Melchizedek is introduced in Scripture as a
king-priest in Jerusalem, and he forms a type of Christ as
King-Priest in Jerusalem during the coming day of His power, during
the coming Messianic Era. This is clearly seen to be the case
through both of the Old Testament references to Melchizedek (Genesis
14:18, 19; Psalm 110:4) and the place that
Melchizedek occupies in Hebrews chapters five through
Both Old Testament references are
Messianic in their scope of fulfillment, as are the references
in the book of Hebrews. In this respect, Christ is not
presently exercising a priestly ministry after the order of
Melchizedek, for Melchizedek was also a king in Jerusalem as well.
Rather, Christ is presently exercising a
priestly ministry after the order of Aaron, who ministered in the
sanctuary on the basis of shed blood, on behalf of a redeemed
people. Christ is presently ministering in the sanctuary (the
heavenly), on the basis of shed blood (His own), for a redeemed
people (for Christians).
Christ is presently a Priest after
the order of Melchizedek, as He is presently King (He was
born King [Matthew 2:3]). Christ though has yet to exercise
either office; and Scripture presents His exercise of both offices
as occurring at the same time, during the coming age.
In keeping with the manner in which
Scripture has been structured, Melchizedek appears in Genesis
chapter fourteen in a particular setting at a
particular time; and, within this setting and time,
God established fundamental truths from which He could later draw
spiritual lessons in order to teach His people deep spiritual truths
concerning the various things having to do with His Son’s coming
reign over the earth.
These foundational truths were established
during Abraham’s day through the record of that which occurred in
Genesis chapter fourteen. Then the writer of Psalm
110 drew from this account, as did the writer of Hebrews
chapters five through seven.
Thus, in all
three sections of Scripture, the three different writers dealt with
issues surrounding Christ in relation to the Messianic Era, not in
relation to the present age. And sections of Scripture such as
Hebrews 6:4-6, contextually, must be looked upon and interpreted
in this same light.
The “helmet of
salvation” cannot be possessed apart from a “hope” based on
knowledge and understanding. But it is only one part of the
armor, and the possession of other parts of the armor requires a
similar knowledge and understanding surrounding the goal of
the Christians’ calling. And, apart from being properly arrayed for
battle after the fashion revealed in Ephesians 6:11ff,
Christians will suffer defeat time after time and ultimately fail to
realize the goal of their calling.
Drawing from the
previous two warnings in order to understand the third is the
progressive manner in which the things in this book, Let Us Go On,
have been structured; and this is also the progressive manner in
which any correct exposition of Hebrews, chapters five
and six must be viewed.
Scripture must be
understood in the light of Scripture. There is first the near
context, and there is then the far context. The near
context, in this case, takes one back to the previous two warnings;
and the far context takes one to the various other related points in
Scripture throughout both the Old and New Testaments. One must
compare “spiritual things with spiritual” if he would come
into a correct knowledge and understanding of the things that God
has revealed to man in His Word (1 Corinthians 2:9-13).