The Priesthood of The Son of God.

CHAPTER SEVEN.

THE ORDER OF CHRIST'S PRIESTHOOD.

"THE LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Meichisedec." Ps. cx. 4. "I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." Ps II. 7. So the Son of God is a priest after the order of Meichisedec, a priest forever, and made such a priest by the solemn oath of Jehovah, who will not repent. The Son of God is, therefore, unchangeably established in his priesthood, and all pertaining to it is likewise ordered and sure. Nothing whatever belonging to this priesthood shall ever be disannulled, changed or amended, but all is "ordered in all things and sure." The oath of the Lord God, who changes not, nor repents, has made it as firm as his holy throne. "Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven."

"This day have I begotten thee," is the day of Christ's resurrection and triumph over all the power of darkness, and which perfectly qualified and prepared him to be crowned with glory and honor as the Son of God with power, and Priest and King forever. Paul says of the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord, that he "was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." Rom. I. 3, 4. Paul also said, "And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David." Acts xiii. 32-34. So the man Christ Jesus was the manifested Son of God with power as begotten from the dead, to die no more. Of Christ's resurrection from the dead as the declared Son of God, it is written again: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren." Rom, VIII. 29. "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." Col. i. 18-20. In support of all this divine and glorious truth, the Son of God in his glory said to his servant John, "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." Rev. i. 18.

Now, all this revelation or manifestation of the Man of Nazareth in his finished work in the flesh, and resurrection unto an endless life and glory as the Son of God with power, was in fulfillment of the above decree and immutable oath of the God and Father of our glorified High Priest. Our merciful God has thus made his exalted Son a priest after the order of the priesthood of Melchisedec, which is very unlike the order of Aaron's priesthood, And now, therefore, it will both instruct and comfort us to seek a true understanding of the order and nature of the priesthood of Melchisedec, and its difference from the order of Aaron's priesthood, both being of Divine appointment and order, and also somewhat typical of the divine priesthood of the holy Son of God, as has been pointed out.

"A priest forever." This is the special and divinely excellent feature of Meichisedec's priesthood; and this was one signal weakness of the Levitical priesthood; for it was not enduring, but so transient that it has long since passed away forever, because it was only a shadow. But, strange as it may seem, many devotees of religious worship have ever preferred ceremonious forms and unsubstantial shadows, rather than that which is real and abiding. For this cause the religious world is carried away with showy rituals, worldly wisdom, human philosophy and outward morality, which may gratify and please the fleshly mind, even of some who have fled to Christ for refuge, but all of which are as chaff to the wheat. But the priesthood and ministry of the Son of God are abiding, divinely substantial and perfect, and also perfecting in all the true worshippers in this priesthood; for Christ's priesthood is as enduring as the days of heaven, and it has no end. Death soon removed Aaron as high priest, and also his successive sons after him, until Christ came, when that entire ministry and its corresponding covenant vanished away, as the fading stars and moon when the sun mounts the skies and darkness flees.

So superior was the priesthood of Meichisedec to that of Aaron, and thus it stands out alone in the typical heavens as a faithful and true witness to the everlasting priesthood of the Son of God, who abideth a priest forever. "And being made perfect, he became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; called of God an High Priest after the order of Melchisedec." Heb. V. 9, 10. "And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: but this Man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Heb. VII. 23-25. The priesthood of the first covenant had not this power and glory, for it could not put away the sins of the people, nor save them from death.

Another divine excellence of the perpetual priesthood of the Son of God is, he was made High Priest forever with an oath, "in which it was impossible for God to lie," repent or change; and thus Melchisedec, the wonderful type, was "priest of the most high God; *** having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God: abideth a priest continually. *** (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 forever after the order of Melchisedec.") Heb. VII, Thus it is proven that neither sin, nor Satan, nor the law of sin and death, can ever possibly defeat, change or cause to fail the holy priesthood of the Son of man, who with the righteous oath of the unchangeable Jehovah is a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.

Still another most wonderful and essential peculiarity of Melchisedec as a sublime type of our High Priest was, he was King of righteousness, and King of peace. He thus united in himself this twofold office and ministry, with all the dignity, power and divine excellence and success belonging to them in their fullness of perfection. After this order the oath of God consecrated his Son our Priest and King forever. In this both the power and love of God toward the people of his covenant are richly and mercifully made known to us, even beyond the reach of finite thought.

"Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will."

The high priest of the first testament was divinely appointed to make atonement for the sins of his people, and then to intercede with God for them, in which he was a type of Christ; but he had no authority to reign over his people, neither could he bring them into the heart-given love and service and worship of God; for he was neither a king of righteousness, nor righteous himself. Thus was he imperfect.

In all these things Melehisedec was a far better type of the Son of God, and the order of his priesthood much nearer the perfection of the everlasting priesthood of him who has swallowed up death in victory, and reigns over the house of Jacob for ever. For our successful High Priest sits at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, and is crowned the King eternal and immortal, and all the angels and saints of God serve and worship him. Our Redeemer's kingly office and work, then, support and give success to his perfect sacrifice and intercession in his priestly office; while his finished reconciliation in his priestly office supports and gives virtue and right to him as King upon his holy throne of power, so that it was long written of him: "A King shall reign in righteousness." And now, as the anointed High Priest and crowned King, the adorable Savior, the crucified Man of Nazareth, the Son of Mary, the Son of David, the Son of the Highest "must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet."

In the full accomplishment of the salvation of "his people from their sins," and in making them wise unto salvation, that they may know "the only true God, and Jesus Christ," whom the Father sent, our blessed Lord, in whom all fullness dwells, is as well the holy Prophet of his dear people as he is their atoning Priest and reigning King. This is divinely and joyfully wonderful and blessed, and it worthily entitles this child that was born unto us to be called, "Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isa. IX. 6. "For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." Therefore Jesus is the Three – One – God, the Father and Son and Spirit, in the one Person of the God-Man, who reigns upon the mediatorial throne of his glorious power. And so he is three-one in his glorious work and dominion as Prophet – Priest – King, in which he is the infinite fullness of Wisdom and Righteousness and Power is SALVATION.

Christ, the glorified Man, as the Prophet, was neither represented by Melchisedec nor Aaron, and we must look away from them for a typical prophet, and this one is Moses, who prophesied of the Messiah to his brethren. For they entreated that they might not again witness the great fire upon Sinai, nor hear the voice of God; therefore Moses said to them, "And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him." Deutt. XVIII. 17-19. For God had made Moses very great in Israel, as his prophet unto them, their law giver and mediator; and through Moses he revealed and made known to them his coven ant, and laws and counsel. Thus Moses ascended up to God and God came down to him on the holy Mount, showed him his glory, and talked with him as a man to his friend. This was very wonderful, and thus Moses was more highly honored and favored than any other man on earth, except the man Christ, who was "like unto" him. Moses also was the meekest man on earth; and in this he was like unto him who said, "I am meek and lowly in heart." Neither did Moses seek honor of men, in which he was like Jesus; for the God of his people called and sanctified Moses, at the burning bush, clothed him with dominion and power, gave him Aaron his brother, as his mouth and minister - as he gave the Spirit to reveal the things of Jesus to his brethren - and then sent him down into Egypt to free his enslaved people and lead them up into the goodly inheritance. Thus was the faithful Moses a prophet like unto Jesus the Son of God, who said, "I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." John VI. 38, 39. "Wherefore, holy brethren, par-takers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this Man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; but Christ as a Son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end." Heb. III. 1-6. Thus truly did the servant Moses typify the Son Jesus in his prophetic office and its successful fulfillment, and also largely in his mediatorial office and work. In the infancy of Moses he was a striking and touching figure of the infant Jesus, for each of their lives were sought by the rulers; and it is a striking coincident, that as the infant Savior of his people was sent down into Egypt for personal safety, so Moses, the typical infant deliverer of his people was likewise divinely sent into the house of Pharaoh for personal safety. And of Moses and the house of Israel the word of God was as true as it was of Jesus, "Out of Egypt have I called my son." And so Jesus followed the typical Moses from Egypt up to Canaan; but as the typical deliverer must die, before his people could be led through the bold Jordan and be saved in the typical kingdom of God; so also must Jesus die without the gates of Jerusalem, that his people should enter into his Father's kingdom and be saved from the hand of their enemies. Moses beautifully represented Jesus in the days of his flesh unto death; then, succeeding Moses, Joshua (meaning Jesus or Savior) was a type of the risen Savior, and he led his people through Jordan into the kingdom God gave them.