages past to guide His footsteps to His one earthly goal - the cross. He had been chosen in the ages past to be the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and the Spirit had rested upon Him for that purpose. He was High Priest, He was sacrifice, He was altar, He was all. And God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. In this we have an entirely new conception of the Royal Priesthood. Since the ministry of Christ is also our ministry as a royal kingdom of priests, we are also called to fulfill the ministry of the true priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek. And our ministry is also threefold: to offer a sacrifice, to intercede for the people, and to bless them with the final benediction of completed salvation, even the manifestation of SONSHIP FULFILLED, thus bringing deliverance to the whole creation. The sacrifice we are to offer is clearly set forth by the apostle, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service" (Rom. 12:1). And in sacrificing our bodies unto the Lord as that "LIVING SACRIFICE," we continue to walk in the ways of the Lord, which the apostle describes in verse two: "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." This is indeed our sacrifice in behalf of the people and is described as "YOUR REASONABLE SERVICE." As HIS LIFE is formed in us, we then have to give to creation.
BREAD AND WINE
The Levitical priesthood was given to administer the law. That is all that it was for. We read in Heb. 7:11, "If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (FOR UNDER IT THE PEOPLE RECEIVED THE LAW), what further need was there that another priest should rise after the Order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron. For the PRIESTHOOD BEING CHANGED, THERE IS MADE OF NECESSITY A CHANGE ALSO OF THE LAW." A lot of folk have this thing turned around. They believe that the priesthood was changed because the law was changed. But this passage reveals the great truth that THE LAW WAS CHANGED BECAUSE THE PRIESTHOOD HAD BEEN CHANGED! This is most remarkable.
The Levitical priesthood was not confirmed and anointed for service until after the law had been given and the tabernacle set up for the service of the priesthood. God gave Moses the law in the mountain and at the same time the plans for the tabernacle. In Ex. 4O: 12-15 we find that after all the tabernacle had been assembled and the furniture placed therein, God said, "And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation and wash them with water. And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto Me in the priest's office. And thou shalt bring his sons and clothe them with coats: and thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto Me in the priest's office: for their anointing shall be an age-lasting priesthood throughout their generations." After the tabernacle was finished and all the furnishings moved in and placed, THEN the priesthood was set in order and the priests consecrated for their service. There was no priesthood until the law was given and a place made for ministering that law. The law was prepared first and the priesthood followed the law.
May the Spirit of God give you understanding of the great truth that follows. Long, long before the law was ever given, A PROMISE WAS GIVEN UNTO A MAN. Heb. 6:13-14 states, "For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He swear by Himself saying, Surely blessing, I will bless thee, and multiplying, I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily sware by the greater: AND AN OATH FOR CONFIRMATION IS TO THEM AN END OF ALL STRIFE. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath." Or, He interposed Himself. God in giving the promise to Abraham not only swore unto HIMSELF, but the following verse tells us that God gave unto Abraham two immutable things in which He could not lie. He gave to Abraham His WORD and HIMSELF. Neither could lie! This put God in the position that not only did a man have His word, but He Himself had sworn to Himself and He was incapable of lying.
To refresh our minds as what was in the covenant to Abraham, we turn to Gen. 12:2-3. This man Abraham was to become a great nation and a commonwealth of nations. God would bless him. God would make his name great. God would make him to be a blessing to all the ends of the earth. God would bless them who would bless Abraham. God would curse them that cursed Abraham. And lastly, in Abraham and his seed would ALL nations and families be blessed. These are remarkable promises to a man who has no son and in the natural has absolutely NO HOPE of ever having a son!
But this promise was given to Abraham by God interposing Himself, swearing by Himself and binding Himself. This promise MUST COME TO PASS. The blessing of all nations and families of the earth through Abraham and his seed is A WORLD-WIDE MINISTRY AND AN ALL-INCLUSIVE MINISTRY. The Levitical priesthood could never minister a marvelous thing such as this. THE LAW DID NOT CONTAIN SUCH PROMISES. The law did not contain such provisions. Furthermore, the Levitical priesthood was too narrow-minded to do it. They would not accept the salvation of the nations or that God had come to bless and restore all. They believed the promises of God were to the Israelite alone.
