Royal Priesthood and Holy Nation
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” -1 Peter 2:9
The royal priesthood and holy nation can be identified by the scripture that Peter is quoting from:
“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” -Exodus 19
We see that the royal priesthood is applied to faithful Israel. We join into the covenants and promises of Israel through Messiah Yeshua and receive forgiveness of sins through Him (Eph 2). Through faithfulness to Yahweh’s covenant we are made into a ruling class of priests. This in accordance with the order of Melchizedek.
Melchizedek means “righteous king”. The Melchizedek priesthood is a priesthood of KING and PRIEST (not just priest). Thus the Melchizedekian priesthood is the “royal” priesthood.
The Levitical System
The tribe of Levi was designated as the tribe that would serve in the priestly service (Deut 18:1-5). Aaron was a descendant of Levi of the fourth generation. The Aaronic priesthood was established with Aaron and his sons Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar (Exodus 28). Thus every priest was a Levite, but not all Levites were priests. The Levites, as a clan, had their inheritance in the temple service and had no land inheritance. The Levites who were not priests were given duties related to the maintenance and care taking of the tabernacle and its furnishings (Num 3). During the Golden Calf incident the Levites demonstrated their faithfulness and took to Moses side as Yahweh’s wrath broke out on the camp (Ex 32).
“Then you shall bring his sons and put coats on them, and you shall gird Aaron and his sons with sashes and bind caps on them. And the priesthood shall be theirs by a statute forever. Thus you shall ordain Aaron and his sons.” -Exodus 29
Take note that the priesthoods are demarcated by special clothing and, in particular, coats. Nadab and Abihu rebelled against Yahweh and had no descendants, therefore they had no priestly line. Eleazar and Ithamar had priestly lines that continued even beyond David’s reign.
“The divisions of the sons of Aaron were these. The sons of Aaron: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. But Nadab and Abihu died before their father and had no children, so Eleazar and Ithamar became the priests. With the help of Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, David organized them according to the appointed duties in their service.” -1 Chronicles 24
The high priestly line would pass to the descendants of Eleazar because Moses passed on this responsibility to him after Aaron’s death. This marked the first transfer or “change” of a priesthood. Remember ELEAZAR and ITHAMAR. The priesthood will switch back and forth between these two sons of Aaron.
“And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son.” -Numbers 20:28
The promise to Phinehas to establish his house as an everlasting priesthood was made on behalf of his righteous zeal.
“And the LORD said to Moses, “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the people of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the people of Israel in my jealousy.Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him my covenant of peace, and it shall be to him and to his descendants after him the covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the people of Israel.’” -Numbers 25:10-12
Phinehas was a descendant of Eleazar, so the high priesthood remained in the line of Eleazar when it was transferred to Phinehas. We are not told why, but after the death of Phinehas the high priesthood then reverted to the line of Ithamar to his descendant Eli. Later this priesthood would be transferred from the house of Eli because Abiathar rebelled against king Solomon and took sides with Adonijah in his attempted coup. The priesthood would then continue under the descendants of Zadok (line of Eleazar).
“So Solomon expelled Abiathar from being priest to the LORD, thus fulfilling the word of the LORD that he had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh….The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in place of Joab, and the king put Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar.” -1 Kings 2:27,35
The scripture referenced here is found in 1 Samuel.
“Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. Then in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed on Israel, and there shall not be an old man in your house forever. The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep hisc eyes out to grieve his heart, and all the descendantsd of your house shall die by the sword of men. And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day. And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever. And everyone who is left in your house shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and shall say, “Please put me in one of the priests’ places, that I may eat a morsel of bread.”’” -1 Samuel 2:30-36
Eli was the high priest at Shiloh and a descendant of Ithamar (one of Aarons sons). His sons were wicked and rebelled against Yahweh so Yahweh told him that He would transfer the high priesthood to a “faithful priest” who would go in and out “before my anointed forever”. The last high priest of the order of Eli was Abiathar, whose priesthood was revoked by Solomon and reverted back to the line of Eleazar to his descendant Zadok. Zadok and Abiathar were contemporaries who served together, but Zadok would now be the high priestly line.
