THE ORIGINAL HIGH PRIEST: MELCHIZEDEK

The word “original” as defined by the Miriam-Webster dictionary is: “The source or cause from which something arises.”

We are told in the book of Hebrews that the Israelite priests were established according to a heavenly pattern given to Moses. (Hebrews 8: 4-5)  At the time of the creation of the world, there was already a priesthood in existence. We are first introduced to the name of this priesthood in Psalm 110:4, the order of Melchizedek.

Why was there a heavenly priesthood? Because according to Hebrews 8:5, there was a sanctuary or true tabernacle that had been constructed by Yahweh.  There must be a priest or priests to officiate in such a tabernacle. It was this heavenly tabernacle that Yahweh described to Moses and required him to construct one similar to it on earth. (Exodus 25: 9) 

Aaron, the brother of Moses, became the first high priest of the Levitical order. Prior to the building of the tabernacle of the congregation, there was no need for a high priest. Once the tabernacle was completed, Aaron, the new high priest, and his four sons were required to be consecrated before they could officiate in the new tabernacle.  (Leviticus 8)  Moses did not create the tabernacle, the instruments within it or the Levitical priesthood from his imagination. In Exodus 25:9, we are told that Yahweh gave Moses a pattern for the tabernacle and its instruments. This revelation given to Moses is confirmed in Hebrews 8:5.  Moses was admonished to follow the instructions of Yahweh exactly as they had been given. 

The Miriam-Webster dictionary defines the word pattern in this way:  “a form or model proposed for imitation.”  The position and duties of the Levitical high priest were instituted according to the pattern received by Moses. The high priest of the order of Melchizedek was the model or pattern that was given to Moses to create a priesthood that would officiate in the tabernacle of the congregation. (Numbers 8:15)

As we can see, Yahweh was very interested in how Moses duplicated the pattern given to him. This means that the description of the tabernacle, its instruments, and the high priest were exact physical representations of the spiritual reality. 

We are told in the book of Hebrews that YahwehShua is our high priest. Yet in Hebrews 7:1, we are told about Melchizedek, the king of Salem, priest of the most high Yahweh.  This is the same being that met with Abraham. (Genesis 14:8) 

Who is this Melchizedek? In Hebrews 7:3 we have this description:  “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of Yahweh; abideth a priest continually.”  This is not a description of a human being. Melchizedek did not have a genealogy, nor was he born.

Messiah told us this in John 6:38:  “For I came down from heaven….” 

In John 8:56, Messiah revealed this:  “Before Abraham was, I am.” 

In John 17:5, he reveals that he had pre-existence before he became the man, Yahshua:  “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” 

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:4 that Messiah was with the Israelites in the wilderness:  “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank all of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Messiah.”

Messiah confirms that he had an existence before becoming the man, Yahshua. He had a spiritual existence in heaven and lived on the same level as his Father Yahweh. In Hebrews 7:3 we are told that Melchizedek was made like unto the son of Yahweh.  Messiah was the Son of Yahweh.  (Hebrews 1: 5) Melchizedek, the priest of Yahweh without genealogy, is the high priest of the order of Melchizedek. YahwehShua and Melchizedek are the same being!

YahwehShua is the priest of Yahweh who provides the pattern for the Levitical high priest. He is the original high priest who met Abraham and provided the model that was revealed to Moses.

The creation, scriptures, and really everything is about Messiah. Consider what Paul tells us in Colossians 1:16-18:

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the ekklesia, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence.”   

There it is! He is the origin. He is the source of the pattern that Moses and David used to develop the tabernacle, the instruments, the temple, and the priesthood. He is the end from the beginning.

Consider even the very first verse in the Old Testament, Genesis 1: 1: The King James Version translates it this way: “In the beginning, Elohim created the heaven and the earth.” An alternate translation of this scripture is much more revealing:  “For the sake of the firstfruit Elohim created the heaven and the earth.”

Why the difference? The first word in the Hebrew is a combination of a preposition and noun. The Hebrew word is berishyth.  Be, is the preposition. Reyshiyth, a noun, Strong’s number 7225, can mean either beginning or firstfruit.  In 1 Corinthians 15: 23, Paul tells us that Messiah is the firstfruit. Since Messiah is the origin and purpose of everything, it makes sense that the Scriptures should open up with a reference to Him.