So it was necessary for God to remove BOTH THE LAW AND THE PRIESTHOOD. Before either the law or the Levitical priesthood was established, God made a promise to Abraham: "That the blessing of Abraham MIGHT COME ON THE GENTILES (NATIONS) THROUGH JESUS CHRIST: THAT WE MIGHT RECEIVE THE PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT THROUGH FAITH" (Gal. 3:14). Jesus was made a curse for us so that God's promise to Abraham of blessing for ALL THE NATIONS AND FAMILIES OF THE EARTH might be accomplished. When God made a covenant, there was to be a priesthood to cover and administer that covenant. To bring this to pass, there was of necessity to be a priesthood established. At the precise time when God made His covenant with Abraham, we read of a historic meeting between two men of God in Genesis chapter fourteen. In this chapter Abraham has gone to war to release Lot and his people from the kings who had taken them captive. He had three hundred and eighteen of his armed servants to do this. Abraham is returning from his great victory in battle and he bears in his mind and heart the covenant that God had just given to him - the covenant that ended with the promise that through him and his seed would all nations and families of the earth be blessed. The first to meet him upon his return was the king of Sodom who offered Abraham all the spoils of the battle in exchange for the captives, but Abraham would receive nothing of him lest the king say that he had made Abraham rich.
At the same time a strange and wonderful thing takes place. God brings out His High Priest, king of Salem, king of righteousness, king of peace, without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God - Melchizedek! Melchizedek went out on the road to meet Abraham. And at once the record states, "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth BREAD AND WINE: and he was the priest of the Most High God" (Gen. 14:18). Melchizedek then blessed Abraham and in this unusual meeting we see the ESTABLISHING OF THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD AFTER THE POWER OF AN ENDLESS LIFE IN CONNECTION WITH THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT. It was imperative that there BE A PRIESTHOOD assigned to the covenant when it came into effect. The priest of the Most High God came forth and met with the man, Abraham, who possessed the covenant.
Now let us see to whom this promise was given beside Abraham. "Now to Abraham and His SEED were the promises made. He saith not, and to SEEDS as of many (the multitude of Israel); BUT AS OF ONE, AND TO THY SEED WHICH I-S C-H-R-I-S-T... and if ye BE CHRIST'S, THEN are YE ABRAHAM'S SEED, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3:16,19). Thus, the Abrahamic covenant was made to both Abraham and THE MANY-MEMBERED BODY OF THE CHRIST! It was made on earth and in heaven. Both earth and heaven heard this word as Abraham, the man of earth, and Melchizedek, the priest from the celestial realm, met together over bread and wine. It would make no difference what came afterward - law, grace or anything else, both earth and heaven had witnessed the giving of the promise and its confirmation. This confirmation was the sealing of the Abrahamic covenant. Even the heathen round about witnessed it, for the king of Sodom and others were there present, as representatives of those who should be BLESSED thereby. Here was an exchange between heaven and earth and the mighty God interposed Himself. He could swear by no greater, so He sware by Himself. Because the promise was also given to Abraham's seed, or the Christ, God also sware to him In the ancient custom of cutting the covenant, the flesh of each party concerned was cut and their blood mingled. They then became blood brothers. Thus the covenant could never be broken.
Have you not wondered why Melchizedek gave bread and wine to Abraham as he returned from the slaughter of the kings? I can assure you, precious friend of mine, that it was far more than a mere physical refreshment! What is so significant about Melchizedek bringing forth bread and wine? Note well - he could not bring it forth if he did not possess it! Of what, then, does the bread and wine speak? Since Melchizedek came out from the celestial, incorruptible realm, there can be no doubt that this was a bread and wine come down from heaven! You well know that Christ gave the wine to His disciples, along with the bread, and He said that the bread was His body and the wine was His blood. Thus bread and wine refer to body and blood - the ELEMENTS THAT CONFIRM THE COVENANT! Therefore the bread of the Lord's body was first given, and then the blood. It is the cutting or breaking of the body that renders the blood. And in this way the covenant is confirmed by blood. Some have asserted that Melchizedek brought forth the "emblems" of sacrifice as the church world today partakes of bread and wine as emblems of Christ's death. But the meaning goes further than mere emblems. This was a BLOOD COVENANT between God and Abraham, between God and "the seed" of Abraham - which seed YOU ARE!