Now we see that Zadok (line of Eleazar) and Ahimelech (line of Ithamar, son of Abiathar) were contemporary priests. We also see one important and often overlooked detail. DAVID’S SONS WERE PRIESTS!!
So David reigned over all Israel. And David administered justice and equity to all his people. Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army, and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder, and Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were priests, and Seraiah was secretary, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was overa the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and David’s sons were priests.” -2 Samuel 8:15-18
How could David’s sons be priests if they were not Levites but Judahites?
A parallel verse reads as follows:
“Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; and David’s sons were chief officials at the king’s side.” -1 Chronicles 18:17
The Hebrew text here is הָרִאשֹׁגִים. The word used in the parallel place (2 Sam) is כֹּחֲנִים, which signifies strictly “priests,” but sometimes more generally” princes.” So the 2 Samuel text says they were COHANIM, and the 1 Chronicles texts says they were CHIEFS.
Some will say that it simply means that they were chief officials or administrators, but I find it quite unique that the word “cohanim” is used here. Why not use the same word for both passages? It is granted that the term “cohanim” can refer to false priests as well (2 Kings 10:11)
Perhaps the answer is that David served in the role of the line of Melchizedek, namely, that of priest AND king! Yahweh even spoke to David concerning his priestly order and kingly scepter:
“The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours. The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” -Psalm 110:1-4
A quick read-through of 2 Samuel 6 and 1 Chronicles 15 further demonstrates David’s priestly role. He made sacrifices before the Ark, wore a linen ephod, made burnt and peace offerings, served as the coordinator of Israel’s corporate worship, and master over the Levitical priesthood.
The Scepter and the Priesthood
We see that the kingly scepter of authority was passed down to Judah from his father Jacob:
“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” -Gen 49:10
This, indeed, is the priestly line of our Messiah Yeshua:
“And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”; as he says also in another place, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.” -Hebrews 5:4-10
And in speaking of Yeshua’s kingly line the scriptures state:
“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall breakb them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” -Psalm 2:1-9
Consider our exhortation from our brother John:
“The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.” -Rev 2:26-27
And the prophecy given by our brother Daniel:
“But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’” -Daniel 7:18
We see that our Messiah Yeshua, born of Mary ascended into Heaven after His resurrection:
“And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne” -Rev 12:5
We see that when He returns at the wedding feast of the Lamb, it it his priests who join with Him. Priests are those who wear white linen:
“Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” -Revelation 19:6-9
And finally we see His return with the armies of heaven also clothed in white linen (priests) as He takes His reign on the earth and rules with the scepter of iron!
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” -Rev 19:11-16
In Acts we see the testimony of our Messiah Yeshua and His resurrection in relationship to His priestly and kingly inheritance which is based upon better promises:
“And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’ And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, “‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’ Therefore he says also in another psalm, “‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’ For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freedc from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about: “‘Look, you scoffers, be astounded and perish; for I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.’” -Acts 13:32-41
Better promises, greater service (priestly ministry), everlasting covenant:
“But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” -Hebrews 8:6-12
We see that this day is yet to come as Israel and Judah return to Zion (the great gathering or “rapture”) to learn the true instructions (Torah) from our King and High Priest Yeshua!
“”In those days and at that time,” declares the LORD, “the sons of Israel will come, both they and the sons of Judah as well; they will go along weeping as they go, and it will be the LORD their God they will seek. “They will ask for the way to Zion, turning their faces in its direction; they will come that they may join themselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten. “My people have become lost sheep; Their shepherds have led them astray.” -Jeremiah 50:4-6
The Great Shepherd has come to gather the lost:
“He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” -Matthew 15:24
The Millennial Temple and Priesthood
We see that Yahweh will return with judgment and then gather Levites from all over the world to come serve before Him in His Millennial Temple! Compare the phrase “know your works and your thoughts” with the warnings given to the churches in Revelation!