It is of interest that there are actually two priesthoods that are introduced to us in the Old Testament. The first priests were the firstborn Israelites. There is much recorded about the Levites, but not so much about the firstborn priests. It was the firstborn priests who officiated at Mount Sinai during the time of Shavuoth. (Exodus 19:22)

Consider what Moses tells us in Numbers 3:12-13:  “And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine; Because all the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am Yahweh.”

In verse 13, we are told that on the 15th, the day the Egyptian firstborn were killed, he hallowed the firstborn of Israel. It is of interest that the English word “hallowed” is translated from the Hebrew word qadas, which is Strong’s number 6942. An alternative translation for this word is “consecration”.  Numbers 3:13 could also read:  “For on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I consecrated unto me all the firstborn in Israel.”  

Why is this of interest? We are told much about the consecration of the Levitical priests in Leviticus 8. There is no similar mention for the consecration of the firstborn priests.  Yahweh would not allow the Levitical priests to serve him before they were consecrated. Even when the Levitical priests return during the 1,000 years, they must again be consecrated. (Ezekiel 43: 26) Should not there be a consecration even for the firstborn priests? I believe there was!

The consecration for the Levitical priests took place in the tabernacle. They were isolated for seven days and ate unleavened bread. The firstborn priests ate unleavened bread for seven days during their journey from Rameses to the Sea of Reeds (often called the Red Sea). They were confined after leaving Rameses until they escaped through the parted waters of the sea. The separation of the firstborn and the consuming of unleavened bread was their consecration. Only by going through this process of consecration, could they have officiated at Mount Sinai.

Consecration is a requirement common to both the firstborn and the Levites. What about the priests of the order of Melchizedek? The priests we are considering are the saints or firstfruits who will be resurrected when Messiah returns. (Revelation 20:6) They are being resurrected to judge angels and mankind in the last great day or the white throne judgment. (1 Corinthians 6:2-3) Just as the Levites could not serve before Yahweh until the full completion of their consecration, the firstfruits should have a similar requirement. After all, the order of Melchizedek is the pattern or model from which the firstborn priests and Levitical priests are patterned.

As I have shown, consecration is a requirement for all firstborn and Levitical priests. Then when are the priests of the order of Melchizedek consecrated? The firstfruits of the order of Melchizedek are in the process of being consecrated NOW! They were known before the foundation of the world and the consecration began when their genetic material (DNA) was created in Adam. To qualify as priests, they must complete seven days or ages before they are approved to serve before Yahweh. Please see our previous article, “The Mystery of Consecration”, which was entered on our website on November 12, 2016.

Paul tells us about the plan of the ages in Ephesians 3:11. The King James Bible translates the Greek as eternal purpose. However, a better translation is found in J. B. Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible as “plan of the ages”. This plan is a reference to the seven ages, which are designed to provide the consecration required for the firstfruits or the priests of the order of Melchizedek.

It is of note that the first human priesthood was the firstborn of the Israelites. The second priesthood, the Levites, were only a substitute for the firstborn. When the order of Melchizedek’s priesthood is resurrected in the seventh age, these firstfruits too will have the status of being firstborn, just like their high priest. They will have this designation because they have the Spirit of Messiah, their high priest, who is known as the firstborn from the dead. (Colossians 1:18) The firstfruits are known as part of the general assembly and ekklesia of the firstborn that are written in heaven. (Hebrews 12:23)  The original authority of the priesthood resided with the human firstborn, which was a pattern of the heavenly and again becomes the reality with the resurrection of the firstfruits.

The high priest of the order of Melchizedek was first introduced in the Old Testament as Melchizedek in Genesis 14:18.  The only other reference found in the Old Testament regarding Melchizedek is found in Psalm 110:4. Nothing more is revealed until the book of Hebrews.  This book of the new covenant scriptures is often overlooked and is not given the study that it deserves.

In Hebrews 7:3 we learn that Melchizedek (in Hebrew; Melchisedec in the Greek) was:  “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like the Son of Yahweh; abideth a priest continually.”This verse reveals that Melchizedek was not a human. He was a spiritual being. He was the Son of Yahweh who we now know as YahwehShua. This is why Messiah told us in John 8:56 that Abraham:  “rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.”During his contact with Melchizedek, Abraham learned about the order of Melchizedek and his future fulfillment. Abraham’s learning from Messiah is similar to that experienced by Paul when YahwehShua personally taught him. (Galatians 1: 12, 18)

Aaron was the first Levitical high priest. Moses was taught the pattern to follow concerning the duties of the high priest, so a study of Aaron will give us more insight into our high priest, YahwehShua. 

