WHERE is Melchisedec TODAY???

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Gregory Perry Sr., Aug 13, 2012.

  1. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    Anybody want to offer their dogmatic "opinion" on this one? Take a look at Hebrews 7:1-3 (particularly vs.3). Is Melchisedec still walking around on the earth today among us (and I'm NOT saying he is) :type:in some incognito,immortal form or personage? Does the Bible say one way or another. By the way...it was AresMan and his tithing blog that got me wondering about that. (and I agree with him on his conclusions about that subject...I think the scriptures are crystal-clear about that issue for those who believe the Bible and NOT the religious traditions of man and HIS "church".):saint:

    Bro.Greg
     
  2. MNJacob

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    A better question is who was Melchizedek really?

    Then we could consider the question as to where h(H)e is.
     
  3. HeirofSalvation

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    HMMMM....An interesting question. I also purchased Aresman's book, and found it convincing and informative, and, well, it helped to sell me on his point of view about the tithing issue...I now agree with him on the topic!!! But frankly...it didn't convince me about the identity of Melchizedek!!! I think the "tithing" argument (as posed by detractors like Aresman or R.K. Early) holds regardless of Melichizedek's identity...I tended to wonder if proponents of the (anti-tithe) position weren't slightly predjudiced against Melchizedek's identity being that of a Theophany...and I still tend to think that a Theophany is the simplest and most logical explanation. It is an interesting topic to be sure!!! I am presently teaching through the book of Genesis at my Church....and I will run across this conundrum in about 6 weeks!!!! I would love to hear feed-back on this idea!!! Great question! :wavey: :thumbsup: My short anwer??? "DOGMATIC" on the issue is probably something we shouldn't be...
     
    #3 HeirofSalvation, Aug 13, 2012
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  4. DHK

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    That he was an actual historical figure is no doubt. Abraham did pay tithes to him. There is the view that this man suddenly appeared in history, lived for a time and then quietly disappeared from the scene. No one knows of his genealogy. Thus one could accurately say: "having no mother and no father." It was a reference to his unknown genealogy. The same would be true for the rest of the descriptive phrases given in Hebrews 7:3. In type he was like the Son of God, and he was a priest.

    The other view, of course, was that this was an actual theophany. The description in Hebrews given in Hebrews 7 gives strong evidence towards that view, as does the fact that Abraham paid tithes to him.

    Which one? That is up to you to choose, after you have done your own study.
     
  5. percho

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    YLT Heb 7:16,17 who came (As a priest) not according to the law of a fleshly command, but according to the power of an endless life, for He doth testify -- `Thou [art] a priest -- to the age, according to the order of Melchisedek;'

    At what point in time is this spoken of as having taken place?

    Heb. 5:5-10 so also the Christ did not glorify himself to become chief priest, but He who spake unto him: `My Son thou art, I to-day have begotten thee;' as also in another [place] He saith, `Thou [art] a priest -- to the age, according to the order of Melchisedek;' who in the days of his flesh both prayers and supplications unto Him who was able to save him from death -- with strong crying and tears -- having offered up, and having been heard in respect to that which he feared, through being a Son, did learn by the things which he suffered -- the obedience, and having been made perfect, he did become to all those obeying him a cause of salvation age-during, having been addressed by God a chief priest, according to the order of Melchisedek,

    I have stated in another thread of how man has negated the importance of the resurrection to life of Jesus the Christ and therefore in reality he also doesn't believe his own resurrection is of any importance, but for a body.

    KJV 1 Cor 15:46 Howbeit that not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

    That afterward spoken of there has been experienced by only one man born of woman and is spoken of elsewhere as being the firstborn from the dead and it was then Jesus the Christ was spoken of being of the order of Melchisedek.
     
  6. Yeshua1

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    he was NOT a pre incarnate appearance of Christ, but was a real live person , who as both a priest and King unto God was a type of the real chrsit yet to come!

    he is dead and buried somewhere God only knows!
     
  7. HeirofSalvation

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    That is a legitimate Point of View....but you speak as though this were obvious and un-disputed....it may be true...and I am open to this idea. I believe I know the subject well enough to know that it is VERY HARD to be dogmatic about this. Accept, though, that there is a legitimate argument that this was a Theophany... Many a brilliant Theologian (wiser than you or I) have posed this argument. I am partial to that interpretation myself, but I can accept that it is possibly mistaken. I do not think dogmatism is warranted here.
     