Someone may object, "At that time God had no blood, not having yet come in the flesh. But I would draw your attention to a magnificent statement in Rev. 13:8 wherein we read of "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." A better rendering would be, "The Lamb that was put to death from the founding of the kosmos." Now I would like to quote this from Weymouth's translation, "All the inhabitants of the earth will be found worshipping him (that is, the Beast); every one whose name is not recorded in the book of Life - the book of the Lamb offered in sacrifice from the creation of the world." The sacrifice and death of the Lamb of God did not start with the events surrounding Calvary; it began away back there in the beginning, and culminated on Calvary. He was the Lamb who was put to death FROM THE BEGINNING.
Ah, Melchizedek WAS HIMSELF THAT LAMB whose offering was already a glorious and eternal reality in the heavens, remaining only to cast its shadow upon the earth, on Golgotha's hill. And there was blood, pure blood, incorruptible blood, divine blood, the very blood of God Himself. Then and there the covenant of God to bless all the nations and families of earth was ratified through the bread and wine brought forth by Melchizedek from the celestial realm, the celestial flesh and the heavenly blood of God, that he offered and gave to Abraham. It is my deep conviction that these two partook of that which Melchizedek brought forth. They broke the bread of the body of the Christ, and drank the wine of the blood of the Christ, as Jesus does with us now in the power of the Kingdom of God. Thus, Abraham and Melchizedek and all the nations and families of the earth represented by Abraham, were bound together in a covenant that could not be broken. There God set the Melchizedekian Priesthood over His covenant with Abraham. This priesthood was so installed at that mysterious meeting on the road. Some of the most marvelous things and most significant and lasting have taken place in little out of the way places in this world. Few were there to witness, but the covenant made with Abraham was sealed in this action and the priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek was appointed to watch over the covenant. So naturally, when Jesus came, bringing to light the priesthood established long ago, the temporary priesthood of Aaron HAD TO GO. The Priesthood of Melchizedek had a PRIOR CLAIM on Israel and all humanity. The new priesthood being revealed, the old law must go also, because this new High Priest was to bring in a better covenant with better promises.
The new covenant which we as sons of God enjoy is in truth the extension, fulfillment, or completion of the covenant that God made with father Abraham. That is why when this new priest appeared the law had to be changed. The Abrahamic covenant was four hundred and thirty years before the old covenant of the law was given through Moses to the children of Israel. The covenant God made with Abraham was a covenant of faith, not works, and that covenant is fulfilled today in the house of sons over whom Jesus Christ is set as Lord and Master. That is why we who are of the faith of Abraham, and circumcised in mind and heart, joined as members of the body of the Christ, are called "THE SEED of Abraham." The bread and wine that Melchizedek served Abraham was the communion of this wonderful covenant. None ever again partook of the power of this covenant until that blessed night in which Jesus told His disciples, "Take, eat: this is My body...this is My blood of the New Testament (Covenant) which is shed for many" (Mk. 14:22-24). These wondering disciples were the first recipients of the life of this covenant since Melchizedek met Abraham on the road.
You see, dear ones, the principle is this: "EVERY High Priest is appointed to OFFER both gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is necessary that this High Priest also HAVE SOMEWHAT TO OFFER" (Heb. 8:3). Not alone Aaron, not alone Jesus, but MELCHIZEDEK ALSO MUST HAVE SOMETHING TO O-F-F-E-R! Melchizedek, when he came to Abraham brought sacrifices, and what did he bring? He brought bread and wine. These were the two sacrifices of the priesthood of Melchizedek. And the law of first mention teaches us that those are the sacrifices of THE WHOLE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK. He came to Abraham with bread and with wine. So, therefore, the one who follows in the steps of Melchizedek must bring forth the same offerings - the offerings of bread and wine. What do we see, therefore, in the New Testament? In the last supper Jesus brought forth bread and wine and said, "This is My body and My blood of the new covenant." Why? BECAUSE HE IS A PRIEST AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK! It is the High Priestly ministry of the Order of Melchizedek to give bread and wine, the body and the blood, the Word and the Spirit of Jesus Christ! At the last supper the High Priest was presenting the two offerings of the Melchizedek Priesthood and He proclaimed, "Now I am going to fulfill these two offerings in My body and in My blood."