Let’s then review Exodus 28: 36-38:  

“And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO YAHWEH. And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that made be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be. And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before Yahweh.”

Notice that Aaron was required to wear the name of Yahweh on his forehead. This is similar to what you find in Revelation 14:1. In this verse, you will find a description of the firstfruits standing with the Lamb on Mount Sion. These 144,000 had His name and the name of His Father written in their foreheads. (YAHWEHSHUA) This name must be on their foreheads upon completion of consecration and before they can serve as judges before Yahweh.

Aaron was also required to “bear the iniquity” of the Israelites. He performed this role with a temporary substitute of animal blood. He was never required to use his own blood. Messiah, our high priest, was able to reconcile all mankind through the use of his own blood. However, salvation would only come to the firstfruits by his appearing before his Father and receiving the more excellent name, YahwehShua. Mankind is reconciled by Yahshua’s blood; however, to receive salvation you must have the name of life, YahwehShua. (Romans 5:10) This is the only name by which we must be saved. (Acts 4: 12) Aaron’s role in bearing iniquity to have the people accepted and wearing the name of Yahweh was according to the pattern shown to Moses. However, because Aaron’s blood was defiled (Romans 3:23) and he was not wearing the name YahwehShua, he was not able to fulfill the requirements of being a high priest. Messiah, the original high priest, was able to reconcile the world with his undefiled blood and save those who call upon the name of YahwehShua.  (As the lamb of Yahweh, he was unblemished by sin.  His blood was the perfect sacrifice.)

This is an appropriate time to point out that animal sacrifices were not required by Yahweh when the Israelites left Egypt. This truth is revealed in Jeremiah 17: 22-23:  “For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. But this I commanded I them, saying, obey my voice, and I will be your Elohim, and you shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways I commanded you that it may be well with you.”

They were not able to obey Yahweh, so the Levitical sacrifices were instituted. They will have to be reinstituted during the thousand-year reign of Messiah because salvation will not be available at that time. 

Animal blood could not remove iniquity. Hundreds of years before the Israelites left Egypt, Yahweh had revealed that animal blood was not acceptable. It had to be the blood of a man, a human. This is revealed in Genesis 9:5-6: “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of Elohim made he man.”

This is why Messiah, the Son of Yahweh, had to become incarnate. He could only reconcile mankind by the shedding of his own blood. He created a body containing his own blood so he could become the sacrificial Lamb. (Hebrews 10:5) He had to have a disposable human name that could be defiled by all of man’s sin and then could be blotted out. He willingly gave up the name of Yahweh that would have to be restored after his death as Yahshua. He did this for us.

Genesis 9:5 also required that the shedding of the blood had to be from a kinsman or blood relative. To meet this requirement, Yahweh had to become a husband to Israel and therefore met the condition of being a relative. (Jeremiah 31:12) He had to become human to meet the requirements of Genesis 9:5. (Philippians 2:7)

Messiah had the ultimate power before becoming incarnate. (John 17:5) He gave up this power, as the Son of Yahweh, so he could die for all mankind. (Philippians 2: 8) This power was restored when he inherited the more excellent name of Yahweh. (Hebrews 1:4) We have an outstanding high priest. Paul confirms this in Hebrews 4:15:  “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; But was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

Messiah is the beginning of everything. This physical creation exists to produce more members of the family of Yahweh. It must start with the priesthood and it did. The original priesthood was the order of Melchizedek and the original high priest was YahwehShua. He is the king of righteousness. According to Jeremiah 33:16, he will again have the name of righteousness.  In Hebrew his name will be, Yahweh Zidkenu (see Bullinger’s Companion Bible, appendix 4), Yahweh our righteousness.

If reading this article is indicative of your being called, then you have been given a remarkable privilege. As a firstfruit you will be able to have the Spirit of the greatest high priest formed within you. This is why baptism in the name of YahwehShua is vital.  You will have his mind and his support. You will be able to do all things through your high priest who will strengthen you. (Philippians 4:13)

By accepting your invitation to join the ranks of the order of Melchizedek, you will be getting in on the ground floor of a magnificent future. In Isaiah 9:7 we are promised this:  “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.” Consider becoming part of an organization that will have no end and you will be with the greatest high priest forever!

Contact us at the Light of YahwehShua to learn more about your possible destiny. We stand ready to help you. May Yahweh guide you.