The reason the King List in Luke 3:23-38 goes all the way back in time to Adam, and not just to David, is to prove that Jesus of Nazareth inherited not only
- the right to rule over Israel from David,
- but also the authority to rule over God’s Kingdom of Heaven and Earth / Creation as Melchizedek from Adam through David.
Jesus’ Melchizedekian role is also expressed in the immediate continuation of Luke’s biography.
“And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: [that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet…Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:13-17)]
and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And…he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and…began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” (Luke 4:14-21)
We recognize the royal lineage from Judah, but I don’t think we also appreciate the clear statement that Jesus also inherited the right to be the lawgiver, like Moses, i.e. High Priest, along with his kingship, and that’s why the corrupt religious rulers of his day were getting the shivers at the idea of acknowledging him as the Melchizedek.
“While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, What think ye of Messiah / Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst [dared] any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.” (Matt 22:41-46)
What we post-New Testament readers get from this is that Jesus is alluding to his divine paternity. While that is true, there is also another meaning in this passage that would have been the first thing to come to the minds of the 1st century Jews anticipating Messiah’s arrival.
The issue that Jesus presented to the Pharisees is that their expected Christ – the Messiah, the Promised One, the Seed of the Woman / Son of God going back in time to Adam – is not just the heir to King David’s throne over Israel, but the last of a series of Lords including and preceding and succeeding David who were granted dominion over all creation, signified by sitting, i.e. co-reigning with LORD / YHWH as Messiahs / Christs / Anointed Ones.
“And the LORD said unto me…I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:16-19)
With this background information, we can pick up on the unspoken exchanges between Jesus and the Pharisees, and the vociferous exchanges between Pilate and the Jewish rulers. Accepting Jesus as the King of the Jews would require not just overthrowing Herod in Judea, but Caesar in Rome, on whom the current Hellenized rulers, AKA Jews, depended for political, social and economic power.
And don’t overlook the rest of the passage from which Jesus is quoting. The obsessively literate Pharisees wouldn’t have. There’s that sticky bit about “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” As we shall see, that would require a revolution against not just the current political, but also the religious, regime. This is why they dared not engage with Jesus any longer.
Continuing in Dr. Gibb’s account of history:
Once more the emphasis shifted when the king as priest was challenged by the growing claims of the professional clergy, so that the king’s major functions became limited to those of ruler, judge, and lawgiver under Yahweh. As a result of what Aage Bentzen calls ‘a sort of “secularisation” of kingship in later pre-exilic periods’, not only did the priests deny certain cultic rights to the king, but, according to Bentzen, even the function of lawgiving became less intimately associated with the Davidic kingship; the priests (that is, the Levites in the Deuteronomic sense) increasingly rivalled the king in this association. Thus we can see that, at the least, the rich meaning of the idea of the king as the son of God tended to fade in practice as time passed, no matter what dating may be agreed upon for the various passages which refer to his sonship, and that the priests in many respects picked up the pieces.”
By Jesus’ day both the Aaronic lineage of priests and the Davidic royal dynasty had been supplanted by first the Hasmoneans then the Herodians. Throw in the Roman overlords, and the Messianic Savior Melchisedec had to win a world war to regain his kingdom.
The Hasmonean dynasty [established by a priest, the brother of Judah the Maccabee / Hammer who led the victorious revolt against foreign rule] …was a ruling dynasty of Judea and surrounding regions during classical antiquity. Between c. 140 and c. 116 BCE the dynasty ruled semi-autonomously from the Seleucids in the region of Judea. From 110 BCE, with the Seleucid Empire disintegrating, the dynasty became fully independent, expanded into the neighbouring regions of Samaria, Galilee, Iturea, Perea, and Idumea, and took the title “basileus” [Greek for “king” or “emperor]. Some modern scholars refer to this period as an independent kingdom of Israel.
The dynasty had survived for 103 years before yielding to the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE. The installation of Herod the Great (an Idumean) as king in 37 BCE made Judea a Roman client state and marked the end of the Hasmonean dynasty. Even then, Herod the Great tried to bolster the legitimacy of his reign by marrying a Hasmonean princess, Mariamne, and planning to drown the last male Hasmonean heir at his Jericho palace. In 6 CE, Rome joined Judea proper, Samaria and Idumea (biblical Edom) into the Roman province of Iudaea. In 44 CE, Rome installed the rule of a Roman procurator side by side with the rule of the Herodian kings (specifically Agrippa I 41–44 and Agrippa II 50–100).”
“Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.” (Joh 11:45-48)
It is extremely important that we sidebar here to impress the point that John always uses the label “Jews” to refer to the rulers / lawmakers / judges, contrasting with “the people” who are those ruled, see John 7.
This class distinction, so well understood in the Roman terms patrician and pleb. was fundamental to all ancient through medieval societies.
The rise of democracy in relatively recent times was supposed to eliminate a powerfully oppressive class, but its continued existence can be recognized in the enduring favored status and prerogatives afforded to European royalty, the fundamental class struggle of Communism, and favored status of wealthy individuals who become the elite everywhere.
If we bear in mind that “the Jews” who clamored for Jesus’ death were a small fraction of the entire nation we can avoid the mistake of calling the entire nation, who became known as Jews after the exile from the land of Judea, “Christ killers.”
Given the history we just reviewed, the problem the chief priests faced was very real. If there was social unrest, the Romans would indeed swoop in and, as they had done previously with the Hasmoneans, replace their ineffective quislings with more effective governors.
In fact, this is exactly what they did shortly after this. But the Jewish rulers were between a Rock and a hard place because, if they allied with Jesus they would also lose their power because they would have to hand it over to him. Don’t miss the fact that the high priest, usurper though he was, knew the scriptures well enough to know that “the Christ / Messiah / Anointed One” is AKA “the Son of YHVH God,” i.e. King.
“And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.” (Matthew 26:63-65)
Nowhere in scripture is there a law that says an individual can’t claim to be the Son of God. How else would the seed of David, legitimate heir to the Jewish throne, define himself? Like Herod’s law to slaughter the infant boys, this was a new law passed by the current lawmakers on the spot to safeguard their illicit power granted to them by the Roman god, son of god Caesar.
“Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe…
- When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.
- Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
- The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
- When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid [because pagans know what that means – this is a superhuman spirit-powered individual.] And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” (John 19:5-11)
The viciousness of the rulers’ power struggle with Jesus betrays their deep terror that he could win it, as he had already won the hearts and minds of the people. Their desperation is recognized by both the locally ethnic king Herod and the foreign overlord Pilate, who began to feel a mix of emotions toward the man who is causing such a stir. They express awareness that he is being treated unjustly, and they have had so many power struggles of their own with the Jews that it is only reasonable that they consider making him their new regional religious / political ally. However, Jesus wasn’t playing that game, so Rome’s men then maintained, and even strengthened, their uneasy alliance with the existing local political-religious rulers.
“And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves. And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.” (Luke 23:8-15)
“And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews – the Jews!- cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar…We have no king but Caesar.“ (John 19:12-15)
The Jewish rulers were very serious when they publicly proclaimed their subjugation to Caesar. Given their recent bitter loss of autonomous power to Caesar and his minion Herod, this underscores just how utterly opposed they were to Jesus becoming their king, and diagnoses how truly anti- Messiah / Christ they were.
On the other hand, the Pharisees, who we often think of as Jesus’ opponents, were in fact the fundamentalist Bible-believers of the day. Many searched the scriptures in search of the truth of Jesus’ claims that he was the fulfillment of prophecy. The writer of Hebrews, unquestionably a Pharisee given his knowledge of the law, figured out what Jesus was claiming.
Hebrews is a legal defense of Jesus’s claim to be, not just the king of Israel, but the Melchi-zedek, righteous human ruler of all creation. Visualize a lawyer delivering his opening argument in a courtroom filled with biased opponents and oppressed people yearning to breathe free.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things…For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son…unto the Son [of David] he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows…But to which of the angels [i.e. ancient gods like Enki or Zeus] said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” (Hebrews 1:1-13)
One of the most significant issues Jesus and his followers were dealing with is that the praiseworthy revolt by devout Levitical priests against the false king Antiochus Epiphenes turned into a coup d’etat against the true king Melchizedek. This is the historical context that the writer obviously has in mind in the following passage.