““For behold, the LORD will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many. “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig’s flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the LORD. “For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD. And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD.” -Isaiah 66:15-21
During this time the entire world will be taught Torah and the Feasts of Yahweh will be kept as well as sacrifices and offerings.
“Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them. And if the family of Egypt does not go up and present themselves, then on them there shall be no rain; there shall be the plague with which the LORD afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths. This shall be the punishment to Egypt and the punishment to all the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths. And on that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to the LORD.” And the pots in the house of the LORDshall be as the bowls before the altar. And every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holy to the LORD of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and take of them and boil the meat of the sacrifice in them. And there shall no longer be a trader in the house of the LORD of hosts on that day.” -Zechariah 14:16-21
And coming full circle we see that the promises of God are irrevocable and the sons of Zadok (line of Eleazar which was blessed to have an everlasting priesthood because of Phinehas) will serve in His temple for the entirety of the Millennium!
““But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept the charge of my sanctuary when the people of Israel went astray from me, shall come near to me to minister to me. And they shall stand before me to offer me the fat and the blood, declares the LordGOD. They shall enter my sanctuary, and they shall approach my table, to minister to me, and they shall keep my charge. When they enter the gates of the inner court, they shall wear linen garments. They shall have nothing of wool on them, while they minister at the gates of the inner court, and within.” -Ezekiel 44:15-17
And concerning Zadok the scripture will be fulfilled which says, “I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever.” (1 Sam 2:35)
The Order of Melchizedek
The order of Melchizedek may have begun with Adam, the priest and king of the earth and passed on based upon faithfulness and righteousness to Abel, through his righteous descendants to Enoch. Could it be that the garments of the Melchizedekian priesthood are the garments of skin that Yahweh made for Adam and Eve when they left the garden?
Indeed the Torah states that the skin of the burnt offering is to serve as garments for the priests:
“And the priest who offers any man’s burnt offering shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering that he has offered.” -Leviticus 7:8
Could this be a representation of Messiah’s righteousness that we are to put on?
“Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy.” -Psalm 132:9
“I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” -Isaiah 61:10
Enoch was also a faithful servant of Yahweh and, according to tradition reigned over mankind (Jasher 3:7) until he was taken.
Then to Noah. Noah was the “preacher of righteousness”.
“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.” -Genesis 6:8-9
It is believed that the garments given to Adam and Eve were passed down to their descendants even to Noah, and then Ham stole these garments from Noah and passed them down to his grandson Nimrod who became a “mighty hunter before the Lord”. Perhaps this is related to Ham uncovering his father’s nakedness, and why his brothers had to bring him a sheet rather than simply putting the clothes back on their father. In any case, Nimrod became a great ruler (the ancient Hammurabi) and rebelled against Yahweh. Esau caught Nimrod hunting in the woods and cut his head off, stole his skin garments given to him from Ham, and then fled to his household where his brother Jacob fed him pottage in exchange for his birthright. Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau and put them on Jacob. Jacob then later made a coat of many colors for his son Joseph. Could this have been a transfer of kingship or priesthood? This is just speculation.
Then the M.P. passed to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. At this point the scepter was given to Judah, the kingly lineage of Messiah. Perhaps we can use Hebrews chapter 11 as our templet for the Melchizedekian lineage. Indeed, the author of Hebrews focuses so primarily on the priesthoods, faithfulness, and Messiah Yeshua. Perhaps the Melchizedekian priesthood remains in Judah as do the garments of skin, but a new garment of multiple colors (coat of many colors, or simply a long robe normally worn by royalty) is then given to Joseph, the Messiah-archetype who representatively reveals himself to his brethren and rejoins all of the sons of Israel as well as gathering in the nations (Gentiles)!
