There is something in the name Melchizedek, which resonates within me each time I hear it, and the words from Hebrews 5:6 “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek,” have always rung, as having special meaning.
From Hebrews 5:6 we see that Melchizedek was a priest. The “order” of Melchizedek, means in the regular arrangement, that is, (in time) and fixed succession (of rank or character). It means in the due or right order and in an orderly condition, a post or rank which one holds in civic or other affairs, since this position generally depends on one’s talents, experience, resources, character, fashion, quality and style.
Thus, to be in the order of Melchizedek, means that the appointment did not just happen by accident; it was the right person, with the right character, with the right abilities, at the right time, and all was achieved in an orderly fashion. To be in the order of Melchizedek, is not, therefore, for everyone.
The Old Testament provides little direct information about Melchizedek, save the following two passages. For Melchizedek , there are no lineages, no genealogies, no personal details:
“And Melchizedek the king of Salem brought forth bread and wine. And he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of Heaven and earth. And blessed be the most high God, who has delivered your enemies into your hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”
“Jehovah has sworn, and will not repent, You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
From these we learn a little more about Melchizedek: not only was he a “priest of the most high God (Hebrew El Elyon עליון).” His name, “מלכיצדק” means “King of Righteousness.” He was also the King of Salem: and Salem, it is commonly agreed, is the former name of Jerusalem. A possible link to Jesus Christ, now become a little more apparent and clear. As Scofield’s Reference Notes on Melchizedek say, he is a “type of Christ the King-Priest. The type strictly applies to the priestly work of Christ in resurrection, since Melchizedek presents only the memorials of sacrifice, bread and wine.”
There is also a reference in Zechariah 6:12-15 to the King-Priest, which says:
“And speak to him, saying, So speaks Jehovah of Hosts, saying, Behold the Man whose name is The BRANCH! And He shall spring up out of His place, and He shall build the temple of Jehovah.
Even He shall build the temple of Jehovah; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne. And He shall be a priest on His throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
And the crowns shall be for a memorial in the temple of Jehovah to Helem and to Tobijah and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah. And the distant ones shall come and build in the temple of Jehovah, and you shall know that Jehovah of Hosts has sent me to you. And this shall be, if you will carefully obey the voice of Jehovah your God (NKJV Emphasis added).”
This, and these words align with the words regarding Jesus in Hebrews 5:5-11 which confirm his position as a King-Priest also:
“So also Christ did not glorify Himself to be made a high priest, but He 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.”
For Jesus, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong cryings and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared, though being a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
And being perfected, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him, being called by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek; of whom we have much to say, and hard to be explained since you are dull of hearing.”
We often hear sermons and teachings about Jesus as the King, but less so about His position as a Priest, and seldom on His combined roles as both King and Priest, or perhaps better written, as our “Kingly Priest”.
Let us look at some of the characteristics of these two roles:
|Role as King||Role as Priest|
|1||He represents the Rule and the Will of God.||He represents the needs and the desires of the people.|
|2||He represents God to us.||He represents us to God|
|3||His role is downward:|
from Heaven to Earth.
|His role is upward:|
from Earth to Heaven.
|4||His Kingly activity is God centred.||His Priestly activity is mankind centred.|
|5||His role requires Authority and Power.||His role requires Love, Mercy and Grace.|
|6||A Sceptre symbolises Authority.||A Censer symbolises Worship.|
|7||A Sceptre releases Power.||A Censer releases Fragrance.|
Psalm 2:6 begins the explain the above relationships in Biblical form as God says “Yea, I have set My king on My holy hill, on Zion.” He then goes on to in Psalm 2:6-12 to list out the powers which He will give, and has now given, to Jesus as both King and Priest, saying:
“I will declare the decree of Jehovah. He has said to Me, You are My Son; today I have begotten You.
Ask of Me, and I shall give the nations for Your inheritance; and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
And now be wise, O kings; be instructed, O judges of the earth.
Serve Jehovah with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled in but a little time. Blessed are all who put their trust in Him.”
Yes, here we see the substance of the statement which Jesus made in Matthew 28:18 that “All authority is given to Me in Heaven and in earth.”
As born-again Christians, we must fully understand the functions of Christ: His role as King; His role as Priest and His role in the order of Melchizedek as our Kingly Priest. As the Holy Trinity are Three Persons in One, so too is Jesus Christ our 3 in 1.
We are the Body of Christ on earth today and it is through His body, which Jesus fulfils His will. We are the Voice of Jesus – for He speaks through us, as individuals and as His Church. We are the Hands of Jesus – He heals and works through us, as individuals and as His Church. We are the Feet of Jesus – for we, as individuals and as His Church, take His words and His will to all the nations of the worlds, that all may know of Him. Our feet enable His Great Commision.
As part of the Church of Christ, we are part of His will, part of His legislature, part of His anointing and part of His solution to growing His Kingdom. When one works for a King, one does so from a subservient position, not as one of equals. Yes, we are partners in Christ, but in that, all of us are His willing servants, open to receiving His declarations and proclamations for our lives.
Yet, as we look to Christ as our Kingly Priest, we also see that we too, as His children, and part of His Church, part of the Body of Christ, have inherited these joint roles:
We have the keys as Jesus says in Matthew 16:9 “I will give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven to you.”
We have the authority as we read in Titus 2:15 “Speak these things, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.”
We are Temples of God, as Second Corinthians 6:16 confirms saying: “For you are the temple of the living God, as God has said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”” And again in First Corinthians 6:19 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit in you, whom you have of God? And you are not your own!”
As Kingly Priests in our own right, under the authority of Jesus we are called to action. Hebrews 5:7 says “While Jesus lived on earth he prayed to God, asking for help from the one who could save him from death. He prayed to God with loud cries and tears. And his prayers were answered because of his great respect for God.” As Priests for Christ, we are therefore called to do the same and to emulate that which Jesus has done while on earth. We are to pray to God – we are to pray to God with loud cries and tears. And when we do this, when we act and pray with due respect for God, He will hear and will grant our prayers!
First Peter 2:5 tells us explicitly and beyond doubt of our roles, saying: “You also are like living stones, and God is using you to build a spiritual house. You are to serve God in this house as holy priests, offering him spiritual sacrifices that he will accept because of Jesus Christ.” Notice how the words of Peter, for us and for His Church, resonate with those of Zechariah 6:12-15 …. “Even He shall build the temple of Jehovah… He shall be a priest …..”
Peter goes on to reinforce this further in v2:9 saying of us: “But you are his chosen people, the King’s priests. You are a holy nation, people who belong to God. He chose you to tell about the wonderful things he has done. He brought you out of the darkness of sin into his wonderful light (NKJV emphasis added).”
It must be clear by now that Christians must not only understand the roles of Jesus as Kingly Priests, we must understand our own roles as the King’s priests. When we approach any King, there is a protocol to be followed, so too is it with God. Not only do we need to do His Will, we need at His Time and we need to do it His Way and in accordance with His Protocol. As Hebrews 5:7 says “his prayers were answered because of his great respect for God.” We need to learn that and remember it at all times. It is not about us, it is about Him. When we approach God with the great respect he deserves, He will hear and will answer.
Amen and Amen and Amen.
The foregoing is based on and around teachings, outlines and ideas from the book by Pastor Dutch Sheets:
Authority in Prayer: Praying with Power and Purpose