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Friday, February 17 2012
The Priest Of The Most High God
The Messiah's statement "1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (John 1:18 KJV) is a vital key to the understanding of the written Word of God - and also, Who the living Word of God is (see What Does Word of God Mean To You?). It was through the Word of God, Who was born as Jesus Christ, that all things were created. Jesus Christ was "the LORD God" of the Old Testament. The Son of God was sent ("apostle" literally means someone who is sent) by the Father to build (when born as a human, the Messiah's living as a "carpenter" itself had great significance, as stated in the verses below) the world, and then to serve as the High Priest (in effect, the people's representative) of it to God.
"1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God. 1:3 All things were made by him [see How Many Days Of Creation Were There?]; and without him was not any thing made that was made ... 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:1-3,14 KJV)
One of the most famous incidents of Bible History was when Abraham met Melchizedek, who brought out "bread and wine" - the yet-future symbols of the Sacrifice that He would make (many think that bread and wine replaced the slaughtered lamb, but the bread and wine actually came first; see also The Rock Of The Church).
"14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. 14:15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. 14:16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people [see also A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace].
Melchizedek (rendered as "Melchisedec" in the KJV New Testament) was a pre-figure of the future King and High Priest of Jerusalem (see A History Of Jerusalem: Melchizedek's Salem and Moriah: Separating The Wheat From The Chaff; also What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?).
"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; 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; 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.
"Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession"
While many regard the symbolism of the Levite priesthood to have come first, Christ actually existed (as we read above) before there were any Levites born from the descendants of Abraham. The purpose of the Levitical priesthood existed only from the creation of "Israel" (a people called out of the world, to follow the Way and Law of God - the actual Biblical meaning of the word "church") until the time of the Sacrifice of the Lamb of God (upon which both the Lamb (Revelation 5:6-13 KJV) and the High Priest (as we will get to) ascended to heaven. The symbolism was holy, but only because it was a living prophecy of the High Priest to come (see The First Christian Church).
"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? 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. 7:13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood [see also Who Were The First Jews?]. 7:15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 7:16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 7:17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
The human priests had to offer sacrifices continually, "first for his own sins, and then for the people's," but the actual High Priest, when He came, "for this he did once, when he offered up himself."
"7:23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 7:24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 7:25 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.
Since the time of His Sacrifice (symbolized by Passover) and His delivery of the Sacrifice to the Throne of God (symbolized by the first part of the Day of Atonement), the Messiah has "set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens."
"8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man." (Hebrews 8:1-2 KJV)
Many incorrectly regard the true and actual Christian Biblical Holy Days as being "done away" (while at the same time, millions of them have replaced the True Holy Days with man-made nonsense "holidays" e.g. Who Were Valentine And Cupid? and Burning In Hell: Is Halloween Worth It?; also Could Santa Claus Have Become The Pope?, Does Rome Have Christ's Birth Certificate? and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad - and Why Observe The True Sabbath?) because of Christ's fulfillment of Passover. But Christ's True Holy Days are not "done away," first of all because not all are fulfilled yet (the autumn Holy Days are not fulfilled because their meaning begins with the return of Jesus Christ - which hasn't happened yet), but moreover because they are the Messiah's Holy Days - they have always been about Him. The Messiah isn't and never will be "done away" - except by Satan, and those who foolishly reject the Messiah's atoning Sacrifice for themselves by refusing to repent and live according to His Truth and Law (see The Way To Salvation: Step 1).
"9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The Messiah has existed "since the foundation of the world" (see From The Foundation Of The World).
"9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Hebrews 9:23-28 KJV)
Fact Finder: Faith in the Messiah is required for salvation. Does that include faith that is required by the Messiah Himself?
This Day In History, February 17
364: Roman Emperor Jovian died; he reigned only eight months (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
1370: The Battle of Rudau during the "Crusades" (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
1461: During the Wars of the Roses, the Yorkists were defeated by the Lancastrians at the Battle of St. Albans.
1600: Giordano Bruno, scientist and mathematician whose theories were ahead of his time, was burned as a "heretic" in Rome during the Inquisition.
1759: General Wolfe sailed from Britain to capture Quebec.
1772: The first partition of Poland, by Russia and Prussia (Prussia is in Germany), also later by Austria.
1776: The first volume of Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire" was published.
1864: A Confederate hand-propelled submarine, armed with a ram torpedo, sunk a Union ship off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. It is considered the first successful attack by a submarine.
1875: Friedrich Argelander died at age 76. The Prussian (Prussia is in Germany) astronomer established the study of variable stars as an independent branch of astronomy. He is renowned for his catalog which lists the positions and magnitudes of 324,188 stars - the Bonner Durchmusterung was the result of 25 years of observational work.
1909: Apache chief Geronimo died at age 80.
1919: Sir Wilfred Laurier died. He was the first French-Canadian to become Prime Minister of Canada (1896-1911).
1934: Albert I died at age 59. As Belgian king from 1909 to 1934, he commanded Belgian army during the First World War. He refused the German ultimatum of August 2 1914, demanding free passage of German troops across Belgium; the German invasion followed 2 days later. Albert was the son of Philip count of Flanders and Princess Marie of Hohenzollern. He married Elisabeth, the daughter of the duke of Bavaria.
1955: Britain announced that it had hydrogen bombs.
1957: The Suez Canal reopened.
1969: Russian-born, U.S.-raised, Golda Meir was sworn in as Israel's first female Prime Minister.
1972: The British House of Commons voted to join the European Community.
1996: World champion Garry Kasparov beat the "Deep Blue" supercomputer in a chess match.
1998: Voyager 1 became the most distant human-made object in space as it passed the distance set by the previous record holder Pioneer 10. On that day it was 6.5 billion miles from earth, traveling at 39,000 mph. It had been launched just over 20 years previous, on September 5 1977.
1998: Ernst Juenger died at age 102. The German writer was involved in the July 20 1944 plot to kill Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).