All the members of the Melchizedek Priesthood will be MINISTERS OF BREAD AND WINE, that is, ministers of the Living Word and Quickening Spirit of the Most High God. Learn this, my precious brother, sister, and you will comprehend a great mystery: Melchizedek and Jesus brought forth bread and wine, and those of that Priesthood will do likewise. They will bring it forth - because they are possessors thereof.
There is a most enlightening statement in I Cor. l0:16-17. "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? FOR WE BEING MANY ARE ONE BREAD, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread." The key to this verse is the word COMMUNION. The Greek word means SHARING TOGETHER, PARTICIPATION, PARTNERSHIP. This then indicates that the COMMUNION of the body and blood of our Lord is more than a mere mental, physical, or emotional sharing. If body and blood is SUBSTANCE and REAL, then it means a sharing of HIS BODY AND HIS BLOOD, of His celestial flesh and His heavenly life. It means a flowing of His very BEING into us and back into Him, circulating back and forth between us. Therefore the COMMUNION of His body and blood would be the sharing together of His redeemed body and glorified life, and is this not what creation is waiting for?
And is not this the bread of which Jesus spoke, "This is the bread which came down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and NOT DIE. I am the LIVING BREAD which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is MY FLESH, which I shall give for the life of the whole world...verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood DWELLETH IN ME AND I IN HIM. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me. This is that bread which came down from heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead; he that eateth of this bread shall live forever" (Jn. 6:50-58). Our hearts cry out, "Lord, evermore give us this bread!"
As a friend has so eloquently expressed, "Oh, that we might SEE THE SON and eat of Him that we might enter into the promise of everlasting life - the power by which Jesus Christ was made a priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek. It is this same life, this same power, this same qualification for priesthood that He offers in these words: 'Labor not for the meat that perishes but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall GIVE unto you, for Him hath the Father sealed' (Jn. 6:27) 'To him that overcometh,' the Lord said, 'will I GIVE to eat of the HIDDEN MANNA...' (Rev. 2:16). HIDDEN MANNA - that LIVING BREAD, that GLORIFIED FLESH, that came down from heaven - this is the GIFT OF GOD to the overcomer.
"The scene of this encounter between Melchizedek and the father of our faith is the climax of victory for Abraham. He had pursued the kings of the dale with only a handful of men, had fought the battle, and had rescued all that was his from the hand of the enemy In him, then, is set forth a perfect picture of the overcomer to whom is promised the hidden manna. The kings, of course, speak to us of those dominions that rule us - whatever is king, whatever is god or an enslaver in our lives - whether it be the lusts of the flesh, the pride of life, the principalities and powers in heavenly places - whatever the overcomer-to-be must wrestle against to deliver all that pertains to himself from the yoke of bondage. That he fought 'not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord' is clearly manifested in both the comparitive smallness of his army and the words of Melchizedek himself when he said, 'The Most High God...hath delivered shine enemies into thy hand.' Hallelujah! It was only after Abram had waged warfare in the strength of God's Spirit and was returning victorious that the glorious king of Salem, Melchizedek, brought forth to Abraham that 'bread and wine' of which Jesus spoke saying, 'Except ye eat My flesh and drink My blood, you have no life in you.'
"For Abraham the time had come: UNION through COMMUNION at the table of the Lord! He was, in that act, entering into the glories of the Melchizedek Priesthood, as it were, eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the great High-Priest sacrifice, becoming one with Him who is made 'after the power of an endless life.' In the eating of that flesh and blood, Abram entered into the Holiest of All 'through the veil, that is to say, HIS FLESH' and, in a figure, took his place in the glorified body of Christ" - end quote.
