Melchizedek, The King And The Priest

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THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH WINNING ALL (ECWA)
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THEME:  Abraham, the Friend of God
TOPIC: Melchizedek, The King And The Priest

TEXT: Hebrews 7: 1-10

Rev. (Dr.) Stephen K. Awoniyi

 

INTRODUCTION

The Man Melchizedek could be interpreted as “King of Righteousness” or “My King is Righteous.”  According to the Scripture there is no record or indication of his father’s name, mother’s name, any of his ancestor names, the time of his birth, and the time of his death.  However, he remained a priest perpetually.  In reference to the man Ray C. Stedman in his book titled, “The Friend of God,” the identical characteristics of Melchizedek and Jesus Christ could be explained thus:

(1) The Sons of God

(2) The High Priests of God  

(3)Kings of Righteousness 

(4) Appointed by God

(5) The Kings of Peace

(6) The Eternal ones

(7) The Priests

(8) The Pre-existent ones

(9) Those that were Association with Abraham

(10) The Rituals of bread and wine

(11) The Anointed ones

  1. The Man Melchizedek

During the time of Abram, later called Abraham, the city now named Jerusalem was formerly a small village called Salem.  This village, Salem, was ruled by a Priestly King called Melchizedek.  The Scripture recorded it thus:

And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him.  Abram and Melchizedek.  18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all.
21 Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.”
22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’— 24 except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion” (Genesis 14: 17-24).

Some theologians identified or viewed Melchizedek as a person called Shem, the son of Noah.  However, other scholars said he was a theophany, that is, a person that appears in the pre-incarnate of Jesus Christ in human form.  Even-though there could be some form of argument or confusion about this, but the truth of the matter is that, he filled the role of both the King of Salem  (or Jerusalem) and the Priest of the Most High God.  The man Melchizedek could also be interpreted as the “King of Righteousness” or a person who was a symbol of the eternal priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Melchizedek was truly a Gentile King who worshiped the only true God, and served as the priest before Him.  He reveals God as the only person who is more than adequate to meet our needs.  This is what the Apostle Paul refers to when he says:

Indeed I have all and abound.  I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from     you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.  19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4: 18-19).

Who was this man called Epaphroditus?  Epaphroditus could be viewed as one of the early European Christians in the first century.  In Greek language, Epaphroditus could be viewed or interpreted as “Charming” or “Amiable.”   In reference to the man called Fisher, Charming and Amiable could be viewed in different ways:

  1. “Charming” means: Pleasant; Attractive; Polite; Friendly; and Likable.
  2. “Amiable” stands for: Lovable; Lovely; Pleasing; Friendly; Kindly; Sweet; Gracious; Kind-heartedness, etc.    

The Apostle Paul also narrated him thus: Epaphroditus Praised

Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need; 26 since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; 30 because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me (Philippians 2: 25-30).

CONCLUSION

Brethren, what a wonderful story about the man Epaphroditus and the Apostle Paul.  The Apostle Paul said; “For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.”   As the Lord delivered Epaphroditus and the Apostle Paul from there horrible sickness, so also the Lord is there today to deliver each one of us from any type of sorrow and sickness that we may face.  Be assured that the Lord did not only deliver these brethren, but He delivered Daniel also from the Den of Lions. The Scripture says,

16 So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions.  But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.”
17 Then a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signets of his lords, that the purpose concerning Daniel might not be changed.

Daniel Saved from the Lions

18 Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no musicians[a] were brought before him.  Also his sleep went from him.  19 Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions.  20 And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel.  The king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”

21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”

23 Now the king was exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God (Daniel 6:16-23 (NK JV).

Are you truly serving the Lord continually as you ought to?  If no, when will you be obedient to His word?  But if yes, be assured that He will rescue you from your problems and sorrows due to your obedience to His work.  But, if no, when will you learn to be more committed, obedient, and trustworthy for His mission entrusted into your hands?  Be assured that to be obedient to God’s call is the best way to lead the lost people to faith in Christ Jesus.  God bless you!                           

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