If King David represented the M.P. then it must have stayed in Judah at least until the split of the Kingdom after Solomon’s reign. But why would the Melchizedekian priesthood transfer to Joseph while the scepter remains in Judah?
We know the Melchizekedian priesthood has returned to Judah through Messiah Yeshua, so why go to Joseph in the first place?
Perhaps the reason that we are not told why the Levitical priesthood transferred from Phinehas (Eleazar line) to Eli (Ithamar line) is solely because it was a hidden message to foreshadow the future transfer of the Melchizedekian priesthood from Judah (son of Leah) to Joseph (son of Rachel) instead of remaining in Judah after Jacob passed it to him. The coat of many colors given to Joseph from Jacob may have been a symbol representing the drawing in of all nations into a priesthood enacted upon an indestructible life (Yeshua) rather than the death of an animal (skins of animals, Adam).
If the coat was simply a “long robe” it still fits perfectly as Yeshua was given a magnificent scarlet robe to wear with his crown of thorns as He spilt His precious blood on it. Perhaps this is the robe dipped in blood He is wearing when He returns (Rev 19:13)! Perhaps the crown of thorns represents the Kingship and the horns of the altar that the priest would apply blood to during the sin offering (Lev 9:9).
Even so, Joseph’s brothers returned to their father Jacob with the coat of many colors indicating the death of Joseph, yet we know that Joseph rose from that pit and became the ruler of Egypt! This symbolizes the death and resurrection of Yeshua, and upon His return, revealing His identity to our brothers of Judah.
The sons of Joseph (Ephraim and Manessah) became collectively known as the House of Israel, which we know was divorced by Yahweh and scattered into the nations. It was at this time (the captivity of Israel and Judah) that the Mechizedekian roles of KING and PRIEST were stripped from Israel as a whole, yet Judah was allowed to return to Jerusalem (indicating their retaining of the scepter). Joseph (House of Israel) was scattered because of the faithlessness of his sons (just like Eli’s sons) and the M.P. was stripped from Joseph and given back to Judah to be transferred to a new High Priest based upon the power of an indestructible life, namely, Yeshua the Messiah!
If we are looking at Hebrews 11 as a template for the MP then next after Joseph would be Moses, who is truly an archetype of the Messiah. Although Moses did not serve in the Levitical priesthood, he did execute authority over Aaron and he was the one to ascend the mountain and speak directly with Yahweh. When he returned from the mountain his countenance shown with a radiance possibly similar to the glory that Yeshua received in his incorruptible flesh after ascending to the Father.
So we that the Levitical priesthood represents the earthly events and mirrors what happens in the spiritual Melchizedekian priesthood:
“Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” -Hebrews 8:1-5
The author of Hebrews points out that if Yeshua were on the earth He would not be a priest (Levitical), because he ministers in the heavenly realm (Melchizedekian).
A Change In The Priesthood
“Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. ” -Hebrews 7:11-16
Most commentators will, upon reading this passage, jump to the conclusion that we have switched from the Levitical priesthood to the Melchizedekian priesthood and therefore abolished the Levitical priesthood. This is NOT the case as we have just demonstrated that the Levitical priesthood will be active in the Millennial Temple.
When the author says “when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well” he is referring to the legal requirements pertaining to each respective priesthood. For example, there are legal requirements for the Levitical priesthood such as being a descendant of Levi. BUT when you are talking about the Melchizedekian priesthood there is a DIFFERENT legal requirement, namely, that of the power of an indestructible life rather than bodily descent. Therefore, when there is a change in priesthood there is a change in the law pertaining to that priesthood. This is also why Yeshua would not serve in the earthy temple, because the laws pertaining to the Melchizedekian priesthood do not concern the upkeep and service of the earthly temple but of the Heavenly!
Yeshua The Melchizedek
Let’s take a closer look at this title.
