THE MINISTRY OF MELCHISEDEC
How was it possible for one who escaped to have come to Abraham, and how could Abraham have made such a brief and bold decision? What happened so that, after a short time, the enemy ran away? Melchisedec came in. Who is Melchisedec? He is a type of Christ. He is very much like Christ. When he came in, it signified that Christ came in. He was a type of Christ as God’s High Priest. This is not revealed in Genesis 14, but it is found in Psalm 110. In Psalm 110 we are told that God’s anointed One, the very Christ, is the Priest according to the order of Melchisedec, an order which is prior to that of Aaron. Before Aaron came into the priesthood, Melchisedec was God’s Priest already.
The Aaronic priesthood dealt with sin, taking care of things on the negative side. The ministry of Melchisedec, on the contrary, is positive. Melchisedec did not come in to take away sin. He did not appear because Abraham had sinned but because Abraham had gained the victory. Melchisedec did not appear with an offering to take away sin but with bread and wine to nourish the victor. Nearly all Christians consider Christ as the High Priest who takes care of sin, but hardly anyone pays attention to Christ as the High Priest according to the order of Melchisedec. As such a High Priest, Christ does not take care of sin but ministers to us the processed God, signified by the bread and wine, as our nourishment.
Do you not believe that before Melchisedec came to minister bread and wine, as the priest of God he was interceding for Lot and Abraham? I believe that he was. I do not believe that Melchisedec was sleeping during all the fighting and that when he heard the news of Abraham’s victory he hurriedly appeared to Abraham to minister bread and wine. I believe that Abraham’s brief and bold decision to fight for the rescue of Lot was stirred up by the intercession of Melchisedec. I also believe that the one who came to tell Abraham of Lot’s capture escaped because Melchisedec was interceding for Lot. As a priest, Melchisedec must have been taking care of God’s people. In answer to his intercession, one escaped from Sodom, told Abraham the news, and Abraham made the bold decision to fight for the rescue of Lot.
While we walk on this earth, many things happen to us. Apparently, these things just happen. Actually, behind the earthly scene, an intercession is going on. Our Melchisedec, our High Priest Christ, is still interceding for us in heaven (Heb. 7:25). His intercession overshadows us and cares for us.
Melchisedec’s coming to Abraham was somewhat of an indication of Christ’s second coming. What are we, today’s Abraham, doing here? We are slaughtering the enemies. Some of God’s people, like Lot, have suffered defeat after defeat. By God’s mercy, some others need to be today’s Abraham who experience victory after victory. We need to learn the basic lesson that our God, the One who called us, is the Possessor of heaven and earth. We are living for Him on the earth and we are His testimony. We do not tolerate any damage to God’s interest on earth. When we hear of such damage, we make a quick decision to defeat the enemy and to slaughter the kings.
We need to slaughter some kings daily. We need to slaughter the kings in our mind, emotion, and will. We need to slaughter the kings in our environment, families, and schools. After we have finished our slaughter of the kings, our Melchisedec will come to us, meet with us, and celebrate our victory. The Lord will not come back until we have slaughtered all the kings. Then He will return and drink the fruit of the vine with us, as indicated by His word in Matthew 26:29: “I will by no means drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in the kingdom of My Father.” Melchisedec interceded for Lot and Abraham. Today Christ, our High Priest, is interceding for all the overcoming ones. While He is interceding now for us in heaven, we are slaughtering the kings on earth. After the overcoming ones slaughter all the kings, our Intercessor, the High Priest of the Most High God, will appear with the full taste of the processed God.
Melchisedec’s coming signified that Christ had come. Our victory always makes Christ manifested. The people in our environment may find it difficult to see where Christ is. However, if we gain a victory, that victory will declare Christ to them. Our victory will bring in Christ in a new aspect. How interesting it is to see that suddenly, in chapter fourteen of Genesis, Melchisedec, whose name means the king of righteousness and who was the king of Salem, which means the king of peace, appeared. What does this signify? It signifies that Christ will be declared to people and brought to them by the overcoming ones. One day the whole earth will be surprised by Christ’s appearing. The people in the world do not even believe that there is a Christ, calling such belief nonsense. But after we have slaughtered all of the kings, Christ will suddenly appear. Christ will be made manifest by our slaughter of the kings, and the whole world will be surprised at His coming. To us, the overcomers, Christ’s second appearing will not be a surprise, but to the worldly people it will be a great surprise. They may say, “Who is this one? What is his name and where does he come from?” We may answer, “His name is Christ, the real Melchisedec, and He comes from the heavens where He has been interceding for centuries.”
We all need to echo the Lord’s intercession. If we turn to our spirit and contact Him, there will always be some echoing. If we go according to that echoing, forgetting our environment, enemies, and even ourselves, we shall gain the victory and slaughter the kings. At the end of our slaughter of all the kings, our Melchisedec will appear to us. That will be the second coming of Christ. When Christ comes in, the whole earth will know the Most High God. Then all the earth will realize that God is the Possessor of heaven and earth. The earth is not possessed by any king, president, statesman, or politician, it is possessed by the Most High God, the Possessor of heaven and earth. How can this fact be declared to the earth? Only by our slaughter of the kings.
Abraham’s victory in chapter fourteen is not a small thing. In the Bible, God is revealed in a progressive way. In Genesis 1 we do not have the title, “the Most High God.” Even up to chapter thirteen we have neither this title nor the special title, “Possessor of heaven and earth.” Although you may have been a Christian for years, perhaps you have never realized that God has such titles. God is the Most High God and the Possessor of heaven and earth. He is the heavenlord and the landlord. By our experience of Christ, God’s titles are progressively revealed to us. In our experience of Christ, we shall realize that our God is the Most High God and the Possessor of heaven and earth. This must be our attraction and incentive to go on to slaughter the kings.
Do not be today’s Lot, for that is to be timid and cowardly. We all must be brief and bold because we have the Most High God and the Possessor of heaven and earth. Abraham told the king of Sodom that, before he went to war, he lifted up his hand to the Most High God, to the Possessor of heaven and earth. He went to war in such a spirit. Since Abraham had full confidence in the Most High God, the Possessor of heaven and earth, he had to be victorious.
When Melchisedec came to Abraham, he blessed Abraham with the Most High God, the Possessor of heaven and earth (v. 19). This proves that he was greater than Abraham (Heb. 7:6-7). He also blessed God for Abraham’s victory (v. 20). Our victory always causes our Melchisedec to grant us blessing and to give blessing to God. Our victory brings in more blessings in Christ, both to us and to God.
At Melchisedec’s blessing, Abraham gave him tithes of all, the tithes of his choice spoils (v. 20; Heb. 7:2, 4). This also proves Melchisedec’s greatness. Our victory gains the spoils, and the offering of our spoils to Christ always declares the greatness of Christ. Without victory, we have nothing to offer to Christ and His greatness will not be declared.
(Abraham—Called by God, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)