    #7 HeirofSalvation, Aug 15, 2012
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  8. Deacon

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    WHERE is Melchizedek TODAY???

    Reports vary but some say:

    He lives in Graceland and close friends with Elvis

    He’s an unregistered alien collecting Social Security benefits in Florida and living off Abraham's tithes

    He’s a Congressman in living in Washington D.C. eternally elected

    Rob
     
  9. Yeshua1

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    I agree either view is supportable, but think that the point of jesus being one "like unto" him was saying that the OT type that pointed to how jesus would be theHigh Priest in heaven was based actual life of a real historical person...

    That just as mel was without any known geneologies, so jesus would be in his mode, as an eternal high priest under the new covenant!
     
  10. AresMan

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    Heb 7:1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
    Heb 7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
    Heb 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.


    The key here is that Melchizedek was "priest of the most high God... without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days [recorded], nor end of life [recorded]." The Hebrew readership were familiar with the qualifications for a Levitical priest:
    1. a descendent of Aaron
    2. 30-50 years old (Numbers 4; 8:23-26)
    3. right spiritual standing

    Now, the writer to the Hebrews reminded them that their tradition regarded Melchizedek a priest, yet he did not meet the physical qualifications of the Levitical priesthood. There is no record of any ancestor before him in this line with God giving that person a priesthood. There is no record of Melchizedek inheriting the office from his dad when he turned 30 years old. Yet "the less is blessed of the better." Abraham is, in some way, greater than Levi and Aaron who were "in his loins." However, Melchizedek was greater than Abraham, because Abram gave a tithe of the spoils of war to him, acknowledging him as a priest. Therefore, this mysterious priesthood still stood perpetually by tradition and is qualitatively better than the Levitical line. Scripture said that someone is "priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." This happened to be Jesus Christ who was both Priest and Sacrifice.

    The Levitical priests who performed sacrifices at the altar in the sanctuary could never "sit down" there. Their work was never done. However, Hebrews emphasizes that Jesus Christ, after He had performed His one-time sacrifice "sat down" at the right hand of God.

    Melchizedek was "make LIKE unto the Son of God" not that he was the Son of God. Christ is priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, not that He was Melchizedek. Melchizedek was "made like unto the Son of God" in that his authority was mysteriously universal and his order of priesthood is perpetual. Also, Abram gave him bread and wine--a picture of the function of the priestly offering of Christ.

    I would have a difficult time accepting Melchizedek as a Christophany. It would denigrate the uniqueness of the incarnation of Christ in His first advent. When did Christ become king of the city of Salem? How long was He embodied in the flesh? When did He stop being king of Salem in the sense of being a physical king with human subjects? We know that Melchizedek must have had a human successor, because "Adonizedek" was the king of Jerusalem (Salem) during the conquest in Canaan and was Israel's enemy because they had to honor their vow to protect Gibeah (Joshua 10).
     
  11. Bronconagurski

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    Agree that the language is allegorical in nature and that he was not a Christophany. The tithe aspect is interesting and a lot of preachers use that to say the tithe is always the standard as Abraham tithed pre-law.
     
  12. HeirofSalvation

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    #12 HeirofSalvation, Aug 15, 2012
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  13. AresMan

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    I supplied "recorded" because I believe "without father" et al modifies "priest of the most high God" in function. Melchizedek was priest without a priestly pedigree. The Hebrew readers were familiar with the pedigree of record required for qualification for priesthood (in the Levitical code), yet their own tradition (Scriptures) recognized this mysterious Melchizedek as "priest of the most high God" without such a pedigree to prove it. The whole chapter is about the superiority of the priesthood of the order of Melchizedek over the priesthood of the order of Aaron.

    I grew up on the Christophany theory. However, I can no longer accept it because of the logical problems with it.

    Melchizedek was literally a king of a literal city called Salem. At some point several people accepted him as king. At some point he ceased being the literal king of this city because someone named Adonizedek was king of Salem during Joshua's conquest, and Adonizedek was the enemy of Israel. If Melchizedek as a Christophany continued to walk the earth, I would think that the whole known world would know about this marvel of a person who would never die. The only way to avoid this problem would be a "Men in Black" scenario, or somehow Melchizedek escaped from his "throne" and hid in a cave for years until all memory of his appearance was forgotten. Also, when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, would we still have to accept that He also inhabited another body of flesh walking around the earth somewhere? If not, did Melchizedek vanish or ascend to heaven immediately prior to the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. Then, when Christ ascended to heaven and "sat down" at the right hand of God, did He "got up" again and came back down to earth as Melchizedek and walk around where no one can see Him?