“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;” -Genesis 14:18-19
“Melchizedek” is made up of the Hebrew words for “righteous” and “king”. We also see that he is the king of Salem, which means “peace”, after which Jeru”salem” is named. He was also the Cohen or “priest” of God Most High. We have establish above that “cohen” can mean “priest” or “prince”. It can simply refer to one who acts as a mediator.
Thus he was King of Salem but also Prince of Peace. Moses also acted as a mediator when he communicated the instructions of Yahweh to Israel. Indeed he served as the Melchizedekian priest or “mediator” until the Offspring of the promise given to Abraham should come.
“The LORD spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire, while I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD.” -Deuteronomy 5:4-5
“To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified.Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.
Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.” -Galatians 3:15-18
Just as in the Levitical Priesthood there is only one High Priest in the Melchizedekian Priesthood.
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” -1 Timothy 2:5
Although Abel served as High Priest of the order of Melchizedek, his blood, which was spilt, still could not redeem mankind from their sins and inaugurate the New Covenant, although Abel served as an archetype of the One to come that could.
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” -Hebrews 12:22-24
We know that Abel’s blood cried out from the ground because of Cain’s sin, but God marked Cain with a protective mark just as He instructed the Israelites to mark their doorposts with the blood of a lamb during the first Passover to protect them from the Death Angel. Indeed, Abel’s Passover sacrifice* was a picture of the ultimate Passover sacrifice to come which would have the power to forgive all sin, namely, that of Yeshua’s blood.
Abram, upon paying a tithe to Melchizedek was blessed. After the battle was finished and the men were exhausted, Melchizedek confirmed Abram’s position as a priest according to His order by blessing him, and He signified the coming day when Yeshua’s body would be broken and blood spilt as he gave to the men bread and wine. It was not long after that that Yahweh would make a promise to Abraham that would extend to his Offspring which would inherit the earth. This was the Covenant of Pieces.
“When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land” -Genesis 15:17-18
In the Ancient Near East covenants (agreements between two parties) were often made through the cutting apart of an animal. This is called “cutting a covenant” and is where we get the phrase to “cut a deal”. Another “cutting” covenant was made shortly thereafter with the Covenant of Circumcision. Let’s take a close look at the animals used here:
“He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. ” -Genesis 15:9-10
Here we have all types of Levitical sin offerings represented: a bull, ewe (female goat), ram (male goat), dove, and pigeon.
Bull: High Priest or the entire community (Lev 4:3, 4:14)
Ram: King or Prince (Lev 4:23)
Eew: other individuals (Lev 4:28)
Turtle Dove or Pigeon: poor individuals would use two, one for a sin offering and one for a burnt offering (Lev 5:7)
Note: Fine Flour is also an offering for those who were extremely poor (Lev 5:11). This was not represented here but perhaps was represented in the bread that Melchizedek served.
Now it was not actually Abraham that walked the blood path between the pieces but it was actually Yeshua our High Priest! Yahweh is represented by the fire pot and Yeshua is represented by the flaming torch. So we see that Yeshua even demonstrated to Abraham that He would satisfy the righteous requirements to atone for our sins once and for all according to His Priesthood!
“Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” -John 8:58
Abraham also played a Melchizedekian priestly role as he offered up his son, knowing that God would raise him from the dead. This also was a foreshadowing of Messiah.
Yeshua even made a hidden mention to David’s authority or lordship as a priest according to His order when He said to the Pharisees,
“Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, in the time ofd Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” -Mark 2:26-28
Now we can see a clear and direct connection between Isaiah 42:1-9, Isaiah 49, and 2 Corinthians 6. That connection is Yeshua’s High Priesthood.
Hebrews 11 Template
Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses
The one who came before Abel was Adam (the “red” one). He fathered one who came in his likeness (see Gen 5:3), namely, Seth, who replaced Abel. Abel was struck, his blood poured out, and cried out from the ground. Seth came in Adam’s likeness and continued the Godly line in contrast to Cain. Seth then taught Enoch the ways of Yah, and so on an so forth.