It has been said that we become what we eat. Truly, as we eat of Him, we are transformed into what He is. Can we not now understand the words of the apostle, "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the COMMUNION of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the COMMUNION of the body of Christ? FOR WE BEING MANY ARE ONE BREAD ...FOR WE ARE ALL PARTAKERS OF THAT ONE BREAD" (I Cor. 10:16-17). This has nothing whatever to do with eating crackers and drinking grape juice at church on Sunday morning, for it was the OLD COVENANT that stood in "meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances imposed on them UNTIL the time of reformation" (Heb. 9:10). In celebrating and FULFILLING the Old Testament feast of Passover Jesus said, "I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, UNTIL THAT DAY when I drink it NEW (changed, in the new covenant, spiritually) W-I-T-H Y-O-U IN MY FATHER'S KINGDOM" (Mat. 26:29). The Amplified Bible says, "I say to you, I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it with you NEW AND OF SUPERIOR QUALITY in My Father's Kingdom." And Moffatt translates, "I tell you, after this I will never drink this produce of the vine, till the day I drink it NEW with you in the REALM OF MY FATHER." Luke records it thus, "I will not anymore eat thereof, until it be FULFILLED IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD" (Lk. 22:16). And Paul says, "Who...HATH translated us INTO THE KINGDOM OF HIS DEAR SON" (Col. 1:13). The Amplified Bible states, "The Father has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the Kingdom of the Son of His love." And remember, beloved, "The Kingdom of God is N-O-T MEAT AND DRINK; but righteousness, and peace, and joy IN THE HOLY GHOST" (Rom. 14:17).
That the bread and wine of this NEW COVENANT COMMUNION are not physical, natural bread and wine is clear from Paul's teaching in I Cor. lO:16-17, "The cup of blessing which WE BLESS, is it not the COMMUNION OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST? The bread which WE BREAK, is it not the COMMUNION OF THE BODY OF CHRIST? For WE being many ARE (the) ONE BREAD...for we are all partakers of THAT ONE BREAD." Jesus said, "I AM the bread that is come down from heaven." As we partake of HIM, not Him in a wafer, but Him in spirit and in truth, by the power of the Holy Ghost, we eat of that bread and become that one bread. As HE IS BROKEN among us, as His life is shared, and His Word communicated from member to member, we are partakers of that one bread. The cup most churches bless is the cup of grape juice or wine from the local supermarket. The bread which the vast majority of preachers bless is the bread from the bakery. But the cup which WE BLESS I-S the communion of THE BLOOD OF CHRIST, and the bread which WE BLESS I-S the communion of THE BODY OF CHRIST, and WE ARE that bread, and HIS LIFE WITHIN I-S that blood, praise His name! We do not bless the cup of the old covenant, which stood in meats and drinks; we bless the cup of the new covenant which is NEW IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
Here is the most scriptural Communion Service in the universe: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I WILL COME INTO HIM, AND WILL SUP WITH HIM, AND HE WITH ME" (Rev. 3:2O). It is my deep conviction that it is utterly impossible to eat or drink Christ with my physical mouth, therefore, I MUST eat and drink of Him in the same spirit in which He spoke when He said to the Samaritan woman, "I have water to drink, which if a man drink of it, he will never thirst again." And she wondered how He could draw such water without a bucket! And today after two thousand years the churches are no further along in their spiritual understanding than was this poor ignorant woman of Samaria!
For centuries now Christians have been "taking communion" believing they were eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ. They were seeing the type, but missing the anti-type. The Scripture testifies, "And the WORD was MADE FLESH and dwelt among us, and we beheld HIS glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (Jn. 1:14). The eternal, living, incorruptible WORD OF GOD was MADE FLESH in the Person of Jesus Christ. The flesh of Christ is not the human body of Jesus, nor is it crackers or holy wafers; the flesh of Christ is the BREAD OF GOD, the TREE OF LIFE, the LIVING WORD OF GOD that came down from heaven, of which if a man partake HE SHALL LIVE FOREVER.
