Melchizedek, Abraham, and the Old and New Covenants Uncategorized by admin - January 12, 20140 Some who read the various Bible studies here on Word Alpha Omega may feel these studies do not apply to all peoples of all races. Those may think the studies on the Lost Tribes leave out some believers on The Promise first given to Abraham. No believer on Christ Jesus as Savior is left out, for those of all races and nations who come to our Lord, are included as His People now. For the reason that some wish to hang onto that Old Covenant today, I’m going to address several of these issues in this letter. Especially as they apply to the differences between The Old Covenant, and The New Covenant in Jesus Christ. We’ll also discover to whom The Old Covenant did apply, and to whom The New Covenant in Christ Jesus now applies to. I’ll be using the terms ‘Covenant’ and ‘Testament’ interchangeably at times, for they both mean a ‘pact’, or ‘contract’. We ask a Word of Wisdom from our Father in Christ Jesus’ Name, Amen. The first mention of a covenant in God’s Word appears in Genesis Chapters 6 and 9 when God told Noah that He would establish His covenant with him and his seed: Gen 6:17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. 18 But with thee will I establish My covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. When the flood waters had receded off the earth with Noah and his family able to leave the ark, God spoke of that covenant again: Gen 9:8 And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, 9 “And I, behold, I establish My covenant with you, and with your seed after you; 10 And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. This covenant was not with Noah and his seed only, but also “to every beast of the earth”. God promised He would not destroy the earth by waters of a flood again (Gen.9:11). Then a “token” of that covenant was given with His bow in the cloud (Gen.9:13). Therefore, that a “token” is given with a covenant, is very important to keep in mind, even with God’s later Covenants. The Promise by Faith: an ‘oath’ of a “Better Testament” To Come Gen 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Then beginning in Genesis 12, God speaks to Abraham of a promise that He would make of Abram a “great nation”, and that through him, all the families of the earth would be blessed. The LORD also told Abram while in Canaan, that He would give all the land he could see to his seed forever, and that Abram’s seed would become as the dust of the earth for so many (Gen.13:12-17). Then in Genesis 15, God made a Covenant with Abram, showing him the land of his inheritance. The land was not a ‘token’ of that Covenant, but an inheritance. God had still yet to give that ‘token’ of His Covenant with Abraham: Gen 15:4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, “This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.” 5 And He brought him forth abroad, and said, “Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them”: and He said unto him, “So shall thy seed be.” 6 And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness. Even though no ‘token’ of this Covenant was given to Abram yet, he “believed in the LORD”, and God counted it as righteousness. That act by Abram became the ‘faith’ on The Promise God first gave that all nations would be blessed through Christ. Gen 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: 19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, 20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, 21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” God then reaffirmed that Covenant, changing Abram’s name to Abraham, meaning ‘father of a multitude’. Then God added to that Covenant that He would be a GOD to Abraham and to his seed after him “for an everlasting covenant.”: Gen 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, “I am the Almighty GOD; walk before Me, and be thou perfect. 2 And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.” 3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, 4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. 6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. 7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. The Old Covenant by Circumcision: In Hope of A Better Testament To Come But we still do not have a “token” of That Old Covenant yet, until Gen.17:10: Gen 17:9 And God said unto Abraham, “Thou shalt keep My covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. 10 This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt Me and you. The Covenant God gave to Abraham would continue through his son Isaac, and then to Jacob. God would give Jacob a new name of “Israel” (Yisra’el), which is from two Hebrew words of ‘sarah‘ (to prevail), and ‘El‘ (God). ‘Israel‘ means ‘one who prevails with God’, just as Jacob did wrestle with The Angel of The Lord and did prevail (Gen.32:28). Then Jacob would bear twelve sons, becoming the twelve tribes of Israel. It was to the children of Israel which that original Covenant by the “token” of flesh circumcision was to soon land upon. When God pitied His People Israel who were under heavy bondage in Egypt, He led them out through His servant Moses. Then His Covenant was offered to the people of Israel, and was established by blood: Exod 24:5 And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD. 6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the People: and they said, “All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.” 