Who else was a priest according to the order of Melchizedeck who poured out His perfect blood for us and “came in the likeness of Adam”?
Yeshua Messiah came in the likeness of Adam:
“Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.” -Rom 5:4
Yeshua Messiah poured out his blood on the earth like Abel, but His blood was greater (Heb 12:24)
Yeshua Messiah was the “red one” as he wore a scarlet robe and bore our sins upon his flesh just as the red heifer ashes would cleanse one from contact with death.
So if we follow Hebrews 11 as our template, we see that the MP transferred not based upon direct lineage, but upon faithfulness and representation of the One who brings incorruptible life, namely, Yeshua!!
We also see that from Jacob the MP went to Joseph and then to Moses. Now we know that David sits on the throne of Judah and was also a priest (he offered sacrifices and was in charge of the Levitical system). Moses, on the other hand, was also a major picture of Messiah. Yes, he was a descendant of Levi, but not of Aaron, and therefore was not a priest according to the order of Levi, but of a different order, namely, Melchizedeck!
So the MP transferred to Joseph, indicating that atoning sacrifice bringing salvation would come to Judah (and all of Israel) not by the hand of the Levities but by Joseph, the suffering servant. That priesthood would then return to Moses (indicating Yeshua going to make intercession for us in the heavenlies), and eventually to Judah / David (indicating Yeshua’s return to sit on the throne)!
We Are A Royal Priesthood
The children of Israel were told to wear blue tzitzits or “tassels” on the corners of their garments. The blue techelet dye was expensive to procure. Blue was worn only by royalty and priests during this time period. Yahweh was instructing the Israelites to wear them to designate their royalty and their priesthood to the surrounding nations. When we wear our tzitzits today we are proclaiming our eternal priesthood through Yeshua our Great High Priest!
As the Melchizedekian Priesthood is tied to an incorruptible flesh our ultimate fulfillment as priests to Yahweh occurs when we put on incorruptible flesh.
“And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” -Romans 8:23
“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” -2 Corinthians 5:1-5
“I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”” -1 Corinthians 15:50-55
We see that now and during the Millennial reign Levitical sacrifices will be offered up as worship to Yahweh and as a purification of the flesh.
“For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” -Hebrews 9:13-14
After the Millennial reign, however, the death will be utterly swallowed up and there will be no more need to purify the flesh according to the Levitical priesthood. At this time a new heavens and a new earth will be created and the former things will no longer come to mind!
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” -Revelation 21:1-4
Also in the New Heavens and New Earth, there is no temple. The presence of Yahweh fills the entirety.
“And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.” -Rev 21:22
See also 1 Peter 1:3-5, Isaiah 66:22, 1 Peter 5:4, 2 Timothy 4:8, 2 Peter 1:4, 2 Peter 3:13, Rev 20:5-6…
And MOST OF ALL read 1 Corinthians chapter 15 with this understanding!
We will judge the world and angels:
“Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!” -1 Corinthians 6:2-3
We will take possession of the kingdom:
“”I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” -Daniel 7:21-22
“I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” -Rev 20:4
We represent the presence of Yahweh as we usher in the spiritual temple in our own bodies.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,” -1 Cor 6:19
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” -1 Cor 3:16-17
“What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” -2 Corinthians 6:16
“Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God.” -Exodus 29:45
“My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.” -Ezekiel 37:27
“Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” -John 14:23
“Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?” -James 4:5
Be Confident. Endure. Run the race with perseverance you saints of the Most High Elohim!
“The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” -Revelation 21:7
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Yeshua, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” -Hebrews 12:1
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Yeshua Messiah before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Yeshua Messiah, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” -2 Timothy 1:8-10
*it occurred at the first spring harvest and was a sheep offering with the fat portions designated to Yahweh. Also Yasher says they ate the meat of the sacrifice. See my note entitled “Torah Before Torah”.