Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from the New King James Version.
“As He also says in another place: “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek”” (Hebrews 5:6)
In the book of Hebrews Paul writes:
“So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.” As He also says in another place: “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek”” (Hebrews 5:5-6).
So what does this mean, that Christ is a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedec? To find the answer we have to go back to the beginning.
At the creation God established a basic set of laws for the benefit of man. Many references to these laws exist in the book of Genesis, including:
Seventh Day for Rest
“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:3).
You shall not kill
“Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth”” (Genesis 4:8-12).
Law of the Clean and Unclean
“You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female”(Genesis 7:2).
You shall not commit adultery
“So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful. The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s house. He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels. But the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. And Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?” (Genesis 12:14-18).
“Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all” (Genesis 14:18-20).
“For this Melchizedek, 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 gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,”” (Hebrews 7:1-2).
After the Exodus from Egypt, the children of Israel were given the Ten Commandments on two tables of stone, written by the finger of God and given to Moses. These tables of stone were put inside the Ark of the Covenant.
“And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18).
“There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt” (1 Kings 8:9)
Exodus chapter 20 contains the text of these commandments.
While Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, the children of Israel were building a molten calf out of gold and proclaiming it to be the god who had brought them out of Egypt. When Moses came down from the mount, he was extremely angry. He smashed the tables of stone containing the Ten Commandments, ground up the golden calf, put the dust on the water, and made the children of Israel drink it. Then Moses asked the question “Who is on the LORD'S side?” (KJV).
“then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, “Whoever is on the LORD’s side—come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him” (Exodus 32:26).
“At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to Him and to bless in His name, to this day. Therefore Levi has no portion nor inheritance with his brethren; the LORD is his inheritance, just as the LORD your God promised him” (Deuteronomy 10:8-9).
The sons of Levi answered the call and God made them priests over the children of Israel. Because the children of Israel committed this transgression with the golden calf, the Levitical priesthood was established and the book of the Law was given to the children of Israel.
“So it was, when Moses had completed writing the words of this law in a book, when they were finished, that Moses commanded the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying: “Take this Book of the Law, and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there as a witness against you; for I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. If today, while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the LORD, then how much more after my death?” (Deuteronomy 31:24-27).
“What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator”(Galatians 3:19).
The Levitical priesthood lasted from the time of Sinai until Jesus came to the earth. Then, Jesus was installed as our high priest after the order of Melchizedec.
“For He testifies: “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”” (Hebrews 7:17).
“Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law” (Hebrews 7:11-12).
Since Christ is our high priest, we are then subject the Melchisedec priesthood. We are under the laws of the Melchisedec priesthood. Two other statutes were added to the Melchisedec priesthood when Jesus became our high priest: the Lord's Supper and Baptism.
“And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:19-20).
“Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:37-38)
These two statutes are part of the testimony of Jesus. We are required to keep this testimony and to model our lives after his example.
“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “ Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:21-23)
From the Creation, God established the law under the Melchizedek priesthood.
The Clean and the Unclean
Because of transgression, the Levitical law was added and the Levitical priesthood was established. The original law from the Melchizedek priesthood were also in the Levitical priesthood. This commandments are, among others, the following:
The Clean and the Unclean
Since Jesus died for us on the cross, we are back to the Melchizedec Priesthood. Therefore, the law and commandments from God that we are to observe today on top of the Moses' commandments still applicable today are:
1. The Ten Commandments
2. The law of the clean and the unclean
3. The law of the ten percent tithe
4. The remembrance of Jesus through the Lord's Supper
5. The acceptance of Jesus through Baptism
6. The testimony of Jesus to live by his example