    There are so many problems of manifestation and logic with Melchizedek being a Christophany whose answer(s) would have to be total arguments from silence or speculation, all to try to take a few clauses as describing a supernatural creature when they can make 100% sense defining priestly qualifiers and fit in the whole context of the chapter.

    I didn't say "human ancestor," I said "human successor."

    Melchizedek was king of Salem when Abram was alive.
    Adonizedek was king of Salem when Joshua was alive.

    Adonizedek held a position formerly held by Melchizedek. Assuming a Christophany view for Melchizedek necessitates many intriguing questions about this fact that can only be answered with wild speculations. Interesting support against the Christophany view is that Adonizedek was king of Salem, but nothing is said of him being priest of God. If he were "priest of the most high God...after the order of Melchizedek," that would seem to put a blight on this priestly order. However, there are only two priests in this order: Melchizedek and Jesus. There are plenty in this line of kings of Salem, which would include Melchizedek, Adonizedek, anyone in between, King David, his kingly descendents, and so on.
     
  14. Aaron

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    Agreed. And his priesthood stands in contrast to the Levitical priesthood in that the Levitical priesthood was temporary. The Levitical priesthood, the Temple and its rites all saw a beginning of days and an end of life, but Christ's priesthood is eternal, having no beginning of days or end of life.
     
  15. HeirofSalvation

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    An interesting link I found that discusses BOTH the view that he was a man, and that he was a pre-incarnate Christ...I still hold to the Teophany view, but this one treats both views fairly... My contention is that we should not be dogmatic about it either way. Most fair treatments of the subject I have run across leave room for people to disagree on this one:

    http://www.onenesspentecostal.com/melchizedek.htm
     
  16. AresMan

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    By the way, thank you for your encouraging support. :applause:
     
  17. HeirofSalvation

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    Thank you...it was a good and well-written book! It was informative...VERY. It was (IMO) very readable and understandable while also being in-depth. You didn't cut corners. Your treatment of the Malachi thing was outstanding. You were forced to kinda "More about this in chapter 11"....kind of thingy, which no one likes, but I am sure it was for good reasons. I am not blowing smoke, I would truly recommend it to anybody. Great Work:wavey::thumbs:

    BTW, back to thread topic....With the "KING of Salem" question you asked,
    ? ...I am sure you know that literally translated it means "King of Peace", and that furthermore, "Salem" is to my knowledge anyway normally understood by most scholars to be Jerusalem...hence my answer (which might have seemed cheeky) but wasn't intended to be...
     
    #17 HeirofSalvation, Aug 17, 2012
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  18. HeirofSalvation

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    This is also true...the link I provided, and other sources also cover this. With the "fiery furnace story" recorded in the book of Daniel...the usually assumed Theophany there is also described as being "like unto the Son of God" as well, so this, although a decent argument, does not provide a slam-dunk against the Theophany idea either.
     
  19. AresMan

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    I think there are problems (naturally) with the theophany argument presented in this article.

    Perhaps, that is one way in which Melchizedek was "made like unto the Son of God." Given the law of Moses, only descendants of Aaron could be priests (Lev 1:8; Num 18:1), and the plan was that only descendants of Judah would be kings (Gen 49:8-10). No one genetically could be both. However, the mysterious Melchizedek was regarded as performing the roles of both a priest and a king; therefore, he was "made LIKE unto the Son of God."

    This is actually one reason I lean toward Melchizedek being Shem or a descendant of Shem. Noah was called "Zedek":

    Gen 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just [Zedek] man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

    I believe it is possible that Shem carried on his father's tradition of "Zedek." After all, Abraham was a Semite. Shem perhaps founded and named his city "Salem" because being "Zedek" brings about "Salem," and either he or a descendant of his led this city.

    To try to make a case from Melchizedek's title "King of righteousness" as a claim to deity based on Romans 3:10 puts many other passages and people as candidates. Jesus said "there is none good but one, that is, God" (Mar 10:18) , yet Job was "was perfect and upright."

    As I mentioned before, there was a later king of Salem called "Adonizedek," which means "Lord/Master of Righteousness." Does this make Adonizedek God because of Romans 3:10?

