Sunday, August 6, 2017

Paul's Epistles – Hebrews – Part 11: Melchizedek the Priest

Paul's Epistles – Hebrews – Part 11:
Melchizedek the Priest
Pastor Bruce A. Shields

The “official” writer of this epistle is unknown. However, I obviously believe it is Paul since I have included it in the “Paul’s Epistles” Sermon Series.

I believe there is enough evidence from early scholars to agree this was more than likely Paul’s work.

We have already seen in Hebrews so far;

·        Jesus is greater than angels
·        And that we are to pay the most careful attention to Jesus and His way so we do not stray
·        And how Jesus (New Covenant) is greater than Moses (Old Covenant)
·        Paul’s warning about unbelief
·        A Sabbath Rest for the People of God
·        Jesus the Great High Priest
·        Jesus the Perfect High Priest
·        Therefore, It is Time to Grow Up
·        The Certainty of God’s Promise

“Melchizedek the Priest”

Hebrews 7:1-10
This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.
Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham. This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.

The overall message of this epistle to the church is;
The Cure for Lacking Boldness or Courage in your Christian Faith and Backsliding is a Right beginning for the Glory and Work of Christ”

a. King of Salem and Priest of God Most High
                                                                 i. Salem was the ancient name of Jerusalem - Psalms 76:2

                                                              ii. Genesis 14 tells of Abram rescuing Lot

                                                           iii. Verses 17-24 “After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Creator of heaven and earth.

20 And praise be to God Most High,
    who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.”

22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me—to Aner, Eshkol and Mamre. Let them have their share.”

b. When Melchizedek met Abraham He blessed him
                                                                 i. Showing He is in a superior Spiritual position

c. So who was Melchizedek
                                                                 i. His name Melchizedek means King of Righteousness
1. The Lord Jesus Christ is the King of Righteousness

                                                              ii. His title King of Salem means King of Peace
1. Jesus being Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)

                                                           iii. He is without father or mother

                                                            iv. Without genealogy

                                                               v. Without beginning of days

                                                            vi. without ending of life

                                                         vii. Resembling the Son of God He remains Priest forever

                                                      viii. Verse 4 says, “now consider how great this man was”, HOWEVER, the LIT says, And see how great this one [is]”

1. not a man or angel as some teach, rather, He is the Son before He came as the man Jesus

a. Even the Patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of everything to Him
                                                                 i. The scripture paints us a picture of how the standard is set as in regards to financing the Work of God on Earth

1. Abraham is the Patriarch, Father of the Faithful
a. Jesus Messiah born from this lineage
b. All who follow Christ are part of the promise

2. Those who were part of the promise (the faithful) Tithe

3. This tithe, required by God from the Faithful finances the Work of God on Earth
                                                              ii. Why Tithe?

1. All who are Faithful and part of the Promise are called to tithe by God
a.  Matthew 6:21 says "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." 

2. Everything you have is God’s, so it is not a matter of how much of your money are you giving to the church, but how much of God’s money are you keeping

a. The Bible mentions money over 800 times and of all of Jesus' parables, more than half of them talked about money. Why? Because that is where so many people get tripped up! 

3. "Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."  Mark 12:41-44  

4. 2 Corinthians 9:6-10Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

b. Levitical law requires descendants of Levi to collect tithe
                                                                 i. A tenth from the people
                                                              ii. from fellow Israelites

c. However, Melchizedek is not a descendant of Levi
                                                                 i. Yet He collected a tenth from Abraham

                                                              ii. And blessed him who has the promises
1. All the great promises from God were given to Abraham, yet, Melchizedek blessed him!

                                                           iii. Without a doubt, the lesser is blessed by the greater

a. The Levitical order was instructed to collect tithe

b. Abraham, the patriarch, paid tithe to Melchizedek

c. Melchizedek was before the Levitical order, and will always be, long after the Levitical order is gone

CONCLUSION – melchizedek, the high priest above all priests

Is Melchizedek the Son of God?

·        Paul is saying yes, so far ALL of Hebrews speaks of how Jesus is greater!
o   Jesus is greater than angels
o   And that we are to pay the most careful attention to Jesus and His way so we do not stray
o   And how Jesus (New Covenant) is greater than Moses (Old Covenant)
o   Jesus the Great High Priest
o   Jesus the Perfect High Priest
o   Now speaks of Melchizedek being greater than the Levitical Order
·        Melchizedek’s name means King of Righteousness
·        His title, King of Salem means King of Peace
·        He is without Father or Mother (Not a human)
·        He is without genealogy (no family before him)
·        He is without beginning of days
o    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. - John 1:1
o   The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. - John 1:14
·        He is without ending of life
o   Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. - John 1:3-4
o   'I am the way and the truth and the life' - John 14:6
·        Melchizedek is the eternal Priest forever
o   He could not be a man because Hebrews 9:27 says “ And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”
o   If Melchizedek was a “man” and never had an end of days, this would be a scriptural contradiction.
o   Therefore, Melchizedek cannot be a human.

Next week we will look at the rest of Hebrews 7

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