8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the People, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.” Blood was required for the atonement of the soul. Without it, no reconciliation to God could be made. This act sealed The Old Covenant (Old Testament) among God’s chosen people of Israel. And flesh circumcision, i.e. blood ‘ordinances’ were to be kept as a “token” as long as that Old Covenant was in force: Lev 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Even though these events show that there were flesh requirements of receiving and accepting that first Covenant, God was still keeping His first Promise to Abraham by ‘faith’, which began all the way back in Genesis 15:6. What is most important, is that God gave Abraham a Promise before He gave His Law through Moses. And that Promise first given through Abraham was that through him, all the families of the earth would be blessed. Meaning our Lord Jesus Christ would be born of Abraham’s seed, and become The Perfect Sacrifice for us; and then the Salvation Promise given to Abraham would be opened up to ALL who would believe on Christ Jesus, as God’s Promised Savior. Salvation through God’s Savior Jesus Christ… is That Promise to Abraham by ‘faith’, even as our Lord revealed to the Jews in John 8: John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad.” 57 Then said the Jews unto Him, “Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said unto them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” The “I AM” is one of God’s sacred Names. Yes, even Abraham rejoiced in God’s Promise of Salvation, that through his seed our Lord Jesus Christ would be born of a virgin, be crucified on the cross for the remission of the sins of many, resurrect to the Right Hand of God, and come to rule all nations (Isa.7:14; Isa.9:6-8; Matthew 1; Matthew 26:26-28; John 19; Psalms 110; Acts 2:29-33; 1 Corinthians 15:22-28) . Our Lord Jesus Christ has always been the Foundation of The Father’s Promise first given to Abram: Gal 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, “In thee shall all nations be blessed.” 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. By the original Promise God first gave to Abraham, Salvation through ‘faith’, as our ‘faith’ in God, through His Son, became accounted to ‘all’ who believe on God’s Savior, as the righteousness of Abraham. This is how believers from all families of the earth were to be blessed through Abraham. But Isaac did not die as an offering as the blood of a testator, and blood was required to seal it, because as Paul said, “For where a testament is, there must also of a necessity be the death of the testator”, and “Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.” (Hebrews 9:16-18). God provided a “ram” to be the replacement blood sacrifice for Abraham’s son Isaac (Gen.22). Our Lord Jesus Christ “Immanuel” (‘God with us’; Matt.1:23) was to eventually be That Replacement Sacrifice, instead of Isaac or the ram Abraham sacrificed. Our Lord and Savior was there with Abraham, to tell him about it. “Really?”, some might say, “Where was Jesus mentioned in Abraham’s day”? Please turn to Hebrews 7: 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; 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; 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. There is only One Who is “without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of day, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God”. I wonder who that could be? And Abraham tithed to this Melchisedec after returning from the slaughter of the kings, as per Genesis 14: Gen 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the Most High God. 19 And he blessed him, and said, “Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth: 20 And blessed be the Most High God, Which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.” The “Bread” and “Wine” are Sacrements of Holy Communion with Christ Jesus. Why would they be mentioned here, and associated with this Melchizedek? Now back to Hebrews 7 continuing about this Melchizedek: Heb 7:4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. Paul is getting ready to reveal a very deep mystery about this Role of Melchizedek, because His receiving tithes of Abraham didn’t fit into the requirements of the Old Covenant Law: Heb 7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: 6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. But this Melchizedek, king of Salem, during Abraham’s day wasn’t even descended of Abraham’s people, yet He still received tithes from Abraham, and even had Power and Authority to bless ole’ Abraham! Who was this Mysterious Person with such Authority at that time? Heb 7:7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. Paul is just saying that it would be a contradiction for someone who has nothing, to try and bestow wealth and blessings onto One Who already ‘owns’ everything. Wonder Who already ‘owns’ everything? Are we getting closer to discovering Who this Melchizedek was during Abraham’s time? Let’s keep going further: Heb 7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. And even men that die receive tithes of the people, yet this Melchizedek was alive when He received tithes of Abraham. When Abraham tithed to Him, it wasn’t an act of charity for someone’s death in the family. This Melchizedek lived! Heb 7:9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. 10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. Even the Old Covenant Law provided for the sons of Levi to receive and pay tithes, but… Levi and his sons weren’t even born yet at that time! But still, this Melchizedek lived then, and was already receiving tithes! Who was this Melchizedek with such Authority? (Many of you already know, but for others, I’m not tellin’ yet.) Heb 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? If the Law of The Old Covenant were perfect, and could have offered us Salvation, having been prepared by God through the Levitical priesthood, then why in the world would anyone ever need, or want anything better? Why would there ever arise a need for “another priest” after the order of Melchisedec? Why couldn’t the Levitical priesthood and the sons of Aaron be enough for helping us atone for our sins to God? Heb 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. 