- “For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Messiah / Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. [Don’t miss that! The Son of God as the likeness of God, is God’s representative AKA the high priest.] As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 5:1-6)
- “Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. (Heb 5:10)
- “Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even YHWH’s Savior / Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 6:10)
- “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?” (Hebrews 7:11)
- “For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb 7:17)
- “(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The LORD sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek:)” (Heb 7:21)
- “For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.“ (Hebrews 7:28)
“The oath” is the evidence that the lawyer pulls out with a flourish as the ultimate proof of the validity of Jesus’ claim. This only has legal proof in this court case because the documents in which it is found had already been accepted into evidence as being the Word of God, inspired scripture, TRUTH. Where is this oath? Originally relayed to David by the prophet Nathan in II Samuel 7, in Psalm 89 quoted above, and again in Psalm 132.
“Arise, O LORD, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength. Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy. For thy servant David’s sake turn not away the face of thine anointed.
The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.
For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it…
I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. There will I make the horn of David to bud. [David’s offspring]…His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.” (Psalm 132:8-18)
The evidence is piling up that the order of Melchizedek is a lineage of ruling “sons of God”, but the phrase “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee” certainly seems to be a prophecy that can apply only to Jesus Christ under the New Covenant / Testament.
”No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.“ (Jonh 1:18)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
However, not just the Old Testament, but also the New Testament treats the term “begotten Son”, exactly as explained above by Dr. Gibbs, as an honor bestowed by the father, not an entitlement deriving from physical procreation. In current legalese, no person can force God to pay child support through a paternity lawsuit.
“And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
- So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said [pronounced as in “I hereby declare you man and wife.”] unto him, Thou art my Son, TODAY have I begotten thee.
- As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest….” (Hebrews 5:4-6)
Notice also how the New Testament defines Isaac as Abraham’s “only begotten son”, despite the fact that Abraham physically fathered Ishmael as well. The passage explains why – because Isaac was “called”, or proclaimed, or legally pronounced, written in the will AKA covenant, The Legitimate Heir who accurately reflects the Father and does the Father’s will.
“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:” (Hebrews 11:17-18)
“And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived…(Gen 16:3-4) And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife…I will…give thee a son ALSO of her…And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live [after me as my heir] before thee!
- And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
- And as for Ishmael, I have heard [endorsed, agreed to] thee: Behold,
- I have blessed him,
- and will make him fruitful [in his endeavors, successful]
- and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget,
- and I will make him a great nation [dynasty, lineage, forever living on in his seed].
- BUT my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.” (Genesis 17:15-21)
I propose that we are so focused on the fact that Jesus is the mono-genes, the uniquely begotten Son of God that we are overlooking that, as the example of Abraham proves, there can in fact be other, just genos, begotten offspring. Jesus’ unique status as the Seed of the Woman fathered by God is well documented in Old Testament prophecies and New Testament records. We do not discredit this truth when we acknowledge that there are also other begotten sons of God. This is, after all, how biblical salvation is achieved.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,” (I Peter 1:3-4)
“We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” (I John 5:18-19)
It is critical to understand exactly what the writer of Hebrews was drawing our attention to when he goes on and on about Jesus Christ being the High Priest in the order of Melchisedec. It is because Christians / Anointed-ones are called to function under him as priests in that order.
“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens…Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God;
- Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
- Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
- And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” (Hebrews 8:1, 10:19-24)
“Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5-6)
“The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:10-11)
“the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5)
“the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this…Ye have wearied the LORD with your words…When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?” (Malachi 2:7-17)
For example, God’s promise to be a father to David’s son is the guarantee of the joining of identities for the purpose of legitimacy and empowerment. Just like a marriage sacrament in which two become one, God had done the same with David and his predecessors.
“I have found David my servant…With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him. And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him…He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.” (Psalm 89:20-26)
The big deal in the commitment God made with David is not that he would be his father – that is standard practice for theocratic kings – but that David’s house(hold) / dynasty would endure forever. Those who filter this Old Testament statement through a New Testament lens of the finished work of Christ often interpret “forever” as avoiding hell and living in heaven after we die, with most of Christians going about life on earth as if nothing extraordinary happened when we accepted Jesus as our savior.
But the original Old Testament audience only had their culture and preceding scripture on which to base their understanding, passages like “the seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent.” And so did the New Testament writer of Hebrews, who traces Jesus’ royal lineage further back beyond David, to Judah, to prove that we believers in Jesus are empowered by the priest-king Melchizedek of the whole world to defeat death in this lifetime.