Jesus Christ is the Word of God. Just as the Word was made flesh, so His flesh IS THE WORD. The bread is His body. Not the body of Bethlehem, but the glorious body of incorruption. The breaking of the bread is the BREAKING OF HIS WORD, the incorruptible Word of God that liveth and abideth forever. When He broke that Word to the travellers on the road to Emmaus, their eyes were opened and they KNEW HIM. When Christ breaks the bread, the Word of God, our eyes are opened and we BEHOLD HIM and transformation into His image begins. The wine, Jesus said, was His blood, shed for the remission of sins. His blood, beloved friend, is ETERNAL LIFE, the BLOOD OF GOD, and those who drink of His blood which is His Spirit drink deeply of eternal life.
It is interesting to note that the statement of Jesus wherein He says, "I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's Kingdom," is repeated in Mk. 14:25 and Lk. 22:18. With three references to it' it must be very important. Three is the number of REVELATION, so there must be a deep truth to be unfolded. The unusual word in this verse is FRUIT, which in the original is not the word commonly used for fruit. It is the Greek word GENNEMA meaning literally GENERATION. Our Lord would no longer drink of that generation of which He was a part, of the natural, He would no longer partake of those things on the carnal plane, the earth realm, but the greater and more glorious DAY was dawning when He would drink the wine NEW WITH US in the Realm of His Father - the SPIRIT REALM. In other words, there is a drinking together of HIS GENERATION which is a NEW drinking, a NEW wine, a NEW dimension of life, a NEW spirit, a NEW blood, IN THE KINGDOM! It is a sharing of His blood and ours, a drinking together anew. We are already in that Kingdom, praise God, and so do we eat and drink, and it is now time for those of the Melchizedek Priesthood to bring forth bread and wine! All creation is hungering and thirsting for REALITY, and the voice of Jesus comes upon the wings of the Spirit saying, "Give ye them to eat."
What does it mean to you, my brother, when Jesus says, "I will not drink henceforth of this FRUIT OF THE VINE, until the day I drink it NEW W-I-T-H Y-O-U in My Father's Kingdom"? The fruit, of course, is His life, the vine refers to Christ, whereas the branches refer to us. "I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit" (Jn. 15:5). It is the branches that bring forth the fruit of the vine. In Judges 9:13 the vine is pictured as speaking, asking, "Should I leave my new wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?" In one sense these words depict the sacrificing Christ who has sacrificed everything of Himself. But this is not the main point. The primary significance is that out of His sacrifice He produced something to cheer both God and man - NEW WINE.
Have you had such an experience of Christ? Betimes under the Lord's sovereign dealings we are put into a particular situation in which we must sacrifice ourselves to make others happy and the Lord happy. When in this situation we are brought to draw upon the Lord, it is then that we experience Him as the wine-producing vine; and as branches we become the producer of something out of our union with Him that gives cheer to God and cheer to others. Out of this experience we become in a practical way the branches; we become the producer of that which cheers and blesses both God and man. Ah, there are infinite resources IN HIM to meet every need of sorrowing humanity. Christ is so rich! He is the one who produces glory for God and glory for man. We are experiencing Christ as the great wine-producer. This is the mark of the priests after the Order of Melchizedek - they bring forth bread and wine! And God is blessed, and man is refreshed, for through these sons all the nations and families of the earth SHALL BE BLESSED. The Levitical priesthood calling was to minister unto man "that he might offer both gifts and sacrifices." The Levitical priesthood, however, offered up DEAD things in order to please God and bless man. But the Melchizedek Order brings forth the LIVING BREAD of the Word of God and the NEW WIN of the incorruptible life of God.
What must be done to the grapes to make them wine? They must be pressed. To please God and bless men we must be pressed. We rejoice to learn that Christ is the vine and we the branches bearing the exquisite fruit of His glorious nature and victorious life. Our ransomed souls shout, Hallelujah! Glory to God! But do not say Hallelujah too quickly, precious one, for immediately following the maturity of the vintage comes the pressing. The grapes must be pressed that there come the OUTFLOW of His life to bless God and quicken man. You, too, must be pressed! The more you drink the wine of Christ, the more you will realize that you must be pressed. You must be broken in order to produce something in the house of the Lord that will flow out in blessing to God and creation.