13 For He of Whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. If that first Old Covenant order of Levitical priesthood couldn’t fulfill the need for our redemption, then it had to change to something better. If that original priesthood had to change, then The Law had to change along with it. For this Melchisedec Whom is spoken of here, is of another tribe, that of Judah, which had no service among the Levitical priesthood. This Melchizedek is our same Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, later born of the ‘house of David’ from the tribe of Judah. Yet in Abraham’s presence He served as High Priest to him, even though Moses didn’t even say anything of His duties as Priest when God gave The Law on the Mount. Heb 7:15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another Priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17 For He testifieth, “Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” It is clearly evident then, that “another Priest” is needed Which can take us past that Old Covenant, a limited Covenant of flesh bondage, and one not able to give us Salvation unto an “endless life”. God knew we would need a Spiritual Covenant, The New Covenant, to offer us true redemption of our souls back to Him in everlasting Life. And The Father thus said to The Son, “Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (quoted from Psalms 110). Heb 7:18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. If that Old Covenant couldn’t get the job of Salvation done, then it was time to get rid of It, making the needed change. The “better hope” is by ‘faith’, and is the hope of our Salvation through Christ Jesus The Son of God, now our High Priest to The Father for us. Heb.7:20 And inasmuch as not without an oath He was made Priest: 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:) 22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. Abraham understood the later need, for “a better testament” (Covenant), as he believed on the Promise of Salvation through Christ Jesus, and God counted it to him as righteousness. Heb.7:23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 24 But this Man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 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. Even the sons of Aaron and those of the Levitical priesthood eventually died, ending each one of ther offices as priest. But our Lord Jesus Christ continued His Office as High Priest, by His resurrection to the right hand of The Father. None other than The Lord Jesus Christ had The Power and Authority to continue That Office of High Priest after death. Since He lives, He only is able to reconcile us to The Father through His Blood. Heb.7:26 For such an High Priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for His own sins, and then for the people’s: for this He did once, when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, Who is consecrated for evermore. The New Covenant: A Better Testament Given This “oath”, which was 430 years before The Law, was That Promise to Abraham that through his seed, all families of the earth would be blessed in the Salvation through our High Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, Which is God’s Savior Jesus Christ, The New Covenant (Testament). (See also Psalms 110; Psalms 89:34-37). How could we ever be saved by that Old Covenant, as those sacrifices never redeemed anyone from bondage of the ‘law of sin‘? Righteous Abraham knew the answer even then: Matt 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Our Lord Jesus in His Role as ‘High Priest’ was this Melchizedek (King of Righteousness), and He offered Abraham Holy Communion with Him (Gen.14). That time with Abraham was the first act of Holy Communion with Christ, and it was by ‘faith’ on our Lord Jesus as God’s Savior ‘Immanuel’ Who would come. So finally, we now have a Perfect Sacrifice by Blood, of The Testator of a New Covenant, in Jesus Christ Yeshu’a Messiah, a Perfect Covenant not of the flesh, not of circumcision of the flesh, not of imperfect priestly ordinances of ritual and animal sacrifice, not of religious dogma, but… of ‘faith’ by His Spirit dwelling in us. Indeed God has a Plan for believers from all races and peoples. And that Plan is for all to come to Him through our Perfect High Priest, a Perfect Sacrifice, being Christ Jesus. And That Plan is not a ‘flesh’ Plan of Salvation, but a Plan of spiritual Salvation by faith on Him. The New Covenant through ‘faith’ in Christ Jesus is not a circumcision made with hands, but is now circumcision of the heart through ‘faith’ (Col.2:11; Rom.2:28-29). Rom 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before Him Whom he believed, even God, Who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, ‘So shall thy seed be.’ 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him That raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Because of the flesh thinking, many still believe in that Old Covenant with the ‘token’ of flesh circumcision and being justified by The Law. The Promise by ‘faith’ was always first, as The Law was given because of transgressions, i.e. sins: Gal 3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. Paul clearly explains that God’s Plan of Salvation was always of that Promise given to Abraham by ‘faith’, and never of The Law. Don’t get me wrong, for God setup much of The Law to govern the flesh time, even though none in the flesh can ever be perfect in It. It still does not mean His Law is bad. But The Law was never to be a substitute for The Promise given to Abraham, which is by ‘faith’ on Jesus Christ for our Salvation. Only God through His Son can give ‘eternal life’. The Law never could. Because many do not understand the ‘original formation’, as Paul states in the Greek of Romans 8, concerning the first ‘creation’ before Lucifer rebelled, they keep their Salvation tied to the flesh body, instead of their spiritual body (see 1 Corinthians 15). Because we will no longer need a flesh vehicle in God’s future Kingdom, this is ‘how’ we are ‘justified’ by ‘faith’ in God’s Savior Jesus Christ now, Which is The New Covenant. It is of our spirit which is saved, not our flesh. None shall be justified, nor saved by the flesh. Though we still live in this flesh body today, our flesh has ‘already’ perished in the spiritual sense, for those ‘in Christ’. Our flesh became ‘dead’ in bondage to the Old Covenant sealed by the blood of animals, when we accepted The New Covenant Jesus Christ by His Blood. Our hope now is the coming future fulfillment of That Salvation Promise originally given through Abraham, by The Spirit; a spiritual Kingdom of Israel with our Lord, of all believers by ‘faith’. Blessings and love to all my brethren in Jesus Christ who accept God’s Promise of Salvation by ‘faith’, even as righteous Abraham also did. Peace to you in Christ, Dave Ramey.