MELCHISEDEC AND ABRAHAM
Now we can turn to chapter seven of the book of Hebrews. Let us first read verses 1 through 10: "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, to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all; first being interpreted king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace; being without father, without mother, without genealogy; having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but likened to the Son of God, abides a priest perpetually. And consider how great this one was, to whom the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the choice spoils. And they of the sons of Levi, who received the priestly service, have a commandment to take tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brothers, though they have come forth from the loins of Abraham. But he whose genealogy is not counted from them has taken tithes from Abraham and has blessed him who has the promises. But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater. And here men, who die, receive tithes; but there, one of whom it is testified that he lives. And, so to speak, through Abraham, Levi also, he who receives tithes, has been made to pay tithes, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchisedec met him."
In this passage, the writer of the book told the Hebrews that the priesthood that they depended on came from the lineage of Levi. The Christ that we believe in, however, did not come from the Levites. Rather, He is of the lineage of Melchisedec (who also was a priest).
MELCHISEDEC GREATER THAN LEVI
Which one is greater, Levi or Melchisedec? The answer is, of course, Melchisedec. But why? Here the writer brought in Abraham. Abraham offered up one tenth of what he acquired to Melchisedec as a gift. Not only did Melchisedec accept it, but he blessed Abraham as well. Therefore, beyond dispute, Melchisedec is greater than Abraham.
But what does that have to do with Levi? The link is in the fact that Levi "was still in the loins of his father when Melchisedec met him." Although Levi was born after another hundred or so years, according to the principle of unity, Levi offered up one tenth to Melchisedec when he was inside Abraham. On that same day, he was blessed by Melchisedec within Abraham. For this reason Melchisedec is greater than Levi.
Our faith has a central concept: whatever a man does or however he acts affects his future generations. If our ancestors have done such and such, so have we. It does not matter whether or not we were born yet, because we did the same while we were in them.
THE BEGINNING OF THE FALL
AND THE SALVATION OF MAN
This is where the fall of man began. It is also where man’s salvation commences. Christ recognizes the nature of unity of the human life. When the first man sinned, all who came after him sinned as well. Therefore, if another man can be established as a source of life and as the head of a new race, whoever succeeds him will be able to share all he is and all he has done in him.
(The Normal Christian Faith, Chapter 7, by Watchman Nee)