There is a deep spiritual meaning here, and that is the description of the process through which the precious manifestation of HIS LIFE WITHIN is brought forth. It is through many hard things, through much bruising and bringing down, that this costly wine of His nature is made and perfected for our God. If we would offer the vintage of this eternal fruit, we must pass through HIS PROCESSINGS which alone can bring forth the outflow of Himself. The life giving fountain of the precious blood of Christ was wondrously opened in the agony of the cross, and so shall it be with all those blessed souls who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goes. There will be the pressure and bruising that come from the people about us. There will be the purifying pressure that Father's hand brings as He chastens and brings us low. It is the trampling and crushing that presses out life itself which brings forth the sweet wine of the grape. When wine is made from any fruit, it requires large quantities of the fruit to make a small quantity of juice. So it is with the wine of the grape. All the fiber and hard particles must be removed, so that only the pure juice remains, symbolizing the purity of His life that is unmixed with any fleshly attitude or action; or with any pride because of the work that the Spirit has wrought upon us; or with any other adulteration.
Melchizedek and Jesus brought forth bread and wine, and those of that Priesthood will do likewise. The melchizedek ministry is not one of judgment and condemnation, but one of grace, mercy, compassion, light, love and life. Sunday after Sunday in the pulpits and on radio and television we hear the preachers ranting and raving about doom, destruction, judgment and damnation. Seems the preachers are of the twisted opinion that men will not turn to Christ unless they are hung over the flames of hell, or moved by some hair-raising, spine-tingling story that it is someone's "last chance" and unless they get right with God something awful is going to happen to them, perchance before they can get home! They will freely cast billions into some form of eternal torment and everlasting separation from God, while they hopefully will have a few go to heaven - to that beautiful "Isle of Somewhere." Too often the Sunday night evangelistic sermon concerns threatening world events portending imminent catastrophe, with dire predictions about what the Russians are going to do, or the Illuminate, or our own government, or the Antichrist, or someone else. I do not hesitate to tell you that all such preaching is a soulish attempt
to SCARE people into the Kingdom of God. They claim to preach a full gospel, but their message is not even one percent GOOD NEWS. The gospel means "Good News," it means "Glad Tidings" of deliverance and emancipation unto all men, not horrible tidings of shame and vengeance and failure and eternal defeat.
Thank God! He is raising up a priesthood - a company of SAVIOURS - and these shall bring forth bread and wine. A table shall be set, laden with the rich bounties of His grace and glory. How different is this glorious priesthood from the ministries of Babylon's religious systems! The ministers of Babylon come threatening and frightening, spewing forth dark clouds of vengeance and damnation. But this priesthood comes with but one weapon: Love. A foolish and faithless church today would wreck eternal vengeance on all who do not see eye to eye with them in their folly, to consign to unending torment and torture all who have rejected a gospel which they could not accept because their eyes were blinded by the god of this world and no one thought enough of them to claim them through grace to life everlasting.
Why cannot men cease their ignorant pratings and learn once and for all that "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES UNTO THEM" (II Cor. 2:9). It is high time for all men to learn that Jesus Christ is "the Saviour of THE W-O-R-L-D" (Jn. 4:42), not its destroyer. And it is high time for all men to learn that He arose victor over every foe, that He came to redeem the whole world, and will accomplish all that He purposed to do. "The Lord of the W-H-O-L-E E-A-R-T-H shall He be called" (Isa. 54:5; Mic. 4:13; Zech. 4:14). It is time for all men to begin to believe the Word of God and to cease from following their own shameful delusions. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, WILL DRAW A-L-L M-E-N unto Me" (Jn. 12:32). How creation groans for these deliverers - the manifested sons of God! We would minister HIS LIFE, bread and wine, from the celestial realm, that all may be refreshed, healed, quickened and transformed. God will grant it. May God hasten it!
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.