“we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Wherein in time past ye [Ephesian Gentile believers] walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom ALSO [Jews including Paul] WE ALL had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together [now] with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (Ephesian 2:1-5)
The us includes Old Covenant Bible believers. Who else did Jesus release from prison?
There is one body, and one Spirit, [by whom] even as ye [also] are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all…Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive…(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?…And hath raised us up together – [not only Jews and Gentiles, but Old Covenant and New Covenant participants], and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:…(Ephesians 4:4-10)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, [even by Old Covenant participants] lest any man should boast…” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report…By faith Abel…Enoch…Noah…Abraham…Sarah…Isaac…Jacob…Joseph…Moses…Rahab…time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, obtained promises, wrought righteousness, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented…these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not THE promise [of restoration of eternal life]: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect [complete, whole as a body].”(Hebrews 11)
“Wherefore seeing WE also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let US lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset US, and let US run with patience the race that is set before US…consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye [unlike the preceding list] have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” (Hebrews 12)
What it means to be priests and kings in the order of Melchizedek is that it is our responsibility to take dominion over the territory granted to us by God. We have to win it back from Satan, who currently has control over much of the earth and its population. He is in fact:
- king of the kings of the world who submit to him – “And the devil, taking him [Jesus] up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me [by his subjects; and to whomsoever I will I give it [he is a liar, does not give in return what he promised in a contract].” (Luke 4:5-6)
- ” the god of this world [who] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not” (II Corinthians 4:4)
Like Hitler, Satan is catapulted to the highest position of government by humans who, lured by his lies promising power and wealth, put themselves under his authority.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:15)
“…every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:14-15)
These passages are all examples of spiritual law – unalterable consequences – just like the laws of physics. As described in earlier posts, Yahweh’s Appointed Savior, the man Christ Jesus, legally reversed the human action that transferred dominion to Satan, thereby transferring dominion back to himself as a human, and to all humans who identify with him. Adam disobeyed God and submitted to Satan. Christ Jesus obeyed God and refused to submit to Satan. It’s really that simple.
And this is how we mere humans get out from under Satan’s tyranny, experienced in human bondage and misery in drug addiction, emotional disorders, broken families, financial ruin and political chaos. We obey God’s Word. Don’t over-spiritualize the following passage or limit its application to the future. It applies to us now.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God [that’s exactly what we do when we make ourselves the authority of our life choices]: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and…humbled himself, and became obedient…Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him…That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth…” (Philippians 2:6-11)
When Yahweh’s Anointed Savior came to earth, he had two separate missions:
- physical restoration of the kingdom of heaven [on earth]
- and spiritual restoration of the kingdom of God.
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [in earth as it is in heaven.]” (Matthew 4:17)
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)
The kingdom of heaven exists from creation in physical qualities, but the spiritual kingdom of God is within a person in spiritual qualities of righteousness and eternal life.
“…behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21)
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Ro 14:17)
The real estate of heaven and earth is not the most valuable part of dominion. The humans who populate the kingdom are. Humans can escape from the kingdom of darkness and find refuge and new life in the kingdom of God.
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” (Colossians 1:12-14)
“Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:5-7)
We are born into, AKA able to survive within and interact with the resources of, the spiritual environment, AKA kingdom of God, when we put our faith in Yahweh’s Consecrated Savior’s atoning death and resurrection and spiritually merge our identity with him in a process called baptism. There is a good reason for associating baptism with birthing. People in societies where birthing occurred at home and openly with animals in fields knew that the newborn always emerged from the birth canal drenched from the breaking of the water sac.
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore…we also should walk in newness of life…Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” (Romans 6:3-13)
Granting citizenship in the kingdom to immigrants who flock to the promise of a better life is not the same thing as restoring dominion / rule. Humans must prove themselves worthy to reign with Christ. That’s not all believers. Only those who follow their king into battle qualify to inherit a government post within God’s kingdom.
“And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest…Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. [Indicates closest, i.e. most trusted advisors.] But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.” (Mar 10:35-40)
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal 5:16-21)
“If we suffer [prove our loyalty and commitment like every fairy tale prince and princess], we shall also reign with him:” (II Tim 2:12)
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Rev 20:4)