WHO IS THIS MELCHIZEDEK?
It is perhaps unusual to start an article with a question and yet if you have begun to read this, it is undoubtedly because you are interested in the answer. Probably, in fact, there are many questions you would like answered, but let us start with this one:
Historically Melchizedek was the priest-king of the old citadel-city of Salem, and lived in the 21st century B.C. According to the Biblical Account He was a contemporary of Abraham and this is generally recognised. But if our understanding of the ancient records is correct, He was also the “Form” assumed by the Divine Salvator when He came to earth at that time. As such, it appears that He brought a new and higher revelation of the Truth to the people of that day, just as two thousand years later, in His Incarnation as Jesus of Nazareth He was to bring yet another such revelation to those of the First Century A.D.
WAS MELCHIZEDEK AN INCARNATION OF THE SALVATOR?
There are many reasons for believing that Melchizedek was an Incarnation of the Salvator and there is time to present only a few of them here, and those only briefly, yet taken together they provide a forceful argument. To the Christian, undoubtedly the most valid reason is that Christ Himself tells us that He had been on earth in the time of Abraham. (St John 8; 56) And although He does not specifically identify Himself as Melchizedek in that passage, St Paul seems to have been in no doubt, as to the link between the Two and of the Divinity of Melchizedek Whom he describes as Eternal in Hebrews 7; 3.
And lest any should still be uncertain, I would also point out that the Bible also makes it clear that the Divine Salvator has also come to earth on many previous occasions. This is demonstrated by the reference in Micah, (5:2) which St Matthew (chap 2. 4-6) applies to Christ.
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
The first section of the passage is clearly the important part for the purposes of St. Matthew – it indicates where the Messiah would be born. Yet it is the latter part (in bold) which is important to our subject. It tells us plainly that the same Messiah who “shall come forth unto Me” from Bethlehem, had gone forth many times before – from time immemorial!
Hence it seems plain that when Christ referred to His Day at the time of Abraham, (when He came as Melchizedek) He was referring only to the most recent of His many visits to earth. And although we may have little knowledge of those earlier visits, we know that he had descended many times before then, in order that again and again He might bring to mankind a fresh and usually higher, revelation of the Truth. This He has done till at last the human race was ready to receive the teachings He gave forth as Jesus of Nazareth.
BUILDING FOR THE NEW AGE
For it seems clear that although much of the Work of the Salvator is normally lost before He comes again, when He does, He is still able to find some remnant on which He can build for the New Age. Thus each revelation is at least a little higher than the one before it. Much of the Ancient Wisdom of Melchizedek was lost, and certainly there was no Church of Melchizedek surviving, when Jesus came, but still He was still able to build upon that which remained. As a result the Church that He then founded has been able to survive, and although clearly most branches of it do not proclaim more than a few fragments of His Ancient Wisdom, some aspects yet remain.
Perhaps the most widely-taught Truth is that which is undoubtedly the most important – the fact that He will come again. He will come to replace that which has been lost, renew that which has been corrupted and once more lay the spiritual foundations of a New Age. And to us who seek to help in that task – to prepare the way for the return of Jesus Christ, just as the Essenes worked to prepare for the return of Melchizedek – He has given at least some part of that Wisdom and commanded us to begin displaying it to the world again.