    Perhaps because the writer to the Hebrews was emphasizing something they already knew to make a point. They were likely familiar with Psalm 110:4, yet the writer to the Hebrews references this passage no less than five times:

    Heb 5:6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

    Heb 5:10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

    Heb 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

    Heb 7:17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

    Heb 7:21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)


    The point was not to ascribe deity to Melchizedek but to emphasize the superiority of his priesthood, which Jewish tradition recognized, but they were focused on the priesthood of Aaron "after a carnal commandment."

    Understanding the grammar of the opening description of Melchizedek might help here:

    Heb 7:1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
    Heb 7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
    Heb 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.


    One could strip out the modifiers and read the subject-predicate as such:

    "For this Melchisedec... abideth a priest continually."​

    Let's add the appositives:

    "For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God... abideth a priest continually."​

    Notice that the emphasis is on priesthood. How does Melchizedek "abide a priest continually"?

    "Without father, without mother, without descent (pedigree), having neither beginning of days, nor end of life."​

    All these are qualifiers for priesthood with which the Jews were familiar by the Levitical code. Melchizedek is regarded as a priest by tradition despite not having the written record required by the Levirate law. The fact that there is no record of Melchizedek's beginning or end leaves a legitimate priesthood open-ended. It was never dissolved, despite the fact that God did set up a Levitical priesthood. This is the case that the writer to the Hebrews uses to prove that Christ fulfilled the prophecy that He would be a "priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."

    Now, for one to be "after the order of" someone else, he would have to succeed that person. If Melchizedek were actually God in the flesh (or Christ in the flesh), then how could Jesus Christ legitimately succeed Himself?

    Melchizedek was clearly serving the literal role of a literal king of a literal city. At one point in time people had to regard him as their literal king. If Melchizedek continued to rule over Salem and never physically died, one would think that the whole world would know of this amazing phenomenon. If Melchizedek ascended to heaven, one would think that the whole world would know of this amazing phenomenon. If Melchizedek mysteriously vanished (hid himself), one would think that the people of this city would have searched diligently to find him, and there would be some tradition or legend of this. We know that Melchizedek's role as priest-king over Salem ended at some point because there was an "Adonizedek" who was king over Salem during the days of Joshua. There are way too many problems with a theophany view of Melchizedek that requires an infinite appeal to argument from silence.

    Of what is it said that Melchizedek "did not have a beginning or an ending"? Melchizedek was "priest of the most high God...having neither beginning of days, nor end of life." These modifiers pertain to his being "priest of the most high God," not to his ontology in general.

    No, it just means that we need to look closely at the grammar of sentences, not just at the lexical meanings of words.

    The statement is concerning the priesthood of Melchizedek. The writer has not yet made the case about how Jesus fulfilled the prophecy that He would be "priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." Now, if Melchizedek were still a priest in the same context of Jesus being a priest today, then you would have both Melchizedek and Jesus Christ being priest in this order simultaneously; yet "order of" indicates succession.


    continued...
     
  20. AresMan

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    No, the point of the passage is that a Levitical priest's role as priest was tied to a certain period of time during his life in which he received tithes continually for sustenance; then, he would have to pass on this role to a physical descendant. The "receives them" is not in the original text and is a translator addition. It does not mean that Melchizedek continues to receive tithes, but the "in that case" refers to the historical incident with Abram.

    What does "of whom it is witnessed that he ever liveth" mean? Who is witness of this? I would like to meet him. Did someone see Melchizedek walking around recently? No, the "witness" here is the Scripture concerning Melchizedek that he was "priest of the most high God," and that there is NO record of his death. This lack of record IS "the witness" of this case. The lack of qualifiers of his order of priesthood mean that, technically, if Melchizedek were alive today, he would still qualify to be a priest.


    Now, if one were to discard all my arguments above and say that Melchizedek is Christ Himself and argue that the language of the passage supports this, is it not possible that the text can be using Melchizedek as a metaphor of Christ?

    1Co 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
    1Co 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
    1Co 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
    1Co 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.


    How many would seriously argue that Christ Himself became incarnate in the wilderness as a large boulder. Paul is clearly using a metaphor. The rock here is Christ in type because God used the rock to quench their thirst supernaturally, and He had Moses strike and speak to the rock. Why cannot Melchizedek be Christ in type rather than as a theophany?
     

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